New Music – Pittsburgh’s Main Course


Naked Lunch EP is the newest release from Pittsburgh lo-fi looper and hip-hop artist, Mt. Marcy. Marcy cleverly combines all the essential items of lo-fi hip-hop into one 15-minute package that while keeping a short run-time, is still able to bring some chill instrumentals into the equation.

Naked Lunch EP has no lyrics being rapped/sung over any of the beats, this means that Mt. Marcy would have to bring the production factor into an all-time high to keep the listener interested. The beats on this project keep a steady, relaxed flow that occasionally travels into the waters of blending different samples of vocals or spoken word to add background layering.

The first tracks on the tape “Greem [intro],” “Dilla_Redux,” and “We Are Simply Sums” all center around the classic style of hip-hop with very key-centric sounding tracks that use the percussion more as a track progressing tool than its own entity. The percussion takes a backseat on most of this mix, allowing the foreground to be run by the keys and the various sounds and samples.

The track, “We Are Simply Sums” has this interesting use of the “Uhh” grunt made famous by Rick Ross. This little vocal cue adds another layering to the track even if it feels so simple. The instrumental that carries the track is an uplifting sequence of piano keys being played in what sounds almost like a free-form style. These keys overpower the rest of the track and steal the limelight away from the rest of the instruments which, was not necessarily a downfall.

The keyed instruments; piano, synthesizer, and organ completely make each track feel unique. In the song “Blush,” the soft chords being played over what sounds like water droplets makes for an overall smoother approach. The following track “Last Night I Cried In The Shower” could have been possibly foreshadowed by “Blush,” but it does not feel this way as both tracks have much different emotions to them. “Last Night I Cried In The Shower” feels more disjointed, allowing many different instruments to come together and create this loose styled beat. The vocalization has this woman repeating a phrase that seems to be overshadowed by the instrumental, but this is one of the few cases of vocalization in all of Naked Lunch EP.

Mt. Marcy’s Naked Lunch EP sounds similar to other lo-fi hip-hop releases, but what sets it apart from the rest is the more minimal style of approach to each song. The tracks feel very simple, but then when a song like “Figs” comes into frame and the use of warping records and loops begin, it is not difficult to see how much time and effort was put into Naked Lunch EP. “Figs” was actually one of the better produced tracks that I had heard coming from any lo-fi artist. It was not only intriguing to hear the constant warping, but also as the instrumental feels complex, it is not overly so.

“Honey [interlude]” and “Eden” follow and both of these tracks feel similar in the way the instruments were used. While the pacing is entirely different from one another, both the use of the organ on “Eden” and the piano on “Honey [interlude]” stay in the center of attention. The rest of the track relies on the keys movements to better provide the background instrumentation. This was the reoccurring theme throughout Naked Lunch EP. The keyed instruments rule the center stage on the tracks, allowing almost every song to follow behind the key’s command.

The track “Tangier//Interzone” follows what sounds like this dreamscape style of an instrumental with a delayed guitar strumming out background noise behind this boom-bap style of percussion beat. This was a totally different approach to any track on Naked Lunch EP and it stands out among the crowd because of this. The track is able to capitalize on the use of the percussion while the stringed instruments take a backseat.

The last three tracks “Noora Pt.2,” “Whispuuur,” and “Noora Pt.1” all focus back on the keyed instruments and the track “Noora Pt.2” while short, sounds more like a Samiyam beat. Samiyam also keeps his head in the general area of lo-fi hip-hop and both Samiyam and Mt. Marcy share an interest in creating these outstanding short-styled tracks that leave you begging for more.
“Whispuuur” is one of, if not the strongest track on the entire EP. It uses this hi-hat opening and closing, then changes in and out of tempos as well. The track starts slower, then speeds up, then finally slows back down to let the beat breathe before coming to the final track.

“Noora Pt.1” is the grand finale of Naked Lunch EP and it feels as though it is a slow, somber walk through the late nights of a city setting. The piano bounces up and down the keys rather slowly, and the percussion is nothing more than just a simple click beat that only adds to the atmosphere of the track. Finally, just as soon as it began, “Noora Pt.1” ends with the click of what sounds like a tape recorder, only leaving the remaining silence to fill the void.

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