It’s been a long day but there’s still a little gas left in the tank. It’s approaching 12am here in London and the wordpress tab has been clicked on my browser. This only means one thing; another edition of the lockdown mixtape incoming for you all to enjoy/endure/experience – whichever description suits. Been a hectic time over the last thirty days or so – hectic is good, beats that weirdly subdued silence we had the entire 2020. I feel like I’m experiencing a bit of a coming-of-age period, like those dreadful movies, you know the ones, Thirteen Going on Thirty or something. Pre-lockdown I was definitely not far above the mental age of a thirteen year old. Now, I’m finally starting to act like a man approaching thirty in a few years. I listen to podcasts now, I cook, buy fruit and veg in the shops and enjoy walking in the park. The previous I would have scoffed at all of the above. Hopefully this vein of form continues or it’ll be back to frozen food and scoffing at everything again. Welcome to the thirty-second edition of the Lockdown Mixtape. An Electronic Mixtape.
Rohne / Phase
Although this blog is pretty much focused on various genres and styles – Downtempo Electronic is the blend that really keeps rising to the top. Before 2018 I’d never even heard of the genre but in recent years, a good slab of my music listening has been done scouring downtempo artists from Hiatus to Photay. The latest dose of downtempo to get the Sniffer seal of approval comes from US based producer Rohne and his wonderfully balanced single Phase. I’ve been listening to Rohne for quite a while now and always found his productions to be comfortably top tier but never fully got immersed in a track just enough to write about it here.
Along came Phase last week and it’s accurate to state that I’ve felt the correct level of immersion. I’m immersed.
Felix Dreiser / Keanu
Staying in the same zone; we’ve got the new one from Felix Dreiser. Keanu is the Cologne producer’s most recent release and it may well be his best to date. I found Dreiser a couple of years ago and was blown away by the intricate nature of his beat making. Every note is calculated, every transition is carefully thought out, every texture inserted with purpose and conviction. Been lapping up Keanu over the last few days. I listened to this on the train platform waiting for the train to arrive, whilst sitting on the train and twice on the walk home from the station. I was in a zone – Felix’s music took me to a different sphere. So intelligent, so purposeful.
Makoto San / Kyoto
Ah yes, Makoto San are epic. They are the best bamboo based dance artists on the planet. I mean, this mysterious group actually makes their music with bamboo sticks. This is the highest grade of epic. I don’t even need to write any more here, it speaks for itself.
Tomás Novoa / Velo
Chilean producer Tomás Novoa is a consistent fella. This is around the fourth or fifth time I’ve shared one of his tracks on the site. Velo is his new one and it’s yet another smartly assembled thing. Novoa’s music is perfectly suited for background listening. It’s never flashy or in your face, it just subtly creates an atmosphere without the listener really noticing they are nodding away in unison. Velo is a classy thing, for a classy midnight cocktail bar in Tbilisi.
Fontana / 64 Squares
Finishing off this electronic edition of The Lockdown Mixtape we have something just a tad bit heavier from Spanish LoFi House duo Fontana. The beatwork is squishy and squelch-y and fitting for basement listening at a rave party at four in the morning. It’s quite disorientating at times but on the other hand, it just works. The vocal samples, the synth melodies and the brooding bassline combine to great effect and 64 squares has got me throwing shapes around my room here. This type of sound wouldn’t be my cup of tea usually but Fontana has broken the pattern. I like it.
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a music blog that’s still only a baby – Founded in early 2019 by Kevin Coakley, a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists found in the blog’s submission inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE