Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jukebox: Distal - Cherry Red

With all the overblown hype trap has been getting recently, it's some surprise that artists haven't really explored the minimalist aspects of the genre too much. Yes, since the style is basically centered around big, room-shaking kick-clap rhythms and huge basslines (albeit not much else), it's not shocking that most of the work in the genre has been big club-rocking anthems. Dillon Francis' "Masta Blasta (The Rebirth)" has been almost a poster child for trap in general, with its massively aggressive upper end complementing the other elements of the song, and though more minimalist trap does exist, for every subtler song there are probably fifteen more abrasive ones. And it's true that producers like Hudson Mohawke and his TNGHT collaboration with Lunice show off what "subdued" trap can do, but they're in the minority.

"Cherry Red," the third track off a four-track EP from so-called "Boss of the South" Distal, aims to change the focus of the genre, or at least expose more people to what's possible with less. It's a bare-bones structure that doesn't lay much on to cover the skeleton, and the exposure and repetition of the piece works really well on the whole. There isn't much more to it than a simple upper-register 2-bar piano line that repeats quite a few times, a big hip-hop bassline, and a few samples over a ticking, clapping, tom-heavy beat. And yet the song is, to use a word that's thrown around a lot undeservedly, "bangin'." It takes all the best elements of trap and strips down what's left so there's nothing else covering the core of the song, and it proves that sometimes, less is indeed more. "Cherry Red" is a triumph of minimalist club music, something that doesn't often happen well but has a rare occurrence here. Distal adds a fresh coat of paint to his already flashy record, and you'd do well to give it a try.

You can stream "Cherry Red" on Distal's Soundcloud.


No comments:

Post a Comment