When looking at new music on Soundcloud, it’s often possible to guess the style using only the album art. Whether it’s a brooding self-portrait for a brooding indie folk artist, or a tripped-out sunset for some equally tripped-out chillwave, it’s usually easy to get an idea of what you’re in for before pressing play.
Perth beatsmith ANCRIP (Jonus de Aguiar) doesn’t offer this kind of transparency with his new EP Tyga; expecting a vapourwave-style album*, I was pleasantly surprised. All the same, Tyga still sounds a lot like the album art looks; a raw set of compositions that juxtapose clean lines and a 90s aesthetic with underscores of a foreign language.
ANCRIP’s Tyga – an EP that looks like Microsoft Encarta 95, but doesn’t sound like your run-of-the-mill Vaporwave.
Perhaps that’s taking the comparison too far, but the rawness and 90s aesthetic are both central to the sound of Tyga. The rawness is partially out of necessity; taking inspiration from Matthias Zimmermann’s Momentum Series Pt. 1, Jonus produced the whole EP in only two days.
As a result, the tracks are often stripped down to bare essentials, with every voice forming a crucial part in the techno beats he lays out. It often has the bare bones rhythmic feel of a drumming circle, only instead of djembes we hear 808s, acid bass lines and vocal samples.
This minimalist aesthetic works best in the second track, Puma, where a very basic sound palette is used to create a veritable techno banger. Using only small selection of drums, keys, a single synth bass and a short vocal sample, he creates builds and breaks by manipulating what’s there to its logical extreme.
The melodic elements are taken from atom-sized chops to fully flowing sections, with some seriously funky results. Jonus is a graphic designer by trade, and you can hear the use of good design principles in his music as well. Arbitrary ornamentation and ambience are discarded; instead, he focuses on the relationship between a few key sounds.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/162224249″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
There is a limit to how much music a mere mortal can produce in two days though, and while Jonus clearly has a godly amount of creative motivation, the EP does feel a little bare in places.
Jonus has ordered the tracks according to when they were produced, and it is evident he may have started to run out of steam by the final track, Caracas. Then again, as he notes on his Soundcloud, the tracks are “ultra-raw techno tools”, most likely waiting to be dropped into his next DJ set rather than being a complete package in themselves.
Considering the time constraints placed on it though, Tyga is undoubtedly an impressive effort in itself. As well as the challenge involved in the two-day session, Jonus may be looking to prick the ears of the techno-savvy in preparation for a future EP. He’s certainly got my attention.
If he can produce an EP like Tyga in 48 hours, I’ll be looking forward to hear what a week’s worth of ANCRIP tracks sounds like.
*This is probably also the fault of editorial’s love for Vaporwave.
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