Good things come from checking out any music that comes your way. This time consuming and ocd method of digital diggin lead me to 6thBoro’s latest beat tape SoundScans a few weeks ago; and since then it’s been gettin regular play in my headphones. The three producers from North NJ & NYC have kept it simple, piecing together seven tracks of atmospheric boom bap that rolls through your consciousness like thick smoke clouds. Their music paints pictures like all good instrumentals do, with multi-layered compositions that hang thick and full in the air, like the evening haze that bathes the sonic cityscapes they evoke. The Thief is a mellow opener that grants you the map to their musical landscape and invites you to explore further. Delicate guitar tones drape themselves over loose kicks and snares as sampled voices ride the rhythm, and simple scratches with style add that seasoning. Wine Glass is more rap-able, with a New York sound that could accommodate the Mobb or Common equally as well, and some warm horn melodies that are so buttery you could spread them on toast. If there’s a sound more satisfying than a well-looped piano and some swing on a kick-snare then you’re guna have to let me know; add a waning sax to that mix and I’m reaching beat-nerd nirvana and fighting the urge to binge buy vinyl.
The smooth brass of the previous song dissolves into the darkly haunting vocal loop that echoes throughout the experimental first half of Your Eyes. The initial beat acting as the closest aural representation you’ll get to an abandoned subway tunnel without actually placing your ears in one; someone needs to set this tune to a night time graff video now and start raking in views. The producer’s drum placement gets an interesting overhaul as they leave behind the straight-ahead soundscapes that marked the opening tracks to utilize messy kicks and snares that stumble over each other like they’re clambering to escape the tracks’ depths. The second beat is more traditional, with an upbeat drum break that takes you into the lounging affectations on Some Time Ago with an ease and lifts the tape’s mood once again. Although its dope by comparison to much you hear online, a lack of variation in the song’s comparatively long length, and an ugly note or two makes Some Time Ago less enjoyable than the rest of this outstanding EP. Peace & Quiet (In NY) is put together perfectly, the small number of chops used resourcefully and the filters on the sample lend the tune character. As each new piece is added it’s allowed room to breathe, and nothing is rushed despite the tracks short duration; finding an equilibrium after the last song’s protracted play-time.
Ineffable lives up to it’s name; a beautifully executed song that channels Nujabes and Shing02, with dim horns that resonate in the distance and upfront strings dancing about like leaves on the breeze; the time shift towards the end is a dope addition, making this highlight of a track two times as enjoyable and keeping the momentum up strong as this instrumental journey reaches it’s destination. City Lights is a last stop worthy of revisiting. The shuffle of the hi hats and firework-like kicks echo through the air like the dying wails of a new years eve reinterpreted through the 404SX; and again, this short song could have gone on for half hour and still been a cool listen, but if we’ve learned anything from Madlib and Dilla; it’s keep your shit short and let the others do the looping. With plenty more projects on the horizon, and new EP’s being released regularly from the 6thBoro camp; it’s a sure shot that the three young minds behind the group have got plenty more audible panoramas left to paint.