As we kick off July we’ve got five new artists that you need to put on your radar. Focus Five: Volume 64 highlights the talents of Alphafox, KILLMATTER, lvst, samro, and The Gentle Giant. Whether you’re in the mood for experimental sounds, wave, bouncy future beats, trap, or something in between, these artists have you covered. Get familiar below.
Looking for a perfect blend of lush lo-fi, sinister bass, and gritty hip-hop beats? Look no further than Alphafox. Despite being active on SoundCloud since as early as 2016, the Long Beach-based artist only recently caught my attention with his dope ALFA_WRLD-1 EP released via Ivy Lab’s Twenty Twenty London Recordings. Over six diverse tracks, Alphafox weaves his way through various flavours of beats with ease, keeping listeners hooked from start to finish. Take ‘Calling Me’ for example, where the producer delivers some signature SoundCloud trap laced with a unique swagger. ‘Ribs’ follows in similar fashion, but Alphafox takes a much darker turn with the second half of track, attesting to his beat-making versatility. This skill is equally present outside of the project, with dozens of wicked tracks featured on his profile. And, boasting less than 1k followers, there’s no denying that Alphafox is one to watch.
Lurking in the shadows deep within a swamp of lush greenery, this artist’s work will knock you for a loop. From breakbeat madness, house music, and constant stasis of energy, KILLMATTER is a name you’ll never forget. The passion and skill this artist has is immeasurable. Making hit after hit and completely being a true force of the sonic spectrum. There’s no telling what you’ll experience next due to his wide range of integrity and workflow. Mind-blowing sound design combined with top-tier sampling, he’s a mean force to be reckoned with.
‘LET GO!’ is the perfect example of what he’s all about. The raw arrangement from start to finish already makes you become hypnotized and addicted to his work. His attention to detail through every second makes your jaw drop with praise. Sampling Skip Marley and Popcaan was pure genius. Integrating such a unique space within. And completely switching up the environment from house to a breakbeat field and back to a house of craziness knocks you out of your seats in the best ways. Plus the bass design throughout really gets you dancing. There’s so much to love about this tune it’s mind-blowing.
His newest single, ‘NITRO BURNOUT’ is a hard-hitting meteor from out of space. Destroying any planet it comes into contact with. Featuring vocalist, Molly Shively, this track is a perfect addition to both artists’ roster of pure heat. Molly’s gorgeous vocals combined with KILLMATTER’s world of madness creates an ominous and spacious arrangement. Integrating those hip-hop vocals throughout works perfectly with the vision they’re portraying. Making this tune truly remarkable. Bravo to them both.
If you’re into all things wave, this month you should tag along and fly to Toronto to get familiar with lvst. Also known as co-founder of Cyberwave Collective, lvst has an elusive online presence which however speaks loud and clear of the influences subcultures like cyberpunk and sci-fi have on the project. Lvst recently stated that “for me, wave music is more than just a genre; it’s a way to express my creativity and emotions in a way that feels truly authentic,” a philosophy that perfectly summarizes his creative output. Song after song, the Canadian producer is turning the wave sound inside out. Omnious hardwave tracks sit next to melancholic future garage-inspired cuts on his SoundCloud profiles, joined by witch house and dreamwave pieces among others. While Ivst still has to find his very own trademark touch, his discography is one of the most consistent and solid I’ve run into so far. Whenever I want to escape the playlist routine but still dive into a flawless flow of wave music, lately his profile hs become one of my go-to destinations alongside skeler’s.
samro snuck onto my radar in the past few weeks with the tasty-sounding ‘snacktime.’ Scrolling through my SoundCloud feed I was stopped by the all-lowercase aesthetic alongside the wonky and colorful artwork. I was happy to find the sound matched the visuals delivering a delightfully off-kilter future beat sound. It’s trippy, weird, and futuristic, but with just enough groove and well-placed vocals samples to make it a treat. While samro may not be the most active artist, everything they’ve dropped hits. ‘hijacked’ alongside noyse boasts comments like, “all my bones have turned into jello” and it captures the sound pretty perfectly. Diving even further back into the catalog, ‘80808’ is a short but sweet bop that’ll have you coming back for more due to its infectious plucks, warm vocal flourishes, and massive BOUNCE. My only complaint about the artist is that I want more.
The Gentle Giant
Most well-known as the resident DJ for Partica Artist Group’s Partica Radio, The Gentle Giant has been supporting the underground with the best music bi-weekly. Aside from the mix series, the Louisiana-based artist has been dropping a slew of hot reworks. ‘told u so’ sees the producer flipping camoufly’s summer bop into a bangin’ trapped out anthem. The addictive vocals mix with the minimal trap approach to create an irresistible appeal that gives the cut a completely new life. Furthering his flip game another can’t miss is the vibey but still banging rework of REMNANT.exe’s ‘Singularity.’ If you’re looking for some originals, ‘Off My Steez’ offers a strong starting point, giving fans a dark DnB direction that mixes hip-hop samples with an exotic flair. With a heart pushing the underground and a healthy helping of potential already on display, The Gentle Giant is only set to get bigger.
Written by Alessio, Colin, John & Steph