Guru Griff isn’t about making beats anymore, he’s about making music. This according to his Twitter account, where the Los Angeles-based beat maker offers other candid thoughts like, “this lofi hype got another 6 months before everyone’s over it.” Perhaps, but Sundays aren’t for hype anyway.
Hype is a word with little relevance for Guru Griff. His beats are invariably chill, the height of music made for relaxation and a bit of contemplation. His drums are always dusty and in the pocket, his samples always placid and original. The producer popped on our radar when we heard his jelly-smooth, sidewalking tune “Long Day” open the Jazzy Town mix made by Youtube channel Fantastic Music. One muffled trumpet, one shuffling drum beat, and one crusted-over piano sample is all Guru Griff needs to set a vibe here.
Four Guru Griff tapes are available for streaming on Spotify and three for purchase on Bandcamp, all from 2017. The smooth sound Griff cultivates across his tapes is as consistent as his output; one requires little patience if they’re waiting on new music from this producer.
The Natural Loops EP, a 22-minute collaboration with Danish beat knocker Axian released one month ago, sounds like a new vibe for Guru Griff. The tape is saturated with deeper hues and drawn with sharper edges than some of his older efforts. It’s dusted off, perhaps owing to Axian's contribution or perhaps to Guru Griff’s own progression as a producer, but that’s speculation. This compared for example to the 18-minute Apex EP from earlier in the year which has all that darling snap, crackle, and pop, but a bit less shine. Maybe save the former for a sunny stroll, and the latter for a rainy day when you’re “sittin’ back, smokin’ a 20”. Either way, you’re bopping.
Guru Griff’s most recent tape, Riptides, hit Spotify just one week ago. There’s a miscellany of tracks here, some posted on his SoundCloud one year ago and others just days ago. Certain tracks appear slightly more colorful, with slightly more fidelity. The drums slap where they once thudded. Hear this on “Ride Round”, a complex cut with flute, a strutting bass line, and running, pitched violin blending beneath a horn lead. There’s a powerful sample from Tupac Shakur, too, “The day I stepped out, that’s power! I want these little niggas to see that. I didn't get that power from guns ‘cuz there are no guns in jail. I got that power from books, and from thinking.”
Guru Griff is generating his own power with these soulful beats. Whatever he chooses to call it - music or beats - we’ll choose to stay chooned for more.