Nine of ten top-shelf hip-hop tracks start with undeniably dope drums, and ten of ten tracks from the prodigious producer bastrd have just that. Bastrd lays biblical levels of compression onto his drums. Each kick sounds like it might pop open your earphone, and the hats sting like bees. Unpredictable, the drums stop, start and stutter and exemplify that slightly-off sound that has always been foundational in beat music and lo-fi hip-hop. Permeated by an improvisational jazz ethos as well, bastrd beats are inventive, unorthodox and simply enchanting.
The movement of many of the tracks is manic and difficult to pin down. In some cases the drum pattern is more jazz than hip-hop. In others, “90% off” for example, the drum pattern hardly resembles anything familiar. The cymbal sampling here is particularly busy and well done, filling the mix with rich resonating rides and crashes. This freeform approach to drums distinguishes bastrd from so many producers who - not to their discredit - are content to rock with the more traditional boom-bap.
Songs shift direction and spin in circles like “wawa” or the mystical jazz-infused cut “why remember". It’s not your average head nod music. Nonetheless, in a given moment it can twist your neck, as on the mini-mix “sick” from New Year’s Day, or the cut “Milo”. This one comes from bastrd’s stunning release from October, 2017; An Anthology of 16th Century Azerbaijani Classical Works by Fuzûlî. Only three of the 20 tracks on this absolutely mesmerizing effort are included in today’s playlist, so visit bastrd’s bandcamp (linked below) for the full monty.
The producer ranked onto lofi.hiphop’s latest compilation, and his most recent drop is a jaunty and mildly psychedelic collaboration titled “2047 type beat” with the Oklahoman elegy off that producer’s forthcoming tape. Stay chooned to bastrd’s channels for more extraordinary knocks, and come back to our LoFi Sundays column next weekend as we continue to spotlight our favorite contemporary beatmakers.