The summer has finally come in full force, with an overbearing sun melting us poor denizens on every street and avenue. In the ongoing battle to keep temperatures at a steady coolness, one outstanding beatsmith has the icy cuts necessary to bring you back down to a constant chill. The self-described “jazz head” Ekaj Ledeir is a card carrying member of the vibrant lo-fi community in the US.
When it comes to cuts, Ekaj may not have the sharpest knife but he has a keen ear for the delicate arrangement of his music. Chosen samples are washed, rinsed, and spread throughout the mix to keep tracks melodious, but oxygenated. The same theory of “too much is too much” can be applied to his manipulation of sampled audio; use the cut in the same fidelity it was recorded in, and you risk crafting an aural palette that is too obviously constructed from dissimilar parts. Consequently, using too much audio-processing can inevitably create aliasing and may water down good audio into chip-tune artifacts. Being mindful of this paradigm, Ekaj bit-crushes with more grace than a priest anointing holy water, with the same automation prowess as some of the production-intensive artists that propagate the modern landscape of electronic music.
If sample overkill is the death of good lo-fi hip-hop, then Ledeir's approach is the solution. With his released discography stretching back no longer than a year, he has managed to unleash a plethora of tunes on some major streaming platforms. The gradual development of his artistry is evident as one listens through each track, each beat tape. As always, keep your ear-mouths open for the stew brewing by this mans’ hands. In no time you’ll be fed until your near bursting.