There are intersections between lo-fi beats and ambient music. In some instances, the emotions these different genres target and the moods they cultivate are very similar. The same pads and synthesizers draped over dusty beats sound sublime when isolated into an ambient soundscape. Dami, a new ambient project between lo-fi beatmakers Bretsil and Dweeb, is a product of these intersections.
Their first release, titled Mazy//Waves after it’s two tracks, is not the only new ambient project to emerge from the beats community. The release comes courtesy of Drift, a new ambient label created as an offshoot of Inner Ocean Records. Inner Ocean began in 2012 as an ambient imprint before turning to hip-hop, jazz and soul beats. It’s founder Cory Giordano used to curate ambient music at Shambhala Music Festival in his “hippy electronic music days”. Drift, then, finds this label coming full circle.
Dami is not the ambient music many electronic heads may be familiar with, dense with sound design or squiggling synthesis. Although the stereo spread is indeed full, and particularly rich during the closing of “Waves”, the composition is more sparse and leaves more to the imagination. Dami is aligned with ambient music as conceived by artists like Brian Eno, whom Bretsil cites as a tremendous influence. Although short in length, Mazy//Waves is mighty pleasant. A paradoxically warm and harmless tension is established on the first track, “Mazy”. This feeling rolls into the second tune, “Waves, although it’s coated in some static synthesis likely courtesy of the lo-fi stalwart sleepdealer who is featured here. The tension releases and the sound spreads like water across a table as the second track concludes.
Mazy//Waves is a small sampling of what’s to come from this project, which includes a full-length release. Dweeb and Bretsil, aka Bret from Boston initiated the project because they wanted to explore soundscapes beyond their beats and introduce other fans and artists to a style of music that’s not always accessible. “The goal here is to collaborate with great lo-fi artists and make more people aware of the genre,” says Bret, who also helps to manage a lo-fi label called Dust Collectors. “Although I think lo-fi is moving in a more ambient direction, too,” he says. Indeed, ambient tropes are becoming more prominent across the lo-fi hip-hop spectrum, and that’s a far cry from where the genre began. By featuring ambient tunes deep within their compilations, Inner Ocean has been particularly instrumental in this subtle movement.
According to Bret, he and Dweeb the beet farmer aren’t the only ones interested in this ambient endeavor. The upcoming Dami album will feature contributions from some very notable beat makers. For its part, Drift, too, will have much more to offer in the near future. One would be wise, then, to stay chooned.
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