Cloudchord has maneuvered all over the musical map since he first began releasing about five years ago. The producer and guitarist has proven himself difficult to pigeonhole and marketable in many different contexts, from lo-fi hip-hop and instrumental R&B to future bass and house. Once again he’s linking with Soul Food Horns and together they’re switching it up to deliver a four-track four-on-the-floor EP Moon Fortune. He’s probably the only producer with releases on both the heavy bass label Gravitas Recordings and the instrumental hip-hop imprint Chlilhop Music, and the only producer to collaborate with the opposite poles of Space Jesus and Emancipator.
Both Cloudchord and Soul Food Horns, a collective of horn players, represent Austin, TX. They first linked up for Koi Pond, a full LP with Chillhop Music, which received a ton of play upon release. This also kicked off Cloudchord’s recent love affair with instrumental and lo-fi hip-hop. Since that release he’s collaborated with lo-fi favorites oatmello, Goosetaf, HM Surf and G Mills and dropped a sultry and appropriately-titled single “Bopatron” featuring Soul Food Horns on Inner Ocean Records.
Cloudchord, whose real name is Derek VanScoten and who in the past has gone by D.V.S., is a versatile collaborator. He can step in for some guitar licks, co-produce, or produce the entire work as he’s done on Moon Fortune. Although these four-on-the-floor songs depart from the producer’s recent hip-hop trajectory, they harken back to some of his earlier work which was disco-influenced. The placement of the horns is so tasteful, the groove so deep. “Flutterby” is utterly smooth where the title track is more fast-paced and pressurized. There’s little not to like about this release. You can access Moon Fortune on all platforms here.
We caught Cloudchord in New York at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) upstate last summer. Earlier this summer he taught an Ableton music production workshop at CoSM with MALAKAI. This weekend he returns to New York, to Mercury Lounge in Manhattan, for a Sunday evening show with British Columbia natives Moon Tricks. We had the good fortune to catch this duo and their banjo- and harmonia-laced blues bass at Shambhala Music Festival, where they were this year’s BC Artist Spotlight on the Living Room stage. It’s a unique pairing that will surely make for a rare evening of instrumental electronica.