Lo-fi Sundays 051 - Xon'a'jazza

Channeling the smooth noire of jazz and ballroom sonatas, Xon’a’jazza is a hidden gem reaching out from the Russian Federation. Combining dusty instrumental motifs with craftily sampled hip-hop verses and a particularly clean mix-down, his productions are set aside from typical lo-fi in their stereo depth and percussive clarity. Sticking to his guns and honing in on a developing motif, Xon’a’jazza is an artisan beat smith with a few twists up his sleeve.

Sampling instrumental content is a balancing act between the notes that are sought after and the notes that are clipped away. Altering and warping any recorded audio is going to yield results that could be wildly different from the original source material, and sometimes this process can distort tones and frequencies beyond the desired effect. Xon’a’jazza has made a choice habit of letting his sampled material breathe as much as possible in its original format, preserving the quality and harmony of his cuts and melodies. No matter the vibe or the tune, he will assuredly find a way to sneak in some sliced vocals from a bevy of veteran hip-hop artists, including Method Man, Quasimoto, Notorious B.I.G., and Jurassic 5. Dive in deep enough, and there’s even a rare example of “lo-fi” jungle music, a musical easter egg waiting to be cracked open and enjoyed for all of its odd and whimsically chosen source material.

With just two years worth of tracks presented on a public platform, Xon’a’jazza has carved out a raft of musical artifacts and audio anomalies in the world of lo-fi productions. Looking at the rapid turnover rate of his recent releases, it can be surmised that even more juicy tunes are just around the corner. Having made such a bombastic impression, this cold-weather Slav is now firmly on this publication’s radar.