Beats from Dutch producer a.bee are recklessly experimental. From dizzying chopped percussion and atmospheres that haunt, to synthesized bass that verges on an acid sound, the producer’s approach is one we don’t stumble across frequently in the wide world of lo-fi beats. Many of their cuts have a non-linear format. They don’t follow traditional song structures, especially not those which are germane to lo-fi hip hop. Although the producer does have a few familiar 1:30 knocks like the outstanding “qdt oek jee” which kicks off this weekend’s curated playlist, whenever it seems they’re following a recognized pattern it’s usually a trick.
There’s a deep and prominent dark side to a.bee’s music. The atmosphere in “Cbcq Cq Gnx Replc” is straight spook. At the same time, this darkness creates a feeling of exciting mystery. As a result, much of a.bee’s music slouches towards the trip-hop genre. Then again lo-fi hip hop and trip-hop overlap so frequently that they’re often the same thing. This motif of dark mystery is likely why bsd.u’s lofi.hiphop label so favors a.bee’s music. The producer is featured on five of the label’s ten classic compilations, and the aesthetics align perfectly.
For beats, of course, it always comes back to percussion, and a.bee’s is totally dialed-in, especially on tracks like “regen”. The sourced material is organic, textured and varied, and it also sounds like some precise reverb and compression has been applied so that those samples cut through the mix. “germ.nate” is one of our favorite tracks from the producer. It’s based on a sample of deep, rich, synthesized tones playing a mystical melody. We’ve heard the sample twice before in tunes from leavv and mora, but a.bee leans less on the sampled material than the others have, and arguably gets more as a result. The producer hardly has any presence online, but definitely stay chooned to their Soundcloud account for more dark and mystical fire.