Instrumental hip-hop is often just one shade away from trip-hop, that debated and revered underground genre. In some respects, much of the ascendant lo-fi hip-hop sound could be classified as trip-hop. Without getting bogged down in genre talk, if you interpret that word “trip-hop” at face value, it’s just psychedelic hip-hop. And so many of the out of phase, off-pitch beats in the lo-fi universe are trippy as hell. Certain beatmakers are just inherently psychedelic, even if they’re not aiming towards it. Enter Mirrorish from the state of Maryland.
His catalog is bountiful, with more than 10 LPs and EPs to his name. His latest release, Every Other Color, may be his most impressive. The production is crisp and clean, and it’s full of both straightforward head nods and also cinematic compositions. He produced a contemplative tape with British producer Drkmnd that journeys into a psychological abyss to find some paradoxical combination of focus and disorientation. Percussion limps along while whirring melodies create dissonance with the pads in the backdrop. The Mirrorish catalog is full of this sort of meditation music, beats that can stone you. He also has dozens and dozens of chops that hit the jazzy vein, with crushing boom-bap drums and dainty piano samples.
Often his tunes approach the atmosphere of downtempo electronic music while remaining in the realm of beats through their faithful use of sampled percussion. One can hear this on Every Other Color. The second song “Deadline” takes a dazzling dive down the rabbit hole. Here’s hoping that future releases from the producer continue to explore synthesizer work and incorporations of glitch. Seen from a bird’s-eye view, Mirrorish is yet another talented producer blurring the lines between beats and other styles of music, all amidst a damp psychedelic haze.