Bringing prime cuts and street-inspired style to the table, Portland based Saltfeend is a multifaceted producer with a knack for all things head-nod. Having been DJing from 1997 on, he has gained a well-deserved notoriety as an ambitious selector with a presentation skillset to match. Come 2016, he began to turn his hand towards original productions, and has released a multitude of tracks from across the genre spectrum. Running through stylizations of bass music, downtempo, lounge, and hip-hop, Saltfeend is a jack of all trades when combining his newfound production prowess with his long history of DJ fundamentalism. Expanding upon his quickly growing catalog, his newest release is a collection of dusty boom-bap sonatas; the Balboa EP brings a detail-oriented approach to Lo-Fi soundscapes, delivering a refreshing interpretation of mind-swelling hip-hop.
From top to bottom, the Balboa EP maintains a strong compositional dynamic, with each track breathing almost biologically through an attentive arrangement. Sultry chords and generous amounts of vibrato give a certain elasticity the stereo width of every song, giving the EP the impression of ducking and weaving around each downbeat. Indulgent arpeggios are a heavy staple across the five tracks, filling out the upper frequency spectrum alongside crisp snare transients. Gentle helpings synthesis has its place within the EP as well, serving as rhythmic turnarounds and the signal of approaching refrains. Altogether, Saltfeend has delivered a package of off-kilter beats and sensual melodies that are optimally suited for adjusting a vibe and maintaining a vibrant headspace.
In a sea of similar artists, Saltfeend separates himself from the pack through fidelity and composition. The fine tuning to his arrangements and internal mixing is the hallmark of his productions, and his ear for melodious interplay shines above the rest. Finding an apt home amongst like-minded producers and musicians, the Balboa EP is being released through Uncomfortable Beats, an Australian label with a laser-sharp vision for experimental hip-hop and bass music. With a world-wide reach and world-influenced musical aptitude, we can’t wait to hear what Saltfeend cooks up next.