The Los Angeles beat scene has become known for spitting out producers who are mainly influenced by the hazy, experimental tracks of Flying Lotus. But this is what makes Ostra‘s debut EP, Won’t Do/Zu-Zumba, so refreshing. He’s based in Los Angeles, but has made something completely removed from many of his peers. While they hide in basements and make gritty, dark stoner beats that reflect surreal urban experiences, Ostra goes to the beach, soaks up the sun, and makes his production colorful, loud, and eclectic.
Won’t Do is an epic trap anthem, sang by a chipmunk with so much soul, you might just forget how high his voice is. The Super Nintendo noises and sparkly synths twinkle like distant stars, reminding me of Wave Racer or Lindsay Lowend–two other artists who extract trap rhythms from its confrontational roots and bring it into more bright and playful contexts.
Zu-Zumba, on the other hand, exists in a context of its own–a bubble of cultural mish-mashing that has possibly given birth to a new genre. Until it gets a formal name, I’ll be calling it “Latin crunkstep.” A gang of handclaps and shouts cheer on a ferocious battle between wonky synth sounds and furious strumming from a spanish guitar. Whether you like it or not, it’s impossible to ignore just how brave and unique it sounds.
You can barely find four songs by Ostra anywhere. He’s only recently made a Facebook page, and at the time this was written, it had barely over 100 likes on it. Thankfully, the excellent Australian label DIE HIGH. has decided to release his music alongside other similar-minded artists. Australia is where a lot of this sunny future bass has been popping up, so hopefully, the release will bring him more attention, because he exhibits some extremely interesting ideas here that’ll have you begging for more. You can download each of these songs for free just by signing up for DIE HIGH.’s mailing list here and here.