Welcome to Sound Atlas, a weekly series showcasing LessThan3’s desire to scan the world for the most exciting sounds in global electronic music. This week’s edition heads to Japan to check out the latest in soulful trap and footwork vibes, to Portugal for the latest sounds in zouk bass, and finishes the trip by getting pounded by moombahton’s fastest-rising producer of the moment.
Branko feat. Nonku Phiri & Mr. Carmack – Let Me Go
Rap-favoring beatsmith Mr. Carmack joins forces with globetrotting Enchufada boss Branko for Let Me Go, the latest premiered single from Branko’s upcoming artist album Atlas, which drops Sept. 4. A sumptuous and thumping zouk bass track, Let Me Go blends Carmack’s ability to turn anything into a fine modern remembrance of golden era hip hop culture with Branko’s globally-attuned and club-friendly ear. Imagine Sade-style grooves combining with phat, Biggie-ready breaks, and then throw South African vocalist Nonku Phiri’s seductive vocals on top for good measure. Pre-order Atlas here.
Theory of Relativity – Miss Parallel World (Hiroki Yamamura Bootleg)
8-bit soul and funk have long been a staple of Japanese pop music dating back to the 1970s. Thus, the idea that soul music sampling footwork music would benefit from mixing with J-Pop makes sense. That’s what we get here as Osaka’s Hiroki Yamamura chops and quickens the pace of Theory of Relativity’s 2010 hit Miss Parallel World. Zipping and pinging along like a pinball in an arcade machine, this one is exciting and refreshing and makes you demand more of this unique sub-genre.
Masayoshi Iimori – Papapa
Getting called “Japanese Munchi” may be a bit of a preemptive stretch, but Japan’s Masayoshi Iimori is a truly inventive producer. He excels at making magical trap beats that snap and crunch like what we love from say, Hudson Mohawke, but at the same time there’s 8-bit gamesmanship and two-step UK garage vibes in his latest from the Daruma collective’s second volume of free downloadable tracks that offers so much more. Grab Papapa and a ton of other tracks here.
Bison & Squareffekt feat. Gary The Gent – Bring That Back
Portuguese tandem Bison and Squareffekt push zouk bass in a new direction alongside American emcee Gary the Gent with the American mainstream-sounding track Bring That Back. The new Rimas & Batidas-released single adds zouk bass’ 90 BPM energy to trap’s menacing snare rolls for a club-friendly turn up that bears a global and soulful edge. This is likely the very first in what will be many attempts at trying to bridge trap and zouk bass, and this one succeeds at formulating a solid blueprint.
Happy Colors & Danilo feat. Trankilo – Con Ese Culazo
The Latin-friendly moombahton vibe is safe in the hands of Dominican producer Happy Colors, who collaborates with Dutch underground bass whiz Danilo for new production Con Ese Culazo. Happy Colors has been all over the map as of late with his wild takes on tropical bass, but to hear him return with a dembow/cumbia bass bin bruiser is a pleasant moment. Check out Happy Colors’ recent Diplo and Friends mix if you want to really get a sense of the spread of Latin-flavored sounds influencing him right now. Download this here.