King Shi - Old Records In A Vacuum
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The first note of the intro track “Man On The Moon” instantly sets the tone for the album. Downplayed beats that grow from subtle beginnings and morph into swinging soundscapes of rolling breaks, deep bass lines, dusty and saturated leads and shuffling tops.
“Dust In The Eyes” sees a heavy Hip Hop influence with grooves reminiscent of early Bonobo tracks. Piano keys playfully scatter across a rolling drum break and bound around a deep double bass as it rumbles through the mix. Effortlessly intertwining layer upon layer of saturated sounds to create a groove that seamlessly morphs and contorts as elements are introduced, removed and brought back without once interrupting the organic flow of the track. From the first note to the last this track is certain to brighten your day and keep your head nodding.
The title track “Old Records In A Vacuum” is next up on the track list and we are given a downtempo master class from King Shi’s ever creative mind. Starting with a simple chopped break we are temporarily fooled into thinking this will be a classic Hip Hop joint. Just as soon as these aspersions are cast, they are left null and void as King Shi layers pads, keys, strings and subtle synth shots to move this track into a genre defying musical escapade.
As we pass through more old records from this vacuum we come to “Life Is Just A Moment”. King Shi once again shows his production abilities as he moulds double bass hits with pads, horns and twinkling percussion. However the noticeable lack of drums is where this track really comes into its own. King Shi manages to keep the beat interesting, grooving and progressing through the entire 1 minute 15 seconds without the need of a rhythmic structure.
“Bloated Ego” follows this and with a short introduction of double bass hits, that lead on perfectly from the previous track, we are thrown back into the rolling breaks and shuffling grooves of this Downtempo wonderland. The vibes continue through the next 3 tracks and as the album draws to a close in the form of “See You Again” the pace slows. Rhodes and pads fill the intro bars and are met with soulful vocal shots as a double bass fills the low end and meanders along with the break as it rolls seamlessly through the track with masterful precision.