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Chat Faker - Thinking in Textures


Nick Murphy (prominently known as Chet Faker) is a success story for any DIY artist to aspire towards. In the mid to late 2000’s Murphy was struggling in between bands, either through his solo folk styling’s of Atlas Murphy or the alt-rock group The Sunday Kick’s and making his income by buying and selling music gear through eBay. Though, his trivial experimentation and explorations through the Chet Faker name have created Murphy his most successful musical story, after a homemade demo slow-jam cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ was juiced out all around the world and went viral via social media and gained an illustrious spot on the BBC1 Zane Lowe slot of up and coming artists. Murphy himself suggested that this project was not really meant to lead into anything bigger, stating, “I sat down and thought 'You know what, I'm going to just write music that I really want to write and that I think is cool.' I suppose it would have been weird to have to turn around and to have to sell it to people.” Yet, the popularity of the cover of course created interest to the originals that Murphy had produced, and with Thinking In Textures we gain a tremendous delivery of wavering soundscapes, masterful sampling and some catchy beats that are definitely cool.

Thinking In Textures is an EP that tells you exactly what it is upfront. Murphy has literally produced an album that is floating through textural changes, faint guidelines of direction and relaxed instrumentation. The opener, ‘I’m Onto You’ is a perfect example of the subtlety that is placed throughout the remaining tracks, as the song swims through layered vocals and basic synth lines with distant drum tracks. There is nothing complicated in the sound, yet the grooves are felt to be the perfect setting for the smooth and jarring vocals of Murphy. Electronica with soul is the most apt description of the Faker sound, as Murphy dips and dives lyrically on love, lust and loss which accompanies the soundtrack harmoniously as it oozes subliminally to the mind.

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Isaiah Rashad, The Sun's Tirade


Isaiah Rashad’s second album begins, appropriately, with the track “where u at”—if you heard Cilvia Demo, his 2014 release, you’ve been asking the same thing. During the two-year hiatus, the next great rapper from Top Dawg Entertainment struggled with Xanax and was almost dropped from the label. Now he’s clean, and has channeled the time off into a powerful second album. Labelmate Kendrick Lamar’s influence—vocal layering, schizophrenically varied flows—is obvious on Tirade even before he shows up on “Wat’s Wrong.” But “Free Lunch” and “Tity and Dolla”—featuring another TDE rapper, Jay Rock—are the standout tracks.—Joseph Bien-Kahn

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