‘For those of you that may have fallen out of love with today’s dime a dozen hip hop drones, allow me to introduce the Don Juan of beat-making. With five solo releases out on Jellyfish Recordings since 2010, Vancouver-born AstroLogical churns the stuff out like audio-butter. His newest release, Citrus Harmony is fresh as ever- the 6 track EP boasts his signature tone, with rich synths and drums ever so slightly behind the beat (I prefer to call them ʻslumpedʼ), allowing us to sink into the groove and get lost for a while. Heʼs got a knack for designing ultimate instrumental ambiance, full of jazz-woven, funked out dreamscapes that could turn even the most rigid, anti hip hopper into a believer.
Influences like Vancouverʼs own Moka Only and the late, legendary J-Dilla are certainly present in his music, but while he gives a nod to them respectfully, his sound is still very much his own. Branching beyond hip hop, AstroLogical grew up admiring the sounds of Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, and at 13 demanded a guitar from his parents after developing an obsession with Jimi Hendrix. Again, while itʼs easy to pick up on that tripped out, psychedelic nature when you listen to his work, he seems to take those classic inspirations, mix ʻem up and innovate them – the mark of any proper beat-maker. Itʼs his careful fusion, thoughtful arrangement and genre-melding approach that gives Astroʼs sound the ability to inspirit us.
AstroLogical (also known as Nate Drobner) has his magic-hands in quite a few musical outlets. He started playing bass in a dub/reggae band at 16, the same year he began to make beats. That year sparked the catalyst for his current role as producer for Vancouverʼs conscious hip-hop ensemble Elekwent Folk, with emcees A-Ro and Slippery Elm. The trio formed while the guys were still in high school, and they released their first LP, “Folk Fest” in 2009, still only 17 and 18 years old. Elekwent dropped a second LP, Northern Lights just this year. Astroʼs also the second half of twosome Potatohead People with producer and fellow-Jellyfisher Nick Wisdom, and the pair released a 6-track EP “Kosmichemusik” just last month, with features from Moka Only, Claire Mortifee and Detroit duo Frank-N-Danksʼ Frank Nitt. If that wasnʼt enough, Astro recently moved across the country to Montreal, where he also jams his ass off for the rock/jazz/funk infused hip hop ensemble Panther and the Supafly, playing bass and manning the synths. This is one industrious dude. Itʼs all further proof that his affinity for all things music is not just talent- itʼs a gift.
Aptly named, AstroLogicalʼs sound possesses a celestial quality, often sparkly and expansive, but he works with such sharp intuition that he always seems to know exactly when and where to bring us back down to Earth. Heʼs wary of allowing the music to get too repetitive and never lets the dust settle, like a lover that takes their time and leaves no part of the body unexplored (thanks, Don Juan). Things morph with subtlety and consistency in order to maintain a more vivid palette. The beats are kept warm and textural, so while the tunes pay homage to the cosmic-beyond, theyʼre deeply reflective- making it easy to free up the path inward along with the path out. If youʼre looking for in- your-face, swinging from rafters, lets-do-blow type oʼ shit, AstroLogical probably isnʼt your slice oʼ pie. But if you need to mellow out, decompress, get inspired or just start your new life as an intergalactic space cowboy, this guyʼs got your soundtrack covered. Keep your ears peeled for AstroLogicalʼs sixth solo EP Stereotypes, available on Jellyfish Recordings in early December. Word of warning: youʼre gonna see stars.”
…a great review of our new album by Hip Hop Canada… check it out!
Vancouver, B.C. – Northern Lights is the latest LP from Vancouver-based hip-hop group Elekwent Folk. Friends since high school, the group consists of producer AstroLogical and MCs A-Ro and Slippery Elm. With the infusion of jazz, progressive rock samples and raw drum breaks, the trio has crafted a sound that echoes their classic hip-hop influences but still has a modern touch.
From the get go, it’s pretty clear from the hushed lyrics and groovy beats that this definitely isn’t your mainstream hip-hop; it actually compares more easily to a modern-day hippie vibe. Just a listen to the first couple of tracks, “Borealis” and “Seasons Go” sets a tone of spirituality, culture, and passion for the album. The lyric and beat combination makes their sound reminiscent of A Tribe Called Quest, with its chill yet influential vibe. The chemistry between members of the group is really captured on “Beat Pilgrims”, where they feed off of each others’ energy – without overpowering the other – while spitting a story. By the end of the LP, most listeners will inspired to do something empowering themselves!
With appearances from Moka Only and Panther, the album screams West Coast. The most beautiful place on Earth is celebrated on every track. The trio strictly sticks to a theme, and that consistency is the difference that made Northern Lights a real piece of musical art.
Written by Shaheena Azmatullah for HipHopCanada
Elekwent Folk - “Seasons Go” (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
…here she blows ladies and gentleman… the first video release off the new record… we’ve got a few more videos lined up for the next month or two so stay tuned!
Ashleigh Eymann - Footwork (prod. A-Ro the Naut)
…a song a made with the beautiful Ashleigh Eymann
Ashleigh Eymann - “Footwork”
…a beat our dude A-Ro made for the beautiful Ashleigh Eymann… she is in this years Peak Performance Project Top 20 and has a chance to win this thing! Voting ENDS FRIDAY!
Please show support and click on this link to vote… VOTE FOR ASHLEIGH EYMANN
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