This week we take a closer look at ELRIC’s ‘Intervals’
Beginning his production journey back in 09 with a copy of FL Studio; ELRIC has gone on to become a unique voice in Beats. Building his network through the internet, he moved to NYC for school in 2012 and began experiencing the world of live music, beat battles and interacting with other artists. ELRIC went from strength to strength musically. Eventually he became part of New York collective Tase Grip, saying: ‘I feel music has became even more of an adventure after joining Tase Grip. Working with rappers who love beats is very refreshing. Like Akai Solo or Deadlung are the type of cats to hit you with samples and be like ‘Yo flip this.’’ His new project ‘Intervals’ is his first beat tape of 2019 but how does it rank in this exciting producer’s musical adventure?
Continuous projects aren’t new in beats but few do it as well as ELRIC. Rather than just an interesting feature, ELRIC has elevated the mix format into an art in itself. The whole album is one song but made up of multiple stories. This gives the listener an engaging narrative that encourages you to listen to the whole piece. You could draw out individual tracks but the experience is far more fulfilling when taken as a whole. The narrative is also punctuated with interesting and varied vocal samples. Acting as a glue, sticking the different passages together. ‘Intervals’ isn’t just a batch of beats. It’s more like a novel with each track a chapter in this interesting but gorgeous tale. When asked about how he approached the mix, ELRIC said: ‘I tried to make ‘Intervals’ one body of work instead of breaking it up into tracks. I wanted to make something that felt like an experience, like when you watch TV. There’s a commercial break and then the program. ‘Intervals’ doesn't have a real track-list. I didn't give the beats names because I feel they all melt together to make the project what it is.’
Another amazing feature of ‘Intervals’ (and indeed ELRIC’s entire catalogue) is the sample chops. ELRIC chops like a sculptor on ‘Intervals’. The source material is the raw marble and ELRIC chips away at it until the statue within reveals itself. Never adding anything unnecessarily. He manages to create a unique sound without sacrificing the natural feel of the source material. This is not an easy tightrope to walk and a lot of it is down to ELRIC’s sampling process: ‘I look all types of places for samples. Record shops are a good place but I love thrift stores. They have dollar bin records and you can really make some fire shit with them. I try to find samples anywhere I can. It doesn't matter if it’s a restaurant, a bookstore, at a party; I always got Shazam on me. I’m known for telling people to shut-up when I'm in a car and hear a sample on the radio. My dad and uncle also got a gang of records. They were DJs at a time where DJing wasn’t even about battling or representing where you from. It was just about spinning good music.’ This no holds barred approach gives ‘Intervals’ a truly unique sound that is all ELRIC. He has managed to transfer his entire vision into the chops. Keeping it simple but oh so satisfying.
With the continuous mix and the clarity of chops, it would be easy to gloss over the drums on ‘Intervals’. That would be a mistake. ELRIC applies his same sparse production philosophy to the rhythm section on this project. The patterns may be ostensibly simple, but this producer does more with less. The drum tones are also close to perfect. The kicks have weight, the snares snap and the hats tick throughput the whole album. Never overly flamboyant but full of pure quality. This is a key feature of ELRIC’s production. A few elements done to perfection. In fact, the tones in general on ‘Intervals’ are wonderful. The static is organic and fizzes in your peripheries. Giving the tracks depth and character. The vocal samples are treated to rich, full equalisation and the samples themselves have been pinched and pulled just enough for them to be completely in sync with the overall vibe.
‘Intervals’ is a completely original and inspiring selection of music. The continuous mix is akin to a story or TV series. With a strong overall narrative punctuated by vocal cuts and engaging individual chapters. ELRIC’s mastery of a minimal but impactful chopping style, is completely unique and is incredibly tight on this project. Giving each track an individual voice that is unmistakably ELRIC. The drums are also as unique. Crafting funky bumps with impeccable tone, the rhythm section on ‘Intervals’ is gorgeous. ‘Intervals’ is a wonderful project. Whilst fitting into the overriding culture , it is unshakably unique. ELRIC speaks entirely in his own voice through his music. Tune into this one for a truly individual album, chock full of character.
Listen to ‘Intervals’ here:
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