This week we get under the hood of b l o o p r’s ‘Notes’
Beginning his musical journey with DJing at 16, b l o o p r started producing in 2015 when he picked up a SP404SX. From there he worked his way through to the MPC Renaissance and then eventually Ableton (after taking a hard stance against DAWs previously). Coming out of Oregon, this 21 year old producer had many names before finally settling on b l o o p r after being inspired by stickers of the underwater levels in Mario on his SP. In an age where most producers start with digital and expand into analogue, b l o o p r has followed his own path and over the years has crafted an indelible sound. ‘Notes’ is his latest release but how does b l o o p r’s unique journey translate into music?
Throughout ‘Notes’ b l o o p r’s signature sound shines. Each sample is treated to an almost luxurious level. These are sounds you fully submerge yourself in. ‘Nobody Wants Me’ is a beautiful, stereophonic display of this. A soft but defiant electric piano drives the track whilst splashes of cymbals pan around your ears. This treatment even extends to the vocal samples. The voices on this album have a loose connection to the instrumental subject matter but their tone, content and execution keep them in step with the lush fullness b l o o p r creates. The sound scape and overall experience is also enhanced with a deft use of sweeps, SFX and subtle synthesis. Adding piquant embellishment when needed. The richness of sound on ‘Notes’ is immediately apparent. It seeps into your mental and wraps the listener in a cloak of luxurious, fuzzy warmth.
When asked about his sampling process, b l o o p r had this to say: ‘I tend to look for specific things when I'm digging. I like for it to sound full already before I use it. I look for dense instrumentation and little nuances to chop up. I try to avoid samples with prominent drums but sometimes I’ll still give it a go if the sample is really good. Usually within the first 5 seconds I know if I'm gonna sample something or not. For the most part I don't overthink it too much and just listen until I have that "a-ha" moment.’
‘Notes’ is also an album that puts drums firmly in the driving seat. The sense (and importance) of rhythm is prevalent and strong here. Interesting drums still retain the funk but push the depth of metre to another place. For example ‘Disconnected’ has subtle polyrhythms that give the track an absolutely unique swing. The internal rhythm of the drums is astounding. Using percussion ingeniously and following his natural swing, b l o o p r crafts gloriously funky drum-lines with ease on this project. Even when they seem simple, the drums on ‘Notes’ always bump and b l o o p r’s natural rhythm shines throughout the album.
In many ways ‘Notes’ is the embodiment of modern Jazz. Unafraid, experimental and rife with feeling. ‘SillKare’ is a stand out example. Taking a mournful Rhodes lead, punctuating it with plucks of guitar and layering heartbreaking vocals at key moments; b l o o p r creates a piece that just aches with feels. The effects, the clever manipulation of sound and the raw tone of the samples set this track apart and elevates it beyond your typical ‘sad’ type beat. Across ‘Notes’ the listener finds b l o o p r experimenting with well worn themes and putting his own indelible spin on them. The level of personality on each beat can’t be over stated. b l o o p r is following his own vision on this album. Taking inspiration and interpreting it in a style all his own. If thats not the essence of Jazz, I don’t know what is.
‘Notes’ is an incredible piece of art. Inspired by the creative ramblings of a well-used notebook, this album manages to interpret, extent and innovate classic tales and feelings of the human condition. b l o o p r’s sample selection creates a warm, fuzzy atmosphere and the richness of sound is a luxurious treat. On top of the fullness of the melodics, b l o o p r also crafts real funk with his drums. Taking his vignette’s to another level and adding bounce without taking away from the core foundation of fuzz. With all the technical steez it would be easy to think ‘Notes’ is purely an album for musicians but this is decidedly not the case. Interpreting classic emotions in his own unique way, b l o o p r follows inspiration to his own conclusion. In this way ‘Notes’ is more akin to Jazz in its reframing of concepts than anything else. If you are a fan of innovative, high quality beats then ‘Notes’ is not one to miss. This album will tell you a hundred different stories and you will find amazing value in every single one.
Listen to ‘Notes’ here:
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