Photo credit: Scott Howard
It’s been some time since we made an effort to keep you up to date with Dwnsampla, a Nor-Cal artist who is one of our closest musical allies and one of the most creative forces in the west coast bass music scene. We haven’t forgotten about our homie, we were just waiting for the right time to jump back in with some support. With a new EP on the way and a production contest to conquer, that time is now.
Let’s kick things off with something brand new from Dwnsampla. The following five minutes feature a lot of the things I’ve come to expect from this artist -like glitchy, broken beats- and some new, pleasant surprises that should work well with the rest of his diverse arsenal -like allowing his polished leads to breathe and shine in unadulterated open space. Altogether, this new favorite once again resets the standard for a collection of music that I celebrate for its consummately unique nature and ardent originality.
This track with no name should be enough to make Dwnsampla a shoe-in for success in this year’s Outlook Festival Producer Competition on it’s own, but if it isn’t, then pairing this jam with this producer’s attitude has to put him over the top. Whether or not he’s participating in Outlook’s contest, this artist should be praised for his own indefinitely positive and optimistic outlook on life. Eternally grateful not just to his ever growing fanbase, but to any artist or creative mind for simply existing, there could be no one better suited to win a trip to Outlook. With vibes that match his disposition, Dwnsampla is more than worthy of the couple of seconds it takes to vote on his submission. If you already have a SoundCloud account, all you have to do is follow this link and click on “like.” Of course, comments and all other kinds of love are taken into consideration as well so feel free to gush.
Oh yeah, remember that upcoming EP I mentioned? Crunk Side Down will contain five previously unheard pieces of awesomeness. Though the label that will inevitably release it hasn’t been determined yet, keep your eyes peeled for it starting in June. Expect a busy summer in general for Dwnsampla as he has a second EP in the works as well as pressing some fresh vinyl; he’s also teamed up with some killer musicians to found his own record label, “Full Crate Records,” so the sky is truly the limit for 2012. ’Sampla’s contest submission is also a preview track for Crunk Side Down, but you wouldn’t know that unless you were told. Respect the production skills and peep it below.
The main point to this post was to motivate some people to vote, but since we’re already here, we might as well take a quick look at what else Dwnsampla has been up to since we first introduced him to you some six months ago.
One of the things that I like most about Dwnsampla is that he knows for a fact that hip hop is truly not dead. This is evidenced by his other most recent work, a remix of Mr. Lif and Thievery Corporations’ “Culture of Fear.” Though his alternations are minimal, they are still potent. Most noticeable in this remix is a downplaying of the original’s plucky bass line and an up-playing of Sampla’s girthy hoover-sytle bass. While some of the brass is removed, Lif’s verses continue to take center stage and that’s the real point.
To my disappointment, this next hip hop infused stomper dropped right after I worked on spreading the Dwnsampla gospel the first time. Featuring DS on the mix, Lostpoet, Science, and Knowledge-One on the mic, this one is a true celebration of the strength of underground music. Though none of the artists involved on this one are very well known in the mainstream, “Light2thaDark” delivers on both sides of the ball with some intensely on point production and brilliantly delivered lyrics. Dwnsampla is one of those artists who continually outdoes himself; this tune held the title of my personal favorite for about a month until the next DS upload claimed the crown.
Despite being a few months old, “Dark Spark” continues to be my favorite Dwnsampla creation to date. Some sexy backwards guitar, a sickeningly adventurous melody, and the absolute destruction of the decks by DJ BePhilp make this collaborative effort with Stizreth nothing less than an epic. There is honestly too much that could said about this track in terms of praise, so I choose to bow out here and let the tune do the talking for me.
One of my longest standing musical fascinations is with trip hop. As you might gain from my praise of Dwnsampla in general, I am inclined to enjoy unconventional tweeks to the otherwise customary, so whenever I see the artist in question offer up his take on “tripstep,” I nearly salivate at the chance to press play. To indulge my more off the wall musical tastes and to give anyone in the mood to get weird a chance at a free download I include the otherworldly “Cryptic Embrace.” I’ve played this one more times than makes sense even to myself; I tend to get totally lost in this one.
When we get a look at Dwnsampla’s EP, Crunk Side Down I’m sure we’ll let you know what we think; when we find out where Dwnsampla finishes in the Outlook Contest, we will be sure to let you know about it. For the time being, go check out the rest of this guy’s work and respect that his message and our message are one in the same. To quote the artist, “Just be cool and treat each other with respect, keep headz bangin, backside’s movin’, and it’s all good.”