The West Coast’s hip-hop cannon has had an undeniably pervasive imprint on modern underground music. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. The G-Funk of Dr. Dre’s Death Row counterpoints with the esoteric heady vibes of Madlib’s Stones Throw. ‘Glitch-Hop’ is the latest flavor of LA’s eclectic beat-driven stew: a cathartic fusion of bop jazz, funk, disco, and sci-fi theatrics converge seamlessly via laptop sampling tools.
LA-native Nosaj Thing is the intergalactic space capsule by which Jason Chung vacuum-sucks you through your earphones and warp drives you into deep space. Nosaj Thing crafts sharp-edged jolts from the conclaves of empty pockets that fill the corners of your room. He has produced tracks for Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, and Chance The Rapper. He’s remixed an even wider bandwidth of artists including: Portishead, Little Boots, and The XX.
However, This dark matter auteur’s best work is found locked within his full-length records. his palate of sounds is highly varied: Drift was released via Alpha Pup Records in 2009—a label that is also closely related to fellow glitch-hop-innovator Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder henchmen. Drift has been described as a domestic standout of the early dubstep wave; a breathing document of disjointed hiss, cracks, snaps, fluctuations, and bass warbles highly reminiscent of Burial’s Untrue. Home via Innovative Leisure/Timetable continued down the same vein but featured a handful of guests: Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino contributed vocals on “Eclipse/Blue” and fellow J Dilla acolyte Toro Y Moi jumped in on “Try“. Nosaj Thing’s most recent outing, Fated, came out this past May, again on Innovative Leisure / Timetable, and featured slightly softened edges and layers of dark ambient noise and deep throbbing bass that encapsulate you in a black hole of blissful noise–notable tracks include “Cold Stared” (below) which features Chicago up-and-comer Chance the Rapper.
Fair warning: don a pair of decent pair of earphones and there is high risk of being sucked into Chung’s infectious headspace: it’s a deep rabbit hole to jump into on a whim, but this is music that exists for the audiophile junkies and crate-diggers searching for something completely new and out-worldly. Bon Voyage.