Spotlighting new releases from New Brunswick artists. This week we look at new music from Ashton McPhee, Kynduum and Virtualboy64.
Ashton McPhee – Keep6ix
There’s a lot of uninspired filler on this, the debut album by Saint John rapper Ashton McPhee. Songs about gettin’ rich, makin’ money, smokin’ dope, and bitch this – bitch that have all been done too many times to count, yet still seem to be the first steps many aspiring hip hop musicians take with their debuts. Maybe these kind of tracks are hip hop’s version of three chord punk – an easy in to the genre and a great way to get a feel for things? I don’t know. All this said, Keep6ix is not a total loss. In fact, it’s worth a listen for the track CanadianSheep, the album’s standout single and a track that showcases McPhee’s definite skill as a lyricist. It’s also the only track where he doesn’t rely on the full bag of vocal crutches shared by most young rappers today. There’s some great stuff hidden here. Looking forward to seeing this guy evolve.
Kynduum – Sigil Songs Volume 2
This release is the second in a series built around first-take atmospheric improvisations that act as the structure for Kyn and guest percussionist Martin Boudreau to build upon. Sigil Songs Volume 2 features two tracks and clocks in somewhere around 22 minutes. Erebus stands out as the EP’s winner with its several rise and fall movements that feature droning layers and free jazz percussion fills. The drumming gets pretty wild at times. It’s a nice to change-up to hear some drone-based compositions that haven’t been created entirely using a micro synth and a laptop.
Virtualboy 64 – Self-Titled
Saint John producer Hayden White (White VHS) drops his final release as Virtualboy64. This self-titled EP follows five previous releases and continues on a similar path of heavily manipulated synth-centred compositions. Since his first release in 2016, this project has showcased White’s strengths as a composer, arranger and sampling technician, transforming disco and 80’s pop loops to create uniquely osculated reconstructions, like audio doppelgangers from some out-there episode of Miami Vice. Worth a listen.