Once a week at roughly 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, a gentleman by the name of Clark Dinnison releases a mixtape of 10 carefully curated songs that are making big waves on his radar. This is Noon Pacific.

Noon Pacific // 178

  • “Never Ever” by STRFKR — An eclectic track, “Never Ever” mixes a traditional, danceable rhythm section with chirpy synth reminiscent (in a good way) of the ‘80s and a jangly piano part that hints at a jazz or even ragtime influence. The breakdown about two thirds of the way kind of throws off the mood, but it recovers nicely.
  • “Keeping Me Under” by Two Another — The bassline is the foundation of every song but, in that capacity, it is often looked. In “Keeping Me Under,” Two Another allow the bass to shine in with a line that’s equal parts rambling, precise, driving, and funky. By all accounts a solid tune — vocals, melody, and drum beat mesh beautifully — but in this cut, they all work in service of the bass.
  • “Friend Inside” by Bag Raiders — The Afro-Caribbean influence audible in the beat works surprisingly well with a four-to-the-floor bass drum and synth-heavy melody. Some sparse flourishes help to round out the big sound of the choruses. Simultaneously mellow and bright, this will be a great summer track.
  • “Fire” by Jack Garratt — “Fire” is at its core a quiet and pensive tune, with perhaps a bit of a personality conflict. Vocals are delivered passionately but softly, without extravagance. A sparse stick-heavy beat and the oft-maligned wubwubwub characteristic of denser electronic tunes interplay through the tune, and unexpectedly huge choruses give you a little jolt. It shouldn’t all work together, but it does.
  • “Carmé Leone” by No Wonder — In “Carmé Leone,” No Wonder gives us a slow tune with an insistent and throbbing bassline, anxious synth, and quietly howling funk-guitar riff that together serve to give it an unexpected edge. Tense and mournful, but certainly not unenjoyable.
  • “Woman” by HONNE — This cut is a pretty standard R&B/soul kind of love song, albeit with a bit of an electronic edge, defined by its smooth vocals, silky bass, and big, rousing choruses.
  • “Devotion” by Dune — Dune gives us sort of an amalgamation of a few previous songs on this mixtape in “Dune.” Ostensibly a smooth R&B track (like “Woman”), it shares the wubwubwub of “Fire,” which is as out of place yet at home here as it is there.
  • “You Can’t Save Me” by Johnny Stimson — Johnny Stimson’s “You Can’t Save Me” is a haunting song. It starts with some soft guitar and echo-y vocals. Elements are slowly added — staccato drums, big vibratory bass, some gentle organ, flourishing synth touches — adding up to a big, almost overwhelming, crescendo.
  • “Breakin Up” by The Palms — The most rock-influenced song of the mixtape this week. This is felt most in the raw, surprisingly emotional vocal. It plays almost like an essential ‘90s slow jam updated for the ears of 20 years later. The breakdown and outro take a turn for the electronic, fading out on an organ-y synth part nothing like what came before, yet perfectly complimentary to it.
  • “The Right Song” by Free n Losh feat. Terrell Morris — In “The Right Song,” Free n Losh build a unique track — a little pop, a little funk, a little jazz, a little soul, a little techno — to lay under Morris’ near-spoken-word hip hop vocal delivery.

Stand Outs: “Keeping Me Under” shines thanks to its bass (dat bass!), as do “The Right Song” and “Friend Inside,” thanks to their unique blends of genres and influences.

Let Downs: HONNE’s “Woman” is the only let down this week, disappointing in its derivativeness.

Verdict: Noon Pacific // 178 has a few bright spots, and even fewer dark spots, but is largely middle-of-the-road. This week’s mixtape will keep you happy, bopping, and moving, but not much will making a lasting impression.

Noon Pacific, a labor of love, is updated with a new 10-track mixtape every week. Sign up here — it’s totally free, and you’ll get an email notification every Monday when the new tape goes live.

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