Noon Pacific

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 // 183

  • “Across The Sea” by Falqo — You can’t help but be on guard when a track opens with the sound of waves — What inane, boozy Sammy Hagar crap am I about to be subjected to?! — but Falqo didn’t make me wait too long to assuage my fears. Jazzy piano kicks in, followed closely by guitar licks heyday Santana would be proud of. What follows is a little rock, a little funk, a little soul, a little R&B, a lot of fun.
  • “Lullaby” by Atlas Bound — Organ and almost-mournful moans set the stage before segueing unexpectedly to an R&B type tune with chirper plucked jazzy guitar. Bass kicks in around the second verse, upping the sound in a big way, but that same guitar lick from the beginning is still going on and it’s starting to grate on me. It’s all I can hear.
  • “Night Tales” by KOLIDESCOPES feat. Mikill Pane — Right off the bat I’m into this. Whatever those notes are being played on, I can’t identify it. Maybe a really bright synth, maybe it’s a guitar and a marimba (or some kind of DIY percussive pipe instrument) playing the same notes. Intricate programmed drums and deep buzzing synth kick in. Mikill Pane’s rapped verse at about two thirds in is unexpected but fits, tonally and contextually, perfectly.
  • “Higher” by Keiynan Lonsdale — Clear, crisp guitar start what turns out to be something of a combination of Hip Hop (in the beat, particularly the choruses), R&B (in the vocals), and darker electronic genres (in the big, moody synth).
  • “Take My Hand” by Tiedye Ky — a really interesting tune, it starts off with a collection of seemingly unrelated synth tones. Then the drums kick in and they find unity, coalescing into a light, floating melody. A really interesting collection of sounds — is that a theremin? — keep things interesting to the close, a surprise instrumental after a deceptive fade out.
  • “Daydream” by Leo Kalyan — Vocals reminiscent of Chris Martin over smooth verses and big, glitchy electronic-heavy choruses. Vocals ever the focal point, this cut sounds like what might result if Coldplay was the next pop act to ask Skrillex and Diplo to write their next album for them.
  • “Selfish” by Imad Royal — Heavily reverbed guitar open this song up, followed by half rapped, half sung lyrics. Soft “ohs,” “ahs,” and “yeahs” in the background, and busy, click-heavy drums underpin the vocals throughout. It’s like pop-minded, radio- ready rap rock with a dose of Sublime influence.
  • “Luxuries” by Folded Like Fabric — Another radio-ready track, slinky but understated guitar lead low key pop vocals into heavy electronic choruses just a notch or two below full-on dubstep.
  • “The Infidelity Of Language” by Steve Benjamins — Another radio-ready pop rock tune, this one sounds a lot like Maroon 5. I heard it in the vocals and now I can’t shake the thought. It’s not a bad song, but the more times I listen through, the more all I hear is Maroon 5.
  • “Water Water” by HUMANS — Four-to-the-floor kick drum, rhythmic hand claps, and bubbly, aqueous synth ever so slowly fading in is a marvelous way to start a song. Laidback, effortless vocals and much more prominent keyboard synth, making no efforts to disguise its electronic origins, join in to create a simple but complexly layered listening experience.

Stand Outs: The unique, perhaps unidentifiable, sounds in an otherwise excellently produced track — not to mention the Mikill Pane cameo — help “Night Tales” by KOLIDESCOPES stand out in a big way. Tiedye Ky’s “Take My Hand” stands out for similar reasons.

Let Downs: The extreme repetition of the guitar like in Atlas Bound’s “Lullaby” and the unavoidable resemblance to Maroon 5 in “The Infidelity Of Language” by Steve Benjamins lands these two tracks in the bottom.

Verdict: Noon Pacific // 183 is a bit of a mixed bag. A couple of gems, a couple of flops, and a respectable helping of tunes that just kind of slink on by while you’re listening (which isn’t, necessarily, a negative).

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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