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 // 192
- “Someday” by Falqo feat. Wild & Free — Guitar and a cowbell-featuring drumline start this track off. It takes a squelchy sort of ‘80s synth tack before the guitar returns, now accompanied by bass, and serious disco funk vibe takes over. A killer guitar solo, dripping in that funk influence, is a high point.
- “Guru” by Coast Modern — Musically this is really neat. It’s a genre mash up of electronica and reggae that stays a little truer to its sources than, say, reggaeton (which tends decidedly more toward electronica than reggae). Vocally it’s good — midrange erring toward high, with a strong sound. Lyrically, though, it’s straight up juvenile.
- “Blame It On The Youth” by Jordan Rakei — A little funk, a little soul, a little jazz — put them in a jar, shake ‘em together, filter them through an electronic mindset (if not any actual synths), and this is what you get. It’s smooth, soulful, danceable, funky… really cool track.
- “Parasites” by Parks, Squares and Alleys — Though it starts off with a very ‘80s-esque synth chime, this tune evolves into an indietronica synthpop sort of jam. Overall its quite mellow, though the drumline is insistent and driving, adding a unique at-odds sort of feel to the whole thing.
- “Like Eye Did” by FIL BO RIVA — This tune is super interesting. A deep, almost folky type of rock sound, sensibly layered and exceedingly rich. I hear all sorts of influence, notably early-era Wild Beasts in the textured guitar and hooting backing vocals. The lead vocals are a major standout, they’re an almost-hysterical cross between growling and howling, something like a fusion of Tom Waits, gospel soul revivalist sensation Nathaniel Rateliff, and baby-faced British folk and pop rock phenom George Ezra.
- “Late At Night” by Generik — Another heavily ‘80s sounding tune, this one remains that way throughout. Bubbly, squelchy synth, boilerplate programmed drums, pop-style vocals (with a bit of that Passion Pit/Phoenix sound in the backing vocals). It ends on a real big note, in the dance pop tradition. This is very much a club tune like other club tunes.
- “Look Around” by Native Spirit — This is a pleasant, atmospheric, ambient electronic tune. Who knows, maybe the kids even call it ambient house? I don’t know, I’m not up on my genres. A surprisingly mellow four-to-the-floor drumline, floaty synth, and reverb-heavy guitar dominate.
- “Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead, Sam Goku — A droning, 61-second-long intro leads into what is a lightly remixed version of one of Radiohead’s more well regarded songs. Until about halfway through the primary difference is a snazzy, hi hat heavy drumline. Deep synths jon then, followed by some floating, chirpy effects. They gain prominence and are joined by shakers, getting slowly bigger, before reverting back to its lightly mixed state.
- “Take It” by dxHEAVEN — What’s essentially a ‘80s-influenced, synth-heavy pop track, complete with smooth, clear vocals, has both a touch of a funk vibe and a really interesting almost-industrial vibe in the choruses. It makes me think of late ‘80s and early ‘90s video game soundtracks, honestly. I’m not sure yet if that’s a good or bad thing.
- “Stay” by Theophilus London — An urgent synthy bassline, heavily affected, and programmed drums paired with more traditional bongo and conga percussive sounds, provide the backing for rapped lyrics that are simultaneously soothing and almost frantic in their own urgency. A vague tropical sound persists throughout this driving tune.
Stand Outs: A lot of really strong tunes this week but, if I had to pick a couple (and I do, thanks to my foolish self-imposed review structure), I’m going to have to go with Jordan Rakei’s genre-bending “Blame It On The Youth,” and FIL BO RIVA’s rockin’, folksy, moody “Like Eye Did.”
Let Downs: This week’s let down is “Late At Night” by Generik, its downfall being that it was… generic.
Verdict: Noon Pacific // 192 was really impressive. It featured an awesome blend of genres and styles, a few real surprises, even fewer derivative tracks, and no absolute duds. There are a lot of artists featured here that I’ll be seeking more from.
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.