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 // 176
“Falling” by Opia — Opia weaves a groovy bassline and sparse jazzy guitar riffs through a precocious tune that is delightfully glitchy without losing an ounce of soul.
“Follow the Sun” by Is Tropical — Drawing inspiration from the ’80s while avoiding downright nostalgia, Is Tropical give us a heavily electronic track that isn’t afraid to visit both mellow and energetic places.
“Summer Sunday” by Pools — An atmospheric, dreamy track from Pools, this song is relaxing with just the right touch of subdued electronics. Coincidentally, this would sound right at home on summer sundays spent next to a pool.
“Nothing to Hide” by Coastal Clouds — In this cut, Coastal Clouds give us a smooth surf rock serenade — very much Beach Boys through a modern filter — with maybe a touch of reverb on the vocals.
“Kintsugi” by Hoodlem — An eclectic, yet extremely pleasant, fusion of soul and funk, this tune by Hoodlem has touches of traditional African and electronica, plus a baseline that alternates between barely there and curiously prominent. It frankly doesn’t last for nearly long enough.
“Lesson Learnt” by Aaron Taylor — Seductive bass, intricate hand claps, sexy organ, jazzy horns, silky vocals (that wouldn’t be out of place on the chorus of an Outkast track) — this song has everything. Another track that ends way before it needs to.
“Start the Morning” by Givers & Takers — Smooth, jazzy rock (just toeing the line before easy listening territory), this cut pays respects to the early era of heavily classic-R&B-influenced rock with just enough of a modern edge (compliments of mild, understated synth) to keep it from becoming parody. Surprisingly and unexpectedly pleasing to listen to.
“Danger_us” by johann — Sparse modern R&B vocals with some intriguing, but unflashy, acrobatic flourishes over basic but insistent hand claps. Throw in some tasteful atmospheric electronic fills and you’ve got this haunting beauty of a song.
“Can’t” by Mall Grab — Mall Grab, with this tune, give us something that might not be out of place playing over the PA of a shopping mall. Repetitive drum loop, lyrics, synth, and keys alike. EDM lite, you’ll find yourself tapping your foot, even if against your will.
“Do Me All Again” by Mackenzie Thoms — Essentially an R&B tune with a few pop-minded electronic effects, I can’t help but think that Thoms isn’t trying to combine the pipes of heyday R. Kelly or Usher with the pop appeal of Justin Bieber’s latest Diplo & Skrillex-produced efforts. And frankly it kind of works.
Stand Outs: The mixtape this week was filled with great tunes, but johan, Aaron Taylor, and Hoodlem stand out just a bit more than the rest.
Let Downs: Mall Grab offered the only tune this week that didn’t make a particular impact. “Can’t” isn’t a bad tune, but it’s not a particularly good one, either.
Verdict: Noon Pacific // 176 was a really solid mixtape, starting February off on the right foot.
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.