Once in a great while an artist blows through the train stations of an ever growing genre with more steam than the rest of the locomotives riding the rails. Electro-soul and future funk have seen more emerging artists and talent climb the waves in the last two years thanks to success of people like Pretty Lights, Griz, Gramatik, and Michal Menert, but lately, one artist shoots to mind when speaking of uncanny sampling genius.
Late Night Radio's last EP, Soap Box (released back in June), was another powerful chapter his already immense collection of hip-hop fusion. Eight months later, a newborn masterpiece is etched in the gallery of electro-soul perfection. Alex Medellin's new EP, Polaroid, is yet another illustration of why sampling should be admired as a technical musical skill, as one would admire the shredding chops of a guitarist or the deftness of a drummer.
Jump into "Amnesia," which features Sunsquabi's Kevin Donohue, and rides in like a young Clint Eastwood, making heads bang back and forth like a dusty poncho swaying to the horse's strut. Everything you would expect from a Super Best artist leaps out at you with this one, as the sample choice strokes your ears' fancy, in between melodic piano rolls, and that wobbly-electro-fused bass that tastes like jello to your headphones.
One of my favorite tracks on the EP has got to be "Baggage," which utilizes those hot organ stabs, combined with some outlaw-ish lead synths to complete the high-noon beat quickdraw. The final track of the five-song EP, "Break Free," will take you across a Colorado mountain during a sunday sunrise, infused with a cinematic horn selection that made me sit with anticipation every couple bars to what was coming next.
I remember asking Alex a few years ago about his direction and goals, and he was talking about the longevity of the craft, and how people like RJD2 were to be put on a pedestal. It's obvious to a world of beat junkies where this young musician is headed. It's only fitting to have something this fresh be released before LNR gets ready to show his gift in front of thousands at Red Rocks, opening up for Bassnectar. I speak for Colorado in saying I could not be happier to see one of the greats in my time get to honor his fans and his creative visions by performing on a stage big enough to receive his talents. Do your earbuds a favor and catch the next train to LNR's new EP Polaroid so you can journey an unchartered landscape yourself.