Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
Contrasting sounds sweep in on the back of an earthy hum in washed up’s opening track beefy’s midnight conference. Mellow, tuneful keys play alongside glittery dissonance. A voice tells us about the tribulations of an introverted life, a fitting sample for the laid back mood the artist seems intent on setting. A slithering drumbeat falls into place, supported by a cool bass line as the keys begin to wander up and down scales and chords. There is a sense, especially in the little mid-breakdown, that there is a more serious side to the track. The reversed melodies hoping to ensnare the listener into a state of unawareness, their tune peaking softly above the main riffs from time to time.
speedwagon seeps in with brushy percussion and portamento keys. Once again, HESHMADESUNDOG caresses with instrumentation tinged with warmth. A voice catches at the end of each beat, slowly developing into a crackling sample of antiquated female crooning. The general feeling is similar to that of lo-fi hip hop, but the artist deftly avoids the pitfalls of that sometimes unwanted label with originality in their delivery. The fullness of the track comes from the multi-faceted layers, rather than just warm samples and feedback.
A more staccato sound emanates from washed up. An uneven drumbeat nervously making its way through the high frequency fuzz. Piano chords stab gently in a descending pattern, blowing away the cobwebs with a commanding rhythm. HESHMADESUNDOG elevates the listener slightly with floating pads, only to strike back down with a heavy bass drum pattern and throbbing bass melodies. A screeching riff plays taking its nod directly from the beat, showcasing the clear influence of that slow, heavy hip-hop instrumentation of the 90s. The artist lets the beat loose once again in another drop, giving rise to a heavily echoing lead riff. It shakes amidst the heavy drumbeat and calmly worms its way through the mix before exiting, allowing the track to wind down.
catshitwormbrain has a decidedly upbeat air to it despite its name. Happy-go-lucky keys play, softening the impact of a simplistic trio of bass drum, snare and shaker. The bass guitar does most of the legwork, a frantic searching up and down the fretboard creating a plodding rhythm that the rest of the instruments follow along with. Sustained notes fringe the last half-minute or so, creeping at the very peripheries of the track.
Beautiful lounge piano floats toward the listener as lifes getting weirder begins. A talk show host struggles for the right words before we are launched into warm refrain. Not content with simple beat-making, HESHMADESUNDOG purposely swipes the percussion out from under us, injecting back in with a sneering lead synth. Again, dancing around convention, implementing unique drum patterns and shifting the general bounce of the track to something more interesting.
HESHMADESUNDOG takes to the EP with a desire to instil in the listener that warm feeling that you can glimpse when scrolling through the endless annals of lo-fi hip hop. But, truthfully the artist’s imaginative textures and penchant for gradual melodic progression makes for a fuller and more enjoyable experience.