Restored 02 July 2017, originally published 04 April 2014
If what I read is true, Brooklyn, New York, is an eclectic place. A densely populated borough of the greater New York City area, it is home to many diverse ethnicities and cultures ranging from Ukrainian to Jewish, from African-American to Italian, among many others. While such diversity is bound to generate friction between and even among the various groups, it is equally bound to generate a vast array of beautiful harmonies.
In few places on Earth’s surface is one likely to find so many different kinds of food, art, expression, and general activity. There are numerous venues (and therefore bands), galleries (and artists), food trucks (foodies), and much more than any one person can realistically expect to appreciate without spending significant amounts of time there.
I feel a little awkward even trying to talk about Brooklyn as I’ve spent next to zero time in that part of the planet. Notwithstanding, after hearing one of their musician’s in my brain for the past week, I feel like I’m experiencing enough to appreciate some of what it has to offer.
Eaze is a rapper/beatmaker influenced heavily by jazz (he himself played in his high school band) as well as artists like Nujabes. Appropriately enough, he treats music with a light touch. Even some of the rougher parts are smoothed out with the muted beats and a lo-fi haze hanging over the soundscape. His new LP Summer Daze provides 11 solid tracks (plus intro and outro) replete with downtempo vibes typical of a late summer night. He fills your plate with a plethora of jazz instruments spiced with psychedelia and the occasional looped sample. Eaze manages even to incorporate a message into the album, at least in the form of one track.
“Fuck Poverty” is a strong sentiment. One I’m certain most people at least understand if not agree with all together. Eaze distilled this sentiment in one oft-repeated sample taken from the late-great 2pac “Rather die making money than live poor and legal.” To keep it all palatable, if not downright catchy, the sample is supported with a deep vibrating base and a simple drum beat and decorated with bells and a muted trumpet. I think this song is awesome, perhaps even the most outstanding on the album. That isn’t to say it’s the best necessarily, but you definitely notice it.
The majority of the album sounds more like “Bye”. A heavy synth and beat take up most of the body of the track with some light flute filling in around the edges. Around the minute mark, we find our eardrums filled with a gritty guitar riff and what sounds like digital violins.
It’s truly a pleasure to max out with this album on the speakers. Of course, with headphones you have the opportunity to appreciate some of the finer points of the composition, some of the little things you just can’t catch with the music flying through open air. Really, each way presents a different experience for a different context, and they’re both great.
Eaze – “Fuck Poverty”
Eaze – “Bye”
Summer Daze album release page