Restored 30 June 2017, originally published 07 April 2014
If you’ve spent much time on Last.FM, you’ve probably received a friend request (or two, or three…) from a duo of Ukrainian producers called The Cancel. I don’t know if everyone got them or just those who listen to jazzy hip-hop, but it’s pretty much universally unappreciated. No one wants to be spammed with friend requests regardless of who you are.
Such is the attitude I assumed after the first few times I declined their request. However, I must admit persistence paid off with me. I gave in and had a listen, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Cancel produce high quality chill/jazz/hip-hop. Even if you ignore their friend requests forever, I encourage you to offer them at the very least some of your attention.
Allow me to recommend as a starting place their 14-track EP Reply From Space. It starts off with the recording of the first words from the Apollo 11 astronauts after landing on the moon. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard more than the famous phrase “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The recording, however, goes on rather casually with the astronauts relaying to Houston what’s going on (e.g., “You can see the stars and stripes.”) It’s really quite relaxing. This same mellow vibe permeates throughout the EP in the form of pianos, saxophones, trumpets, snares, high hats, and more.
Currently in my spotlight are “Ny In Night” and “Street Art” (bonus track, according to my copy).
The former starts off like an episode Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (which I love). In the last half of the track, the producers showcase a muted trumpet then a smooth flute. The latter sounds like it comes right out of the ‘60s or ‘70s. There are psychedelic guitars, sultry vocals, and a big band. Halfway in it fades out for a moment before coming back in force. It leaves the ears buzzing in a sexy, downtempo ambiance.
One more note, they produce a lot of material. Based on the handful of albums I’ve heard, they’re consistently good. So, don’t ignore that friend request forever, you’ll surely miss out.
The Cancel – “Ny In Night”
The Cancel – “Street Art”
Reply From Space EP release page at Dusted Wax Kingdom