Saturday, May 8, 2021
Arts + Culture Music Good Things: 5 relaxing new releases to soothe the...

Good Things: 5 relaxing new releases to soothe the soul

KingMost gifts the Bay breezy vibes on 'Pancakes 3' mixtape, sweet sounds from Chico Mann, a new comp from an Austin label dedicated to artists with few followers, more.


Over the past couple of months, there has been a significant change in the way people consume music. For example, Spotify added subscribers during the first quarter of this year, but that isn’t the only modifications it’s seen in its consumers’ routines. Patrons of the digital platform are now listening to more music on the weekend than in pre-pandemia times, and relaxing genres are rising in popularity across the board. But there’s no need to rely on corporate streaming service algorithms for your bliss. We put together a column of new music that mirrors this new inclination towards chill that we are calling Good Things. Enjoy!


What time is it? Pancake time! That’s right, your fave SF DJ and remixer (excuse me, he does redirections) just dropped his newest collection of riddims strictly for those ‘cakes.’ KingMost hears things that others miss. For example, there is a flip of Amere’s “One Thing” from his Pancakes Sequel Redirection EP last month that resurfaces as “Oom Thing.” Such a hard bump, such flowing breezy Brazilian mood that João Gilberto got jelly from the grave. That’s what KingMost does. Period. I’ll let him describe Pancakes 3 (always trust a DJ who ends his email blasts with a James Baldwin quote):

“Yes, family! It’s here. Seven new Redirections, or Pancakes if you will. The sound is predominantly Jamaican with nods to the time when Hip-Hop and Dancehall music was only distant geographically, at best. Also, Thee Pop Goddess, Beyonce struts to the pulse of a four-on-the-floor African groove, and lastly, we find Prince, disciple, Miguel, delivering on a Sure Thing’s R&B meets boom-bap snap.”

He also wants fans to know that he’s been playing sets on Twitch Mondays through Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30pm, and on Thursdays at 2pm PST. 


From an early age, Chico Mann had a laser focus on listening and deconstructing music. He wanted to hear its intricate individual parts and make a beautiful whole. “It’s funny to look back on it now because it seemed normal when I was little, but I got this other experience that I later realized wasn’t a common one,” he says. His mother impressed upon him to focus on the individual musical parts of a song, be it the horns, drums, or piano—something he credits with making him adept at producing, sound designing, and tweaking the sound to achieve coloration and evoke feelings through aural output.

Since the early 2000’s he’s been involved with projects across a wide swath of respected labels as well as earning the respect of musicians and fans alike.

“Summon Fire” the bang-up, bang-on a new single from his upcoming Double Life record, out on Ubiquity this Friday, feels like The Meters took a whole bunch of Peyote and hit the studio in 24 hour Prince recording mode. This Afrobeat-meets-New-Orleans-funk union, flush with psychedelic splashes featuring Mann on guitar, carries that Quintin Tarrantino cinematic gravitas. 


Ten-plus years into Dâm-Funk’s career, he still approaches and delivers various takes on what can be done with drum machines, synthesizers, imagination, and willpower. In case you didn’t know, the Private Life series under his Garrett alias via Music From Memory is something only he could do. Ambient moments, evergreen stretches, moon landing textures, they all pass through this scientific approach to the many phases of funk. Bottom line, it all still feels fresh. Here is an explanation about the final installment.

Garrett III is more of a swan project. A final installment, if you will. Garrett is now retreating more deeply, as evident by the album cover by @GangCulture, into obscurity. The time has come for a landing via this 3rd installment of his ‘private life’. After surviving a lockdown x worldwide pandemic in 1 piece, without going insane, he has finally decided 2 conclude this phase of his tightrope walk between lush Ambient touched Modern-Funk & the choice of no vocals / strictly instrumental aural experiences, for listeners of all hues, backgrounds & taste. The hope is that it’s enjoyed in whatever way feasible for all human (& alien) kind.”


Rec Room presents its first release Roots, Space, Vision Vol. 1 compiling ten tracks from exceptional artists who represent their vision of an intergenerational, inclusive, and intersectional feminist future, dance floor, and global music community. With tracks from SF’s own Xyla and BADSISTA, DJ Delish, DJ Lycox, Jana Rush, Mark Flash, and others who push the envelope real far and wide, the compilation is a musical reflection of their regular club night at Berlin’s Ohm venue and ranges from jungle to Baltimore club music. The comp features unique producers from around the globe who translate their stories into sonic journeys. Ray Kandinski’s lush drum and bass communique “Sunrise” lays the foundation of what is to come. Massive—I ran it back five times. Hold space for this release, out on December 18th.


A good type of peculiar always beats out vanilla, in my book.

Rising Tides is a series of compilations from the so-named Austin label that is dedicated to “shining light on artists with less recognition than they deserve,” highlighting creatives with under 500 followers on SoundCloud. Numerical stats never predict talent, and this comp proves it. Running the bandwidth from downtempo, future beats, and deep house, it features up and comers from India, Germany, North Carolina, England, Oregon, the Netherlands, and California. I’m kinda hooked on the slippery, ’90s-sounding tech-house stunner “Breath” from Justin Cortes and the blipped-out, funky-weird downtempo track “Peckham” by finji from England. 

There is something here for everyone if your ear is open.

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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