Hi, welcome back to Snack Trax. This is an occasional column where I bring you bite-sized descriptions of a handful of songs you really ought to be listening to.
This edition is all instrumentals and is inspired by carrot juice, because you’re probably used to drinking it mixed with other stuff, but it’s pretty good all by itself. Same thing with these instrumentals – no vocals needed. Also, carrot juice is orange, and all of these are on Soundcloud, which is mostly orange.
Anyway, let’s get into it.
Patrick Paige II, 'Detuned'
'Prelude,' released Dec. 6
If you like The Internet, you might already know about their bassist, Patrick Paige II. If not, Paige's new solo EP "Prelude" is your introduction.
“Prelude” has some parts that would sound at home in a The Internet album, but allows for a lot more sonic exploration. “Take the Time” is a quiet, steady vehicle for Durand Bernarr’s vocals, while “Detuned” de-emphasizes the live instruments at first, and would feel right at home on a beat tape. “Metro” starts out the same way, but then keeps evolving into a jam session with live bass and keyboard instrumentation.
The odd song out is "Sunshine," which is a trap-influenced rework of the original Roy Ayers “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.” But Paige never lets that high-pitched synthesizer that was so iconic on the original Ayers cut come in — instead, the track is a swirling meditation on the first three chords of the song.
Sober Rob, 'Sonder'
Single, released Dec. 10
After a good three months of radio silence, Sober Rob is back, after (according to the song description) a particularly rough semester. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines “sonder” as “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own,” and this cut sounds like it was meant as musical accompaniment to that entry.
“Sonder” starts off quietly enough, with some pitched-down vocal moans and arpeggiated synth lines. But then somewhere near the middle, Sober Rob finally drops the drums and some big (really big) horns. The track then devolves into aimless stutters, and never really climaxes. It’s an uncomfortable song — in a good way. You’ll have to rewind to get the full effect.
Single, released Aug. 26
File this under things that sound crazy on paper, but great in execution. 26CARAT gives the old-school Windows 95 startup sound a workout, and drops bits of the chorus from Three 6 Mafia’s “Stay Fly” over the top.
The vocals add some extra flavor, but the real part to watch for is when the track veers off toward future bass territory with some octave-jumping manipulation. The Windows 95 sample feels like something that the EDM subgenre vaporwave made possible, but the track never enters Roman-statues-and-garbled-Japanese-script territory. I’m just happy this thing exists. This is another one that you’ll want to rewind a couple times.
Follow me @dexdigi for more on the intersection of culture and the Internet