Whether it’s a sample from a forgotten folk record, dusty 70s grooves or golden era hip hop, producer Bias turns it into soothing beats that pleasantly enter your ear like a fresh Q-tip. This month the former DJ of Lewis Parker drops an EP titled Dreamland on his own imprint, Canteen Records.
The use of carefully selected, diverse samples is the main essence of Bias’ work. The recycled vocals add emotional context to his productions, instead of being hollow cuts like on your average hip hop beat. Bias treats sampling as a valuable aesthetic rather than as vacuous looping, using it to tune his productions towards timeless beauty. A mature and contemplative approach to producing beats.
His older track “Delirious” is a fine example of that. He sets an amorous tone with just one expressive vocal line: “Talk about happy, that’s me. Beautiful dream, that’s she. Talk about delirious, that’s me. Talk about pretty, that’s she. (…) This is not my first time, I’ve met girls before.”
His new EP Dreamland consists of five unheard tracks: a collection of dark and moody soundscapes. The intense drum break opening the uptempo yet touching title track assists an emotional vibrato vocal sample. That’s followed by a deep bass and panicky keys over a repetitive loop on “Just Once”. The track “You” is a highlight in which Bias creates a grimy atmosphere with layered instrumentation and great suspense: after a peaceful intermezzo of waving swell, the ominous beat returns unexpectedly, putting the listener on the wrong track.
Download the title track for free – only here for a limited time!
The EP is as sample-heavy as his older material, but the samples on Dreamland aren’t as recognizable as on his album Time & Tide and on his first three EPs over a decade ago. To name two personal favorites: Rock A Whole Place in which he freely combines a raw Fat Boys beatbox with a relaxing guitar riff. And Relax And Rock With Bias, where he weaves vocal cuts of forgotten 90s hip hop gems by A.D.O.R. and Casual with downtempo drum breaks and atmospheric scratches that wouldn’t be out of place in the oeuvre of DJ Krush.
All his music is released on his own imprint, Canteen Records. Hip hop and electronica are the main ingredients, but there’s room for creativity and own styles by befriended artists: GLO adds a skilful marriage of dubstep, pop and dance music, NYC emcee River Nelson holds tight to hip hop’s roots, and the atmospheric productions by Nox are vaguely reminiscent to dark, mystical music by someone like Robot Koch. Bias acts as a curator for Canteen Records to deliver variation with two important common grounds: sampling and artistic beauty.