- When Hudson Mohawke and Lunice released their self-titled collaborative EP as TNGHT in 2012, there was at least one thing about those instrumental trap beats that everyone could agree on: their sample banks were bonkers. Baby coos, 8-bit portamento hooks, 15-year-old house vocals, water droplets, ridiculously oversized drums, twisted radio rap FX—it was all enough to kick off a trend in populist, EDM-friendly beatmaking that is yet to subside. GILA, a Denver-based producer who recently signed with XL, is the latest ripple to rise from TNGHT's massive splash, but that's not to call him a newcomer or uninspired mimic. Now 26, Kyle Reid has produced for hip-hop duo Gorgeous Children since late 2012 and had his solo tracks (made early on as Gila Monsta) shared by the likes of LuckyMe. The time he's spent working with and without an MC serves his first official solo release well: Genkidama's four productions reveal a proficiency for unique, ear-catching sound design and songcraft alike.
Lead track "Tuff Whisper" sets a strong precedent, with disembodied whispers repurposed for a beat that splits the difference between trip- and hip-hop. Nothing else on Genkidama is so romantic, though. "Snopack" quickly moves the EP into the trenches, where it's all alien gibberish, funeral bells and busted drum samples. "Don't Chirp"—a spooky, hulking head-knocker that opened Reid's Boiler Room debut earlier this year, eliciting whoops from the audience when its depth-charge kick finally dropped—sticks to that space with its stifling humidity and fluid voodoo groove. Aside from "Tuff Whisper," the most melodic of the bunch is "Jetski Moment," whose tender piano chords are Genkidama's only discernible instrument. On an EP as crazed and cryptic as this, though, there's little so surprising as an untreated sound.
A1 Tuff Whisper
B1 Don't Chirp
B2 Jetski Moment