Lindsay Lowend – “Wind Fish” EP

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Lindsay Lowend has finally released his Wind Fish EP. We gave you a preview in July, but today you can own it and we can get it into deeper, which is exactly where Lindsay Lowend went with his four-track EP. Despite being the 20-year-old producer hailing from Washington, DC with no previous releases, Lindsay Lowend makes sun-soaked, 8-bit beat-mashed melodies with a warm marshmellow-like low-end. The EP is not simply a fun, ticking reminder to enjoy life or even a stunning debut, but perhaps a subtle window into the rich history of African-American music.

From the obvious trap percussion, to the tropical vibes and pads, to the church organs and extended jazzy drum solos, Wind Fish explores a variety of styles and genres of music born out of African-American culture. Rap samples from Birdman and Lupe Fiasco pepper tracks like “GT40″ and “It’s George,” while “Sass Mouth” incorporates raw church organ gospel riffs and mini drum & bass (a genre originating out of the UK black communities) over a bed of rapid-fire hi-hats and 808 trap kicks. “Sass Mouth” and “GT40″ share similarity as well, both drawing vocal sample and inspiration from 1990′s African-American singers like Aaliyah.

Lowend flexes his musical prowess reaches even further back creating a full-on throwback jazz piece with “It’s George” as an extended jazz section thrills with a tantalizing drum solo and bouncy cartoonish Super Mario-esque toy-piano riff, carrying the track along at a robust yet still essential three minute and nineteen seconds. Lowend uses these glittering, 8-bit toy piano riffs throughout the just-under-twelve-minute EP’s length like on EP closer and title track “Windfish.” Lowend gets a bit wonkier (the wonky scene is another piece of UK black community music history with guys like Jakes and Joker), but stays “jazzy,” first with the upbeat cool-jazz piano riffs and playful gibberish vocal samples and the ensuing toy-piano riffs, before finishing with an inspiring a sense of calm with beach and seagull samples.

Lowend’s EP is one of the best of the year. A modern music quilt made from stitching together sounds from eras gone-by, Lowend synthesized quintessential sounds both from African-American and Afro-English musical history and infuses it with a modern, composer and producer sensibility encapsulating a feel-good attitude. Perhaps it’s a stretch, but it seems to me that Lowend’s amalgamation of sounds seems like the sort that only a 90′s kid could really make.