What's New: Beats Depatment

Our column devoted to the beat-makers and rhyme-sayers, as well as producers and dance-floor innovators. Check in for our picks in everything from classic hip-hop to futurist R&B, minimal-techno back through crate-digger beat tapes, cutting edge synth-pop all the way to trap-music.

The Field Infinite Moment

The music of The Field, aka Swedish producer Alex Willner, just feels good to have on. If you’re unfamiliar it tends towards extended compositions of atmospheric techno, pulling heavily from ambient and minimalism. Infinite Moment is another strong dose of what we’ve come to expect; gorgeous, hypnotic, and intelligent music.

Aphex Twin Collapse EP

It’s hard for an electronic music fan no to be excited to hear new sounds from Aphex Twin. One of the most iconoclastic artists of the genre, or any genre, and he’s kept his edge. Collapse is still twisted and complex, sounding invigorated and wild. If you’ve ever cared, tune back in.

Knife Knights 1 Time Mirage

It’s not the first time they’ve worked together, but Knife Knights is the proper binding of two of Seattle’s most engaging and inventive artists, Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces and super-producer Erik Blood. On this record they get as weird as they want, bending genre and time.

Oliver Coates Shelley's on Zenn-La

Mr. Coates is a cellist, and sometimes Radiohead collaborator, who’s put together an excellent LP of forward thinking and beat driven music. This is alike in spirit to some of the great Arthur Russell works, but with a more 21st century sonic texture. Very engaging.

Nas Nasir & Eminem Kamikaze

We’re in the midst of a bit of an old man rap renaissance. Between these two records, earlier records this year from Pusha T and Kanye, and even Jay Z’s recent 4:44, we’re hearing what it’s like to age in a young man’s game. It’s a fine balancing act of being true to yourself while saying something fresh. I like that neither of these records tries to rebrand the respective artists into any of the moment’s trends. Instead they are sturdy records full of straight rap by a few masters of the form.