Seven volumes in, this latest chapter in Melbourne beats collective Uncomfortable Beats’ ongoing compilation series sees the increased presence of international names continuing alongside a slew of Australian producers, with some of the artists featured here hailing from as far afield as Gothenburg and Baltimore. There’s also a fair bit of ground to cover here, with 22 tracks spanning a running length of just over an hour. While there’s a firm emphasis on classic boom-bap hip hop rhythm structures here, the range of beats permutations being juggled here can’t help but end up being a broad and varied one.
Sydney producer Roleo kicks proceedings off with a smooth intro slice of stinging funk guitar, chunky MPC grooves and rippling pitch-shifting synth pads in the form of ‘Mrs Jonez’, before Melburnian Tar-Nay gets more sleek and futuristic on ‘Tonight’, sending deep growling bass drops and icy synth runs rolling against loose, vaguely dubbed-out beats as ghostly soul vocal samples get twisted and pitched up alongside an eerie piano loop. Elsewhere, U-Wish’s ‘Together’ gets darker and more thugged-out as a swaggering boom-bap groove rides alongside ominous bass chords and glittering bell percussion, before Tigermoth’s ‘Piece Of Peace’ gets more fractured and deconstructed, sending jittery rhythms skittering against distant MC samples and calming flute tones, in what’s easily one of the offerings that’s most touched by the post-Flying Lotus LA beat scene here. All up, this is another characteristically strong compilation from the ever-interesting Uncomfortable Beats collective. You can get ‘Natural Selections’ as a name-your-price download from http://uncomfortablebeats.bandcamp.com/album/natural-selections