thebigupmagazine – future sounds of san diego [download]

The Big Up Magazine - Future Sounds of San Diego coverI recently ran into this crazy November 2011 release by Big Up Magazine. Powered by Dataset, “Future Sounds Of San Diego” features 19 tracks by San Diego based beat-producers who deliver over 80 minutes of high-quality bass-driven tracks.


Whereas a lot of location-based compilations focus purely on the geographical aspect, disregarding any cohesion in genres, “Future Sounds Of San Diego” contains strictly new-styled beats. This has resulted in a very solid release of which the overall vibe is apparent from the start of the first track: heavy, dark and banging, with every producer showcasing their own particular skill. Even the ‘softer’ tracks on this release will make your glass vibrate off the table.


Whatever field of beats you’re dabbling in, being a producer or “just” a listener, this compilation will broaden your horizon for sure. From hiphop based headnodding kick-snare tracks to halftime drumsequences with frantic hi-hats, the California city seems to have it all. Although the majority of the tracks are deep and dark, the apparent influence of being the sunshine state filters through due to the level of spaceyness.



Hippie Sabotage kicks off the release with a raw synth-driven slow neckbreaking track. The pads and melody-lines are pretty dystopian, accented by the shuffled drumkit. Something Swanky by Puppy Kicker is up next, switching the mood to a more melancholic state with heavily filtered and delayed pad-hits and a nice minimal lead melody, which utilizes a subtle note-slide that is reminiscent of the TB-303 glide. Nino Señeris keeps the spacey vibe on You Know, but laces it over a more slow juke-styled beat. Although 40oz Bounce by Masta Syphe seems to be an oldschool early 90s house track at first, after the break the arped synths and 4/4 beat are superbly switched to a deep LFO’ed synth and a more latin-fused electro rhythm.


eLan follows with the dragging electronic slow-jam Whats Up Now, letting the shakers take over the groove and topping off the smoothness with a vocoded vocal. Gravitron by Elk Beats decided to put the synths on the background and lays the focus on a groovy percussion sample. Sleeve takes a more psych approach on Telepathicrisis, creating a whirring frantic soundscape of arps, fx and heavy snares. Misk goes off the grid with a the shuffle-mania Snot Sonata, presenting us with a deep and angsty slow-jam. DJ Pound drop his trademark distorted-synth-and-bass-heavy sound called Paved Paths, which’ll make your head sink deep into your shoulders.


Although Nice And Easy starts off like the title suggest, after the break Mike Gao decided to ditch the easy part for extensive drum programming, low bass drops and an almost dissonant little arp. Miguex provides us with a rework of Let’s Get Blown by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, totally flipping the vibe from a easy party track to a darker bass-driven halftime track full of delays and ice-glowing high notes. Metals And Solids by EshOne features a nifty and snappy drumset, echoing guitar riffs and a stretched-out hoover like bass. Don’t be fooled by the title of 88:88′s Dub-Hop, because although the dark dubstep vibe is apparent, it is a hard party track switching between 4/4 kicks and halftime beats.


HM.T DM.T picks up the pace with the video-game like Breakfast Hash. That is, if the game would feature little crazy furry creatures that are bugging out of their mind. Austin Speed continues the upbeat tempo with the more electro-hop Arcadia. It’s back to the dubstep side with Torqux – Psychopath (remix) by DNGone: sweeping high synths combined with degraded bass-stabs. Griefshare’s Tomorrowland of Broken Words can best be described as sampled metal guitars on a lo-fi static hip hop drumkit. And LFO’d synths. And Gregorian choirs. You figure it out.


Before going to the last track, illiminauts brings the only really feel-good track on the compilation called Animo! Glistening synths, round basses and sunshine pads are key on this track. Given this vibe, the ending track by  Dusty Nix & Leif, The Binary Code, kicks in twice as hard with it’s anxious pads, wobbling distorted synths and futuristic raps.


“Future Sounds Of San Diego” is definitely not for the faint-hearted and kind of reminds me what the soundtrack of a 201x remake of Mad Max should sound like. Get the album for free here and don’t forget to check out Big Up Magazine (site, Facebook and Twitter).