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Beats from an Exhibition (WHY?Arcka MP3)

“Exhibit K” in the ongoing Exhibits A-Z project by WHY?Arcka is the Philly producer’s most stripped-down recording yet. Titles to his tracks usually hint at their source material, which generally consists of lesser-known moments by r&b greats — the latest, “Kalimba Medley​ (Sly),” is therefore probably derived from some split second of a Sly and the Family Stone song (MP3 — the link may not function, so if there’s difficulty, just proceed to the bandcamp.com link at the bottom of this post; it’ll provide a 320kbps file).

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Characteristic for WHY?Arcka, this small segment is then looped and futzed with ingeniously, in this case yielding a threadbare beat that’s like dance music for dust mites. There’s the xylophone-like opening (cause for the title’s kalimba reference), soon joined by a tentative bass line, and then a throttled horn part, the collected composition slowly morphing into a slo-mo, downtempo shuffle. It’s as muted as all get out, and highly recommended — the sort of track that has its most delicious instance when your head, after nodding along, finds itself held momenarily, waiting for the delayed beat, both eagerly anticipating the closure, and enjoying the extended pause.

View the track in situ at arckatron.bandcamp.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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