What’s Finnish for Downtempo?

They are likely intended as interludes, even if they equal the number of vocal tracks. The album is The Travelers Ghost (no apostrophe), credited to Skipless. The tracks in question are all downtempo excursions into instrumental hip-hop, the beats wobbly and often pleasingly off-kilter, the mood smokey, The surface noise right in your ear if not your face. They’re also quite consistent. A lot of netlabel instrumental hip-hop albums feature one, maybe two, standout tracks, and a whole lot of material that either could have used more time in the sampler-cum-incubator. One of the tracks acknowledges its interlude status, including the word in its title, parenthetically — “Time (Interlude).” It’s all looped bass and drums, sodden vocal snippets, and dubby echo (MP3). “Vibe” trades the water-logged effect for something closer to heat-damaged, its samples slowing and speeding like a piece of warped vinyl, and making a smart contrast to the precise drum patterns (MP3). The other standout is the title track, which balances a piano that appears as little more than a trill and a shard of a split second, and a guitar that’s strung as loose as spaghetti — well, a spaghetti western (MP3).

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/DWK083/01_Skipless_-_The_Travelers_Ghost.mp3|titles=”The Travelers Ghost”|artists=Skipless] [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/DWK083/04_Skipless_-_Time_Interlude.mp3|titles=”Time Interlude”|artists=Skipless] [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/DWK083/06_Skipless_-_Dark_Matter.mp3|titles=”Dark Matter”|artists=Skipless] [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/DWK083/09_Skipless_-_Vibe.mp3|titles=”Vibe”|artists=Skipless] [audio:http://www.archive.org/download/DWK083/10_Skipless_-_Outro.mp3|titles=”Outro”|artists=Skipless]

Get the full release, for free, at dustedwax.org and at archive.org.

More on Skipless, who is from Ikaalinen, Finland, where he says he works solely from vinyl and an MPC, at skipless.com.

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