Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Nublu – Öölaps!

No. 1 on Estonian Spotify, at least as of a few weeks ago…


Joshua Minsoo Kim: Estonian rapper Nublu follows up “Mina Ka” with another minimal track that is mostly enjoyable for how it embraces its shoddy production. The synthesized bassline on “öölaps!” sounds like a cheap recreation of “Like A G6,” and the horns are endearingly fake. Best of all is how the single’s cover art leads you to believe that the squeaking synth stab is meant to be the sound of dogs barking, or rather, the sound effect you’d hear in older games and videos wanting to approximate such a noise. While virtually the same length as “Mina Ka,” “öölaps” is easier to sit through because of Nublu’s casual flow and dorky hook. But it still sounds like a one-off novelty track you’d hear in a Flash game, or something you’d encounter while browsing the depths of YouTube late at night.

Iain Mew: Forget chiptune, MIDImelody is the future! At least in Estonia, but they’ve long been technologically ahead of the game. I’m not sure if all of “Öölaps!” is a joke or none of it is, but it’s a fun ride either way.

Crystal Leww: I may not be able to understand Estonian, but even I know that this is music made by rappers who God never intended to be rappers — too precocious in its production, too focused on the technical aspects of rapping, too whimsical in tone sometimes.

Micha Cavaseno: In every corner of the planet, in every era of modern history, rap is rejected in favor of generic electro that sounds like something Spank Rock would’ve done — too “cool” to be mistaken for post-Cataracs grate but not sleek enough to admit how nerdy it really is. Anyway, here’s “Öölaps!”

Julian Axelrod: My favorite dance music weaves a series of light touches into something big and heavy and undeniable. Nublu’s raps are so offhand they’re almost overpowered by the background conversation, and that bell riff couldn’t be simpler. But when you add some 808s and low end and mix it all together, goddamn does it deliver. “Nuanced Estonian Pitbull wave” is my new favorite genre.

Juana Giaimo: This track features a fast steady beat, a deep bass line that gives a structure to the song, and fun trumpets. But the voice is just monotonous — the “pa pa pa” chorus could have added more dynamics to the song, but it just sounds like someone not having fun at a party.

Ashley John: On first listen it feels like Nublu is taking things too seriously, but the tension unwinds throughout the track. The bouncy beat behind slinky, nonplussed rapping feels like standing at the edges of the dance floor, lamenting the music choices, but only because you’re waiting for the moment you hear the song you came out to dance to. 

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