Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Bktherula – Tweakin’ Together

Atlanta space rap… 

Alfred Soto: Is this track happening? Did I dream it? The way the synths flicker, drop, and reenter while the rapper drops lines in an anomic higher register is like crossing a club from chillout room to dance floor, tweaking or sober; your mileage may vary. Few songs summon what their titles demand.

Iris Xie: A glowing haze, like an extended intro that serves as a cold mist over Bktherula’s rapping. What I find most taking about this track is how the ambient synths float over the vocals, reminding me of the 5 a.m. moments right before cars start driving, with a fluorescent off-aqua spreading over the sky.

Brad Shoup: This stays in second gear, resolutely, and she’s fine with it. It’s dreamy but not sunny. There’s barely a hint of dread — if there is, it’s from the Us joke — just a ride on a chemical cloud.

Jonathan Bradley: Two bass tones pushing, first one and then the other, and that’s all there is. “Tweakin’ Together,” like Dej Loaf’s “Try Me” or Everything But the Girl’s “Missing,” is a song in which the loudest sound is the big black hole of absence threatening to swallow what noise remains, but those other tracks sound huge and glittering next to this amnesiac emptiness. Bktherula’s flow is fully formed, but it exists only as an imprint, like the archaeological remains of a civilization that’s been millions of years abandoned.

Vikram Joseph: This sounds like a conversation half-overheard lying on the grass late at night at a festival — the dazed throb of a house beat in the distance, slurred words that most of the time you can’t quite make out, a slow fade as whoever’s talking walks further away from you. You won’t remember a single detail, but it might return to you a few days later in some shapeless form, and it’ll feel good, but you won’t know where you remembered it from.

Kylo Nocom: All I hear when I listen to stuff like this is somebody with a great taste in beats and terrible ideas for what to do with them — i.e. nothing.

Katherine St Asaph: Are we at the point where new artists have “Pour It Up” as an explicit influence? Which is to say this sounds like 2012; which is to say it induces some potent time-tripping, hazy and unreal; which is a personal, subjective reaction, but also exactly how the beat and Bktherula drifting over it sound.

Oliver Maier: A handful of rap projects — Drain Gang and its constituents spring to mind — are hard at work merging the kinetic energy of trap with the near-ambient lightness of cloud rap. The bulk of it turns out pleasant but a little disposable, like glowsticks fizzling out after use, finding the right mood but not the right magic. “Tweakin’ Together” is different, ephemeral but totally enchanting at the same time, with Bktherula seeming to astral project through the whirling beat. The content of her brags aren’t the main attraction — it’s mostly the ease with which they spill out of her into melodies — but their incongruity with the surroundings makes for its own strange magnetism, as if the lyrics were beamed in from another dimension where they meant completely different things. Perhaps most striking of all is the absence of a kick drum; there’s the expected bass but no thump behind it. It works, though. Why force an anchor onto something that feels so weightless?

Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.