Bands We Like: LA's Beat Manipulator Nosaj Thing
This is, quite literally, not your dad’s hip hop.
In fact, parts of it don’t sound even remotely like boom bap and rhymes, but be sure that this is the direction LA producers are taking it. Like fellow Angelean acts Flying Lotus and TOKiMONSTA, Nosaj Thing builds beats around dream-like sonic textures. Armed with an MPC and a sense for tweaking drum sounds, he demonstrates how live a laptop DJ set can be. Finally! A little action and not just the screen’s glare on a face pale from years of basement habitation. Nosaj Thing clearly knows his way around 16 pads, turning complex sound triggering into an effortless dance.
Since his first full length, 2009’s Drift, Nosaj Thing has done a number of notable remixes, like this one of The xx’s “Islands.” Nosaj Thing has a way of deconstructing a track and building it into something new before your ears. It’s a technique that’s especially notable on his remix of Radiohead’s “Reckoner.” Nosaj lets Thom Yorke’s vocals play out before dicing them into bits. It’s this attention to detail that gives Nosaj Thing’s production real replay value. He’s currently working on his next release, and the collaborations carry the kind of star power only true beat nerds can dig: Jon Hopkins, Daedelus, and Dorian Concept, to name a few.
Check out a particularly solid little mix Nosaj Thing did on KEXP earlier this year.
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