Smoke Room
Vol. 2


4.5
superb

Review

by Andru Okenuf USER (32 Reviews)
July 20th, 2012 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A virtually unknown mixtape that’s so difficult to forget

For all the constant cries that mainstream music is overrated, that the best sounds you can hear come from unknown artists and that the music business is driven by marketability rather than talent, it is nonetheless rare to hear anything truly special from someone lacking any kind of serious following. But that isn’t to say it doesn’t happen.

To put it lightly, Kyle Y, aka Smoke Room, of Anaheim, California based Zoom Label Records, blew me away when I was directed to his bandcamp by sputnik user WashboardSuds. He manages to take an R&B aesthetic and mix it with beats that draw simultaneously from ambient artists and k-pop. As strange a combination as that is, he works it out in excellent fashion.

Opener “Boiler” sets the pace with fierce ambiance reminiscent of Tangerine Dream until its instrumental hip-hop style rears its head. Gripping and powerful without being overbearing, the track is an uncanny introduction to his varied talents. The not so subtle and incredibly immediate “Soyu” follows gorgeously, ditching the ambience in favor of exploding k-pop styled vocals, a better fit for a venue like Madison Square Garden than the majority of music that’s played there.

Throughout the mixtape, Smoke Room refuses to settle into a mold, with the modern hip-hop “GD&Top”, the Bjork-esque “No Love” and the glitchy “Moist” showing off a few of the many facets of Kyle’s talents. Still, he consistently stays down to earth, exemplified by the very chill “Swingset Mosaic”, which would not be out of place on a Clams Casino mixtape. Standout “Penetration”, however, intertwines all of his influences into something else entirely. Almost danceable, ridiculously infectious and altogether incredible, he has created a sound that would take many talented artists a career to find.

What’s perhaps even more incredible about this compilation is that it is merely a mixtape, a series of beats thrown haphazardly together by a single DJ. Whether or not Kyle eventually gets the notoriety he deserves remains to be seen, but in the meantime, he’s produced at least one exceptional mixtape, and you should be paying attention.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yay for slow days at work =]

Stream Vol 2 at http://yukoimada.bandcamp.com/album/vol-2-zl-09 and explore Smoke Room’s bandcamp at http://smokeroom.bandcamp.com/

LiquidVelvet
July 20th 2012


628 Comments


So ridiculously solid, I love his records. Smoke Room does such a good job at chopped&screwed mixes
for a genre that pretty much has never had any done, and his original work is fantatic. It's awesome
to see someone else who's heard of him. Great review, have a pos.

aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

haha sweet -- i had no idea people aside from kevin had actually heard of this dude

omnipanzer
July 20th 2012


21539 Comments


Asian chicks are extra cute.

Gyromania
July 20th 2012


15774 Comments


"A virtually unknown mixtape that’s so difficult to forget"

Why would you want to forget it?

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

omnipanzer
July 20th 2012


21539 Comments


So you can hear it for the first time all over again ovsly.

conradtao
Emeritus
July 20th 2012


2090 Comments


YES

aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@gyro - the implication was that it sticks out and stands above the multitude of forgettable bandcamps i've been directed to

@baseline - i already did silly, but here it is again: http://yukoimada.bandcamp.com/album/vol-2-zl-09

@omni - =3

Gyromania
July 20th 2012


15774 Comments


yeah, kind of implies that you've tried to forget it though. I'd rework it to something like, 'that won't soon be forgotten'. Just read the rest though. Pos.

I'll look into the album at some point since you've provided a stream.

aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

conrad - you dig this? =D

aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

only because you asked nicely dear

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2012


2714 Comments


"it is nonetheless rare to hear anything truly special from someone lacking any kind of serious following."

Ermm.... I don't know about that one. Though it probably has a lot to do with how you find music etc.

I liked the review. Thanks for rec'ing me this before it's really good.

Rev
July 20th 2012


9428 Comments


good review andy, dude rules hard

WashboardSuds
July 20th 2012


5017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

everyone's reviewing my favorite obscure albums this week!

Rev
July 20th 2012


9428 Comments


I'm actually making a point to write a review today


I wanna continue this trend, what should I review Kev?

WashboardSuds
July 20th 2012


5017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

got a list of things your thinking about reviewing?

WashboardSuds
July 20th 2012


5017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just saw my name referenced in the review, cheers Andy. glad you liked this as much as you did

aok
July 20th 2012


4433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@stranger - i don't listen to as much obscure stuff as you so i haven't really found a rhythm with finding that many random awesome albums, but this one found me and i'm grateful.

cheers dylan/kevin

ferociouslettuce
July 20th 2012


195 Comments


(joke involving baseline and penetration, the sexual kind)

WashboardSuds
July 20th 2012


5017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

added vol. 1 to the database. have you heard it yet Andy?



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