There was a time where I envied the older generation for being able to once play cassette tapes. Back in the day, people can listen to tapes and hear beats all day. They can even play it to their friends, so they can dance, sing and rap. But now, we all get tapes to do whatever we want, and thanks to labels like Leaving Records, it doesn’t have to feel like we missed out on the future.
Released as improvised beats recorded onto tape, dakim is a dirty lo-fi collection of beats that sound like extensions of both future hop and cosmic jazz-hop exercises. These exercises range from beats that sound funky on its own, like mental exercises, or like music that was made to calm you rather than get people out of their seat. Soap begins with “Loom” on the Ailment side. Sounds of blinking flourescent lights, and train passes give you an impression of a futuristic metropolis. Before you thought this was going to go elsewhere, “Drudgery” breaks into a cosmic jazz-hop two step.
About the titles, AILMENT and HEALING, side A and Side B respectively, they aren’t exactly relevant to the listening experience. You will find yourself trying to find the concept of the titles within the sound of the music, but both of them contain a round of some of the most psychedelic beats you’ll ever hear. Psychedelic meaning some are twisted or shapeshifting, some are luminous, some are just plain bright as the sun that hits the- windchimes on your porch.
“Squeeze” is much more quick in tempo, energetic, and spellcasting in the synth sounds. Another is “Stretched” a track that sounds better for most when applied mentally than for dancefloor duties. Ailment closes with Return to Zero which mixes the percussive duties of white noise with synth saxes just enough to balance funky and tranquil. Even Rhodes-like keyboard help butter up the sounds just enough to make a fitting end to side A.
“Resolving” begins the Healing side with sunshone melodies, while beats like “Delighted” and “RTZ3” have more of a dystopic and omewhat twisted feel to it. Underneath “Always There” bubbles some steel drum/electric piano sounds to feed an impression of being underwater rather than underground.
Simply put, Soap is another improvised ace in the hole for avant beatmaker dakim, whose compositions may have been recorded on tape (limited edition tape, I might add), but listening to it is a lot like listening to a future of music some never really saw coming.