Dancing Astronaut Presents 5 Under 5k: Vol. 12
5 Under 5k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented upcoming and undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition of 5 Under 5k will highlight five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 5,000 followers on SoundCloud (at the time of writing).
Caught just in time to still qualify, KLARHK (4,959) has a phenomenal style that adeptly utilizes both melodic and rhythmic elements to effectively propagate the theme of each track. One sign of a great artist is the ability to combine these two cornerstones of music, while varying the focal point within each individual track.
KLARHK’s latest track, “Last Jungle,” is much less focused on rhythmic elements — and not quite as bass-heavy — compared to his older tracks. Focusing on the melodic elements of spacey synths and brightly-affected vocal samples, KLARHK puts together a piece of music that will easily please a wide variety of listening preferences.
Ruby Empress (3,586) has a sound with an almost unbelievable smoothness to it, which is hard to do while keeping the raw, genuine feeling that makes indie-electronic music so sensational. At times striking similarities to Ratatat, which, when mixed together with elements such as Ruby Empress’s wonderful indie-style vocals, create a beautiful kind of funk.
“Deluca” has a carefree groove and elegant bassline that suggest relaxed days spent out in the sun. Simple and sophisticated instrumental layers let the catchy falsetto vocals stay at the forefront for the most part, though an instrumental break for the last minute switches this up and makes for an extremely enjoyable listen through and through.
With his SoundCloud history going back less than a month, the Johannesburg-based Jason Rodgers (242) is only just getting started. Already, he has an intriguing sound that makes it obvious that he has put his self-diagnosed “frantic OCD with basslines” to excellent use.
The aptly-named “Basic Shapes,” alternates between nonchalant breaks and main beats almost constantly underpinned by a captivating bassline. Relatively simple bass patches, when combined in such a way as this, prove to be well thought out and tastefully designed – rolling through the other layers to be the solid focal point of the drop without being overpowering or crowding up the low end.
It’s always comforting to have reassurance that the funk is alive and well. Although it takes a little searching to find sometimes, new artists such as Midnight Club (3,143) are providing this reassurance.
Classic funk sounds abound in “My Mind” – muted guitar picks, cowbells, a funky, effortless-sounding bassline holding up the low end – that mix well with a more contemporary house beat. Keeping things simple is key in this type of music, as certain aspects are meant to take prominence, such as the bassline and the repeated vocal hook – which really is the icing on this tasty disco cake.
Another one caught just in time to qualify for 5 Under 5k, octn (4,985) is a Finnish future bass producer that seems determined to keep things interesting. A subtle fuzz can be heard on much of octn’s heavy, yet balanced, low-end, providing a dynamic texture and depth that lead to an overall authentic and raw sound.
Octn uses syncopation and arpeggiation to his advantage, especially in “360.” Fast synth and percussion patterns dance on top of the foundation provided by his dapper basslines, slowing down for dreamy, atmospheric breaks.