By: Billy Bugara
GENRE: Breakbeat, Dance, Electronica
RELEASE DATE: 1/1/2020
The ever-expansive and equally chaotic world of breakbeat music was recently blessed by one of its newest, yet entirely provocative members earlier this year, as NANORAY kicked off 2020 with the release of TILT — an album that came out just as quick as the music itself would like it to.
Releasing quite literally at the top of the year – directly on January 1 – the third full-length installment in the rising producer’s discography is one that sees its divulging efforts into the hectic world of breakbeat hardcore go even deeper than any prior release thus far.
The spirit of this genre is felt with such immense veracity and appreciation from a holistic standpoint; the album wastes no time in projecting and reflecting its influences and where it derives its most essential facets from. The numerous instances of quirky sampling, new-aged and futuristic thematics, and of course, the prevailing frantic pace of each track’s percussion section confirm this notion in full.
Usually, this would make for an entirely standard release in this genre — one that perhaps serves, at best, the role of a hold-me-over project or something similar to that liking for fans to digest quickly and without much thought whatsoever. Yet, TILT makes itself apparent as something far more than that through more than a few specific embellishments that sit atop those baseline standards.
These facets are mostly found within the more ambient subsections that a plethora of tracks feature throughout the tracklisting. Rather than sticking to a wholly central fast-paced and frantic nature, the album takes these subdued breaks every so often that allow for a more cohesive experience to emerge from the listener’s perspective.
Tracks like “Tvee” showcase this sentiment in full effect — this track in particular coming through with a composition that is not too dissimilar from the menu music in a mid-2000s video game (truly, not a bad thing at all).
Actually, a variety of other provided tracks take that same approach and end up with similar results, and puzzlingly enough (especially for a genre like this), NANORAY is the only producer that effectively translates that exact image with such richness and authenticity. This fact all but proves how worthy of a listen the project as a whole really is.
More than anything else, this project proves that there is enough room for something completely fresh to be heard in a genre that seems almost too oversaturated at times like breakbeat is. It is almost as if NANORAY is out to disavow the common declaration that “all breakbeat songs sounds the exact same” and are “only meant for people who like ‘Dance Dance Revolution.’”
If that was the mission, consciously or not, then consider it complete for the time being. With this now-signature release out of the way, time will only tell where the talented producer goes from here, as there are so many more questions to be answered, and an equal amount drum loops to speed up.