June 17, 2011

Chris Daly owns four kitchen sinks, all made out of matching marble rye.

I first mistook Daniel Vangel’s debut full-length album title, Breadth Control, as a simple, but clever, play on words. Upon repeated listens, however, it became abundantly clear that the title is, in fact, a personal challenge. Vangel produces such thick and layered beats that presumably, reining in his muse is a bitch. These are kitchen sink beats, full to the point of overflowing.

Vangel’s work stands out because it doesn’t seem to adhere to any particular genre, yet hungrily incorporates everything under the sun, from post-dub to indie rock to jazz to psychedelia. His arsenal includes a culmination of crazy loops, samples, field recordings and live instrumentation. However, the standard beat comparisons end there. This music is in no way beholden to old skool hip-hop beats, coming off as something both more bombastic and symphonic. I do not foresee Nocando spitting over these in this lifetime, (or at least not until someone develops even more potent strains of weed), and he’s been making waves as the guy that can rap over anything, beat music included. That being said, these beats are mesmerizing, drawing the listener into the audio maelstrom without allowing him/her to be swallowed up and spit out by it. Yes, it’s at times a whirlwind, but that just means it will keep you moving and thinking a lot.

Breathing is an important concept on Breadth Control, as evidenced by track titles (“Breathe Me In”) and an on-going skit (Inhale & Exhale, warm-up and cool-down), and it’s easy to understand why. According to Yogis and Native American peoples, breathing is sacred, bringing with it life and well-being, while at the same time releasing negative energies. (One Yogi also has a lot to say about picnic baskets, but that’s a different post for a different time.) The Toronto-born and bred producer is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, though it never sounds forced or out of place. Often, producers fall into the trap of trying to put too much into their beats. Vangel avoids the pitfall, assumedly by breathing deeply as he launches into this beast of a workout.

David Vangel – Sandpaper Script (FREE DOWNLOAD) by Equinox Records

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