I generally don’t have the time to give many projects repeated listens, but “SSV3” by two Twin Cities based producers, Psymun & Damacha, has commanded a few listening sessions, largely because of its interesting sound and range of feeling. Damacha is a name that is new to me, but I’ve been following Psymun’s work for some time now. Psymun has always had a knack for alluring rhythms, and that tradition is continued in this collaborative effort.
The album has 18 tracks total, 8 of which are collaborations with the two producers sharing credits. The 10 remaining tracks are split between the two of them, producing 5 tracks each on their own. It’s easy to recognize why the two decided to connect for this joint venture, as the individual sounds mesh well together. The project features a variety of vocal guests, mostly (possibly all, though I didn’t recognize some names) Twin Cities based artists such as K Raydio, Prizm of 925ve, Rich Garvey (who just released his Rich in Spirit EP), Chantz Erolin, Lipset, Sophia Eris (of The Chalice), and some Audio Perm affiliates.
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“Me, Natalie” with Chantz Erolin & Sophia Eris is a clear standout track. It’s one of the Psymun solo produced tracks and is a perfect example of his captivating musical vibe. It sounds like the theme music for a walk thru an enchanted forest. Chantz does a great job of conceptually merging life challenges and the various escapes they inspire with social consciousness and witty wordplay.
K. Raydio consistently delivers quality on “SSV3” with her three offerings, “Flight,” “G S**t,” and “Lobby Music.” Upon hearing these three tracks I envisioned the possibility of a full album and how intoxicating it would likely sound.
“(YO) The Movement” is a Damacha produced track, which is beautiful in its use of lush pianos, simultaneously sounding rugged with punchy drums that move along with an occasional stylistic drunken stutter-step, all in all creating a great musical background that Prizm feels and sounds perfectly at home on.
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As you might hope and/or expect from a production-based project, the highlight quite often is the beats, including the vocal-less offerings. The album opener “Hyperghosts” is an excellent mood setter. “Moped Racing In The Underground Tunnels Of Shibuya” is easily on of my favorite beats on the project and has a bit of a hypnotic feel, which is not great for operating a motor vehicle, despite the song’s title. Damacha’s “36 Views Of Mt Hood” is bold in its deviation from a typical hip hop rhythm, which is true of the album and their styles in general, but perhaps to a slightly more or at least different degree here.
“SSV3” a.k.a “Secret Sauce Volume Three” is one of those projects that inspired me to do a Google search to make sure I’m not missing any other notable tracks from the artists. A quick search educated me that Damacha has already released four other instrumental projects in 2013, including a two-song Frank Ocean remix single with Psymun. A quick skip thru listen of the projects convinced me that they are all well-worth hearing in full when time permits. I had already been a fan of previous Psymun works such as “Purple Crush,” “Marsh Pond,” and “Paws,” but found a few more unknown projects on his Bandcamp page that I should acquire for my listening pleasure.
Available on CD or cassette tape, “SSV3” is the type of project that delivers appropriate theme music for a nice summer evening, a rainy spring day, an early fall sunset, or a dark winter night, diverse and creative explorations into your musical consciousness…
Catch Kevin Beacham and Siddiq’s hip-hop show H2 every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on 89.3 The Current. Their all-Minnesota hip-hop show, H2 Local, airs Tuesdays at noon and Wednesday nights at 11 p.m. on the Local Current stream. You can listen to the Local Current stream at thecurrent.org/local, on HD radio in the Twin Cities at 89.3 HD2, and via the MPR Radio app, which is available for iPhones and Androids.