Chris Ayler has been an artist that we’ve profiled a few times in this space, including discovering the innate talents of the then 17-year old to his collaboration with Baltimore rapper King Snxxp. Last week, the now 18-year old Ayler released his debut EP, 808’sFTW?. On the 5-track album, Chris returns to creating sonic landscapes. Wendy and Ben give their first impressions of the album. You can hear the entire album below and download the tracks for free!
From the first time I wrote about Chris Ayler, I was intrigued by his talent and gift for sound, tones, and textures. I was a bit puzzled by his collaboration with King Snxxp at first because it represented a significant departure from what he was doing – away from creating moody grooves to hip hop beats. With his first EP, 808’sFTW?, Chris has returned to what he does best. The track that best exemplifies this, and the best song on the EP, is “NewBegins”, which is borderline ambient with flares of garage and house music. “LaserLightShow“ was a track that was written about previously, and its chaotic nature does still make me feel like I’m stick inside a laser light show. “GodZeela” has an electronic, club feel to it. I think one of the better known DJs might steel the dubs and overdubs from this track. “Clutch” has promise. It’s creative in adding the play-by-play of the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, but I wanted it to finish on a high note, like the feeling you get in making that final shot. “PintWater” is a take on the trend these days with chiptune music. It’s a little zany and fun. It needs a bridge, though, to bring it to another level.
Overall, for his first EP, Chris has done an excellent job. This effort just further demonstrates how gifted he is and he’ll soon be a long sought-after producer.
I am not familiar at all with Chris Ayler but always up for listening to new music I wouldn’t normally be listening to and giving a little feedback. I have recently become a fan of instrumental tracks whether it be sweeping melodies with strings and guitars, or even some beats to an extent. Heavy bass is not one of my hot buttons but after listening to Chris Ayler’s 808’sFTW? EP I enjoyed “New Begins” and can see that as a cool chill track I can listen to on the way to work on the train. “LaserLightShow” is a little too bass heavy for my taste but I do see how this young talent could be utilized for beats or as a producing liason for other artists. “GodZeela” has a that nice spacey vibe before the bass kicks in but I do enjoy the different elements he is using even though it is not what I gravitate towards. I like the basketball sampling in “Clutch” and the final track “PinkWater” reminds me of some video game sampling which is pretty popular these days. Overall I would say this is a step in the right direction for creating his own breaks/beats and possibly being sampled in the future by some major artists in the pop/rap hip hop genres.
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