NATURAL EP, SELF-RELEASED
If there were such thing as a tropical snowstorm, OAK’s Natural EP would be its soundtrack. The first widely available release from this outfit encapsulates two distinct sounds and one cohesive feeling. Tribal drum hits simultaneously clamp onto and free first side and title track “Natural.” This is the prelude to a banshee-yell punctuated drop squeezed out like liquid bass ambrosia. Synthesized, breathy echoes rebound off the outer limits of each melodic stanza that follows in a grime-slicked mountain of holographic powder. “Chaotic Order” makes use of dystopian synths overtop a rolling snare to underscore a claptrap dance rhythm that would belong in a mythical forest on the Tropic of Cancer and a hazy, Aquarian basement alike. What sounds like a sample of Kendrick Lamar beatboxing off-the-cuff bullet sounds cuts into the latter track to make sure you haven’t let yourself walk too far into the grove without a map. Although the trap stylings on the EP can sound a bit amateurishly simple at times, other listeners might take that for meticulous minimalism. But think for yourself, fellow terrestrial vagabond. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare for an impromptu corporeal vacillation this month, spin Calgary’s OAK before the late-morning, controlled-substance recovery period.
By Andrea Rojas