He kicked off 2016 with a new project called convert. At 22 beats, j^p^n fiddles between many sounds flipping jazz, soul and genres that can’t be pinpointed after being manipulated by the Japanese producer. Since dropping convert, he’s also taken to his SoundCloud to drop 19 more beats (in the last 22 days) without a project. And this output didn’t even begin in 2016, he dropped over 70 beats in 2015 (most being since September — he’s had a run of beat tapes every two months since) over 3 projects and SoundCloud singles.
This article began as a simple praise towards one of his beats that popped up on my feed called “sentiment. .” It’s a two-part beat like many of his creations, but everything feels so right from the vibe to the sample flips to the technicality. It’s all perfected underneath the vinyl dust. The drums swing into side-chains that are then followed by an angelic vocal flip. It feels like a Disney movie that we never got to see. It feels like the better memories of nostalgia. The beat switch is warm and lazy — the good type of lazy, the way you enjoy your Sundays. It’s the send off of the memories that bubble back in the first half of the track.
Now take this ear adventure I just described and experience it over the 100+ beats he’s released for us. Some are better, but many don’t fall short. To showcase another one out of the collection, I’d pick “sway. ” from convert. It’s the second track on the project. The beat kicks off with tip-toeing hi-hats surrounded with an amusingly chopped vocal sample — reminds me of a Madlib flip and I don’t pass that comparison out like nothing. The vocal flip is on an adventure with these drums. They ride a wave of volume changes that your head nods along to. You feel like you know the diddy they’re singing. The beat tails off with a mysteriously drawn-out version of the first half of the track as a cherry-on-top contrast.
I could go on and on about the production of j^p^n, but I recommend you go over to his SoundCloud and click play on the first track or grab one of his “name-your-price” projects off of Bandcamp. There’s a lot to go through and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.