posted by Ivo
December 2023

In the last days of 2023 when most people are slowing down and reflecting on the past 12 months, one release could easily provide the necessary sonic means to ease your brain.

Drummer extraordinaire and all-around cool human being Ian Ewing caps 2023 with Gail - a lush and crispy sounding 5-track EP blending lofi hip hop, r&b, and electronica released via Nettwerk. This marks Ian's 4th EP in 2023 alone, so to say he's hard-working would be an understatement.

Ian is certainly not lonesome on this journey. The talented "Hummus Soldier" collaborates with vocalists McCall, Madeline Edwards, and Nic Hanson, adding their smooth vocals to complement Ian's rich downtempo instrumentation, elevating the project's overall mood. In a noteworthy contribution, Finnish instrumentalist cocabona appears on the second track, marking a reunion with Ian after their masterpiece "Leave" from the 4-track Where I'll Be released in June.

I've said this a million times, but here it goes again - Ian is someone I've been inspired by since the early days of Stereofox and seeing him grow and get the respect he deserves has made me hopeful about the fact that talented people always get recognition. Just in recent years the Cali-based producer has worked with the likes of Mick Jenkins, Galimatias, Cautious Clay, which should be enough of a testament.

Back to Gail, I want to highlight the diversity of sound in just 5 tracks. For those seeking a breath of fresh air on the lofi scene, look no further than the title track and opener "Gail" and "bubblebathbump". Super trippy!

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On the other hand, you've got really strong features and it's just impossible to rate "Views", "Call Out Work" and "Ships Passing" as each of the talented featured artists brings their energy and feel to the table. You've got both mellow, sexy, and intimate energy in all of them. What a well-rounded EP!

Stream on all major platforms here.

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