Does guitar belong in lofi music?
A review on a few lofi tracks where the electric guitar is a major feature.
Remember the times where making a personalized playlist for a love one was a great act of love? Well... I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t born then. However, I do love the idea of making personalized playlist with an acquired taste. And with the mountainous rise of lo-fi music being streamed today in platforms such as YouTube and Spotify, I thought to myself, “Why not make a playlist of songs I want to hear, and share them with the world?”
At first I didn’t think much of it. I just made little playlists on my Spotify account and made them private. But more recently I have decided to put some more effort into refining them and showing them to the public. So, about three weeks ago I released my first little mixtape of lo-fi music, featuring one of my favorite instruments: the guitar. It only contains eleven tracks, but it will keep you chill for about twenty-four minutes.
The following paragraphs are reviews on each track:
01. Cherry Blossom - goosetaf, Timothy Infinte
Starting with a calm ethereal sound, followed by a smooth guitar and a chill beat, this track seemed like the perfect way to start the playlist. Bright bell sounding notes are a great contrast to the creamy guitar melody. Nothing is in your face, instead, everything seems to be perfectly calibrated for the best experience.
02. Waves Crashing on the Edge of Everything - Lamar Azul, The VYB Project
You hear the crack of the vinyl, the beat starts, then piano and its melody. But where is the guitar? Sounds just like any other lo-fi song with a strong beat. But just like a vocalist who knows how to make a smooth entry, the guitar on this track is singing. Once it comes in, you are grooving. Enjoying all the little different effects of cracks and perfect combination of the beat and guitar to keep the driving rhythm. Then, just as the storm calms, and you see the sunshine coming through the clouds, the synth joins in making whiling sounds. All I can say about this track is that you will have to listen to it many times in order to enjoy every facet of it. And just as the tracks opens, it closes with the machine being turned off.
03. free (at ease) – fantompower
Oh yes, the unfathomable feeling of freedom. Starting off with the airy yet grounded guitar, this track makes me feel like flying. As if I am going on an adventure written by Hayao Miyazaki himself. This track has some nice smooth vocals which follow the guitar in a beautiful way. No harsh lines on this track, just a great smooth pink sky.
04. Space Cadet - Philanthrope, Sleepy Fish
Probably one of my favorite tracks of all time, this track is so dynamic. It is a great contast to free (at ease). The delay effect of the introductory guitar along with the strong beat are perfect together. And then the beautiful creators of Space Cadet add the melodic guitar which seem like it is telling us all a story. I love the smooth turns this track presents us. Truly a beautiful track.
05. Lost Streets - Honshu Lo fi
Now, don’t get lost on the previous track. Once you hit Lost Streets you will feel like you are part of an anime walking through Tokyo streets. The guitar and drums are the driving forces in this track. Many different voices throughout the track to keep you hyped as you study. And just before it done running, it goes into slow motion, easing you to the end.
06. 1k – Ameba
Track six of the playlist is simple, well put together, driving, and will keep you focused. The simple beat and melodic part of the guitar are perfect to just lose yourself in and dive back into work.
07. Pearls - Epifania, imagiro
Probably one of my favorite lofi artist, imagiro joins hands with Epifania to make this beautiful track based off, what I belive, is a bolsa nova sample. The guitar and female voice sing together, and if life was a movie you would be walking down Copa Cabana with coconut water in hand. This is one of those tracks you just have to listen to in order to undertand.
08. thinking of you - mommy, Philanthrope, Kyle McEvoy
Now, after walking the streets to Rio, maybe its time to chill back home, and this track is the best to do that to. A consistent beat, guitar rhythm and melody, with beautiful stimulating background synths and sounds that will make you want to close your eyes. The detail in this track is so well executed, much like a classical Greek sculpture.
09. Fall's Echoes - Sleepy Fish
Sweet electric guitar delay and reverb work to make you feel like you are swimming under water. The beat comes in, and the beautiful bass notes starts to tell you a story. The track keeps you calm and interested.
10. Waiting for You - mell-Ø
The chorus effect (I believe) in this guitar is absolutely beautiful. The many voices of the guitar in this track is definitely singing. Never a dull moment.
11. Morning Dew - Matt Quentin
For the last track we prepare to say goodbye. The rain falls, and you start to dance as the piano keeps the tempo and the electric bright guitar sings like the birds in the background. This isn’t a forever goodbye, it’s a see you soon. Once the beat comes in, the bass also introduces itself, making beautiful lines that compliment the voice of guitar. Beautifully put together, and mixed. The right amount of everything, always making you want to come back.
If you would like to listen to this playlist on...