MOONY by Beressi
Genre: Instrumental Hip Hop
Favorite Tracks: “Sea Coast,” “Breeze,” “Sunset”
MOONY is a hidden gem in the ever obscure world of SoundCloud producing. Courtesy of ALWAYS PROSPER, this seven track mixtape of sample-based hip hop combines the gritty rhythmic pageantry of east coast hip hop with samples from eastern instrumental music to create something both relaxing and powerful. MOONY is a mix of cultures from both America and foreign lands. It’s something that although not all will discover, many should appreciate.
On MOONY, Beressi styles urban character to nature-dervied samples that creates something entirely singular. The mixtape kicks off and immediately screams soul, jazz, blaxploitation, and samurai film. The opening track, “Ghetto Anthem,” sets a tone of hip hop fusion, noire, and grit that maintains fluency throughout the EP. It continues in “Coast 2 Coast,” which combines a mix of slow, Dirty South-inspired drums with a flute loop sweeter than a fruit loop.
A personal favorite moment occurs on MOONY during “Sea Coast,” when an incredibly majestic flute from the origins of a mountain top conjoins with a hard-hitting kick-snare combo to make something incredibly evocative. While instrumental hip hop tends to lack the emotional punch singing or lyrics can provide, MOONY recreates such moments in other ways, via the awesome use of sampling and perfectly gritty New York-style drum programming. Despite this, there are certain points against MOONY that have to be acknowledged.
MOONY inevitably feels like a SoundCloud album. It lacks technical detail, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience of the mix. In addition to this, it’s a small-scale effort. I simply can’t judge it by the same standards I use to judge a 12 track LP. Seven tracks certainly have the potential to be powerful, but I don’t think Beressi is trying to be. While MOONY really shines as an inventive mix, I can’t call it any kind of masterpiece. The scope of the mix is myopic, but it’s intricate and very well done. Perhaps it’s the fate of these kinds of SoundCloud releases to have such a life. While there are highly refined LPs releasing every day, some of them years in the making, there are simultaneously less refined yet innovative projects such as MOONY that get released in equal measure. Something that MOONY and other small projects bring to surface is just how fun and powerful music can be when it’s in a more simplistic and rudimentary form.
Music is something that goes hand in hand with imagination, and I feel as if MOONY hits a sweet spot between something imaginative enough to yield an amazing music video, but groovy enough to rap to in the car, opening up the possibility of collaboration with more abstract rappers. There’s certainly something to be said when an independent artist releasing free music on the internet can make something distinct, fresh, and well done. It means we now see talent in new ways and new places. On MOONY, Beressi yanks and tugs at strings of hip hop in an exotic seven-track piece that I believe is certainly one of the chillest releases of 2016.