Lo-Fi Masterpiece — Youtaro’s ‘Turn Of RawTip’ Album
During the same year this project was released, I would recall walking through the blistering winds and atop the coated ice sheaths on the sidewalk while playing this on my headphones.
Although the sun would vibrantly radiate its strength unto the pavement, it still wasn’t enough to relay mercy on my bare hands and ears. Such an odd soundtrack for an awkward period.
The underground German label Radio Juicy was still aggregating enough props and international notoriety by the time this EP was released under their name. Youtaro was a subtle, locally respected figure in the incremental lo-fi Hip-Hop scene, which gave the label a fine push towards accruing prestige.
With tidbits of expository works here and there, his main power comes from this 21-track album. His artistic prowess lightens up in the form of unique snare patterns and compressed samples of which others of the subgenre have not yet traversed.
Besides his first effort, Cookin Tape Vol. 3 (2013), this is the staple project which will continue to allow Youtaro to build his name in one of the prevailing forms of Hip-Hop production.
This compilation is composed of whirling, windy beats that pay homage to the 1980s aesthetic of VCR television, quirky advertising, and purple, hazy-coded television filters. Mix that with samples from omniscient rappers of the golden era to the light-hearted dedications to the lackluster technological capabilities of the twentieth century.
Many of the tracks here, although strange and often enticing to observe, are straightforward. Similar to J Dilla’s posthumous Donuts album, the appeal of the album comes from the varied selection of the flavors, colors, textures, inspirations, and hues of the beats.
As a result of the distinguished platter, the result comes in forms of varying emotions and appeals. As tracks such as She Sha and Snowday are touching vibrations that instill a moment of resonance, beats such as Hittin Switches and Green Pad are cold bumps, reaching for Hip-Hop clarity and speaking towards the deceased technical ancestors of time passed.
This is a fawning piece for such an album, but an album like this can be misunderstood by those who don’t focus on the sound. Something like this is not easy to develop. These odd sounds and radiating samples must be crafted in only such a manner deemed listenable, let alone reach an audience through such depths.
Even from these constructed methods do I still feel an emotional resemblance to these beats. The track She Sha, which samples Grover Washington Jr.’s The Best Is Yet To Come, is frivolously poignant and doesn’t take much to compel such an ironic feeling.
The track Blue is a strict loop pattern, arranged in methodical austerity. Something like this would otherwise be deemed “boring” or “unnecessary.”
Although, the elements enmeshed to develop such a luscious beat includes an airy beat pattern railing along billowing chords. Loop those two together and the essence of Hip-Hop sit there in full bareness.
The track Earwax follows the same routine, but with a different hue shade. So do the tracks Bwncees, Roll, and Holiday. As those tracks add life to the compilation, tracks such as One, Snowday, BOOOW, and She Sha are the beats that entice memories of late adolescence.
I would recall listening to the track Snowday during those arduous trips to the nearby store and back. Just like Snowday, the rest of the tracks range in between a one and a half and three-minute duration. The tracks purport as short moments. Through the different emotions begets different experiences that are felt during the brief exposure.
Through the hazy coded filters and dreamy beats are tracks filled with pleasurable noise. Youtaro directed his own project that mirrors his personality. Through his instinctual creativity, something like this has managed to become rather an underground relic.
At the time, I wouldn’t have noticed that something like this would generate such respect from lo-fi beat martyrs and searchers. And for that, I am thankful that Youtaro conducted something as surreal, and at the same time, peaceful.