All words: Lu Makoboka
PUSH PLAY & CARRY ON READING:
For years now, peers and fans have pleaded with Benjamin McCarthy (aka ORACLES) to release an EP or full-length project… On the 15th of July 2019 – after a string of maybe’s and explanations – the people finally got what they want with the release of ‘Well Rested in Peace’.
The sound of Ben’s first album I would imagine captured many by surprise if they’ve been acquainted with his works as ‘ORACLES’ or his contributions as a member of ‘The World of Birds’. I say so because A) the project was released under an alternative moniker ‘Mama Aiuto’ (pronounced i-you-too) and B) audiences are introduced to a style never before heard from the Cape Town-based producer. ‘ORACLES’ consists of attention-snatching drops and ostentatious production techniques, whilst his side project ‘Mama Aiuto’ serves to decorate our background through the genres of Downtempo and Chillhop.
This album opens up with ‘Bby Who’ which pretty much acts as a preview to the overall vibe of the project. This was actually one of the tracks I felt expressed the most musical range with the addition of those guitar riffs which travel across the stereo-field. With a closer listen, you’ll also notice the beginning of the track is laced with a particular sound which emulates a tape-like effect.
On the subject of tape, the theme of the album has a vintage feel because of the repetitive use of texture, a popular trend within Chillhop. ‘Golden Virginia’ and ‘Fuzzy Brain’ (actually how I’m feeling as I write this) are certainly the gems of the album. Throughout the project Alan Watts snippets are scattered all over and ‘Golden Virginia’ is one of the tracks we hear his voice. I think part of the reason Fuzzy Brain and Golden Virginia stand out is primarily because of the movement of the drums and exquisitely arranged keys.
Ultimately this is a beat tape that’d be perfect for diving into after a long day of work by virtue of the subzero instrumentals. And if you are a student… Consider this your new go-to study music as the echoes of ‘Well Rested in Peace’ aren’t begging for your attention to sound beautiful.