Review: Outlit – Foreign EP

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Foreign is the latest EP from producer, Outlit. Outlit is and up-and-coming producer out of the Los Angeles area and this collection comes to us by way of Blvnt Records.

What we have here is a five track collection of four beats and a vocal mix of the first song. What I am left with is what feels like a bit of a demo tape. A collection of beats collected together with no rhyme or reason, other than to gather enough songs to put out a project. Don’t get me wrong, at least not just yet. I definitely enjoyed what I heard, but I was not able to find anything that truly blew me away, or if I did, it was over just as it was starting.

Foreign is very short, even for an EP. I’ve listened to it twice all the way through as I hit the period on this sentence. I wish Outlit could string out some of these beats a little longer to allow for more complete-sounding ideas to have time to marinate on a track. Many of these tracks feel like snippets as opposed to complete songs. I feel like every time I really got into a groove on any given song, it was ripped away from me and interrupted by the next track just as quick as I was beginning to enjoy myself.

Now, I hope I haven’t scared all the listeners away just yet. For as short as this EP is, that means that it’s not much of a time commitment, which means you have no excuse not to give it a chance, which I think you should. Outlit is a producer that deserves to be on your radar as he shows a lot of potential here.

What I give Outlit props for is avoiding what almost every other Soundcloud producer does on all their tracks is disregard transitions. The biggest cliche on every beat I find on Soundcloud is the formula of having this huge build-up with a sudden stop, usually followed by a quick sample of a pop culture quote, and then the drop. Outlit understands the importance of smooth transitions, never stopping the song by “surprise” to introduce new sounds. Everything is in its right place and time and is like I said, smooth.

If I’m being specific about the ideas I enjoyed that got me grooving on this album, I could not help but bob my head to the choppy drums “Satin Dreams” and vibe out to the ethereal wind-like sounds over the warm, yet hard drums on “Night Walk,” a track that could not have a more fitting title. Those were the moments that stuck out to me the most.

Now, as said at the beginning of the review, there is a vocal mix of the first song, “Lifted.” I am not sure if the rapping on this was handled by Outlit himself, or by someone else, but it reminded me a lot of something I would have heard on Mac Miller’s Delusional Thomas EP from a few years ago. Personally, I could’ve done without it, but I don’t think it takes anything away from the beat either. The effects on the voice rapping, while mixed well with the instrumentals, often make it difficult to understand what is being said, which can get distracting.

Foreign, while short, is still worth at least a quick listen as Outlit shows a lot of promise to be capitalized on in the future. I’m definitely interested in hearing where this producer goes next with the right time and effort behind the music. (Johnny Athey)

7/10

For fans of: Archy Marshall, Nujabes, Stooki Sound

 

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