Wednesday, September 6, 2017

3 Feet High & Rising: Echo Park-based Class Ring Unleash Kanye, Passion Pit, James Blake & Star Slinger-indebted Class Ring EP (self-released)

"[Class Ring] EP is a fully independent production/release written and produced by myself and a handful of friends. I'm from the Los Angeles area, always made music, mostly was a drummer in bands and within the past couple years, have made the jump from making beats on my laptop to producing my own music and eventually, putting out this project. I definitely have plans to continue working and releasing music. Hopefully, some live shows, if I can book them and get some people that want to listen haha," Class Ring producer and multi-instrumentalist "Spencer" described within a recent emaile. Prior to his very recently released Class Ring EP, Spencer had only uploaded two projects to his newly-formed Soundcloud page: 13-minute Summer Mixtape and "Crafty," both quietly released within the last 1-2 months. Class Ring EP is fittingly tagged on Soundcloud as "Trip Hop, Ambient, Downtempo, Hip Hop, Chillwave, Beats, Sample, Drum & Bass, Funk, Soul, R&B, Psychedelic, Lush, Pop/Funk, Indie, 808, Trance, and Horns;" some of which are a bit more broad genre labels than others, but I personally feel as though Spencer & Friends' Class Ring EP simply sounds like an Indie Rock/Electro-Pop collection made by a bunch of Hip-Hip-loving musicians. "Thank you to everyone that inspired and helped build this," Spencer gushed within the Soundcloud liner notes to his Class Ring EP.

Upon my first listen to Class Ring EP, I was instantly reminded of James Blake, Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, Star Slinger's early body of work, Passion Pit's Chunk of Change EP, Girl Talk's 2006 mash-up album Night Ripper, and fellow 3 Feet High & Rising honorees, Krrum. While the entirety of Class Ring's 23-minute 41-second EP is indeed worth multiple listens, but Spencer & Friends really hit their stride with Tracks #3-6 starting with echoey, guitar-drenched Antonio Rodriguez-assisted "Fields." Now, Class Ring EP closer "Woman" really is something to experience, as well—it's almost one of those moments that can't even be explained—and once it's over, you're left saying, "damn, that's it!?" Class Ring EP was entirely written and produced by Class Ring (Spencer) & Friends, who include "Fields" guitar virtuoso Antonio Rodriguez, Alex Evert, Alex Ochoa, Alex Tirheimer, and Joe Cho. Class Ring EP is additionally accompanied by three "moving pictures"/still videos for EP stand-outs "FIELDS," "SONAR," and "WHO KNOWS" with visuals entirely shot and directed by Spencer himself. Class Ring EP is currently exclusively available on Soundcloud, but Spencer (@ClassRingMusic) recently stated he "might make the EP free for download. Or I'll send you a physical copy with extra tracks & remixes..."

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