December 14, 2019

Nary Da Producer - The Chill Out Volume I Review

Nary Da Producer - The Chill Out Volume I Review

Nary Da Producer - The Chill Out Volume I Review

Following our at-length interview with Pittsburgh hip-hop beat maker Nary Da Producer, there's a lot to unpack. Whether it's his most recent productions, such as Cuban Pete's single Nothin's Gonna Stop Me, or his fulfillment of a childhood dream in producing four cuts for a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate, on Solomon Child's 2019 album Wu-Tang BBQ, Nary is hitting the bars of his MPC hard, and now, swerving in just in time for the holidaze is Nary Da Producer's first in a themed series of beat tapes, The Chill Out Volume I!

While this is the first volume of The Chill Out, it's not the first beat tape that Nary Da Producer has been known to drop, as his regular series, simply titled The Beat Tape, has already seen six iterations, and even though Nary already has The Beat Tape 7 on deck, his unveiling of The Chill Out series is purposed exactly for what the title (and artwork) displays.

The most striking and noticeable feature of Nary's production when listening to this most recent offering is his industry-grade skill and also his soulful, J-Dilla-inspired soul. As he states in our interview, his love of soul, R&B, and also the golden era of hip-hop are what end up washing over every instrumental cut that is on deck here. His use of funky and jazzy licks are emotionally arresting, as "Mellow Situation" plays out to a beautiful trumpet and piano duet, which recalls a late-night city club atmosphere on a snowy night. As Nary mentioned in an earlier conversation, this is the right one to release for the holidaze, and it can be heard very clearly as the Tape begins to unfurl. "A Dream" continues this festivity with a hip-hop-styled exercise full of jingling bells and holiday chimes, and Nary proceeds to play around with the sample and let it ride out. "A HipHop Story" pulls in the focus with a jazzy saxophone and melodic chimes, and they also keep with the chill out and holiday vibes of the opening credits.

Of course, there's always some beats in place to even raise everything a notch higher here, with "China Connects", as it breaks up the beat tape's chosen style in favor of a more cinematic, Eastern musical rendition that is pushed through Nary's magical hip-hop filter. The kung-fu and action-inspired cut should make anyone who considers themselves fans of the Wu appreciate and revel in the intensity of Nary's (karate) chops. "Grimey Winterz" leaves some of the Eastern region strings in, and it teases out a singer's sustained croon while stringed instruments play off of her gut-wrenching despair. The emotion and soul is strong with this one, and the string section especially just glistens with Madlib Beat Konducta influence. It sounds and feels like a grimey winter indeed.

By this point, we are halfway through the experience that Nary Da Producer has guided us through. While nodding heads and pulling heartstrings, Nary is hardly finished, as he's saved some of his best for the second half of The Chill Out! "Imaginary Dreams" gets downright chilling (no pun intended) in its theatrical and soulful heights, and it's no wonder that one of Nary's biggest influences is the great Jay Dee. The soul singer featured here flutters and screams out to the heavens as the drums punctuate the clouds. Overall, all the instruments, the strings, bass, drums, and voice, all coalesce and meld into a sultry and vivid musical painting. "The Essence" sounds and feels as if Nary is a chef, sprinkling his sweet and aromatic ingredients into a mixing bowl, while the rest of us listeners are in the other room, kicking back on expensive furnishings and enjoying the fine wine of his soul's lounge, while "Murder For Da Art" settles into another slow-paced and introspective loop, bringing the energy down for a soft landing.

By the final two cuts, it's apparent that from all the previous tracks, the ecstasy has been released and it's only fitting that The Chill Out Volume I closes out with two love songs. "Romance" is the beginning of that coda, and it hits its stride with a beautiful and wistful piano loop and a playful set of drums. It's a melancholy, but a fitting penultimate track. "True Love Don't Come Easy" is a the final statement of The Chill Out, and its melody and beat are founded on the message of true love and holding onto it tight and not letting go. Its sendoff is spectacular, and from witnessing the amount of heart and soul that is put into The Chill Out tape, it's clear that Nary knows what's most important in music and life.

The Chill Out Volume I is a beautiful exploration of multiple themes and emotions. While a sidestep from his usual Beat Tape series, it makes a statement all of its own accord and holds up as a standalone work of art and lesson in beats. Whether he is working with high-profile emcees or continuing to release his own series of instrumental hip-hop, Nary Da Producer shows no signs of stopping, and in fact, seems to be pushing forward stronger than ever before. Keep him on your radar, and on repeat, for you'll be hearing much more from him soon!

Chill Out Volume I - 9/10

Recommended Tracks: China Connects, Grimey Winterz, Imaginary Dreams