With music proliferating at an explosive rate, it’s often difficult to wade through the morass and discover new artists, or artists who have been toiling away at their craft for years, unable to rise above the noise. The ability to create rudimentary sounds or beats with inexpensive software means that the stream-waves are crowded with hacks and poseurs who have no business making music. Artists of great talent can find themselves drowned out in the ensuing cacophony.
For the purposes of this designation, undiscovered gem, I mean an artist with under ten thousand monthly streams on Spotify. While monthly streams are an imperfect measure of an artist’s reach and popularity, stream counts are ubiquitous and still revealing.
At Droppin’ Knowledge, we will do the heavy lifting for you, and uncover those artists we think deserve more attention so you can use your listening time wisely.
The music of New York City producer Radicule is such an undiscovered gem. This is said not to diminish his art or denigrate his talent, but is noted to illustrate the fact that talented, compelling artists face obstacles when they try to rise above the din. Radicule is an artist who is worth your time and attention, and his impressive catalogue will provide you with much music to explore and enjoy.
Radicule has been creating music since at least 2014. His sound is bright and warm, and a bit woozy, too, sample-based mosaics that cut and chop R & B and soul chestnuts, and reimagine them in ways that are atmospheric and lush. If you visit Radicule’s Bandcamp page, you will also notice that covers of many of his albums feature anime and comic book art that is as rich and intricate as his sound, visual representations of the music that lies within.
Radicule uses Afrofuturism as a touchstone for his art, following the trail blazed by a diverse group of musicians from Sun Ra to Ras G, and this is also reflected in the graphic art he uses for his album covers, which he designs.
For Radicule’s forth-coming album, Ebony Eternal, he teams up with Richmond, Virginia rhyme artist CLWDWLKR, and the pair have teased two songs in anticipation of that long player, Cosmic Tombs / Gewwdtymes. The songs and their instrumental versions, are available on the EP of the same name.
The lead single, “Cosmic Tombs,” is luxuriant, with sparkling piano, a stacked, angelic chorus and strings, and CLWDWLKR’s spitting blends well with the sound, a little MF Doom in his flow, which is smooth and unconstrained, as he rides the beat. It’s a beautiful song and CLWDWLKR doesn’t waste a breath.
The second single, “Gewwdtymes,” is also effervescent. CLWDWLKR’s articulation is less clear here; his voice, run through some effects, wobbles and weaves along with the music. The overall vibe of the song is warm and comforting, as it envelopes you in its grace.
The two songs are short, but if you listen to the instrumental versions, you can get a sense of Radicule’s meticulous beat-building; he’s constructing a palace of sound; as the music unfolds and cascades, it reaches unexpected and surprising places and lifts your spirits.
At the beginning of the month, Radicule released a collection of odds and ends, flips and remixes, that is also revelatory. Even his clutter, his “drifts” and “unfinished beats” as he calls them, are worth a listen and show his dexterity with sound and texture.
In the middle of the summer, Radicule dropped the EP Nights Before Eternal, a five song instrumental set that also shows off his considerable talents as a beat maker. It’s a little more disconcerting than Cosmic Tombs / Gewwdtymes, the storm before the calm perhaps, because it feels as though there’s more tension in the music; its more trippy, too, as if the music were filtered through gauze, stretched out and jagged, like a road winding through a scenic mountain pass, littered with stones.
Give a listen to Radicule’s collection from August, Sesame Kids. This one has a sheen to it, synthesizer washes ebb and flow, the percussions clicks and pops, it’s a late summer album, verdant and still full of the season’s promise.
Radicule is an artist to watch and follow, the pleasures of his music will reveal itself to you in interesting ways, both on the first listen and with subsequent immersions into his art. The Beat Bohemian is worthy of your time, a true undiscovered gem of an artist.
Photos courtesy of Radicule. Top photo courtesy of Radicule and Frank Funigiello.
Connect with Radicule on Bandcamp: