5 Under 5000: Beautiful Bangers

SoundCloud remains as one of best ways to access unique and underappreciated music. 5 Under 5000 spotlights five artist who haven’t yet hit the milestone of 5000 followers on the platform, but really should’ve by now.

King Malone

King Malone’s latest body of work, an EP entitled Chill, may be a brief one, but it’s a project that exposes a plethora of personality that defines his work. His motormouth flow is packed with comical bars, such as in opener ‘NovacayN’ where he rightfully mocks the cheese/tomato distribution in a certain pizza chain – “You Pizza Hut, cause you too cheesy.” However, one of the most impressive aspects of King Malone is that his flow is as malleable as it is speedy, throughout Chill, production such as the skeletal trap bounce of ‘Ok!! Yah!!’, the blown out ominous synths of ‘Ransom’ and the gothic glitches of ‘I Ain’t Worried’ all prove the be the perfect home for his skills to thrive.

His Soundcloud channel may be an essential avenue to access his material, but he uses YouTube to further expose his personality, where he easily adapts to recent chart mainstays like Lil Pump’s ‘Gucci Gang’ and Future’s ‘Mask Off’ while he’s accurately burrowed the styles of Ski Mask and XXXtentacion and rightfully earned a high play count for it. There’s a sense that King Malone is king at anything he attempts, so hit the follow button.

MERAKI

MERAKI’s music leans heavily into current R&B and hip hop, so, production-wise, you’ll know what to expect, deep bass rumbles and dense synthscapes, however, her voice is a central draw as its defined by its unpredictable quality and versatility. She has a variety of vocal tricks to deliver, such as the detached flow on ‘EXCLUSIVE’, the falsetto wails of ‘Raspberry’ and breathy intimacy of ‘Thing For Me’. ‘Bells’, her most recent release, is her greatest accomplishment so far though, as she blends a whimsical vocal into the bubble bounce to craft a striking track that reveals an exciting future for MERAKI.

Mongo

Video games somewhat plays into Mongo’s aesthetic, the artwork for ‘Clearly’ shouts-out the classic Mega Man series and ‘Chop’ greets you with Crash Bandicoot’s familiar “WOAH”, yet it’s refreshing to see an artist who knows how to play these influences a little more subtlety, considering the garishness that plagues artist in the depths of SoundCloud when it comes to incorporating these influences.

‘All Stars’ reveals how that boy effortlessly floats over beat, ‘Clearly’, which is produced by XanBaby80k, (easily the best producer name discovered on this Soundcloud excursion), reveals he can be simultaneously braggadocios and introspective, while ‘Workin’ is a quietly hilarious. Each new track exposes a new facet of his musical personality, and, as he continually polishes his sound, it’s surely not long till we get the definitive Mongo sound.

Jay James

Instead of a long-winded list of plaudits, personal endeavours and accomplishments, Jay James’ websites bio is a simple list that reads “20. Independent music producer, composer, audio engineer & songwriter” – there’s a sense that this is all you need to know about him, and speaks to how he’s an artist whose life is deeply defined by music. This musicality is found within the music that can be sampled via Soundcloud, but what really draws you in is the emotional impacts released by the sonic backdrops. ‘come as you are’ is a meditative combination of piano rings and sleepy brass, drenching it in thoughtful melancholy, while ‘polaroids’ features three vocalist in redd, chrxstal and lydon, who accurately interpret the vibe of the track, yet the James’ instrumental still shines with its jazzy playful guitar and omnipresent warm bass. Jay James is the perfect artist for those who have a deep appreciation for masterful instrumentals.

felix lee

Despite promise of a 2017 (soon come), the London based felix lee’s (who also doubles as an accomplished DJ) Soundcloud channel has been deserted all year, however, that doesn’t exempt it from a visit, because 2 extraordinary eps still reside there. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> is full of intriguing soundscapes, dominated by untameably colourful synths that simultaneously recall Arca and Rustie. While 5TARB01 EP is the more intense experience driven by pulverising beats and razor-edge roars. Regardless of the style felix is trying out on an ep, they’re remain reliably transcendental experiences.

Connor Cass

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