Instrumental Insight • Chicago's Digital Underground

Chicago’s production world is a world of its own, full of talented beatmakers, introverted computer fiends, and prolific collaborators. Some have gained nationwide acclaim while others have remained rather off the radar (other than a handful of close friends who frequent their basements). While keeping track of the list of producers and artists involved in this ever-expanding scene can be overwhelming at times, there are a handful of acts that have garnered a rather significant following on the internet without really gaining attention in their own hometown. Artists with considerable circulation and digital acclaim who are rarely pitched as “Chicago producers”. Below are three that fit this description that are worth discussing today.

Vague001 (Followers: 5,000+)

As part of the DC-based collective (and label) Fête Records, Vague001 has been gaining more and more traction as of late. While he might not be well recognized as a Chicago artist (his title alone leaves room for mystery), he has been working with Atlanta artist Nessly as of late (see above), building even more buzz with their newest track “Pretty Bracelet” which dropped two days ago. If you want to fully dive into the world of the Vague, you can also check out producer Vague002, Vague003, as well as the Vague collective's throwaway SoundCloud account, Vague000. Is that vague enough for you?

Glocque (Followers: 7,000+)

Glocque first grabbed my attention after being covered on Pigeons&Planes last year for his project Gloveless Brain Transplant. Dropping as one long 43 minute experience on SoundCloud, the instrumental journey is one worth taking again. While Glocque hasn’t dropped much material since that project (but it’s worth checking out the single “Heart Sling”), he has released a few loose beats for sale as well as found placement this week on two songs off of Night Lovell’s buzzing new album.

Luminate (Followers: 26,000+)

The largest name of the three in this article, producer Luminate stands out with his crisp white SoundCloud page. Full of instrumental gems like “cnt trust” and “coco butter”, his most recent drop (alongside artist Singularis) is simply titled “untitled”. While Luminate isn't particularly well known in the Chicago scene, that all seems to be changing, as Luminate has a show tomorrow at Canvas with Flamingosis and later on July 14 with XXYYXX at Bottom Lounge.