Chicago's Producer Underground • New Releases From Bobby Swan and Kevin Carey
Hunkering in the depths of the Chicago underground, numerous producers craft some of the finest music coming out of the Windy City. Some of it breaks out of the bedroom studios to gain proper traction while others get lost in the shuffle, void of blog coverage and proper write-ups. Only time will tell if these songs above will be remembered and immortalized or forgotten and dismissed.
Regardless of how these singles will bode in the future, months/years down the road, producers Bobby Swan and Kevin Carey both let loose instrumentals that are worthy of discussion at this very moment. I clump them together in this article because they're both ambitious members of the aforementioned underground, because they've collaborated (and been properly covered) in the past, and because they're making some of the more unique compositions in the city.
Bobby Swan's new single is called “EXILE” and is significantly more club-friendly than his previous efforts. That being said, a club track by Bobby Swan is hardly something for the club. Instead, it is a bass-driven fiasco, one that feel like a shoot out or a foreign chase scene, complete with strobe lights and falling bodies. Bobby told me a bit about the process for this particular number, saying, “I made it with this super limited sample library. Only like five sounds. It was for a sound class I'm in. Everyone submitted one sound to use and it was like, 'Holy shit, this is bad'. I had to go in. It made me wanna make more club style stuff.” The song comes in harsh contrast to the mellow vibes of his past track, "Skyhaven", as well as his Burgundy EP with Khallee, and it's only a matter of time before we see what direction he goes in next.
Kevin Carey, meanwhile, delivers with his first solo piece since releasing his Water Memory EP through Zoology at the end of last year. In the between time, he released the collaborative track with Bobby Swan (listen below, seriously). His new song, “icebound”, returns to that ambient space, with running water and frantic synth runs, before calming down and returning to silence. The artwork is iced out cold, chilling the track to a near frozen pace. Whether or not this will be part of something larger is uncertain, but thankfully this instrumental number stands on its own, begging to be in the soundtrack for something hallucinatory and experimental.