Bunch Of Fives: Xaatu | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hexham’s Xaatu is the enticing electronic project of 24-year-old Sandy Quigley whose sound features elements of trap and wave, combined with more experimental electronic soundscapes. Most of his main influences have been predominantly electronic producers and so ahead of the release of new single, Ancients (out 12th June), he tells us about his top five.

Even amongst this list of producers SOPHIEʼs music stands out. Her style is somewhere between Bubblegum-Pop and BDSM-infused Dance Music, with everything in-between. Each sound seems masterfully created, yet effortlessly placed, creating dynamic scores that leave me feeling amazed, uncomfortable, and musically inadequate (at the same time). SOPHIEʼs pioneering production has seen her work with a number of forward-thinking pop stars, my favourite collab of which is with Charli XCX, which sees the pair each flourish in their respective styles. 

Sam Gellaitry 
With one ear to the underground, and the other to Jazz, World, and Classical influences; Sam creates blissful electronic soundscapes, bedded within unique Experimental Trap bangers. When I listen to his music I feel like each song takes me to another world, each featuring completely different sonic aspects than the last. Even within a single EP the instrumentation can switch from a middle-eastern stringed arrangement into a futuristic, Blade Runner-esque orchestration, but by some miracle, it still flows so cohesively. 

Whenever I listen to a track by Kaytranada, with catchy Funk grooves that stick in your head for days and dance-orientated beats you canʼt help but move to, I already know Iʼm gonna come out the other end of it in a better mood than I went in. Taking influence from Funk, Hip-hop and more, and with features from some seriously big artists – Kaytranadaʼs music has something for everyone, but itʼs more than just accessible to the listener, itʼs also ridiculously well produced. 

Yung Gud, Yung Sherman, and Whitearmor 
Though each amazing in their own right, I’ve grouped these three together because whenever I listen to music by one of them, chances are it will be followed by a track made by one of the other two (if not both). Their production always seems to be a few years ahead of most others in their genre, which floats somewhere in the ether of Emo Trap, Cloud Rap, and Experimental Pop. Each album they’ve produced for Yung Lean has been stylistically very different from the last, showcasing a clear improvement each time, while still staying true to the original sound they were creating. 

Pearl White 
With influences from Black Metal through to Witch House, Pearl Whiteʼs sound is on the darker side of Trap. His sound choice and creation often features heavily compressed snares and hi-hats, along with a multitude of textural ambience to make each track as grungey as possible. Quite often he contrasts his spine-chilling bass lines with bright, melancholic synths, that serve to pepper the horror with an eerie nostalgia.

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