Caural Curtain Call

A ROUGH COUPLE years have followed Zachary Mastoon, the man behind the beats of Caural.  Between a near death experience on a flight from Burbank and getting his sampler jacked from his apartment, it’s hard to blame Caural for wanting to hang his headphones up for good.  Luckily for us, he had one last 10″ in the tank, dropping Die Before You Die off Eat Concrete to put the kibosh on Caural’s colorful career.

Die Before You Die has more sheen than grit, glowing with ambient samples, flickering tinks and rounded with fuzzy curves.  Smooth synths are grounded by mellow downtempo beats, the rhythms bringing just enough gas to comfortably drive the melodies home.

“Dragon Top” stands out with its weighty, wompy and wonky arcade-like synth and perfectly chintzy 80s drum track that blasts off into ethereal clouds of cosmic sounds.

“Sugarcane Girlfriend” opens with echoes of The Books, choppy and glitchy found sounds patched together to form a mosaic of music.  The beat quickly emerges, giving way to a multi-layered track of varying tempos and timbre that sync together for a gentle thumping of summertime rhythms and flow.

“Sunburned” has twinklings and vocals reminiscent of Caural’s monumental Mirrors For Eyes, with a late-night melancholy vibe strewn along by the keys and soulful transitions.  And the final track, “Sorry, Underground Hip Hop Happened Ten Years Ago (For Regan)” showcases Caural’s astute knowledge of the hip hop tradition, collecting various samples of MCs saying “Yo” from classic tracks all of us know and recognize, pumping an imaginary crowd up for what Altitude Sickness describes as the flow and show that never begins.

Time will decide whether Die Before You Die really is Caural’s final production.  It’s hard to imagine Mastoon would give up music all together.  But as for Caural, Die may cap the career of a creative producer that fused electronic music and hip hop from an abstract perspective.

Dragon Top

Sugarcane Girlfriend

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One Response to “Caural Curtain Call”

  1. soft and groovy but kind of weird like a garlic flavored ice cream smoothie

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