On his first EP for French label Cosmonostro, Toronto producer Paul Chin takes inspiration from nature and the writing of Donald Miller to come up with a contemplative, restful take on abstract hip-hop grooves. The kick drum still pounds out of the speakers, but it's wrapped in shimmering textures and pretty melodies, resulting in a mood more suited to couch sessions than the club.
Unlike some contemporary left-field beats that tend to sound like a drunk robot drummer, Chin's rhythms are just wonky enough to feel human, without disrupting your head-nodding. The bird call samples might be a little too literal an interpretation of his theme, but the harp bits on See The Forest by Johanna Wienhølts work surprisingly well. The guest rap by the Matrixx on For The Trees goes a little too far into the hippy hip-hop direction, though.
Top track: Phantom Limbs
Paul Chin celebrates the release of The Forest Thursday (July 10) at Wrongbar.