This is fun to listen to: a guy named Vivien Cabrol aka Lopoli hears about Alan Lomax, gets interested in Americana on top of already being preoccupied with music sampling, combines his two interests, and bam, the first genuinely folk-hop recording I've ever heard. The idea of seriously marrying hip-hop and folk music is probably in the back of many musicians in both camps, locked in the cellar that's separated from the basement by a cement wall. But seriously? Not that bad.
Cabrol uses simple but clean beats along with his samples of flute, banjo, harmonica, etc. The results are, at worst, unmemorable but there is nothing unlistenable on this album. His experiments work most brilliantly when he creates a quick drum loop and cycles it over a single instrumental sample. "The Chase" is one of the best examples on The New Paradigm, with war flutes and rubber-bandy guitar entering at various stages of sudden percussion. The result is less tension from a chase and more relaxation after a run but it works. "Waking Up" and "On the Smile Side" show what this genre has to offer, the former with super muted samples of flutes and guitars under the surface of a slow, resigned drum beat, the latter with a much sunnier assignment of a quickly repeated guitar strum with a horn section that injects a bit of jazz into the mix.
The album maintains a generally warm feeling about, despite the abrupt cut-offs for some of the loops and the plodding rhythms found in some of the songs. Even the chilly "Some Will Try to Break You" features ambient noise that counters Cabrol's robotic vocals. On the subject of Cabrol's vocals, you will find a man who knows how to best use them. He isn't technically gifted, but whereas most musicians make the mistake of throwing their voice against the music, Cabrol simply builds compositions that make use of his voice, which sounds best during the slower-tempo songs (again, "Some Will Try to Break You" is a great example).
I'm still not entirely on board with the idea of folk-hop. None of the songs outstay their welcome, but it doesn't have the rustic punch I was expecting. Indeed, many of the songs here would sound better on a subway ride during a foggy morning rather than during a walk in the woods on a foggy morning.
Still, unusual instrument samples and thoughtful rhythms make The New Paradigm well-worth exploring. Also, you can be the first to claim folk-hop as "your thing."
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook