Maple Years’ sound finds its roots in melodic sampling across various genres, ranging from video game soundtracks to Motown soul. Coupled with heavy hitting, yet loose drums; unique rhythms are created, allowing for the hip-hop feel in his music. His first release entitled Stellar Aquaface is a solid release that showcases Dominic Valencia’s talentand his potential to evolve. Valencia also identifies strongly with the raw, emotion provoking sound in much of indie music, which is prevalent amongst some of the music that he created.
“Mind the Glare” has a straight deep beat that is soulful, chill and not unlike something I might hear from Boards of Canada. The song revolves around three of four samples, which are cut up and manipulated creating a good intro. My personal favorite is “Stratosphere” which is a space-age song with an offbeat rhythm that sounded like I was being transported through a wormhole. The synths and samples work delightfully well; complimenting each other and creating a unique contrast. “Love Means” is the first song that introduces a vocal melody. The song resembles the soulful nature and mood of the first song. The album closes with “Stellar” which is almost as good as “Stratosphere.” He really sounds original on this one by creating unique textures and combining with samples that you may think would not work but totally do. Overall, this is a very solid release that seems to thrive best when he is experimenting and creating unique sounds that you wouldn’t normally associate with hip-hop.
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