StewRat - Headlights (2010) So as it turns out through an underground compilation of forums I happen to be a member of, the genius of StewRat is born. Also a member of the same site, he has been periodically posting his music as a way of advertising it. My buddy, Bill, pitched the artist at me with contemporaries such as J Dilla and Madlib in mind (one track even has RIP J DILLA in parenthesis). All I can say is that I'm vastly impressed with StewRat's production skills, he has managed to create interesting, beautiful hip hop songs maybe even along the lines of J Dilla's Donuts. Most of the tracks on StewRat's "Headlights (2010)" clock in at 1:30 minutes, making most shorter splurges of hip hop, dance music, and even that "washed out" sound we keep hearing about lately. As J Dilla is a reference and an obvious influence, the soul sound that J Dee specialized shows through "Headlights". This is an album for all genre lovers though, as StewRat is not limited to only soul and hip hop. He understands the importance of all the music thrown into his witches' brew. It just fits so damn well together, you can't help but love it. Certain tracks to focus on are Driving Home, A Little Light, Another Chance, and Changes. All four hold a special whimsical quality to them. Driving Home literally is a cruising track, written for late night driving. A Little Light is a song driven by piano and ambient noises, uplifting and guiding. Another Chance is a testament to the 80's washed out sound we've all come to love with a little soul tinge. Changes is one of the most serious tracks, opening with an acoustic guitar track and a small voice singing falsetto. The entire album is made so well, you have to question how he did all of this with just FL Studio. Talent and a knack for sound play an important part in the production of "Headlights". Just plug yourself in and listen. There's too much talent here to be ignored or overlooked.
As overplayed as Resonance is among the circles of internet music I've hung out in, I'm perfectly happy with that - for one, it's a great track regardless of overplay, and for two, it introduced me to albums worth of pleasing, sentimental-sounding chillwave. Artemy Musha