A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2018
Chong The Nomad was one of the breakout stars from Capitol Hill Block Party this past summer. The Stranger reviewed her set, describing her techniques of live-sampling ukulele and beat-box harmonica, and also the “heavy funk beats, marbles-scrambling bass frequencies, and torqued distortion… Holy shit.” NYC’s Tom Tom Magazine suggests that “multi-instrumentalist and producer Chong the Nomad is shaping the future of dance music.”
Here’s another take:
In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked love memo as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2018, saying:
One of Seattle music’s biggest breaths of fresh air in 2018 came from this promising young beatmaker who hip-checked her way into the dude-dominated electronic scene with her coolly minimal love memo EP, which got a vinyl release this fall on Crane City Music. The real-life Alda Agustiano’s strain of hip-hop-informed dance music weaves eerie sounds through rippling sub-bass lines, with occasional tempo shifts keeping listeners on their toes during short-burst tracks. From the tasteful dubstep-y lurch of “for tonight” to the rapturous “chest pains,” the up-and-coming producer proves a master of subtle moods, gently shaking things up the second you’re too comfortable.
Similarly, The Stranger selected love memo as one of the “Top 10 Albums of 2018,” saying that:
Over the last five years, Seattle’s become a hotbed of queer, non-male hip-hop, and relative newcomer Chong the Nomad (aka Alda Agustiano) stands as one of the scene’s potential superstars. However, her vinyl debut, love memo, isn’t strictly hip-hop, but rather a hybrid of that genre, neo-R&B, and edgy EDM. Chong the Nomad’s productions display a rare combo of emotive melodies and weird atmospheres while maintaining an off-kilter funkiness. In a feature I wrote about Agustiano, I described the seven tracks here as “more low-lit joints for intimate encounters than raucous club bangers,” but I sense that she could deviate from this steez and surprise all with her next release. I can’t wait to see where Chong the Nomad goes next.