A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2016
Studies is a mostly instrumental beat-tape-on-vinyl from Dil Withers that recalls the urban sounds of people on the street—walking talking and jostling—in a sun-dappled multicultural Latin city, as though listening to the sound of successive city blocks and open windows. A lot of this impression has to do with Dil’s deft integration of environmental noise. I was listening to this quietly on headphones while walking around and had trouble at times differentiating what was in the music and what was happening around me. I love the interplay between the bass with the off-kilter beat in “Flor,” and how midway through the record a choir sings a few bars from “Yesterday.” On “Drift,” distant jazz emerges from a cacophony of industrial noise, and oh! the descending horn in “Leaves.” This takes you on an imagined journey and leaves strong impressions of place.