Thoughts On: Travis Scott – “Astroworld”
It’s here. Finally! Announcing the Album “Astroworld” in may 2016, it took Jacques Berman Webster, or Travis Scott as known to most of us, more than two years to release it, to give it to us. On August 3rd he released it over Epic Records, Cactus Jack and Grand Hustle, and man, that sound is just crazy! But when you get so many outstanding producers and artist into your team, it’s about to blow up.
What got me the most the first I started listening to it was the smooth transition between the second song “Carousel” and the third “Sicko Mode”. At the end of “Carousel” you have the shouting crowd, that sounds like a carousel going round and round and then you hear in the beginning of “Sicko Mode” some crazy, mad doctor synth strings in like almost (or maybe exact) same BPM. And you can say what you want, but when Drake is doing some Intro-Adlibs-Talking, you know the song will be hot as fire!
So, “Sicko Mode”… That Song (played over 50 million times on Spotifiy date to 15th Aug. 2018) is something I’m kinda proud of because of the producer “OZ” Ozan Yildirim, who made the second beat after the switch up in collaboration with Cubeatz and additional production by MD. OZ is not from Germany (where I’m from) but he is a swiss guy, at least in a german speaking country. He is for many producer in our country some kind of role model, that you can make it to the US with your beats. He produced (besides many other songs) also “the ends” of Scott’s Album “Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight”, which is my favorite song on that LP.
But back to “Sicko Mode” – maaan, that switch up is just crazy and not so often heard in commercial Songs. The sound of the second part of the song is a great symbiosis of modern trap drums & 808 Bass with the electronic synth bass of the 80’s that reminds me somehow of “Planet Rock” from Afrika Bambaataa. Drake’s role is very good picked for that song. He opens the track and is the one who closes it in the third part. It leaves me totally overwhelmed.
Going to the next songs, I have to say some words to “Stop Trying To Be God”… The sound of the beat itself is like a soft massage to my soul. The reason for that feeling is that you have the kicks, which pop up soft and the 808 bass with a very slow attack rate. The snare is in two different pitches in that beat, first a higher pitch and then a little lower. The HiHats are WIDE & SMOOTH – they feel so comfortable for my ear and were mixed more in the background of the beat, still recognizable but the kick and the snare stand way more in the front.
The Harmonica is just some kind of proof, that Travis is more open to experiment and to add instruments into his songs that others wouldn’t do. The last time I heard the harmonica was in 2Pac’s “So Many Tears” (leave a comment if you know newer songs with a harmonica in it!) The singing in the Hook, the slow attack synth pad, adlibs & the effects on the voice are so soothing, but when it gets to the last part of the song, James Blake is embracing my soul, no bullshit. I love it. Somehow this end part reminds me kind of Kanye West’s “Hold My Liquor” – maybe it’s because of Mike Dean, who worked on both projects. Maybe.
Next, “Wake Up” with The Weeknd – just a few words: Great song!!! From a kinda whacky recorded acoustic guitar to this crazy relaxing beat, masterpiece! And I’m also getting rewarded listening to the end: At 3:25, the beat is just so good, with this low synth string or pad which is playing notes down and the electric guitar with the high notes, oh boy…
“Astrothunder”’s bassline reminds me somehow of Nico & Vinz “Intrigued”, when the notes going down. One of the producers of this song is Frank Dukes. The reason I mention him is because of his idea of making songs or little pieces of music in the style of the 60s and 70s just to use them as samples for his beats. He recorded those songs with original equipment from that time and is selling his collection “Kingsway Music Library” on the internet, for those of you who are interested in sampling music but have no idea about clearing samples. He guarantees, that the clearing is no problem, I mean, he is the composer of it. (He’s not paying me for mentioning him, I just think that the idea is just great!)
If anyone of you don’t know WonderGurl, go listen to “Cant’ Say” (I didn’t know her until I heard this song, too). I’m very happy, that girls are getting a bigger and better role in this producer world. Who knows how many talents are out there. Girls, show the world what you can! – But, not to forget to mention Don Toliver, a Houston rapper & singer, who is a newcomer in the big business. He is rapping on “Can’t Say” and his voice is a kinda more edgier version of Akons‘ in my opinion. He dropped his debut mixtape “Donny Womack” a day before “Astroworld”’s release – very clever move!
So, my thoughts on “Astroworld” by Travis Scott is that I will definitely listen a lot more to this Album. It is a very very nice work, with songs that are going hard, great beats and crazy flows but it has also his slow and soothing moments, where you can just relax and enjoy the smooth sound embracing you. It was totally worth it waiting so long for it.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Astroworld” and or if you disagree or agree with me!