Kenny Segal (a.k.a Syndakit) recently dropped his Happy Little Trees album via Ruby Yacht. 

Segal, who sits at the epicentre of LA’s evolving hip-hop and electronic music world, recorded the album as a reference to painter Bob Ross. “While I like a lot of Bob Ross art, and I simply love watching him paint on TV, if you want to delve a little deeper I think his art is also a great metaphor to what is happening with music these days,” Segal says, with information below. It’s described as his first “full artist album” and “contemplative.” “Although I think one of my biggest strengths is putting together cohesive full length projects with vocalists, I have always struggled to do it purely for myself with just instrumentals,” Segal continues. 

Included on the record is Segal’s usual cast of instrumentalists—Mike Parvizi, Ryan Crosby, and Aaron Carmack— as well as up-and-comers Aaron Shaw and Silas Short. “For this project, I really wanted the focus to be about me, so although I did work with other musicians it was mostly having them play parts I wrote, or fill out bits of mostly done songs, as opposed to writing stuff together from scratch,” Segal says. 

Segal’s Kenstrumentals Vol 3: travelog cassette surfaced earlier this year on Dome Of Doom Records. 

The artwork is a painting by Segal. 

Artists like [Bob] Ross have sought to commodify the process of creating art; they make it a step-by-step process. You simply learn the individual techniques and then string them together and “voila!”, you have art! Now anyone who has tried oil painting using his techniques will quickly learn that it simply isn’t that easy. Ross brings a lifetime of experience and nuance to his techniques that make them deceptively complex even though it seems simple. And most people (devoid of that experience and nuance and natural talent) end up using his techniques to make some pretty crummy paintings. And even if you master some of the techniques, the end result often lacks any soul or purpose. It’s like you end up assembling art instead of creating it from within. And I think in today’s climate of everyone being a DJ-producer, where Ableton classes have replaced trade and technical colleges, and sample packs abound full of pre-made loops and sounds, music making has become a lot like a Bob Ross painting. It’s just a collection of pre-made loops that get assembled into something that resembles music but very rarely is actually art, and for me at least is really boring. That’s why when it comes to music I try to “reinvent the wheel” with every track. I don’t use any type of formula or specific set of techniques when approaching something new, and try to let the song guide me where it needs to go.” — Kenny Segal


01. little trees

02. big decisions

03. sick day

04. cole’s final

05. debushy

06. every morning

07. adultswimtypebeat

08. then everyone went home

09. black gesso

10. academic achievement charm

11. slow drip

In support of the release, out now, you can download “adultswimtypebeat” in full via the button below, or here for EU readers due to temporary GDPR restrictions.