Seattle beatmaker Alex Osuch (a.ka. DJAO) has only recently shifted his focus from DJing to production work, and this new track for an upcoming compilation for Blankstairs (available on Bandcamp tomorrow) finds the artist seeking asylum in the dusty corners of a shuffling, hip-hop-influenced beat. It’s something J Dilla probably could have scraped together in 20 minutes on his MPC, but DJAO takes the idea further, building the track’s melodic content with a rolling synth that adds an uneasy movement. For a moment, vocals come in before hiding behind a wash of heavy reverb, as if to remind the listener that there is emotion trying to seep through the tune’s loping rhythms.

Talking Drum