Tijuana label Static Discos never stops and we’re grateful for that. Many veterans from the Mexican electronic music scene, like Fax or Seekers Who Are Lovers, are part of its roster, but there’s also plenty of space to showcase young talents and fresh points of view. And by “young,” we really mean it. Such is Grenda‘s case, the musical project started by Eduardo Amezcua when he was only 15 years old. His debut EP, Living Right, showcases his peculiar way of filtering hip hop through pop and downtempo lenses, and the results are pure bliss.
The EP starts off with “I’m a Fool,” and right away we get his vibe. The beat is slow and reminiscent of trap, but pared down to its most minimal form and bathed in a lush atmosphere that’s closer to Tycho, than, say, ASAP Ferg. He delivers his lyrics in a low and clear voice, singing words that sound so naïve they feel very authentic and heartfelt. The same vibe is pretty much kept on the following track, “Fall Down,” but this time with more saturation towards the higher end of the frequency spectrum, and some vocal manipulation.
The standout track is definitely “On My Way.” In over six minutes, the Tijuana producer plays with tension and dynamics in order to lift listeners to their feet and into a never-ending ethereal build-up. Vocals are used scarcely, only in the form of snippets that repeat the song title here and there. Instead, he pushes the drum fills forward, as well as the plastic textures, and his beloved arpeggiated synthesizers.
And while “On My Way” flies by just like that, the last two tracks on the EP feel unnecessarily lengthy. “You Better” and its dark, spacey sounds could definitely work as the backdrop to a cloud rap song, but are instead filled with weak melodies. “Living Right” is an uplifting closer, leaning more towards ambient territories, and showing his level of craftsmanship. He experiments with synthetic textures with great results. Even with the simple beat, it’s the sound of the song’s processes that pops out. Grenda might be young, but he already sounds confident and daring.