Rising beatmaker Sango, who has made a name for himself producing for Tinashe (the standout “Cold Sweat” from her debut) and remixing tracks from the likes of Nas and Aaliyah, recently dropped a digital album with a whopping 37 tracks of previously unreleased beats. After releasing his debut North in 2013 through his Soulection collective, Sango has chosen to share the evolution of his production with 2009–2012 Tapes.
The set offers a fascinating glimpse into a young producer’s journey in finding his own sound, starting with solid – if a bit safe – 90s-influenced hip-hop beats in 2009 (during his senior year of high school) and culminating with more ethereal and experimental sounds in 2012 that embody the spirit of his best-known works, which incorporate R&B grooves and Afro-Brazilian influences.
Savvy soul and hip-hop heads will recognize several of the samples used throughout, many of which are well-tread territory at this point. But there’s still fresh life in Sango’s unique production tactics, which focus on ambient qualities as opposed to just straightforward repeated loops.
Consuming 37 Sango beats at once is a little like binge-watching a heavy drama on Netflix; the set is better savored in small doses, otherwise things start to run together a little too much. Nevertheless, fans of his style will enjoy this “back to the future” insight on his progression, complete with liner notes from the artist himself on his Bandcamp page. Check out and buy 2009–2012 Tapes here.