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Music

Varsity Star – Mixtape

There’s no shortage of people making whimsical, melody-focussed electronica, and in the wrong hands (ie. the vast majority of the time) it can come across as overly sincere or laughably lightweight. Varsity Star hits the tricky-to-find sweet spot here with Mixtape – the lead single from a forthcoming mini-LP – pairing crushed, broken beats with a glistening synth line and demonstrating it’s perfectly possibly to make something beautiful yet punchy in this genre, as long as you get the balance just right.

https://www.instagram.com/varsity.star

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Music

Kota The Friend – 200 Dollars

Kota The Friend’s wonderful 2020 album Everything really didn’t get the attention it deserves. Not that it seems to have affected his disposition, which is as sunny as ever on his latest mixtape Lyrics To GO, Vol.2, a collection of sub-2 minute tracks clocking in at an incredibly manageable 15 minutes. 200 Dollars is like everything else on there: brief and breezy with KTF’s silky smooth flows leading the way.

https://kotathefriend.com

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Music

Paul White – All Eyes Open (Mixtape)

Previously best known for his production work for Danny Brown, as well as collaborations with Jamie Woon and Charlie XCX in addition to production duties for a vast number of other MCs and singers, Paul White has stepped more fully out of the shadows in the last few years. Following a string of album releases over the last decade, 2018’s Rejuvenate felt like a statement of intent, and clocked up plenty of very positive reviews. His new mixtape All Eyes Open sees his step back from the mic for the most part, instead delivering a kaleidoscopic range of beats, synths and samples from multiple genres, all undershot with a yearning nostalgia that holds everything together.

https://paulwhite.bandcamp.com