Beat Tape 2 – Tom Misch

Beat Tape 2 is Tom’s third project after his recording debut in 2014. I say recording debut because he’s been making music all of his life and releasing instrumentals on Soundcloud since 2012. I chose Beat Tape 2 because of a personal connection I have with this EP. As we know from my review of Geography, I’m a major Misch fan, really can’t get enough of the guy.

The connection is I found Beat Tape 2 back in 2015 while looking around Spotify for instrumentals to write some lyrics for what would become JMax Hypetrain. I saw his name and remembered him from my Soundcloud likes so I checked out Beat Tape 2. As soon as I heard “The Journey”, the structure of my song “JMax Hypetrain” was formed. So since I got off work due to the snow, why not get a little nostalgic, while also talking about another fantastic project by my man Tom Misch.

The Vocals:

Ironically titled Beat Tape 2…the vocals on this EP are a massive reason the project is so goodNot only does Tom Misch kill the vocals once again, bringing the funk and sharing his soul on every track he touches – his features have this gift too. Carmody, Loyle Carner, Sam Wills, Alexa Harley, and Zak Abel have all gained a new fan today. All of these artists bring their own flair to the tracks they’re on and assist Tom in taking this EP to a different realm of Lo-Fi Funk/R&B. Carmody, for example, is described as “The Electronic Soul Queen of South London”. She and Tom pair up yet again (they’ve collaborated before) and make “Wander With Me”, a super groovy, upbeat yet soul soothing track. Then he brings Sam Wills into the mix.

After some research, I discovered Sam Wills is a classically trained vocalist and pianist who takes his training and combines it with his musical influences who just happen to be Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and D’Angelo. His feature “In The Midst of It All” is the perfect example of everything I just said. I could go on all day. But, all in all, the vocals on Beat Tape 2 are nothing short of outstanding. The vocals alone are so soulful, their messages are (at least for my life right now) pretty damn relatable. The little things like harmonies with his features and his instruments are catchy, clever and like I said earlier, take this album to a whole different realm of Lo-Fi Funk/R&B.

The Instrumentals:

I’m always down to talk about Tom Misch’s instrumentals. I can’t get over the fact that a 23-year-old dude makes all of this with little to no help. With Beat Tape 2, Tom is setting the stage for what’s to come. Not only does Tom create a story with his music, but his instrumentals are also so cohesive that I even noticed the “rough draft” guitar riffs from songs on Geography make their debut on Beat Tape 2. This EP has ridiculously smooth instrumentals. Tom’s ability to combine hip-hop drum kits, with jazz guitar/piano riffs and a whole array of other instruments is incredible. Beat Tape 2 does feature some vocal-less instrumentals too.

After all, as I said in the intro, I found this EP while looking for instrumentals. Tom shows us with “The Journey”, “Falafel”, “Come Back”, “Hark” and “Home” that while he’s expanding and tuning in his vocal abilities, he can still make, and loves making flawless super funky instrumentals. Tom shreds the guitar, bringing a nice bouncy jazzy vibe to every melody. Tom’s been producing for the better half of a decade now, so he’s found his instrumental sound and absolutely rocks it every time. 

The Overall Vibes:

Universal. As I mentioned earlier, Tom Misch is so creative he took riffs from Beat Tape 2, revised and improved them and made entire songs based off of them which became Geography. To me that puts this project, future projects, and Tom as a musician on another level. The vibes are funky, soulful, upbeat, and curated to draw the listener into this musical movie he directed. Tom is successful in this with the help of all of his features, and his ability to make outrageously funky instrumentals. 

The Essentials:

“Wander With Me”, “In the Midst of It All”, “Your Love”, Colours of Freedom”, “Beautiful Escape”

I know it’s a bold statement saying almost half the album is The Essentials, but Beat Tape 2 is something else.

The Rating:

Although it’s pre-Geography, Beat Tape 2 is an insanely cohesive and super solid album. Tom vastly improved between 2015 and 2018 as a musician, lyricist, and producer, and it’s been a pleasure going back to 2015 and reliving this album. Overall, it put me in a great mood, Tom brought the funk and for that, I give it a…

8.0 

What more can I say? Tom Misch is a Lo-Fi prodigy and without a doubt one of my favorite artists. Check out Beat Tape 2 and let the vibes take you away to somewhere special. Watching the snowfall and thinking about sitting in my Jeep at the beach working on “JMax Hypetrain” was my special place today. Anything Lo-Fi is great for vibing out and letting your mind wander, so to have lyrics accompanying that is always a fun time. Anyone looking for new music, an excuse to get away for an hour, or something to dance around your living room to… I highly recommend tossing on Beat Tape 2. 

Much love!

– JMac 

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