Blessed by an abundance of talent in the local area, In The Middle has set its sights on uncovering some of the finest unsigned and small-label artists in Yorkshire and beyond, in a showcase of the acts we’re looking forward to seeing grow over the next few years.
First up is the genre-skipping James Walker aka Rek-Lore, a young producer currently studying music production and releasing a series of stunningly weightless instrumentals. Beautifully intricate productions float from hip-hop to ambient to electronica with striking ease and grace, as seen in the lazy jazz tones of ‘Outriders’, a track which nods towards the young producer’s talent for film and tv ready soundscapes, coasting over rolling piano melodies and restrained drums like green hills from a moving train window.
Just as ‘Outriders’ and the similarly stirring ‘Years Ahead’ demonstrate Walker’s distinctive combination of relaxed down-tempo beats and experimental orchestral and brass instrumentation, a remix of Local Native’s ‘You and I’ shows a blessed ear for vocal samples, which are used to give the track a poignancy that few achieve with such simplicity.
We asked James to put together a short playlist of some of the artists whose echoes can be heard in Rek-Lore’s forthcoming debut LP.
Among the artists that inspire me most when writing vary from day to day, a huge influence on my sound and development has been the electronic artist ‘Bonobo’, ever since hearing ‘El Toro’ from his ‘Black Sands’ album, It opened up a world to me and I started producing music in this style.
If you haven’t listened to Norwegian electronica, now is the time. Röyksopp’s track ‘Keyboard Milk’ is a progressive masterpiece that is thrilling and powerful from start to end.
Submotion Orchestra have also been a huge inspiration as of late, the great writing and incredible tight production on the whole Fragments album makes for a great listen.