Dashd brilliantly embraces ambient and lo-fi fusions on debut EP Ashd Out

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Dashd brilliantly embraces ambient and lo-fi fusions on debut EP Ashd Out

Words by Dhika Maheswara

Dashd's debut EP features a well-curated lineup of features on top of an alluring blend of beats.

After rediscovering his beat-making skills during the Covid-19 pandemic (Inspired by numerous hours in Kenny Beat’s Discord music server), Scottish-born, Melbourne-based producer Dashd comes out with an impressive debut EP that takes from the blueprints of production virtuosos such as The Alchemist, J Dilla and certainly Kenny himself.

However, there is a deeper motivation beyond its flattering imitation of those mentioned above. He and his partner faced severe illnesses amid the antecedent doldrums of the pandemic which led to a period of self-isolation that lit an artistic fire in himself.

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Unexpectedly, it was Jonah Hill’s 10 Things I Can’t Live Without segment for GQ that would compound all his motives to a rediscovery of passion and creativity, eventually blooming everything together into what would end up as the Ashd Out EP.

The first song Feel You There features the pleasantly monotone bars of Klasy which perfectly complements the dark industrial approach to its production. The dynamic arrangement which has the drums constantly assembled and disassembled as the vocals float above it perfectly highlights the rapper’s hooks while simultaneously keeping that powerful, aggressive energy throughout the whole runtime.

Their second collaboration in the EP Playin With. is next on the tracklist. It features an added playfulness to the artistry, as Klasy takes on a more melodic and sentimental approach, with brooding lyrics about breaking up.  Voicemail samples and angelic choir vocals nicely surround the track, as Dashd brings his A-game yet again with superbly mixed kicks and snares that cushion your ears.

The track Not Watching The Dragon seems to have Dashd take a step back with his production this time, letting Orry Maine’s passionate singing take a more dominant stance within the track. However, that is not to undermine its quality, rather the simplicity is a nice supplement to the vocals and speaks more towards his skills as an adaptable producer.

Ground Control, featuring Toronto-based guitarist Gloom, is a trip-hop-inspired instrumental that truly has Dashd shine as a beatmaker. Its beauty actually stems from what it lacks, giving the grooves a much-needed space to breathe and forcing you to focus on its jumpy drums and spacey electric guitars.

Moving on to Waitin For The Sunshine which starts off with a punchy beat, that eventually unfolds to a fantastic harmony of strings, woodwinds and electric guitars. The vocals come in and Orry Maine’s songwriting and bright vocals create a nice juxtaposition against the dark industrial beat resulting in a warm, calming vibe.

The last track Keep Movin continues with a hopeful theme. Beautiful Fx layers and instrumentals fill the song, with vocalist Soundw4v3 skillfully rapping about his struggles and how despite it all, he aims to “keep moving”. The title phrase is constantly uttered throughout the song, which not only highlights the main topic of the track but certainly acts as a perfect exit to the EP, signalling that these artists are not about to call it quits anytime soon.

To keep up with Dashd, follow his Instagram account here.

This article was made in partnership with Dashd.