For EDM fans not familiar with Leaf, he is a producer based in San Francisco who creates trippy, minimal broken beat music. His new EP, Ayahuasca, does not disappoint for fans looking for that style of experimental music, but said three-track EP also includes a healthy dose of trap-style broken beat, with more of a jam vibe.
The EP’s title track, as previously stated, is a trippy, minimal track with a tribal-influenced trap-based beat. It lives up to its name, as it takes the listener on a bit of a mental journey, with lots of swelling, drifting synth samples. Its melody, such as it is, winds in and out of the drums as all the other synth samples go flying by. It would be a great track to listen to during a meditation, as the beats are almost binaural in nature, but due to the creepy/trippy vocal samples, it may not be great to listen to before bed.
There are two mixes of the other track, “Fog” on the Ayahuasca EP. The original by Leaf is quite different from “Ayahuasca”, almost to the point of not being recognizable as the same artist. At least, that is, until the beat comes in. Said beat is more on the hip hop side of the slow broken beat spectrum, but there are some syncopated snares peppered throughout as well. The melody is again very minimal, but more liquid than dark, with a major rather than a minor key and a pretty, recognizable-to-old school-breakbeat-fans female vocal sample. In fact, there are a number of old school breakbeat and house samples in this track, including a vacuum synth and some of the beat breaks. It would be interesting to see if Leaf actually re-created these sounds manually or used a sample pack.
The remix of “Fog” is by Subtle Mind, who is possibly a better-known producer than Leaf. He takes “Fog” in a completely different direction, making it much more EDM-inspired, but still keeping its old school rave bones. The beat here is a much more robust dubstep beat, and since it’s at the end of the EP, it will be quite surprising to hear the change in tone. It’s still trippy and still minimal, but the style and almost complete 180 shift beat-wise will leave the listener appreciating the versatility of the tracks Leaf makes.
Ayahuasca released this past Friday, June 16 on Badman Studios. The playlist below links directly to the streaming and purchase page.