Presenting: The Numb Project – Transmissions from a Troubled Radio

The latest album release from Portland-based producer The Numb Project seamlessly blends nostalgia with dynamic, hip-hop-inspired beats and immersive soundscapes.

Building on from their 2023 EP release, “Abstract Facts,” The Numb Project returns with their debut feature-length album, “Transmissions from a Troubled Radio.” We discover more about this incredible 18-track release and explore the diverse genres that inspired the sound.

About the Artist

Based in Portland, Oregon, The Numb Project is the chillout music alias of producer Chris Calarco, whose unqiue and creative sound is beautifully complex and original.

When asked about how they got into music production, Chris shared:

“I first got into music production in 2000 when I moved to the west coast. I was listening to a lot of trip hop at the time, I became inspired by the burgeoning software programs like Fruity Loops and Acid that helped me figure out how to cut and paste sounds together.”

The Numb Project is a downtempo, trip-hop inspired producer from Portland, Oregon.

About the Album

Inspired by sounds of Prefuse 73, Ghostly International, DJ Shadow, Pole, and DJ Krush, their debut feature-length album “Transmissions from a Troubled Radio.” is a fascinating journey of downtempo electronica, featuring elements of dub, IDM and trip-hop.

“I first got into downtempo electronic music toward the end of the 90s but it wasn’t the mainstream successful staples that highlighted vocals like Massive Attack or Portishead that landed with me, but much moreso the instrumental compositions of DJ Krush, DJ Cam and Boards of Canada.”

This experimental, conceptual album is described by Chris as “playing like you are scanning a radio dial, stopping just long enough for these 2-minute, beat-tape style tracks to build bedrocks of Dilla-inspired grooves, hazy atmospherics, and warped layers of intricate sonic detail.

 

Album Highlights

With its 18 tracks, including a mix of full-length singles and short interludes, the album’s structure is reminiscent of the classic “Endtroducing” album by the legendary DJ Shadow.

“I wanted to create a cinematic, moody vibe that was buoyed by hip-hop inspired beats and rhythmic intricacy.”

It’s a fascinating concept, and one that certainly carries through into the music.

You have incredibly calming, chilled laid back vibes found in tracks like “Ghost Lounge” and “Sad Eyes” which I absolutely admire. But then you also have more abstract and experimental pieces such as “Jump Switch” and “Secrets” which are incredibly fresh-sounding and original.

You’ll encounter hip-hop-inspired beats alongside elements of jazz and vocal samples chopped from old records. As you progress through the album, these nostalgic sounds become increasingly prevalent, especially in tracks like “MPC is Fried,” which features a downtempo rhythm, electric piano stabs, and a ghostly atmosphere.

The interludes throughout the album play a key role in pausing the music, just briefly, creating transitional bridges that weave together the diverse themes and sounds of the album. They are only short in length, but set the stage for the next song, enhancing the overall narrative of the album.

When asked about the album as a whole, Chris discussed his hopes for the 18 tracks to flow and intertwine, creating a seamless mix:

“I really tried to make “Transmissions from a Troubled Radio” as cohesive of a statement as I could. It’s supposed to feel a little like a beat-tape where songs bleed into one another and the sum is greater than the parts.”

Closing Thoughts

Listening through the album one more time, it’s clear why it resonated so deeply with me.

DJ Shadow played a huge part in my life growing up; his music was absolutely iconic. Now, after hearing “Transmissions from a Troubled Radio,” I feel a wave of nostalgia and immense gratitude for being reintroduced to this style of music.

The album is chilled, laid-back, experimental, and original. I highly recommend it.

Release Date and Streaming

The album released on 16th April 2024, in which you can now purchase the album on Bandcamp or stream on Spotify.

You can also support and follow the artist via Instagram and Soundcloud.

Interested in discovering our artist catalogue? Head to our artist page here.

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