Track By Track: ELWD – This Place
A nostalgic trip through hip hop, jazz, downtempo and beyond on a new cassette tape.
Last month marked the release of a new cassette tape from an up and coming UK based producer who operates beneath the guise of ELWD. Titled “This Place” the tape features fifteen tracks – a collection of broken beats, dreamy hip hop and poignant moments which makes up a beautiful journey through sound.
It’s funny how certain music has the capacity to create an atmosphere or a sense of nostalgia – I found myself reminiscing of foggy London mornings, early rises, cigarettes by the bus stop and a cold chill in the air as the city springs to life.
The release draws upon inspiration from all sorts. There are elements of jazz dotted in between dreamy lo-fi inspired percussion and dusty drums. Beautiful pads echo and linger whilst field recordings guide and narrate the experience creating a dream like state.
Anyway, that’s my perspective on the release but this piece isn’t about that. We asked ELWD to break down the tape in his own words, he dissects as follows:
AND THEN THE SKY
I don’t want to go fully in depth with exactly what I was thinking during the process. I think certain things are left to your own interpretation that you find with more listens and time with my work.
I wanted to start the album off straight to the point, a feeling of falling through the sky almost. There’s a kind of carelessness to this tune, like walking around whistling along as the world keeps on turning, not knowing what’s about to unfold.
THIS IS NOT A DREAM
I feel like this is where the album starts to get into it. I’ve always been inspired visually by 80’s sci-fi and action B Movies. I feel like they are a lost art, lower budgets and pre-cgi etc. I watched Videodrome during the making of this one. It’s a great, weird, mind bending film and concept.
Everybody dreams when they’re asleep, but i wanted to go beyond a dream, like what if you think it’s a dream but it actually isn’t. That realisation is pretty mad.
The first part (WANDERING) is about that realisation of not being in a dream, and coming to terms with that. Nothing is what it seemed. The second part (WONDERING) slows it down to an atmospheric vibe, lots of reflection.
A WAY OF LIVING
This is a song about struggle and acceptance. Life can be stressful and overwhelming at times, but it’s also a reminder to carry on the good fight. The string arrangement towards the end reflect this the most.
This is a stage of the album where things slow down, almost to a standstill. Floating along in a cloud of nothingness, but also not yet knowing that you are venturing to an important destination.
WHERE AM I
This tune hits instantly as if you’ve just awoken from the dream that is not a dream and you are like whoa! Where am i?
This tune I imagined as a race against time, in a metropolis trying to get from A to B before sundown on a hot summers day. Something like that.
WE ARE HERE
This is the part two of WHERE AM I, the part where you realise through all the struggle and not knowing, you’ve arrived at an idea, a place.
SO FAR SO GOOD
This features audio bites from La Haine, a film I re-watched during the process. Upon second watch it had much more of an affect on me. Powerful, visceral stuff.
THE LAST 1
The final tune is a reflection of the entire trip. The journey of the listening and imagining. I like to think this tune is best experienced on headphones in a cab or a night bus at 3/4am on the way home. To a safe place.