Words by Isaiah Hough
Bay area-based producer, SELA, has been uploading music to the internet as early as 2012. This artist is one of many that I’ve managed to come back to despite discovering newer artist over the years. SELA blends hip-hop, techno, house ,Chicago footwork, and ambient all into one in each project. His beat-tape “cattin off” dropped on bandcamp.com on October 10th of 2017, and it takes the cake for being one of his best works.
SELA certainly does not shy away from sampling or loops, whether it be personal recordings or early 2000s R&B hooks. cattin off opens with “TOO HIGH TO TRY”, a densely looped track in which the producer pitches a sample that sings ‘you can come see me’. Not to mention, it has a polished chopped and screwed sound. Afterwards SELA speeds things up a bit with “girls tonight(so cool)”. This is one of my favorite tracks for which it samples Jon B.’s “They Don’t Know”. It’s warm track, with a rich ambience of harps and high kicks that SELA adds over. Throughout the tape SELA makes you feel as though you’re witnessing the discovery of passion and the idea of being grateful. “…sweetest love” is an upbeat dance track with snaps and a piano chord that would be found in a Gospel song. Track 4, “if you listen hard enough you’ll hear singing lala la la”, begins with a Lil Uzi Vert sample, “Neon Guts”. The beat transitions slowly in and out with rapid high-hats, a few kicks and a heavy bass, an extremely relaxing song. Next to “…sweetest love”, I repeat this one at least 3 or 4 times every time I play it. Before the tapes ends SELA, “umaga” is second to last. The spaces in this beat sound are filled with organ synths creating some sort of gentleness. The track resembles something of world music with its rainforest and Latin soul sample. This method of experimentation can be found all throughout his discography. SELA will have asking yourself, “where the hell have I heard that song from?” for minutes up until you’re in a internet loop of listening to new music. If you wish to find more study music or hip-hop beats, SELA is the one to follow.