As a fan of the YouTube radio called lofi hip hop radio – beats to sleep/chill to, there has been a resurgence of sample-heavy production backed with steady 4/4 breakbeats in 75 to 90 beats per minute. Capturing the elements of Vaporwave with the utilization of warm soul samples and Lo-Fi Hip-Hop in musical arrangement, Barber Beats prominently provided a new yet, familiar taste.
Its primary quality of laid-back rhythm and hypnotizing melody is effective as background music for studying or sleeping. Providing a steady element of atmosphere enveloped in maxed reverb. The genre primarily evolved into its new sound pioneered by the artist Haircuts for Men experimenting with Vaporwave-like sample chops and hypnagogic arrangement. Defining the genre, these are some prominent projects that exhibit its elements.
Barber Beats: A YouTube Rabbit Hole
Haircuts for Men | 壊滅悲しみ (2016)
Released in 2016, this album is the definition of Barber Beats. This utilizes infectious rhythm throughout the album. The tastefully-mixed track has an intentional flow and coherent musicality. Cemented as a prominent project in the genre, the album provides an effective use of Kenny G saxophone samples and household breakbeats that held all the melodic elements in a steady and compact direction.
Macroblank | Tales of the Cypher (2021)
A fresher sound in the genre, Macroblank’s attention to detail has been creatively important in this project’s direction. Providing mostly memorable melodies and low-end-heavy tracks. The separation between the drums and the instruments has been sonically pleasing and his sound has been evolving ever since. This project is a good start for people exploring the genre because it is highly reminiscent of the New York Hip-Hop sound, well-known for its human-like rhythm section.
Monodrone | Forbidden Fruit (2021)
Stumbling across this project has been important in diving into the genre. Mondrone’s sample chops and taste have been transforming. Primarily, this is on the darker side of the genre, possessing a darker tone and minor-melodic scale. In addition, the album comprises of multiple uses of alternative soul and utilized distinct rhythmic characters. With sampled bongos scattered in each track, the backbeat became more inventive while being sonically articulate of each element.