The Content Label, Los Angeles’s ‘experiential’ hip hop imprint, rarely signs an artist based on a demo, but an impressive delivery from Japan recently broke the trend. Recorded by Salty – AKA Tokyo-based producer / videographer Naoya Ninomiya – the demo arrived as a nearly complete object, ready for dissemination to the global hip-hop headz-space. The songs have been mastered by legendary Japanese hip-hop studio engineer ‘The Anticipation Illicit’ Tsuboi and, with Dday One acting as executive producer, unveiled as the thirteen track album Camera. It’s a fantastic audio journey that gives a glimpse into Japanese beat-making prowess while sitting proudly within the instrumental hip hop echelon.
In his teens, Salty joined a local breakdancing crew which fueled his love of early electro and breakbeat music. Hunting for vinyl treasures, the art of turntablism, and learning about production and studio technique naturally followed. Studying sound and visual programming at university further honed Salty’s skills, along with the constant flow of rare records he absorbed. Today Salty is known as designer for EN TOKYO, a party and beat-making crew that also counts Pigeondust and Bugseed as members.
With Camera, Salty showcases a diverse set of styles and an acumen for rhythmic patterns and tone, developed through his years of crate-digging and experimentation. And there are many moments to claim as highlights … “Remonoganac” with its gentle piano, atmospheric textures, and tough beats; the laid-back hip hop funk and scratches of “ADSL”; the ’90s downtempo vibe of “The Sea Came At Midnight”; and “Melting In The Dark” with its cinematic layers and haunting vocal. These all qualify for honors, among other possible choices. With Camera, a compelling portrait of Salty as a rising star on the beat-making scene has emerged and The Content Label is on the case.
Tim “Love” Lee (Tummy Touch) – “Really digging this!”
Renegades Of Jazz (Agogo Records / Mojo Club) – “So good! Been a Big fan of The Content Label from the first hour, I have every release.”
Stereo 77 - (Plimsoll Records) – “Damn, this is good.”
Danny Ward (Moodymanc / Dubble D) – “Lovely stuff, thanks!”
Azaxx (Tru Thoughts / FCLR music) – “ADSL is a very good track. Nice project!”
Ben Mono (Undertones Gang / Plant Music) – “Dope release. Will definitely play on my radioshow.”
Amrisha Prashar (IAMRISHA / A Worldwide Thing radio show) – “I Love UBIQ.”
Lebrosk (Warriorz / Mixmag) – “Some gems in this package.”
Belabouche (Midnight Riot / DiscoDat) – “Very nice album.”
Ross Wakefield (Part-Time Heroes / Wah Wah 45s) – “Niceness!”
Aja Allsop (Ketch A Vibe Radio Show) – “The left-field side of beats at their best, and not one one filler track among the lot!”