Various Artists, Gem Drops I-II
Featuring tracks from crew members, affiliates and like-minded fellow travelers, either of these interchangeable compilations makes an ideal entry point for wading into the Dropping Gems static bath. Genre is irrelevant, but the palette—watery atmospherics, cut-up hip-hop beats, deep-sea bleeps ’n’ bloops, synths that glow like extraterrestrial fauna—is universal.

Natasha Kmeto, The Ache
Arriving on a fluttering tornado of synthesizer notes and crash-landing at the intersection of ’90s R&B and post-millennial electronic pop, the buttery-voiced singer-producer steps out of the farmhouse like a computer-animated Dorothy, finger-snapping over hollowed-out beats and otherworldly bass tones and offering a glance at the future of soul.
Rap Class,
Greatest Hits
Like he stuck a USB cable directly into his cerebral cortex and uploaded every great break and song fragment he’s ever heard onto his hard drive at once, John Kammerle’s warmly nostalgic beat tape sends samples tripping and skipping over each other, creating a pileup of memories that must be what a hip-hop head’s CT scan sounds like.
One of DG’s OGs, Kris Geffen takes the pulse of the cosmos and proves dearly departed hip-hop progressivist (and beat-scene guiding light) J Dilla didn’t die, he just became one with the stars.
Ghost Feet,
Wires and Chords
Appropriately for its name, this boy-girl pairing from Olympia makes shoegaze for people without feet. Programmed drums snap, crackle and shudder while plaintive guitars sulk in the shadows of spectral keyboard washes. It’s mournfully beatific, if that’s actually a thing.

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