Photo by Jessica Lehrman
Earlier this month, Flathbush Zombies producer Erick Arc Elliott—who goes by Erick the Architect (and who has a pretty sick first name)—put out a limited release of 500 packages that included a cassette mixtape called Arcstrumentals Volume 1 (his first solo effort since 2011), a T-shirt he designed, a patch, and a numbered piece of a jigsaw puzzle he created in his bedroom (see the above photo). Obviously, because it was… uh… a cassette, these tracks did not exist digitally. Until now! Because below, Noisey is streaming the producer's tape in full. Of the mix, which he believe tells the narrative of his life over the last few years through funk, jazz, r&b, and hip-hop, he writes: "This was originally created to replicate the feeling 'we used to feel' growing up as kids making our own mixtapes from songs that played on the radio. You would never get the full song from beginning to end, you would sometimes get some radio interference, commercials, etc. So of course you will hear some skips, pops, abrupt cuts and radio noise. That's what made it beautiful."
Arcstrumentals Volume 1 feels a bit like it's stuck together with scotch tape, kind of spinning out of control, yet still with purpose. It's the kind of music made for four o'clock in the morning, that time of the night when you wake up and start thinking about and questioning every decision you've ever made in your life. It exists, Weirdly, despite its somber tone, it's still hopeful. Stream it in full below.