Rohan The Intern: Blue

- Rohan the Intern has just dropped his debut beat tape, Blue. The Brisbane producer, full-name Rohan Seekers, is a conservatorium-trained jazz musican / pianist, although that isn’t the focus with this release. The twenty-track mixtape consists of instrumental hip-hop “harvested from the bargain bins of Brisbane and Brazil”.

I first became acquainted with Seekers through his involvement in Brisbane hip-hop group Astro Travellers. Their combination of jazzy beats and deft musicianship left an indelible mark on me, becoming one of my favourite local acts (They must have left an impression on others too, winning the Hilltop Hoods Initiative in 2016). More recently I have enjoyed seeing him play keys for Tiana Khasi and The Ultrafantasics (both groups featuring other Astro members). I got my first taste of his solo work while he was supporting House Shoes. I remember the freewheeling nature of that set, full of smooth samples and Brazilian refrains.

So it was with eager ears I received Blue and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a total sucker for woodwind instruments and string arrangements, which this tape has in spades. The conspicuously titled Fluted and Bass Clari come to mind (there really isn’t enough bass clarinet in the world so I’m glad it makes an appearance). Conversely there are more ominous sounding tracks like Palindrome II and Little 16 that offer darker atmospheres. The tape winds towards its finish with Fourth And BackEffendi, and Waves, three blissful piano-centric tracks. Closer Tripfingers wraps up the proceedings with a suitably dreamy atmosphere.

For all that bliss, most importantly, Blue has bounce. Some of the beats evoke Madlib’s Bad Neighbor Instrumentals that came out earlier this year. Additionally, I think a valid comparison to Knxwledge can be made, although it’s far more consistent on the whole than one of his mixtapes (in terms of style). For those who enjoy hip-hop, Michael Franks, or exceptional local talent, I recommend you check out Blue.

- Hillfolk.

Album Details

Album Title: Blue
Artist: Rohan The Intern
Record Label: (WYWS)