The rise of microgenres over the past decade has been a wonderfully intriguing process to witness. While the term itself has been around since the ’70s, their proliferation has really taken off thanks to services like Tumblr, Bandcamp, Spotify and their ilk before them; Real Player, Napster, et al. If you’ve ever heard the terms Vaporwave, Chillwave, Synthwave, Witch House, Seapunk, “Soundcloud Rapper” or even “Simpsons Wave” you are familiar with the phenomena. The latest contribution from New Bang makes me hopeful for the rise of a new microgenre; Tiki Beats.
The term “Tiki” tends to evoke images of Hawaii and 1950’s “exotica” artists like Martin Denny or even Don Ho, though the term itself has its actual origins in MÄori culture, potentially being a name for the first man. Given the complex history, there’s certainly room for conversation about how the entire subculture could be deemed exploitative if not handled carefully. Fortunately, New Bang’s approach is a blend of many influences and cultures, never leaning too hard into one particular subset, borrowing equally from early exotica, traditional percussion styles and hip-hop breaks.
Like many microgenres, the ingredients may not sound sensible on paper but the results simply speak for themselves. “Stoned God” is the second single from the forthcoming full-length album Ultimate Tiki Beach Breaks and it stands to reason that if the entire record is as good as this one track, we may be on the precipice of the genre taking over the underground. The track has a warm production to it (likely from the samples pulled from vinyl), a hard hitting beat and just the right amount of levity thanks to the booming title exclamation. It’s immersive, it’s unique and, most importantly, it’s fun.