One of my favorite things about being a Los Angeles native is the music scene. No matter where you turn, chances are there is some awesome new music to discover. Today that applies to the DJ, producer, vocalist, and songwriter JAY-R.D. (real name Jason Domantay). His E.P. Santa Monica is a fantastic example of the diversity that contributes to the music of LA.
This record contains elements of hip-hop, downtempo, ambient, worldbeat, and jazz all mixed into one enticing package. The looping melodic phrases are infectious, and the grooves are arguably the most important part of the record. Each song on Santa Monica converges around the central beat generated by various percussion.
Of all the styles that this record shows influence from, hip-hop is absolutely at the forefront. JAY-R.D. himself is, according to his bio, ” a product of the ‘Golden Era’ of Hip Hop, when the instrumentals and remixes on the B-Side of a 12 inch record got just as much play as the main track.”
If I could compare this album to any musicians past or present stylistically, I’d have to go with my beloved Thievery Corporation. Just like the music of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, JAY-R.D. has this knack for creating music that centers you internally. It is really hard to explain, but listen to Thievery Corporation’s track “Sweet Tides.” The emotion that particular song brings out of me was also something I felt with the final track on Santa Monica (“Golden Hour”).
To do that takes a special artist.
Santa Monica can be found at: