“Fuck a genre,” Mills says.
To an extent, I agree. Tags are helpful if you want to efficiently organize music for discovery (e.g. SoundCloud, Twitter, Google), but they should not define the music. Something I’m guilty of myself, putting too much weight on a tag is like putting boulders of expectation on the artist’s back. Genre becomes burden.
Viennese producer Milo Mills backs up his attitude by producing syrupy, slick tunes that don’t fit into the strict “Are you dance or hip hop?” puzzle. They slip through your fingers, proving to be as hard to pigeonhole as the producer himself.
Though I enjoy fitting producers into their geography, comparing them to the artists surrounding them, I’m not sure what someone from Austria is supposed to produce. I like it that way. It allows Mills to teach me. And if he’s truly making something undefinable, he has the chance to set a trend. That’s the biggest trophy of them all.
I can tell Mills has his influences, like anyone else. “Jupiter” is a flashy slowride down Main Street, with skipping hi-hats like G funk, the deep, dense bassline of a modern slowjam and the dreamy, fantasy world pads of a bedroom producer.
The next one won me as soon as I heard that piano. Hard striking, clear chords dig into your chest at the beginning of “Yesterday,” laying a door-kicking bass drum directly underneath the piano strikes. After just a few bars, you might find yourself with a soulful furrow in your brow. Mills quickly capitalizes on this, garnishing with wailing, high pitched funk stabs that add a faux-vocal flavor to the song.
Milo Mills makes smooth, dreamy but very heavy jams with clear and carefully chosen instrument samples. Though I could compare him to a few of his peers, I’m not ready to put the boulders on him. His music is unique enough that I’m not sure I know which direction he’s headed. Maybe he’s not sure either. But that’s the fun, isn’t it? His new EP, Paradise Soon, is just one, deep footprint.
Let’s see where he’s going.
Paradise Soon EP drops Friday, August 30, 2013 on Darker Than Wax