L.A.-based producer Devonwho has really cleaned out his hard-drive for this release, a sprawling, 42-track mixtape of beats and quick, one-off sketches recorded between 2014 and 2017. From this woozy, funky stew would come 2016's excellent Luz, and although newcomers might be better served starting with that more refined and fully-realized album, Betaloops is still something of a treasure trove — especially if you don't mind a looser, more ad hoc feel.
Despite the size of its tracklist, almost nothing here is more than two minutes long, and Devonwho wisely opts to have each brief scene flow seamlessly into the next, giving things a real sense of movement. Those familiar with Luz will feel right at home here: off-kilter hip-hop beats, G-funk bass lines and furtive, analog synths, all with hazy pads expanding into infinity in the background.
It's an appealing formula that manages to sound euphoric, but also utterly chilled-out, with a distinct West Coast vibe. At 42 tracks, it's easy to feel a bit crushed by the sheer weight of it all, but the brevity of each lightens the load a bit; nothing demands too much investment, and you're always moving on to something new and generally appealing, like you're surfing the channels of some surreal, funked-out TV network.
Just how interested you are in the current West Coast experimental/lo-fi hip-hop scene might be a deciding factor in how much you enjoy this one, but for those who liked Luz (or more recently fyvr's almost happy, which mines very similar territory), Betaloops should not be slept on. (Leaving)