MDR Selects – Yoh

MDR Selects returns: a series that invites our favourite artists, labels, record stores and more to curate a playlist of songs that hold specific meaning to them. To celebrate yesterday’s release of brand new track ‘Woods’ on Youngbloods, we invite Brooklyn-born rapper and producer Yoh to share his selections.

Yoh’s love for hip-hop, jazz and electronic music, coated in a deep appreciation for ambience, has influenced his methods of creating music. Part of the NY based band Poetic Thrust and hip-hop collective 99SUBLIME, he now presents his latest solo venture, which demonstrates his rapid fire lyrical prowess in full effect. ‘Woods‘ intersects after-hour jazz-and-prose sensibilities with cosmic reception – an ode to experience across our past, present, and future.  It follows first single ‘Signs‘, which premiered on Noisey, both of which are from his forthcoming EP ‘Holographic’, landing this August.

Artefact Magazine have described Yoh as ‘the introspective rapper who seems so beyond earthly inclinations, they might have as well been birthed by Sun Ra on his native Saturn’. He’s also been championed by Nothing Original, describing his tracks as ‘true poetic works of art laced with wisdom’, where his ‘irresistible flow paired with soothing ambient beats will never fail to serenade you and your higher self’. Given the truly unique sound of Yoh’s original material, we’re fascinated and delighted to hear some of the inspiration behind it. Here’s what he had to say about these influences:

“Every artist selected has, at multiple points, successfully created a world in which they’ve pulled me in, lectured and left me seeking more. Weaving between meditative and solace seeking ambiance, through energy-fuelled jazz- tinged scores, to evocative, contemplative and thought provoking lyricism, these artists represent a vanguard that shape the world with their sonic endeavours.

At the moment, I’ve been listening to a lot of Moses Sumney and James as I’ve really enjoyed the minimalism and unique approaches in their production styles over the years. I’ve learned a lot about respecting space sonically through their music.

I had the pleasure of meeting and performing on the same bill as Fishdoll a few years ago and can say she’s incredible. She has a bunch of wildly interesting songs but ‘Beijing Well’ is a favourite. It gives me feels from both Erykah Badu and Yukumi Nagano of Little Dragon, who are both incredible musicians that have influenced me.

‘California Sutra’ by Nadi Qamar and ‘Vrindavana Sanchara’ by Alice Coltrane are two tracks that bring me a lot of peace and clarity. Whether I’m beginning my day or trying to reset with a few deep breaths, there is an unmatched stillness in them that brings the universe a bit closer for me and helps me clear my mind.”


|| YOH ||