It’s likely you’ll have to wilfully subject your ears to a lot of suffering as you trawl through redundant artists and rough tunes in search of a gem in the new music scene. It’s certainly more miss than hit since electronics and software have democratised music; a learned musician and a creative novice share a level playing field as creativity is not limited to how well you can play an instrument.
The flipside of this is the illusory sense that anyone can produce tracks just as well as the natural or accomplished creatives, though, if the process has indeed become democratic, then it has also become inclusive of lesser musical endeavours.
My first discovery of new music in Sheffield was, however, contrary to the general experience I mentioned before as it required no painful effort.My halls at uni housed musicians whom harboured serious musical ambitions (I didn’t discover this till heavy bass was consistently pounding my walls from everywhere at nine in the morning during the following months though).
One of these guys, who goes by the stage name Timbah, originates from Nottingham but in the two years since he started at Sheffield University, he has settled well into the Sheffield music scene, developing a rapport with the local label Bad Taste Records and featuring on a number of bills.
His lead single ‘Can’t Love Without You’ floats mellow R’n’B samples atop spiralling chiptune synths, and intricate bass lines. Timbah sounds like a wizened disciple of James Blake with a more sophisticated ear for precision, layering, smooth vibes and syncopated beats.
The EP, which shares the lead singles title and has been received well online, was released earlier this year (available from Boomkat) and features big Sheffield names like Walter Ego in the mix.