Review: Mitochi’s “Cryptic Cosmic”

Sub-Bombin Records, based out of Glens Falls, has always kept it fresh. The local label has curated a catalog of sounds from artists that each fill their own side of the venn diagram, but also share a common ground rooted in originality, quality production and that necessary balance between hard work and talent.

For Sub-Bombin, quality is a key word to the label’s aesthetic. The imprint aims to preserve the physical allure to music; something that so often is lost in the digital landscape. Sub-Bombin recognizes that the digital format is necessary in today’s music marketplace but also pairs each release with a physical element, either in the form of a customized USB or pressed on wax.

For their latest release, Mitochi’s “Cryptic Cosmic,” the music comes by way of a special USB card, which showcases the album’s artwork and can safely fit in a wallet. The USB card is a move of the future and an interesting way to distribute music. It feels sleek to the touch and is honestly the first of its kind that I’ve ever seen. The USB drive for Mitochi’s first release also features two additional bonus tracks.

Mitochi, (phonetically mi-ta-chi), is the moniker behind Lake George native Derek Mitchell. Mitchell has a background learning the trumpet and guitar early on, and moved onto beat production in 2002 after humbly realizing his talent did not lay in writing rhymes in high school. Over the years, his music has become more experimental and his latest album, “Cryptic Cosmic” is an interesting result of conceptualizing and creating a futuristic dossier of tunes.

The record has a balance of ambient and downtempo instrumental pieces but also samples hip-hop flavors. It’s an album that you can listen to on repeat or on shuffle or both. The tracks are all different without losing the touch and taste of the artist along the way. For one example, there is notable sampling of a slowed down Mitochi take on Dead Prez’s “Bigger Than Hip Hop” on the track “The Unknown Deep.” I personally don’t have a favorite individual track and appreciate the work as a whole, which I find to be a bit rare these days.

The tracks hold substantial weight and have a peculiar sense of intellectualism painted over them while still managing to showcase a feel of danceability. The album is adaptive for listening while driving, working, reading or browsing the Internet. The music is laid-back in nature but is by no means boring or simple.

Preview a track below and check out Mitochi’s album for yourself over on Sub-Bombin’s recently revamped website.

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