Track Review: Proleter – ‘April Showers’
In French, proleter means proletarian, a person from the lower classes. Interesting then that French hip hop producer Proleter adopted it as his stage name: when he’s not crafting deliciously swinging beats, he makes a living at a factory.
Proleter specializes in abstract hip hop, fusing interesting soundscapes with hip hop structures. His beats incorporate a range of sounds – from jazz to swing to reggae. This sonic curiousity was borne out of his frustration with rock music, which he’d been playing before trying his hand at hip hop.
This particular track embodies the best of his style: a quirky retro sample and a thumping hip hop bassline. It sounds like something Timbaland could have produced – had he been alive in 1920s Paris.
Echoes of Proleter’s influences show up all over the song: the rich bass of DJ Premier, the crate-digging of DJ Shadow, the genre-mashing of Danger Mouse. Yet the track still feels fresh and vital.
In other words, April Showers is a treat; I can’t help but smile when I hear it. It’s an oddity, sure, but if interesting mash ups are your thing, give it a listen. You won’t regret it.