Hailing from Surrey, BC, Canada, Mark Generous is a hip-hop producer whose music bristles with authenticity and refreshing energy. Combining influences from chill-hop, lo-fi hip-hop, and lo-fi house, he presents a blend of sounds that is eclectic yet never loses its cohesiveness. With songs cloaked in nostalgic warmth, his music often inspires one to drift away blissfully and reminisce upon past memories.
Generous is an artist who has had a highly prolific journey in music, releasing over 15 beat-tapes in only 3 years and collaborating with labels such as Aviary Bridge, Etymology Records, and more. Going from producing beats in his hometown of Surrey, Canada, to having his songs streamed over 5 million times worldwide, his growth has been invigorating to witness. Expanding his skillset over a series of projects, beginning with his first release Inmyroom in 2019, the producer’s progression can be documented across his tapes. From his early work, one can witness the foundation that would later formulate his sound, from the glossy smoothness of the instrumental “Hands To The Sky” to the graceful, warm piano melodies of “Earl Grey”. Moreover, later songs like 2020’s “HEAVY EYES” and “Ease In” are evocative, drawing one in with their layered, immersive sonics.
His 2021 album The Search finds Generous drawing from all he has learned over his prolific run of releases, yet equally continuing to expand his palette. Opener “Lunar Sunset” sets the tone for the project, kicking it off in a laid-back yet expressive fashion. With textural, warm guitar samples swirling in layers over organic percussion, this beat feels meditative and tranquil. Graceful flutes are added to beautiful effect, giving the song an entrancing feel.
“Lunar Sunset” transitions smoothly into the dreamy “Azalea”, an earthy track that feels charmingly as if it were just dug out of the record crates. Here, expansive vocal samples give the song much sonic depth, pairing nicely with crunchy, head-nodding drums and a rich bass-line. A memorable moment on this track comes when the vocal samples transition into ethereal strings, giving it a new sonic dimension. Following this is the wistful “Two Twenty One”, which ups the energy slightly and adds a glitchier element. With mellow keyboards and snapping, catchy drums, this track provides heavy replay value. Next, “The Runner” conjures atmospheric samples and energizing drums to add extra momentum. Complete with a rumbling, infectious bass-line, this joint had us re-winding as soon as it finished.
An album highlight appears in the smoky, pensive “Keeping A Distance”, a sublime lo-fi composition effective in creating a surreal mood. Here, the pairing of rich, reminiscent horns with refreshing, watery keys allows for a layered feel that immerses the listener deeply into the track’s atmosphere. As warm, dusty drums play out beneath in a steady pace, “Keeping A Distance” lulls one into a peaceful state of mental clarity.
The following track “A Meal Before” is effective in its minimalism, with airy pianos drifting smoothly over relaxed drums. Partway through, an intriguing synth line is added that creates a textural edge within the track. An example of Generous’ ability to mix elements smoothly that would typically be paradoxical, the synths bring an enchanting element that hooks the listener.
Finally, album closer “The Drive Home” ties the sound of The Search together while also bringing in a refreshing style not otherwise heard on the project. Here, a lo-fi house beat containing shimmering, celestial keys and lively drums sets the tone of the track, before dropping into an addictive groove containing soulful vocal samples that feels truly euphoric. Pulsing with vibrance and vitality, “The Drive Home” finishes the album on a high note. This song embodies the album’s title, with a vibe of curiosity and longing for something greater.
Over the course of 8 tracks, The Search showcases Mark Generous’ eclectic sound and evocative, immersive style. Unwilling to settle for the formulaic, Generous mixes lo-fi hip-hop, lo-fi house, and chill-hop into a mesmerizing blend. A vibrant addition to his already extensive and diverse discography, The Search is an album that will certainly be in rotation for us entering the new year. If you enjoyed this record, be sure to check out Generous’ other tapes, released between 2019 to the present day.
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