Chapter 21 Creating beats in insular times – our debut album „Into The Blue“

“Berlin duo rocomoco have a fuzzy, lo-fi touch to their work, matching laid back electronics to subtle use of melody.”
CLASH Magazine

From the moody textures, jazzy chords, and lively drum grooves, rocomoco sure delivers the goods in high quantities.“
The Word Is Bond

We love these guys since 2018. I feel so happy as rocomoco will be releasing a debut album named Into The Blue during the next month! Their lo-fi tempo aesthetics have ruled the nowadays picturesque scene reminding us of the good old 90s vibes.
Give it a spin!

We will be releasing our debut album, Into The Blue on the 29th of October via Aviary Day on Aviary Bridge Records Ltd. On our LP, listeners will find the softly caressing lead single, Sparkling From A Distance.  Already available are the previously released singles, Grooveshop with Hoffy Beats, Djeep with Devon Rea, Years and Warm Flicker.

So far we have earned over 11 million streams across platforms, with features on vibe-maker Youtube channels such as nourish., Dreamy, Délicieuse Musique, College Music, STEEZYASFUCK, and The Jazz Hop Cafe to boot as well as appearing on Mr Suicide Sheep’s Favourites Spotify playlist. We have bee been picked several times by Apple Music Beatstrumentals and Spotify Jazz Vibes, Lofi Beats, Chill Lofi Study Beats, Chill Instrumental Beats, Fresh Finds:Indie. We have also been featured in Last Day Deaf’s Cool Smooth Chill playlist and received written support from the likes of CLASH Magazine, The Word is Bond, IndieShuffe, A Closer Listen, Stereofox, and Give It A Spin.  

From the press release of our promotion agency The Playground:

The Berlin-based duo rocomoco incorporate a collection of chilled vibes, jazzy guitars and dusty beats with a forward-looking left-leaning edge into their work, calling upon the likes of J Dilla, Nujabes and Jinsang while they do so. In turn, their sound draws parallels to the likes of Potsu, Kruder & Dorfmeister, FKJ and Nightmares on Wax. The album was inspired by rocomoco attending “The Big Chill” event in New York in March 2020. Creating the album required an important dose of inspiration and motivation to stay on top of things in the following long period of lockdowns and social distancing caused by the pandemic dangers.

A crowded room, illuminated by dimmed lights and the casual buzz of the symbiotic exchange of ideas. The dusty lo-fi hip hop tunes provide the canvas for the broad brushstrokes of casual conversation: revolution, politics and socio-economic statuses. All addressed, acknowledged and allowed to slip away into their night’s air to be resolved at another point when the rhythmic tones of the DJ in the corner are pulling you onto the dance floor. It is in this space that Into The Blue was born and developed over the following months, gaining layers of complexity and nostalgia as rocomoco delve into their own minds. The album’s lead single ‘Sparkling From A Distance’ takes ultraslow 66 bpm hip hop beats, curtained pianos and backward running guitars and melt them with memories of being being cought by the enigmatic presence of a stranger.

We wanted to create empowering and positive vibes that breathe a dose of nostalgia with a healthy touch of melancholia. Creating beats and forming tracks became our way to escape from the daily needs and worries in 2020 when we wrote the album. Into the Blue has been our leitmotif and the tracks have been our constant companions, like pages in a personal diary about our mental states and emotions. Lofi beats are often seen only as functional music to relax, focus and chill only. But chilled beats can be more than just background noise. Music in general has the power to evoke memories and especially the dusty lofi hip hop beats are the go to retreats for memories. They are daydreams designed to act as containers for everyone’s emotions, thoughts and experiences.

Into The Blue LP Tracklisting

1. Into The Blue

2. Grooveshop (with Hoffy Beats)

3. Aurola (with Bastido)

4. Djeep (with Devon Rea)

5. Warm Flicker 

6. Sparkling From A Distance

7. Lay Back (with The Hidden and Harry Hawaii)

8. Years

9. Some More Luck (with Tabi)

10. Clouds

Chapter 20 Detecting warmth in a cold world: Warm Flicker

Our first single Warm Flicker from the first rocomocos forthcoming album Into The Blue” (scheduled for September 2021) combines downtempo music and lofi hip hop. It is inspired by the vibe of Nineties music from Kruder and Dorfmeister, Rockers Hifi or Guru’s Jazzmatazz and you will hear the crunch and the dust of nowadays lofi hip hop productions.

„From the moody textures, jazzy chords, and lively drum grooves, rocomoco sure delivers the goods in high quantities.“ (The Word is Bond https://www.thewordisbond.com/top-instrumental-submissions-ep5-july-2021/)

One of the samples contains the shout out “Keep it warm flicker” which leads to the main topic of the track. Warm Flicker sentimentally looks back to real life moments when the flame of a candle and a good friend by your side had been enough to make you feel at home in the world. Today the computer screens have replaced the candles. Even tho it is a cold type of light, LED monitors can evoke cozy illusions of social participation. They are keeping us entertained and they are holding us back from asking and overthinking too much.

“Warm Flicker” is the first single from the first rocomoco’s forthcoming album Into The Blue”. The track is as eclectic as they come and fuses elements from downtempo music and lofi hip hop. From the moody textures, jazzy chords, and lively drum grooves, Rocomoco sure delivers the goods in high quantities.

Detecting warmth in a cold world

Chapter 19: Colimba – building a lofi kalimba instrument in Ableton life

This is about how we built the Lofi Kalimba and the creative process behind the single Colimba. Follow us on Spotify to unlock a free download of the Lofi Kalimba & SP404 EFX Simulator DIY pack for Ableton Live 10/11 here: https://hypeddit.com/url/o8zhzw

Building the instrument

The western kalimba we usually know is a simple, easy to play diatonic instrument. It has a cosy, innocent sound that connects instantly. We have rebuilt the kalimba in an Ableton Live sampler to add our electronic arsenal of Lofi EFX by using our SP404 EFX Simulator. We wanted to automize, chop, pitch, bend, delay and filter the kalimba to its extends and control the kalimba sound by ADSR functions. Out came the very chilled single Colimba (May 04, 2021) and the Ableton Live instrument we call Rocolimba. (https://hypeddit.com/url/o8zhzw).

The origins of the Kalimba are rooted in the African Culture.„Mbira (the name of both the instrument and the music) is mystical music that has been played for over a thousand years by certain tribes of the Shona people, a group that forms the vast majority of the population of Zimbabwe, and extends into Mozambique. The most important function of mbira is as a “telephone to the spirits”, used to contact both deceased ancestors and even more ancient tribal guardians, at all-night bira (pl. mapira) ceremonies“. (https://mbira.org/what-is-mbira/mbira-music/the-role-of-mbira-in-shona-culture/)

Listening to the original polyphonic and polyrhythmic mbira we felt delighted to hear how the ancient healing vibes are also shining in the context of our music of lofi hiphop drums, pianos, guitars and heavy electronic lofi processing.

Get a taste of the mbira vibe here:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/48TSi7mv1sTJdsQefOGr9g?si=b41273d897ce48fd

Check our single Colimba here:
https://abr.fanlink.to/colimba

Chapter 18 Bonjour HipDozer – Dawn with Devon Rea

Cover by Hugo Mut for HipDozer

We are writing here to share our expiriences in the global community of lofi beatmakers and to tell the stories behind the creative ideas we had in mind for our instrumentals. The single „dawn“ has been released in early spring 2021 but we started to work on that tune in summer 2020 together with the talented Devon Rea from Texas. We tried to catch the euphoric vibe of the moment when you feel something new, something overwhelming good and beautiful lies in front of you. Here it was a very peaceful early morning on a warm summer day in the countryside, the fog rised from the river and the birds already sang loudly to scrare away the darkness. Some original field recordings from that morning went into that track.

Early morning summer vibes

Out of the sudden HipDozer had sent us a direct message on Instagram. After a short chat we pitched „dawn“ to that fantastic first wave classic lofi hiphop label we love so much and the agreed for a release of this collab single! Here is what they wrote about the track: „Devon Rea from Texas and the German producer duo rocomoco are keeping things chilled and inspiring with “Dawn”, a track to soothe your soul. This track brings organic vibes with calming melodies, resulting in a relaxing atmosphere. Whether you are studying for an exam, struggling to fall asleep, or in need of refreshing vibes, this chillhop beat is the right choice for your ears.“ Feb 5, 2021 by Mathieu Leglise
dawn

Chapter 17: rocomoco and $outh$ide „Introspectiva“ – the story behind the song

It always takes us a long time until we are able to publish a piece of new music. Why can’t we go faster? What happens in all that time between the first idea until the finnished product? This is an inside view about the making of Introspectiva and the stories behind the song.

The starting point of a new track can be a sample, a melody, a drumloop or an idea from a collaboration partner. In case of Introspectiva we have been hooked about 10 months ago by a $outh$ide synth line in a track they called Intro$pectiva https://soundcloud.com/southsidesohigh/1-intro-pectiva. So we ran into the second collab with the young and talented rap duo from Chile by asking for stems. We are working on a lot of beats at the same time using Ableton live. All data is stored on a cloudserver so we both can work independently on the projects. The editing and arrangement process is always taking turns between us. While most of the lofi producers are working on their own, we create as a duo. Producing together with a friend is a lot more fun and the music that evolves is more than just the sum of the individual parts. You may listen to the finnished track here: https://abr.fanlink.to/introspectiva


The creative process goes beyond music and it often happens that things are falling into place naturally when you live a while with a piece of music you are creating. Visually we felt the chilled latin american electro vibe of the track and the title Introspectiva goes well with chemograms. Chemograms are abstract paintings from the darkroom.made out of light, chemical liquids, and foto paper. Leni Berlin came along with them. You instantly start to read those pictures that are litarally evolving out of nothing: looks like a view from a hill to the sea, reminds of the paintings by Mark Rothko and so on. We decided to choose one of them for the cover artwork. A choice that was shaped by personal experiences, culture and another important ingridient: “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart“. This quote comes from the astonishing blind and deaf 19th century author Helen Keller – a bit pathetic but hey, it’s true.

The last chapter of our eclectic journey was the making of audiovisual content to feed the internet. Our ideas stemmed from photography, inside views, the sea, chemical liquids, painting with light, reading abstract pictures and discovered Edward Weston on YouTube. He is one of the 20th centuries masters of photography with an approach of creating fotos as an inner conversation with nature. His photos are outstanding statements and they are revealing a lot about his inner personality: „to perceive the aura of an object we look at means to invest it with the ability to look at us in return.“ (Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt (1968). “Illuminations”). OK, enough of that, let’s leave the lecture hall. We asked our friend Dan McRae aka The Hidden to cut a video from the beautiful documentaries about Edward Weston and whatever comes into his mind additionally. He felt inspired by the music and our ideas and he had a 4 hours creative sprint. Out came a very special piece of audiovisual art in the best manner of hiphop’s sampling culture. Thank you, Dan.

So, mission completed. That was the end of the creative journey to Introspectiva. We hope you like the souveniers we brought: https://abr.fanlink.to/introspectiva.

16 Wishing the Clouds Away with rocomoco and The Hidden

Late summer 2020 we released the EP „Wishing the Clouds Away“ with Dan McRae aka The Hidden. We were surprised to shocked that we got featured in A Closer Listen. A Closer Listen is a very picky blog made by lovely music connaisseurs with a broad taste in music far away from the mainstream: https://acloserlisten.com/2020/08/07/summer-days-wishing-the-clouds-away-with-rocomoco-the-hidden-and-the-cast-of-aviary-bridge/. They also took the artwork of our EP into their Top 10 artworks 2020! In lofi hiphop it is all about vibes, vibes and vibes. Even though we are mostly into instrumentals, we we want to tell stories. Track titles and visuals are a vital part of our our stories told in 2 minutes lofi beats. In the early days lofi hiphop videos started using japanese animes like flipping jazz samples in the SP404. Which all starts back in 2004 with Nuhabes and the soundtrack to Samurai Champloo. When you dive deeper into the lofi hiphop culture nowadays you will see a much wider range of styles in music and in visuals. We always loved the work of the Moscow based artist Abstractjity and asked him to develop a visual concept for the EP by using his cut up collage style. That was January 2020 shortly before the pandemic breakout of the Corona Virus that had an incredible big influence on the mood of all of us this year. So this was our original briefing where we thought that the EP title will come from one of the tracks:

„We are preparing an EP at the moment with the title „far away from everything“. Very chilled and ambient vibes. We have the idea to use seperate layers or/parts of the collage for singles upfront. So this would be a unique way to use your excellent work that matches our look and feel so well.“ But Abstractjity also needed a sujet to create an image so we had a brainstorming in an Insta dm chat and came out with these topics: „Mountains, stars, planets, reading books is never wrong. Clouds and escapism is fine.“

Abstractjity came back with the cover artwork. Bang! A perfect match to the vibe and mood we were looking for and a big inspiration for us, because we were still working on the music. Based on his artwork we also decided to change the title into „Wishing the clouds away“.

15 Falling Apart with Hoffy Beats from Copenhagen

We are pretty fanatic when it comes to cover artworks and there is always a story behind. Even in case of our new single „Falling Apart“ (link in bio). A few months ago and out of the sudden the paylist curator @its_dreamy_yt picked an old rocomoco tune called „somewhere else“. We checked his playlist on Spotify and were totally flashed from his playlist cover art. What’s happening with the guy standing alone in the pouring rain starring at his smartphone? Oh, he looks so sad. There is always someone on the the other end of a mobile message who is getting affected emotionally. Maybe he got a message from his girl friend saying that she wants to split up? We don’t know, but always wanted to create a track that catches the mood, the feelings and our imagination of the situation where yearning, desperation and pure beauty are close together. We were more than happy when we found Karen Lopèz from Spain @kiileray who was able to set our idea into a picture which became the artwork of our new single „Falling Apart“ with Hoffy Beats from Copenhagen. Thx @aviary.bridge for your support finding Karen! Don’t miss to visit Jonas Hoffmann’s Insta @hoffybeats and check out this incredible talent in playing an outstanding jazzy piano. He now is an absolute highflyer within the lofi hiphop producer scene!

14 Chats With Thomas: rocomoco, The Hidden, and how the trio manifest harmony in our world. (Interview + Mini Documentary)

Whow, there is an epic interview done by Thomas Woodham available on the blog of Aviary Bridge Records: https://aviarybridgerecords.com/blog/f/chats-with-thomas-rocomoco-the-hidden. Thank you Thomas, even for the nice quote about us and the Hidden

Immediately identifiable by its charming piquancy, the sound of this international trio ventures into new stylistic territory. With the beat-driven and uplifting creative voices of Rocomoco and the expressive, cinematic mind of The Hidden, together they are evolving lofi hiphop and chillhop. Positivity and pacified focus radiate effortlessly through their work. Inherently visual in nature, the three are known for inspiring paradisiacal scenes via sonic legerdemain. True to the personality of the creators, their tunes remain amicable, accessible, and strikingly fresh.

13. Hightea with Dan McRae aka The Hidden EP „3:30pm“(24.02.20)

Crossing borders: two beatmakers from Berlin joined high tea with The Hidden aka Dan MacRae from Southampton. Check out what these three dudes brewed on their new five track EP full of dusty beats and chilled vibes. Well, off we go. Check out the stories behind the EP, pictures and videos here: http://bit.ly/330pm_info

Here are some responses we had on the EP:

Intoxicating and exiting (Le Visiteur) +++ Sounds that grip the soul (Word Is Bond) +++ Blending the genres of Lo-Fi, Indie and Downtempo rocomoco + The Hidden is something that is a pleasure to chillout to (Stereofox) +++ Hypemachine Charts Top 10 +++ Playlist picks by Apple Music Beatstrumentals, Czech Vibes, Lofi Study Beats, Sphere of Hip Hop, IndieShuffle and many more.

Water is boiling for high tea at 3:30pm

Btw. the first single and title track went Top 10 in the Hypem charts!

The EP has been released by the lovely label Aviary Bridge Records from Eindhoven. Sidenote: Garot Michael Conklin from New York (who played trumpet on „bouncy“) has connected us months ago with the label. That’s the way it goes in the lofi family – thx Garot!

12. „I love you (너무 사랑해)“- with ESAE from Los Angeles on Orikami Records from Paris

In the words of the blessed singer ESAE:

I worked on a single with awesome producer duo rocomoco. What resulted is a global collaboration spanning across Los Angeles, Berlin, and Paris. Releasing with Orikami Records is always a joy and a privilege, and I’m excited to show you this single and the gorgeous artwork by Zomkashwak.

„i love you (너무 사랑해)“ is a wholesome and sweet song about unconditional love. I feel like we could all give and take some of it, no matter what kind of day it is. I feel like this is most representative with my relationships with cats HAH. They let me pet them and I love them because the way they are, even though they don’t love me back sometimes :‘)

The song is now on all platforms for streaming and purchase! (https://song.link/i/1484137151). I hope to make some brighter, happier songs in the future and this is a good start.

With all my love,
ESAE

Artwork by https://zomkashwak.com/