Friday Five: Tru Klassick, JahSun, DACAMERA, Ness Lake, Lily Talmers


Cover art for the albums and singles featured in the Friday Five.

Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.

This week features beat tapes by Tru Klassick and JahSun, drum 'n' bass by DACAMERA, emo-indie-tronica by ness lake, and a melancholic single by Lily Talmers.


Tru Klassick, Time Flies Beat Tape 
Ann Arbor hip-hopper Tru Klassick can do it all, from rapping to making beats—but sometimes he doesn't do them at the same time, which is the case with his latest wordless beat tape. If you're a rapper without a producer, you could hone your chops by writing lyrics to these 17 tracks. Time Flies Beat Tape is also an excellent listen on its own as Tru Klassick keeps the vibes mellow and funky.


JahSun, Jah's Connect V2 and "Nightmare"
As JahSun did on his Jah's Connect mixtape—where the Ypsi producer took tracks by the likes of OutKast and Kendrick Lamar and remixed them—his two latest releases also plunder existing tracks to show what he can do with them by applying some studio magic. I didn't spend enough time with the 12-track Jah's Connect V2 to track down his sources, but the "Nightmare" single is a chopped and slowed take on Method Man's "Bring the Pain."


DACAMERA, The Subtle Art 
Ypsilanti's AGN7 label continues its flawless track record of working with modern-day drum 'n' bass artists who continue to tweak the now 30-year-old genre in a way that makes it sound simultaneously current and vintage. Texas-based artist DACAMERA calls his music drumfunk, a modern-day take on jungle, but if you had told me his new album, The Subtle Art, came out in 1995, I would believe you because of the way he mixes jazzy chords and manic, chopped-up beats. Yet it also sounds like the type of music you might hear in a brand-new video game, or even in a high-end nightclub. It's subtle, it's art, it's timeless.


ness lake, voice of three 
While ness lake is primarily a vehicle for Ypsilanti's Chandler Lach, he's been collaborating more and more with fellow musicians over the past year-plus. The six songs on the new voice of three all have guest artists, and the mini-album is a taster for the forthcoming ness lake record berries go, which may well have collabs on every cut. But even with the guests, the heart of ness lake's sound comes from Lach's longtime exploration of emo-ish melodies and lo-fi electronics. He's a prolific, appealing songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve and doesn't waste time trying to make everything picture-perfect. Life is a mess; music can be a li'l messy, too.


Lily Talmers, "The Mask You're Wearing"
Great artists frequently come to mind whenever I listen to the music of Lily Talmers, a former Ann Arborite who moved to Brooklyn, New York, soon after she graduated from U-M. While listening to Talmers' new single, "The Mask You're Wearing," I thought about Mary Margaret O'Hara, Dolly Parton, Billie Holiday, Phoebe Bridgers, and Rickie Lee Jones. It's not even because Talmers sounds like any of them; rather, she shares their idiosyncracies with phrasing and pronunciation, while being immediately recognizable from the first word that comes out of her mouth. Talmers described this song as "the weirdest thing I've ever made," but it's also one of her best with simple piano, distant vibraphone, and rattling percussion supporting her melancholic lyrics, which also have a dash of dark humor. So good.

Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.