Essentials: Here & Now – Tabula Rasa Records

Tastemaker label Tabula Rasa—Latin for ‘blank state’—seeks to re-imagine what it means to be a home for creatives. Led by Jozef White and RamonPang, the label’s philosophy centers around permanence, wonder, and emotional utility, aiming to inspire and creatively elevate our human journeys.

Here & Now, the label’s first community compilation embodies the aforementioned attitudes to the fullest. Sitting at 16 tracks with a runtime of 65 minutes, the album is a cinematic soundscape that transports one’s consciousness to realms of rambunctious nightlife and galaxies that feel foreign or audibly unexplored.

Featuring resident tastemakers Asterisk Youth and Jozef White, familiar legends like Gaszia and Thys, rising artisans Kelbin, Skeith, Moemu, Kinoteki, ROBY, Psykh, and Xenon Chameleon, Here & Now unashamedly exclaims Tabula Rasa’s enigmatic love for experimental music. 

“Cloaca Shake” by Gaszia and Xenon Chameleon is experimental, bass-driven noise. Speedcore with Jungle tones takes you to a place you have never heard until pressing play.

“Passed By You” by Moemu and Skeith is an IDM-infused sound design with a groove. Autchere in a warehouse? Or being chased by a Necromancer in Dead Space?

“Make It” by Thys and Kelbin features UK Garage/Bassline influence with cute vocal chops,. A fun-filled dance floor should be expected with this one.

“Perky Loop” by Asterisk Youth and Ghost Forest begins as if one is being uploaded into a digital reality with infinite possibilities. Then the four-on-the-floor drums kick in, the arrangement of sounds progressing the listener into uncharted astral territory.

“Crash & Fall” by Clearcast and Psykh re-imagines Amen break percussion with Neo-Trance.

“Plasma Glass” by ROBY and dearest alyx features original vocals, telling a story that reflects upon rising above feeling lost, silent, and unfulfilled. Blending UKG drums with warm and melodic synths, they sing, “And I don’t wanna waste my days / Just to leave and break away.” The song’s final moments feature chords of a somber, yet hopeful piano to inspire peace through adversity.

Another vocal-driven record, “Fate” by Kinoteki, jhl, and SUB ENCODER is one of the lighter-sounding tracks in this communal gathering. The three artists channel lush, sparkly, and vibrant energies. Paired with the angelic harmonies of our singer, the gates of utopia feel opened. In the second half, the producers challenge us with new drums and percussion inspiring dance with movement. Cleverly enough, the final act combines Jazz with avant-garde sound design to proudly express their creative versatility.

“Sun Lover” by Gene GMGY, RamonPang, and Scamp is a love letter to none other than the listeners: the beings who share the same love for the endless sky and bright stars.

Founder Jozef White shares, “I want listeners to find, through this record, a moment of appreciation for the present in spite of all the chaos, conflict, and controversy… Here & Now is a message about what can be accomplished by creative and dedicated individuals when, even loosely, they are all intentionally headed in the same direction, and the moments of bliss that result.

Here & Now is available to stream and purchase on your favorite platforms such as Bandcamp.

New Yorkers can celebrate Tabula Rasa’s official release party in New York on June 9th, 2023. Featuring NYC debuts from RamonPang and Gaszia, along with world debuts from label breakouts Kinoteki and ROBY, Queens is in for an unforgettable evening.

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