Various Artists – Bulgarian Beat Wave Vol 1 & 2 (Stereofox Records)

Was doing my general Bandcamp browse this past weekend, and the Bulgarian Beat Wave vol. 2 compilation album. As it’s my country, I feel a sense of pride in the quality of music coming out of there, and also a sense of responsibility in covering a project like this. The guys at Stereofox put this together, with me not realising that half of their crew are actually Bulgarian!

Vol. 1 came out back in 2022 and features a plethora of talented producers. Mainly soulful and soothing hip-hop production, the 19 tracks give an insight into sound of the Eastern European land, and it’s a colourful and inspiring one. The funk, soul and incredibly lush production from all the artists featured on the compilation is just incredible, as tracks like “Crossover” by ymprl & TromBobby & Low Heat featuring Kamen and “Blazin'” by Low Heat and featuring EVDN. & Peyotoff are rich in their synth leads and how they complement the groovy and colourful basslines, with catchy melodies making them engaging listens. And these are only the two opening tracks, with the remaining others being equally as captivating as the rest. SMYAH’s “Necessities” featuring TromBobby is smooth and ethereal listen, with some traditional Bulgarian influences there, another highlight of this tape, while Rado Kazasov’s “Dee Jay” featuring Peyotoff & EVDN. is another great moment on the album, with hard-hitting drums and a lush, melodic guitar groove that continues throughout.

Vol. 2 came out last month, with more melodic and hard-hitting moments. “Cabriolet Dreams” by Boyan is a highlight, with its sweet and lush piano keys, contrasted by emphatic bass-heavy drums, and a jazzy mood that perfectly captures the mood of the project as a whole. ymprl, EVDN. & Peyotoff’s Brazilian influence on “Engraçado” is clear and it is an emphatic track, while the almost industrial nature of Gena’s “Generator” is another fantastic moment on the album, while the similarly eerie “Coral Nodes” by SMYAH is also terrific, with infectious tribal energy. RADO and SMYAH’s “ZZZ” is a subdued yet reflective moment on the album, bringing a different type of pace and energy to some of the other tracks on the album. Overall, vol. 2 brings the same consistency as vol.1, with some more dynamic and colourful moments, over a longer tracklist.

The variety in sound of these two compilation projects makes the Bulgarian Beat Wave series one that is a great representation of the country’s musical talents. It’s a consistently great project, and I’m very proud that it comes from my home country, something I should be supporting a whole lot more than I am currently. Listen to Stereofox Records’ Bulgarian Beat Wave Vol 1 & 2 below and don’t forget to support!

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I run In Search Of Media with the aim of giving a platform to independent beatmakers, rappers and talented musicians. I also hope to make this a home for music discovery, interesting film analysis, exhibition reviews and other interesting content for all of you guys to dive in to. I hope to start a podcast and documentary-style project soon. If you're looking to be a part of this creative project, please go to the contact page and drop me an email, or connect via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I also write for 'Music Is My Sanctuary.' Thanks 🙏

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