Upstate New York has become a region flourishing with emerging indie artists, rich with creativity and vigor, and hungry to prove that artistry in the Empire State extends beyond the boroughs of NYC. David Barkie knows this all too well. Before his project Rhythm Rug got off the ground in 2013, he had already put in a decade’s worth of time in the studio, learning the nuances of engineering and making beats from renowned producers like Symbolyc One (Jay-Z, Kanye West).
“I left home at the age of 18 and opened a studio storefront with a couple of friends. When the studio closed at night I would sleep on the floor. During this time I spent sleepless nights recording, writing, and making beats for other artists.”
David Barkie is thoughtful and has a voice like honey and a breathtakingly broad musical palette. One listen to his project, Rhythm Rug, and in particular its latest track release “Near or Far (There You Are)”, and you will quickly realize that beat making is probably the one thing Barkie does not do! He designs luscious, layered and rhythmical soundscapes that will mesmerize your senses and destroy every single notion you have about music genres. Rhythm Rug makes music. Period.
On most digital selling platforms “Near or Far (There You Are)” is classified as Alternative Hiphop/Rap. I can understand the connection, but I cannot agree with its limitations. This circumscribes Rhythm Rug to one particular genre. And as we today, are all hopelessly stuck on genres, hordes of music lovers will miss the chance of appreciating the talents of this creative musical mind, simply because they love rock, pop or electronic music, but read Hiphop/Rap! Please people; just classify Rhythm Rug as music. If you want, at your discretion, you may add your own personal adjectives, such as: superlative, magnificent, accomplished, unparalleled etc.
Seriously, Rhythm Rug will appeal to just about anybody who appreciates good music. Though he is not obviously or desperately searching for crossover appeal, his music demonstrates how he excels at naturally achieving it. “Near or Far (There You Are)” beautifully combines the two basic elements that usually are capable of entrancing the masses – and that is melody and rhythm. Moreover, he adds in a killer amount of emotion and atmosphere through harmony, as well as keyboard and percussion textures.
To make sure this wasn’t just a one-off fluke, I checked out other songs by Rhythm Rug and was pleasantly surprised, as he repeats his talents on “The Giver”, “Caged Bird” and “The Garden”. This is a project to keep your eyes on very closely!