Genre-bending lo-fidelity beats from Los Angeles.
A product of Minnesota, Riley Smithson has been releasing music for nearly a decade as Shrimpnose—an alias he launched in 2017 with the Dawn cassette tape. He became drawn to music after developing a debilitating stutter in childhood as a way of articulating feelings, (“It’s always been so much easier for me to express how I’m feeling through playing rather than words. If I get stuck on a word, it’s even hard sometimes to think of the words I want to say,” Smithson told Passion of the Weiss) and launched his career by selling beats to Minnesota rappers. To make every dollar stretch, he’d skip meals and sleep on computer chairs in his warehouse studio, but nowadays he’s touring all across North America from his home in Los Angeles, California.
Since Dawn, Smithson released his trademark genre-bending beats on Friends of Friends (home to Shlohmo, GROUNDISLAVA, Daedelus), Dome of Doom (home to QRTR, Jon Casey, and Daedelus), Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder, and jazz powerhouse Blue Note Records. Next up is As It Seems, a new album that touches on post-dubstep, future bass, and hyperpop through a lens of raw indie rock—with lyrics touching on disability, isolation, and feelings of codependence, coming on Friends of Friends this October. To support its release, Smithson has delivered an XLR8R podcast, which is filled with exclusive remixes and tracks from the upcoming album. Press play for one hour of visceral soundscapes laced with Smithson’s trademark dissonant guitar and loose percussion.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I spent the last year or so really honing my sound and discovering exactly what it was that I wanted to say with my new music. I needed it to be very genuine to my inspirations and a reflection of myself as a person. Last year I toured with Anomalie and Bad Snacks, and a bit with Blockhead in 2021. So the fact I got them both featured on my album feels like a very gratifying moment for me!
02. What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been kind of all over the place lately. A lot of Elliott Smith and Alex G. A lot of Floating Points and Burial. The new Earl Sweatshirt track is a recent favorite.
03. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix this week at my parents’ house in Minnesota. I happened to be back in town for a vacation with some friends and I put it together before we left. I always feel a huge amount of creativity whenever I’m back in Minnesota.
04. What setup did you use?
I always perform and do my mixes in Ableton on my laptop, using an Ableton Push 2, an Arturia MiniLab Mk II, and a nanoKONTROL. I actually don’t even know how to use CDJs. I need to learn soon!
05. How did you choose the tracks you’ve included?
The mix is largely songs from my upcoming album, As It Seems, which is coming this October. I feel like I rarely get the opportunity to share my more hype tracks online, so I wanted to showcase some of my heavier material as well as some released tracks.
06. What can the listener expect?
The listener can expect an exploration of genres tied together by my musical philosophy. It’s all original tracks or remixes I’ve made, and I like my mixes to be kind of unpredictable. I feel like I have to represent the different sides of myself.
07. Where do you imagine the mix being listened to?
I think the mix would lend itself to a group of friends hanging together after some time apart. I made the mix in the same mind state: excited to spend time with people I care about. I always show my friends all my projects, and we live across the country from each other so these opportunities are cherished highly.
08. What’s next on your horizon?
I have my next album, As It Seems, coming this fall on Friends of Friends, with a list of featured musicians that are both some of my inspirations and my close friends. We’re putting together a tour right now: I can’t say too much but it’s looking pretty exciting. I’m excited to get some of this new music into the world. I’m going for sounds I haven’t in the past, so I’m looking forward to release and letting go of my own expectations and kind of letting the music speak for itself.
XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Shrimpnose “Relief!” (Friends of Friends)
02. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)
03. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)
04. Shrimpnose & Joe Nora “Unreleased” (Unreleased)
05. Shrimpnose “Achilles” (Friends of Friends)
06. Shrimpnose & Holly “Unknown” (Unreleased)
07. Ice Spice “In Ha Mood” (Shrimpnose remix) (Self-Released)
08. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
09. Gucci Mane & Wake Flocka Flame “15th and the 1st” (Shrimpnose remix) (Unreleased)
10. Ice Spice “Princess Diana” (Shrimpnose remix) (Self-Released)
11. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
12. Shrimpnose “Cherish” (Friends of Friends)
13. Shrimpnose, Afternoon Bike Ride, Bobby Raps “Unreleased” (Friends of Friends)
14. Rico Nasty “OHFR?” (Shrimpnose remix) (Self-Released)
15. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
16. Shrimpnose “Charon’s Respite” (Friends of Friends)
17. Shrimpnose, Somni, and quickly, quickly “Smoke Blanket” (Friends of Friends)
18. Little Snake & Shrimpnose “Fever Dream” (Brainfeeder)
19. Shrimpnose “Shiver” (Friends of Friends)
20. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
21. Shrimpnose, Anomalie, and Bad Snacks “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)
22. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)
23. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
24. Shrimpnose, Blockhead, and Blu “Unreleased” (Friends of Friends)
25. Shrimpnose “Unreleased” (Friends of Friends)
26. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
27. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
28. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
29. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Unreleased)
30. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)
31. Shrimpnose “Unknown” (Friends of Friends)