New York experimental hip-hop group Ratking carved out a unique sound on their debut record So It Goes. It could lead you to believe they’re three similar but in fact their music emerges from the fundamental differences between the group’s members.
Unlike wild child Wiki and mild and mellow Hak, the group’s producer Sporting Life approaches music in a deeply analytic and meticulous way. He loves sport and scoring and often talks about music in the sort of statistical terms you might see on SportsCenter.
It’s an approach you can here on his fucking brilliant debut solo album, comprised of ten instrumental tracks of mind-bending beats, twisted samples and fuzztones chords. There is a heavy footwork influence, but its squashed into a more hip-hop format with nods to the mixtape/sampleadelic tradition.
"Fan-made YouTube basketball highlight videos were a big inspiration for the project as a whole," Eric explains. "I was trying to make tracks that you could put images of athletes playing sports to, because when I watchsports set to certain music it gives me chills sometimes, or might bring a tear to my eye because of the emotion the players might be showing at the same time some ill track is playing.”
The basketball influence is writ large on the first video from the record, “Badd," which sees Sport challenging players on a court that looks a bit like the Noisey logo. Watch the video below: