“Proxima is my summation of some of these feelings, moods and events we’ve collectively encountered over the last year.” – Vapor Eyes
Proxima wastes little time before dropping into the high-energy rhythms of opening cut “Street Bible.” The laid back, bouncy grooves of “Jungle Law” are followed by an early stand out “Koyaanisqatsi,” a dreamy jazz-hop beat punctuated by stuttering vocal chops.
Halfway through the album’s lean track listing we are provided with “The Summer Sadness,” a soulful flip of a classic Kool & The Gang lick with a G-funk twist. “Millenial” is a relaxed, glittering beat that rolls into “Better Than Breathing,” where Vapor's hometown footwork influence is on full display. The song morphs back and forth from a fast-paced dance tune to a half-time head-nodder anchored by a vocal sample of fellow Chicago native Lupe Fiasco.
The final third of the album kicks off with the rocking, phase-heavy “Twilight Swim,” followed by the album’s sole vocal feature on “Blood in the Snow.” Michigan artist Stylee brings a melodic flow to his stream-of-consciousness, poignant prose. The catchy, dub-style chorus floats over descending chimes and double-time hi-hat rhythms. The album rounds off with “Clear View in the Rearview” where Vapor Eyes continues his signature genre-blending with a modulated dancehall vocal, a pounding bass line and the constant rise and fall of piano/flute combo.
By the album’s completion, you feel as if you’ve completed a master class in inventive beat making. The unique hybrid of styles anchored by samples and break beats along with thought provoking subject matter make Proxima the most relevant Vapor Eyes release to date.