Tiko Marsala is the moniker for LA-based beatmaker and producer Stephen Kaplan. Formerly and forever apart of the rubyhornet family, Kaplan steps into his next endeavor as an artist with Lucid Dreams, his third beat tape of the year, released on April 1st.
The tape is one of those projects you can put on front-to-back, back-to-front, on repeat for an entire day without really noticing any repetitions. It’s the type of tape that sets the ambience for either a heavily productive day, or a lazy Saturday afternoon where you do nothing at all.
The debut track, “Earl Grey,” features a minimal beat, made asymmetrical by the water drop sensation and bird chirp loops. In other words, if you can’t step out into nature because of the quarantine, at least you can hear it. Nature seems to be a recurring theme throughout, present conceptually on “Cold Rain” and “Boulder.”
Tiko comments that creating this tape helped him in combating his anxiety, quite simply, “it’s 10 beats to relax to.” Accordingly, there is a level of escapism attached to Lucid Dreams. Whether it’s the serene violin tones on “Rio Lento,” or the light elements on “4:22,” you do feel your worries drifting away upon each listen, like a miniature vacation from reality.
Lucid Dreams proves that Tiko has got some serious chops when it comes to creating a space outside of the norm using his beats. So sit back, light a candle or two, and let this tape accompany your social distancing routine; whether it’s mindful or mindless.