I’m not as much of a Bandcamp fan as my fellow lobsters. Instead, I find my obscure music on Soundcloud thanks to following loads of music blogs and former finds of mine. I kind of got lucky on this one, though. Pigeons & Planes posted CE‘s “Mudra,” originally recorded back in 2012, just the other day. It’s a simple, heart-wrenching tune that’s reminiscent of James Blake, Bon Iver and even Kanye West‘s “Only One.”
CE’ s already impressive voice is given new electronic layers to add depth to the already deep song. In the wrong hands, this strategy could lead to an over-saturated mess, but CE proves his ability by doing so. But the most impressive part has to be the end when CE samples his own deceased father to close out the song and the album, Siddha. The feels, doe.
Of course, I wasn’t about to stop my digging at just one song. I quickly googled the name of his debut album, because “CE” is too obscure to search alone. It was then that I found out the dude could spit, too! “Love & Good Dreams” proved to be a good introduction for me into his rapping career. The track starts out with a building electro-soul introduction before CE goes into his rhymes. By the end, the song breaks down into a headphone-shattering, bass-heavy outro with CE chanting “fuck a Julliard n****.”
After “Love & Good Dreams,” it was easier to hear that CE actually does more work with a hip-hop duo by the name of Quincy Vidal than he does as a solo artist. Quincy Vidal is comprised of CE and fellow friend and emcee Le’Asha Julius. CE still keeps his soulful nature in this duo, but he is much more hip-hop oriented than he seemed to be on Siddha. The duo’s last album, Utopia|LDZ, is a beautifully produced ode to hip-hop’s prime without bailing on their collective modern influences.
“LDZ” is a powerful song that shows CE’s improvement as far as a hip-hop artist. While Siddha featured some lackluster lines, “LDZ,” released in 2014, shows CE leaving as much of himself in the verses as he has done with hooks for years now. Plus, the latter-half of the video also shows just how talented Julius is as an emcee. If you want to listen to more than CE alone, you still have to check out the fantastic collaboration between these two talented individuals.
However, the problem with finding these hidden gems within the Internet’s rough is that it’s like falling in love with someone across the room. Sure, that look you exchanged was something you’ll never forget, but you might never see them again. We might never get a sequel to Siddha and, while Vidal has said they plan to release more music, who’s to say when that will happen. Love is a fickle thing, but internet-music might be even worse.