Sometime between 2011 and 2012 when Aten Rays was only a sophomore in high school, he picked up a copy of Ableton and began producing beats, entering the sensational world of music production. He was highly influenced by the growing trap music scene sweeping New York, as reflected in his earliest works. These songs contained many signature elements of the genre, such as rhythmic slaps and snare, gunshots and air horns. Although there were sure signs of his talent from the beginning, he lacked the experience and confidence to produce a sound that was uniquely his.
Over time, however, that began to change. Aten Rays’ music slowly started to evolve, incorporating more ambient sounds while retaining the percussive elements of traditional trap music. This delightful combination of ambience and trap beats can be heard very clearly in his break out song “Come with Me.”
The song starts out with an ambient soundscape produced by layered synthesizers. It could even be described as relaxing or meditative until an offbeat clap kicks in, followed by a kick drum, and eventually the drop. At the drop, the melody is immediately stripped away and replaced by a hard trap beat. The contrast surprises first time listeners, but when played on large speakers, it is sure to get everyone in the room nodding their heads and vibing to the rhythms.
In many ways the rhythms, more than anything else, differentiate Aten Rays from other artists. He is skilled in creating incredibly complex beat patterns involving kicks, snares, claps, djembas and more, while retaining a groove that anyone can jam to.
His most recent song “Birds,” recently released by the label SYZYGY, embodies this. In “Birds” Aten Rays shows off his talents by creating unique drum patterns. The sheer amount of sound can be overwhelming, but the variation between ambience and percussion allows for breathing room within the song.
With only four songs on his soundcloud, Aten Rays has already developed a devoted following from artists as well as listeners. He offers a refreshing twist to the genre of trap music, if you can even call his music trap music, and is definitely someone to watch in the coming years.