Monte Booker | Two Beats Ahead of the Game
A truly fresh sound, despite the thousands of new producers who emerge on Soundcloud every week, doesn’t come around too often. When you do find one, marked by a consistent and emotional flair on bedroom uploads or an unfamiliar and exceptional charm to big name releases, cherish that sound. It’s jarring and packed with beats, pauses, and ribbons of melody like nothing you’ve heard before. Think your first view of Kaytranada, Arca, Tokimonsta, Shigeto, Nicolas Jaar, Flying Lotus — whoever surprised you with their splendidly unique ear to beauty — and hold that baby like the sonic liberation it is / we need.
Monte Booker is an exciting curve in the waxing mold of Chicago’s sound. At only 19, he’s developed a signature mood to his heavily percussive tracks, most of which lounge on the slower, sexier side of the evening. Animated and pleasing melodies soften an otherwise jagged and slanted plane of abrupt, beat-broken rhythms. Nothing is flat and every measure feels as unpredictable as the last. We lean forward to keep on stable ground while listening to the seductive chaos of a Monte Booker track, and that’s when we start to dance.
While tracks like “Flight” and “Homealone” (below) showcase the compositional beauty of his music in its instrumental form, Booker seamlessly carves room for vocalists and rappers to shine strong, too. Monte Booker, Ravyn Lenae, and Smino regularly collaborate under Booker’s Zero Fatigue collective, honing the musicians’ traction to work with rappers Taylor Bennet, Noelz Vedere, and Jay2AintShit. There’s an even bigger future in store for Booker’s hip hop collaborations — where the Zero Fatigue / Bounce crew will be in one year is a truly exciting thought.
Follow Monte Booker on Soundcloud for a surge of future sound. Catch him at
Abbey Pub Township this Saturday, November 21, with Saba, Noname Gypsy, and Ravyn Lenae. Yeah, that’s probably the best local lineup we’ve seen hit Chicago in a while — don’t sleep on it.
Listen to Booker’s full EP on SOULECTION, one of the beat scene’s most sophisticated and reliable labels, below.