Baltra – “Breathe Deep” (Future Classic) [May 17, 2024]

New York-based and Philadelphia-born Baltra has been a prominent figure in the electronic music scene for over a decade. His style is distinguished by its emotional depth and nostalgia, setting him apart from many of his contemporaries. First garnering attention during the 2010s Lofi House explosion, alongside artists like Mall Grab and DJ Seinfeld, he quickly amassed a substantial following with his signature style that quickly mesmerizes its listeners. An inviting left-turn from the norms of electronic music in favor of creating a sense of intrigue and enigma through resonance, he leaves a mark shaded in colors of luminous gloom. 

Encountering an artist who can smoothly tap into your emotions is a rarity, yet Baltra has mastered this craft. With a discography that plays out like a ‘dear diary’, he has brought to the masses emotions that some may try hard to hide. The dark, the bleeding heart, joy, pain, euphoria, and bittersweetness all rolled into one—his touch pulls on the heart leaving a lasting imprint that reverberates endlessly in the mind. His versatility is evident in his exploration of various tempos and styles, from House to Trip-Hop and Downtempo. The use of both his own vocals and those of collaborators adds a personal and intimate dimension to his music. His latest offering “Breathe Deep” offers all the flavors we’ve come to love with a fresh rinse and an airy nature. 

The title track is an atmospheric dream, touting deep, pulsing sub bass, and repeating euphoric vocals alongside a gnarly lo-fiesque bass grind that adds a deeper dimension. It is definitely a tune to easily get lost in and one that could add depth to any dancefloor adventure. Rolling on with more gnarly bass snares, ‘Overdrive’ pulls from the dark side and kicks on with heavy bass. Groove setting, the tune quickly establishes a steady bounce and entrances with swirling vocals and muted percussion. One not to be slept on, ‘Good Intentions’ shifts us quickly towards the light. Feminine, elevating vocals quickly come through and an energetic, electro style bassline, upticks the tempo while keeping an air of mystery. This uplifting, kaleidoscopic arrangement gives potent energy and will have dancefloors pumping with ease.     

“Breathe Deep” reaffirms Baltra’s place in the electronic music world, continuing to push boundaries and evolve his sound while maintaining a nostalgic yet forward-thinking approach that adds an effervescent sparkle to every tune.

-Jen Warra

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