Sandman Slimm Releases the ‘Beautiful Chaos EP’ [ALBUM REVIEW]

(image courtesy of Robert K. Multimedia)

Four time Summer Camp Music Festival performer Sandman Slimm (of Trouble Chasin’), formerly known as Truth aka Trouble, released a brand new EP to close out 2020. With a new name and new sound Sandman gave us six tracks of hip-hop refreshments. Having followed him for several years now beginning in the local Champaign-Urbana music scene with performances at The Canopy Club as a solo artist.. to winning the SCamp battle of the bands (twice) that we know as Summer Camp: On The Road.. to the Trouble Chasin’ debut.. to the dozens of sets locally, plus on the road.. I can easily recognize that the metamorphosis is much more than a simple name change.

(image and album art by Boots Howard)

I asked him how this project came to be, where he found the inspiration and motivation to throw us the curveball that is ‘Beautiful Chaos’…

“I know it may come across as a bit cheesy, but in all honesty the ‘Beautiful Chaos EP‘ was an idea that found me rather than the reverse. I was working roughly 70 hours a week due to being an essential worker during the peak of tensions due to the pandemic. I was burnt out and frustrated with the fact that I wasn’t truly able to commit to making music. 

About 3 months in, I found a bit of time and was feeling inspired, so I did my usual scouring for new beats and producers that I hadn’t heard yet. In that search I came across a producer by the name of BMTJ from Seoul, South Korea, who had a sound that felt fresh and unfamiliar compared to the popular hip hop beats of today.

The first beat I found became the song ‘6 feet‘, which was possibly the easiest song to write in recent years for me. My mind was pouring out ideas and feelings that had been stored in my mind throughout the lockdown. I feel like that’s truly evident on songs like ‘vent’ and ‘I AM NOT OKAY’. “

“With everything going on in the world around the end of 2020, I made the decision to pull the trigger and release it before the year was over. It felt like the perfect stamp on an extremely chaotic period of time, as well as something people could go back to in future years and reflect on some of the craziness we all witnessed.

In all, this project did two major things for me as an artist. It eased my transition from the party-centric moniker of Truth aka Trouble, into an older and much more introspective Sandman Slimm, as well as helped me express my more artistic side. Straying away from the norm of 808/loop driven production while constructing a solid concept for the project at the same time.

It’s been an amazing journey for me, tapping into a side of myself I always knew was there but never truly took the time to discover. I’m looking forward to sharing more of the music I’ve created recently (including a likely, self-titled album), as well as bringing this newfound energy to my collaborative efforts with Chase Baby for the next Trouble Chasin’ installment.”

Quarantine has been such a trying time for musicians.

Not only is there the obvious loss of financial revenue and absence in value from branding at live events, it goes well past all of the wasted time and effort that was put into everything that was lost. But, for most of those involved with the live entertainment industry there is so much more to it. That space for expression, creativity and interaction is a critical part of life for those who exist within the scene. That extends to all of the techs, the tour managers, the media, the bookers, the bar staff from top to bottom and every other facet of live music. This includes the attendees as well. There has been a large void stretching from all of our souls to the stages for nearly a year now.

Fortunately for Slimm, he made use of a few rare opportunities to perform during the masked portion of 2020. In May, Trouble Chasin’ was slotted for a set during the Summer Camp Virtual Festival. Come July, he took part in the What’s Goin’ On? Virtual Celebration at The Canopy Club and later in the year he was able to debut a few new tracks from his EP at the DIY Danksgiving 2020 live streaming event in early December. While these show constructions will do for the time being, we are all starving to get back to normal.

As vaccines and new treatments are dispersed across the country we can only hope to see the return of festival life this year. For now, there are no clear answers or promises to be provided. As it has been and as it will remain for the foreseeable future, this is still a fluid situation and any guarantees are up in the air. If we all do our part and hold tight we can see each other on the other side of this thing. When that time comes one of my favorite storytellers at Summer Camp might even have another project or two to share with you, but for now catch up on the discography and the new “Beautiful Chaos EP“.

– Camp Counselor Robert