Utility is a project from Austin Buckett and Thomas Smith, both men who’ve been making music alone: Thomas as T.Morimoto, Austin under his own name. The new alias, Utility, is a neat sort of mission statement for the project: they are trying to make useful music. Tools, really. Amenable sounds.
Catalogue 1.0, their first release, is a free 16 track download made from royalty-free drum packs and stock sound effects. The songs, they write, “function equally as listening pieces and as templates for re-use by rappers and other artists.”
It’s funny to call a song a "listening piece," which feels a lot like calling a chair a "Sitting Pillar, 2018 (acrylic, wood, screws, varnish).” But, considering Austin and Thomas’ intentions with Catalogue 1.0, it’s worth making the distinction, because while all songs are for listening, not all songs are designed to be fucked around with—that’s a fact. The following is a theory, but it might be a good one: Catalogue 1.0 could be one of those lucky things that is made better by the internet (as opposed to being, say, fucking destroyed by it). On an ideal internet, these instrumentals will be downloaded by rappers and singers, just as Austin and Thomas hope, and they will wind up sounding all the better for it.
The song we’re premiering here today, Pull Up, is the only track on the mixtape with vocals—they come courtesy of FAKE (Lavurn Lee’s rap moniker). It’s a lot like those display homes built to sell house-and-land packages: Look what you could create here! It’s a good song in its own right, dark and sexy, but it also does a brilliant job of teasing what sort of bangerz could be made from the other 14 tracks.