One of the things I most like to find in my inbox is a new beat tape from 100 Akres aka Freshnerd aka Keith Mitchell, and that’s just what happened earlier this evening. One of the most prolific producers I know of, Freshnerd has been releasing these beat tapes on an (almost) one per month steady flow, focusing on a specific artist or album with each tape, flipping the original tracks to produce short (2:30min is a very long one) wicked beats. From July 2010 up to today he managed to release eight of these beauties, from Cyndi Lauper to Janet Jackson via David Bowie, always titled “The (artist’s name) Beat Tape”.
On his latest beat tape “The Blankety Blank Beat Tape” however, the artist’s name is not mentioned, and not by mistake. As Mitchell writes:
"What up folks, you’re probably wondering about that title and the anonymity. Well, I’ve been getting several emails asking if I’ve had permission from the artists to use their samples….I get a funny feeling these emails are from a certain association thats more than likely about to send me a cease and desist (or eight). Anyways, I’m sure the artist of the new beat tape will be able to spot that these samples are from his album (or maybe not). Either way, I’ll keep delivering freshness to your ears regardless of outdated copyright laws."
I’m not that sure the emails he’s been receiving do indeed imply on some lawyers workin their way to him, since I myself was thinking about sending the Freshnerd a mail with the very same question. Either way, copyright laws truly are outdated and quite senseless, and surely beat tapes like these, offered for free download, and flipped so bad (meaning good) should not be seen as a threat of any sort by the artist sampled (or more precisely, their record label), let a lone as a theft. If anything, the opposite should be the case.
Support free sampling! Everything human is a sample. Every invention is a remix. Every behavior practiced by anyone is a cover version of someone else. Enjoy this free beat tape, see if you can identify the artist flipped here, and grab 100 Akres’ other tapes too, as they are all smashing.
Disco Zambra’s beats are a perfect fit to my tastings. Fresh, crispy beats, with a lot of ounce to the bounce, full of sizzling electronic beeps and bubbling with groove. Apparently Digi G’alessio has released eight albums in the last two years (!) under this name, experimenting with different sounds and styles, but here he seems to focus on a very specific feel, making the album’s sound very coherent, almost as if it was just one long sweet track. It’s all for free, btw, over on Bandcamp.
Very happy to have found this great music today, as it’s also led me to other nice producers also releasing on Overknights recordings, all for free too. I especially enjoyed Free’P’Hop by Low’N’Zac and Manuele Atzeni’s B4TS (Beats For The Sleepwalker). Oh, and while you’re at it, you might also wanna check out Digi’s The Yellow Book album, out on Plynt records (free download, you guessed it).
Liking what Greymatter is going through lately. I mean, been enjoying his music for quite some time, but it seems like he’s really stepped it up a notch recently. Late last year saw the release of his immense remix of Glory on Stac’s Turn The Lights Out: The Remixes / Vol. One, and now this one.
Also nice to hear again from Dekata Project, whose 2009 track At Least We Can Dance was one of my favorites at the time, especially it’s Hint and Roska remixes which I was spinning quite a lot. This time around they got yet another sweet tune, with Yvette on the vocals as before, once again proving to be perfect material for a remix.
Greymatter is treating us here to a beat heavy, somewhat trippy, fat bass’d remix, that feels big and dancey, but remains soulful and groovy, perfect balance. This limited time free download celebrates Dekata Project’s new single “My People”, out 4th April 2011, which will also feature, besides this remix, remixes by Toby ioi and Zed Bias (part of the Dekata Project himself). Check out the single preview mix on soundcloud.
It’s been a while now that I’ve been enjoying the quality sounds coming from Frite Nite records. This young San Francisco based label is home to quite a few artists who are constantly pushing the Beats/Garage/Bass scene’s sounds forward with releases by folks such as label head Salva, Boogie don B. Bravo, Lazer Bass head NastyNasty and Ango (who seems to have a new EP coming soon), to name a few.
To this fine list you can now add Comma, whose colourful Colortronics EP was released two days ago for digital download on Bandcamp and in a special edition of 100 purple cassette tapes.
Comma comes up here with 5 fresh sounding bass heavy tracks, big on the synths, laden with a slow addictive groove, high on the production values, and with a touch of experimentalism. You also get two remixes, a hot and rather trippy one by Om Unit and a fat shiny beat by Darkhouse Family.
Loving the sounds of this EP right now, my personal favourites being opening track Ken Griffey Jr. with it’s nicely chopped vocals and fuzzy bass, and the hypnotic Mezcal Hologram.
While you’re at it, head over to the Frite Nite bandcamp and grab yourself some freebies off the Frite Nite Trax series!
Jon Phonics hasn’t just popped out of nowhere. He’s been around for a few years now, producing beats and collaborating with many MC’s out of the UK hip-hop scene (perhaps you remember his Half Past Calm series?), but it seems to me like 2011 is when it all fell in to place for him, and his beats hit that very sweet spot.
Bruck Out/The One, released 24 May, sees Jon Phonics at his prime, his production sounding extra tight, and with this track, The One, doing it oh-so-f*n-right. You can also find Bruck Out on there, and a couple of remixes by Naive Machine and Lady Daisy, but, all due respect, as far as I’m concerned this could have been a one track only release, hell, it could have been a one track only album.
As you can see I’m pretty well excited about this tune, it’s BIG and may as well be amongst the 3 best new tracks I’ve heard this year. It’s all about the boogie here, the bass is wide and bouncy, there’s all these layers of naughty synths and dubby bleeps going on all around, and the sample is quite perfect too.
It’s just great, okay?
Also been enjoying other beats out lately by the man, such as AM and Mutual Attraction, both released for free download on Bandcamp. Go get ‘em!
Just last month I wondered out loud on twitter how on earth does Ta-Ku manage to produce so many (great) beats so frequently. One reply I got (by someone I don’t know) suggested he’s got himself a beats sweatshop in the Philipines, with 30 philipino ladies working round the clock in a small room full of MPCs. Funny as that may be, I really cannot find any other explanation. April alone saw the release of two albums by this gifted Australian beat maker - the Day & Night EP and the 24 album via Joe Kay’s Soulection, which, looking at it’s bandcamp page now, I realize had it’s 13 tracks produced in 24 hours (!!!)
As if that was not enough, today Ta-Ku adds 15 more beats to the pile, with his Scraps album release (it’s Free!). These apparently are leftover beats, stuff the dude just had lying around on his HD. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s gold.. These may not be the best beats ever, but damn, most beat makers out there would treat these as their best work.
Big up Ta-Ku! Can’t wait till your next release, somewhere round next week I presume.
For good or for worse, we all know they’re coming back. Actually, they are almost here now.
There are some things I like about the retro motif of culture, and some I don’t. When it comes to the Nineties, the decade that probably shaped me the most, I’m even more passionate about the things I like, and those I don’t: Bandanas, for instance.
Now, one thing in the that decade that I both loved and hated at the same time was Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman”. On the one hand, it’s groove, the verses’ vocals and, of course, those keys - are just plain awesome. On the other hand, that La Da Dee La Da Da thing could freak me out.
Such a monumental 90’s icon could not be left out as a wave of retro washes over us. Souleance had just unleashed their edit of this tune unto their soundcloud page the other day, and that reminded me of Ossie’s refix that was put up there 7 months ago. Ossie adds this Garage flavor to the tune, while Souleance take to the groovy side of it and fatten it up. Both edits bring out the fun in the track, and both were free DL, though Souleance’s are limited to 100 downloads, which flew by in less than a day (you can see my comment on their track, begging for a DL link..)
Been keeping an ear on KRL since last year, when I first heard his The Recession Beats EP, dude had this smoothness and soulful touch to his sound which I liked a lot. Now it seems things are working well for the Wolf Music member as earlier this month saw him release a great tune called Chase on the Wolf EP 8 alongside music by Greymatter, Medlar and Chicago Damn, and also producing a solid remix of J. Phlip’s Fever on Pets Recordings. But to top that, he just gave away a freebie three days ago over at Feel My Bicep, a sick remix of perhaps last year’s biggest hymn, Aloe Blacc’s “Dollar”.
So many remixers have tried their way with this song, yet KRL delivers arguably the best of the lot as he takes the song into the 4x4 deep, flipping the vocals, adding a big bouncy bass, some epic keys, arpeggiated synths and lots of delays, making this big song even bigger, proving beyond doubt summer 2011 is in full swing.
Sometimes going through the never ceasing flow of new beat tapes constantly released worldwide can actually pay off. Parisian AAron Evo delivers here a beat tape jam packed with, well, jams. The boogie is strong with this one, the synths are just as filthy as they should be, while the beat and the bass blast out quality funk grooves. If you happen to like B. Bravo or AD Bourke’s laid back sizzling west-coast vibes, do not miss out on this Name Your Price download beat tape.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna get my ghetto blaster, fill up the tub, sip on some jin & juice and get my popping and locking on. Laters.
Not really sure how I got round hearing some Luqman beats rolling through the interwebs. Either way, I was feeling some of them, but then his fu’d up off-beat fugees flip hit me up, and the man got my full attention.
It was only then that I realized he was actually from Tel Aviv! See, in a small scene like we got going on here, it’s very rare for someone who’s constantly on the look out for fresh music to find out about a talented local producer via the net, and not from one of the usual high-fiving spots where everyone hangs out at.
Anyways - Luqman is one of the best beat heads I heard coming from TLV, producing those forward beating, 70% swing, retro sound sampling joints I love to hear from his peers worldwide. He’s recently signed with local producers label/conglomerate Raw Tapes after contributing a beat to a remix album they released of local rap group Produx, and is currently working on his debut album. Meanwhile he’s unleashing beats unto his soundcloud at a crazy rate, punching his 10,000hrs in.
I see big tings coming this dude’s way, so have a listen here to these select beats, head over to his soundcloud for tons of freebies, and help yourselves to this exclusive F-A-T beat off his upcoming debut album that he most generously shared with Pop Lock followers. Big Up sir!
I was first Boombaptized sometime last year, when Boombaptist released his Boombaptism beat tape. I ain’t a Christian, but my Boombaptising was a spiritual experience non the less.
Boombaptist (when producing) aka Thesaraus Rex (when rapping) aka Andrew Thaggard (when being human) hailing from Austin, TX, has possibly been my favourite upandcoming beats producer since the very first note I heard from him, and lately it seems he’s starting to draw the attention his beatcrafting skillz desreve.
His brand new EP The Creamixes is a collection of some of his favourite remixes he produced during the last year, seeing him flipping beats and lyrics by Pharoahe Monch, Erykah Badu, D’angelo, M.O.P and more, with his unique melodically rich fat beats and signature bump’d up sound. Being a remix EP, there are way more vocals and rhymes being spat on these beats than we’re used to hear from the Boombapster, but that don’t mean the quality doesn’t stay high throughin and throughout.
It’s a free DL (though you can pay too if you’d like!) that comes complete with a smashing cover art, and you’d better get a move on it and cop these jams before his split 7” with Dibiase drops, featuring his official Guilty Simpson remix, afterwhich you’ll be able to say you were head nodding to his beats way before everyone else.
Two of my favourite dudes in the game just joined forces to let this slow future funk bomb loose. SF Frite Nite label head Salva and the label’s biggest hot shot B. Bravo come together here on a new track off Salva’s upcoming EP Yellobone, both bringing in their best. Salva pon those filthy groove and beats, and B. Bravo with his signature synth and vocoder action. Damn hot this. The new EP is scheduled for release Nov 15th, and will feature 2 more new tracks, plus remixes from Shlohmo & 2KWTVR (who that?) and LOL Boys.
Meanwhile you got this collab as a free download so go go go!
Astro Nautico, a label I’ve discovered only recently, deliver this splendid underhyped album by the relatively unkown James Hinton aka The Range, hailing from Rhode Island. Heavily influenced by Footwork, this album is nevertheless far away from a rhythm centered affair, and only builds on these beats and uses them as another component in The Range’s highly emotional music.
Seriously great work here by this young producer. Love the way he finds that sweet spot where the filth and the banger feel of the tunes meets the melodical and rich side of the music. Would love to hear more from him in the future.
It’s free. I’d go and get me a copy if I were you. I mean, I went and got myself a copy, and I’m not even you, I’m just me.
Its winter. It’s winter and it’s raining. It’s raining and my office is freezing. I wear a scarf about 16 hours a day. I used to dislike winter. I think I’m enjoying it this time around. I think I get it now. And this brings us to the subject of this post.
Almost a year after the first installment, Dropping Gems drop another fine compilation of dreamy, blueish, sugar coated yet frosted kind of beats. 20 gems are featured on this 72min long futuristic lullaby, and you can feel it’s Janurary throughout each and every one of them. The selection is key here, with all the tracks merging together so smoothly as the album slowly builds up, always retaining its mellow flow, yet gathering some more energy. It’s a bit useless to speak of genres in this case, since none of them have real names, but the influences are very varied, and it’s the passage from one to another here that binds the whole album together, giving it the edge that many beat compilations lack.
As far as names go, there are a few producers on here that i’ve been feeling in the past year or so, namely Mndsgn, LDFD and S. Mahabara. Others are getting more acknowledged lately such as Nocow, but mostly there are lots of names here that I’ve never encountered before. That’s a good thing, of course.
All these wonderful gems are waiting for you as a free download at the Dropping Gems bandcamp. Don’t think twice. Turn on the heat inside, get under the covers, and float on.
Totally slept on this one. Don’t think I heard of it when it came out almost 3 months ago, but I’m actually happy it surfaced only now as it’s such a perfect fit for the winter nights.
Can’t really tell you much about this release. The info on bandcamp says Coutrship Records are a small digital release record label established by four friends based in Seattle, WA, specializing in forward thinking, beat oriented, electronic music. I do know this is their first release, and that music like this is usually made in cold and damp ol’ England by folks such as James Blake and Koreless, but I guess Seattle is also a good match for the inital terms.
It’s delicate, it’s quite delicious, and it’s free. Grab a copy on your way out.