Thursday, 21 August 2014

'Soundcloud Sessions' Five: A Special Double-Bill Featuring Ackryte, Nunca Duerma, Dagmxy and many More!

A Back-to-Back Collection of Future Beats, Hip Hop, Jazz and More. 



What would a Bank Holiday weekend be without tunes?

Here is over two hours of lovingly selected and compiled tunes from the likes of, well, there's not enough space here to list everyone, but here are just some of artists featured:

Pomo
Ed Rowe and KVH, Central Parks, Sidewalk Chalk, Ackryte, Nunca Duerma, Vapor Eyes, Expansions Collective, walkingshoe, Jay Bishop, Black Milk, Madlib, J'Von X LAKIM, Pomo, Moduloktopus, M-Phazes, Loomis & Jones, T-Funk, Evil Alex, This Is Ethmo.

As per usual a big thank you to Phashara / Corry Banks and Evil Alex for the drops.

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How to Create Depth Without Using Reverb; Mixing Synth Pads Around Vocals (The Pro Audio Files)

If you have been making beats or mixing for a few months and really want to increase your skill set, buy and download The Pro Audio Files range of full length tutorial courses below.  

'Mixing Hip Hop' (beats and vocal bundle pack).
'Mixing with Compression'.
Weiss Drums 'The Maio Collection'.

A full review of the courses will be coming soon; as will more videos courtesy of The Pro Audio Files.  

Accomplished Mixing and Mastering Engineer Matthew Weiss (!llmind, 9th Wonder, Dizzee Rascal) shows how to use slapback delay, harmonic saturation and distortion to add depth to a track without, as The Pro Audio Files say, drowning it in reverb. 
These are the little things that help create a little bit more depth and little bit more harmonic richness to your sound... It's this little game of inches that, a lot of times, accumulates to a really great sounding mix.


And if that wasn't enough for you, Justin of Modern Mixing (http://modernmixing.com) shows you how to make synth pads wide, haunting and with enough space for the lead vocal.

Says Justin about the video:

'The original sound gave me a haunting, mysterious vibe, I wanted to accentuate it...I wanted to create something that takes up a wider spectrum, but wraps around the vocal, whilst carving out space for the vocal too.' 
 


This video gets extra props for showing just how much actually drawing how you want you track to sound can help.  With the simplest of paint applications and a couple of colours, Justin literally illustrates just what type of sound and effect he is after.
This video shows just how much drawing how you want you track to sound can help.  With the simplest of paint applications and a couple of colours, Justin literally illustrates what type of sound and effect he is after.  
Buy and download The Pro Audio Files range of full length tutorial courses below.  

Weiss Drums 'The Maio Collection'.

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Beat Breakdown: 'Sport of Kings' and 'Foolish Game' by Jay Bishop

'I'm trying to bring the fun back to hip hop, I think we're losing that' - Jay Bishop

Another big shout out to Mr Jay Bishop, a The New Beatmaker favorite for quite a while now.

Jay is a multi-talented DJ, videographer and beatmaker and it's those last two skills we're celebrating via these beat breakdown videos of two of his latest beats: the anthemic 'Sport of Kings' and the RnB tinged 'Foolish Game'.

I've always been a fan of Jay's bass, so it was a bit of an unexpected treat to see what Jay's secret weapon is (he accidentally lets it slip in the video for 'Foolish Game' below).  Furthermore, I have that same secret weapon myself - or rather a very similar version of the plugin courtesy of Computer Music magazine!
The superb Kingsway Library Vol. 2 pack - a pack full of soulful instrumentation - is in his arsenal, being used for that memorable melody / main sample throughout 'Sport of Kings'.
Elsewhere, Jay is happy to let it be known that the superb Kingsway Library Vol. 2 pack - a pack full of soulful instrumentation - is in his arsenal, being used for that memorable melody / main sample throughout 'Sport of Kings', so another big shout out to Alkota AKA The Drum Broker on that one.
  


 
Jay's blend of big drums, soulful melodies and thoughtful orchestration is my cup of tea.  If you're an MC or singer looking for soulful but hard hitting beats, be sure to check out Jay's Beatstarz page here
If you're an MC or singer looking for soulful but hard hitting beats, be sure to check out Jay's Beatstarz page. 
Also be sure to check out some of his wonderful 'Late Pass with Jay Bishop' podcasts here.

Jay Bishop features on 'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode one and the forthcoming Episode five.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below: 

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GraveDiggaz '6 Feet Deep' Turns Twenty

A belated 20th Anniversary salute to the GraveDiggaz '6 Feet Deep' album, release 9th August 1994.

Last year I had the honour and pleasure of writing a retrospective feature on this classic debut for my good friends over at bboytechreport. 

If you haven't checked it out already, go ahead and do so:


Hey, even if you have read it before, read it again.

Without giving too much away the feature explores how the four-man supergroup used horror movie imagery and themes as metaphors and allegories for the horrors to be suffered in the ghettos of Anytown, USA. 
The four-man supergroup used horror movie imagery and themes as metaphors and allegories for the horrors to be suffered in the ghettos of Anytown, USA. 
It also pays respects to the talent and untimely passing of one of hip hop's most charismatic and most underated MC's, Anthony Ian 'Poetic' Berkeley, AKA Grim Reaper.


It also touches on how Prince Paul 'came back from the dead' with the album, after years of being left as good as dead by the music industry.   

The New Beatmaker favourite and Prince Paul aficionado, Evil Alex, had this to say about '6 Feet Deep' and Prince Paul's contributions to hip hop culture when we caught up with him recently: 

'I always thought this was one of many records that stated the case for the early to mid 90's being a golden era for hip hop: De La Soul, Tribe, Black Sheep, Del, Souls Of Mischief, Pharcyde, Wu Tang, Goodie Mob, KMD, you get the idea. 

Prince Paul has so much to do with refining sampling in hip hop production  You could easily call that early 90's sound the "Prince Paul "sound.  RZA, DOOM, Madlib, Dilla, all follow the blueprint drawn by Paul by using old TV and obscure sources of sounds to design new soundscapes.'

Prince Paul has so much to do with refining sampling in hip hop production.  You could easily call that early 90's sound the "Prince Paul "sound.  RZA, DOOM, Madlib, Dilla, all follow the blueprint drawn by Paul by using old TV and obscure sources of sounds to design new soundscapes.
- Evil Alex

Alex continued:

'Paul also had the ability to do a gritty streets of NY-type of record like GraveDiggaz and then take the concept further with 'A Prince Among Thieves' and then even with  'Psychoanalysis...' in the middle of all that.  (The Bboytechreport.com feature) says how Paul was left for dead by the industry and that has not really changed.  Prince Paul does not get the credit he deserves to this day for his impressive body of work.  

You could honestly do an article like this for:
  • 'A Prince Among Thieves'
  • 'Psychoanalysis: What Is it?'
  • 'De La Soul Is Dead' 
  • 'So...How's Your Girl?''
I totally agree and I am very much up for celebrating those albums in future features.  
Watch this space.
 
In the meantime, check out my celebration of '6 Feat Deep' over at Bboytech and be sure to let us know what you think below.

SIDENOTE: If there are any other classic albums you want The New Beatmaker to celebrate, or anything else for that matter, please don't hesitate to contact us: mailtnbm@gmail.com 

And remember, Positve Energy Activates Constant Elavation. 

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

M-Phazes x Kimbra: '90's Music' Remix is a Hypercolour Ride down Memory Lane

Wow, this takes me back!  A massive dose of nostalgia in the form of the video to M-Phazes' latest masterful remix, this time of '90's Music' by Melbourne songstress Kimbra.

Yet again M-Phazes comes correct, the tension building up in the refrains before an absolutely exhilarating drop full of Miami bass-style drums (which are of course, given M-Phazes pedigree, on-point); and the keys* are top-notch too.  Wowzers.

   
BEATMAKERS: Be sure to cop M-Phazes' 'The Vault' and 'Dirty 30' drum kits.  Your tracks will thank you for it.

*Additional keys by Nehzuil and Damian Smith.
Follow M-Phazes on Soundcloud.

M-Phazes features on Episodes 2 and 4 of 'Soundcloud Sessions'.  To enjoy these episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below:

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Ed Rowe & KVH: 'Change', a Song that Shouldn't have to be Written in 2014

The New Beatmaker favourite Ed Rowe teams up with Ukrainian producer KVH for 'Change', a song that lambasts policy brutality and laments environmental neglect.


'Justice? Please, Just this week / I heard another brother being murdered in the street...' rages Rowe, an MC who is blessed with an abundance of both nimble lyrical skill and affable presence.  KVH's provides the perfect backdrop for Ed to drop knowledge over, with it's mix of hard drums and haunting melody.
'Justice? Please, Just this week / I heard another brother being murdered in the street...' rages Rowe, an
MC who is blessed with an abundance of both nimble lyrical skill and affable presence.
Rowe has quickly become one of The New Beatmaker's favourite MC's and I look forward to checking out more from beatmaker KVH.

Their collaborative project 'Reflective Melody' should give fans of soulful boom bap beats and skillfully delivered, intelligent lyrics a reason to be optimistic, whilst the shocking audio that
precedes this poignant and potent protest song most certainly will not.  

(Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)
Ed Rowe and KVH feature on the next 'Soundcloud Sessions' episode.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below:

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This Is Ethmo: 'World Peace Isn't Just A Dream' and 'People of the World'

A very welcome double-dose of genre-colliding musical meditations

Mark Christopher Lee's This Is Ethmo return to deliver a very welcome double-dose of genre colliding musical meditations, in the form of 'World Peace Isn't Just A Dream' and 'People of the World'.

Eighteen months ago This Is Ethmo crash landed on Earth and onto The New Beatmaker's 'Your Beats' section, with their very enjoyable 'Die Fledermauz' project.  I had this to say at the time:

'There is a myriad of styles and a sense of fun throughout this EP.  I strongly advise you to check it out: Dance-meets-death metal-meets-Middle Eastern-meets-mad-funky funkiness. Bravo!'


'World Peace Isn't Just A Dream' is another wonderful mix of styles.  However, this is not a 100 mph chopping and changing of musical forms.  Instead, this is a grooving mid-tempo bounce through the Himalaya or Tibet; aided by a simple but effective drum loop and some wonderful distorted guitars.  Superb.
This is a grooving mid-tempo bounce through the Himalaya or Tibet; aided by a simple but effective drum loop and some wonderful distorted guitars.  Superb.
'People of the World' is a more high speed journey across the world, merging heavy rock riffs that flirt with Middle Eastern melodies, techno drums, African vocal snatches and a helping of strings. 




As if all that wasn't enough, Mark's The Pocket Gods have just released their latest full-length, 'In Search of the Divine', an album full of prog / Indie goodness.

A full review of 'In Search of the Divine' will be coming to The New Beatmaker over the coming weeks.  In the meantime enjoy two tracks from the album below and check out this superb review of the album by Unwashed Territories.



Mark Christopher Lee on Soundcloud
Mark Christopher Lee on Twitter
The Pocket Gods on Facebook
 
This is Ethmo feature on future 'Soundcloud Sessions' episodes.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below:

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

'Sippin’ Bitter Bubbly' Podcast: Future Beats, Bounce, Garage and More (Up In The Ear)

I have been spending a lot of time on the excellent Up In The Ear blog recently and, what do you know, Up In The Ear's Khalid Golding was kind enough to let The New Beatmaker share his recent mix of Future Beats, Bounce, Bassline, Garage and more with you (originally posted here).



This mix will especially resonate with those of you getting your party on this weekend.
This mix will especially resonate with those of you getting your party on this weekend.  
Says Khalid about the mix:

'I’ve dug deep into the crevices of the interweb and this is what I came up with...Starting off with two of my homegrown faves, Preditah and Flava D, it takes a trip to the West Coast and journeying through the USA, Eurasia, Australasia, South America and Scandinavia before Ellie Ingram brings home the [turkey] bacon.

I find that there’s so much great music out there -so much awesome combinations to create awesome positive [whoa hippy alert] vibrations...I can only describe it as a musically enriching experience because these tracks, in my opinion, lead the way both rhythmically and melodically in comparison with what you may know and love.'
Up In The Ear has quickly become a go-to site for all things music, culture and society.  
Up In The Ear has quickly become a go-to site for all things music, culture and society.  
Whilst not a comprehensive list by any means, recent posts by Golding have included:
Some final extra words from Khalid:

'A lifestyle blog with a primary focus on music, and a secondary focus on the culture and style surrounding it. Up In The Ear prides itself on it's core values, every action is performed in alignment with the brand motto "Style over fashion, substance overall", which means to celebrate your individuality and uphold integrity.'
''Style over fashion, substance overall", which means to celebrate your individuality and uphold integrity.
Amen to that.  Be sure to visit Up In The Ear today:

upintheear.wordpress.com
soundcloud.com/upintheear

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Young Heavy Souls: Detroit Collective and Label Boasts a String of Impressive Releases


Vapor Eyes
A big shout out to the Young Heavy Souls camp, a Detroit-based artist collective and record label established in 2011, which, as they themselves say embraces 'all styles of hip-hop and electronic music.'

This all-encompassing approach is exemplified by three recent releases, 'Outparcels' by Vapor Eyes, 'The Northern Tropics' by Nortroniks and 'Shapeshifter' by Nunca Duerma.

Each share a musical kinship, whilst being individual enough, both in style and mood, to create a lasting impression right from first listen.

Vapor Eyes: 'Outparcel': A footwork-inspired project that will move the listener in more ways than one

Released in May, the frenetic and evocative footwork-inspired hip hop of Vapor Eyes' 'Outparcel' is able to skillfully mix pain and partying.


Says Vapor Eyes of the project:

'This EP was inspired by the City of Chicago, its art, artists and sounds, my late nights out and one harsh winter. It's hard work feeling good in a poisoned world.'

The feelings of a harsh winter and a poisoned world are evoked right from the onset, with the eerie choir samples and sharp, frenetic drum programming of 'Outchea'.  Is this mantra of 'outta my f*cking mind' coming from someone at one with the music, letting go of woes as they get loose? Or is this a cry for help from a soul for whom the attempt to 'feel good in a poisoned world' has become too much?
Is this mantra the words of someone letting go of all their worries as they get loose? Or is this a cry for help from a soul for whom the attempt to 'feel good in a poisoned world' has become too much?
A less ambiguous track is the visceral 'Enemies' which plays like the soundtrack to a horrific violent attack.  This relentless, nightmarish sonic bombardment is reminiscent to the work of fellow Chicago artist and The New Beatmaker favourite Evil Alex, especially his deeply funky but equally unsettling 'Hate' EP.

'Outparcel' is a project that succeeds in moving the listener in more ways than one at the same time.

Nortroniks: 'The Northern Tropics': An infectious outing full of reggae bounce and memorable vocal hooks

A more joyous project is Nortroniks' 'The Northern Tropics', which is full of instrumentals which mix hip hop, dub and EDM influences in a tasteful manner.


However, it's far from being one-dimensional as it's not just the styles which are blended cleverly, but on two of the projects main highlights, the emotions.

'Every chance you get, you seem to hit me more and more' wails the pitch-shifting RnB vocal of 'Halvö', 'it's the same old song' bemoans the melodic reggae hook of  potential crossover hit 'Something on Wax''.  Both tracks placing mournful vocals on top of otherwise lively productions which bounce along merrily.  Speaking of merry, 'Good Morning, Espresso' is just the kind of unapologetic sonic perk-up you would expect it to be, boasting a lovely line of clean, punchy brass stabs.

Nortroniks 'The Northern Tropics'
'The Northern Tropics' mixes hip hop, dub and EDM influences in a tasteful manner.'

'Dunes Part II' mixes contemporary hip hop with the type of ghostly vocal samples more akin to a Disclosure record.  Splendid.

So, is 'The Northern Tropics' destined for (whisper the next words) pop success?   It could well be, and deservedly so.

Is it dub-inspired hip hop? Is it hip hop-inspired EDM? Who cares? Just throw it on and dance to it.

Nunca Duerma: 'Shapeshifter': An Album full of Laser Sharp Focus and Intensity

Nunca Duerma's 'Shapeshifter' (Young Heavy Souls and Old Tacoma Records) is a record you could perhaps dance around your living room to, but has an intensity to it that arguably picks up where 'Outparcel' left off.


The project packs a punch right from the outset, with the epic and aggressive '$$' switching up and down tempos, horns providing a triumphant fanfare.  'Caves' shares this urgency and intensity, mixing it's relentless drums with hypnotic and atmospheric synth loops, the extra bass which comes in near the end of the track is another nice touch.  A somewhat more chilled out track is 'Rhodes', which has a hint of seventies swagger sprinkled throughout.

Nunca Duerma
Arguably however, the biggest highlights of 'Shapeshifter' comes in the way of a one-two punch near  the end of this already very rewarding album.

'Free' uses a classic drum loop from the 90's as the basis of a ride through layers of evocative and haunting synths which build and build with intensity as the track races forwards.  A lovely warm bass guitar add a further sublime touch.

This is followed 'Slap'; where nimbly chopped vocal samples and bluesy guitars sit in the middle of a set of drums that, well, slap just as hard as any you are likely to hear all year.  

Lovingly composed, masterfully executed, skillfully mixed (by Matt Black and Mark Siet at Nocturnal Sound Labs), 'Shapeshifter', like 'The Northern Tropics' is a polished, accomplished and rewarding listen from one of the most exciting beatmakers around, and could potentially be the album of the year. 
Lovingly composed, masterfully executed and skillfully mixed, Duerma's 'Shapeshifter' could prove to be the album of the year.
With this trio of releases, Young Heavy Souls shows that it is able to create potential pop smashes just as skillfully as it can create 'dance' records with under or overtones of unease and horror.  The word 'heavy' itself is synonymous with weight, a load one has to bear, a gravity.  With artists like these within it's ranks, these young souls look set to shake off gravity and enjoy a meteoric, and well deserved, rise.

For more on Young Heavy Souls: youngheavysouls.bandcamp.com/ 
For all featured artists, Click here.
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Vapor Eyes, Nortroniks and Nunca Duerma feature on future
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