Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Marc Cary: 'You Can't Stop Us Now' Lee TNB 'Emerald Sky Remix' (Indaba Remix Competition Submission)

Now it's not very often that yours truly self-promotes so please forgive the shameless plug.



Be sure to check out my entry into the Marc Cary Indaba remix competition above and, if you like it, please vote and spread the word too!

First I slowed down a Fender Rhodes, an organ and a snare sample from Marc's original, and created a dubby affair; next I created some string synths, guitar and sax; then finally I added my Art of Noise style drums.

I hope you enjoy the track, any and all feedback welcome.  The wonderful original track is below for your listening pleasure too.


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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Bill Laurance Project Live in London Review: A Feast for the Senses and the Soul

The Bill Laurance Project Provide a Virtuoso Performance in one of London's most Beautiful Settings

As a working church, an award-winning venue and a centre for those who are homeless and in crisis, Islington's glorious Union Chapel is multifaceted to say the least.

Just as multifaceted in a musical sense, The New Beatmaker favourite The Bill Laurance Project proved to be right at home in this intimate and beautiful setting.

This wonderful photo, capturing the beauty of the Union Chapel is by Stella K aka Amélie Icanfly: https://www.facebook.com/iseemusic
This ensemble provided a masterclass in virtuosity.  Robert 'Sput' Searight's drumming was  explosive and precise; Michael League's bass was funky and fluid; and Bill's evocative and energetic keys engaged in a wonderful interplay with Katie Christie's rich French horn and the West Side Trio's dynamic strings.

The captivating 'December in New York' from latest LP 'Swift' was even more sublime in the live forum.  Credits: youtube.com/user/groundUPmusicNYC

The wide range of influences and disciplines explored in Laurance's albums 'Flint' and 'Swift' were fully represented here in a dramatic mix of jazz and world melodies, with drumming that merges jazz with d'n'b, broken beat and dubstep.  At points, Annie Tangburg's cello phonically fluctuated from quintessentially classical to sounds more commonly associated with wah wahs, talking steel guitars and vocoders.  Not to be outdone be such sonic shape-shifting, League switched from smooth funk bass to over-driven rock guitar in a heartbeat.  From the classical piano to a nifty Roli Seaboard (a rubber keyboard that Bill called 'the future of keyboards'), the amiable and witty Laurance was also on top form throughout.  

The wide range of influences and disciplines explored in Laurance's albums 'Flint' and 'Swift' were fully represented here in a dramatic mix of jazz and world melodies...

Unsurprisingly perhaps for a church which welcomes many a spiritual and secular act, the acoustics were fantastic and the sound-man must also be given credit for making the Project sound even better on stage than they do on wax.

Complete with beautiful stained glass windows above the stage and a tasteful helping of laser lights piercing through an ethereal fog effect, this gig was a feast for the eyes but, most importantly, for the ears and soul.

The Bill Laurance Project is currently on tour in the UK, for more info and tickets, visit: billlaurance.com.

Check out The Bill Laurance Project on Soundcloud Sessions Episode Four here.

The Bill Laurance Projects's 'Swag Times' and 'Flint' featured in The new Beatmaker's best of 2014 list, click here.

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Monday, 4 May 2015

'Soundcloud Sessions' Nine: Featuring Van Hunt, walkingshoe, BBoy Tech Report, 'Your Beats' Submissions and many, many more!

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

This month, 'Soundcloud Sessions' celebrates releases including walkingshoe's 'The Future Will Kill You' and Van Hunt's 'The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets'; and rounds up some of the very best of recent reader submissions, in a 'Your Beats' special.

Wow, it feels like forever since the last installment of 'Soundcloud Sessions', a winning mix of hip hop, jazz, future, house, folk, and whatever else has floated The New Beatmaker's boat in recent weeks (play catchup here).  

Episode Nine celebrates the sophomore release from walkingshoe, 'The Future Will Kill You' (TFWKY) by beginning and ending this month's selection with the opening and closing tracks from the project. 
And how the boat has been well and truly floated since the last installment!  

'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode Nine, Part One

Featuring walkingshoe, Lanzo, Phashara, Ackryte and many more:



'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode Nine, Part Two

Featuring more stellar artists, including Mike Regal, Cor Stidak and Ryan Spendlove, plus more from walkingshoe: 



Here's just some of the stellar artists and projects represented in this month's sessions:

Walkingshoe: 'The Future Will Kill You' (TFWKY)

In celebration of The New Beatmaker favourite walkingshoe's sophomore project 'The Future Will Kill You' (TFWKY) being released to very well-deserved acclaim, this month's session takes the unusual step of beginning and ending with the beginning and ending cuts off the project.  

Mixing psychedelic folk and twisted string and piano samples, massive drums, and an array of dazzling MC appearances, 'TFWKY' is to 'Blastphemy' what The Empire Strikes Back' is to 'Star War's...and is a strong contender for album of the year.   

Mixing psychedelic folk and twisted string and piano samples, massive drums, and an array of dazzling MC appearances, this is to 'blastphemy' what 'The Empire Strikes Back' is to 'Star War's: bigger, darker and providing plenty of poignant food for thought.  'TFWKY' will appeal to fans of Flying Lotus, El-P and Lapalux and is a strong contender for album of the year.      



Another of Chicago's seemingly endless pool of beatmaking talent and a fellow favourite of the site, Lanzo has been keeping himself busy as ever! 

Lanzo: '4000dB'



Released just before the turn of the year, but with so much replay power that it bangs out in The New Beatmaker office like a new release, his '4000dB' has the Chicagoan's signature mix of wonky drums, lush jazz samples, clever filtering and, thanks to his knack of selecting poignant vocal snippets, humour and sly social commentary - often at the same time.

'4000dB' has the Lanzo's signature mix of wonky drums, lush jazz samples, clever filtering and, thanks to his knack of selecting poignant vocal snippets, humour and sly social commentary.

Sidenotes: '4000dB' was recorded entirely on an AKAI GX-4000DB 7" reel tape at 7 1/2.  All tracks produced by Lanzo.  Feat. Morbidly-o-Beats, Ian Ewing, Spellwrks, Deadxbeat, hEaDbAnD.

'4000dB' was one of The New Beatmaker's favourite projects of 2014, for more check here.

Check out our exclusive interview with Lanzo too, here.

Phashara / BBoy Tech Report: 'Beats Rule Everything Around Me (B.R.E.A.M.) Vol. 1'



Featuring absolute bangers from The New Beatmaker favourites Phashara aka Corry Banks, Upright, Es-K, The Passion Hi-Fi, Time Travelling Toaster and many more, BBoy Tech Report's '...(B.R.E.A.M.) Vol. 1' is a must-have for any beat head and is one of the projects of the year thus far.  In celebration of this event, Phashara is featured on part one.

BBoy Tech Report's '...(B.R.E.A.M.) Vol. 1' is a must-have for any beat head and is one of the projects of the year thus far.

Be sure to swing by bboytechreport.com to show your love to one of The New Beatmaker's favourite sites and to congratulate them on this fine project: www.bboytechreport.com.

Whilst you're at it, be sure to check out some guest posts that yours truly had the pleasure of writing for the site, too:

http://www.bboytechreport.com/author/the-new-beat-maker/

Žiga Murko: 'Green room' and 'Purple room'

Producer, trumpeter and beatmaker Žiga Murko is releasing quality project after quality project at a prodigious rate and so, in recognition, this month we've featured two tracks from him: one from last year's 'Green room' and one from this year's 'Purple room'.


'Green room' rightfully earned it's place as one of The New Beatmaker's favourite projects of 2014, (for more check here). 

From the spacey gloom-bap introduction and ‘bizout’, to the the world weary but very funky ‘economics’ and ‘Very Refreshing’; from the spiritually charged jazz-hop of ‘Peace was Happening’ and ‘daydream’; to the closing moments of the macabre ‘Mansion (epilogue)’ and outro 'Blowing Up!', here is a project that very much has it's own character.

'Green room' is filled with hard drums and eerie samples, mixed with energetic but never overplayed trumpet; and a standout selection of MC's whose performances fit the vibe of the project perfectly.  Very refreshing indeed.

Hard drums and eerie samples mixed with energetic but never overplayed trumpet; and a standout selection of MC's whose performances fit the vibe perfectly. 

Of his more recent release, 'Purple room' Žiga says: 'This tape was inspired by horror film music, gloomy jazz, 90's hiphop, screwed up soul, Miro and drums/sample processing with MPC 2000, Sp 404 & Sp 202, Yamaha MT3X/Fostex X-14 Multitrack cassette tape recorder, Panasonic FS88 VHS recorder. I'm playing also some trombone and a Roland D-50.'


This is haunt-hop at it's finest.  The gloomy, downright harrowing vibes get deeper and darker on this release.  Just a word of advice, don’t listen to it late at night, by yourself – you have been warned!
This is haunt-hop at it's finest.  The gloomy, downright harrowing vibes get deeper and darker on this release.  Just a word of advice, don’t listen to it late at night, by yourself – you have been warned!

Next up, another friend of the site is represented: shout out to Milwaukee's AR Wesley, whose ''92 Drug Flow' was another of The New Beatmaker's favourite projects of 2014.

AR Wesley: ''92 Drug Flow'


Featuring stellar production by Mike Regal (who also features in part two with some quotable bars to boot),  ''92 Drug Flow' is a bittersweet journey filled with lush RnB and jazz samples, big drums and plenty of deft lyricism from one of The New Beatmaker's favourite MC's.

A bittersweet journey filled with lush RnB and jazz samples, big drums and plenty of deft lyricism from one of The New Beatmaker's favourite MC's. 

Here is a lyricist who, as I've said before, is equally adept at detailing the pressures of life on the streets as he is speaking on relationships or, pardon my french, just spitting some of that ol' fly shit.  ''92 Drug Flow' is further proof that AR and his peoples from 'The M.E.A.L.' are on the up and up.  Go with the flow.      

Sidenote: 'Jazzmine', from ''92 Drug Flow', was one of The New Beatmaker's top 14 tracks of 2014

Jay Bishop: 'Cassette 3'



Fellow The New Beatmaker favourite Jay Bishop comes correct with the third installment of his always satisfying 'Cassette' series.  

Jay remains faithful to his signature sound of knocking drums, fluid basslines, and beautiful melodies...the super-soulful 'Take Awhile' rounds off part one of 'Soundcloud Sessions' in lovely fashion.

Jay remains faithful to his signature sound of knocking drums, fluid basslines, and beautiful melodies.  Longtime favourites featured on the tape include 'Sport Of Kings', whilst the super-soulful 'Take Awhile' rounds off part one of this session in lovely fashion.

Oh, and be sure to check out his 'Late Pass' series here, too.

Lion:  'Disquiet LP'



First featured on 'Soundcloud Sessions' Six (listen here), Lion's uncanny knack for blending a near overwhelming wall of sound with haunting melodies and intricate drum programming made for an instantly addictive mix.

Lion's uncanny knack for blending a near overwhelming wall of sound with haunting melodies and intricate drum programming made for an instantly addictive mix. 

His brand new 'Disquiet LP', out on DustyINTL is an essential listen and one of the best releases of 2015 thus far.

Van Hunt: 'The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets'
 
Funk lovers rejoice! A new Van Hunt album is here!  Be sure to cop 'The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets' at vanhunt.com and check out an interview with the man himself, written by The New Beatmaker, in our archives section here.


A new Van Hunt project is always cause for celebration and so it was only right to kick off Part Two with the latest single funk-filled single from Van the Man.  

A new Van Hunt project is always cause for celebration and so it was only right to kick off Part Two with the latest funk-filled single from Van the Man.

Be sure to cop his brand new long-player, 'The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets' from vanhunt.com and check out a feature / interview written by yours truly where we discussed influences, the problem with American radio and playing live, here.

'Your Beats' Special bumper round-up

Some of the best reader submissions from the past few months

As well as plenty of artists that have become regular fixtures over the past installments, there are also some great people being featured for the first time.  What makes it even more exciting is the below all submitted music over the past few months.  You can bet that this won't be the last time they pop up on the site.  Amongst those new to the 'Soundcloud Sessions' this time around are:
 
Phriam: 'Scars To Prove It'



Chicago
is in the house yet again, with comrade of Sev Seveer and labelmate of M Slago, Phriam, in fine form on 'Scars to Prove it'.  From the melodic music box, rugged drums and considerate keys of the introduction, through to the cheeky chiptune outro, 'Scars to Prove it' is a sublime slice of sonic storytelling: epic and atmospheric, evoking intrigue, heartbreak, suspense and more.

'Scars to Prove it' is a sublime slice of sonic storytelling: epic and atmospheric , evoking intrigue, heartbreak, suspense and more. 
Phriam is adept at mixing the type of electro / hip hop synths and big crunchy drums that pioneers such as J Dilla and Black Milk popularized with Middle Eastern melodies to great effect, carving out his own lane in the process.  Wonderful stuff.

NO FUTURE: 'Pardon my French'  

 
Portugal's NO FUTURE is a fine example of the exciting 'f*ck a genre' ethos that many young producers / beatmakers / musicians embrace these days.

Portugal's NO FUTURE is a fine example of the exciting 'f*ck a genre' ethos that many young producers / beatmakers / musicians embrace these days.

From the sparse '003ERA', to the 90’s house turned chilltrap of 'bad habit' etc…and the spacey 'no god here', NO FUTURE shows himself to be a diverse talent, with a bright future ahead of him.

Check out his NSFW 'Pardon My French' on bandcamp here for more.
 
Matt Black: ''Peace To Mateo''



From the epic ‘Normal Blood’ to the space brother stylings of ‘The Strangers’ and beyond, this album sounds like a twisted dream full of Twilight Zone episodes brought to life by hip hop, footwork and electronica influence.

''Peace To Mateo'' sounds like a twisted dream full of Twilight Zone episodes brought to life by hip hop, footwork and electronica influence.

Sidenote: Matt Black is a Detroit producer and label head of Young Heavy Souls Records.

“Peace To Mateo” is his debut production album, drawing inspiration from boom-bap, electronica, dance and trip-hop.

Don D: 'Windsor smith'



With lazy jazz horns and dubby drums, ‘Guru’sRevenge’ kicks of Windsor smith in a nice downbeat vibe that recalls the Jazzmattaz projects of its namesake, whilst the sparse and spacey ‘People’ keeps this near melancholic vibe up nicely.  Good work, Don.

‘Guru’s Revenge’ kicks of Windsor smith in a nice downbeat vibe that recalls the Jazzmattaz projects of its namesake...Good work, Don.

Sidenote, from Lunatick Records: 'Windsor Smith is the brand new instrumental album from producer and emcee Don D. As one third of hip-hop group and production team "The Northern Lights", Don has produced for and featured alongside some of underground hip-hop's biggest talents, such as Dooley-O, Left Leberra and more.' 

4di: 'Pulver'


With an experimental and diverse sound that mixes trap, electro, chiptune, early 00's club hip hop  and more, 'Pulver' by Berlin's 4di was another of 2014's most rewarding projects.

'Cabbage' starts off as a sparse trap heater before a tasteful set of Blacktronica / Neo-Soul style keys add an extra emotional dimension.

Elsewhere, the irrepressible 'Maneuver' sounds like a early to mid-era Neptunes banger that wouldn't sound out of place on a Clipse / Bustah Rhymes album if slowed down by a few bpm.

The hypnotic beat of 'Tribal Area' blesses part one.  A shamanistic sounding affair...suggesting that 4di is able to excel in whichever style he sees fit. 

An artist who is equally diverse as he is a constantly engaging listen, it's the relentless, hypnotic beat of  'Tribal Area' that blesses part one.  A shamanistic sounding affair, 'Tribal Area' - along with the more housey tracks on his soundcloud page - suggests that 4di is able to excel in whichever musical style  he sees fit. 

Sidenote: for more on 4di, his creative process and 'Pulver', check out this excellent feature by CDR Berlin here.

Here's the Playlist in full.  Over two hours of music for your listening pleasure. 

Part One:
The New Beatmaker — 'Interfearance' Teaser
Ft. Phashara / Corry Banks (Created as a demo for The Spitfire Audio eDNA 01 Earth review, here).
Walkingshoe - Nora ft. yU
snk∆ — J'Von/snk∆ - HLL
MICK JENKINS — 11
Lanzo — alien_bubba
不明 FUMEI — 狂気
Phashara — Kwest06
Ackryte— the only up side
Orion - Atomic Drop
Don D - ThingCalled
Amir 'Sa'id' Said - "Vienna With Love" (Prod. by DJ Pas)
Evil Alex 'Snack Wrap' Interlude
Sotightwitit — The ill Vibe
Javi.Santiago — Onyou
S U N J E T — Yo Grand Architect
Mt. Wolf - Life Size Ghosts (Catching Flies Rmx)
Daedelus - Onward(Mono/Poly Remix)
RoyShyftE — Laser space jungle
4di — 4di - Tribal Area
Moduloktopus — MelodEYEZ
Malice & Mario Sweet - Superstar (Twenty9 Rmx)
Omar - Dancing (K15 Remix)
Fieldfare — Lone Wolf
Jay Bishop — Take Awhile

Top to bottom: Moduloktopus, Amir 'Sa'id' Said, Fieldfare, Jay Bishop: providing epic future / tribal beats, headnodding hip hop, tender folk and smooth grooves, respectively, on part one.   Van Hunt, LION, Žiga Murko and Tracy Cruz provide funk and soul,
a post hip hop wall of sound, gloombap / haunt hop and
sensual soul, respectively, on part two.

Part Two
Sev Seveer 'Danica' Interlude
Van Hunt — Old Hat
MikeRegal — Lil Sumn (Rough)
Cool Tay — Rapper Wife ft. AR Wesley & L.R.
COR STIDAK — Knowledge Me
Just Blaze — Inhuman Nature
GYREFUNK/Devaun Bantu -GALAXY RIDE
T-Funk - Jam Slow
LION - Still Awake, Still Dreaming (Disquiet LP)
Wh!te Matter — Wh!te Scenery
L▲nguⓘd — Languid - Distant
Phraim — Lesson in Lo-key
CASHBY Δ — Pitfalls
Ma7Hu — Ma7Hu - No Ye
Phashara aka Corry Banks 'ITs Good'
P H I L O - where.are.you
Mishigami - Polar Vortex
GRiMM Doza $ Žiga Murko - Secret Chiefs
NO FUTURE - Money 1973Kris van Huystee — dedication
SLICΣßΣRG — geezus (God Forgive Me)
Skeptika - TheRazorsEdge
Matt Black Music — Alter The Present (feat. Nortroniks)
Kristian Persson Elements — Let It Go
Ryan Spendlove — Fall Blind Demo Mix
Jacob McCaslin — Take A Stand
Tracy Cruz — Love's Galaxy
Walkingshoe - The Last One
Phashara aka Corry Banks Outro

As usual, big love to all those who are featured and enjoying the sessions; with an extra special set of thanks to everyone who submitted music, and a big shout out as ever going out to Phashara / Corry Banks (bboytechreport.com), Evil Alex and Sev Seveer for the drops.

Until next month, enjoy. 

'Soundcloud Sessions' is a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more. 
 
This month's session has been mixed with a special 'Your Beats' feature due to a higher than usual amount of submissions over the last month. 

For all 'Your Beats' posts, click here.

Looking to showcase your music?  Find out how via 'Contact'.

Follow The New Beatmaker on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.  

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Spitfire Audio eDNA01 EARTH Review: from Blockbuster Movie Scores to Scorching Dance Production, this Instant Classic is Sure to Excel

Much-loved UK Company Changes the Game with it's Attention to Detail and Ambition

Spitfire Audio is synonymous with excellence in sound design, especially revered for its gorgeous orchestral sounds; with fans including such luminaries as Grammy Award winning composer Craig Armstrong OBE, singer-songwriter powerhouse Gary Barlow OBE and multi-award winning Composer (and Spitfire collaborator) Hans Zimmer to name but a few.
 
A game changing sample library, 'EARTH' is immense, both in its scale and sonic quality.
Released late last year to much deserved fanfare, excitement and praise, Spitfire's 'eDNA ('Electronic DNA') 01 EARTH' takes the lush instrumentation that Spitfire is known for and flipped it on its head.

By mangling a diverse and extensive - and I do mean extensive - collection of Spitfire's recordings through numerous effects and scripting, 'EARTH' turns a set of sounds that were once flawlessly lifelike into an other-worldly sonic palate.  These sounds are sure to find many a welcome home in the more uncompromising and abrasive corners of the dance music world as well as TV, Cinema, video game and documentary soundtrack work.


Get acquainted with Spitfire Audio's game-changing 'eDNA 01 EARTH', your new favourite library.

Every preset, bar none, gives instant gratification.  This is no mean feat, considering that 'EARTH' is a massive 45GB's worth of samples, losslessly compressed to 27GB. I did say it was extensive.

Every preset gives instant gratification, no mean feat considering that 'Earth' is a massive 45GB's worth of samples...This is frankly, in both size and quality, a staggering collection  

With over 1900 sounds and 1001 presets, it would be impossible to even attempt to cover everything that this sample powerhouse has to offer, but here's a very brief overview of what users can expect from each of the six stylistic folders, referred to as 'cartridges', that make up what is frankly, in both size and quality, a staggering collection:

0001 APOCALYPZ (Formerly known as 'Dyztopia')

As the name suggests, this gnarly cartridge is crying out to be used in the more abrasive corners of EDM, as well as TV, movie and video game soundtracks.  Filled with 'Atmos', bass, drops & rises, drums & percs, effects, keys, leads and sequences which have all been tortured in a variety of ways; even the 'simple' hand claps sound beaten and battered within an inch of their lives.

Here's a little demo I put together using APOCALYPZ, the suitably menacing 'Interfearance' (sic).  Many thanks to Phashara / Corry Banks of bboytechreport.com for the vocal contribution.  I put this together in minutes, which is testament to just how inspirational and intuitive 'EARTH' is.

Effects such as ‘all hell lets loose’ and the brain-tickling ‘super ill rocket motor’ sound like they’d find a loving home on Doctor Who.  The sequences, such as ‘Angry Rhythm MW is Res Filter’ will jump-start many a producer’s creative process; working just as well as the foundation for a track as a little something to add extra zing to an already jumping production.  Call these sequences the perfect antidote to creative block.


Angry and attention-grabbing, cartridge 0001 APOCALYPZ (Formerly known as 'Dyztopia') is ideal for sci-fi TV, movie and video game soundtracks; and in-your-face electronic music.

0002 Sound Swamp

This is where things start to get really spooky.  This cartridge contains drones, effects, keys, sequences and synth pads.

The massive selection of synth pads in this cartridge really deserves extra special attention.  These are broken down into three equally breathtaking sub-sections, namely 'Archaic', 'Ethereal' and 'Mystic'.

Whilst each pad is very inspirational, two that immediately caught my attention were the unnerving but beautiful ‘church pad’ and the ‘Onyx Growl Pad Surround MW’ which sounds like a haunted spaceship floating on the edge of the universe.


Cartridge 0002, Sound Swap, is sure to send a shiver down your spine, with a great selection of haunting pads being one of it's main strengths.

0003 Discoman

As the name suggests, this is where we take time out from being terrified by presets which sound like possessed pieces of heavy machinery, or messages transmitted by a remote dying star, and get funky, thanks to a wonderful selection of bass, keys, leads, pads, sequences and strings.

Like every other cartridge on here, it would take days, if not weeks, to just audition all of the sounds.  With that in mind, instant faves include the foot stomping ‘5th Hall Bass – Auto Pan’.  This funk-filled bass is sure to get feet tapping, heads nodding and, erm, booties shaking on any track it blesses.

Elsewhere ‘5th Keys Gate’ is a glorious set of 90’s dance keys.  ‘Breathy Keys 12ths’ would be right at home in anything from dance, to future R'n'B and hip hop.

As well as keys, another of 'Discoman's  immediately evident strengths is it's collection of strings. 

In another instance of Spitfire going above and beyond, the beautiful ‘Slow Strings MW’ is comparatively unmangled.  Its sister preset however, the ‘Space Laser Strings’, is a more effects-laden affair.  Both of these presets also have handily sidechained counterparts for easy access to that all-important ‘ducking’ sensation.

The commitments to detail and user experience is in-keeping with the ethos evident throughout this fantastic piece of software.

    …the more knowledgeable musician can tinker to their heart's delight...the novice will spend less time getting frustrated by their technical limitations and more time getting inspired and enjoying making music…

The 'EARTH' user interface includes numerous effects including LFO's, filters, gating, tape style saturation and more, which means that the more knowledgeable musician can tinker to their hearts delight.  Such a wide amount of dials and graphs may intimidate the newbie.  Thankfully, however, the staggering quality of the presets, and the nice 'hand-ups'-like 'sidechained strings' will ensure that the novice spends less time getting frustrated by their technical limitations and spends more time getting inspired and enjoying making music.


Enough of being scared witless.  Time to boogie with basslines dripping with funk and keys that evoke a vintage 90's dance sound, courtesy of cartridge 0003, Discoman. 

0004 Moviedrome

Moviedrome lives up to its name, with a staggering amount of blockbuster-ready sounds.  Included in this kit are a vast array of strings and a nice selection of woodwinds.  If you are looking for a more straightforward set of sounds to compliment the more 'alien' sounds elsewhere, this is a good place to start.

One immediate favourite on this cartridge is the divine bubbling stream of ‘Celestial Reveal’.  However, there are again numerous sonic treats within this cartridge.

In fact, I found this cartridge so inspirational that I put together the below demo in just a few minutes.  I cannot wait to get started on creating a fully-fledged track, based around several of 'EARTH's sounds.

All of the sounds on my above demo track 'Pyramids', aside from drums, come from 'EARTH'.  Again, like 'Interfearance', 'Pyramids' was put together in several minutes, thanks to the inspirational and intuitive nature of 'EARTH'.
 
It's no exaggeration to say that I'll be sure to spend the next few months not only working on new ideas with this trusty tool as an essential piece of kit, but also going back to older tracks to give them an 'EARTH' makeover.  


Cartridge 0004 'Moviedrome' will have you scoring soundtracks to your favourite 80's movies in no time.

0005 Analoganaut

Looking for plenty of funky analogue basses and pads which will have you scoring 80's movies soundtracks in no time?  Analoganaut has you covered.  There is a wide selection of basses, an equally large range of pads entitled 'Dawn of Digital' sounds, keys, leads, pads and sequences.  The sounds on offer pay homage to electronic pioneers such as Wendy Carlos and Vangelis, 'Droog Pad Voweled' and 'Deep Plinks Voweled mw' being two of the immediate standouts.

  The movie theme continues with cartridge 0005, Analoganaut, which evokes the sounds of legends Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos, Vangelis and more.

0006 Disphoria 

Last but certainly not least, Disphoria has a welcome mix of  bass, falls, leads, plucks, sequencers and synths. 

One of the things that is so good about this cartridge is that, in a style similar to 'Moviedrome', it mixes, for want of a better phrase, 'every day' go-to staples, e.g. nice, clean basses, brassy synths, etc., which every musician needs in their tool kit, with more outlandish and unique sounds.  This means that, perhaps more so than any of the other kits, musicians may find this dark horse of a cartridge the one they use most often.

Mixing 'every day' staples - nice, clean basses, brassy synths -  with more outlandish and unique sounds means that this cartridge may be the one artists use most often.

Highlights include the wonderfully snappy 'Hardstyle Gated Bass Filter Is MW' and the space invader sounds of  '8ue Fall MW is Mouth' and 'Bitey Filter Drop MW is Res LPF', which are just two of a very generous amount of attention grabbing falls.  The 'Misunderstood Pluck' lends itself very well to Disclosure-style funky house and garage whilst sequences such as 'Clicky Clarinets Is MW is LPF' are begging to be used on a big D'n'B track.  The beyond funky 'Squelchy Pulser MW' also shines as a synth highlight. 


Ending on a high, 0006 Disphoria will find a home on anything from UK funky house and garage hits, through to D'n'B bangers. Wonderful. 

Overall Impressions 

It's obvious that I hold 'EARTH' in the very highest of regards.  Now, one word of advice to very new musicians / beatmakers: 'EARTH', like many other libraries, uses Native Instrument's Kontakt Player.  This is free and can be downloaded and registered from the Native Instruments website here.

If you have not used Kontakt before, it is worth familiarising yourself with how it works via the free libraries that come with Kontakt before buying 'EARTH'.

You could even donate £2 to Unicef and get a nifty sample pack from Spitfire here.  That way, you will gain experience in loading and enjoying Spitfire products in Kontakt before investing in 'EARTH' and you'll also get a nice, warm fuzzy feeling for helping out a very worthwhile cause in the process.

A game-changer and an instant classic, 'EARTH' is a must for any musician, be they professional, semi-professional, or a dedicated enthusiast.

At £149 at time of press, 'EARTH' is an absolute bargain.  This is a library that will grow in value as the new beatmaker / musican grows in knowledge and experience.  The sounds on offer cover such a wide spectrum of applications that, if your musical direction changes, 'EARTH' will still be right there with you.  A game-changer and an instant classic, 'EARTH' is a must for any musician, be they professional, semi-professional, or a dedicated enthusiast. 

Verdict

Pros:
An absolutely massive range of FANTASTIC preset sounds.
A wide range of process and control possibilities.
A very reasonable price.

Cons:

None.  However, new beatmakers should perhaps practice installing and using sample libraries in Kontakt Player before buying 'EARTH'. 

Total Rating:5/5

This product is a classic and deserves top marks by The New Beatmaker.

'EARTH' is the much-deserved recipient of our first full mark rating, earning itself the first ever The New Beatmaker Award for Excellence.  Bravo!

To buy Spitfire Audio 'eDNA 01 EARTH' and for more information, visit: http://www.spitfireaudio.com

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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Nascent Electronica / Hip Hop artist Sombrero Galaxy talks Native Instruments Maschine, Shabazz Palaces, El-P and more

Nascent Electronica / Hip Hop artist Sombrero Galaxy talks Native Instruments Maschine, Shabazz Palaces, El-P and more

Sorry all, I goofed up.

Electro / hip hop producer Sombrero Galaxy's 'Midnight Ghosts' was one of The New Beatmaker's favourite projects of 2014

At the time of release I called it 'the super-charged soundtrack to a Philip K Dick adaptation... a brilliant introduction to an artist who looks very much set to become one of electronic music's brightest stars.'


Sombrero Galaxy's debut EP 'Midnight Ghosts' took a very well deserved place in The New Beatmaker's best of 2014 list, which can be read in full here.

After making such a big impression on The new Beatmaker it only made sense to invite Sombrero Galaxy to take part in our round up of 2014 (for more on that, click here). 

Sombrero subsequently sent the following, in plenty of time before the deadline, and somehow I messed up and didn't include his responses.  Here's what the man himself had to say.  A thousand apologies, Sombrero.

Favourite hardware of 2014: 'Native Instruments Maschine.  I love the feel of the pads and the intuitive workflow.'

Favourite software of 2014: 'iMaschine.  I am always using it to make quick beats and come up with ideas.

I can then transfer the project over to Maschine and expand further; and Valhalla VintageVerb.  This underrated reverb plugin is nicely dusty and crusty.'

Favourite sample pack of 2014: 'Loopmasters Hip-Hop Instrumentals.  This sample pack is not technically not from 2014, but I used it often in 2014.'
 
Favourite song of 2014: 'Shabazz Palaces "Forerunner Foray".  Shabazz Palaces are criminally underrated because they are so far ahead of their time. They are the next evolution of hip-hop.'


Shabazz Palaces' "Forerunner Foray" was Sombero Galaxy's favourite song of 2014.  Chances are this video will be on plenty of people's best of 2015 lists...

Favourite album of 2014: 'Run the Jewels "Run the Jewels 2''.  An instant classic. This is what can happen when you don't give a shit about anything but the music.'

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: 'El-P.  El-P is a monster MC, beatmaker, and producer. Basically, you can't fuck with this dude.'
Shabazz Palaces are criminally underrated because they are so far ahead of their time. They are the next evolution of hip-hop.
Favourite app, blog or website of 2014: 'Soundcloud.  I'm always finding new tunes on SC. I'm also a Web Developer, and I appreciate the craft that went into designing the site.'

Highlight of 2014: 'Releasing music after many years.'

Music based New Year resolution of 2014: 'I plan to put more focus on my guitar work in my music, and also release a hip-hop EP that a friend and I have been working on.'

The New Beatmaker cannot wait to hear what Sombrero Galaxy has to offer in 2015.  For more from the man himself, check him out at the below:

sombrerogalaxymusic.com
facebook.com/sombrerogalaxymusic
soundcloud.com/sombrerogalaxy

Sombrero Galaxy features on episode four of 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.   

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ed Rowe Talks Favourite Hardware, Software, Albums and Artists

One of The New Beatmaker's favourite MC's of 2014 was Brooklyn's own Ed Rowe.

From being introduced to the instantly likeable MC via the Essenchill Records release 'Essenchill', to 'Changes' being crowned as one of our top 14 tracks of 2014, the MC has made a big impression on this site, thanks to his nimble lyricism, distinctive voice and social conscious outlook.

The New Beatmaker talked to Ed Rowe shortly after the New Year, and discussed his favourite hardware, software, music of 2014 and more.

Sidenote: Due to timing issues, the below was not included in the Roundup of 2014 as originally intended.  The  2014 round up, featuring M-Phazes, $1 Bin, Evil Alex, T-Funk and many more from The New Beatmaker family, can be enjoyed in full here.

Favourite hardware of 2014: Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones.  Just got these at the end of the year, but better late than never.  Everything sounds great through them, and it's making recording & mixing so much easier!

Favourite software: Ableton Live.  It's only the Intro version, but it's basically the only software I can seem to operate properly lol.

Favourite song of 2014: Rapsody - 'Hard To Choose'. I slept on her initially, but this song awakened me to how dope she is.

Favourite album of 2014: Not exactly HipHop, but that new D'Angelo album 'Black Messiah' is incredible.  Waited ages for his follow-up to 'Voodoo', but it was well worth the wait.


And the album of the year is...D'Angelo and The Vanguard's 'Black Messiah'.  The album of the year for The New Beatmaker, M-Phazes, Carvalho and many more participants of our 2014 roundup.

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: BJ The Chicago Kid.  Took the time to start appreciating his music earlier in the year, and haven't looked back since.  Somewhat of a throwback to the Jodeci era with that fusion of R&B, Soul, and HipHop, and I'm a big fan of that sound.

Favourite app, blog or website of 2014: The Bleacher Report app to satisfy my sports junkie cravings, and Soundcloud, as it's the place where I discover the best new music. 

Highlight of 2014: Collaborating with Sleep Sinatra and KVH on separate EPs.  I've worked with Sleep on various songs in the past, but to join forces for a whole project really solidified our chemistry on a larger scale.  Being fortunate enough to work with the very talented producer KVH was also a blessing.  Having him join Essenchill Records was just the icing on the cake.

'Change' is so eerily relevant to the current racial landscape in America, focusing on police brutality and the injustices black people suffer in America. 

Low point of 2014: This was kind of bittersweet, but making a song called 'Change' and having it be so eerily relevant to the current racial landscape in America (the song focuses on police brutality and the injustices black people suffer in America).

Music based New Year resolution of 2014: More music, better music, and most of all...more performing.

Protest songs in the form of 'Change' and 'Changes' / 'Change (Remix)'.  Rest in peace to Eric Garner and Mike Brown.  

Many, many thanks to Ed Rowe for taking the time out to chat and a big, big shout out to all the good people over at Essenchill Records.

Ed Rowe features on episodes Five, Six and Seven of 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.   

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'Live at Berklee': A.R. Rahman, Berklee Indian Ensemble and World Strings; Down In The Attic; Ludovica Burtone String Quartet

Live, Intimate Performances from the World's Largest Independent College of Contemporary Music

The New Beatmaker is very proud to present the latest in a regular series of videos capturing live, intimate performances from students and alumni of the world famous Berklee College of Music.

Firstly, legendary composer, singer-songwriter and music producer A. R. Rahman returns to Berklee with a breathtaking performance of 'Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera' from the Bollywood classic 'Swades', with the wonderful Berklee Indian Ensemble and Berklee World Strings.


Following up we have some great Bluegrass courtesy of Down In The Attic.  Check out their original composition, the rousing, spirited 'Bearapple' below, and be sure to check them out on Facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/downintheattic



Last but not least, a gorgeous original composition from the Ludovica Burtone String Quartet, 'Blazing Sun'.  Be sure to check out more from this superb Quartet at http://ludovicaburtone.com.



Many thanks to Berklee College of Music yet again. Be sure to look out for more 'Live at Berklee' in the coming months.

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

D'Angelo & The Vanguard Live Review: D'Angelo & The Vanguard Celebrate their Instant Classic with a Triumphant Return to London

D'Angelo & The Vanguard Celebrate their Instant Classic with a Triumphant Return to London 

Performing for over two hours to an ecstatic capacity crowd, D'Angelo & The Vanguard's first of two nights at London's Eventim Apollo was a victory befitting of their instant classic 'Black Messiah'.

By mixing many of the highlights from the project with long-held fan favourites, D'Angelo and band kept the crowd on their feet for most of the night; from the funk-filled reworking of 'Brown Sugar' and perennial party starter 'Chicken Grease', through to the jazz influences of 'Sugah Daddy' and 'Back to the Future'.  The crowd only caught it's breath on the more slow paced numbers, such as the delightfully sweet 'Real Love'.

An energetic reworking of 'Brown Sugar' further energized the crowd. youtube.com/user/kristianlw 

'The Charade' (complete with an American flag attached to D'Angelo's black biker jacket) was even more spellbinding and rousing live than on wax.  Likewise, 'Ain't That Easy', with it's Funkadelic swagger, was yet another highlight in a powerhouse of a performance filled with highlights.

'The Charade' (complete with an American flag attached to D'Angelo's black biker jacket) was even more spellbinding and rousing live than on wax. 
 
With band members including Chris 'Daddy' Dave (Adele, Beyoncé, the Robert Glasper Trio/Experiment) Pino Palladino (The Who, The Soultronics) Jesse Johnson (The Time) and Kendra Foster (Parliament/Funkadelic), The Vanguard's combined years of stage experience meant that the crowd was treated to a live show that combined raw funk and super polished professionalism that at times brought to mind James Brown's The J.B.'s. 

'(Untitled) How Does It Feel' was the perfect end to a perfect night. youtube.com/user/kristianlw   

Indeed, 'D's showmanship on the night gave more than a nod to 'The Hardest Working Man in Show Business'. He peppered his strutting across the stage and warmly shaking of many a fan's hand with nimble and energetic dance moves. He flirted and teased the crowd just the right amount, such as when he walked away from the mic as the audience sung 'girl, it's only you...'. Of course, he returned a few moments later to make good on his promise, with a fifteen minute take on '(Untitled) How Does It Feel', which had the audience in further raptures.

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2014 Roundup Part Two: Evil Alex, walkingshoe, T-Funk, Carvalho and Phil Phlaymz

The New Beatmaker is very proud to announce part two of a four-part five part special feature, breaking down the highs and lows of what proved to be another eventful year in music and music production, with some of our favourite writers and artists of the year.

Join The New Beatmaker and our very special guests as we share our thoughts on the best music, artists, hardware and software of 2014.

Part Two: Artists and The New Beatmaker Friends Evil Alex, walkingshoe, T-Funk, Carvalho and Phil Phlaymz Share Their Favourites of 2014 and The New Beatmaker Shares Some of the Best Music of the Year

Part one saw the The New Beatmaker catching up with two of my favourite DJs, bloggers and writers of 2014: Khalid Golding aka KO and J. Rizzle (be sure to check that out here).

Now, I welcome five artists that I consider very much part of the family: Evil Alex, walkingshoe, T-Funk, Carvalho and Phil Phlaymz.

Evil Alex (Maestro of the Atmospheric and Uncompromising)

Chicago's Evil Alex made a great first impression with the 'Hate' EP, back in 2012 which The New Beatmaker lavished praise upon in a 'Your Beats' post.  A year later, he wowed me even more, with his first LP 'iGeneration', one of the best albums of 2013.

An intelligent album full of haunting beauty and raw power, the album was so good I wrote about it both here and here.

Whilst it was a relatively quiet year for Alex release-wise, his single 'Right Now' is one of The New Beatmaker's favourite tracks of 2014 and, along with M-Phazes' 'Camden Arc' project and an as-yet-untitled collaboration project from J'Von and Ackryte, Alex's sophomore album, the tantalizingly titled 'Sounds in a Vacuum' is The New Beatmaker's most anticipated album of 2015.

Evil Alex's 'Right Now' is one of The New Beatmaker's favourite tracks of the year and, along with M-Phazes' 'Camden Arc' and the latest from J'Von and Ackryte, Alex's 'Sounds in a Vacuum' is The New Beatmaker's most anticipated release of 2015.
With all this praise lavished upon the young multi-media artist, it was only right that we ask him for his own picks of the year.  Here goes:

Favourite Hardware of 2014: 'Still the MPC 1k: it's a great standalone that can work with a DAW seamlessly.'
Favourite Software of 2014: 'Pro Tools. (I'm biased - it's what I learned to use first).'
Favourite song of 2014: 'Panda Bear "Boys Latin."'
Favourite album of 2014: 'Run The Jewels ''Run The Jewels 2.'''
Favourite artist of 2014: 'Nortronicks.'
Favourite blog / website or app of 2014: 'The WholeWorldBand app developed by Kevin Godley.'


Check out Evil Alex's favourite app of 2014, WholeWorldBand app, by the legendary Kevin Godley, here.

Highlight of 2014: 'I'm not sure.'
Low Point of 2014 'Losing the first version of 'Sounds in a Vacuum.''
Music-based Resolution of 2015: 'Finishing the new record.'

The New Beatmaker's heart goes out to Evil Alex over the loss of the first version of 'Sounds in a Vacuum' and congratulate him for bouncing back.  Many thanks for taking part Alex.

Be sure to check out Evil Alex here: evilalex49.bandcamp.com/  

walkingshoe (Multi-talented musician with a sound just as unique as his skills are diverse)

The New Beatmaker had this to say about fellow Chicago beatmaker walkingshoe's debut EP 'Blastphemy' early last year:

'Throughout 'Blastphemy', Walkingshoe exhibits a strong ear for melody, a fine knack for chopping and manipulating samples, and a great understanding of how tension and release make for engaging music.'

'Blastphemy', released on French label Cosmonostro - more on them in a moment - turned out to be one of The New Beatmaker's favourite projects of 2014, so it was only right to invite the man himself to talk about some of his own highlights of the year.  Here's what he had to say:

Favourite Software of 2014: 'ACID Music Pro 4.0.'
Favourite Musician and Album of 2014: 'St. Vincent ''St. Vincent.''


St Vincent: walkingshoe's artist of the year, her eponymous album is his favourite album of 2014 http://bit.ly/1v63kfX

Highlight of 2014: 'Releasing my first official EP, 'Blastphemy'.'
Favorite App: 'Putt the Planets' on Amazon Fire TV ($0.99).'

Many thanks to walkingshoe for taking part, his highlight of the year was definitely one of The New Beatmaker's too.

Be sure to check out walkingshoe here: https://soundcloud.com/inthisshoe

So, turning back to Cosmonostro...

T-Funk (UK's Electro-Soul Specialist)

London's T-Funk is another artist that made some of The New Beatmaker's favourite music in 2014.

Released in the Holiday season of 2013 on Cosmonostro, his 'Nebula' EP delivered on the potential of his earlier output, with The New Beatmaker saying this at the time:

'T-Funk's tasteful blending of 90's RnB influences with hip hop knock and ambient style synths to be a highly rewarding and addictive mix.'

An instant hit, T-Funk's 'Nebula' is another of my projects of the year.
The UK producer and musician T-kindly shared his highlights of 2014 with me recently.  Dig in:

Favourite hardware of 2014: 'Fender Stratocaster.'

Ever seen a Fender Stratocaster Get Made? 'A Strat is Born' (Credit: http://bit.ly/15L4CRw)

Favourite software of 2014: 'Apple Logic.'
Favourite song of 2014: '80's Babies ''I Digress.''
Favourite album of 2014: 'D'Angelo & The Vanguard 'Black Messiah.''
Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: 'Häzel.'
Low point of 2014: 'Creative block for the whole of the Summer.'
Highlight of 2014: 'Releasing three collaboration tracks early in the year.'
Music based New Year resolution of 2014: 'Work with as many people as I possibly can - working with other artists is always more enjoyable.'

I'm certainly looking forward to hearing more from this exceptional talent in 2015, whether as a solo artist or in collabo's.  Happy New Year T-Funk, and thanks for working with me on this one.

Be sure to check him out T-Funk here: https://soundcloud.com/tfunk

Carvalho (UK Singer-songwriter who mixes the message with music)

Fellow UK artist Carvalho became another instant The New Beatmaker favourite of 2014 with his album  'All the Things You Know To Be True?', which mixed wit, warmth and social commentary with a welcome nineties style soul and funk sound.

Here's what the man himself had to say about a 2014.

Favorite Hardware of 2014: 'Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo Audio Interface, because its compact easy to carry around with your portable studio. Great quality and sound.'
Favourite software and / or sample pack of 2014: 'Logic Pro for me: it does what it needs for making beats. Some good plugins as well.'
Favorite freeware of 2014: 'LMMS - Linux Multimedia Studio: The choice of instruments and plug- ins is broad. There is an on-board beat and bass editor that removes the need for a separate drum sequencer.'
Favourite song of 2014: 'D'Angelo 'Betray my Heart'.  The whole of this track is so soulful that I have had it on repeat since its release, very inspiring.'


Instant classics 'Betray My Heart' and'Black Messiah', Carvalho's favourites of 2014: https://www.youtube.com/user/DAngeloVEVO

5. Favourite album of 2014: ''D'Angelo, 'Black Messiah'. It came as a breath of fresh air and it's very relevant and poignant to our times.'
6. Favourite Producer / Beatmaker of 2014: 'Knox Brown, check him out!'
7. Favorite App of 2014: 'Garage band on my I phone 6, I make beats on the move with it''
8. Low point of 2014: 'My home studio is not up and running yet.'
9. Highlight of 2014: 'Getting licensing deals for my music.  I also started writing new music for EP / album tentatively titled "How we came to be".

''D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' came as a breath of fresh air.  It's very relevant and poignant to our times'.   -Carvalho

Congratulations on the licensing deals and for the creative streak you're clearly on. The New Beatmaker looks forward to hearing the new tracks.

Be sure to check him out Carvalho here: https://soundcloud.com/carvalho

Phil Phlaymz (Charismatic MC on the Rise)

New York MC Phil Phlaymz came to The New Beatmaker's attention with 'Get 'em High' a meditative piece that was highlighted in 'Your Beats' here.

Phlaymz has a strong, vocal delivery which has a nice balance of grit, warmth and brightness - more about that in his answers below.

This year Phlaymz made good on his earlier potential with 'Mixed Greens Salads', a raunchy, infectious and melodic collection which further confirms Phlaymz place as one of the artists to watch in 2015.

It was only right that we ask Phlaymz to get involved in our 2014 round-up.  Here's what he had to say:

Favourite hardware of 2014: 'It would have to be the Scarlet 6i6 audio interface and Yamaha HS7's I purchased. The interface has an awesome sound to it. If you have a bright voice/Mic combo, the 6i6 will really compliment it.'
Favourite software / sample pack of 2014: 'I don't really hunt for software and samples like I used to. My favorites are my favorites every year: Waves SSL compressor and the drums and samples that I've had since forever. Still haven't went thru them all yet ha!'
Favourite freeware of 2014: 'That would have to be the PSP vintage meter. It's a dope little meter.'


PSP Vintage Meter is a dope little meter, says Phil Phlaymz, many online agree with Phil's verdict: http://bit.ly/1CXcFHX

Favourite song of 2014: 'Club goin' up...on a Tuesday!'
Favourite album of 2014: 'Mixed Greens Salads' of course, ha! Ab-Soul's These Days is a very close second.'
Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: 'That would have to be anyone who contributed to 'Oxymoron' and 'These Days'. Very dope albums.'
Favourite app, blog or website of 2014: 'That would have to be The New Beatmaker of course! A close second would be the Forbes page on Facebook.'
Low point of 2014: 'The Mike Brown and Eric Garner decisions.'
Highlight of 2014: 'Releasing 'Mixed Greens Salads''
Music based New Year resolution of 2014: 'My resolution is to promote the hell out of 'Mixed Greens Salads!' Peace! Thank you.'

Thank you to Phil, check out more from Phil, including 'Mixed Greens Salads' here.

The New Beatmaker's Favourite Music, Lowpoints and Highpoints of 2014:

Wow, there is not enough space to mention every single project I've loved this year, but here are just some of the ones which come to mind as favourites from a very fruitful year:

The New Beatmaker's Favourite albums of 2014

Shameless plug, all of the below artists have featured on The New Beatmaker at some point in this year, be it in 'Soundcloud Sessions', or via dedicated features.  Read the below then get searching on The New Beatmaker!


D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah', The New Beatmaker's favourite album of 2014: https://www.youtube.com/user/DAngeloVEVO 

In no order aside from Best album of 2014: D'Angelo: 'Black Messiah'
Flying Lotus: 'You're Dead!'
Nunca Duerma: 'Shapeshifter'
Vapor Eyes: 'Outparcel'
Nortroniks: 'The Northern Tropics'
TTT: 'Sinus Rorus'
walkingshoe: 'Blastphemy'
T-Funk: 'Nebula'
Lanzo: '4000dB'
Central Parks: 'East VS West'
Es-K: 'Serenity'
Sev Seveer: ''Constant Elevation: Odessa Star"
Radius: 'Time Travel Is Real (A Prelude To Japan​.​.​.​)' 
Victory The Producer: 'Zuocai "The Sound of Victory Vol.1'
M Slago: 'Old Jonesy'
Bless 1: 'Love'
LAKIM and J'Von: 'Left'
Ackryte: 'Fly Opus'
K15: 'The Black Tape'
Mecca:83: 'Ain't Done too Bad'
Black Milk: 'Glitches in the Break'
Drew OfThe Drew: 'Green'


A favourite track of 2014 'Pull Me Down', off 'Green', a favourite album of 2014, featuring Joana Teters, a The New Beatmaker favourite singer: https://www.youtube.com/user/Drewofthetube

Mad Satta: 'Comfort'
Carlo Muscat: 'The Sound Catalogues, Vol. 1'
Chrome Sparks: 'The Meaning Of Love'
The Bill Laurance Project: 'Flint'
Takuya Kuroda: 'Rising Son'
AR Wesley: ''92 Drug Flow'
#MASSACR: '#MASSACR'
Žiga Murko: 'The Green Room'
Sombrero Galaxy: 'Midnight Ghosts'
Ed Rowe & KVH: 'Reflective Melody'
Pomo: 'The Other Day'
Kaytranada: 'Instrumental Hip Hop is Dead'
Run The Jewels 'RTJ 2'
Freddie Gibbs / Madlib: 'Pinata' and 'Pinata Beats'
Phil Phlaymz: 'Mixed Green Salads'
Jacob McCaslin & The Jaywalkers: 'Look Both Ways'

Honorary mentions - albums not from late 2013 or 2014, but still The New Beatmaker favourites in 2014:

Evil Alex: 'iGeneration'
J'Von & Ackryte: 'Aqua'
Carvalho: 'All the Things You Know To Be True?'
Boonie Mayfield: '...Presents Solomon Vaughn' Malice & Mario Sweet: 'Enjoy:Like:Love'
Cor Stidak: 'Treatises of a Pendulum Slave'   

The New Beatmaker's Top 14 Tracks of 2014 

Here are some of my immediate favourites of 2014.  Shameless plug: For a more comprehensive list, check out 2014's 'Soundcloud Selections' editions! ;)


Flying Lotus: 'Coronus the Terminator', neck-and-neck with D'Angelo for the best track of 2014: http://bit.ly/1BIFp5p    

Flying Lotus: 'Coronus the Terminator'
D'Angelo: Any song on 'Black Messiah'
Ed Rowe and KVH: 'Change' RMX
Kimbra: '90's Music' M-Phazes RMX
Evil Alex 'Right Now'
Mick Jenkins: '11'
Pomo: 'So Fine'
The Bill Laurance Project: 'Swag Times'
Drew Ofthe Drew: 'Pull Me Down'
Jacob McCaslin: 'Crossroads to Nowhere'
#MASSACR: 'Show-N-Prove'
AR Wesley feat. Mike Regal: 'Jazzmine'
Cor Stidak and Es-K: 'Bloodmoon and Brandywine'
DJ Shadow 'Six Days' Wigzen ReVision RMX 

Labels of the year:

Expansions Collective, Essenchill, Young Heavy Souls, Cosmonostro, Huhwhatandwhere.

Low Point of 2014

World affairs:

Mike Brown and Eric Garner decisions.
The deaths of Rich Nichols and Praverb the Wyse.  

In memory: Richard Nichols and Praverb the Wyse.
Music:

As a fan of The Roots since around 1996 it pains me to say that I could barely listen to '&TYSYC'.  Please, miss me with that 'high art' / 'you are clearly not intelligent enough to understand it' rubbish.  Secondly, it breaks my heart to see The Roots play backing group to some of the 'artists' they are on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'.  'We're losing sight of what garbage mean' indeed.

Highlight of 2014

Personal: This has been the biggest and best year so far for The New Beatmaker, thank you so much to each and every one of you.
World affairs: The best of the internet: social media bringing out the best in people, from fundraising, to raising awareness for good causes, etc.
Music: The return of D'Angelo, and in such fine form.
This has been the biggest and best year so far for The New Beatmaker, thank you so much to each and every one of you.
I got some great feedback on the first 'remix' that I put online! My submission for the official Indaba Music Takuya Kuroda 'Afro Blue' remix competition.

My remix of Takuya Kuroda's 'Afro Blue'.  Put together over four hours, on the day of the deadline, on headphones (my speakers had blown the week before).  Takuya Kuroda's 'Rising Son' is one of The New Beatmaker's favourite albums of 2014.

Music based New Year resolution of 2014: I aim to have at least one track that I am happy enough to premier online by the end of the year.  Stay tuned.

Thanks again to Evil Alex, walkingshoe, T-Funk, Phil Phlaymz and Carvalho for taking part.
Read part one here and be on the lookout for part three coming soon.

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