Sunday, 20 July 2014

'Soundcloud Sessions' Four: Featuring Music from J Rawls and Masta Ace, Mecca:83, Tall Black Guy and More

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

This month includes some of the finest in underground hip hop from our most recent interviewee J Rawls and Masta Ace; as well as a classic from LuxDeville.  Elsewhere there is future RnB from IAMNOBODI and Ile Flottante; some great house from 3rd Culture Kid, glitchy greatness from IGLOOGHOST and an epic jazz tune from another The New Beatmaker favourite, Bill Laurance.

There's also the winners of House Shoes' recent J Dilla electric piano flip contest, Shash'U and Tall Black Guy, who show the diversity and creativity of the beatmaking culture by taking the same sample source in completely different directions.  Congrulations to the pair of them.

And, as if all of that wasn't enough, there's even more heat from M-Phazes (as Camden Arc), Mecca:83, Central Parks, K15, Sev Seveer, Radius and Sombrero Galaxy, wooh!

Check out the full, hour-long session above, then check out the previous sessions here.

Shout out and props as ever to Phashara / Corry Banks for the intro and outro.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

'Live at Berklee': Jacob McCaslin and The Goodbye Girls Perform Live at Berklee College

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

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

Up first we have a fantastic live performance from singer-songwriter and guitarist Jacob McCaslin.

Jacob shows off his flair for mixing soul, rock and blues on the self-penned 'Crossroads to Nowhere' which is as infectious and memorable a song as you will hear all year.

Jacob is multi-talented, being gifted with great writing, vocal and guitar skills. Oh, and he plays a mean Loop Station too! Superb. 

Well, how do you follow that performance up? With fellow super-talented Berklee students The Goodbye Girls.

The Goodbye Girls are a four-piece comprising of Lena Jonsson (Sweden) on fiddle, Molly Tuttle (USA) on guitar, Allison de Groot (Canada) on banjo and Brittany Karlson (USA) on bass.

Here, they treat us to a live performance of the haunting folk song, "Graveyard" (Cousin Emily) live at Berklee College of Music's internet radio station, BIRN. 

Attention, Swedish readers! The Goodbye Girls' debut tour starts end of July in Sweden with dates at the Urklut Festival and Stockholm Folk Festival.

What a great pair of performances.  The New Beatmaker is honoured to bring you these videos in association with Berklee College of Music.

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Richard Nichols: The Legendary

The New Beatmaker was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Richard Nichols, after a battle with leukemia, this week. 

Nichols managed The Roots from 1992, taking them from busking on the streets of Philadelphia to becoming the much loved and respected household name they are today.  Nichols was also heavily involved in production, mixing and A&R for the group.  His brilliant mind was also evident throughout his appearances in ?uestlove's 'Mo Meta Blues', an autobiography and history of The Roots, released last year.

The New Beatmaker would like to offer it's deepest condolences to Mr Nichol's family and friends.

Looking for the Perfect Beat (Low End Theory Documentary): Gaslamp Killer Scene

This documentary is sure to be a feast both for the ears and the eyes:

'Looking for the Perfect Beat' is a cinéma vérité immersion inside the unique Los Angeles "beat scene" music community, centered around the world famous Low End Theory club night. Filmed over the Summer of 2013, we are given the opportunity to elegantly lift the veil on the personal creative processes of the internationally-acclaimed pillars of the scene. Indie music luminaries such as Thundercat, the Gaslamp Killer, TOKiMONSTA, Jonwayne, Baths, Daedelus, Ras G, Teebs, D-Styles, edIT of the Glitch Mob, Astronautica, Free the Robots, and Matthewdavid are all featured in vivid detail...Looking for the Perfect Beat' provides a holistic view of L.A.'s key players in this generation's electronic music landscape while instilling hope for the future of cross-cultural creative unions.'

Worldwide debut at the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles Screening: Sunday, 7/13, 9 p.m. at Downtown Independent Theater

Sidenote: All white Maschine >>
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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Teddy Riley talks Michael Jackson, Jane Childs remix, Blackstreet and more (Pensado's Place)

Wow.  The man, when it comes to mixing hip hop and RnB, Mr 'New Jack Swing' himself talks to his good friends Dave and Herb on a number of fascinating topics.  Subjects up for discussion include Teddy's work on Michael Jackson's criminally underated 'Dangerous' project; how his remix of Jane Child's 'I Don't Wanna Fall in Love' saved him (in his words); his work on Blackstreet; and how he managed to create music 'hard enough for the rappers, but smooth enough for the singers'.  Another classic episode of 'Pensado's Place'.  Yep, yep.

Above are just three of Teddy's classic's. Arguably the greatest producer of the 21st Century, his mix of hip hop, RnB, funk and pop created a whole genre of itself and (for better or worse) inspired further generations to mix hip hop and RnB which, we all know, became the dominant sound of the charts years after he had perfected it.

Credit: Pensado's Place
For all 'Pensado's Place' posts, click here.

Pete Rock talks Sampling, meeting J Dilla, 'Shut 'em Down' Remix and more: (Combat Jack, NPR)

One of the top three hip hop producers of all time sat down with The Combat Jack Show and NPR Microphone check this week.

Pete talks about, amongst other things, how quickly he crafted the classic 'Shut 'em Down' Remix; how the prevalence of sampling was lost from hip hop; and how he felt when he met J Dilla, who made no secret that his number one influence was 'The Chocolate Boy Wonder'.  Enjoy.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

J Rawls Interview: Real Talent Shines Through

As one half of Lone Catalysts and 3582, and with a CV that includes work for Mos Def and Talib Kweli, The Beastie Boys and MHz, J Rawls is synonymous with classic hip hop.

His excellent new project 'The Legacy' sees the Ohio native showcasing his mic skills.  This, his final solo album, boasts production from fellow beatmaking heavyweights including Kev Brown and LAKIM; and features from the legendary Masta Ace, Illa J, Oddisee, Wordsworth, Nottz Raw, Blueprint, P Blackk, John Robinson and Ceezar.

A teacher, counselor, producer, remixer and label owner (Polar Entertainment: 'Positve Outlook Links Active Reality'), Rawls somehow managed to find time to talk to The New Beatmaker about, amongst other things, Ohio's rich musical heritage and working with the late, great Camu Tao.

J Rawls' 'The Legacy' is available now on Polar Entertainment:
TNB: An obvious question right off the bat: as a well-respected and loved producer, why swap beats for vocal duties this time?  Were you ‘hands on’ with the beats at all, tweaking them or offering production feedback?

J Rawls: Nah I picked producers I trusted and let them do their thing.  I decided to take it back to my roots for this one.  I started out rapping and I wanted to go out that way.  Cool thing is, I will always make beats.  So expect more beat projects from J Rawls.  Just wanna keep it instrumental for now…enjoy making music again.

TNB: The title track is produced by a The New Beatmaker favourite, LAKIM.  How and when did you first hook up with him? 

J Rawls: LAKIM is dope.  I met him through Jean P.  They were a group called Opposites Attract and they were working on a project for Polar.  We will see if that is finished.  I understand both are real busy.

TNB: If I had to sum up ‘The Legacy’ in one word it would be ‘family’; it shows a lot of love to people who have helped you in your career and gives fellow talented producers and MCs a chance to shine.  What word would you use to sum up the project and why? 

J Rawls: I like family.  That is a good word to use.  I would use legacy, that is why I called it that though, because I wanted to preserve my legacy and pay tribute with this album.  That is why I have a lot of my family on there.

I wanted to preserve my legacy and pay tribute with this album.

TNB: On ‘Pure Love’ you state: "It ain’t hip hop, if it ain’t no sample in it".  What do you think of sample packs and hardware preloaded with samples?  Do beatmakers who use these (and vsti’s, 'soft synths’, etc.) need to dig in the crates too to get a pass? 

J Rawls: Nah that’s on them.  I'm old school and will remain that way.  It’s a new day with music though and I accept it.  But for me, I do it my way…I love hip hop with chops tho'…nothing like that.

TNB: You once said that "Pop culture is a distraction".  It seems to me that artists with a certain level of consciousness, like yourself, often build their own lane and operate outside of the pop ‘machine’.  Is it too late to try to change pop culture’s shallowness and banality?  How can the artists who could potentially change pop music for the better do so, when they operate outside of it?   

J Rawls: They can't change it.  All cats can do is make good music and hope people eventually hear it.  Pop culture and pop music go hand in hand.  And a record label's job is to sell records, period.  So all that matters is what sells….once you accept this it's easier to keep creating.  I do music because I love it, so I am not worried about the rest of that…I make music to change lives.

TNB: Ohio has long proved to be a fertile ground for hip hop.  Why do you think that is? How did all this talent come up? 

J Rawls: Yeah it is just a place that has always had talent.  All of the Ohio Players, Zapp, Sun, etc. And in Columbus you got Bill Moss and all that.  It's in our blood.  But there was always some good open mic nights.  In Columbus a group named SPIRIT used to hold talent shows.  That is where I got my lessons.  Later on there was a record store called the Groove Shack…that is where Camu, all of MHz and a bunch of other cats came up….

TNB: Camu Tao's delivery, wit and energy are sorely missed.  What is your fondest memory of working with Camu?

J Rawls: My fondest memory is how we used to link up…he would usually call me up and say 'yo son, I got some new joints!!' And he would just play me beats in his car.  Then I would play him some.  He was a dope beat maker!  Those are my best memories.  In fact I still have DAT tapes of his beats that never came out…gave some to Copy so he could use 'em.  But those are some of my treasures…

TNB: 'You have a catalogue filled with classics, but two that I want to thank you for in particular are 'Brown Skin Lady’ and 'Yo Yeah’.  Can you remember how those two sublime tracks came about?  Did you know at the time just how special they were?'

J Rawls: I had met Kweli through friends in Cincinnati.  I was a college student at the University of Cincinnati and when I met Kweli he had not yet released the 'Fortified Live' 12'' on Rawkus.  By the time that came out and he had a buzz, he told me to give him some beats because he was working on an album with Mos.  I gave him the beat tape, the rest is history.  We definitely had no idea how special these joints would be though!

I gave Talib Kweli the beat tape, the rest is history.  We definitely had no idea how special these joints would be though! 

TNB: 'You’ve more than shown your skills behind the boards and the mic.  Can you name your favourite three rapper-slash-producers and explain why they’re your favourites?' 

J Rawls: Pete Rock, Redman, Kev Brown, and really, I have tons more.  But those guys just do it right.  No real explanation needed…producers usually know how to rock their own beats better than anyone else.

TNB: The New Beatmaker is primarily aimed at up and coming or budding beatmakers and other musicians.  What one piece of advice would you give to them - or give to new lyricists, given that you’ve swapped the boards for the mic on 'The Legacy’? 

J Rawls: The main thing is never give up.  It's getting harder out here to do music….don't stop.  Real talent shines through.

TNB: 'Lastly, what’s next on the horizon for you?'

J Rawls: I am going to focus on my label POLAR ENTERTAINMENT.  Expect projects from Ceezar and Jean P and some new artists not on the album: Satele and Brittany Nacole.  I am at a point where I want to help other acts from Ohio and other places that don’t get much spotlight get a shot.  Satele will be releasing an EDM project, Brittany Nacole will be releasing a neo soul project.  We have a Jazz album, and of course MORE hip hop with Ceezar!

J Rawls' 'The Legacy' is available now on Polar Entertainment:
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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Jay Bishop Remixes Tegan and Sarah for Indaba Remix Competition: Listen and Vote Now!

The New Beatmaker favourite Jay Bishop drops a classy, soulful remix of Tegan and Sarah's 'I Was A Fool'.   

Regular readers will already know that The New Beatmaker is rather partial to the soulful sounds of producer, remixer and DJ Jay Bishop.

Now, Jay comes correct with a lovely remix featuring a smooth bassline, tasteful arpeggio synths and big drums.

The remix is his entry into the official remix competition courtesy of Indaba Music.  Check out the remix - and be sure to vote by clicking on the blue 'Vote Now' button - above.

Groovy! Arturia Introduces the VOX Continental V

Looking to get that classic keyboard sound used by everyone from The Doors to Arctic Monkeys?  Arturia have got you covered.

From the guys themselves:

'The VOX Continental V is our latest vintage keyboard recreation, bringing back the classic sound of the famous VOX Continental 300. This classic organ was used on some of the most famous songs by the greatest bands of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond, the VOX Continental V will give you instant access to these hit making sounds and more.'  

For more check out the Arturia website here, and be sure to also check out the band providing the groovy sounds in the clip above,Towerbrown, at their blog:

Here are just a handful of the classics that utilised the original keyboard:

"House Of The Rising Sun": The Animals
"California Sun": The Rivieras
"I'm a Believer": The Monkees
"Working My Way Back To You": The Four Seasons
"Light My Fire" (1967) The Doors
"Sister Ray": The Velvet Underground
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida": Iron Butterfly

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