Saturday, 6 September 2014

'Live at Berklee': Collegiate A Capella from Pitch Slapped, Reggae from Osiris Fire, and Indian, Middle Eastern and West African Percussion

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

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

Up first this month we have a fantastic performance from Pitch Slapped, I'll let the good folks at Berklee themselves tell it:

'Watch and listen to the arrangement and choreography that brought Pitch Slapped the 2014 International Championship of Collegiate A Capella (ICCA). They perform a medley of "Take Your Time," "Radio Song," "Ain't it Fun," "Take Back the Night," "Say Something," and "Come on Over."

Pitch Slapped is a student club at Berklee College of Music. Their 2014 auditions will be held September 17-19 from 8PM-11PM at 921 Boylston St., Room 411.

Auditions: facebook.com/events/1508543872721332'
­
I'm no Collegiate A Capella expert, but this is surely a wonderfully performance in anyone's book!
I'm no Collegiate A Capella expert, but this is surely a wonderfully performance in anyone's book!


Following on from that, we have reggae band Osiris Fire take it to the rooftop in a very different, but equally memorable performance of 'Shacklebreaker'.

This is an electrifying performance and serves as a perfect introduction to the band.  As a side note, check out The New Beatmaker favourite Frankie Leroux (Lowtone Society) right there in the thick of things yet again with his stellar work on the drums.  Well done guys.
Check out The New Beatmaker favourite Frankie Leroux (Lowtone Society) right there in the thick of things yet again with his stellar work on the drums. 
Be sure to check out the band on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.  I particularly enjoy the rousing 'Locked Down' which features the impassioned vocals of Frankie's Lowtone bandmate Joanna Teters (also of Mad Satta and Drew OfThe Drew fame).


Last but not least we have a wonderful performance using Indian, Middle Eastern and West African percussion.
Whether you are the proud owner of any of the instruments featured; are using samples and wondering how to make them sound more life-like, or just looking to vibe out, just sit back and enjoy.
Whether you are the proud owner of any of the instruments featured and looking to get tips on how to play; are an artist using samples of Indian, Middle Eastern and West African percussion and wondering how to make them sound more life-like in your productions, or just looking to vibe out to the gorgeous, hypnotic sounds that this instruments make, sit back and enjoy.



Here's a bit more info for you, again from Berklee themselves:

Tabla duet: "Kaida in 16-beat Tintal, Faukhabad Gharana" (Ustad Keramatullah Khan)
Frame drum trio: "A Quality of Six" (Jerry Leake)
West African Ensemble: "Fume Fume" (Maustafa Tete Addy)

berklee.edu/percussion
   
Well, another set of wonderful performances I'm sure you'll agree!  The New Beatmaker is honoured to bring you these videos in association with Berklee College of Music.
  
To check out all episodes of 'Live at Berklee' click here.

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Your Beats: Victory The Producer Provides High-Octane Hip Hop Instrumentals on 'Zuocai "The Sound of Victory Vol.1"'

'Zuocai "The Sound of Victory Vol.1"' is a Gift for Both the Beat Tape Fanatic and the Lyricist Looking for Inspiration 

It's always a pleasure to receive new music direct from an artist.

It's even more of a pleasure when the music is as satisfying as that recently sent to The New Beatmaker by 28 year old Delaware 'DJ turned rapper turned producer' Victory The Producer who has just released, for free, his mixtape 'Zuocai "The Sound of Victory Vol.1"'.


The project is 18 tracks of high-octane instrumental hip hop which is sure to be as equally enjoyable for all the beat tape fans immersing themselves in the adrenaline pumping tracks as it will be for all the MC's who'll be using these cinematic-sounding backdrops as inspiration for the next all-night session in the vocal booth.
The project will be equally enjoyable in its own right or - for the MC's amongst you - as cinematic inspiration for the next all night session in the vocal booth.
Full of epic beats based around samples that range from sci-fi, to Oriental, to 80's pop and rock, 'Zuocai...' shows off Victory's ear for melody, compositional skills and technical savvy, with every track having just the right mix of polish and knock where they are needed the most.

Whilst the project is of very high standard throughout, immediate favourites of The New Beatmaker include the journey into deep space 'Try-Outs', the funky, electronic quirk of 'Chika' and the melancholy finisher 'Red Autumn'.

Check out 'Zuocai "The Sound of Victory Vol.1"' today and be sure to join Victory The Producer on the winner's podium.

'Zuocai...' on datpiff.com
instagram.com/victory_the_producer
soundcloud.com/victorytheproducer
youtube.com/tyorzel
facebook.com/tyorzel

Victory The Producer is featured on the forthcoming episode of 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below: 

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Beatmaking and Charity: Today’s Future Sound Help Children Learn Vital Skills Through Beatmaking and Hip Hop Culture

The New Beatmaker is very, very proud to present the first selection of videos that we are sharing in partnership with Today’s Future Sound (TFS).

To paraphrase, TFS is a charity that believes in the power of music to transform and inspire youth to create positive change in their lives and communities.

TFS not only introduces young children to beatmaking as an art form, but also as a vehicle to communicate maths and science in a way that is novel and, I dare say, more engaging and entertaining to many of the children than textbooks and chalk boards are.


Today's Future Sound depend on donors to sustain their organization, provide direct services, and put on events.  Please donate by sending Paypal contributions to donate@todaysfuturesound.org
TFS uses beatmaking as a vehicle to communicate maths and science in a way that is novel and, I dare say, more engaging and entertaining to many of the children than they find textbooks and chalk boards.
In addition, TFS uses rapping to promote positivity and to encourage children to recognise their own self-worth. 



Here's a bit more from TFS themselves:

'We view our work as having educational, therapeutic and social components that can empower individuals to build confidence, inspire creativity, and create change. Today’s Future Sound (TFS) has a team of volunteers ready to bring our mobile music production and DJ’ing center to you—schools, community centers and events...'
We view our work as having educational, therapeutic and social components that can empower individuals to build confidence, inspire creativity, and create change.
TFS and African dance and drumming group Afrique Sogue collaborated for a joint production of "Precious Drop" in the spring of 2014 which culminated in a final performance in June.  TFS students at West Oakland Middle School in Oakland, CA had made a soundtrack based on the theme of water, which they then performed live with master drummer Lamine Bangoura. The soundtrack can be downloaded for free from the TFS website and bandcamp via the links below:

todaysfuturesound.org/music/student-musicalbums/
todaysfuturesound.bandcamp.com/album/todays-future-sound-and-explo-present-explo-beats-vol-ii

Students were asked what water meant to them and what they learned from the experience and they respond in the mini-documentary on the TFS/Afrique Sogue collaboration.



TFS depend on donors to sustain their organization, provide direct services, and put on events.  
Please donate by sending Paypal contributions to donate@todaysfuturesound.org

The New Beatmaker will be sharing videos in partnership with TFS on a monthly basis, for more information, visit todaysfuturesound.org.
 
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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

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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