Tuesday, 3 February 2015

2014 Roundup Part Five: M-Phazes Talks Favourite Hardware, Software, Sample Packs and Music of 2014

The New Beatmaker is very proud to announce the final part of a 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.  Catch up on the previous installments here.

 
M-Phazes boasts a CV that includes Eminem, Sean Price, Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae and Kimbra.

His brand of 'melodic knock' makes him one of the most unique and sought-after producers in the game.  By combining classy instrumentation with big-but-tasteful drums and an uncanny ability to create and mix sounds with a perfect balance of polish and grit, he is able to craft tracks that satisfy hip hop die-hards, future RnB fans and the more adventurous corners of the mainstream.  

It's a great honour and pleasure to present M-Phazes' favourite hardware, software, music and highlights of 2014. 

To round up the feature, The New Beatmaker then reveals favourite sample packs and artists of 2014 and the most anticipated projects of 2015. 

M-Phazes (Production and Remixing Titan, Drum Sample Library Powerhouse)

Favourite hardware of 2014: 'Probably my Juno 106. Obviously it's not from 2014 but every year I use it more and more! It's a beast!'

 Classic Roland synths the Juno 106 and the Juno 60 put through their paces by SynthMania: youtube.com/user/SynthManiaDotCom

Favourite software of 2014: 'Cubase, iZotope and FabFilter definitely took the crown in 2014! Love everything about all of them.'

Favourite sample pack of 2014: 'Probably the Kingsway Music Libraries by the bro Frank Dukes!  There are some super inspiring sounds going on there: kingswaymusiclibrary.com. Cardiak put out some fire as well: cardiakflatline.com'

Favourite freeware of 2014: 'It has to be TAL-Chorus-LX. kunz.corrupt.ch/products/tal-chorus-lx.  It’s a very simple plugin that emulates the chorus of the old Roland Juno synths.  It’s just nice to throw it on plugin synths to give them an old school analog vibe, but it’s great on guitars and even vocals.'

Favourite song of 2014: 'D’Angelo - 'Ain’t That Easy'.  It’s amazing from start to finish.  It oozes 70’s funk but is still timeless, D’s voice is as good as ever and it’s such a good opening track to his new album.'


An instant classic, 'Black Messiah' by D'Angelo and The Vanguard is M-Phazes' album of the year.  The album's funk-filled opener, 'Ain't That Easy', is M-Phazes' favourite track of 2014.

Favourite album of 2014: 'D'Angelo - 'Black Messiah'.  This album was possibly my most anticipated ever!  I know I’m far from the only one who thought that too.  The great thing is it lives up to those expectations and goes well beyond them. Musically it’s a masterpiece, and as a producer it’s so refreshing to hear an album not covered in harsh digital shrillness.'

...as a producer it’s so refreshing to hear an album not covered in harsh digital shrillness.

Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: 'Illangelo.  He did a lot, if not all of the ‘Weeknd’s’ production.  The guy is just ridiculously creative, amazing drum programming and crazy left of centre production - definitely an inspiration!  And he uses Cubase, bonus points! soundcloud.com/illangelo.'

Favourite app, blog or website of 2014: 'Music Radar is my go to but I also hit up Pensados Place.'

Highlight of 2014: 'I’m going to have to say my Grammy nomination for Eminem’s MMLP2 – that was a pretty huge deal.  I’ve also done a fair bit of traveling over the past 12 months; mostly for work.  Japan, USA and Indonesia to name a few.  It’s been great to make music in other parts of the world.'

Music based New Year resolution of 2014: 'I really want to learn piano and guitar, I am kinda lazy with that stuff though.  Hopefully 2015 will be the year that I can make it happen.'

Thank you very much to M-Phazes for taking the time out to answer my questions and all the best for 2015.  If you're not doing so already, be sure to follow him on soundcloud and cop his drum kits from The Drum Broker today:

soundcloud.com/m-phazes.
Buy M-Phazes' 'The Vault' and 'Dirty 30' drum libraries.
  
Oh and speaking of Soundcloud... 

 
'Soundcloud Sessions' Special: The New Beatmaker Selects 14 of M-Phazes' Hottest Tracks

It was M-Phazes' skill of blending musical genres and qualities that made ‘U & ME & Everyone, We Know’ one of The New Beatmaker's 'Top 12 Tracks of 2012'.

His roller-coaster ride of a remix of Kimbra's '90's Music' is one of my 'Top 14 Tracks of 2014'.

M-Phazes further channeled his inner Teddy Riley and DeVante Swing for two other massive remakes in 2014: his astounding reworkings of Jane Child's 'Don't Wanna Fall in Love' and Tammy Lucas' 'Is It Good to You', both of which took pride of place on 'Soundcloud Sessions' shortly after release.

These anthems, and other classic flips and productions from the man himself are neatly put together above for your listening pleasure.

For more 'Soundcloud Sessions' click here.
Follow The New Beatmaker on Soundcloud here.

The New Beatmaker Favourite Sample Pack and Artists of 2014 and Most Anticipated Projects of 2015

Favourite Sample Packs of 2014

As if Billboard Awards, Aria Awards, Grammy nominations and a portfolio of work with the cream of both underground legends and household names isn't enough, M-Phazes' drum sample packs are some of the best in the business.  If you haven't done so already, you owe it to yourself to cop them here today.  His 'The Vault' and 'Dirty 30' drum libraries are The New Beatmaker's favourite drum sample packs of 2014.


Do your beats a big favour: get yourself M-Phazes' 'The Vault' and 'Dirty 30' drum libraries today.

The New Beatmaker Favourite Artists of 2014

D'Angelo: To paraphrase M-Phazes, I have never anticipated an album as much as I did 'Black Messiah'.  Truth be told, I would have been happy with a good, nay, a decent album.  Given how many issues the artist has allegedly had to work through, the demons he has allegedly had to conquer, I was just happy that D'Angelo was in a good enough place to even release an album.  The fact that it's the best album of the year on it's own merits makes D'Angelo's return and victory all that much sweeter.  Welcome back D, we missed you.   

Flying Lotus: 'You're Dead' would have been The New Beatmaker's album of the year pretty much any other year.  From the awe-inspiring intro 'Theme', to the hope and wonder of closer 'The Protest', this concept album weaved together survivalist determination ('Never Catch Me'), mysterious, haunting mysticism ('Coronus, The Terminator') morbid social satire ('Dead Man's Tetris', 'The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep') and, like 'Black Messiah' showed that the art of the long-player is far from dead.  


Extra points go to FlyLo for his enthralling live show, which I was lucky enough to catch at The Roundhouse, London.  An amazingly immersive audio / visual treat which left much of the crowd dumbstruck in awe, this was the live show of the year, and another reason to crown Mr Lotus as one of the best artists of 2014.


Flying Lotus: I freaking saw this! Live! Epilipsey Warning: Readers with epilepsy should avoid this video.

M-Phazes: Last but certainly not least, there was more than one reason I reached out to M-Phazes to be a part of this final roundup post.  From this year's 'Camden Arc' brilliance; to the shelf-life of tracks like the stunning 'U & ME...' and 'Somebody I Used to Know' remix; and the amount of times I have reached for his drum samples, I feel like my enjoyment of music as a fan first and a creator second have both been very enriched thanks to M-Phazes this year.
 
Most Eagerly Anticipated Projects of 2015

If you haven't guessed already, M-Phazes 'Camden Arc' - along with heralded releases from those other perennial The New Beatmaker favourites Evil Alex and J'Von and Ackryte - is The New Beatmaker's most eagerly anticipated record of 2015.


Many thanks once again to M-Phazes, $1 Bin, Sev Seveer, Evil Alex, walkingshoe, T-Funk, Carvalho, Phil Phlaymz, Khalid Golding and J. Rizzle for taking part.  Same time next year? ;)

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