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Showing posts from December, 2012

The Best Tracks of 2012

From the thought-provoking hip hop of El-P and Killer Mike, to the glorious garage-meets-pop-meets-RnB of Disclosure, 2012 had plenty of musical highlights.  Here are my favourite tenfrom the past twelve months.  In no particular order - they're all number one in their own way.

El-P featuring Killer Mike and Despot: ‘Tougher, Colder, Killer’
Produced by El – P 

First: El – P’s opening is probably the best verse of 2012.  Not only is it incredibly disturbing and thought-provoking, but also incredibly dope.  Second: the following onslaught by El – P, Mike and Despot is electrifying.  Third: the beat is beyond epic.  

What TNBM said at the time:‘The...distorted drums after the first breakdown, which add a real sense of drama.  Wowzers.’
El – P: ‘$4 Vic/Nothing but You+Me (FTL)’
Produced by El – P

El – P sounds at his most vulnerable and most defiant in equal, captivating measure.  Lyrically and musically mesmerizing.  The perfect way to draw the curtain on…

Mecca:83 Interview: UK Beatmaking Star and Label Head Talks Drums, Dilla and More

Mecca:83 AKA Rise is a name you're going to see on a lot of people's 'best of' lists, including ours.  His  'Sketchbook Pieces, Vol 1', a collection of recent remixes and production work, serves both as a perfect introduction to the beatmaker and as a tasty appetizer for those fans hungry for another full-length.  He is part of the international quartet Alexis Davis, along with fellow producers Spinnerty and DJ Simon S and lyricist Replife.  He's also the man behind the Expansions Collective label, releasing music he describes as 'Future Vintage'.    

An aficionado of A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla, Mecca:83 has made his own lane by mixing jazz, hip hop and broken beat, creating a sound which is very personal and very beautiful.   

The New Beat Maker had a chance to talk to the popular producer about, amongst other things, his mastery of drums, how Alexis Davis tracks come together, his favourite Dilla tracks and that perennial topic of debate…

Beatmaking Video: Lanzo on the MPC 1000

The New Beat Maker favourite Lanzo gets it in, with a little help from his very cute cat.  Lanzo's 'Suspension of Consciousness' is due any day now.  Check out 'Snack Bags' from the Chi-town beatmaker here and then check him out at soundcloud for even more goodness:


More Performances

Philippe Zdar in the Studio: Talks Hip Hop, Kanye West and more from Gasface

Philippe Zdar of French house giants Cassius speaks on a number of topics in this small but perfectly formed video from The New Beat Maker favourite Gasface.  He speaks on how a Cassius sample ended up on Jay and Kanye's 'Watch the Throne',not feeling hip hop until he heard the epoch-shifting '3 Feet High and Rising', his feelings towards the 'digital age' and how 'the loudness wars' are to the detriment of music.

Re-creating 'Mr Fingers 'Can You Feel It': Point Blank Music School

From the good folks over at Point Blank Music School

'This is the first of three special episodes of the EMC series recorded live at Amsterdam Dance Event 2012. In this one Ski Oakenfull breaks down the music theory behind Mr. Fingers' legendary house track 'Can You Feel It' within Ableton Live.'


Free Music Box from Soniccouture:

I am going to say this in my deepest voice: I love music box sounds.  So imagine my delight when saintjoe over at posted a cool video showing off this little treat from  Requires Kontakt, exs24 or Live.  Thanks to both and


More Samples / Sound Libraries

Nick Hook featuring El - P and Rood 'Sirens'

'Get the bloggers blogging'.  A haunting track - with a video to match.  Another classic feature from El - P and a great verse from a newcomer to The New Beat Maker, Rood.  I'm assuming this is produced by Hook himself: hypnotic 808's, a terrifying chorus, and what sounds like a frozen hell's gates slamming shut behind you.  Great stuff.

More Performances

Amir 'Sa'id' Said Interview: The BeatTips Breakdown

The BeatTips Manual has long been regarded as the beatmaking Bible by many in the hip hop and beatmaking community.  Now available as a digital download, The BeatTips Manual looks set to further solidify its position as the go-to book on beatmaking, as an instructional resource and cultural document.

In this exclusive interview The New Beat Maker speaks to The BeatTips Manual author, accomplished beatmaker, MC and founder Amir 'Sa'id' Said about the book's conception, influences and value to both new and experienced producers.

TNB: The BeatTips Manual is over 400 pages and is comprehensive in its exploration of beatmaking.  This must have been a massive undertaking.  Can you tell me a bit about the book’s conception and how you went about writing it?

Sa'id: Writing The BeatTips Manual was certainly a massive undertaking; it’s a big book, content wise and size wise!  I wrote the very first edition back in 2001, and since then I’ve been writing, making musi…

Freq.Trigger: 2D Blaster Video Game Manipulated by Music

The relationship between music and gaming taken to the next level

Freq. Entertainment have got their Kickstarter on for a very interesting sounding project:

Freq.Trigger is a 2D top-down physics-based shooter which responds to music. Choose whatever music you have in your library and the game will change accordingly. Think of your music as an endless supply of levels to suit your mood. The music modifies both game mechanics and gameplay influencing what enemies appear, when they appear, how many appear, how fast they move, how they behave, when they attack and with what weapons. As we like to say: music changes everything - turning every tune you own into a unique gaming experience.

Upload scores to your favourite songs and take part in competitions to fantastic music!

We have already built the sophisticated audio analysis engine which turns your music into a unique gaming experience. It's fully working, fully functional (we call it Audio Kernel). And we have almost finished the first…

AL PATRON 'Short Cuts'

Short Cuts by AL PATRON

All types of goodness here courtesy of AL PATRON: The feelgood grove of 'The Distance', the soul filled strut of 'LAX to JFK', and the J Dilla meets Three 6 Mafia epic 'Keep Hustlin'.  The sliced and diced RnB of 'Tell Me' is swagged out loveliness.  Don't even get me started on the sumptious sounds of 'I do' and 'Love Worth'.   
Find out more:

Image: http://huhwhatwhere

More Music
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The BeatTips Manual Goes Digital

NEWS: The much loved BeatTips Manual is now available as digital download

The BeatTips Manual has been long regarded as the beat making Bible by many in the hip hop and beat making community.  Written by accomplished beat maker, MC and founder Amir 'Sa'id' Said, the 400 page book covers five categories in great detail: history, instruction, music theory, business and interviews with hip hop legends including DJ Premier, DJ Toomp, Buckwild, 9th Wonder and Marly Marl.
The BeatTips Manual earns its stripes as a legitimate textbook, accessible to students at college and students of the game alike. ('m a big fan of and I highly recommend anyone who hasn't checked out his site - or is in doubt as to whether or not to cop the digital download - to see for yourself just how informative and well written Sa'id's work is.  Alternatively, checkout this review by another The New Beat Maker favourite, saintjoe.
The poignant '…

Point Blank Launch Youth Foundation

Some exciting news from Point Blank Music School on a subject very close to my heart.  

From Point Blank themselves:
Point Blank believes in the power of music as a tool for social change. With the advent of the change in government at the last election and the recession that coincided with this event, the funding that was previously made available for hard-to-reach youth activities was dramatically cut. Some say this policy may have even been connected to the ensuing riots of 2011. We subscribe to the belief that prevention is better than cure and we have committed to funding activities in this area ourselves. With all of this in mind we have created the Point Blank Youth Foundation (PBYF) to help engage and inspire young people local to our vibrant borough of London, Hackney.

For our first PBYF event we welcome Island Records singer and songwriter VV Brown to deliver a live online masterclass. We have invited local Hackney schools and students to participate in the presentation, to hea…