Nine of the Best Beatmakers to Follow in 2013

After enjoying their work in 2012, I am really looking forward to hearing more from these great artists this year:


Already a TNBM fave, Ackryte has an uncanny ability of seamlessly mixing samples into his own productions, often creating something entirely new from found sounds.  A musical magpie, he specialises in swing - heavy hip hop, with jazz and RnB influences that he cuts into tiny pieces and rearranges into almost psychedelic sound collages.  His 'Lifted Transmissions' EP is  out now on HW&W (Image credit: HW&W)


Lanzo mixes film quotes, jazz, hip hop, reggae vocal snatches and just about anything else he can lay his hands on with unpredictable, but always dope, results.  'Recognize' is all brooding menace.  'Transparent Troubles' is a twinkling piece of sub - aquatic trip hop.  'Snack Bags' has lots of lovely bounce and infectious samples.  Recent beats show a predilection for chopping, screwing and stretching a sound as far as possible.         


I've been a fan of Upright ever since he won the beat battle.  Upright skillfully weaves disparate sounds and influences into a very strong signature sound.  His drums knock, his beats have a lot of swing and his basslines are great.  He often intersperses tracks with an unexpected element midway through.  His beats are also very clean sounding.  This mix of quirk and polished skill-set shows shades of a 90's Timbaland.


Regular readers already know that I am Team Mecca:83 all day.  What can I say that I haven't said before? I dunno, let me reiterate. Inspired by J Dilla and the second golden era of hip hop, he mixes hip hop, jazz and broken beat together very elegantly and has been praised by luminaries including Giles Peterson and magazines like Dazed and Confused.  He has a great melodic ear, his drums knock and everything he does is mixed and mastered very nicely.   


Lapalux's sound is one that thumps like great hip hop, lusts like great RnB and entrances and blisses - out like great transcendental house.  Very animalistic yet very polished. Very digital yet very human.  Very visceral yet very thoughtful.  I'm very excited to hear that his album 'Nostalchic' will be out in March on Brainfeeder.  That's a lot of 'very'.  Lapalux deserves lots of 'very'.


Orijanus is another beatmaker who can  just as easily craft a melodic, haunting instrumental as off-the-wall, trap - inspired craziness and all types of other heat in between.  My favourite tracks of his have glimpses of Timbaland and The Neptunes, mixed with that ever popular Detroit to SoCal sloppy drum programming.  Here is a young producer who gets the stark minimalism and the evocative, emotional chords and 'little' details just right.             

Central Parks 

Another enigmatic beatmaker.  Central Parks specialises in very soulful head-nodding material which may be classed as a bit more 'traditionalist' than anyone else on the list - I hope he doesn't mind me saying that.  He has successfully taken some of the best qualities of classic nineties hip hop beats and brought them into the 2010's.  I'd really like to see him link up with an MC for a full project this year. 


Like a lot of people on this list, Edinburgh's Jaisu has been on his beatmaking grind for years and has a dedicated following.  His '2 Stacks' was one of my favourite beat tapes of 2012.  I can't get enough of the sleazy glitz of 'backseatbentley' and the menace of 'rabbits'.  I would love to hear Nas and AZ go in over the very cleverly chopped 'lovetime'.
Another UK beatmaker getting it in.  My introduction to Klimeks was the beautiful 'Lost Without': great, sloppy, drums with lots of knock juxtaposed with an almost Isley Brothers keyboard floating off into the ether.  He's equally at ease knocking out hard - hitting tracks like this banger as he is crafting something like 'Bake Then Wake'.  Keep 'em coming, Klimeks.