Sunday, 21 August 2016

Beat Dump 6. The Influences: DJ Premier.

Beat Dump 6: The Influences

DJ Premier

Like a "soon to come" future post, Premo's influence is not at all an easy subject
to condense into a single blog post.

DJ Premier is one of those producers who has always been there for someone
of my generation in Hip-Hop. Premo during the 90's teamed up with Guru
to define an entire era of Hip-Hop music. Preems signature sound and style
always arrives with recognisable authority, arguably like no one else in the art.

Premo's sharp chops, kicks and snares, heavy bassline's and dirty intro's keep
him stack above the rest, I'm a sucker for his work, a dirty Premo drop is
like no one else, especially during a live set. The fact he's kept busy
throughout the years since the early 90's proves to be a testament to his amazing
work ethic, from some of the first Premo production with Gang starr, to classics such as
"You know my Steez" & "MC's act like they don't know", to "Classic" with Rakim & Kanye, to the more obscure "Think Twice" with The Four Owls (a UK Hip-Hop group
from my hometown London) to his work with Christina Aguilera, in which his style
was never compromised garnering much respect from his fans and the Hip-Hop

 While able to create simple powerful loops with iron hard drum loops,
DJ Premier is impressively concise, being one of the early and biggest Hip-Hop
producers to chop samples and redeliver them in an unrecognisable state.
Quite far away from mere breaks and loops, Premo shows you can create a
completely fresh aesthetic flipping intricate chops, layering hard drums, developing
a gritty collage or sometimes a smooth blend into something both
surprisingly unexpected and impressive.

You want to hear some of the magic Premo makes, recommendations from my
perspective would point you towards, "Boom" with Royce da 5"9, all of his work under
 Gang Starr ('Full Clip', 'Mass Appeal', as mentioned 'You Know My Steez' recommended), "Rugged Neva smoove" with M.O.P, my favourite song "Sayin' Something" with Ed O.G,
The classic "Nas is Like", "P.A.I.N.E" with Freddie Foxx aka Bumpy Knuckles,
 Goldyn Chyld with Ras Kass, "Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers" (Another all time fav)...The more you dig, the more you find, the diamond mine never ends, Premo's beat library
is absolutely huge, I doubt there are many asides from Premo who have heard everything...
Covers, freestyles and shit would probably cover a lifetime.

Mechanical Ashar
Beat Dump 6
Another chapter in a story of beat development, audio art & musical experimentation.

Free to download, check it out, let me know what you think.
For more Shadeprint stuff, find me online (@Shadeprint)


Monday, 8 August 2016

Beat Dump 6. The Influences: MF DOOM.

Beat Dump 6: The Influences

Without this fellow, the Beat Dump series may have never happened.

Over the last past 10 years MF DOOM hasn't just been
my favourite rapper, but my favourite artists in music overall.
This guy changed Hip-Hop for me just as I was finding it stale
and extremely frustrating. DOOM changed everything for me personally,
asides from lyrics more left-field than anyone else I'd been exposed to
at the time, DOOM proved to be a magician with production.

What is special about DOOM's production isn't so much his skill
but his aptitude to seek out and craft simple, but effective, addictive
loops (often with very clean drums patterns) DOOM taught me about
the rules and how there aren't really any.

Even at this point, I'm still hesitant to pull some of the shit he's pulled.
However, I consider DOOM the first artist to prove to be a master of
skits, keeping them interesting, thematic and mainly; musical.

The entire Special Herbs & Spices series were a great listen and an
even better research project, finding those original samples and figuring
out how they were flipped. Projects such as the classic "Operation: Doomsday"
and "Take me to your leader" (released under the name; King Geedorah), gives
us a showcase of beats, rhymes, skits, themes, samples blended together creating an
audio aesthetic defining DOOM's signature style.

Looking back at his early work while with KMD, you can see just how visionary
DOOM was, from the sample work to the clever skits, building the universe the
story is based in. I personally like to seek out new talent, I'm used to stories in
which great new talent emerges, then burns out like a shooting star or worse is
snatched away from us too soon, almost in a strange poetic sense, in which we never
get to see their 'true potential'.

Tragedy did strike KMD losing a key member, rapper & producer, but most importantly
DOOM's brother 'Sub-Roc'. Hip-Hop lost an emerging talent. KMD were soon
dropped from Elektra & Daniel Dumile fell into a void in which many would never return.
But over the years Daniel Dumile, then known as Zev Love X did return, turning his pain and sorrow into energy fuelling his new persona MF DOOM; Hip-Hop's Super-villain.

There is much speculation as to how much of Sub-Roc's work was credited
as DOOM's, many theories as to how things would have turned out if he lived on.
Most likely, without his tragic loss, we would have no MF DOOM, but it's possible
we could have had a group far beyond anything we could have imagined; two brothers
with the talent of MF DOOM? Or possibly more?

Mechanical Ashar
Beat Dump 6
Another chapter in a story of beat development, audio art & musical experimentation.

Free to download, check it out, let me know what you think.
For more Shadeprint stuff, find me online (@Shadeprint)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Beat Dump 6. The Influences: Blu

Beat Dump 6: The Influences

So Beat Dump 6 is out & since we've come this far I guess it's time to discuss
influences and other stuff that might catch a few eyes and ears.

Blu is one of those rapper/producers I've been listening to before he had
a wikipedia page. I'm not even 100% sure how I came across this guy.
What felt like a bombardment of quality rhymes over soulful beats, from
"Below the Heavens" as a basic premise of who Blu is, to "Her Favorite Colo(u)r"
a mellow dream-like journey entirely self-produced, to "NoYork" (later renamed simply "York") an experimental, psychedelic trek with a hint towards a push toward
mainstream appeal.


Blu's entire journey, as a producer or working with the likes of Exile, Madlib or Dibia$e
taught me a lot about how to flip a sample and how to be tactful with drums
and percussion's. Similar to Hip-Hop's supervillain DOOM, Blu is also masterful with
his collages of skits and dialogue samples; "Her Favorite Colo(u)r" or the lesser known "no york e mo rmx" creating atmospheric scenery piece-by-piece, leading to an
near flawless aesthetic for the entirety of the project.

Uncompromising in his approach, Blu has pushed a few projects with vintage or
extremely lo-fi presentation (sometimes to the ire of his fanbase), personally this
taught be a lot, sometimes creative direction takes priority over accessibility,
especially considering whatever statements you want to make, ideas you
want to get across or seeds you wish to sow.

There is TOO MUCH to go on about concerning this guys body of work,
I could talk about "Johnson & Jonson", the obvious go to guy "(So)ul Amazing",
"theGodleeBarnes(lp)", "Jesus" or "Give Me My Flowers While I can Smell Them"
all day. Blu is one of the few emcees who's flaws enhance his strengths.

Mechanical Ashar
Beat Dump 6
Another chapter in a story of beat development, audio art & musical experimentation.

Free to download, check it out, let me know what you think.
For more Shadeprint stuff, find me online (@Shadeprint)