I feel very excited by the prospects of beat music. From the jump it grabbed me and showed me hiphop anew. It’s sprawled into so many styles that you really can’t capture it all. Recently I’ve been vibing to a few beat soaked albums.
First up was the mighty Gaslamp Killer. Long have I waved the flag for this brainfeeder, having never seen him yet heard enough mixes and listened to enough stories to vouch for his ferocity behind a pair of tables. The solo tunes I’d heard tagged with his name to date hadn’t surprised nor impressed and while I greeted The Breakthrough with excitement it too has fell short of what my ears are in search of. Gonjasufi makes a couple special appearances. He collaborates with a long list of individuals, mostly unsurprising given his reputation in this scene. He keeps it funky and heavy, jumping from grooves to noise and back again with an ear for transitions born out of a career rocking crowds. It’s a unique listen that I will most likely continue to sink my mind in from time to time.
Madlib’s little brother is a constant source of inspirational beat funk. Oh No has always taken a more straightforward approach to his production work than that of his more famous brother – this is not intended as a knock. Oh No is the perfect symbiosis of Dilla and Madlib, D.I.T.C., Premo, Pete Rock and Large Pro. He has honed the art of chopping samples, programing drums and banging out dusty soul drenched head nodders. This skill has been recognized and granted access to a number of different source recordings for themed records. I haven’t gotten my ears to OhNoMite, but Dr. No’s Kali Tornado Funk is an all instrumental affair filled with tweaked leftovers from the sessions. Like Mr. Moore’s character, these are dirty, passion filled grooves.
Since my interview with Butterz captain Elijah I’ve done my best to keep up with whatever him and his team have going on. I was quite excited to hear about the release of Royal-T’s full length via Rinse – the always on point online station I listen to not enough. Featured on this thirteen track outing are some beautiful tunes. Royal-T has an aptitude for elegance within his beats, and while he does cater to the “drop” necessary to rock a crowd, he keeps things interesting and allows for some room to show off other soundscapes and colors. “Cruel To Be Kind” features P-Money who seems to never fail with the verses, having continually impressed me with his work going on three years now. “Music Box” see’s him collaborate with Terror Danjah, a don of the Grime scene from my understanding, the results are an intense bout of what feels like drum boxing. They assault your ears and slow it down, build up and do it all over again. All in all, the selection of synths and electronic sounds and their manipulation is top notch.