Google+ Beathearts: 2011

12.31.2011

Beathearts top features 2011


We talked to many inspiring artists, producers and DJs over the year. Whenever we get the chance we meet up with the people behind the music and ask them about their inspirations. Three of our favourite features of 2011 were with Byram Jospeph (Slakah the Beatchild), Andy Williams (Yam Who?) and Robert Glasper/Chris Dave (Robert Glasper Experiment). If you missed out here's another chance. Looking forward to new Beathearts sit-downs in 2012!

Robert Glasper Experiment
"I was in [Dilla's] basement the night he put together the beat for [Bilal's] Remanisce [often interpreted in Glasper's live Dillaludes]. After that we built a relationship, so when ever we went up to Detroit we used to hang out at the shows or mix a record and it just developed from there on."
Read: The Beathearts/Robert Glasper Experiment sit-down

Yam Who?
"Like Floating Points said to us, we redefined the edit and turned it into an artform."
Read: Beathearts meet Yam Who?

Slakah the Beatchild
"One summer when I was about 8 my family took a trip down to the mother land of Carriacou (Grenada) [---] At this point I had never touched a drum kit in my life, but when I sat down, I dropped a basic beat and kept time and my mom was like "wtf?!"
Read: Beathearts meet Slakah the Beatchild

12.29.2011

Funkmaster Flex & Red Alert - The Hiphop 101 sessions


Top of the year tradition on Hot*97, Funkmaster Flex and Kool DJ Red Alert pull out their old crates  for a 4 hour mixtape show.

"It's what we call BRR - Before Rap Records." 
"From a time when samples were breaks and rappers were called MCs"

They tell great behind the scenes stories from back in the day and pull out so many classic that immediately had me diggin in my own crates. Here's Funkmasterflex in good ol' shape cutting it up the way he used to do it. Playing old school tunes we haven't heard in years.

First hour was dedicated to the early breaks. Included was one of my favourite joints from Eddie Drennon & BBS Unlimited. Second hour they go back to the 80ies and tell stories of the rap game all started with tunes like Jailhouse rap. Hiphop 101 for real. Hour 3 and we haven't passed 1985 yet. Excellent edutainment for the holidays. Get all four hours below while they're still available.


BBS Unlimited - Do what you gotta do


Fat Boys - Jailhouse rap

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

12.27.2011

Sin & 10.4 Rog - Late video trilogy



Rapper The Good Sin & producer 10.4 Rog just released the third and final video off their ground breaking project Late.

The Seattle duo has a unique style with thoughtful lyrics carefully woven together with 10.4 Rog's minimal, dubbed-out, analogue productions. Laidback but with an rugged edge.

If you're tired of everything sounding the same you should check out the whole album. It's still available for free (!) via Bandcamp. Don't sleep!

Download: The Good Sin + 10.4 Rog - Late 

If that's not enough, check out 10.4 Rog's mindblowing remixes of Bahamadia & Erykah Badu covered here earlier.


Slakah - Soul movement vol. 2 (preview)

Just finished watching the preview session stream straight from Slakah the Beatchild's studio in Toronto. We just love the concept of our favourite producers opening up and showing their behind the scene creative process.

This morning Byram gaves a ruff draft sneak preview of most of the tracks from the upcoming follow-up Soul Movement Vol.2. My key take aways from the session was:
  • He's sticking with that smooth, organic, headnodding productions that we grown to love
  • There will be quite a few uptempo tracks aimed at the clubs
  • There will probably be two tracks featuring Toronto's other man of the year Drake
The two stand-out tracks from the listen-through was:

All to myself: Another headnodding banger which themes the dilemma producers face when choosing which beats to keep for their own records and which to sell to put food on the table.

Here's yesterday: Is an ode the organic sound of the 70ies. It's produced by yet another Toronto talent Lord Quest.

He didn't say anything about a release date but it will most defintely be one of the releases we'll keep our eyes out for in 2012.

Since there are no official preview sounds off the album we remind you of Slakah's most recent beat tape Vol.5. In our recent intereview with Byram stated that Vol.5 might be the last of beat tapes he will leak so get it while it's still available!

Download: Slakah the Beatchild - Beat tape vol.5



12.20.2011

Beathearts top selections 2011


First and formost, we very much appreciate all the amazing feedback and input we've got from you all year. Followers, artists, labels, journalists, DJs, partners. If you want to get in touch with new music, ideas, feedback and questions don't hesistate to hit us up on Twitter or via beatheartsblog@gmail.com.

One,

Thestrom & Antwan

BEATHEARTS TOP SELECTIONS 2011: Thestrom

In my mind 2011 was the year of the artist. Never before have I bought so much music directly from the artists rather than a (major) label. Yes, Bandcamp has been around for a while but 2011 was the year where the majority of my purchases came (almost) directly from the artist. And very often from artists I never heard about before.

Looking back, in my mind, 2011 was a not so great year in terms of major album releases but an absolutely amazing year looking back at all the independent, up-and-coming artist that popped up.

These are Thestrom's top selections from 2011 in chronological order:

Elzhi - Elmatic (10 May 2011) Download


"The first initial idea to create the Elmatic project was to actually just rap to the instrumentals. And then what changed that was people coming out with their own tributes to Illmatic. So I was thinking we could twist it. So the next idea I had was to take certain producers that I respected and have them flip the beats to the samples that were on the original Illmatic, and flip them in a way where they were different. The next idea I had was to do it live, so I hooked up with Will Sessions and Will Sessions liked the idea and we just went into the studio and knocked it out. " (Elzhi)

The result is absolutely stunning. The live versions of the Illmatic beats are out of this world and up to standard with modern classics such as Robert Glasper's Dillaludes and El Michels Affair's work with Wu-Tang. Even the lyrics are flipped and updated engeniously: "base heads selling broken amps" converted to "crack heads slanging HDTV’s" on Detroit State of Mind is just one example. I rest my case.

Jesse Futerman - Super basement EP (20 Jun 2011) Download

Canadian beatmaker Jesse Futerman was one of our finest discoveries of the year. Super basement EP is a beautiful collection of songs. Torontobased Futerman is a jazz influenced musician who started of putting our remixes a couple of years ago. Has had a few releases on the Soulection compilations and also released an album entitled, Light of day, via Jus Like music. A pure quality release and we especially appreciate him putting in the effort to use such beautiful cover art.







Chris Dave & Stimulus - 3rd 1st impression (12 Sep 2011) Download

Drummer and producer extraordinaire, Chris Dave, teamed up with New York DJ/MC Stimulus. The beats and production are of the hook and the featurings are top notch. Among others Bilal, Renee Neufville (Zhané), Stokley (Mind Condition), Casey Benjamin (Robert Glasper Experiment). Just check their dope rework of the Maxwell track Bad Habitz. This was one of best releases of the year. No doubt. And if this is the taster we can't wait for the album to drop.

Chris/Stimulus: If you read this we would love an instrumental version :) beatheartsblog(@)gmail.com





Badbadnotgood - BBNG (17 Sep 2011) Download

Yet another Toronto crew putting out shockwaves via Bandcamp. With their dirty jazzinfluenced reworks of Mass Appeal, Fall in love and Broolyn Zoo (among others) they blew away all our defences and strolled into my top selections of 2011. Ace!











Karizma/Exist - Looking at Blue (19 sep 2011) Listen/Buy

Soulful beat veteran Karizma (Kris Klayton) has had an excellent year with a pile of quality releases. If I have to pick one it would be Exist Looking at blue which has been on high rotation. For this EP Karizma hooked up with Atjazz and it's a special treat. Inspired by Dilla's Walkinonit (off Donuts 2006) they cut the same sample but use it in a completely different context. The original tune is Walk on by from The undisputed truth (Motown 1973). We can't be certain but the minute plus intro just looping the naked sample feels like a nod to the late Jay Dee. Some of the best late night headphone music of the year.






Will Sessions - Real sessions (22 Sep 2011) Download

Will sessions is a group from Detroit with core members Sam Beaubien (trumpet/keys), Bryan Arnold (drums) and Tim Shellabarger (bass). Just like El Michels Affair and The Robert Glasper Experiment, they are another great example of new live group that can pull of a great live hiphop experience. Apart from the Elzhi project, Will Sessions has already gained quite a reputation with their live show as well as working with the likes of Black Milk, 14KT and Mayer Hawthorne. Another crew that deserves more attention. Don't sleep!






Still Pee & Ru - The mood is write (17 okt 2011) Soundcloud

Thomas Rusiak and PeeWee (André Möllerfors) from legendary Swedish rap crew Sherlock teamed up for a project entitled Still Pee & Ru. For us, the stand-out track is The mood is write which is a tribute of the Cherno track from his 1992 EP How is it being U. The whole album is dark, analogue and dirty just the way we like it. With productions like this we have high hopes for more to come from the duo.








Opolopo presents Mutants (5 Dec 2011) Listen

Peter 'Opolopo' Major has been on our radar ever since he started dropping mindblowing bootleg remakes on the Bugz In The Attic forum at the start of the millenium. Now the almighty Tokyo Dawn Records have put together a goodie bag of some of best official remakes from the last couple of years. We loved his epic Gregory Porter rerub of 1960 What? The album as a whole is great and we especially like the fact that they decided to highlight a track by the greatly underexposed Rogièrs. In 2012 we're especially looking forward to his upcoming EP with French rapper Rems as well as a new album.





Mecca:83 - Life sketches part 1 & 2 (5 Dec 2011) Listen/buy

Top of the year Manchester beat surgeon Mecca:83 a.k.a. Evan Jones finally dropped his album entitled Life Sketches Vol 1 & 2. With his album, Mecca:83 continues from where the EP:s left off.

The album features among others another Beathearts favourite that has been bumping in our headphones all year, Buscrates 16 bit ensemble. Expect to hear soulful instrumental beats fused with a analog sound drawing influence from the golden era sounds of Pete Rock as much as the current instrumental beat scene.





The Roots - Undun (Dec 6 2011)

What can I say. Over the last 15+ years, the Roots crew has no doubt been one of the most consistent rap groups out there. Like everyone else they've had their ups and downs but I would have to admit that even my least favourite Roots releases are quality pieces of work and have for the most part grown on me. In 2011 we again witnessed the double nature of the crew: from the very entertaining History of Rap-medleys with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake to their dark and thoughtful album Undun. It's the exception that confirms the rule, Undun is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year from a major label (Def Jam).





My prediction for 2012...


I have no doubt that the biggest musical event of 2012 will be the return of Michael Eugene D'angelo Archer! It's impossible not to have very high expectations of what's to come with an upcoming album and tour. Let's keep all our fingers crossed it will happen!

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BEATHEARTS TOP SELECTIONS 2011: Antwan

It's that time of the year again! Best of 2011! Same as last year the list is quite made last minute, next year I should write down everything through the year! But this is what I felt made the strongest impressions over 2011. And as thestrom mentioned, no heavy release, except for in my opinion Pharoahe Monch's!


1. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)

Number one on my list, mostly because I think together with Black Thought are the illest MC's alive! The production is solid as well, and the features are not to complain about neither.



2. The Roots - undun

Just released, but deserves a top spot on the list, greatly executed concept album, sticks immediatly and will for sure be ranked among the classic Roots albums in the future. The Roots continues too evolve with album after album, constantly keeping high standard solid hiphop. 

3. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia/Ultra

More mixtape than album, but still on the list. Frank Ocean blew up in 2011. And by right! The RnB/Soul singer makes hit after hit, and should have a great album comin next year!


4. Jamie XX & Gil Scott-Heron - We're New Here

Fantastic cover album by Jamie XX from the great britain group The XX. The young, brilliant, and ’til now, not very talkative–UK producer been makin lot of sound lately with this album and recently the title track on Drake's new album 'Take Care'. Apparently inspired to pick up an MPC after hearing RJD2's 'Dead Ringer'. 




5.1 Bon Iver 
Bon Iver and James Blake share the number 5 spot, both of them released self-titled albums 2011. Extremely well produced albums. Justin Vernon from Bon Iver got massive hype from the features on Kanye's album but the group been releasing quality music for quite a while.


5.2 James Blake
James Blake released two projects in 2011, the self-titled LP and an EP titled 'Enough Thunder', where he and Bon Iver made an collaboration track. This was a new discovery for me in 2011, he came from nowhere with his own style and blew me away!






 Honorable Mentions:

Apollo Brown - Clouds
(marvelous beat-tape from one of my favorite beatmakers, twentyseven two minute tracks that just melts together beautifully) 
Cunninlinguists - Oneirology
(another great album of 2011, dreamy production from Kno and tight verses from Deacon the Villain and Natti)
Skyzoo - The Great Debater
(Skyzoo released a good album in 2011, stand-out tracks: 'Written in the Drums' and 'Test Drive')
Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch The Throne 
(this was probably the most anticipated album of 2011, some tracks were good, while others were less good, though it's still on my list)
Andres aka DJ Dez - III
(heavy detroit music at it's best)
Veronica Maggio - Satan i Gatan
(fabulous swedish pop, I really enjoyed the album this summer)
Ayomari & TiRon - A Sucker for Pumps/En Kärlekshistoria
(the duo released two banger projects 2011, one unofficial EP with swedish connections, and one official debut LP, both really good efforts) 


Top tracks 2011:

Still Pee And Ru - Frustrating Beautiful feat. Chapee & Chess
(mint quality swedish hiphop, this is my favorite track on the album) 
M.E.D. - Classic feat. Talib Kweli
(fantastic beat from Karriem Riggins)
Immortal Technique - Toast To The Dead
(mostly for a heavy beat from Dilla)
Timbuktu  - Dansa feat. Jan Lundgren & Duo Pannacotta
(spoken word and classic music, makes you feel like your on a cloud watchin over the world)
Wildcookie - Heroine
(great album as well, but this track is a standout)
The Weekend - High For This
(smooth up'n'comer, cool track)
Onra - Change of Heart
(fabulous Jam & Lewis remake)
yU - If U Down
(yU just released his new album 'The Earn', it would probably be on the list if it was released sooner, haven't really had the time to listen through it, yU release quality hiphop and this track is a killer!)
Opolopo - Opolopo's Run
(quoting Moovmt.com: Swedish funk bandit Opolopo is back with a track that fell off the 'Voltage Controlled Feelings' star cruiser somewhere in the Delta Sector of the Omega Quadrant..)


Predictions 2012:

No doubt the album I'm looking forward too the most is Dillas new posthumous album 'The Rebirth of Detroit', the snippet of the track 'Detroit Madness' feat. Phat Kat that leaked a while ago made my head noddin'! Led by the unifying efforts of the Yancey Music Group. Announced by Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, the mother of the great J Dilla.

And of course as thestrom wrote, should be fun to see what D'Angelo can come up with concert-wise and album-wise, just the fact that you are about too see how he looks like nowadays is exciting!

Also I'm quite curious about french duo Union's upcoming project. The two singles 'Time Leak' feat. Talib Kweli & Sly Johnson and 'Wings' feat. Elzhi has been off the hook!

Psst... The good swedes Newtimers debut 'Ego' is something that should light 2012 up!!

12.18.2011

DJ Spinna - Best of Mark de Clive-Lowe mixtape

Can't think of a better way of ending the weekend than with this ace DJ Spinna mixtape covering some of Mark de Clive-Lowe's finest moments. Get it below.

Download: DJ Spinna - Best of Mark de Clive-Lowe mixtape

Tracklist:
1. Freesoul Sessions - EP1 Part III (Live) (Antipodean)
2. MdCL - Koko + Lee Roe (Mashibeats)
3. MdCL presents Rahel - Hope (Mashibeats)
4. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Bembe Segue - Heaven (ABB Soul)
5. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Pino & Mashi (ABB Soul)
6. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat nia andrews - We Renegades (Tru Thoughts)
7. The Politik feat Blu - Moonlight (Antipodean)
8. Isoul8 + MdCL - Stop Bajon (Archive)
9. Lady Alma - Running for Nothing (Antipodean)
10. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Just Wanna (Tru Thoughts)
11. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat nia andrews - The Why (Tru Thoughts)
12. Omar - Your Mess (MdCL remix) (Tru Thoughts)
13. Zed Bias feat Toddla T & MdCL - Koolade (Tru Thoughts)
14. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Omar + Sheila E - Get Started (Tru Thoughts)
15. Sandra St Victor - F.M.A.O.-ocity (instrumental) (Strategic Soul Ventures)
16. MdCL - Eight (Mashibeats)
17. Shirley Horn - Return to Paradise (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Verve)
18. Mark de Clive-Lowe & Olatunde - The Calling (Mashibeats)
19. Phlash & Friends - Running feat Shea Soul (Archive)
20. Shafiq Husayn - Nirvana (MdCL remix) (Plug Research)
21. Alison Crockett - When I Think of You (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Sol Image)
22. Aaries - Don't Give It Up (MdCL remix) (test)
23. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Abdul Shyllon - Relax… Unwind (MAW Records)
24. The Politik - Money (Don't Let It Catch Ya) (Antipodean)
25. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Slide (ABB Soul)
26. DJ Spinna feat Ovasoul7 - You Should Be Loving Me (Wonderwax)
27. Yameen feat Lady Alma - Light of Love (MdCL remix) (Rumble Pack)
28. Sole Fusion feat Vee - I Got Rhythm (Dopewax)
29. MdCL presents Sy Smith - Truth (Strictly Rhythm)
30. Incognito - Feel The Pressure (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Dome)
31. MusicLoveLife - The Bass that Don't Stop (Nepenta)
32. Mark de Clive-Lowe - El Dia Perfecto (Universal)
33. Ed Motta - É muita Gig Véi !!! (MdCL remix) (Ether)
34. MdCL feat Bembe Segue - Love Broke (Mashibeats)

Cesaria Evora (1941-2011)

Cap Verdean singer, Cesaria Evora, passed away yesterday 70 years old. Cesaira was nicknamed The barefoot diva due to the fact she enjoyed to perform without shoes. I first discovered her through Carl Craigs mindblowing rework of Angola off the epic Club Sodade album. That tune led me to dig deeper (as so often) in her catalogue. The depth and sorrow in her voice combined with finely tuned orchestrations was quite unique and will be missed. R.I.P. Cesaria.

Cesaria Evora - Angola


Cesaria Evora - Angola (Carl Craig rework)

12.16.2011

Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru

I just love these magical moments when you discover something when you're not really looking. Midnight. Just a last quick glance at the inbox/Twitter/blog flow before turning in and this blogpost about a new soulful talent Jesse Boykins catches my eye.

Chicago born Jesse Boykins III studied with Bilal in New York but has so far flown under our radar. Currently working on his third album, Love Apparatus, due for release on Bobbito Garcia's vinyl only label Alala Records.

The track that caught our attention was B4 the night is thru which is the lead single off the album. Check the original track as well as dope remixes from Dutch wiz kid FS Green below and Beathearts old favourite Afta1. But be fast! Apparently only 100 downloads available


Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru


Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru (FS Green Electrolove remix)


Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru (Afta1 remix)

12.13.2011

Beathearts rewind #30: D’Angelo – Lynwood Rose

We're still very excited about the upcoming D'Angelo tour i Europe in January. To somewhat ease that excitement we've been digging for more clues about the upcoming album. The most concrete hints the last couple of years have been:
  • The album title will most probably be James River
  • The leaked tracks Really Love, 1000 deaths and James River (Album prelude)
  • Questlove's quote from a recent interview: 
"With D'Angelo, the four songs I'm not drumming on are the songs I'm jealous of. I'm willing to risk lack of sleep just so I can be part of history. " (Questlove Nov 2011)

The other day we stumbled upon this lil' bootleg treat. With so many rumors surrounding the D we really don't know what to believe. But according to the liner notes Lynwood Rose is super group made up of Q-tip, D'Angelo and Raphael Saadiq and this is the warm-up mixtape. As far as we can tell it mostly consists of already known tracks and outtakes but it's still very nicely put together and keeps our hopes up for a quality 2012 release.

Download: Lynwood Rose - The warm-up mixtape

Tracklist:
01 00:58 Q-Tip, D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq - Lynwood Rose Intro
02 05:09 D'Angelo & Q-Tip - Believe
03 04:43 Raphael Saadiq & Q-Tip - We Fight/Love
04 03:11 Q-Tip & Raphael Saadiq - Get Involved
05 01:25 Q-Tip - Shine All Day
06 03:34 D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq - Be Here
07 03:56 D'Angelo - Found My Smile Again
08 02:41 Q-Tip - Dance On Glass
09 02:45 Raphael Saadiq - Still Ray
10 04:16 D'Angelo - Really Love
11 01:39 Raphael Saadiq - Make My Day
12 02:31 Q-Tip - Lyrics From The Abstract (TDMG Mix)
13 05:06 D'Angelo - The Line
14 02:19 Raphael Saadiq - Lift The People
15 03:25 D'Angelo - A Capella Interlude
16 00:29 Q-Tip - Sand Castle Disco
17 02:00 Raphael Saadiq- - We Get Down
18 03:01 Q-Tip - Midnight Marauders 2008
19 01:49 D'Angelo - So Far To Go
20 01:15 Raphael Saadiq - A Capella Intermission
21 04:54 D'Angelo - Bullshit
22 03:39 Q-Tip - Request
23 02:16 Raphael Saadiq - Just A Man
24 01:18 D'Angelo - Imagine
25 02:26 Q-Tip & Raphael Saadiq - Stressed Out (SaaDiq Mix)
26 05:12 D'Angelo - Devil's Pie
27 00:46 Raphael Saadiq - AOL Freestyle
28 01:05 D'Angelo - Tell Me
29 02:10 Raphael Saadiq & D'Angelo - Exclusive Outro

If that's not enough let your imagination run wild while you read this make-up review of the upcoming album: The James River review

12.08.2011

Mecca:83 x Kan Sano x Buscrates - Midnight kids

Nice little treat from Mecca:83 (Evan Jones). For this track, Evan teamed up Tokyo based producer/keyboard player Kan Sano and Pittsburgh's beat prodigy Buscrates. Apparently it just missed the deadline for his recent Life Sketches release but rather than letting it collect dust he decided share it.

Midnight Kids is also included as a digital bonus track on Life Sketches Vols1&2 which is available now via his Bandcamp

 
Download: Mecca:83 ft Kan Sano & Buscrates - Midnight kids

11.29.2011

Gerry Read - All by myself


Secretive like SBTRKT all available pictures of Gerry Read are blurred. Not much info available on Gerry except the fact that he's a 18-year old producer/multi-instrumentalist from the UK. His first (?) EP Patterns, in the vein of Joy Orbison's Hyph Mngo, was released on Dark Arx in 2010.

This new dirty soulful chopped up Theo Parrish inspired track below is already getting airtime from Gilles Peterson among others. We'll definetely keep an eye out for more to come from Mr. Read.

Gerry Read - All by myself

Download: Gerry Read - The URB mix

Tracklist:

01.  Gerry Read – All By Myself
02.  Gerry Read – Evidence
03.  Gerry Read – Come To Me
04.  Gerry Read – We Are
05.  Gerry Read – Legs
06.  Gerry Read – What A Mess


11.26.2011

Elmnt - Looking 4A Way ft. Slakah & FS Green


Sarajevo born Toronto based rapper Elmnt hooked up with two Beathearts' favourites Slakah the Beatchild and Dutch producer Franklin Samuel Groen a.k.a. FS Green. Apparently Elmnt and FS Green hooked up online. Elmnt found an FS Green instrumental online, laid down some rhymes, put it online and FS found it the next day googling himself and hooked up. The excellent soulchoped boombap track Looking 4A way is what came out (so far). It's available now via Bandcamp. Check it!

Elmnt ft. Slakah - Looking 4A Way

Elmnt - Must come down

11.23.2011

Beathearts meet Yam Who?

"Like Floating Points said to us, we redefined the edit and turned it into an artform"

Last week we got in touch with Andy Williams a.k.a. Yam Who? The man behind the (for a long time) secret team that turned reworks into an artform. In our Beathearts rewind #29 of The Roots Break you off we promised you the full interview and here it is.

================================================================

First off, we need to ask you who is Yam Who? Since we first heard of you in 2003 there were a lot of rumors around who's behind those amazing reworks floating around. We've heard the story behind the name inspired by a Jerky Boys cartoon character (Nam Who) but also heard that Desmond Morgan (Lil' Rico) is involved somehow. Could you set us straight?

Yes it was indirectly from the Jerky Boys and adapted from my surname Andy Willyam from a guy who I worked with a Reckless Records. I originally started the Yam Who concept 2002 until it blew up in 2002. Yam Who? is a now a live band and we have a new album out early 2012, totally killer!

One of the things that caught our attention with your first releases was the simple fact that you labeled them reworks rather than remixes. When we listen to the tracks you reconstructed we believe we understand why you chose that phrasing but is it indeed an intentional choice of words?

Well, like Floating Points said to us, we redefined the edit and turned it into an artform. It was quite intentional but much deeper than just a label. The music had to be completely without genre, the big we wanted the mystic, hence the question mark. The concept was not to reveal our identities but just let the music talk. Like most people we despised the music business with all the middlemen and still do. We wanted to take the DIY punk attitude and use that anger and apply it to beautiful productions. 10 years later were an independent company and are free to use the internet to sell directly, and release exactly when and what we want!

Another alias putting out slick reworks at the time was Blackbeard. Any relation?

Yes, good friends. We had an incredible night together called Uptown Safari.

Two of our favorite edits of yours are Hipnotic Are you lonely and Little Brother Make it hot. Two tracks that we definitely would have missed out on if you hadn't put our your edits. How do you chose the tracks you work with and is there a philosophy how you go about reworking a track?

Just being music fanatics from an early age. Its important to study and then being able to bring that history and knowledge into the studio. It's what stands the test of time and sets you apart, this leads to longevity. Theres definitely a philosophy to what we choose but I'd say in its basic form ie a strong vocal with say a guitar or piano...whatever. The sentiment of that song, it can be from any era, if performed and executed well, and youre in the right mood, it will hit you and that is all what matters...an amazing track will turn you on and brighten up your world.


Hipnotic - Are you lonely (Yam Who? re-edit)


Little Brother - Make it hot (Yam Who? re-edit)

In our minds, one of the greatest reworks of all time is your version of The Roots Break you off. It's an amazing song to start off with, but you somehow manage to take it to the next level. Could you tell us the story of how that track came about?

Hey its funny how much I get asked about this record. I really didn't think I could better the original, whereas the Raphael Saadiq track, Little Brother, John Legend, NDambi, its obvious what should be done. The only difference is the who's writing/producing/arranging. Alot depends on the country its made in, the decade, technology/economics etc

From what we hear your version of Break you off was only played on radio once (by Benji B on Deviation, BBC 1extra) never to be aired again and was never released. What happened?

It was going to be our second rework but for some reason one night I was talking about a record with my friend called 'Skyy Can You Feel Me' by Raphael Saadiq, we both loved this record like many people. I started messing around with it but I always thought it was too mellow and it just happened that this blew up and The Roots record was pushed to one side, then the whole Yam Who? thing just exploded.

Raphael Saadiq - Skyy can you feel me (Yam Who? spiritual rework)

Unfortunately the only version available of your version of Break you off is that talked over radio-rip. Is there any chance that you would put out that track (officially or as promotion) before hell freezes over? :-)

It came out on our first Back II Front compilation, very ltd!


Correct us if we're wrong but Back II Front was only released as a mixed CD with only a few minutes of Break you off right? Since we're on a mission to push underground soulful music that deserves more attention we're obliged to ask you if we'll ever get a chance to hear the track in its entirety?

Ok that's a fair point with Back II Front. I guess most artists/producers are always chasing the next goal so this track was left behind a little. One day perhaps we'll release as there's a lot interest. One fact, myself and Chaz Jankel (Ai No Corrida fame) made the music which gives in that timeless quality.

Did you ever get any feedback from the Roots crew? We mean, they're usually quite openminded and one would think they'd also like for your hommage to meet a larger audience?

Yes, we'd love to know what The Roots thought!


The Roots - Break you off (Yam Who rework radio rip)

There are so many reworks/edits from you around that we're guessing many of them are unofficial at least to start off with? Which was the first rework/edit you put out?

N'Dambi 'Call Me'.


N'Dambi - Call me (Yam Who rework)


Which was the first official remake you got paid for?

The first paid remix was probably Xantane Blacq 'Search For The Sun'

Who are your inspirations today? Records/tunes that have recently blown your mind?

This changes all the time..were big Toro Y Moi fans, more song based we'll always check out the cool edgy production stuff like Moodmann, Morgan Geist, Maurice Fulton, Caribou, Linkwoood, Mpese Mpese Band, Rub'N'Tug. But it has to be the killer live studio sound emanating from the 70's & 80's..from live drums upwards, locked in the groove.
 

Its a long list, Kid Creole, Fela, Arthur Russell, James Brown, Talking Heads, Funkadelic, Mulatu, The Meters, Lowrell, Peach Boys, Konk, Esg.


Toro Y Moi - Still sound

Who were your musical heroes when growing up?

Early 80's soul & pop, 2 Tone, Nu Wave, New York Hip Hop/Boogie, bands like Human League & Kraftwerk, Arthur Baker, Brit Funk. Its was all about going to the right school, then your older brother/sisters record collection

Beatmakers and drummers are a great source of inspiration for us. People like Karriem Riggins, Madlib, Questlove, Kenny Dope and of course Dilla's music inspired us to start highlighting soulful underground music that don't get enough attention.  When/how did you start producing/making beats? Are you a drummer as well?

Lil Rico [is a percussionist]. Afro cuban percussion, congo's, bongo's, drums. Also I studied with him. I'm more computer, production based and started using Akai samplers around 1989 and still do today. We origianlly combined them both to make our sound but mainly nowadays use live drums then overdub.

What is you live set-up like?

Its a seven piece live band, the same musicians with Odyssey & Killer Whale. Heavy disco business!

What can we look forward to from Yam Who? in 2012?

We've just recorded our debut album, with the live band for an early 2012 release on our Ism Records. Inspired by Quincy Jones/Rod Temperton, so it would be these two, countless others lets put down Raphael Saadiq, Herbie Hancock and Prince too.

Is there a concept e.g . are you writing your own song or is it recorded live jam sessions? How many tracks are you planning?

13 originals based on a lot references. French disco, afro, detroit house, downtempo soul, 80s boogie.

Any collaborations?

No collaborations as we wanted to become our entity, we've worked with or helped a lot people so its time to just do our thang! Male and female vocals, very Quincy Jones, Cameo, Prince but with modern production. Its based on a 6 piece band and yes Rico is on percussion.

That's it. Thank you. We truly appreciate your time and we look forward to more great music from you in the future!

================================================================

The debut album from Yam Who? is scheduled for an early 2012 release on Ism Records. As a bonus, here's a mixtape of rare Prince tracks put together by Andy. Enjoy!

Download: Yam Who? - When Mojo met prince mixtape

Label: Ism Records
Soundcloud: Yam Who?
Myspace: Yam Who?

11.22.2011

Derrick Hodge ft Common - We live today


Another highly anticipated project from The Robert Glasper Experiment crew. This time it's bass player extraordinaire Derrick Hodge's turn. We have been waiting for this ever since his amazing performance at this years Stockholm Jazz Festival (see video below at 3:47) and our interview with the band this summer: The Beathearts Robert Glasper Experiment sit-down. Derrick's album is entitled Live today and is scheduled for release at the end of the year.

Looking forward to his upcoming performance on Thursday with the crew at Fasching. From what we here there might be some previews from the upcoming album from The Robert Glasper Experience called Black Radio. It will feature Lalah Hathaway, Erykah Badu, Me'shell Ndegeocello amongst others and is due for release in February 2012. Stay tuned!


Download: Derrick Hodge ft Common - We live today

Derrick Hodge - Live @ Stockholm Jazz Festival (June 2011)

11.21.2011

Still Pee & Ru - The mood is write

Thomas Rusiak and PeeWee (André Möllerfors) from legendary Swedish rap crew Sherlock has teamed up for a new project entitled Still Pee & Ru. For us, the stand-out track is The mood is write which is a tribute of the Cherno track from his 1992 EP How is it being U. The whole album is dark, analogue and dirty just the way we like it. With productions like this we have high hopes for more to come from the duo.

We just love their way of blending genres to create something new. It would be very interesting to hear an instrumental version of the album. That would probably open up a whole new market for their music from jazz cats and crate diggers to broken beats heads and the instrumental beat scene.

Still Pee & Ru - The mood is write (Tribute)



Cherno - The mood is write (1992)

The album is available now via Cosmos Music and Spotify.

Soundcloud: Still Pee & Ru

11.18.2011

Beathearts rewind #29: The Roots - Break you off (Yam Who? rework)


The Roots - Break you off (original video version) 

One of the most sought after reworks of all time is Yam Who's version of The Roots Break you off. It's an amazing song to start off with, but somehow they managed to prolong the groove, add that live feel and take it to the next level. This week we got in touch with the man who turned reworks into an artform, Mr. Yam Who? himself, to get the Beathearts exclusive behind the scenes story of how the track came about:

"Hey its funny how much I get asked about this record. I really didn't think I could better the original, whereas the Raphael Saadiq track, Little Brother, John Legend, NDambi, its obvious what should be done. The only difference is the who's writing/producing/arranging. Alot depends on the country its made in, the decade, technology/economics etc"

From what we hear your version of Break you off was only played on radio once back in 2003 (Deviation on BBC 1extra) never to be aired again and was never released. What happened?

"It was going to be our second rework but for some reason one night I was talking about a record with my friend called 'Skyy Can You Feel Me' by Raphael Saadiq, we both loved this record like many people. I started messing around with it but I always thought it was too mellow and it just happened that this blew up and The Roots record was pushed to one side, then the whole Yam Who? thing just exploded."

Unfortunately the only version available of your take on Break you off is that talked over Benji B radio-rip. Is there any chance that you would put out that track officially or as promotion before hell freezes over? :-)

"It came out on our first Back II Front compilation very ltd!"

Correct us if we're wrong but Back II Front was only released as a mixed CD with only a few minutes of Break you off right? Since we're on a mission to push underground soulful music that deserves more attention we're obliged to ask you if we'll ever get a chance to hear the track in its entirety?

"Ok that's a fair point with Back II Front. I guess most artists/producers are always chasing the next goal so this track was left behind a little. One day perhaps we'll release as there's a lot interest. One fact, myself and Chaz Jankel (Ai No Corrida fame) made the music which gives in that timeless quality..."

Did you ever get any feedback from the Roots crew? We mean, they're usually quite openminded and one would think they'd also like for your hommage to meet a larger audience?

"Yes, we'd love to know what The Roots thought!"

=================================================================
If you want to know more about Yam Who's reworks, inspirations and what they're up to today the full interview with Yam Who? is available right here. For now, check the most complete available version of the track below. We usually don't post talked over radio rips but this track is truly worth an exception.


The Roots - Break you off (Yam Who? rework radio rip)

11.13.2011

Betty Wright & The Roots - Betty Wright: The Movie


The legendary Roots crew and super-prolifical singer, composer, producer, arranger and vocal coach Betty Wright of "Clean Up Woman" fame will release Wright’s new Roots-backed solo LP 'Betty Wright: The Movie' on November 15th through S-Curve records. This is Wright's first solo release in 10 years, having spent the time since 2001′s 'Fit for A King' writing and producing for Joss Stone, Angie Stone, Tom Jones and Lil Wayne, as well as working with Sean "Diddy" Combs as the vocal coach for his Making the Band reality show. Along the way, Wright has racked up numerous Grammy nominations as well as winning “Best R&B Song” for her tune "Where is the Love."
The new LP features cameos from rap heavyweights Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne and all 14 tracks were produced by the team of Wright, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Angelo Morris.


Tracklist:
01. Old Songs
02. Real Woman (ft. Snoop Dogg)
03. In The Middle Of The Game (Don't Change The Play)
04. Surrender
05. Grapes On A Vine (ft. Lil Wayne)
06. Look Around (Be A Man)
07. Tonight Again
08. Hollywould (ft. The Messenger)
09. Whisper In The Wind (ft. Joss Stone)
10. Baby Come Back (ft. Lenny Williams)
11. So Long, So Wrong
12. You & Me, Leroy
13. The One
14. Go (Live)


Betty Wright & The Roots - Hollywould feat. The Messenger


Betty Wright & The Roots - Baby Come Back feat. Lenny Williams

11.12.2011

Opolopo presents Mutants

Wow! Another greatly anticipated release is due on Dec 5th. Peter 'Opolopo' Major has been on our radar ever since he started dropping mindblowing bootleg remakes on the Bugz In The Attic forum at the start of the millenium.

Now the almighty Tokyo Dawn Records have put together a goodie bag of some of best official remakes from the last couple of years. We already covered the epic Gregory Porter rerub of 1960 What in an earlier post.  The album as a whole is great and we especially like the fact that they decided to highlight a track by the greatly underexposed Rogièrs. Opolopo's Mutants will be available via Tokyo Dawn Records on Dec 5th.
  
You know how we love those beatmaking videos. Well, here as a bonus here's Opolopo putting together a lil' funk gem using Ableton, APC40 and the Korg Nano Key. Check it out:

Mecca:83 - Life sketches part 1 & 2

New material from Manchester beat surgeon Mecca:83 a.k.a. Evan Jones. Following The Life Sketches EP he will drop the album entitled Life Sketches Vol 1 & 2 on December 5th.

With his new album, Mecca:83 continues from where the EP left off. Expect to hear soulful instrumental beats fused with a analog sound drawing influence from the golden era sounds of Pete Rock as much as the current instrumental beat scene.

   Mecca:83 - Life sketches Vol 1 & 2 (preview)

To keep your head nodding until Dec 5th here's Mecca's 3 for free EP.
Download: Mecca:83 - 3 for free EP

11.10.2011

Heavy D (May 24, 1967 – November 8, 2011)

Heavy D - Nuttin but love (1994)

Dwight Arrington Myers a.k.a. Heavy D left us on Tuesday. Born in Jamaica, Heavy D had many talents but to us he was first and foremost a rapper and producer. A Heavy D tune is also the reason for one of my longest and most memorable crate-digging quests:

I spent the amazing summer of 1994 in New York. It was the summer when both Biggie and Wu Tang broke into the spotlight. We were chillin' in our appartment one night with Funkmaster Flex's show on Hot*97 in the background when Flex drops this amazing break that we realize is the original tune behind Nuttin' but love. But of course they never mentioned what the tune was...

For years I was asking around in forums, digging in dusty record shops, sample-FAQ:s for what the original might be, but everyone insisted that Nuttin' but love was indeed the original tune produced by Kid Capri and Heavy D.

Years later, in 1999 I got a mail from a German create digger that had read my post from way back and by accident came to know the story behind the original tune. Apparently one of bandmembers of Scottish new age band Endgames was driving down Autobahn in Germany one afternoon in the late ninties when he heard their long forgotten song Ecstasy (off their 1983 album Building beauty) looped as a break with Heavy D rhyming over it. Shocked, he almost had an accident and had to pull over. So now through friend of friends of the German create digger the story was out of the original behind Nuttin' but love.

So I knew it was Endgames Ecstasy that I heard that night on Hot*97 but I still couldn't find the record. In 2001 I got another mail from a DJ Spinelli in Boston that had seen my post asking for the orignal tune and wanted to know if I ever found out what it was. I told him the story, he was absolutely thrilled to find out and later that week he found the Endgames album for us in mint condition in the dollar-bin in a used record store in Boston.

Long story, but everytime I hear Nuttin' but love it brings a smile to my face. If you don't already know it, check the video above as well with the amazing rooftop shot over Central Park.

R.I.P. Heavy D.

   Download: Endgames - Ecstasy

11.03.2011

Exist - Lookin' at Blue

Soulful beat veterans Karizma (Kris Klayton) and Atjazz (Martin Iveson) put out this beautiful EP a while back. Together they call themselves Exist and all their joint releases have been solid soulful late night house grooves. This however is a special treat. Inspired by Dilla's Walkinonit (off Donuts 2006) they cut the same sample but use it in a completely different context.

The original tune is Walk on by from The undisputed truth (Motown 1973). We can't be certain but the minute plus intro just looping the naked sample feels like a nod to the late Jay Dee. Check both the orginal and Exist's version below.

Exist - Lookin' at Blue


The Undisputed Truth - Walk on by

The Lookin' at Blue EP is available now via Traxsource.

And as a bonus here's Karizma's dope mixtape for FACT from back in September. It's still some of the best headphone music you can have on the daily commute.

Download: Karizma - FACT mix 286

Tracklist:
Common – Come Close (K2′s Klos-Ah edit)
Gil Scott-Heron – The Bottle
Osunlade – Envision
Karizma – Again
Exist – Lookin at Blue (Original and Astro dub)
Altered Natives – Earthlings
Dagui Rodann & Timothee Milton – Eternal Love (Claude Monnet Journey into the Dub)
Cajmere feat. Dajae – Brighter Days (Kaytronik’s Lost Dub)
Karizma – To tha Ryvuum
Muthafunkas – Oh I Miss U (Atjazz Lovesoul remix)
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway – Where is Da Dub & Where is the Love (K2′s Summah mix)
Karizma – I Kan Dub It

10.31.2011

Stephanie Mills - You're putting a rush on me (Kastil edit)

Just found this great re-edit of the 1987 jam from Stephanie Mills. Sliced, diced and geniously put together by Spanish producer Kastil it adds a whole new dimension to the original track. Get it below while it's still available.

  
Download: Stephanie Mills - You're putting a rush on me (Kastil edit)

If you're not familiar with the original version check it below.

Stephanie Mills - You're putting a rush on me (1987)

10.22.2011

Onra - Change of heart (re-edit)


We mentioned this track before in our Beathearts Rewind #26 covering one of the greatest track to over come out of Jam & Lewis' Flyte Time Studios: Change - Change of heart. Now Onra's fine re-edit is finally officially released as a warm-up for his Japnese tour. It's an exclusive 7 inch vinyl put out by All City Records. The A-side is Change of heart and the B-side is a slick re-edit of The Whispers mid-tempo 1983 chart breaker Keep on loving me. If you're fast the full release might still be available via HMV Germany (!) If not get the awsome A-side below.

Title: Change of Heart / Keep on Loving Me
Format: 7 inch vinyl
Label: All City Records
Release/catalogue number: ACOJ7x1
Release date: Sep 19th 2011


Download: Onra - Change of heart (re-edit)

Full Crate - Golden Glasses EP

New material from Dutch producer Full Crate. The Golden Glasses EP was released yesterday and is the first music we've recieved in quite some time. For us it all started with the beautiful Full Crate & Mar EP and Hi-hat Club Vol.5. Since then he has worked with artists like Eric Roberson, AB (Black Milk), Ntjam Rosie, Daru Jones, Jesse Boykins III and others.

This EP continues his quest to put out soulful beats with inspirations from artists like A Tribe Called Quest and DJ Spinna to Carl Craig and Mark De Clive-Lowe. Our pick of the EP is Cherrie Hats ft. Chris Turner but the release is quality all the way. Listen below and pick up your copy over at Juno.

  
As a bonus here's Crate's recent and more uptempo Woofers & Dirt mixtape. Check the tracklist below. Download: Full Crate - Woofers & Dirt mixtape
  
Tracklist:
01. Recloose - Electric Sunshine
02. Omar & Zed Bias - It’s So… (Zed Bias Remix)
03. Julio Bashmore - Um Bongo's Revenge
04. Logo - La Vie Moderne (French Fries & Tony Senghore Remix)
05. Roska - I Need Love (ft. Anesha)
06. Julio Bashmore - Battle For Middle You
07. Outkast - Spottieottiedopalicious (Nacey Remix)
08. Omar & Zed Bias - Dancing
09. Zed Bias - Neighbourhood 09 (Roska Remix)
10. Platinum - Signals (Champion's Gassed Up Dub Mix)
11. Katy B - Lights On Ft. Ms Dynamite
12. Lil Silva - Pulse vs Flex
13. Ms Dynamite - We Nuh Run (Sirenz Remix)
14. Breach - Fatherless (Doc Daneeka MRR SNRZZ Remix)
15. Mclean - Finally in love (Champion Remix)
16. MJ Cole & Wiley - From the Drop
17. Alex RD - Elites
18. Redlight - Stupid
19. Dark Sky - High Rise
20. Seiji - Buzzcut
21. Jameson - Urban Hero
22. Magnetic Man - Fire (Ft. Ms. Dynamite)
23. Donaeo - Where's Da Mandem At
24. Silkie - Wonder
25. Hudson Mohawke - Thank You
26. Swindle - Mood Swings VIP (22Beats Mix)
27. Machinedrum - GBYE
28. Hudson Mohawke - Turn Me Off
29. Africa Hitech - Out In The Streets
30. D Double E - Flava
31. DJ Hazard & D Minds - Mr Happy

10.20.2011

Nas - Nasty

"I’m not in the winters of my life or the beginner stage, I am the dragon Maserati, pumpin’ Biggie, the great legend Blastin’, I’m after the actress who played Faith Evans My little Jackie Onassis, dig?"

The other day Nas dropped the first video off his upcoming album Life is good. The track is called Nasty and is produced by long time collaborator Salaam Remi. For Nas he has produced tunes like I can, Get down, Made you look and many others. It's great to hear Nas rhyming over a dirty breakbeat again. The video kind of reminds us of the feeling when Biggie's Juicy dropped and it was just what we were hoping for after remaniscing to Elzhi's Elmatic project all summer. Let's just hope the album follow that same boots-on-the-concrete-street-corner-vibe we came to know Nas for.

10.17.2011

The Roots - Make my (album preview)


Earlier today The Roots announced the release of their new LP undun. Due for release on December 6th the album is a sort of novel in audio form. undun is what they describe as “an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999)".

Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson:

“At this point in our career we’d like for our work to have a unifying theme, and an experiential quality. We’ve been intentionally making our albums shorter in length so that they can be experienced as a continuous work. The music is band-oriented with an eye on the moody cinematic. As a DJ, I am the King of playlists, but I don’t want our albums to feel like a playlist or a mixtape for that matter. We want to tell stories that work within the album format and we want the stories to be nuanced and useful to people. Undun is the story of this kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn’t born criminal. He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac’s character Bishop in Juice… he’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment… At the end of the day… isn’t that what we all do?”

The first track leaked off the album is the beautiful Make my featuring Mississippi emcee and Def Jam label mate Big K.R.I.T. In our headphones Make my sounds like part 2 or an older brother to The Day track from last year. Definitely rises our expectations for the album as whole. Check it below.

  The Roots - Make my