The evolution of instrumental beats has been an interesting one to watch. Obviously it began with classic hip-hop, especially when producers like Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Large Professor and others made their mark in the heyday of the 90s. Carefully crafted samples and invented drum programming made what were largely meant to be backing tracks into music that could be heard without vocals. Then came the rise of Mo’Wax and especially DJ Shadow, someone who looms large in the area of instrumental beats. Meanwhile, the style of music where this came from was changing itself, as hip-hop mutated into the fast-paced drums and and hyper synths that came to dominate the 2000s. While this was going on a new generation of instrumental producers sprang up all over the globe, in London, in Glasgow, in Russia, and in Los Angeles. The beats continue to shift and change, though, those video game synths of popular hip-hop have melded together with the drum experimentations of the new producers to forge new sounds unlike anything that came before. More
Like a Scientist designed the logo for film company Kojak Creative.
Cleveland was treated to a taste of Los Angeles and Low End Theory last night at the Grog Shop. Over the past few years a unique and burgeoning music scene has sprung up around the weekly club night Low End Theory in Los Angeles. Through a shared love of beats and progressive sounds, the night has led to the popularity of artists like Nosaj Thing, The Glitch Mob, Nocando, Teebs, Gaslamp Killer and, of course, Flying Lotus. Rarely do these artists come through the Midwest so this was something special. More
My Like a Scientist drafts are continuing to mount. I’ll get them finished off sooner or later. I’ve been steadily writing for FACT and Little White Earbuds and wanted to offer a little update.
For Little White Earbuds, I’ve been turning in a review a week of releases by artists such as Rustie, Kryptic Minds, Numan, Jack Sparrow, Flying Lotus, among others. You can see a current list here.
In the field of new style beats, there’s been an embarrassment of riches released for free over the past couple weeks. First there was the incredible Fly Russia compilation from Error Broadcast, and then Svetlana Industries released another giant compilation called Come On Lets Go just last week. More
As hazy, woozy, psychedelic beats go, 22-year-old Chris Ward (Tropics) is mainlining a healthy helping of 70s and 80s sounds and textures. With ethereal, near-balearic vocals and slinky synthetic percussion, “Give It Up” lazily shimmers by, at once ignoring contemporaries like Boards of Canada and embracing that heady lineage. There is a dreamy quality on this track works well with the nostalgic disco sheen of it’s sounds. More
Forward thinking beats and bewildering soundscapes isn’t normally what you think of when “Russia” is mentioned, but the interest in hip-hop goes back a long way in that federation, not least because of DJ Vadim’s breakthrough records. Just like jeans are a global export, hip-hop and synths travel the world and heads pick up on that legacy constantly. More
Even though this blog has slowed in output, I’m still out there writing about music and trying to raise awareness of some of the great stuff being produced currently. More
My first encounter with listening to Mary Anne Hobbs was in 2000 when she had James Lavelle (of Mo’Wax and Unkle) and Pablo (of Psychonauts) on the show to mix it up. Specifically I had read that they had played an acetate of the then-unheard “Giving Up The Ghost” track that DJ Shadow had made for Michael Mann’s The Insider. Never used, it eventually appeared on the follow-up to Endtroducing, The Private Press. This was the time of post–Endtroducing Shadow obsession for me and many others. How was I to hear this slice of new music? More
Long time readers of this blog will know that I’ve been a fan of the various doings of The Glitch Mob for awhile now. From first stumbling upon Ooah’s mixes to mixes and albums by edIT, they’ve been on my watch list for awhile. A full-length album for them seemed to be rumored years ago but it wasn’t until recently that they solidified The Glitch Mob has a performing and recording force to be reckoned with. However, as a group known primarily for doing crazy “glitch remixes” of popular songs, how were they going to translate this into an original album? The answer was to go back to basics and methodically compose and perform music as a band. More