Kings, a young producer from over the pond, crafts a wonderful beat tape that’s made for cars that ride by with the boomin’ systems. He has previously released work with Californian tastemakers Soulection and he frequently employs bubbly bass lines, various synth leads and triplet snare runs. The Beat Tape is some heavy shit. You’re going to want to hear this.
Paddy Fred is a producer who makes some beautiful soulful electronic music. And, he’s a cool guy. He’s from New Zealand, a country known for its gorgeous landscapes…sprawling mountain areas, low hanging clouds and lush vegetation. “Laminate”, a single from his latest EP Laminate, sounds like he’s preserving/laminating that image into a 3-minute soundwave. The Kiwi producer teams up with Lisa Preston and it’s a journey to all things chill and right with the world. (Plus, check out that awesome artwork by Marinate’s own Paul Smith.) Dope. If you want to kick back and take a quick vacation to the Oceanic then listen to this.
I run a blog called CUTTINGPRACTICE, and when Marinate Media asked me to contribute a list of my favorite producers to contribute to their blog, I immediately accepted. Since I respect their content and methods of delivering information, I jumped at the opportunity. I expanded on the original project, though, and decided to include artists who are not strictly producers. I then broke these down into three categories : Instrumentalists, Atmosphereists, and Producers (duh). ”Atmosphereists”, is a category that I chose to include because there are Instrumentalists and Producers whose efforts result in a spatial experience that accompanies the acoustic ones. Those are artists whose abilities range on another (not necessarily better) level of artistry, in my book.
In all honesty, any of these artists could and do overlap into the other categories. Not only do they do this on a consistent basis throughout their work, but they do this, in some cases, in these sample tracks. I differentiated in this was in order to show the basis from which I was explaining and experiencing their work. I wanted to give overarching reasons for why I admire these artists in general.
With each one, I give a quick reason for why I admire their work as a whole. I put together a special SOUNDCLOUDSOUNDMOUND mix for this, putting the tracks in the same order that I write about the artists below. Hit play and read through while the mix plays. I chose some of my favorites, but I’ve obviously left out some important artists who I apologize to ahead of time.
***Enjoy The Mix And Please Check Out All Of Their Work***
Tommy Kruise is a champion of intensity. If I had more room I’d post the video for “WAR HAMMERS”, too. TOMMY chops n screws a fair amount, retaining a track’s original force, but injecting his own doses of hurt and depth. Every piece becomes entirely his own through careful manipulations.
Sa’eed can transport you with sounds. I wouldn’t say that he strictly gives space to his beats, but he definitely gives motion to them. You may not know where you are, but by the end of his work, you’ll feel like you went somewhere. Your job is to figure where that is, Sa’eed already did the heavy-lifting. He got you there, the least you could do is take a look around.
Alf Alpha makes instrumental tracks that contain enough character to feel like he’s created personalities. His ability to explore a certain genre and break it down give his work distinction. He transports listeners to very specific genres, unlike many of his contemporaries.
Dayggs does a phenomenal job remixing works by retaining key elements of original tracks, highlighting their importance to the original track. Retroactively, we become aware not only of the current version’s force, but also the past one’s driving components.
Stacy explores a huge variety. Just the other week he released a collaboration track that was an industrial rap nightmare (in a good way). In a good way. Stacy blends the intensity of rap’s thumps with the carnage of a factory. His work is a comment on the emotionless turn that music has taken.
Nanosaur runs the gamut for sure. Whether he’s remixing, or laying production down, Nano comes with hard-hitting, steadily (high) paced tracks. His ability to infuse a host of sounds from a variety of sources is his biggest draw, for me.
Sucideyear does a lot of remixes, but he’s focused, so far, on re-imagining the energy of a track by messing with the instrumental alone. And although Suicide is able to re-explore a track’s atmosphere, he doesn’t ignore the importance of matching key elements of the original with those of the new.
Keyboard Kid will take you on an adventure. Just strap yourself to your chair, and let your ears move you around. Whether he’s making glitchy instrumentals or producing vaporous tones for a sensational rapper, his work is conceptually complete. KBK builds a landscape for listeners.
Audate has many forms. He used to be known under the name “Rick Flame”, a producer for Lil B. He has a grasp on the infinite, able to push sounds beyond the brinks set up by speakers, and our common experience of sound. He communicates the infinite with every note and pairing.
BanksOnTheBeat has a distinguishable dark intensity. His work creeps around, looming over his listeners, feeding their darkest fears. He doesn’t oversaturate beats with inexplicable samples, each sound fits together to build off of the last, introducing the next, tying them to a common goal.
.L.W.H. is not afraid to challenge his artists. Forcing artists into unusual tonal situations, .l.w.h. is able to rattle artists’ cages, forcing them to explore new heights in their art. I included an extended tape/mix that he did, to give you an idea of the range he himself explores.
Uptown Greg has a knack for digging into the essentials of a rap beat, what I call “foundation production”. He builds tracks from basic elements of rap production in conjunction with lighter instruments to raise the spirits of a track.
FRIENDZONE, time and again, are/is able to tap into the experience of sound. Their work doesn’t reflect the trends of sound, their work displays the importance of sound as a vehicle for feelings. The track I included is a perfect example. It doesn’t sound like a love song, it sounds like how we feel when we’re already in love.
SXMPLELIFE is one that I had trouble placing in one of these three categories. I put him here because I’ve heard him primarily as a cohort with some of my favorite rappers. What he does, for those artists, is create a sonic atmosphere for them to explore. They are able to open up their own capacities and play with any elements of sound they choose.
DK all DAY will make you go insane. His tweets are often about wanting to turn up, and ALL of his beats will make you want to. I rarely use superlatives, but I truly believe that “Rollin” was one of the best beats of 2012. DK harnesses listeners’ excitement in a unique way.
Tree produces primarily for himself, and is able to fit his acoustic needs in a personalized way. The inventor of #SoulTrap doesn’t need to fit any specific mold, he just needs to be able to fit whatever gusto he will embody on a given track. His forté is in his ability to perfectly match his (and others’) lyrical needs.
Joe Wax is developing a distinctly Bay area sound. From his work with Green Ova, and his recent work on the 100s tape Ice Cold Perm, Wax has been able to open the Bay to its wide synth capacities. Whether he uses drums or an organ, Wax perpetually creates riding music for heartfelt rap fans.
SmuggsDeVorzon takes on many forms, but consistently captures the persona of a system of sounds. Each note agrees with the others, each working together towards a common end. He is able to give his work a personality by developing within the range(s) of a certain presence or genre.
Froskees, the nature boy, the Shadowrunner, has worked with some of my favorite artists. He is highly capable when it comes to making reference-heavy works that adapt to the artists he works with. He works closely with Himself the Majestic and has developed a distinct sound, run on (falsely categorized) fantasy themes.
Chidish Major has explained that he does not want to be put in any one particular box. This beat, for Rome Fortune’s “Balcony” demonstrates precisely that. By venturing into a host of styles, tone, textures, you name it, Major has been able to develop a transient persona. Every time you think you’ve got him boxed away, he surprises you with a new twist.
Snub Nose Frank translates an authentic experience into sound. I included one of my favorite tracks into the mix, because it displays exactly that. Frank goes by many names, and can call on many sounds, but his work consistently sets a distinct tone that tells a story through sounds.
***As A Final Word, I Would Like To Reiterate That This List Is Not Comprehensive. Just Because I Didn’t Put Someone Down Doesn’t Mean That I Don’t Appreciate Your Work, I Probably Just Don’t Know It Well Enough To Speak On It***
GO CHECK OUT CUTTING PRACTICE, IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
FORMERLY KNOWN AS : FRANKLIN WEATHERFIELD AKA DENZEL SPLASHINGTON AKA PATOIS VUITTON AKA CHUCKDEGAULLE
VHS Logos, a Brazilian “post-internet” producer, gave us a 10 minute mini Marinate Mix and it’s wavy y’all. They’re all original tracks produced by him…pure funk. Think tracking VHS tapes and rewinding them with a pencil. Think ’90s fashion. Think neon. Okay. You’re in the right mindset to fully enjoy how awesome this video mix is. It’s curated by editing guru El Famoso Demon who weaves in old pop culture references and doesn’t ease up on the tracking fuzz. You’re going to want to check this one out.
Hit the skip for the tracklist.
1. Dial 89,3
Presented by Marinate Media (http://www.marinatemedia.com/)
All tracks and mixed by VHS Logos (https://soundcloud.com/vhslogos)
Video edited and created by ElFamosoDemon
I first encountered shak.‘s music through this fantastic remix collection of his which no longer exists online, sorry folks. He flipped Jeremih, Drake, and made it all his own—driving, downtempo, dark versions. (I’m lucky I got a DL in!) Marinate has the pleasure of premiering his newest creation. He says, “it’s different from my other work,” but that’s not a bad thing. shak. is a young producer from the Netherlands who on “Maybe, U” makes hazy, foggy sounds—employing slick clicks, splashes of guitar and a burping synth backdrop. This track is SOOOO GOOOOD. I don’t know, maybe you should listen to it. Maybe you should listen to it 500 times like I have.
There are several handfuls of rappers/cliques who’re buzzing, who’ve got really great sounds and, unfortunately a lot of them will be left out of this list. (There are totally several obvious exclusions and that’s because you probably already know those fools. I’m trying to dig a little deeper here.) These five rappers/cliques have unique qualities that are bound to push them out and into the forefront.
The Shadowrunners Click consists of rapper Himself the Majestic and producer Froskees. The two are steeped in video game references, they ooze pop culture and well, they’re slimy. Playful lines, quirky samples, swagged-out personas and ’70s style printed shirts are the norm—they don’t take themselves too seriously, but you should definitely be taking their music seriously.The Californian hip-hop duo run with buzzing rapper ANTWON whose End Of Earth project ended up on a lot of people’s best of 2012 lists. Check out the visuals to the dope track “Japan” off of their album Cyberdine. Also, peep their Soundcloud and get more acquainted with the Nature Boy Gang lifestyle. SLIMY.
Kung Foo Grip
“Kirkland hip-hop duo Kung Foo Grip are singlehandedly bringing class to the Eastside rap scene, one that’s been needing a revamp in beats and rhymes for a long while. Between the onslaught of furious raps and devastating hoofbeats hide soulful and downtempo grooves that sink into your veins and force your hips to move.” [via] Way I see it, rappers Greg Cyper and Edward Brock II are making some great Seattle-based hip-hop—equipped with a dope ear for beats (Keyboard Kid, Stewart Villain, et cetera) and a personality to match, they’re on the rise. They released Growing Up In The Future this year with Fresh Selects out of Portland and it’s beyond dope. (They also call themselves the Indigo Children, which, I’m hoping is a least a little bit of a nod to the game Indigo Prophecy, though I doubt it.) Give these cats a chance, I think you’ll like what you hear.
Just watch the video. Forreal.
But, it’s not a one man show, the whole crew has skills and it’s evident in this 5 minute posse cut. (Damn sweet visuals too. Props to the team on this simple, yet effective presentation.) Keep an ear to the ground, Windy City on the come up. (!!!)
Fellow blog enthusiast and hip-hop head Andriana from Gluttony Is The New Black swears by these guys. She introduced me to the New York City crew about two months ago and since that time I’ve been pushing them onto other people. In December they released visuals to their track “Statues” off their EP Nothing Special and it further solidified (in my mind) how legit this clique is. “Phony Ppl are a collective. They are a rap crew, a songwriting/production team, a live band, and a group of friends who live to make music.” [via] They are also legit as fuck. Check these guys (DYME-A-DUZIN, SHERIFF PJ, ELBEE THRIE, AJA GRANT, BARI BASS, ELIJAH RAWK, IAN BAKERWOMAN, MAFF YUU, and TEMI O) out, now.
Sandlot’s Dugout is a crew of rappers and producers from the northwest quadrant of the US. They’ve all got different styles, but it it’s a melting between heavy, push beats with generous amounts of bass and gruff personas. KreamTeam, the group’s producers, are awesome. Leon Swanks brings it. I really hate using the word swag (especially since it has been bastardized by uncool people), but this group has an amazing amount of swagger that carries over into their music. Be sure to give them a listen and keep an eye out.
Marinate Media out. We workin.
Duke Hugh, self-proclaimed “producer and professional alcoholic,” just etched together a beautiful three-track EP entitled, #after work I buy a record and make a beat. The constantly sloshed beatsmith flips some crazy (unknown to me) dope funk record and makes guitar laced, thumping, inebriating jams. “Elevation” features a killer jazzy lick, smashing-blitzed-out-its-mind bass hits and the best part…the best damn part is this flute dancing in and out of earshot. I’m big time in love with this EP–it’s no frills, just the essentials, badass hip-hop with a funky heart. Let’s all get a little tipsy and listen to this one.
Duke Hugh, self-proclaimed “producer and professional alcoholic,” just etched together a beautiful three-track EP entitled, #after work I buy a record and make a beat. The constantly sloshed beatsmith flips some crazy (unknown to me) dope funk record and makes guitar laced, thumping, inebriating jams. “Elevation” features a killer jazzy lick, smashing-blitzed-out-its-mind bass hits and the best part…the best damn part is this flute dancing in and out of earshot. I’m big time in love with this EP—it’s no frills, just the essentials, badass hip-hop with a funky heart. Let’s all get a little tipsy and listen to this one.
You might not know who Eric Dingus is…yet. It’s not going to be long before he’s producing for some of your favorite rappers. Already he’s produced for Green Ova’s Shady Blaze, Chris Travi$ of the Raider Klan, Th@ Kid and he has upcoming projects with Main Attrakionz and a “movie”-like EP on the horizon. And, all of this before his 18th birthday in March. The young Texan spends most every day, every minute, making ‘ethereal’, dreamy beats. (He made the beat for “Diamonds”, a Chris Travi$ track at his grandma’s nursing home.) He never stops working. “I love planning albums and projects, things to sample and ways to evolve my sound.”
Hear about his EP, Limitless with Prime, his homeschooling and creative process below.
NOTE: So, this isn’t your typical interview, it’s done over Gchat and it’s presented here verbatim for your reading pleasure. me = Marinate Media.
6:02 PM ericdingusmusic: hey what’s going on
me: not much man, how’s Austin, TX? It’s cold as fuck in Chicago
6:03 PM ericdingusmusic: right now it’s 71
ericdingusmusic: haha pretty warm for this time of year
me: So, I guess we’ll get this interview going? I don’t have any order to the questions I just have a bunch of questions, that work?
6:04 PM ericdingusmusic: yeah
me: I guess just some basic stuff, when’d you start making music? How’d you get into making beats?
6:05 PM ericdingusmusic: I started making beats in 9th grade. Just completely for fun with a drum machine that was laying around unused in my house. I didn’t get real into making beats until the middle of 10th grade when I got ableton live (which is the software I use)
6:06 PM and I’m in 12th now. I’m 17 and will be 18 the end of march
me: Do kids at school know you make music?
ericdingusmusic: I’m homeschooled actually.
6:07 PM so I just sorta make music all day really.
me: Ah! haha well that’s dope
Can you go a bit into you creative process?
ericdingusmusic: yeah. school wasn’t working out. well
6:08 PM I love LOVE to sample
me: WELL FUCK SCHOOL ANYWAY (forreal)
ericdingusmusic: so usually I start with a sample.
6:09 PM it depends what kinda tune I’m making..
me: Okay, so you’ll just start with a sample and build around it?
Do you have any formal training? Piano lessons..etc.
6:10 PM ericdingusmusic: usually I chop up the sample until it’s completely different than the original song. and no training. I’m all self taught. I just have been teaching myself everything.. mastering, recording. mixing. everything. haha I don’t even know the names of the notes on a keyb board
me: Ha! That’s impressive
6:11 PM How much of your day would you say you spend making beats?
6:12 PM ericdingusmusic: but if I’m making an ambient track which I’ve been doing a lot lately.. I start with a sample and put it into this crappy sampler from the 90s. a gemini ds-1224. which i don’t know anyone who uses one. but anyways I slow/pitch it down and then use a bunch of pedals and then put layer of synth over it
6:13 PM like music is really ALL i do. I see friends sometimes but I’m not very social.
me: Oh nice, I’ve NEVER heard of the gemini, this is the first damn time, I’m going to have to find a picture of this beast
ericdingusmusic: so really whenever I’m by myself I’m thinking/planning/making music. sometimes I play old videogames like doom is my fav right now
6:14 PM i posted a picture on my fb fanpage a little while ago
me: Do you ever sample videogames?
I’ll have to peep it
ericdingusmusic: YES. I made two beats today that are posted on my soundcloud now that sampled some videogame soundtracks
6:15 PM me: Oh nice, nice
ericdingusmusic: just a hint. Silent hill and resident evil
not gonna say which games
me: Ooo tight
me: that’s probs for the best! copyright bullshit I’m sure
That’s cool tho
6:16 PM ericdingusmusic: yeah. I mean I’m not selling my albums yet. it’s all being put out myself so I don’t have too much to worry about I guess.
me: Have you ever performed live?
ericdingusmusic: yeah only a couple times.I did a show a couple weeks ago. and I plan on doing more. It’s just overwhelming to dive into the performance side of things while I’m making music on the daily
6:17 PM me: Are you going to perform at SXSW?
ericdingusmusic: not this year I don’t think
6:18 PM me: Okay, tell me a little bit about Prime and how you got involved with them.
6:19 PM ericdingusmusic: well my manager is in prime and shoots videos for them. and I’m the first in house producer I believe. I had been in contact with my manager for a few months before he started managing me. He had reached out getting beats for one of his artists
6:20 PM me: Oh I see. Is that how your collabo with Chris Travi$ came about?
6:21 PM ericdingusmusic: I just emailed him and he hit me back wanting two beats off my soundcloud. the diamonds beat and hallucinate dreaming one. and we just went from there
me: Nice, is he paying?
Or is it more just to get your name out there.
6:22 PM ericdingusmusic: he hasn’t yet. I wasn’t charging back then. exactly it was all about getting my name out there
me: Nice, nice
ericdingusmusic: I’ve got some stuff on his ep/mixtape dropping valentines day
me: Are there some dream collaborations that you have in mind?
6:23 PM ericdingusmusic: I just wanna make good music with people. I’m working with a lot of artists I’ve been a fan fo for a while.
6:24 PM me: Have you done any production collabs? Like co-producing tracks?
ericdingusmusic: but it’d be neat to work with sgp and it’d be so awesome to collab with oneohtrix point never
me: okay nice
6:25 PM ericdingusmusic: not yet. well sorta one beat. I donno know what happened with it. just some one who reached out on twitter
me: Okay cool, do you have a favorite track that you’ve produced for someone?
6:26 PM ericdingusmusic: hmmm. that’s hard.. just a sec
me: ha no worries, we can come back to that one if you want
ericdingusmusic: chris travis Diamonds is my most played track. I can tell a little about that one
6:27 PM me: Okay yeah, that’s a dope one
6:28 PM ericdingusmusic: I made it in fairhope alabama in my grandma’s retirement home. and I wasn’t really feelin it honestly. I wasn’t a big fan of how obvious the sample was compared to most of my beats. but what he did turned out pretty sweet
me: Oh damn, so you’re making beats everywhere! I guess you really are constantly thinking about music
6:29 PM ericdingusmusic: yeah so much. Like I love planning albums and projects. and things to sample and ways to evolve my sound
6:30 PM like I said I’m not super social. and I’m homeschooling so I sorta live in my head most of the time. and my head is in music really
6:31 PM me: What’s your goal as a musician? At the end of the day, 10 years from now where do you want to be with your music?
ericdingusmusic: My goal is to have my music heard and enjoyed
me: Do you have any music videos out? Is that something Prime is going to do for you?
6:32 PM ericdingusmusic: I don’t really think about my dream life and stuff like that as much as just the daily networking and getting my stuff out there
me: nice, that’s a good way to go about it
6:33 PM ericdingusmusic: yes. I’ve made some weird music videos on my youtube for fun. but a music video is in the works with prime. for a track off of my next project dropping “limitless”
me: How would you describe your music to people that haven’t heard it?
ericdingusmusic: the main word I like to use is “ethereal”
but dream music. ambient beats. stuff like that I duess
6:35 PM me: Yeah, okay go a little into your up coming project Limitless.
6:36 PM ericdingusmusic: It’s really a short mixtape. pretty much an EP. but It’s beats. but more evolved and some have a texas/dj screw influence to em
6:37 PM me: How is it different from your other projects?
ericdingusmusic: It’s really the starting point for when things will come out. I basically just sent my manager a lot of stuff. and he helped my choose which one’s to go on the project
the beats are more evolving and longer sorta. more complex sorta.
6:38 PM me: Nice, nice
ericdingusmusic: almost like movie music, but in the form of beats
6:39 PM me: Nice, who’re some artists that you listen to now? Are there any producers/rappers that you really dig?
6:41 PM ericdingusmusic: I listen to oneohtrix point never a lot. and I’m pretty into some videogame soundtracks right now. like silent hill 2 and chrono trigger. hmm as far as rappers go. I’m a huge fan of Bones formerly th@ kid. I listen to him a ton. a lot of early 50 cent lately too
6:42 PM I also love dj shadow.
and I’ve been pretty into tim hecer too
and early three 6 mafia. haha sorry there’s just so much
6:43 PM me: ha it’s all good! It’d take me forever to answer that question, I’m always listening to tons of stuff
ericdingusmusic: yeah, I feel like I’m leaving some important ones out haha
6:44 PM me: Hmmm, I have one last question.
6:45 PM ericdingusmusic: ok
6:46 PM me: WOULD YOU RATHER FIGHT A HORSE-SIZED DUCK OR A HUNDRED DUCK-SIZED HORSES?
6:48 PM and why
ericdingusmusic: I guess a horse sized duck. cause I wouldn’t wanna hurt a bunch of little horses.
6:49 PM me: ha good answer!
6:50 PM Any last words? Any shoutouts, beefs you want to start?
6:51 PM ericdingusmusic: hmm… shout out to a couple local rappers I’m recording and working with. Sik boy and E.T.A. you’ll hear some stuff from them with me eventually… we workin.
Check out Eric’s Soundcloud (so many jams!!!): https://soundcloud.com/eric-dingus
Marinate Media out. We workin. Peace.
A while ago Jahshua Smith, emcee from Detroit, hit me up about his upcoming album, that would become The Final Season. He said,
I’m from Detroit and I’ve known Ryan (Stewrat) for years. He’s been my personal producer for a while now, and this next project is the first time I’ll be able to do a whole LP with solely his production…
And…I never replied because I suck. So, here, after months of no reply I humbly apologize and offer my thoughts. I should have said, “Yo Jahshua, this is FIRE! I’ve heard ‘Ride Tonight’ before and I really dig that track…also, yeah this whole thing is dope.”
Firstly, Marinate Media favorite Stewrat, kills the production on this album. From start to finish on this 15-track album you can tell you’re getting his best work—sample-heavy joints w/ an electronic flair that create this soulful stutter for Jahshua to work with. Secondly, Jahshua brings it on these tracks. He’s elevated his game and together the two make some great Midwestern hip-hop. (Stewrat from Springfield, OH, Jahshua, from Michigan.) You’ll want to get this one! Throw a few bucks their way!