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Old 06-10-2011, 02:51 PM   #31 (permalink)
What a guy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Brentwood, TN
Posts: 2,123

that Hieroglyphics sample is sick

d/led all the albums in this thread, except for Treasures, couldn't find that one
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,565

That Type of Night
Reflections on Electronic Music

Lately, and almost inexplicably, I’ve been delving deep into electronic/glitch/trip hop/whatever you want to call it. Precipitated by a headfirst lunge into these genres two weeks ago, this obsessive questing for new music revolves primarily around any and all releases by two very, very good producers. One of those producers is 25 year-old Aleksandr Kholenko, a phenomenal Russian artist better known as DZA and founder of Moscow’s foremost electronic/hip hop label; how2make.

What started my fascination with DZA, or Dzhem as he’s also known throughout Europe, was a mix that he posted to soundcloud. I’d never been a huge fan of electronic music, but I was encouraged by an acquaintance of mine who has a passion for the genre to check out this mix. I’m certainly glad I did, as I greatly enjoyed DZA’s “Spiders Defeated” from start to finish. The track is at its core a wonderful little patchwork of folk, hip hop, electronic, and trance; but with DZA’s orchestration it becomes a thing of beauty. After hearing “Spiders Defeated”, I turned to another of Kholenko’s highly touted mixes; “I Go By Handsome, Twenty-Four Year Old”. A massive collection of every sample material imaginable, “I Go By” is a breath-taking display of a young DZA’s ambitions as a producer. The mix seamlessly skips from dubstep to soul, Soviet movie scores to industrial snare, from house to jazz, the loop all the while keeping step with erratic, irrational beats hand-crafted by Kholenko on an antique Akai MPC. I find myself fast becoming enamored with this heavier, grittier production style favored by a new generation of beat-makers. DZA’s efforts are certainly helping to convince me.

While his mixes are top notch, most of my favorite DZA tracks are contained within his debut album, dubbed “Five-Finger Discount”. I downloaded “Five-Finger Discount” not knowing what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found a few real gems. FFD contains a wildly diverse set of songs, each sounding completely unique and ill in their own sense. Few tracks are what most hip hop heads would even consider “beats” in the proper sense, yet the album remains a triumph of electronic MPC work in the post-Dilla era. These tracks pretty well exemplify DZA’s versatility when it comes to beat-making, but more importantly they’re all personal favorites.

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on DZA’s beat tape, entitled “MPC Demos”, from a friend a few days ago, and while not having a track list prevents me from sharing any of the songs with you right now I can say that they include some brilliant material.

The second half of this post will be about Knxwledge, a producer from Philadelphia that’s making some of hip hop’s best beats right now. His style relies on airy synths, jaunty jazz samples, gospel hooks and soul loops. What I particularly like about Knxwledge’s style are his drum beats, as I find that they’re always on point and compliment the song he’s working on. I’ve downloaded a lot of Knxwledge’s music, and instead of telling you about it I’d rather you just listen because, honestly, that’s what got me hooked on him.

Knxwledge also did a killer mix called “Krapes”, dedicated to the 5th anniversary of “The Art of Reuse” magazine. Probably one of the sickest beat mixes I’ve heard in awhile, strongly recommended. Unfortunately a lot of his best work isn’t available on youtube, but I strongly encourage you to d/l his music. Best stuff: SKRAWBERRiES FUNRAiSRS VOL. 3, Klouds, and Kannaloupe.
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