Friday, December 31, 2010

Everybody's Gotta Live.



















In the spirit of the new year, I would like to spread good music as far as possible, so please share this with someone who you think might enjoy and tell them to tell a friend and so forth and so forth.  This is a remix I did of 'Everybody's Gotta Live' by LOVE, a band created and fronted by Arthur Lee (R.I.P.).  The original song is just acoustic guitar and vocals, so everything else you hear is me.  Thank you Oli (my brother) for laying in the bass parts!  Have a great new year and remember: don't just be... LIVE.

Everybody

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bounce.




















I'm not saying this beat will make you smell better, but it should make you you bounce in your chair a bit.



Bounce

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Spawning.





















One day back in high school I was at a yard sale and I saw this dusty old VHS for sale, and with a name like 'Piranha 2: The Spawning' , I could not resist buying it immediately.  My younger brother and I probably watched it about 4 times, and after a while the music started to stick with me for some reason (the flying piranhas, not so much).  I got the samples for this beat from a tense underwater scene (if my memory serves me right), and not only that but I had just purchased my first Technics 1200 turntable and decided I would 'scratch' (though I had never done so before), and this is the masterpiece that came from that session.

Spawning

 
 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Smooth S%$#.





















Stay smooth (and classy).


Smooth

Monday, December 27, 2010

Relax. Unwind.













It is that time of year to relax and unwind, and most importantly spend time with friends and family.  That is part of the reason there were no posts the past couple days, but I'm sure you can forgive me.  Here is a short chilled out beat I made years back.

Relax

Friday, December 24, 2010

All The Love.





















A reminder to everyone during this holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, to show extra compassion and caring throughout your day.  You would be surprised how little effort it can take to be considerate.  On that note, here is a drum heavy hip-hop beat.

All The Love

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tabla Wolf.


















This track is what happens when you pull 3 entirely different records out of your collection and blend them together....  The main piano/tabla sample is from Oregon (world/folk group), bassline is from a soul 45 but I can't remember which one, and Howlin' Wolf provides the blues hum and harmonica licks.  An unlikely combo, but I think it worked out pretty well. This is another one from the high school sessions.

Persuasion

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trumpet In My Soul.












Jazz is my favorite genre of music, and has often inspired me to make music, pick up an instrument, or even just go outside and enjoy nature.  The song 'There's A Trumpet In My Soul' by Archie Shepp grabbed me right away when I first heard it, if my memory serves me it was in my parents collection but it may have been something I picked up back in high school.  Anyways, I sampled and chopped up the track and this is what I came up with.....

Soul

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Keep It Short.





















A dedication to those snippet style beats, the ones that are barely longer than a minute (or shorter).. just enough to make you want to rewind and hear it again.  I think the picture speaks for itself. 

Shorty #1


Shorty #2


Shorty #3

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hiatus.





















Ok, so after that 2 day "stretch" of no blog posts I am back!  A very close friend (a.k.a. brother from another mother a.k.a. man with the bass in the place a.k.a. the sweat collector selector) was in town from overseas and we had more important issues to tend to such as hanging out and playing music loudly as to upset the neighbors, talking nonsense and dropping knowledge bombs until 6 in the morning at the studio, DJing a Christmas party that was filled with great people and great music, things of that nature.   Since I left you high and dry though, I am including 2 short bonus beats on top of my daily headknodder so you don't feel like you missed anything at all. 

Remember Me


Bonus Beat 1


Bonus Beat 2

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gutter.

















Apparently I went through a phase from 2002-2004 when I made grimy (see: gutter) street beats, so here is one of them for your listening enjoyment!


Gutter

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Midweek Grit.

























This post is dedicated to those who get grimy and gritty on a day to day basis.  The picture is of a filthy piece of wood which I thought looked pretty damn good.  I definitely had some grit in mind when I made this track back in 2002.

Strictly Organic

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Flurries.






















Today is a perfect day to stay inside and focus on whatever you may be working on, today in Toronto we finally have some significant snow happening and it is NOT warm outside.  Here is a beat I made a few years back, someone posted samples up on a music forum and a bunch of producers took a crack at using the same sample to make a beat.


Winnah

Monday, December 13, 2010

Everything Is Connected.

















I chose this photo because I really like the multiple roadways and overpasses all connecting together, and something about the contrast of the sky with the concrete caught my eye.  This track was inspired by the more acoustic sounds that you don't usually hear in hip-hop beats, but acoustic guitars and upright bass can work really well if you do it right.  I get pretty busy with the drums on this one (thanks MPC 2000).. : )  It was made during this exact time of year, but 9 years ago...


Effortless

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Collage.
















A rainy Sunday night track for those of you who might be lazing around on your computer,  this track is essentially a compilation of different short beats all put into one long track, sewn together with short interludes from records.

Collage

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Foolish Game.





















I am pretty sure this was the first beat I made where I sped the record (LP) up to 45 RPM instead of 33, to get the tempo up to a hip-hop tempo... I was never a fan of the "chipmunk" vocal sound but I think it kind of works here.  The photo clearly relates to the title of the track...

A Foolish Game

Friday, December 10, 2010

Influenced.





















There is no deeper reason for the title of this track other than the fact that I indulged in a fair amount of greenery right before putting it together...you will be able to hear it in the music (I hope...)... shout out to my boy Ennio.


Influenced

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Musical Medley.





















This one goes back to Junior year in high school, I had a bunch of samples I wanted to use so I just made 5 short beats using the same drums / bassline, hence the name Medley....I have a couple more beats with this approach which will be posted at a later date.

Medley (Pt. 2)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sit Back. Think Back. React.




















Here's another one influenced by my heavy Endtroducing listening sessions, and additionally Pre-Emptive Strike by DJ Shadow, mainly for the track 'High Noon'.

Lots of different drum programming and sample layering went into this one, as I was starting to use my MPC 2000 more frequently.  The drum break is by the band Port Authority... I will leave up to curious parties to Google that ish.


Reaction Satisfaction

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Collaboration.
















The traditional method of making hip-hop beats usually involves one person sitting in their room / studio / where ever they make music, and putting something together on their own.  I love this part of the process, when I can be with my own thoughts and ideas and have no distractions.  Regardless of how comfortable this method is for many beat makers / producers, it can limit you to a degree, and creative collaboration can be a good way to influence your ideas and sounds.  There are instances when it will not work at all , you might bring someone in who has ideas that clash too much with your vision but at least you gave it a try and learned from the experience. 

This track was originally started as just drums and samples and my good friend (and incredible musician) Alonzo ( http://soundcloud.com/alonzo-wang ) played the keys and bass line on this one, circa 2002.  I love what he added to the track, it definitely allowed me to create more of a musical arrangement.... the moral of this long winded paragraph is:  collab with someone whos music you feel and see what happens!

West End

Monday, December 6, 2010

Full Moonset.




















Some instrumental hip-hop to start your week.....made back in late 2001 around this time of year.



Full Moonset

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rainy Daze.




















There is something great about the rain, unless of course you are caught in it and you don't want to get wet.  I use to work on music inside while it was raining all the time, I remember specifically waiting for it to rain before starting a track sometimes, because the rain used to be loud on the roof and sometimes I would hear patterns and rhythms in the downpour.   Appropriately, this track starts out with rain and thunder and then some maniacal laughter, I am not sure what compelled me to add that laughter, but it is kind of funny.  Either way, enjoy the music and enjoy the rain!

Sentiment

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Illusions.





















I love movie soundtracks, the tension, the instrumental pieces, the different moods that the composers create, it makes for a great listening experience... also they are awesome for sampling.   I definitely sampled some Michel Legrand for this one, from 2 of his soundtracks: The main samples were chopped from a song from "The Windmills Of Your Mind" OST, which is great. There are a couple string chops from 'A Matter Of Innocence' which is full of wicked tracks, including some funky ones with nice guitar and drums. I don't know where I got the guitars from though...


Illusions

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don't Touch My Organ.



This beat contains some organ licks (see 2:43 in video) I grabbed from the legendary duo of Brian Auger + Julie Driscoll , for a b-boy breaks style track, pretty minimal and repetitive.  If you watch their video with the sound off and listen to my track it is kind of trippy.  If you listen to their song and watch their video at the same time, be careful.

Groove

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deep Thoughts.



















This track is the first ever musical collaboration I had with my older brother.  I played him the sample and drums and he played the bassline.  I remember we recorded the bass directly into a Marantz tape deck (which was actually really nice), and then I took it to my computer and recorded it in and moved the notes around to fit in time.  The rest of the track is full of different samples and layers, this one was done during grade 12, I remember it quite well actually. The 'Deep Thoughts' logo has very little to do with the music, but the track is called 'Thoughts' and Jack Handey is awesome so it fits.

Thoughts

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jazz Mondays.





















I missed my posting yesterday, which I was trying to avoid but who checks these things on Sundays??  (If you do please let me know and I will try not to miss it again).

Monday is here again, so i figured some jazzy vibes would suit the mood.....
you get one guess who is playing bass on this one.

Mr. Carter

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bright Moments.




Today I have some appropriate Saturday night music, with the words of the incredible musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk speaking his piece about 'Bright Moments', hopefully some of you can relate to his words.

Bright Moments (Part 2)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Frequencies.




















There is something I've always liked about that weird in between interference you get when turning the radio dial.  I think I sampled an AM station for the intro on this track, it felt like a good way to set off the mood.  The bass is very filtered so the whole 'frequencies' thing describes a very important aspect of making music.  Understanding what frequencies blend well together and which ones do not is key to making your music sound proper. Click on the picture above to see the different range of frequencies that instruments take up.  Let me know how this one sounds (keep in mind I used cheap computer speakers combined with an 18" sub...)!

Frequencies

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Secrets Of Life.





















On some more introspective spoken word tip today with the music, here's one I made in 2001.  I remember chopping up some Joe Zawinul and Mark-Almond for this one, with the Earth, Wind & Fire spoken word free jazz nuggets on top.  Enjoy... the secrets of life.

Secrets Of Life

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Name That Break.


















Drum breaks come from all different places.... where did I get this one from?  Band, album and song title required... : )  

You Gotta Learn

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peace.





















I was a pretty chilled out kid in high school, and this track is a perfect representation of where my head was at back then.  Definite Endtroducing influence with this one.

Peace

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sample. Chop. Repeat.

















All the beats I have posted so far were created using Cool Edit Pro and Fruity Loops (for drums only),  above is a screen shot of what a waveform looks like in Cool Edit.  I did all my chopping using that program, and it took a long time.  I used to figure out the precise lengths of samples and chop them mathematically, which was a little crazy but it worked for me.  For example,  a 2 bar section at 90 BPM (Beats Per Minute) is 5.3333 seconds long.  If I wanted to chop a 1 bar sample I would make a new file that was 2.6666 seconds long, and if I wanted to make a half bar sample it would be 1.3333 seconds long, etc, etc.  This was my main method for creating my chops/loops for the early years of beat making, and it was incredibly precise, though I don't know if I would have the patience to do the same nowadays, especially with programs like Recycle and the new features in Logic 9 which make chopping such a breeze.  Here's a Monday beat to get your week started.

Confusion

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Convictions.

























"If your conviction is not to go to war and kill people......whole lots of people have been killed for their convictions, put in jail for their convictions.  Any time you have a high moral decent conviction you never have to worry about going crazy."   Dick Gregory, 1969.

Dick Gregory says those words on his 1969 2LP, "The Light Side: The Dark Side" , and I used that section , plus more from his piece entitled 'Draft Resisters' for the track I am posting today.  I had started a beat back in early September 2001, and had been meaning to finish it but had not gotten around to it, when I remember my Mom waking me up one morning to tell me there had been a plane crash in NYC, so I turned the TV on and watched as the 9/11 saga unfolded.   I had been listening to a lot of the Dick Gregory album I mentioned and I found the perfect parts to lay over my instrumental,  and I completed the song that same day.  I had just turned 18 and I was aware of the military draft and now that this terrible tragedy had happened, I knew there was potential for a lot of young people to go to war, and I was not OK with that.

Disarray

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Race Against Time.


















There never seems to be enough time in a day...  everyone always says this but it rings true for me all the time.  This track I am posting today is called 'Frustration', which stemmed from my desire to create music but at the same time being expected to finish my homework.  We can all relate to this constant push / pull of everyday life, balancing work that we want to do and work that we are required to do.  The key is trying not to do everything at once, as tempting as it is.  Even though I made this track 10 years ago it still seems relevant, though I didn't think about that at the time. Now off to my radio show set and DJ gig!

Frustration

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Main Ingredient.





















Hip-hop tracks with horn samples are such a staple in the huge catalog of classic beats from the early days, and one of the best to ever use horns in his production was Pete Rock.  'Mecca & The Soul Brother' by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth was one of those albums that I listened to over and over and over again, and after that it was 'The Main Ingredient' which continued the tight production with classic jazz and soul samples, though I do prefer their first album.   This beat was my 'Pete Rock' / Horn samples track that I knew I wanted to make.  I took samples from a bunch of different records, I know Sonny Rollins was the source of the horns, but the bassline and the piano i can't remember...A.W.B. on the BELLS!

A Thousand Eyes

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Layers.




















One of my inspirations when I started making music was DJ Shadow, because I listened to Endtroducing over and over, trying to hear all the different layers of samples he used to form his songs and I found it pretty amazing.   This track was my take on layering,  adding part after part on top of the track and then fading away but never dropping out elements.  As you keep checking this blog you will hear more examples where I use multiple sample sources in one beat, while maintaining a balanced sound that works.. the challenge is a fun one.

Entrapment


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Digging Is Therapy.

























I'm sure most of us can remember back in high school when we realized we had emotions, and the track I am posting today, "Pain" is named for one of those.   Despite the song title though, once the song was completed I was actually feeling "Joy".  The previous day I got the information that my girlfriend was breaking up with me, so naturally I was unhappy, but little did I know how fortuitous this breakup would be.  

The next day I had already made plans to dig through a garage full of records where a local dealer had his collection, and I was so excited I actually forgot about the previous days events.  As I went through the records I was pulling out great stuff left and right, it was one of my best digging experiences (at that time).  Lots of soul, funk, jazz, rock and all at roughly 2 bucks each.  I was so happy I could barely contain myself.  I threw the records in the car and rushed home to listen to the haul, and immediately remembered the breakup.  "Why don't I express my emotions by making a beat?" I thought to myself.  Long story short, I pulled out some of the records I found during the dig and put together a track, which I was quite happy with.  

The moral of the story is: If you are feeling down, go buy some awesome records and then make music with them and you will feel ok again. (after listening to this song again, I was definitely in an 'aggressive' mood!)

Pain


thanks for reading and listening...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Music Keeps Me Together.

My Dad was a huge fan of blues, and the artist I remember him listening to the most was Taj Majal.  He used to play his bass along to the same Taj Majal album, often keeping me awake late at night since the bass tones drifted right through the floorboards.  I inherited (I basically took their records) an incredible amount of music from my parents which I will forever be grateful for.  That is the reason when I was digging for records back in junior year of high school and I found this Taj Majal LP, only buying it because I remembered all the bass licks my Dad would play.























The album is 'Music Keeps Me Together' by Taj Majal and I.S.M.B. (Intergalactic Soul Messengers Band).  The same day I got the record I put the needle down on Side 2, Track 1 and this is what I heard:

Taj Majal - West Indian Revelation (snippet)


Here is the beat I made that same day (if my memory serves me right the other flute sample is from a Jim Pepper record called 'Pepper's Pow-Wow', which I cannot find anywhere!):

Summertime


thanks for listening.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From the Vaults.

 


















Here's a couple more from my high school years, making beats instead of making grades.

Most of these older joints were put together using Cool Edit Pro (now known as Adobe Audition) and Fruity Loops (for drums only).  I was still flossing my math skills when putting these tracks together, I used pure numbers and decimals to create my sequences and loops. More on that later......

the beats:

Fellow Man


Invasion


until tmrw.

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