In my current spirit of actually putting some work into this blog, I have another boat-load of great music for your ears - that won't hurt your wallet either.
Two new EPs hit my inbox yesterday... both of them from artists/labels that I usually associate with more dancefloor-orientated output... so it was a slight surprise that both DJ Chamber and Riddim Fruit's latest free EPs are both stocked with laidback beats for the chillers.
It's a fact that right now, I think influenced by the success of Skrillex etc, the world of funky breaks has seen a large increase in more face-melting 'funky' breaks. Two artists I really admire, Featurecast and Pimpsoul, have both recently released some epileptic monsters, and below them there are a whole slew of producers fusing Skrillex style spazz-outs to the 'Ghetto Funk' sound that has swept the globe over the last couple of years.
I have nothing against that, it's quite interesting when done right, and there's no denying the effect they can have on the dancefloor, when used sparingly.
It's certainly influenced some of my production - as my forthcoming remix for Telephunken will display!
BUT... in equal measure this style has given me a hankering for some of those old-time sample heavy dusty beats... it's a ying and yang thing I guess, or maybe I'm just getting old.
Last week I blogged Frenic's lush new EP, and now it's DJ Chamber and Riddim Fruit's turn.
I can only deduce that they've all been feeling the same as I, since both come with some sumptuous dusty beats that wouldn't be out of place on Grand Central circa 1994.
I can't help notice how things have come almost full circle from the demise of Grand Central, with the expensive copyright lawsuits that had cleaned them out, and put the frighteners on an entire industry, that, at the time, was revelling in DJ Shadow type sample-smiths, such as The Avalanches, Nightmares on Wax etc.
As but a wee bairn, I was busy with my MPC badly producing tracks with great samples, blissfully unaware that the industry was changing, and no-one dared touch music with samples for fear of copyright claims.
Big names such as Fatboy Slim could just buy the copyright, but for new producers the door had been shut.
This, in turn, affected the market, as musicians realised they had to produce their own sounds, or deconstruct their samples til they were unrecognisable. You might not think this was a bad thing, but it certainly changed the sound of hip-hop/breaks, and left trip-hop pretty much dead.
As we got towards the end of the 00's, the internet, mp3 downloads, torrents and a decline in revenue has since meant that the major labels and copyright lawyers have lost much of the resources needed to successfully sue publishing artists for copyright infringement. But, that is only really true if the music stays at a cerain level - if a track with samples gets into the charts, or gets licensed for TV/Film, it runs a much bigger risk of prosecution - so most 'big-name' artists are still either paying for their samples, not using any, or doing what Mark Ronson often does, which is write a song with samples, and then get real musicians to emulate the sounds.
But there is something in the sound of that dusty sample that many of us still love, and it's great to see current artists coming back with the music that was effectively outlawed in the 90s. In a landscape where people expect music to be free, by and large, there's nothing to stop artists using samples and releasing their music as free downloads (as the success of excellent net label Dusted Wax Kingdom shows).
And it's great to see labels such as Riddim Fruit, and artists such as Chamber, The Allergies, Frenic etc, put some music out that has no chance of substantial financial reward. It just proves that it's from the heart.
We need some more souful music in the world today, and if you're looking for it, you'll be hard pushed to beat these two latest releases:
(Christ that was a long segway, eh? Props if you're still with me)
RIDDIM FRUIT - CLOUD WATCHING EP
Cloud Watching Vol 1 Download LINK
I really ought to go through each track individually, as there are some real gems in here, but I'm out of time I'm afraid... you'll have to make up your own mind!
Stand out track for me is Dropsteady Freddy feat. Butterfingers 'Down South'.
No preview unfortunately - just download it now!
DJ CHAMBER - Action Through Inaction
I'm a DJ, producer, crate-digger, MPC basher, vocalist and all-round good egg by the name of Ewan Hoozami.
I've been played on BBC Radio 6, Solid Steel Radio, Radio Popolare (Italy), and BBC Introducing, released music on Pedigree Cuts, Goodgroove Records, Big M and many more, and DJ'd all over the UK and Europe.
I loosely centre my music around Funk, Hip-hop, Disco and Soul. I love basslines. And drums.
When I'm not doing Ewan Hoozami stuff I can be found doing the following (deep breath):
Running Particle Zoo Recordings
Writing & performing:
House/bass as STEGA
Wonky electronic hip-hop as Sirklz
Bassweight remixes of cult classics as one half of Box Rocket
Analogue sci-fi disco as one half of The Mind-Reading Space Lasers.
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