As streaming has gone mainstream, these curators, many of whom began their professional lives as bloggers and DJs, have amassed unusual influence. Their work, as a rule, is uncredited — the better for services designed to feel like magic — but their reach is increasingly unavoidable. Spotify says 50% of its more than 100 million users globally are listening to its human-curated playlists (not counting those in the popular, algorithmically personalized “Discover Weekly”), which cumulatively generate more than a billion plays per week. According to an industry estimate, 1 out of every 5 plays across all streaming services today happens inside of a playlist. And that number, fueled by prolific experts, is growing steadily. [slBuzzfeed]
Ayman Rostom had a penchant for nostalgic productions in his music, which isn't surprising given how he studied his brother's tapes of Yo! MTV Raps back in the day, which lead to his career as Dr. Zygote and his own Boot Records label (Bandcamp). More recently, he's taken the handle The Maghreban and embraced stripped-down house-type beats that he releases on his Zoot Records label, though in his new video for Now Easy, the focus is on his love of oldschool drum'n'bass. [more inside]
If you enjoy laid back/ hazy/ chilled/ lo-fi hip-hop type beats, you may well enjoy the sounds of the Saikei Collective, which is based in the Philippines but includes a fluid roster of like-minded cats* from around the world, making original beats and remixing some tracks you may recognize. Since April 2015, the collective has posted nine releases on Bandcamp, consisting of five compilations, one collection of "two-player" collaborations, and three solo releases. [more inside]
Free music Friday! Organic Audio - Back to my Roots As part of their ongoing 20th anniversary celebration Tummy Touch are offering 'dubbed out disco beats and dirty global grooves WAY before they were fashionable'. [more inside]
Lorn has never been one to shy away from the darkness in his music. However, where as his previous release, Ask the Dust (Grooveshark) was bleak and mechanical in it's struggle with its demons, The Maze to Nowhere (Bandcamp) is melodic, fuzzy and at times even warm. If you've listened to Lorn's previous releases, 'warm' is generally not a word associated with his tunes. Whereas his previous effort worked with the bleakness of empty space, we find him filling in those cracks on this album with static, fuzz and ambient effects. The resulting product is a much more organic sounding beast, and man, does it sound great.From the Sputnik Music review of Lorn's first of ? parts in The Maze to Nowhere series of pay-what-you-want EPs on Bandcamp, which now includes Part 2 and Part 3, still with no end in sight. [more inside]
Samplestitch maps hip-hop samples (from J. Dilla, 9th Wonder and Kanye West) to keyboard buttons.
Is Sampling Tom Petty Like Plagiarizing from Moby-Dick? [SLYT] Mini-documentary on 'sampling' circa 1989.
For younger fans of electronic music, the Essential Mix archive* is a time capsule that allows them to listen to sets that took place before they were born; for others, it’s a treasure chest of musical memories that allows them to re-visit the glory days. And what better way to celebrate 20 years than with a party? Rather than the usual broadcast from Tong’s studio, fans had the opportunity to join in on the fun at the Manchester Warehouse Project, with an absolutely stellar line-up pitting veterans of the scene back-to-back with rising stars. [more inside]
If you follow music chart news in Australia at all, you might have heard of a young chap who goes by Flume, born Harley Streten in November '91. Now a mere 21 years old, Flume's self-titled debut knocked One Direction off the #1 spot last November (though the boy band ended up out-ranking the homegrown talent in following charts) and earlier this month bumped Bieber down a notch on the Aussie charts, too. But what is the sound of this Australian chart-topper? There's plenty of the "spectral beats ... 21st-century, post-glitchpop" on his Soundcloud page, including the complete album, or as individual tracks on Grooveshark. [more inside]
William Benjamin Bensussen is a DJ and producer who started DJing in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, where his weird, heavy sound was generally a dancefloor killer, earning him the name The Gaslamp Killer But he kept at it, and found a home in Los Angeles, performing with the Low End Theory crew. On December 1, 2012, Gaslamp Killer joined an ever-growing list of notable DJs and appeared on BBC Radio 1 with an Essential Mix "This runs the gamut, freak flag and spliff waving in the air. 2 brutal and beautiful hours of raw beats, boom bap, and Birdman. There is psych-rock, there is juke, there is Spaghetti Western. Exclusives from Lotus, HudMo, and Dilla." If you like what you hear, there's even more below the break. [more inside]
Real-time MRI study of human beatboxing, with lots of videos. See what snares, kick drum effects, cymbals and more look and sound like as they happen inside the head. Here's a BBC radio segment on the project.
If you've browsed some of the many year-end Best Album Lists, you might have seen AraabMUZIK's Electronic Dream rank highly. If his name means nothing to you, check an interview with the then 19 year old Hispanic kid from Rhode Island, who had recently graduated high school and connected with Dipset, or the 20 year old drummer-turned-producer whose performance was copied by Kanye (and other information on his life and times). Or maybe you follow producers, and knew he made the beat for Cam'ron's track I Used To Get It In Ohio, or cuts on the Dipset Trance Party mixes (DatPiff has volume 1, 2, and 3). If you want to know more, you can check a mini AraabMUZIK documentary (6:38 on YouTube), or just watch him work the MPC. [more inside]
"Hello friends, my name is Tino. Do you like the drums? Great man! I love them!" As CEO and principal artist, Tino launched [Tino Corp] the label with a series of instructional albums called Tino's Breaks, which teach a new style of drumming with each installment. Straight from their factory to you, six volumes of breaks, from mambo (YT) and dub (YT), to hallowe'en music (YT) and Christmas dubs (Grooveshark). [more inside]
The name Clams Casino has been floating around for a while, whose production was likened to a castle floating in the clouds by the BasedGod himself, Lil B [prev]. But recently, 24 year old Mike Volpe has shot up from relative obscurity to being dubbed a "visionary beatmaker" in Rolling Stone. You can hear the start of the north Jersey bedroom producer's ethereal sound in his 2006 remix of Mobb Deep's "Get Twisted", which has carried forward into tracks for Squadda Bambino, Lil B, Havoc (of Mobb Deep), and Soulja Boy. Clams Casino has since released a free mixtape of his instrumental production (streaming) to glowing reviews. [more inside]
Break it down. Shockwave grooves and beats.