Keepintime: documentaries and collaborations between drummers and DJs
April 20, 2013 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Keepintime started as a simple idea, to bring some of the most revered and notable L.A. session drummers together for a photo shoot, then have them talk about the recordings that were famous to hip-hop DJs and producers, with some top LA beat jugglers. From that effort in 2002 came the short film, Keepintime: Talking Drums and Whispering Vinyl (2 parts on YouTube). The short documentary toured around, and in 2002, along with the screening, some of the drummers and DJs put on a live improvised show in Los Angeles. From that 2 hour show, a 45 minute film was made: Keepintime - A Live Recording. Later that year, after screening the short film in England, the Keepintime crew were invited to Brasil, to team up with Brasilian percussionists of renown, and make a beat record. They also put on an epic live show. That whole enterprise was made into an almost two-hour long documentary, Brasilintime. More information on the artists inside.

The original Keepintime photo shoot was to include Roy Porter (YouTube sample track), Earl Palmer (short bio video), Paul Humphrey (YT sample track) and James Gadson (YT sample video). The DJs were Babu (sample video), J.Rocc (sample video) and Cut Chemist (sample video). The session was filmed by Brian Cross (aka B+) and J.Rocc, who is also a prolific videographer. Unfortunately, Roy Porter passed away before that first session took place, though the video director, B+, had interviewed Porter earlier.

For the extended live session in Los Angeles that took place in 2002, Gadson and Humphrey were joined by Derf Reklaw (note: autoplaying music; live performance clip), with Madlib (live clip)and DJ NuMark (live clip) joining the DJs. In Brasil, some of the crew re-assembled. Cut Chemist left a tour with Jurrassic 5, while J.Rocc and Babu flew twenty four hours straight from Japan to get there. James Gadson turned down a tour with Beck to make it. Paul Humphrey and Derf Reklaw were also there, where they met João Parahyba (Google auto-translated bio; live clip), Wilson das Neves (performance clip), Mamão (Ivan Conti) (performance clip), and DJ Nuts (live clip) as their guide to the local hip-hop scene.

For more history of how Keepintime came about, Directors Notes interviewed Brian Cross about the first short documentary. Red Bull Music Academy, who invited the Keepintime crew to Brasil, previewed a rough cut of the film, opening first with a 41 minute lecture from Brian Cross (B+), seen here on Vimeo. Brian also has 318 photos from the Brasilintime session.

Both Mochilla and Ninja Tune released Keepintime Live on DVD with a bonus CD, or those CD tracks on vinyl. The Ninja Tune edition included a 13 track CD (Grooveshark stream). Mochilla also released a 2xDVD set of Brasilintime.

As a parting note, Earl Palmer passed away in 2008, living long enough to not only meet some of the DJs who really appreciated his drumming, but also getting to tour wit them and perform live improvisations around the world.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Holy crow, this is an awesome post. THANK YOU.
posted by bayani at 7:14 PM on April 20, 2013

When I saw DJ Shadow in 2002 during his tour for The Private Press, this film played between his set and that of the opener, Anti-Pop Consortium. Just last week, I made a mental note to track down this film, so thank you, filthy light thief, for reading my mind!
posted by stannate at 8:51 PM on April 20, 2013

Wow. I just watched almost the entire Brasilintime documentary and it was amazing. Can't wait to dig into more of this post. Very nice work, filthy light thief.
posted by dubitable at 11:53 PM on April 20, 2013

I wonder if that's how the Madlib Azymuth tribute album, "Madlib Interpreta Azymuth", came about (only found one track on youtube so far).

Wilson das Neves into bossa in the documentary... Sent this to our drummer earlier who just responded "Pants duly moistened".

Ah, this'll be one of those tabs that stays open for weeks...
posted by yoHighness at 3:28 AM on April 21, 2013

Great post, flt.
posted by box at 11:22 AM on April 21, 2013

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