Google+ Beathearts: 12.2011


Beathearts top features 2011

We talked to many inspiring artists, producers and DJs over the year. Whenever we get the chance we meet up with the people behind the music and ask them about their inspirations. Three of our favourite features of 2011 were with Byram Jospeph (Slakah the Beatchild), Andy Williams (Yam Who?) and Robert Glasper/Chris Dave (Robert Glasper Experiment). If you missed out here's another chance. Looking forward to new Beathearts sit-downs in 2012!

Robert Glasper Experiment
"I was in [Dilla's] basement the night he put together the beat for [Bilal's] Remanisce [often interpreted in Glasper's live Dillaludes]. After that we built a relationship, so when ever we went up to Detroit we used to hang out at the shows or mix a record and it just developed from there on."
Read: The Beathearts/Robert Glasper Experiment sit-down

Yam Who?
"Like Floating Points said to us, we redefined the edit and turned it into an artform."
Read: Beathearts meet Yam Who?

Slakah the Beatchild
"One summer when I was about 8 my family took a trip down to the mother land of Carriacou (Grenada) [---] At this point I had never touched a drum kit in my life, but when I sat down, I dropped a basic beat and kept time and my mom was like "wtf?!"
Read: Beathearts meet Slakah the Beatchild


Funkmaster Flex & Red Alert - The Hiphop 101 sessions

Top of the year tradition on Hot*97, Funkmaster Flex and Kool DJ Red Alert pull out their old crates  for a 4 hour mixtape show.

"It's what we call BRR - Before Rap Records." 
"From a time when samples were breaks and rappers were called MCs"

They tell great behind the scenes stories from back in the day and pull out so many classic that immediately had me diggin in my own crates. Here's Funkmasterflex in good ol' shape cutting it up the way he used to do it. Playing old school tunes we haven't heard in years.

First hour was dedicated to the early breaks. Included was one of my favourite joints from Eddie Drennon & BBS Unlimited. Second hour they go back to the 80ies and tell stories of the rap game all started with tunes like Jailhouse rap. Hiphop 101 for real. Hour 3 and we haven't passed 1985 yet. Excellent edutainment for the holidays. Get all four hours below while they're still available.

BBS Unlimited - Do what you gotta do

Fat Boys - Jailhouse rap

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Sin & 10.4 Rog - Late video trilogy

Rapper The Good Sin & producer 10.4 Rog just released the third and final video off their ground breaking project Late.

The Seattle duo has a unique style with thoughtful lyrics carefully woven together with 10.4 Rog's minimal, dubbed-out, analogue productions. Laidback but with an rugged edge.

If you're tired of everything sounding the same you should check out the whole album. It's still available for free (!) via Bandcamp. Don't sleep!

Download: The Good Sin + 10.4 Rog - Late 

If that's not enough, check out 10.4 Rog's mindblowing remixes of Bahamadia & Erykah Badu covered here earlier.

Slakah - Soul movement vol. 2 (preview)

Just finished watching the preview session stream straight from Slakah the Beatchild's studio in Toronto. We just love the concept of our favourite producers opening up and showing their behind the scene creative process.

This morning Byram gaves a ruff draft sneak preview of most of the tracks from the upcoming follow-up Soul Movement Vol.2. My key take aways from the session was:
  • He's sticking with that smooth, organic, headnodding productions that we grown to love
  • There will be quite a few uptempo tracks aimed at the clubs
  • There will probably be two tracks featuring Toronto's other man of the year Drake
The two stand-out tracks from the listen-through was:

All to myself: Another headnodding banger which themes the dilemma producers face when choosing which beats to keep for their own records and which to sell to put food on the table.

Here's yesterday: Is an ode the organic sound of the 70ies. It's produced by yet another Toronto talent Lord Quest.

He didn't say anything about a release date but it will most defintely be one of the releases we'll keep our eyes out for in 2012.

Since there are no official preview sounds off the album we remind you of Slakah's most recent beat tape Vol.5. In our recent intereview with Byram stated that Vol.5 might be the last of beat tapes he will leak so get it while it's still available!

Download: Slakah the Beatchild - Beat tape vol.5


Beathearts top selections 2011

First and formost, we very much appreciate all the amazing feedback and input we've got from you all year. Followers, artists, labels, journalists, DJs, partners. If you want to get in touch with new music, ideas, feedback and questions don't hesistate to hit us up on Twitter or via


Thestrom & Antwan


In my mind 2011 was the year of the artist. Never before have I bought so much music directly from the artists rather than a (major) label. Yes, Bandcamp has been around for a while but 2011 was the year where the majority of my purchases came (almost) directly from the artist. And very often from artists I never heard about before.

Looking back, in my mind, 2011 was a not so great year in terms of major album releases but an absolutely amazing year looking back at all the independent, up-and-coming artist that popped up.

These are Thestrom's top selections from 2011 in chronological order:

Elzhi - Elmatic (10 May 2011) Download

"The first initial idea to create the Elmatic project was to actually just rap to the instrumentals. And then what changed that was people coming out with their own tributes to Illmatic. So I was thinking we could twist it. So the next idea I had was to take certain producers that I respected and have them flip the beats to the samples that were on the original Illmatic, and flip them in a way where they were different. The next idea I had was to do it live, so I hooked up with Will Sessions and Will Sessions liked the idea and we just went into the studio and knocked it out. " (Elzhi)

The result is absolutely stunning. The live versions of the Illmatic beats are out of this world and up to standard with modern classics such as Robert Glasper's Dillaludes and El Michels Affair's work with Wu-Tang. Even the lyrics are flipped and updated engeniously: "base heads selling broken amps" converted to "crack heads slanging HDTV’s" on Detroit State of Mind is just one example. I rest my case.

Jesse Futerman - Super basement EP (20 Jun 2011) Download

Canadian beatmaker Jesse Futerman was one of our finest discoveries of the year. Super basement EP is a beautiful collection of songs. Torontobased Futerman is a jazz influenced musician who started of putting our remixes a couple of years ago. Has had a few releases on the Soulection compilations and also released an album entitled, Light of day, via Jus Like music. A pure quality release and we especially appreciate him putting in the effort to use such beautiful cover art.

Chris Dave & Stimulus - 3rd 1st impression (12 Sep 2011) Download

Drummer and producer extraordinaire, Chris Dave, teamed up with New York DJ/MC Stimulus. The beats and production are of the hook and the featurings are top notch. Among others Bilal, Renee Neufville (Zhané), Stokley (Mind Condition), Casey Benjamin (Robert Glasper Experiment). Just check their dope rework of the Maxwell track Bad Habitz. This was one of best releases of the year. No doubt. And if this is the taster we can't wait for the album to drop.

Chris/Stimulus: If you read this we would love an instrumental version :) beatheartsblog(@)

Badbadnotgood - BBNG (17 Sep 2011) Download

Yet another Toronto crew putting out shockwaves via Bandcamp. With their dirty jazzinfluenced reworks of Mass Appeal, Fall in love and Broolyn Zoo (among others) they blew away all our defences and strolled into my top selections of 2011. Ace!

Karizma/Exist - Looking at Blue (19 sep 2011) Listen/Buy

Soulful beat veteran Karizma (Kris Klayton) has had an excellent year with a pile of quality releases. If I have to pick one it would be Exist Looking at blue which has been on high rotation. For this EP Karizma hooked up with Atjazz and it's a special treat. Inspired by Dilla's Walkinonit (off Donuts 2006) they cut the same sample but use it in a completely different context. The original tune is Walk on by from The undisputed truth (Motown 1973). We can't be certain but the minute plus intro just looping the naked sample feels like a nod to the late Jay Dee. Some of the best late night headphone music of the year.

Will Sessions - Real sessions (22 Sep 2011) Download

Will sessions is a group from Detroit with core members Sam Beaubien (trumpet/keys), Bryan Arnold (drums) and Tim Shellabarger (bass). Just like El Michels Affair and The Robert Glasper Experiment, they are another great example of new live group that can pull of a great live hiphop experience. Apart from the Elzhi project, Will Sessions has already gained quite a reputation with their live show as well as working with the likes of Black Milk, 14KT and Mayer Hawthorne. Another crew that deserves more attention. Don't sleep!

Still Pee & Ru - The mood is write (17 okt 2011) Soundcloud

Thomas Rusiak and PeeWee (André Möllerfors) from legendary Swedish rap crew Sherlock teamed up for a project entitled Still Pee & Ru. For us, the stand-out track is The mood is write which is a tribute of the Cherno track from his 1992 EP How is it being U. The whole album is dark, analogue and dirty just the way we like it. With productions like this we have high hopes for more to come from the duo.

Opolopo presents Mutants (5 Dec 2011) Listen

Peter 'Opolopo' Major has been on our radar ever since he started dropping mindblowing bootleg remakes on the Bugz In The Attic forum at the start of the millenium. Now the almighty Tokyo Dawn Records have put together a goodie bag of some of best official remakes from the last couple of years. We loved his epic Gregory Porter rerub of 1960 What? The album as a whole is great and we especially like the fact that they decided to highlight a track by the greatly underexposed Rogièrs. In 2012 we're especially looking forward to his upcoming EP with French rapper Rems as well as a new album.

Mecca:83 - Life sketches part 1 & 2 (5 Dec 2011) Listen/buy

Top of the year Manchester beat surgeon Mecca:83 a.k.a. Evan Jones finally dropped his album entitled Life Sketches Vol 1 & 2. With his album, Mecca:83 continues from where the EP:s left off.

The album features among others another Beathearts favourite that has been bumping in our headphones all year, Buscrates 16 bit ensemble. Expect to hear soulful instrumental beats fused with a analog sound drawing influence from the golden era sounds of Pete Rock as much as the current instrumental beat scene.

The Roots - Undun (Dec 6 2011)

What can I say. Over the last 15+ years, the Roots crew has no doubt been one of the most consistent rap groups out there. Like everyone else they've had their ups and downs but I would have to admit that even my least favourite Roots releases are quality pieces of work and have for the most part grown on me. In 2011 we again witnessed the double nature of the crew: from the very entertaining History of Rap-medleys with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake to their dark and thoughtful album Undun. It's the exception that confirms the rule, Undun is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year from a major label (Def Jam).

My prediction for 2012...

I have no doubt that the biggest musical event of 2012 will be the return of Michael Eugene D'angelo Archer! It's impossible not to have very high expectations of what's to come with an upcoming album and tour. Let's keep all our fingers crossed it will happen!



It's that time of the year again! Best of 2011! Same as last year the list is quite made last minute, next year I should write down everything through the year! But this is what I felt made the strongest impressions over 2011. And as thestrom mentioned, no heavy release, except for in my opinion Pharoahe Monch's!

1. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)

Number one on my list, mostly because I think together with Black Thought are the illest MC's alive! The production is solid as well, and the features are not to complain about neither.

2. The Roots - undun

Just released, but deserves a top spot on the list, greatly executed concept album, sticks immediatly and will for sure be ranked among the classic Roots albums in the future. The Roots continues too evolve with album after album, constantly keeping high standard solid hiphop. 

3. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia/Ultra

More mixtape than album, but still on the list. Frank Ocean blew up in 2011. And by right! The RnB/Soul singer makes hit after hit, and should have a great album comin next year!

4. Jamie XX & Gil Scott-Heron - We're New Here

Fantastic cover album by Jamie XX from the great britain group The XX. The young, brilliant, and ’til now, not very talkative–UK producer been makin lot of sound lately with this album and recently the title track on Drake's new album 'Take Care'. Apparently inspired to pick up an MPC after hearing RJD2's 'Dead Ringer'. 

5.1 Bon Iver 
Bon Iver and James Blake share the number 5 spot, both of them released self-titled albums 2011. Extremely well produced albums. Justin Vernon from Bon Iver got massive hype from the features on Kanye's album but the group been releasing quality music for quite a while.

5.2 James Blake
James Blake released two projects in 2011, the self-titled LP and an EP titled 'Enough Thunder', where he and Bon Iver made an collaboration track. This was a new discovery for me in 2011, he came from nowhere with his own style and blew me away!

 Honorable Mentions:

Apollo Brown - Clouds
(marvelous beat-tape from one of my favorite beatmakers, twentyseven two minute tracks that just melts together beautifully) 
Cunninlinguists - Oneirology
(another great album of 2011, dreamy production from Kno and tight verses from Deacon the Villain and Natti)
Skyzoo - The Great Debater
(Skyzoo released a good album in 2011, stand-out tracks: 'Written in the Drums' and 'Test Drive')
Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch The Throne 
(this was probably the most anticipated album of 2011, some tracks were good, while others were less good, though it's still on my list)
Andres aka DJ Dez - III
(heavy detroit music at it's best)
Veronica Maggio - Satan i Gatan
(fabulous swedish pop, I really enjoyed the album this summer)
Ayomari & TiRon - A Sucker for Pumps/En Kärlekshistoria
(the duo released two banger projects 2011, one unofficial EP with swedish connections, and one official debut LP, both really good efforts) 

Top tracks 2011:

Still Pee And Ru - Frustrating Beautiful feat. Chapee & Chess
(mint quality swedish hiphop, this is my favorite track on the album) 
M.E.D. - Classic feat. Talib Kweli
(fantastic beat from Karriem Riggins)
Immortal Technique - Toast To The Dead
(mostly for a heavy beat from Dilla)
Timbuktu  - Dansa feat. Jan Lundgren & Duo Pannacotta
(spoken word and classic music, makes you feel like your on a cloud watchin over the world)
Wildcookie - Heroine
(great album as well, but this track is a standout)
The Weekend - High For This
(smooth up'n'comer, cool track)
Onra - Change of Heart
(fabulous Jam & Lewis remake)
yU - If U Down
(yU just released his new album 'The Earn', it would probably be on the list if it was released sooner, haven't really had the time to listen through it, yU release quality hiphop and this track is a killer!)
Opolopo - Opolopo's Run
(quoting Swedish funk bandit Opolopo is back with a track that fell off the 'Voltage Controlled Feelings' star cruiser somewhere in the Delta Sector of the Omega Quadrant..)

Predictions 2012:

No doubt the album I'm looking forward too the most is Dillas new posthumous album 'The Rebirth of Detroit', the snippet of the track 'Detroit Madness' feat. Phat Kat that leaked a while ago made my head noddin'! Led by the unifying efforts of the Yancey Music Group. Announced by Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, the mother of the great J Dilla.

And of course as thestrom wrote, should be fun to see what D'Angelo can come up with concert-wise and album-wise, just the fact that you are about too see how he looks like nowadays is exciting!

Also I'm quite curious about french duo Union's upcoming project. The two singles 'Time Leak' feat. Talib Kweli & Sly Johnson and 'Wings' feat. Elzhi has been off the hook!

Psst... The good swedes Newtimers debut 'Ego' is something that should light 2012 up!!


DJ Spinna - Best of Mark de Clive-Lowe mixtape

Can't think of a better way of ending the weekend than with this ace DJ Spinna mixtape covering some of Mark de Clive-Lowe's finest moments. Get it below.

Download: DJ Spinna - Best of Mark de Clive-Lowe mixtape

1. Freesoul Sessions - EP1 Part III (Live) (Antipodean)
2. MdCL - Koko + Lee Roe (Mashibeats)
3. MdCL presents Rahel - Hope (Mashibeats)
4. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Bembe Segue - Heaven (ABB Soul)
5. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Pino & Mashi (ABB Soul)
6. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat nia andrews - We Renegades (Tru Thoughts)
7. The Politik feat Blu - Moonlight (Antipodean)
8. Isoul8 + MdCL - Stop Bajon (Archive)
9. Lady Alma - Running for Nothing (Antipodean)
10. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Just Wanna (Tru Thoughts)
11. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat nia andrews - The Why (Tru Thoughts)
12. Omar - Your Mess (MdCL remix) (Tru Thoughts)
13. Zed Bias feat Toddla T & MdCL - Koolade (Tru Thoughts)
14. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Omar + Sheila E - Get Started (Tru Thoughts)
15. Sandra St Victor - F.M.A.O.-ocity (instrumental) (Strategic Soul Ventures)
16. MdCL - Eight (Mashibeats)
17. Shirley Horn - Return to Paradise (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Verve)
18. Mark de Clive-Lowe & Olatunde - The Calling (Mashibeats)
19. Phlash & Friends - Running feat Shea Soul (Archive)
20. Shafiq Husayn - Nirvana (MdCL remix) (Plug Research)
21. Alison Crockett - When I Think of You (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Sol Image)
22. Aaries - Don't Give It Up (MdCL remix) (test)
23. Mark de Clive-Lowe feat Abdul Shyllon - Relax… Unwind (MAW Records)
24. The Politik - Money (Don't Let It Catch Ya) (Antipodean)
25. Mark de Clive-Lowe - Slide (ABB Soul)
26. DJ Spinna feat Ovasoul7 - You Should Be Loving Me (Wonderwax)
27. Yameen feat Lady Alma - Light of Love (MdCL remix) (Rumble Pack)
28. Sole Fusion feat Vee - I Got Rhythm (Dopewax)
29. MdCL presents Sy Smith - Truth (Strictly Rhythm)
30. Incognito - Feel The Pressure (Mark de Clive-Lowe remix) (Dome)
31. MusicLoveLife - The Bass that Don't Stop (Nepenta)
32. Mark de Clive-Lowe - El Dia Perfecto (Universal)
33. Ed Motta - É muita Gig Véi !!! (MdCL remix) (Ether)
34. MdCL feat Bembe Segue - Love Broke (Mashibeats)

Cesaria Evora (1941-2011)

Cap Verdean singer, Cesaria Evora, passed away yesterday 70 years old. Cesaira was nicknamed The barefoot diva due to the fact she enjoyed to perform without shoes. I first discovered her through Carl Craigs mindblowing rework of Angola off the epic Club Sodade album. That tune led me to dig deeper (as so often) in her catalogue. The depth and sorrow in her voice combined with finely tuned orchestrations was quite unique and will be missed. R.I.P. Cesaria.

Cesaria Evora - Angola

Cesaria Evora - Angola (Carl Craig rework)


Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru

I just love these magical moments when you discover something when you're not really looking. Midnight. Just a last quick glance at the inbox/Twitter/blog flow before turning in and this blogpost about a new soulful talent Jesse Boykins catches my eye.

Chicago born Jesse Boykins III studied with Bilal in New York but has so far flown under our radar. Currently working on his third album, Love Apparatus, due for release on Bobbito Garcia's vinyl only label Alala Records.

The track that caught our attention was B4 the night is thru which is the lead single off the album. Check the original track as well as dope remixes from Dutch wiz kid FS Green below and Beathearts old favourite Afta1. But be fast! Apparently only 100 downloads available

Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru

Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru (FS Green Electrolove remix)

Download: Jesse Boykins III - B4 the night is thru (Afta1 remix)


Beathearts rewind #30: D’Angelo – Lynwood Rose

We're still very excited about the upcoming D'Angelo tour i Europe in January. To somewhat ease that excitement we've been digging for more clues about the upcoming album. The most concrete hints the last couple of years have been:
  • The album title will most probably be James River
  • The leaked tracks Really Love, 1000 deaths and James River (Album prelude)
  • Questlove's quote from a recent interview: 
"With D'Angelo, the four songs I'm not drumming on are the songs I'm jealous of. I'm willing to risk lack of sleep just so I can be part of history. " (Questlove Nov 2011)

The other day we stumbled upon this lil' bootleg treat. With so many rumors surrounding the D we really don't know what to believe. But according to the liner notes Lynwood Rose is super group made up of Q-tip, D'Angelo and Raphael Saadiq and this is the warm-up mixtape. As far as we can tell it mostly consists of already known tracks and outtakes but it's still very nicely put together and keeps our hopes up for a quality 2012 release.

Download: Lynwood Rose - The warm-up mixtape

01 00:58 Q-Tip, D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq - Lynwood Rose Intro
02 05:09 D'Angelo & Q-Tip - Believe
03 04:43 Raphael Saadiq & Q-Tip - We Fight/Love
04 03:11 Q-Tip & Raphael Saadiq - Get Involved
05 01:25 Q-Tip - Shine All Day
06 03:34 D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq - Be Here
07 03:56 D'Angelo - Found My Smile Again
08 02:41 Q-Tip - Dance On Glass
09 02:45 Raphael Saadiq - Still Ray
10 04:16 D'Angelo - Really Love
11 01:39 Raphael Saadiq - Make My Day
12 02:31 Q-Tip - Lyrics From The Abstract (TDMG Mix)
13 05:06 D'Angelo - The Line
14 02:19 Raphael Saadiq - Lift The People
15 03:25 D'Angelo - A Capella Interlude
16 00:29 Q-Tip - Sand Castle Disco
17 02:00 Raphael Saadiq- - We Get Down
18 03:01 Q-Tip - Midnight Marauders 2008
19 01:49 D'Angelo - So Far To Go
20 01:15 Raphael Saadiq - A Capella Intermission
21 04:54 D'Angelo - Bullshit
22 03:39 Q-Tip - Request
23 02:16 Raphael Saadiq - Just A Man
24 01:18 D'Angelo - Imagine
25 02:26 Q-Tip & Raphael Saadiq - Stressed Out (SaaDiq Mix)
26 05:12 D'Angelo - Devil's Pie
27 00:46 Raphael Saadiq - AOL Freestyle
28 01:05 D'Angelo - Tell Me
29 02:10 Raphael Saadiq & D'Angelo - Exclusive Outro

If that's not enough let your imagination run wild while you read this make-up review of the upcoming album: The James River review


Mecca:83 x Kan Sano x Buscrates - Midnight kids

Nice little treat from Mecca:83 (Evan Jones). For this track, Evan teamed up Tokyo based producer/keyboard player Kan Sano and Pittsburgh's beat prodigy Buscrates. Apparently it just missed the deadline for his recent Life Sketches release but rather than letting it collect dust he decided share it.

Midnight Kids is also included as a digital bonus track on Life Sketches Vols1&2 which is available now via his Bandcamp

Download: Mecca:83 ft Kan Sano & Buscrates - Midnight kids