Google+ Beathearts: 09.2012


Daphni - Jiaolong

Every now and then these experimental gems turns up from nowhere and gets our full attention. This time it's Dan Snaith (Caribou) who about to drop his debut album Jiaolong under his Daphni alias. .

It's electronic, it's dirty but most of all it's got some amazing grooves. Put yourself in a state of Africa Hitech meets fLako and you're not far away.

Daphni - Pairs (2012)

“I’ve been building a modular synthesizer, which plays a prominent role on this album. It growls or screams when I don’t expect it to. Nudging one dial changes the sound so drastically that I’ll never get the original sound back. It’s like improvising with another musician, and its voice is all over this music.”

Jiaolong is apparently the name of a mythical Chinese sea monster and also the name of one of China's exploratory deep sea submarines. Dan has been experimenting with these dirtier sounds for a while but this is his first full album as Daphni.

“I’ve been recording for several months, starting different sketches of songs and different ideas. The general process for me making an album is to record loads and loads of raw material - bits of songs, a rhythmic element - and not really work on finishing any of them; just collect loads of half-finished ideas for six months, and come back later on and see what sticks.”

The Jiaolong album is out for digital release on Merge on October 9th and the physical drop is a week later.


Martino - Reasons (Sigg Buggz Remix)

The always reliable Tokyo Dawn Records is back with volume 3 of their nu-boogie series. Solid performances all around from Beatheart favourites Opolopo, Amalia, Reggie B, Yam Who and a whole heap of (for us) new aquaintances. One of those and the track that knocked our socks of was the Sigg Buggz remix of Martino's Reasons.

I can't help it. It's that 80s funksound in combination with the smooth chords and a great vocalist that blows me away. Think Mtume - Juicy fruit or Juicy - Sugar free (1985) and you know what I'm talking about. From what we heard so far this Toronto based newcomer, Sigg Buggz, has the potential to jam with heroes like Yam Who or Opolopo. Ace!

The Boogie Volume 3 is out now on Tokyo Dawn Records

As a bonus here's another dope track produced by Buggz.

Download: Sigg Buggz- I wanna test that body


M. Ronson & D’Angelo - Glass Mountain Trust (B.Bravo & Teeko Re-Funk)

Feeling for some free Friday funk? Well, look no further 'cause Frite Nite label founder B.Bravo and instrumentalist Teeko got permission from Mark Ronson and D'Angelo to put out their nu-funk version of their 2010 track Glass Mountain Trust. Have a good weekend!

Download: M. Ronson & D’Angelo - GMT (B. Bravo & Teeko Re-Funk)


Sonic Boom Vol.1

What a week. Yet another amazing free compilation surfaced yesterday. This time it's the work of Maiya Norton (New York based editor, music connaisseur and event planner) and It's their first edition in a series that will drop new, exciting and often exclusive tracks every month. 

The comp as a whole is defintely a keeper but our stand-out tracks are from Tall Black Guy and Shortcircles & Tiana Vallan. TBG's track is a stunner. From home to work and back is one of his best works to date and sounds like an edit of a vintage brazilian 7" dug out in a São Paolo suburb basement by Madlib if you know what I mean? The Shortcircles record Take flight is a dubby late nightbus inspired groove in the vein of Kyle Hall and SBTRKT. Get it below.

Download: Sonic Boom Vol.1

Melting Pot Music 10 year compilation

The always intriguing Cologne based Melting Pot Music and will celebrate their 10th birthday on Oct 2nd. For that occasion they've put together a great compilation featuring exclusive tracks from among others S3 (Miles Bonny & Brenk Sinatra) and one of the dopest beatmakers this year Figub Brazlevic. Great new music and it's available now as a free download. Get it while it's there!

Download: MPM x HHV.DE 10YRS Compilation


The Beathearts Mala sitdown

Fall is closing in fast and we thought it was about time for another sit-down. Friday we hooked up with dubstep legend Mala to talk about his music making, inspirations and his current Mala in Cuba project.

The vibe was electric when Mala took the stage with MC Sons of Selah. He set the vibe straight off by honoring the roots of dubstep by dropping Barrington Levy's classic The vibe is right (1985) before going heavyweight.

  Barrington Levy - The vibe is right (1985)

Artist: Mark Lawrence a.k.a. Mala
Event: AllOutDubstep @ Fabriken
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Date: September 14th 2012



Where does the name Mala come from?
It’s a nickname from when I was very young. It was an abreviation of my real name (MArk LAwrence). As I got older it just stuck. It’s just a nickname that people has called me for ages.

Beatmakers and drummers are great sources of inspiration for us. People like Karriem Riggins, Chris Dave, Madlib, Questlove, Kenny Dope and of course Dilla's music was a major reason for us to start writing about soulful underground music. Are you a drummer as well?

Nah. I mean I drum on the tables if that means I’m a drummer? But you know I love beats. For me it all started out with jungle. What the jungle guys were doing with breakbeats that’s what got me into listening to beats. Whatever they used to sample.

The good old Amen break?

Yeah, of course the Amen break. Tearin! I heard that track in many, many variations. That break with everything surrounding it could do wonders on the floor for energy.

The Winstons - Amen Brother

We first discovered you through the DMZ dubplates back in 2005. Was that when you started releasing music or did you put out anything before that?

No, I was doing stuff before that. From my mid-teens really. In the mid-ninties I started MCing. Where we grew up there used to be alot of pirate radio stations and we used to listen to alla the jungle DJs. You know Grooverider, Wookie, Kenny Ken, Micky Finn, Daren J, Nicky Blackmarket, Ray Keith, Goldie, you know what I mean? Doc Scott, DJ Hype...

From the early ninties I listen to jungle and when I heard that sound I wanted to get involved. I enjoyed what the MCs were doing back then. You know the raggaetons, Navigators, Moose and Five-O, Stevie Hyper-D, GQ. When I heard what those guys there were doing over the drum’n’bass tunes I knew what I wanted to do.

Embee - Niceness (1994)

You didn’t have to buy a turntable or buy records, you could just sit there with your pen and paper and write lyris down. So from a young age I started playing in clubs. I was really lucky to be able to play with some of the DJs I just mentioned when I was like 14 years old. And it just progressed from there really, until I got to about 19 when I started making beats.

What was your name back then? Many artists start of their careers with a cheesy name.

The same. I didn’t feel the need to change name.

What does the creative process behind a new Mala remix or original track look like? Is there a difference to your approach?

Well, not necessarily technically but mentally the approach is different. Because if I’m going to the studio to write a tune, I just go there, turn on the computer and just jam. And whatever comes through, comes through. Sometimes after a sessions in the studio you leave the track and when you come back the next day you’re still in the same space so you can continue working on it. And that’s how I eventually finish a track.

Sometimes I spend the whole day working on a track and when you come back the next day it’s just gone. You put it to bed. That’s what I call training mode. Just because you write a piece of music doesn’t mean you have to finish it in my opinion.

For me it’s really a natural process and I try to let the music write itself so to speak. You might start off with a chord on a synthesizer and from that sound I get inspired to chose a certain sounding kickdrum. And that kickdrum will make you pick a certain sounding snare. So the music builds itself. That’s how I make tunes.

It’s very rarely that I go into the studio and know exactly what I wanna do. It’s not like that for me. It’s more like a freestyling thing.

King Midas Sound - Earth a kill ya (Mala remix)

One of our favourite remixes of yours is King Midas Sound Earth a kill ya. Could you tell us the story of how that came about?

I’ve known Kevin (Martin), The Bug, for many years. We met through the music we were doing. I’ve been listeing to the music Kevin’s been making for many years and he used to come down to the DMZ-sessions. He was looking to do a remix LP for his album so he just phoned me up and sent me the parts.

You know, anyone who sends me remix has to give me time, ’cause I’m not the fastest worker in the studio. I actually did a version and I finished it but didn’t like it. So I scrapped it and started another one. When I sent it to him it wasn’t finished. But he really liked it so I went back and found the space to finish it. You see that’s my problem really haha! Just because I do a track doesn’t mean that I’ll finish it. I’m not one of them guys who finish a track just for the sake of it. Some people do the first half, like 64 bars or 128 bars, do a little intro in the middle and just drop the same thing all over. But for me, I have to go with it the whole journey you know, feel it out. And that’s the only way I can finish a track. Luckily Kevin was very patient and when I sent it over the whole band was really into it. So luckily it came out.

We have to ask you about the epic Digital Mystikz Return II space. We were blown away by the minmal but yet menacing sound and it featured in our Top Selections 2010. How did that come about?

Well, Return II Space was something that I put out when I hadn’t released any material for quite a while.  And I wanted to release a couple of tracks. It’s actually tracks that I had been working on for quite a few years actually. I think I made Pop Pop Epic in 2006 and Return II Space (the track) I made only a year before it was released. I guess the thought behind calling it Return II Space was because, like I said, I hadn’t release any music for a period of time and it was really about me just finding my space again you know. Because, I work in an isolated environment and sometimes you’re in the studio working on a piece of music and you’re deep in your zone. But after months and months beeing out of that zone it’s like being under water for a long time and popping up in the middle of the ocean. You’re totally lost and don’t know where you are. Sometimes I feel like that and that album was just about me reconnecting.

We’re really happy you took your time to finish that one. Epic release! What were your inspirations growing up? What kind of music did you listen to?

Oh, I used to listen to everything. My parents had alot of different music being played. They weren’t die hard music fans but when I look at my mums record collection and my dad’s record collection it’s like everything from Motown, Michael Jackson, to Bob Marley, to stuff on Trojan (Records) to Dire Straits to Pink Floyd. I listened to alot of music growing up but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I started to discover music for myself. Jungle music was really what opened up my mind because listening to that sound you could hear that they had influences from all sorts of places. From dub, from reggae, from roots, from jazz, from classical, from techno, from acid. So from that it just opened up my mind to all sorts of music.

I’ve got a big house collection from the mid-nineties. I listened to people like Nithin Sawney alot. I listen to everything bruv.

And today? Could you drop a tune or artist that blows your mind right now?

I love listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto. I really enjoy his music.

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Forbidden colours (1983)

How did Gilles Peterson convince you to do the Mala in Cuba project? (Covered here) What as his pitch?

It wasn’t really that he convinced me. It was just the way that he approached me. I’ve said it before, I’ve been offered many things over the years, musical projects or business ventures. But like for most people I do things that I feel are right for me. I met Gilles many years ago. He’s been playing my music and I know what he does so we have a mutual respect for each other. It just seemed like a genuin offer that I couldn’t refuse really. It was November 2010 and Gilles was doing his Havana Cultura project and wanted to bring me along. We went there twice in 2011. I mean it’s not every day someone comes up to you and say ”Hey, come to Cuba with me a write a record!” you know. 

What track off the album are you most proud of?

Hm, I don’t really say that I’m proud of anything I’ve done really. My understanding and definition of that word is not something that identify of wanting to be to be honest with you.  Because like I said before I feel that the music write’s itself.  The album isn’t just my contribution, it’s the contribution of the Cuban musicians, Gilles Peterson for taking me out there, Simbad who coproduced the album with me.

Simbad the producer/remixer of Raw Fusion, Brownswood Recordings fame?

Yeah! Simbad does alot of different types of music but yeah! The record was probably finised about 80 % and I lost quite a bit of objectivity and wanted to invite someone to the studio. You know, if you were to come in to my studio and I’ll play you stuff that I was working on. Just the very fact that you’re listening to it makes me listen to it in a different kind of head space which can then allow you to get back into the zone. So that’s what I did, I invited Simbad over and we ended up mixing down the record together. Like I said it’s not just my doing it’s also the unknown as well. There are elements in there that I have no idea of how they came about but it did.

But the track that I’m maybe most grateful for is a track that came late in the process as I was already mixing the album down. A record called Ghost. It was a track that just came over night really. I wrote it over night as I was mixing down the album and I was a bit bored. So I decided to just treat myself and be creative. I’m just gonna write a beat. But then I ended up putting on more Cuban samples and used the hand claps and congas and it ended up on the album.

Last question then, what more can we expect from the Mala studios in 2012?

I don't know really. I'll let you know when I know. Right now I'm preparing the live show for the album. After the album was done I really just wanted to put it to bed. But Gilles and the others really thought I should develop it into a live project. I'm trying to include as many live elements as possible to keep it as authentic as possible.


Mala in Cuba is out now on Brownswood Recordings.


Buscrates 16-bit Ensemble - Funktropolis

Getting ready for the weekend and what better way get in the mood than with a pile of new jams from Buscrates. If you're a regular you know this Pittsburg native has been a returning feature for us the last year and a half.

His productions are most often on the funk/boogie side but for this release he goes all in. As far as we can tell they're all new tunes except for his slick cover of Valentine Brothers' Computer Boogie covered here earlier.

We don't know for sure but judging from the title and the Prince-70s-funk-jam sound on the EP, Funktropolis is an ode to the Minneapolis sound with a 16-bit Ensemble twist. Planning on spinning Dâm-Funk, Kleer or Roger Troutman this fine Friday? Add this EP to the blend and I guarantee it'll keep your head nodding.

If you've missed out on our Buscrates special in our Beat Generation interview series, here's a second chance to grab the exclusive track Phoenix rising.


Mala in Cuba

Now this is something out of the ordinary. We've been eagerly waiting for this ever since Gilles Peterson dropped Cuba Electronic on his Radio 6 show back in March (?).

On a recent trip to Cuba, Gilles Peterson brought along DMZ founder and dubstep pioneer Mala. Apparently he was so inspired by the local artists he met that he started to work on an album based on the sounds and rhythms he experienced there. Gilles says:

“One of the things I wanted to do on this latest album  [Gilles upcoming Havana Cultura album] to bring over Mala, the dubstep producer from Digital Mystikz. He’s a friend of mine and I wanted him to come over and I wanted to put an experiment together because he’s such a rhythm guy and he hadn’t been to Cuba before. So I basically took Mala over there with me and we spent the first few days recording Latin rhythms and we took those back to the UK and he’s been working on that. "

As mentioned above the first track to see the light of day was appropriately named Cuba electronica and is one of the deepest rollers we've ever heard from Mala. This track is up there with the amazing Digital Mystikz Return II space album (one of our top selections of 2010). Wait for the drop and you'll know what we're talking about.

The Mala in Cuba album is out no on Brownswood recordings. Available on vinyl, CD and MP3.


Introduction 2:35
Mulata 3:15
Tribal 4:02
Changuito 4:23
Revolution 4:34
Como Como3:47
Cuba Electronic 4:36
The Tunnel 4:27
Ghost 4:06
Curfew 4:10
The Tourist 2:53
Change 4:30
Calle F 4:11
Noche Sueños 5:38

As a bonus here's a mixtape with a great selection of Mala, Coki and Loefah tracks put together by Kapr. Check the tracklist here.

Download: A London dub - Best of Digital mystikz & Loefah


Cut Killer - Radio Nova debut (1995)

Here's another live set we picked up recently. It's actually the radio debut for French mixmaster Cut Killer on Radio Nova (Paris) back in 1995. The reason I really dig this is that it's a MIXtape where the DJ actually both scratch AND beatmix with a great sense of rhythm. Something that's very rare these days. Apart from the technical excellence from Cut Killer it's also a dope ass 90s hiphop classics collection. Check it!

Ah and as a bonus we've embedded one of the first TV/silverscreen apperance for Cut Killer. It's the ace opening scene from classic French hood movie La haine (1995).

Download: Cut Killer - Radio Nova (World Premiere 1995)


Motor City Drum Ensemble - Live @ Suncebeat

Finally business as usual after the summer. Been collecting some fine moments over the last two months that we'll be sharing with you the upcoming weeks. First up is Motor City Drum Ensemble (Danilo Plessow).

We've been impressed with Danilo's updated but still classic deephouse sound every since his Raw Cuts series and album back in 2008. This mix is taken from the SuncebeatFestival that took place in Croatia in July. It's a sublime blend of old 70's funk, soulful garage and uptodate minimal tunes. From what we hear the crowd was as blown away as we were only listening in via headphones. Get it below.

Download: Motor City Drum Ensemble - Live @ Suncebeat


Rob Milton - Shine tomorrow EP

Rob Milton is back! It's his second EP that just dropped and if you missed his debut effort The Love Today EP now's the time to wake up. Born and raised between New Jersey and Virginia, this Gospel schooled singer/songwriter brings a refreshing original touch to contemporary soul music.

Backed by producer Roman Lee (of Martin Parks) their unique sound sound like a fine blend of Bahamadia and early Portishead with a twist of Donny Hathaway. The EP is great as a whole. One of our favourite tracks is the slow nightbus dub inspired roller Shine.

Download: Rob Milton - The Shine tomorrow EP