Google+ Beathearts: 2014

12.29.2014

Beathearts Selections 2014: Best tunes

It's about that time to sum up the year. Frankly, it's been a pretty shitty year for us, we haven't been as active as we intended to and but fortunately the music has been good.

We thought that the least we could do for you as a lil' new years treat is to sum up the year with some of the best tunes that have been rippin our headphones and speakers throughout the year.

BEATHEARTS SELECTIONS 2014 - BEST TUNES

SIDE A:
D'angelo "Really Love": 15 yrs what can we say? Awesome new version of this tune.
Mary J Blige "Whole damn year": Mary pretty much summed up our year.
Dej Loaf "Try me": New talent Deja Trimble is thriving in a Detroit on the rise.
Billie Black "Don't need another lover": The finest UK soul track of 2014 hails from West London.
A/T/O/S "Roses": Hyperdub stunned us with the "Blue Lines" album of 2014. Epic!
Recondite "Jim Jams": Our gem from the best minimalistic albums of the year.
Baba Stiltz "Golden Eye": Swedish album of the year from the Studio Barnhus label.
Rumpistol "Asleep": Mind boggling release from these funky danes.

SIDE B:
Sidney Charles "Warehouse anthems": A warehouse jam like they used to make them.
Nozinja "Tsekeleke": Crazy, frantic, South African footwork.
Mapei "Don't wait": Vocoder hook of the year.
Joey Badass & Statik Selektah "Carry on": Such a dope warm up for a debut album soon to drop.
Redinho "Playing with fire": Menacing hook off a great album.
Petite Meller "NYC Time" (Betablock3rs rmx): The haunting yet hooky Paris-BK connection
Sabina Ddumba "Scarred for life": Voice of the year. Can't wait for the album to drop
Tune-Yards "Wait for a minute": Take away track from their crazy cool live performance
Damon Albarn "Lonely press play": Key track from an underrated and beautiful album


Beathearts Swedish Selections 2014


(What?! Google translate now!)

Årsbästalistor. Den tiden på året. Den bästa musiktiden på året. Julklappar i all ära men för oss är alla inspirationskällors årsbästalistor som vackert inslagna presenter som förväntasfullt packas upp. Och så klart har vi även i år satt ihop vårt eget blandband.

Vilket år det har varit för ny svensk musik. Det var sannerligen inte många av artisterna nedan vi hade förutsett att vi skulle knockas av i år:

ÅRETS SVENSKA LÅTAR

Sida A:
Melo ”Långsamt”: Årets låt. Från Ystads finest.
Mapei ”Don’t wait”: Årets vocoderrefräng
Baba Stiltz ”Golden Eye”: Årets elektriska album
Titiyo ”Solna”: Årets lokalromantik
Kent ”Skogarna”: Årets exilromantik
Sabina Ddumba ”Scarred for life”: Årets brustna hjärta
Ji Nilsson ”Heartbreakfree”: Årets nattbiltursmusik
70/30 ”Llojd”: Längtan bort och tillbaka - förväntan på kvällen och livet.
XOV ”Boys don’t cry”: Årets starkaste vaggvisa

Sida B:
1987 ”Bomb”: Årets livskris
Axwell ^ Ingrosso ”Something new”: Årets rökmaskin
Silvana Imam ”Svär på min mamma”: Årets battlerappare
Simon Emanuel ”Mångalen”: Von Arnold lyfter sin nya adept till oanade höjder
Sakarias ”Atlanten”: Blicken fastnar på henne - lyssnar på Neneh
Urban Ninjas ”My system”: Årets MiamiViceDisko från Malmö
Woodzsthlm ”Away”: Årets svenska footwork
Lorentz & Say Lou Lou ”The.OC.S01E01.DVD-Rip.Xvid”: Årets titel
Timbuktu ”Amino”: Årets snyggaste intro som får funka som outro

Lyssna på Spotify: Beathearts Swedish Selections 2014


ÅRETS SVENSKA ALBUM
Lyssna: Baba Stiltz - Total (Studio Barnhus)
Årets album kommer från Sthlm och labeln Studio Barnhus. Baba hade helt gått under vår radar fram till 13 oktober då albumet "Total" kom från ingenstans och golvade oss. Låtar som "Golden Eye" lät som om Aril Brikha hade teamat upp med Waajeed en ljummen sommarkväll i Berlin. "Total" kommer ligger kvar på våra spellistor under lång tid framöver.

7.29.2014

JAZZY JEFF & TFP "SUMMERTIME" (YAM WHO? 2014 MIX)

With this heatwave going on it's easy to slip down memory lane of summers back in the day and the tunes that set the tone. I'm thinking the soundtrack for Spike Lee's "Do the right thing", Dre & Snoop's "Let me ride" and of course Jazzy Jeff & Will Smith's  epic "Summertime".

As the cherry on top homie Yam Who?, the guy who more or less re-invented artform of re-edits, posts this awesome remastered re-edit of "Summertime". Get it while you can.

And of course if you missed our exclusive interview with Yam Who it's still available RIGHT HERE

Download: JAZZY JEFF & TFP "SUMMERTIME" (YAM WHO? 2014 REPRISE MIX)

7.11.2014

Suplington

Our homie Melaz recently introduced us to this promising beatsmith from Watford, UK. With plenty of laidback hiphop influenced productions his latest efforts have been more uptempo house infused tunes.

The track that ticked us off was "Invisible imagination" as featured on Melaz's 4th installment of Jazzy Trips. An awesome collection of unreleased tracks from up and coming producers.

Download the whole thing here: Melaz presents Jazzy Trips Vol.4

Want to hear more from Suplington?


Download: Suplington - Escapism
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/suplington

5.05.2014

Mark de Clive-Lowe - The May 5th 24h bundle of joy

Ok, every now and then we advise you not to sleep on some of the music we post. That has never been more true than for this mega-bundle from our main man Mark de Clive-Lowe. As a way of giving back to his fans and for more people to discover his awesome back catalogue he's offering a large part of his back catalogue for 24 hours for free! 

List of content in package: 
-Six degrees album (2000)
-Tide's arising album (2005)
-Journey to the light (2006)
-The Politik (2007)
-Leaving this planet EP (2011)
-One take video (2013)
-Rarities, singles and demos
-Remixes
-Mixtapes

Dear followers it's now 2200 hours CET and you have just under 20 hours left to download this bundle of joy! 


And if you've missed it here's our exclusive track-by-track walkthrough of Mark's upcoming album Church: MdCL - Church (Track-by-track walkthrough)




5.01.2014

Grace Jones - Williams blood (Yam Who electric dub)

Here's a resurfaced gem from the masters of the reworks, Andy Williams a.k.a. Yam Who. Still such a dope reconstruction of the original tune from her 2008 "Hurricane" album now remastered for 2014. Only available for a short time so be fast!

And of course if you haven't yet read our exclusive interview with the man who redefined the edit and made it into an artform it's still available here: BEATHEARTS MEET YAMWHO?


Download: Grace Jones - Williams blood (Yam Who electric dub)

4.21.2014

Yasmin - Thinking about you (Billion remix)



Lazy bank holiday and we're reminiscing of Frankie Knuckles and other artists that left us too early. Stumbling over this great Whitney Houston cover from Yasmin.

Remixed by Billon remix (aka producers Cinematic and Drop Lamond) this tune is taken off Houston's debut album from 1985 and has never sounded better. Not many vocalists would be brave enough to take on the task of covering Whitney but Yasmin did a great job and transformed it into a driving deep house tune with gospel vibes. Enjoy.


Download: Yasmin - Thinking about you (Billion rmx)

4.15.2014

Roska & Jamie George - Movin' #WorkWeekJam

Been really inspired by all these recent workweek concerts we’ve attended. From Danny Brown, Kraftwerk and Ebo Taylor to Myele Manzanza and Mark de Clive-Lowe. We decided to try out a new concept in the vein of tune of the day. Tunes that makes our heads nod and a smile on our faces on a crappy Tuesday. Why wait for the weekend when you can enjoy a #WorkWeekJam? :)

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It's been a while since we heard that signature intro over a sub-bass track: "Roska! Roska! Roska!". But  this weekend we found this track and man have we missed him! This time teaming up with with vocalist and top line songwriter Jamie George signed to Rinse. Should be destined for an official release so get it while you can.


4.14.2014

#WorkWeekJam: Flume ft Biggie Smalls – Space Cadet

Been really inspired by all these recent workweek concerts we’ve attended. From Danny Brown and Ebo Taylor to Myele Manzanza and Mark de Clive-Lowe. We decided to try out a new concept in the vein of tune of the day. Tunes that makes our heads nod and a smile on our faces on a crappy Tuesday. Why wait for the weekend when you can enjoy a #WorkWeekJam? :)

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Now, I’m not a big fan of mashups – especially messing with the classics. But just to prove myself wrong, these last couple of weeks I’ve stumbled over a whole bunch of mashups that I really dig. Last week it was the HoodInternet blend of BBD and Disclosure. This week it's a fine blend of Flume and old Biggie Smalls vocals that makes me reminisce of the days of old but still with my eyes fixed on the horizon.

Jaymee Franchina & Jeremy Smith are DJ's based in Perth, Australia and have put together this mini album combining the late B.I.G. with futuristic Flume instrumentals. Get it below.
While on the subject of Space Cadet don’t miss out on the very spaced out video of the original tune ft Ghostface Killah.

4.10.2014

#WorkWeekJam: BBD ft Disclosure – When poison starts to burn (TheHoodInternet ReMash)

Been really inspired by all these recent workweek concerts we’ve attended. From Danny Brown and Ebo Taylor to Myele Manzanza and Mark de Clive-Lowe. We decided to try out a new concept in the vein of tune of the day. Tunes that makes our heads nod and a smile on our faces on a crappy Tuesday. Why wait for the weekend when you can enjoy a #WorkWeekJam? :)

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Now I'm not a big fan of mash-up but this one caught me off guard and I can't seem to get it out of my headphones. Chicago based party collective TheHoodInternet brilliantly blended BelBivDevoe's new jack swing classic "Poison" and Disclosure's "When a fire starts to burn". Two tracks that at first glance have nothing in common but somehow now exists in perfect harmony. Get it while it's still available.

4.09.2014

#WorkWeekJam: The Funkees - Akula Owu Onyeara (1970)

Been really inspired by all these recent workweek concerts we’ve attended. From Danny Brown and Ebo Taylor to Myele Manzanza and Mark de Clive-Lowe. We decided to try out a new concept in the vein of tune of the day. Tunes that makes our heads nod and a smile on our faces on a crappy Tuesday. Why wait for the weekend when you can enjoy a #workweekjam? J

Kickin' off the series with this awesome afro beat jam. Put out by EMI in Nigeria in 1970, this track from The Funkees was rediscovered through the excellent Soundway compilations. Check it out.

4.08.2014

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Church (track-by-track album walkthrough)

Last week after the Myele Manzanza show at Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm we got the first sneak preview into to the long awaited upcoming Mark de Clive-Lowe Church album. The album is the recorded version of his legendary live experience set in New York and L.A called Church. Mark was generous enough to give us a track-by-track walkthrough of the album.

Last time we met (2012) we were talking about the possibility of putting the Church experience on wax and keeping our fingers crossed. Now, through Kickstarter funding, it's almost here! Tell us about the album!

It's in mastering right now. It's funny because it was supposed to be for a specific label. But then there were all kinds of label politics and I waited a year the decided I wanted to do it for myself. So that's when I decided to do a Kickstarter. And that was scary.

Especially because I grew up in the old model. I dig the new model but Kickstarter is a step beyond the new model. It's truly transparent and you find out if the people truly support me or not. But it worked out!

I worked very hard to make it work. It made it possible to make the record the way I wanted to make it. To get the people I wanted to work with. This will be the official launch of my Mashibeats label and I'm partnering with Ropeadope in America. The record will be out late May or early June and I'm super excited it will finally come out!

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Church (track-by-track walkthrough)

1.The Mission featuring John Robinson 5.41
John's great! He's been a resident for our Church shows in New York. Most of records was recorded in New York and a little bit was done in L.A. He's got a real nineties flow and a great story teller. He came through a crew called Science of Life who worked with MF Doom. The track is like a hiphop vibe with an anthemic kinda horn thing going.

John asked me what I wanted and I told him that I wanted him to tell the story of Church. So in three verses he tells the story of me and the concept of Church in rhyme. Which is amazing because, on a skill level it's dope but also because records don't really have liner notes anymore so this will be the audio liner notes for the record. I think it's a nice way to open the record and explain to the people who I am and where I come from.

2.Nova Roda featuring Contramestre Xingu 1.54
I've been doing Capoeira for three or four years and it's a huge part of my life. I train four or five times a week. And my Mestre Xingu he's been great for me I love the whole concept. Both the martial art, the music and the history. So through training Capoeira I've played Berimbau so I wanted to include that.

When ever there's a show in L.A. there's always a Roda where all the Capoeiras come out and mix dancing with Capoeira. It's crazy! So, I thought let's put that on the record. It's like a two minute interlude with Berimbau and some programming. I really wanted to include all that vibe in there.

3.Brukstep 5.09
Back in the day we used to call broken beats Bruk so it's kind a hommage to my West London days. Rhythmically it's got that kind of groove. Most of the record's got two horn players on it who plays the melody. It's kind of like a dance track on the jazz tip. It's a fun vibe.



4.The Processional 5.36
It's a homage to some of the great who've gone past. Specifically Alice Coltrane, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner and J Dilla. So it's kind of my imagining all of them. There's a great talent on there called Low Leaf  - she's a harp player. She plays harp, sings, makes beats and all sort of stuff. She's playing harp on that track. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson is also on that track. Just a little tribute track to the forefathers.

5.Now or Never featuring Nia Andrews 4.14
We've performed it for quite a long time but never recorded a studio version. It's been kind of a theme song a Church. I was working on the track and actually was going to have someone else sing on it and she heard it and said "hey, this is me!". She wrote this amazing song called "A love letter to her wildest dreams" which is what it is. It's a fun jam.

6.Ghaziya 4.22
It's related to belly dancers. A Ghaziya is a middle eastern dancer and the track has kind of a middle eastern flavor to it. I've been playing with a group called Ethio Cali and we do a lot of mulato music together. So I guess I wrote that piece a bit inspired by my time with that group.

Ghaziya also means conqueror. So, I like the combination of a dance vibe and the conqueror aspect. It just felt right.

7.Sketch for Miguel 5.57
I was in South Africa, I had a day off and I thought I'd write some music. I wrote something very specific for Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. How I feel about him as a musician and how he sounds. So he played on that and it's a beautiful piece of music. Jamire Williams is on there as well. On the drums for ERIMAJ. Miguel is an artist I love collaborating with. He's just a great musician and great to work with.

8.Hollow featuring Nia Andrews 4.34
There's a lot of pain in that song. It's about nothing going right. It's like that moment in life when you're soaring in the sky but then your wings get clipped and you can't fly anymore. But all you want to do is fly. It's sounds kind of depressing but it's also very hopeful because I think there's a universal feeling about it that I think a lot of people have experienced. And it's something we overcome. That was important for me and Nea really captured that. She sounds incredible on that track. I think it's the best she's ever sounded.

It's funny, Bahamadia recently released a track also entitled "Hollow" with Swedish art/music collective MELO talking about the state of the word (read the whole story here). Did you hear that track yet?

No, but I have to check it out! I worked with Bahamadia on the Politik album. She's great!

9.Prayer 2.20
I was with the band in the studio and I wanted to make sure we had a couple of interludes on the record. Things that capture the vibe and the emotion of the project but no whole pieces. Those kind of moments we play together and you don't know what's going to happen and you just trust in the music. To me that's kind of a prayer.

10.Imam (composed by Abdullah Ibrahim) 4.14
I love Abdullah Ibrahim. I love the South African vibe. Both Hugh Masakela, Ibrahim, Miriam Makeba - it's such a great soulfulness to their music. When I first heard the tune I loved it and we started to playing it out live a lot at Church shows. So when it came to the record it made sense I wanted to do my own version of it. t was a fun way to connect South Africa to the project. It's a fun, funky joint.

11.Sun Up Sun Down featuring theeKIDICARUS 5.07
(performed live at the Myele Manzanza show)
On the record there's KIDICARUS as a guest vocalist. He came through by working with a lot of stuff with Pharrell and Chad Hugo. He's from Virginia. He's an MC. Musically the track got a West London kind a vibe to it but also very influenced by Ornette Coleman, a 50's free jazz player. And Art Blakey as well. So it's kind of a combination of the jazz thing and the beats vibe.

KIDICARUS was in L.A. for a while. He's kind of gone under the radar for most people. I don't usually let people jump up on the stage during shows but he was cool. As an MC he didn't have a hiphop vibe but more of contemporary vibe to him.

12.Mason’s Galaxy (composed by Charles Earland) 5.10
It's from a Charles Earland record called "Leaving this planet". I did a version of the title track a few years ago. It's a great record and this track's got a real spooky vibe. Harvey Mason plays on the original track so I guess that's why Charles named it "Mason's Galaxy"? And I've been playing a lot with Harvey as well with his band so it just all made sense to include the piece.

Charles Earland - Mason's Galaxy (1973)

13.Distractions
It's kind of a halfway thing between dubstep and a broken vibe. It's pretty mental. I can't wait to hear that in a club. And Nea Andrews guests again on a part of the outro. It's a fun, dark, breakbeat kind of vibe.

I think the whole record is very eclectic  when it comes to BPM perhaps but it's very cohesive with that most of it was recorded in one session in New York and the rest was one session in L.A. And the band is very cohesive. The same musicians through most of it. So it's nice to have everyone bring their own personality to it and their experience to the music I had written.

Have you set a release date yet?
It was supposed to be May 27th but right now it depends on artwork. As soon as the artwork is done I will now. But I'm hoping for May 27th.

I'm going to do a worldwide listening session for it for two weeks. I've done listening sessions before but this time I will be there in person. It will be L.A. New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Auckland over two weeks. And when we land back in L.A. there will be a launch party.

Any chance of a live stream? We all love those boiler room sessions!

You know what? That particular room doesn't have WiFi set up but now that you mention it that could be fun! Boiler room sessions are great - I'll look into that! We might do a listening session in New York with Red Bull. If so that will be streamed for sure.




CHURCH ALBUM CREDITS:

Mark de Clive-Lowe - compositions (except 10, 12), piano, rhodes, synths, synth bass, live sampling, live beats + electronic manipulation

THE NYC SESSION
Tivon Pennicott - sax+flute (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) - (Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter)
Duane Eubanks - trumpet (1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) - (Elvin Jones, Alicia Keys, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Wu Tang Clan)
Robin Eubanks - trombone (12) - (Art Blakey, Dave Holland)
Tim Lefebvre - bass  (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) - (Arif Marden, Tedeschi Trucks Band)
Nate Smith - drums  (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) - (Jose James, Michael Jackson, Dave Holland)

THE L.A. SESSION
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - viola (4, 7) - (Suite for Ma Dukes)
Josiel Perez Hernandez - trumpet (4, 7) - (Orlando Maraca Valle)
Low Leaf - harp (4) 
Ben Shepherd - bass (4, 7)
Jamire Williams - drums (2, 4, 7) - (ERIMAJ, Lonnie Smith, Robert Glasper, Kenny Garrett)
Contra Mestre Xingu - berimbau+vocals (2)
Tim Stewart - guitar (13) - (Lady Gaga, Chris Dave)

GUEST VOCALISTS
Nia Andrews - (Janelle Monae/Common)
John Robinson - (Scienz of Life, MF Doom, Renee Neufville)
theeKIDICARUS - (Pharrell, Chad Hugo, Geechi Suede)

Mixed by Ty Macklin (India Arie, Erykah Badu, The Roots)

Mastering to be done by Pete Maher (U2, King Tubby)

4.07.2014

Beat Generation Series: The Buscrate 16-bit Ensemble (The 2K14 Update)


It's hard to believe but it's been almost two years since our first feature in the Beat Generation interview series with Orlando "Buscrates" Marshall. This past weekend we caught up with Buscrates to get an update what's been cooking in the 16-bit basement.

You've been down since day one and was featured in the very first episode of the Beatgeneration interview series. The exclusive track you shared with us ("Phoenix rising") is still the tune that has gotten the most plays, buzz, shares and attention. You're still getting props every week about that groove with those sampled secret Polish drums. Still a wicked track. Did you ever try to add any vocals?

Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I'm so glad to have been there from the start! I kept that track in the vaults for a short while because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, but then the opportunity came along to feature it on Beathearts, so everything worked out there. The thought of vocals never crossed my mind at the time I made that, that's why I added that Moog synth lead, to fill in some space where a vocalist may have been singing.


Buscrates - Phoenix Rising (Beathearts exclusive)

It's such a pleasure following you on Soundcloud always generous sharing a wide variety of sounds and inspirations. The last couple of months we've been nodding our heads to your rework of Teddy Riley's classic tune "Groove me" off Guy's debut album (1988). A daring challenge that you pulled off brilliantly. Somehow you kept that eighties sound but totally rearranged the groove. Ever worked on any other Teddy Riley tracks? It would be interesting to hear what a touch of the 16-bit magic could do to tunes like "Teddy's Jam pt II" or Black Girl's "90s girl" or Kool Moe Dee's "Go see the doctor".

I was out record shopping one day, and came across that Guy joint on 7". I always liked the original, and when I saw that there was an acapella on the flip side, I just knew I had to try something out with it! The record was only about $0.50 too.  If any of those jams have a capellas floating around I'd definitely be into trying those as well. It had been a while since I had done any remixes (aside from the Lisa Stansfield remix I did not too long before), and me finding this record was right on time.


Exclusive download: Guy - Groove me (Buscrates funk hop swing remix)

We hear that East Liberty Quarters is at it again with an upcoming 7 inch on Rotating Souls. When is it due for release? Plans for any more releases with Grand Ear and Nice Rec this year? An album perhaps?

There hasn't been a set release date for it yet, but I'm sure it will be out sometime this Spring or Summer. We're always recording stuff, throwing ideas back and forth, and who knows what may come of it. I have both of my ELQ fam on an upcoming solo boogie/funk project due out this year sometime.I'm sure there will be a session or two when I go back to visit Pittsburgh in April. I moved to Atlanta in October 2012.

Back in 2012 you featured on a track on Copenhagen's finest Terry Testers debut album "Horses & Diamonds". Any plans for more collaborations with him?

That's the homie right there, anytime he has any ideas for collabs it's always on. I'm glad he reached out to us to put us on wax. Nothing's ever really planned, a lot of times things just happen haha..

What can we expect more from the Buscrates studio in 2014?

The aforementioned solo EP, some more stuff with my man Sam Champ (the other half of Extra Medium), a project I have with the homie Brett Eclectic - we formed a duo called Synthesiz, and we're on the boogie/funk tip. You can check two of our joints here:

Some stuff with Mecca:83 & DistantStarr, and probably even more that I haven't figured out yet! I'm playing catch-up on a lot of these projects, some of which I'm behind in due to an unfortunate incident where I was hit by a car on my bicycle back in February..I was sidelined for about a month. I have recovered swiftly..not at 100% but probably a good 85-90% and getting better daily.

Read more:

Beat Generation Inteview Series #1: Buscrates 16-bit Ensemble
East Liberty Quarters on Bandcamp
Buscrates 16-bit ensemble on Bandcamp
Buscrates on Soundcloud

4.01.2014

Frankie Knuckles (1955-2014) - Top 5 FK moments

"It left me with a warm feeling that made me start listening to music" (F.Knuckles 1989)

This morning we got the sad news that another legend of soulful underground music has left us. Frankie Knuckles was one of the first artists that got us into house music so we thought it was appropriate to put down a few of our favourite Knuckles moment to honor his musical deed.

BEATHEARTS' TOP 5 FRANKIE KNUCKLES MOMENTS

1.Morgana King - Like a seed (1973)
I remember reading an interview with the man from the late 80s. He told a story from the time he was about 8 years old and his older sister was playing records from Morgana King, Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto all day long. He said that hearing those Morgana King tunes in the house back in 1963 "left me with a warm feeling that made me start listening to music".

To me, hearing those early Frankie Knuckles tunes in the late 80s had a similar effect. My world had just been turned upside down by Erik B & Rakim and NWA's first records and along came these obscure, hard but yet soulful tunes from a genre named after a strange warehouse in Chicago. That changed my perception of music and opened my mind to all genres of music. And for that that I'm deeply grateful. Rest in peace big guy.



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2.Frankie Knuckles - It's hard sometimes (1991)
This is probably all time my favourite Knuckles tune. It still baffles me that this record never got more attention. Uplifting message, great gospel influenced songwriting, epic def mix production - all in all it had just as much potential as "Tears".

"Virgin wasn't ready for that record when it came out. To this day I'm sorry that I even gave it to them. Everybody was stammering for it in New York City, they wanted it, there was talk about it everywhere. People were trying to bootleg it or get it any way they can. We were very protective of it, didn't play it everywhere. We played it in the club, but I had to make sure that nobody was recording it or anything like that. Technology wasn't what it is now, obviously, or else somebody would've had it and it would've been on the internet before you could take your second breath. We protected it as best we could. But once it came out they didn't have enough vinyl. You couldn't find it anywhere. In New York City, the day it came out, they sold I think 500 copies in just one store. We had to call Philadelphia, we had to call LA, Miami, New Orleans, we called so many different cities to get them to ship what they had to New York City because the demand was so great for it. And it still wasn't enough. " (RBMA 2011)




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3.Frankie Knuckles Presents Satoshi Tomiie ‎– Tears (1989)
Anyone who ever claimed that house music lacked soul were stuttering for word when "Tears" came out. Again epic production lifting one of the greatest house vocalists of all time, Robert Owens. Satoshi Tomiie recently told the story of how the track came about:

"That collaboration was not an easy one. I think Frankie just moved back to New York from Chicago and I was a university student, I lived in Tokyo. Between the two of us, there was no Internet, not even a computer, nothing! We never were really in the studio together, until we recorded the vocal of Robert Owens for ‘Tears’. The instrumental part I did everything in Tokyo. I was sitting in my bedroom at my parent’s house. I wrote all the track there. There was no hard drive so I had to record it on tape, on a two-inches tape. Then I had to fly to New York to bring this demo to Frankie, because I wanted to play it for him. Back then, my English skills were horrible, so it was not the easiest collaboration ever (laughs). Then as Frankie liked it, I asked if we could cut the vocal of Robert Owens into it, because I was a big fan of his style and his voice on Larry Heard’s production. Nothing was easy, but it was not a bad start for sure! And obviously I was just making track to make music, not to make history." (The Standard Culture 2012).




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4. Alison Limerick - Where love lives (1990)
The Def Mix founders dominated the remix scene in the early 90s and this tune is probably the best work Frankie and Dave Morales ever did together. It's featured on the rare double 12" RCA Bootcamp Bootlegger (1994). Not sure why but it's marked as the "Classic mix" on the cover but most definitely a special edit. Anyway, another one of Frankie's soulful tunes that lifts me up and makes me feel a little better. Every time.



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5.The Night Writers - Let the music use you (1987)
With the rise of the jungle scene in the UK, that later transformed into drum'n'bass, one of the tunes that stood out was SL2 "DJ's take control" (1991). We were all blown away by the blend of influences and samples coming from all over the place. It wasn't until a few years later I discovered where SL2 had taken those epic strings and piano hook from. And when I heard "Let the music use you" and learned that Knuckels was behind the track it all made sense and the circle was complete.


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Epilogue
August 26th 2004, president to be, Barack Obama christened the Chicago street where the legendary Warehouse once stood, Frankie Knuckles Way. It was almost 30 years since Frankie had put his first record on in that famous nightclub:

"It’s only a few blocks away from where I live. One of my favorite restaurants to have breakfast sits on the corner of the street I live on and Frankie Knuckles Way.  

I’m quite proud of this accomplishment. It was definitely one of the highlights of my career. To be thought of enough by the people of this city and, to have it presented to me by, at the time, State Senator and now The 44th President of The United States, Barrack Obama, I am extremely proud of this accomplishment.  


It’s something I share with every house music DJ in the world." (Beatport.com)


Frankie Knuckles left us yesterday at the age of 59. For more insight into his musical heritage head over to this great Red Bull Music Academy session transcript from 2011:

Frankie Knuckles interview session @ RBMA Madrid 2011


Street sign on Frankie Knuckles Way in downtown Chicago

Obama & Frankie

3.28.2014

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Church (The tracklist)

We've seen the light! Last night after the Myele Manzanza show at Fasching Jazz Club in Stockholm we got the first sneak preview into to the long awaited upcoming Mark de Clive-Lowe album. The album is the recorded version of his legendary live experience set in New York and L.A. Mark was generous enough to give us a track-by-track walkthrough of the album which is coming up soon right here!

Until then enjoy the preliminary tracklist and a live version of one of the album tracks:

Mark de Clive-Lowe - CHURCH
1.The Mission featuring John Robinson
2.Nova Roda featuring Contramestre Xingu
3.Brukstep
4.The Processional
5.Now or Never featuring Nia Andrews
6.Ghaziya
7.Sketch for Miguel
8.Hollow featuring Nia Andrews
9.Prayer
10.Imam (composed by Abdullah Ibrahim)
11.Sun Up Sun Down featuring theeKIDICARUS
12.Mason’s Galaxy (composed by Charles Earland)
13.Distractions


Mark de Clive-Lowe - Brukstep (live)

3.26.2014

Deep Dish - Quincy & The Essential Mix


After an 8 year split, Dubfire and Sharam are back. The deep house duo better known as Deep Dish blew our minds back in 1994 with their multilayered hi-hats and hypnotic grooves such as "The Dream".


Deep Dish presents Prana - The Dream  (Sharam's Deep Dish Dreamscape)

Anyway, a few days ago they released their new single "Quincy" and it feels like they never went away. Nothing revolutionary really but that groove just hits you. Hard. And then sweeps you away. These days there a plenty of artists copying their style but very few pull it off. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of their upcoming music is just as good. If so 2014 will be a good year for that deep, deep house we love.


Deep Dish - Quincy

And if that wasn't enough they also released their BBC essential mix that same day. Get it below:

Deep Dish - The essential mix (March 22 2014)

3.25.2014

MELO Collective ft Bahamadia - Hollow


Now here's something out of the ordinary. Rap legend Bahamadia has teamed up with Swedish art collective MELO to put out a new mindblowing EP. The original track is a dark, organic groove laced with Bahamadia's thoughts about the state of this world. We were curious to hear how this surprising collab came about and hooked up with MELO representative, Anders Jacobsson, who told us the story:

"Basically MELO has been making art, dance, music, architecture installations etc, since 2005. We always make our own music to the pieces and made a CD-R in 2007. In 2010 we started thinking about compiling, rearranging, recording tracks from our different pieces + make some new tracks, start a label and start distributing our stuff. Most of our music is instrumental, but as a main part of this project we wanted to collaborate with vocalists that we find important and inspiring. So when we'd made a instrumental demo of "Hollow"  we started out with contacting Bahamadia, who is my absolute favorite rapper ever.. You know, why not aim for the best? :) And surprisingly, she said yes! Unreal. "

"It totally blew our minds when Bahamadia sent her demo of the rap and vocals.. I mean, we know she's always incredible, but the huge effort and serious engagement she put into the lyrics, the structure, the sung vocals.. I've never heard her sing like this and the way the track unfolds is just amazing. So now we really hope that the music community, especially hip hop and soul and Bahamadia fans worldwide, will not miss out on this release in all the zillions of great stuff out there.."

And if that wasn't enough, they somehow also got Georgia Anne Muldrow and Midaircondo to contribute a funky ass remix the track. Quite the debut release.



The Hollow EP is out now on Spotify and iTunes.

Spotify: open.spotify.com/album/4CSkZF3s5L093dKkfdFfc5

3.19.2014

Tall Black Guy - Sade's Taboo (Sweetest Blap-Up)

Coming home this freakin' freezing and dark Wednesday night this gem from Tall Black Guy (Terrel Wallace) warms me up quickly.

What I really dig about TBG's reworks is that he often starts off with the original track for a couple of bars then out of the blue flips it in an unexpected direction. He's done it on plenty occasions before so I shouldn't really be surprised but this is one of Terrel's finest moments so far. Get it while you can.



Download: Tall Black Guy - Sade's Taboo (Sweetest Taboo Blap-Up)

3.05.2014

Jeedeci - Freekin U (Benji B edit)


An upcoming album from Jodeci produced by Timbaland. Waajeed's Dirt Tech Reck erupting hot sh*t like a volcano. There's a lot to look forward to in 2014. 

To make the wait a bit more pleasant Waajeed has put out the first official track from his Jeedeci project for free. It's an awesome remake of Jodeci's classic slow jam "Freek'n you" here as an exclusive edit by Benji B. Get it while you can.


Download: Jeedeci - Freekin U (Benji B edit)

2.05.2014

The new french movement: #4. Ahmad (Montpellier)

I've had a weakness for French rap ever since I discovered Le Funk Mob and Motorbass remixes on the MC Solaar b-sides that started to surface in the early nineties. That interest turned to addiction during (what I would define as) the golden age of French rap which I would define as around 1996-1999.

In my view, French producers outplayed most of their American counterparts in that era . With acts/producers such as DJ Kheops, IPM, La Cliqua, Double Pact and Sages Poètes de la Rue they brought something new to the game with minimalistic but hard boom-bap beats often with samples from non-traditional sources.

But as the millenium turned, many French acts followed their overseas colleagues in a spiral of bling-bling mentality, stereotype lyrics and beats. There are of course exceptions like some of the spin-off projects from the TTC-crew, Abd Al Malik and OFX but for a quite a while our focus has been elsewhere.

About two years ago something changed. If most acts (at least the once that got international recognition) earlier was based around Paris and Marseille now we got fresh sounds from all around the country. All those new encounters sparked us to kick off a new Beatheart's series entitled "The new French Movement".

Among the once we've covered here are #1. Don Da None (Caen) and #2. Zerolex (Besançon). Last year we met up with the Robert Glasper's evil twin in France - #3. Remi Panossian (Toulouse). More jazz than rap but they got that same fresh attitude and I still get the feeling that the musical innovation is spreading around the hexagone we know as La France. Last week, we discovered another interesting artist that is now our #4 feature in the series. Enjoy!

#4. AHMAD (MONTPELLIER)

Ahmad based in Montpellier is no newcomer with already three albums under his belt. But he recently released a whole string of videos, EP's and singles that to me represent that new movement of French musical innovation. Atmospheric instrumentals that tell a story of their own and could easily be stand-alone releases combined with beautiful poetic flows that makes Google Translate work hard to decipher. Just check the clip for "Drago" below:


To help those of you who don't speak French to appreciate his rhymes we got in contact with Ahmad and his team for an in-official translation of the lyrics for "Drago". Enjoy below.

The title "Drago" is a reference to Stallone's Rocky II movie with Russian Boxer Ivan Drago (played by Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren :) so the track begins with a quote from him: "if he dies - he dies".

My high kicks are just like Haikus / I want my Liquid Sword / Before choosing one of the 6 millions ways of meeting the homie Biggie Smalls / And I'm sounding just like a 6 chords guitar from Nashville / It's raining problems and I'm throwing a future together / I'm innovating in a dirty trick / Only crime pays, but how much does it cost ? /  I'm perfecting an itinerary which is oddly big / Waiting for a change to come just like Sam Cook / I got some childish dream; my sleep is the one of an adult / and trust me when I wake up, the bohemian lifestyle is being canceled / The nobel price is being smoke through a peace pipe / while the sun is in a bad mood. 

My launching ramp is in a bad shape / but I remain fair play : Detroit Pistons / I'm whispering a small detail, completing the course of History / strinking the future with a crystal ball / And I'm freestyling my motto / I'm turning over a new leaf but I'm falling asleep on the wheel / I'm here in this dirty world, so I can make figures with the alphabet / a humble happiness / and if he dies he dies, a russian boxer once told me / And you can check it out, I'm just kidding about it / It's the real truth, and it's true for real / a preamble on an epitaph / Broken dreams / Destiny / Plexiglas / And I'm dropping a verse in advance / But god be blessed, everything is not for sale.

Pretty awesome right?

Ahmad has just released an EP on Bandcamp entitled "Ne mourez jamais seul" (which I think translate to "Never die alone") and a clip called "Noveau Sinatra". He is currently working on new material for an upcoming album or EP hopefully due later this year. Be sure we'll keep you updated!

Ahmad on Bandcamp

1.10.2014

Melo-X - Yoncé-X (Beyoncé remix EP)

Stumbled over this this a few days ago. Now concept remix projects sometimes are more a curse than a blessing ever since the remix frenzy of Mr Carter's "The Black Album" but this is an exception. Sean Rhoden (a.k.a. Melo-X) is a diverse producer based in East Flatbush in Brooklyn. We earlier featured his work for/with Jesse Boykins III and a few years ago his rework of Maxwell's BlackSummersNight made some noise.

Sean on his rework of tracks from the new Beyoncé album:

"I've been doing remix albums for a while now. This Beyonce album was just so revolutionary and had so many layers and stories I kept hearing bits and pieces I could elaborate on. The remix album can also be looked at as a instrumental album because I'm sampling her music the way a producer would sample a old 1970's record. It's really a big art and passion project for me. I met Beyonce at a New Years eve party at Solange's house 2 years ago and gained even more respect and admiration for her."

"I bought the album the day it came out and vibed with it until Christmas day. On that night I made the whole Remix EP and spent the next week creating the video pieces and just refining the mixes. I decided to release the project [today] because it is Blue Ivy's birthday.  It's like the stars aligned all crazy and I couldn't pass this chance up"

Dark, experimental and beautiful. Get it while you still can!


Download: Melo-X - Yoncé-X

1.09.2014

Sage The Gemini - Gas Pedal (MSSL CMMND remix)


One of our top selections of 2013, MMSL CMMND, starts the year in style with this surprising remix of Sage the Gemini's "Gas pedal". Changing the pace and adding that child's play piano in the vein of Nas "Yes, I can" is just brilliant.


Download: Sage the Gemini - Gas Pedal (MSSL CMMND remix)

1.02.2014

Beathearts top selections 2013: Best releases


First of all, maybe we need to define what we mean by a "release". Or do we? Factmag recently described it brilliantly:

"Album lists aren’t just best-to-worst rundowns – they’re ways of demarcating what an “album” is (or isn’t) in the first place. 

Is a mini-album a full-length or an extended single? Should a clutch of Soundcloud demos be judged alongside a 3xLP pack? Are leaks off-limits – and, if so, why? In a year full of marketing campaign razzmatazz and big bruisers dropping surprise albums, it’s telling – and heartening – that much of the best music arrived through rogue channels. To quarantine mixtape releases, say, away from our albums list might have made sense a few years ago; now, it seems blockheaded and perverse. Mindful of not being Cnuts, we’ve no intention of holding back the tide.


Faced with navigating this increasingly complicated landscape, plenty of blogs have gone down the Grammys route of hyper-specification – Best Hip-Hop Albums That Aren’t Mixtapes;  Best Albums Under 15 Minutes That Aren’t Singles; Best Albums With A 16×16 Floor Tom; Best Albums That Didn’t Feature Nile Rodgers. We’ve elected to take the other road, allowing different formats to sit happily alongside one other. It doesn’t matter if it’s lengthy or snappy, physical or invisible – if it’s a great record, it’s in it." (FACT Magazine).


Amen to that! It's what we've been trying to say since day one, we enjoy good music no matter what the format, label or chanel. A rookie Soundcloud demo or a major label release. So well, here it is. Our top releases of 2013. Lessgo!

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st 

Beathearts top selections 2013: #1 JoDef - Steps


1. JoDef - Steps (Soulection)

If you haven't heard the tracks already "Swim" is a filtered broken tune with a housy feel chopping up classic Sade vocals. "TookItThurr" is a rework of Slum Village/Dilla's classic "2U4U". I'm struggling to find words to describe the style but I just love the blend of influences and genres. Amazing!

"Steps' is a timely release that comes during an experimental and fluid epoch in electronic music which proves to be a soulful, west-coast inspired footwork masterpiece. With varying influences from Jukesquad to TekLife – the original Chicago footwork crews, Jo Def carefully combines west coast leaning, bass-heavy vibes with traditional syncopated footwork sounds to produce a cohesive listen all the way through." (Soulection.com)

The album is a collection of reinterpreted tracks from a wide range of influences. From the two above mentioned to R.Kelly's "It seems like you're ready" and Louie Vega & Kenny Dope's deep house classic "Deep inside".

And as if that wasn't enough his label Soulection (label, radioshow and music collective) has decided to put out the album for free for a limited period. Absolutely essential. Get it now!


Takeaway track: "Ready"
Download: JoDef - Steps

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st 

So what's next?
That's it! There were of course plenty more good releases but these ten stand out for me and are all good representatives of the music we love here at Beathearts.

Was 2013 as surprising for you as it was for us? Do you agree with our selections or think we're out of our minds? Hit us up right here, via Twitter or beatheartsblog@gmail.com. Coming up is our predictions of what we'll think will blow up in 2014.

Beathearts top selections 2013: #2. Tall Black Guy - 8 miles to Moenart


2. Tall Black Guy - 8 miles to Moenart

One of our artist of the year 2012, Terrel Wallace a.k.a. Tall Black Guy sure seemed committed to stay on top of that list. His album dropped in May and we've had it spinning in our headphones ever since. It really had no weak tracks but was quality straight through as an album which is quite rare these days.

All in all, in a fast-paced-what's-next-kind-of-world, "8 miles to Moenart" is a keeper. It's that hidden green back yard garden you sometimes stumble upon walking through a metropolitan area. Sit down, take a breather, take a sip of your favorite beverage and kick back with Tall Black Guy. Read more? Check our track-by-track review.


Take-away track: "Funeral biz"
Buy via First World Records
Listen on Spotify: Tall Black Guy - 8 miles to Moenart  

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st 

Beathearts top selections 2013: #3. Dâm-Funk & Snoopzilla - 7 days

3. Dâm-Funk & Snoopzilla - 7 days (StonesThrow)

This year Stones Throw dropped the long awaited and inevitable collaboration between L.A.'s finest Damon Riddick/Dâm-Funk (Pasadena) and Calvin Broadus/Snoopzilla/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion (Long Beach). The album has conceptually been talked about for years but finally saw the light of day on December 10th. It's the logical next step in the development of the funk - what we like to call funk 7.0.

Funk 1.0: James Brown
P-Funk 2.0: Parliament/Funkadelic
M-Funk 3.0: Minneapolis/Prince/The Time
E-Funk 4.0: Electronic Funk, Mtume/Kashif/Juan Atkins/Mantronix
G-Funk 5.0: Snoop & Dr Dre
Nu-Funk 6.0: Dâm-Funk
H-Funk 7.0: Pasadena meets Long Beach to create H-funk - Harmonic Funk

"Funk is the dirty cousin of rock, soul, jazz, classical, house and electronic music. [---]The next phase is beautiful chords and harmonies on top of a hard beat. Imagine the song structure of Prefab Sprout or Thom Bell song (The Delfonics/The Spinners) were put on a funk beat with claps, kicks and basslines. That's the next phase - at least that's where I'm trying to go."
(Dâm-Funk 2013 - sr.se p3.soul)

When we chose what releases to write about we try to pick pieces that takes us places. "7 days of funk" is that kind of record. Now I have yet to pay L.A. a visit but during the last 30 minutes of funk the urge to jump the next flight to LAX has never been stronger.


Takeaway track: "I'll be there for you"
Read more: Funk 7.0 - The story behind 7 days of funk
Listen on Stones Throw Records

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st 

Beathearts top selections 2013: #4. The Knife - Shaking the habitual


4. The Knife - Shaking the habitual (Rabid)

The Dreijer siblings put together the best live experience of the year. And they had the album and the concept to back it up. "Shaking the habitual" is not an album I listen to all at once. It's not an album to get you going in the morning. But it is without a doubt one of the albums I've gone back back to and listened to in parts over and over again all year.

They dare to be political. They dare to be artsy. They dare to challenge their audience which of course split opinions. I love it and I applaud their ballsy move not compromise and hope more artist go in that direction in 2014.



Takeaway track: "Wrap your arms around me"
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Soundcloud

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st 

Beathearts top selections 2013: #5. Kelela - Cut 4 me


5. Kelela - Cut 4 me (FadeToMind)

LA producer and vocalist released this game changing R'n'B mixtape "Cut 4 me" featured producers about to blow up like Jam City, Kingdom and Nguzunguzu. To quote FadeToMind label manager Kingdom: "We wanted to make a bold new statement for r'n'b".

Indeed. Just as Aaliyah, Timbaland and Missy Elliot set a new standard for r'n'b back in the 90s, Kelala and her producers has re-written the rulebook.

This album was released as a free mixtape but competes quality wise with any major label release. It will be very interesting to see what the next move from Kelela and FadeToMind will be.

Takeaway track: "Cherry coffee"
Listen on Spotify
Download: Kelela - Cut 4 me

Best releases of 2013: 10th  9th  8th  7th  6th  5th  4th  3rd  2nd 1st