All posts tagged Beats

Mo Kolours

We’ve already touched on the fact that there’s perhaps something in the water south of the river. A rich vein of creativity has been carefully simmering for a few years now in South London and a strong proponent of this new wave is the man who goes by the name of Mo Kolours, the recording alias of UK producer, percussionist and singer Joseph Deenmamode.

Deenmamode first ascended onto the scene in early 2011, a Gilles Peterson co-sign and his inclusion on Alex Chase’s One-Handed Music roster helping him to transcend the usual trappings of the underground circuit. Three years later and following a triptych of EPs that first introduced us to his forward-thinking sound, yesterday saw this initial chapter draw to a close with the release of his self-titled debut album.

An 18-track odyssey (but clocking in at a mere 32 minute running time), Deenmamode’s first full length is an inventive wander through a myriad of musical influences, with elements of psychedelic soul and funk, hip-hop, electronica, house and dub all juxtaposed deep in the mix. It’s a collection of sound collages, some fully formed, some presented as sketches, but nevertheless a cohesive work, predominantly born out of the extensive use of percussive techniques and chopped samples that pepper each track. As with his previous EPs, there’s a languid, almost disjointed feel to the album, influenced no doubt by the producer’s dual Mauritian-British heritage and his reported studies into the sub-tropical sounds of the island’s traditional Sega music. It’s these loping rhythms that seemingly give a worldly, exotic feel to the beats, as hand claps, shakers, whistles and wood blocks collide to form the basis on which the rest of the melodies sit.

While the atmospheric opener Brixton House sets the precedent for the sonic experiments to come, the album springs into life with one of the early standouts, the recent single Little Brown Dog, a feel good groove built around a heavy kick and whimsical steel drum sample while Deenmamode recounts a tale about his dog. Elsewhere, Mike Black, a tribute song to 1970s British funk group Cymande, saunters into view, the laid back vocal drifting over a whirring synth line and galloping beat, while In Her Eyes (Funk Heart) is a low-slung, bass heavy beast of a tune that comes highly recommended. It’s this kind of left leaning approach to beat making and songwriting that make this album such an intriguing listen. With every new rewind comes a new discovery, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, Play It Loud (In Your Car)being a great example in point, Deenmamode taking something as mundane as an in-depth knowledge of car makes and models to craft a playful two-minute gem, weaving in as he does shout-outs to fellow beatsmith and label mate Paul White and the 22a crew.

Overall the album is another fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of London’s most promising (and creative) producers, offering up as it does a number of accomplished nuggets for our summer soundtrack, if not also for our end of year list. Stream the album in full below and grab the vinyl or CD at your local store (be quick though, pre-orders on the OHM Bandcamp sold out!)

Playing catch up? You need these >>

Mo Kolours EP1: Drum TalkingMo Kolours EP2: Banana WineMo Kolours EP3: Tusk Dance


Low Leaf

Just before we shut up shop for the weekend, we think there’s enough time to drop one last new discovery for this week. Seemingly set free this past Monday by the awesome Oregon outfit Fresh Selects via their Bandcamp, this tasty morsel from Los Angelena Low Leaf just oozed into our headphones after one of our end of day jaunts on the web (at this point we should probably show our Late Pass to security). Apparently an outtake from a forthcoming album ‘AKASHAALAY’ (due April 29th through Fresh Selects) and featuring a production credit from none other than King Britt (Oba Funke, Scuba, Sylk130 to name but a few aliases), it seems the vocalist / multi-instrumentalist caught our attention fairly easily. An excellent slice of experimental soul, which simmers and smolders throughout its four minute length, ‘A Light Within’ is just the right kind of beat-orientated goodness we love to add to our daily diet. The fact that it’s a free download too is kind of a no-brainer.

As we look forward to the new album dropping next month, preview and download the beat below and if like us, you need a little more to Low Leaf in your life then a good place to start is right here.

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K15 - The Black Tape

Something wicked this way comes by way of North London as the mysterious K15 unleashes ‘The Black Tape’.

Over the past few years, the DJ and producer K15 has been steadily putting the hours in on the studio front and after last year’s ‘Insecurities’ double header of housier sounds caught our attention after no less than Detroit’s Kyle Hall posted the MAW influenced title track, this week sees his first EP of 2014 arrive. Unlike its predecessor, his latest opus sits firmly in jazz-inflected hip-hop and ambient territory, the seven short tracks seemingly drawing on the joint themes of life and death for inspiration. This is no more apparent than on the EP’s opener ‘Dealing With’ which kicks proceedings off on a slightly eerie note as a number of processed voices interject with opinions on of grief and loss, before the sounds of tribal drumming and chanting whisk us into the the first 2 minute plus track ‘Time Humbles Us All’. All of the beats on offer are well executed, and sit more like finely tuned sketches that all form part of an overall listening experience. ‘Beneath The Tomb’ bubbles along nicely, a piano delicately riding the heavy drum beat, and although not derivative there’s definitely a little Robert Glasper vibe to be heard in the production, while on the reprise of ‘Time Humbles Us All’, things hark back to the latter work of 4hero in the soulful drum and bass field, a fierce breakbeat slowly unveiling itself through the atmospheric build up. Both tracks would serious benefit from an extended edit but as brevity seems to be the nature of a beat tape, we will just have to hope that one day both get revisited.

The EP appears courtesy of the the digi-label INI Movement and it’s rumoured that ‘The Black Tape’ is the first installment of a number of colour-specific tapes. If this is to be the darkest, than we look forward to the next tape to see what K15 might have up his sleeve. In the meantime, you can stream the EP or grab individual tracks for keeps below or  via  the INI Movement Bandcamp page.

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