To go hand in hand with a series of features I’m doing on a new wave of hip hop and electronic producers, which I mentioned a little while back, I’ve finished a mix featuring tracks from these very same producers.
In the past some of that stuff has been labeled glitchy, more recently wonky or bassy even but really it’s not about a term or another box to put things in, to me it’s just some fresh and exciting music. Of all the terms that can be used I like wonky the most because I find that in a lot of cases it does really define the music some of these guys make quite well. But I use the term really loosely and it’s really more of an excuse to mix stuff together which has got me really excited over the last 6 to 12 months. To me all this stuff is really a throwback to the days of the old boom bap, when tracks just made you want to bang your head and break your neck. It’s a real breath of fresh air for hip hop and music in general.
And while the whole wonky and bassy thing has been covered a bit by some people (check the previous post for more on that), what I’m looking at in the feature I’m writing is this return of the boom bap thanks to a very wonky and bass lead momentum – how all these guys, this new wave of producers, are essentially bringing back the boom bap in hip hop, but in a new and exciting way.
To me all this music has one thing in common – it’s hip hop, it’s just not the kind of hip hop most people might expect to hear, or what they might expect hip hop to sound like. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that all these guys, all this music, take hip hop as a starting point and just move it on. As Dom Sum from Lucky Me says in the intro, music has to move on otherwise it stagnates and becomes uninteresting. And it’s fair to say that in recent years there has been a lot of uninteresting and boring things in hip hop, so I really feel that what these guys are doing is fresh and exciting, and the mix serves as a way to showcase that music and that freshness to others.
Whatever you choose to call it, the fact remains that it came from hip hop and is very much a continuation of the original ideas of doing what you want and taking hip hop in new and exciting directions. There are other elements in it too, other musical influences and tangents, but the driving spirit behind most of this music is hip hop, no two ways about it.
The mix showcases a lot of the guys I’m speaking about in the features I’m writing – starting with Jay Dee, who’s been an undeniable influence on a lot of these guys, and then moving on to the new generation of producers with L.A beat heads like Flying Lotus, Ras G, Samiyam and Take, the Lucky Me collective up in Scotland with Rustie, Hud Mo and Mike Slott, the always shifting Hyperdub label in London, 2tall also in London, Dabrye and Waajeed in Detroit, Megasoid and Ghislain Poirier in Montreal, edIT and the Glitch Mob in L.A, Mark Pritchard aka Harmonic 313 in Australia, Danny Breaks in the UK and more. The variety of the producers and their location is another important element in this whole new era of boom bap and wonk. The music is just not limited to one spot or one place, it’s really a global thing and with this global element comes a lot of different approaches and styles which I believe help keep a lot of it interesting.
In there are older tracks alongside a lot of more recent releases, because I wanted to show that there has been a wonky and bassy element in hip hop for a while now, it’s just that it stayed underneath the surface for the most part until last year when the whole thing really took off. And it has been continuing this year with a lot of artists, especially Flying Lotus and Lucky Me members Rustie and Hud Mo, really coming to the fore and receiving just attention for their work.
Once the features are finished they’ll go up and hopefully help give a bit more insight into what I’m talking about and what I feel these guys are putting across in their music. In addition to a feature on this new era of boom bap, I’m also writing two features, one on edIT and one on the Lucky Me collective. They should all be online sometime in July and will be printed in the August issue of Serie B magazine.
edit – the features are now online, check the related posts links at the bottom of this post, or go here where you can read the main feature, ‘The Return of the Boom Bap’.
In the meantime though sit back and enjoy the music, which is what it’s all about anyways!
The mix was done entirely on Ableton as I’m still pretty much homeless from my equipment. All the tracks used are high quality mp3s or wavs, and I’ve also done quite a few little edits and tweaks here and there to add to the mix. On top of the music there are extracts from interviews with Heralds of Change and Dom Sum (taken from www.samurai.fm), Flying Lotus (courtesy of On Point) and edIT.
That’s about it, full tracklist is below. If you like what you hear than get out there and support the artists by buying the music and/or checking out their shows. A lot of these guys are touring all over the place this summer, so hit up the myspaces and usual places for info. While there’s a few unreleased and advance tracks, most of the stuff is available now, so just get your google on.
Oh yeah and as usual, the mix is available in 320kbps format, so crank that shit up. And for once it’s short enough to fit on an audio CD!
Kper – Wonk Fonk (right click and save as to download) – 320kbps, 180mb
‘Wonk Fonk’ tracklist:
Dilla beats intro
2tall – Killa – Unreleased
Dabrye – Truflle no Shuffle – Ghostly
Flying Lotus – wwwdot – July Heat
Heralds of Change – Sittin On the Side – All City
Piano Overlord – Track 3 – Money Studies
edIT – Laundry – Planet Mu
Dabrye ft Jay Dee and Phat Kat – Game Over (Flying Lotus remix) – Ghostly
FLYamSAM – The Offbeat – Ghostly Swim
Nosaj Thing – 1685 – unreleased
Bullion – Rude Effort – One-Handed Music
Harmonic 313 – Problem 7 – Warp
Bass Clef – Zero Eight Zero – Blank Tapes
Waajeed – Get Live – Fat City
Flying Lotus – Massage Situation – Warp
edIT – Certified Air Raid Material – Alpha Pup
Danny Breaks – Jellyfish – Alphabet Zoo
Heralds of Change – Work it – All City
Take aka Thomas 2000 – Lie-Twerx – Eat Concrete
J Dilla – Lightworks – Stones Throw
Ras G – Random Selection – P-Vine
Samiyam – Cheesecake Backslap – Hyperdub
Mike Slott – Knock Knock – All City
Take – Slouched Over (12″ edit) – Inner Current Recordings
Ooah – Hacksaw – Alpha Pup / GM unlimited
Hud Mo – Ooops! – Lucky Me x Wireblock
Megasoid – Soundbwoy Bass (inst) – unreleased
FOOL – Slaves (2tall remix) – Huw + Haw
Harmonic 313 – Call To Arms – Warp
Dabrye – Temper – Ghostly Swim
Joker – Gullybrook Lane – Soul Jazz
Zomby – Spliff Dub (Rustie remix) – Hyperdub
Quarta 330 – Sunset Dub – Hyperdub
Ikonika – Please – Hyperdub
Machinedrum – Don’t Ask Me (Sped up and Cut up mix) – Norm Rex
The Bug ft Spaceape – Fuckaz – Ninja Tune
Daedelus ft Paperboy and Taz – Touchstone – Ninja Tune
Heralds of Change ft Olivier Daysoul – Bopgunnn – All City
FOOL – Drama (Rustie remix) – Huw + Haw
Samiyam and Hudson Mohawke – Eff This – Red Bull
Flying Lotus – Camel – Warp
Hud Mo – Still On It – Lucky Me x Wireblock
Ghislain Poirier – La Ronde – Musique Large
Rustie – Clipper – Stuff
J Dilla – Trucks – Stones Throw
edIT ft Jay Dee and Phat Kat – The Game is Not Over – Alpha Pup / GM Unlimited