Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Homework 88 - Louis Got The Jazz

Homework 88 - Louis Got The Jazz

This week the title speaks for itself, JAZZ WEEK!! to expand upon that we're after beats that make use of your jazz crates so dig deep, feel free to bring out those dusty loops or get chop heavy and turn in a synth banger either way we want jazz sampled and influenced beats.

Feel free to get even more creative with it similar to jazz stylings, try 3 bar loops for instance or maybe a different time signature or use a jazz sounding kit for your drums, all not necessary but something you could try to add a little extra to your beat this week.

This week the goal is to turn in a jazz sampled and/or influenced beat, using extra instrumentation is fine but make sure the sample forms the body of the beat.

Beats are due 1st May; submit your entries to homework@louisden.com as an attachment and a little description about the beat! we'll try to get the squad together earlier this week!! hit the Ustream for around 18:30 at http://louisden.com/live for it to kick off.

Kev Brown In The Lab

By the same guy who brought you the "Behind The Beats" series on Youtube; they caught up with Kev Brown over a fellow Low Budget crew member Kaimbr's spot to shoot a short beats video.

Kev goes over some new joints and slightly breaks the process down; obviously too much isn't given away here but its nice to hear some new bits and see that Kev stays busy....nice!

Kev Brown In The Lab

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Redefinition Records Presents: Kev Brown "Classic Joints"

Here's an easter treat courtesy of Redefinition Records, a free compilation of some great joints Kev Brown has produced/released over the years entitled "Classic Joints", tracklisting and download links below.

Be sure to hit up the Redefinition Records blog which are the guys who put this together as well as the recent physical release of Kev Brown & Kaimbr's "Alexander Green Project" which features all sampled works of Al Green.

Kev Brown - Classic Joints

01.Marley Marl - Feat. Kev Brown & Grap Luva - “What Ruling Means”
02.Kev Brown - “Another Random Joint”
03.Busta Rhymes - “Packin’ Them Things”
04.Biz Markie - “Games”
05.Kev Brown - “Batida”
06.Grap Luva feat. Kev Brown - “Power Bars”
07.Kev Brown Ft. Asheru, Grap Luva & Hassan Mackey - “What You Got”
08.Kaimbr & Kev Brown - “Songs” (From The Alexander Green Project)
09.Jay-Z - “Threat” (Kev Brown Unofficial Remix)
10.Kev Brown - “Always” EP Version
11.Kev Brown - “Work In Progress” (Damu The Fudgemunk Remix)
12.Kev Brown - “The Crowd”

DOWNLOAD: mediafire

Remember you hit up Kev's bandcamp where theres a wealth of material to download/purchase so support him directly!

Heres a couple joints from the new Alexander Green project.

Kev Brown & Kaimbr - Great Adventures Of Alexander Green, Pt. 1

Kev Brown & Kaimbr - 260°

Ypnotiq - Whorldwidewhack EP (free DL)

I found this EP the other day as I stubmled upon a Kev Brown remix to one of the tracks; It wasn't until I gave the rest of the project a listen did I realise this guy is nice with it himself; deep, heavy and bouncy beats here, real nice indeed. I do hate comparisons but just to give you an idea its reminiscent of "1983" / "Reset" era Flying Lotus and some of Afta-1 or Mike Slotts material.

Personally "Love" and "newbeatsontheblock" are the joints I rock with the most, got that headcrackkk.

ypnotiq - whorldwidehack EP

1.Ypnotiq - Euromsayin'
2.Ypnotiq - Airin
3.Ypnotiq - Newbeatsontheblock
4.Ypnotiq - Love
5.Kev brown - Remix on the block
6.camEleon - lanquidyti

DONWLOAD: megaupload

If you want to peep it before you download you can either head over to ypnotiq's bandcamp or peep the embedded player below.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Evil Needle - Cirrostratus LP

French beatmaker/producer Evil Needle has just droped his free LP "Cirrostratus".

What you've got here is great project serving a medley of beats drawing from all sorts of pockets from straight up hiphop bangers down to jazzed out soul stylings with tinges of R&B all with the trademark Needle headcrack.

Theres even a collab thrown in there with fellow Den head BUG and some of you homework fiends may even recognise the odd homework joint in there! Great music!! get your download on (the bandcamp free DL's have expired so you'll have to either use the mediafire link or dig in your pockets for the €5 to get it (well worth it)

As a side note its nice to see some of the blogs get their wakey wakey on and take start to take notice of Needz...dude BEEN had heat!

Evil Needle - Cirrostratus

01. Intro Groove
02. First Look
03. 9999HP
04. Jazzolude #1
05. Loungin
06. Lo-Fi Bumper
07. Summer Blap
08. Hope
09. Jazzolude #2
10. Chillaxing
11. Time Travel
12. Fuse
13. Hat It Or Love It
14. Disco Inferno
15. Astro Belt with BUG

DOWNLOAD: bandcamp | mediafire

Remember to hit Evil Needle up on Twitter @ItsMeNeedle if you are feeling the music! and if you want to hear even more you can check some of his previous Louis Den homeworks over at http://needlehomeworks.bandcamp.com.

Beat Society @Tammany Hall Feb 2011

The homie Slop has just posted some recap footage of the recent Beat Soceity event from February, this marked the return of the flagship producer night from a 6 year hiatus! damn! well it looks like it went off with a bang.

Producers on the night were Illmind, Khrysis, Don Cannon, Nottz and DJ Revolution.

Beat Soceity @Tammany Hall Feb 2011

9th Wonder x LRG x Price Films - The Wonder Year (preview)

I've been looking forward to this for sometime; can't wait for it to drop. Film maker Kenneth Price (who is also behind most the IWWMG / Jamla music videos for 9ths Artits) has been putting the finishing touches to his "Wonder Year" documentary which spends a year in the life of Grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder.

Little snippets have cropped up here and there but now a full trailer has surfaced it makes the project even more appealing!! heres hoping for a general release!

The Wonder Year (Trailer)

A year in the life of CEO, NAACP ambassador, Duke University professor, husband, father, son and Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder. The film follows one of soul music’s most dynamic figures from his childhood home to late nights in the studio and everywhere in between.

Featuring: Drake, DJ Premier, DJ Green Lantern, J. Cole, Murs, Phonte, Sha Money XL, Young Guru, The Alchemist & more.

Phone & 9th Wonder - Peter Rosenberg's Noisemakers

Pete Roesenberg's "Noisemakers" sessions are relaxed sit down interviews similar to what you may have seen at the Red Bull Music Academy; every so often he'll host one of these events getting a range of musical artists to break down their trials and tribulations in the industry.

After the last event with Diddy he's managed to follow suit by getting one of the first sit down interviews with a reunited 9th Wonder and Phonte (formerly of Little Brother) the two discuss mending their differences and Little Brother's rise to stardom. This was about a couple weeks back.

Producer related 9th touches on great topics such as making the "Threat" beat for Jay-Z, initally getting rejected by Beat Society and influencing a whole generation of computer based producers. The event's musical interludes were handled by hiphop band Dujeous who played cover versions of 9th Wonder produced joints (as well as a couple Foreign Exhange ones), Illmind as on hand to trigger samples over the live instrumentation which made for very unique versions of the joints!! this also finished with a freestyle cypher over the "Threat" beat featuring a whole range of artists who came out to the event!

Rather than steal or re-up the links I'll just point you in the direction of the great "All The Way Live" blog where I found their recording of the session.

9th Wonder & Phonte - Peter Rosenberg Noisemakers
via "All The Way Live"

Beat Butcha - Bandcamp Exclusives

Former Beat Cypher guest (April 2010) Beat Butcha has recently dropped a project of previously unavilable instrumentals from his production resume entitled "Bandcamp Exclusives" check it out as you get tracks he's produced for the likes of Jehst, M9, Ciph Barker, Triple Darkness and more sans vocals as well as a couple of bonus instrumentals thrown in there for good measure.

All for the low low price of £5.00! you can't be mad at that eh! peep the bandcamp stream below.

Hit up the bandcamp direct to listen at your leisure an be sure to hit dude up on twitter @BeatButcha.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Homework 87 - Mobster Week

Rolling with another challenge!! lets do it

Homework 87 - Mobster Week

This week the goal is pretty clear cut and simple!! We want you guys to get the crime family / mobster / mafia flicks out and get digging through the musical scores / soundtracks!

Search out your favourite soundtrack/original score to a mobster film and turn the source material into bangin beat!.

No other rules other than the standard den parameters synth work or anything else to fill out the beat (dialog, scratches, one shots etc) all good as long as it doesnt draw away from the source matieral!

Beats are due Sunday 24th April, we'll be streaming from http://louisden.com/live looking forward to checking the beats...email them to homework@louisden.com no sendspace/mediafire/zshare just attach the beat!!

Heres Amazon.com's top 35 mafia films, its a great start!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Behind Closed Doors Volume 3 news!

We've been back from our travels to the US a good while now; but Andy and myself have decided to drop a little writeup blog to let you guys know what we were up to out there and how the project is coming along.

A couple sneaky pictures here and there too so peep game and enjoy!

Organising a trip like this is definitely a day job in itself. What started out as a joke whilst filming BCD2 in 2009 turned into a "can we actually do this?" brainstorm and ended with an actual real, physical trip across the Atlantic, going "what the frig are we getting ourselves into??".

It wasn't until we touched back down in Heathrow after a week away that it started to sink in. I've never travelled so much in such a short space of time and I think we defined hitting the ground running!

It was pretty surreal to be welcomed by a lot of people I've looked up to, listened to and geeked out to over the years but was only natural to geek down and get on with the job at hand. (Did manage to get pissy pissy quite a few nights, highlights include - 10 cent chicken wing night, linking up with Jaisu and seeing fatlip from Pharcyde spin runnin'). Sleep became a bonus and working out what time it became confusing as body clocks were left in Heathrow.

Can't really speak about who we filmed because I wana leave that for the trailer... but I think we got some great footage and hopefully this is going to be another volume of inspirational producer food for all y'all out thurr.

To break it down with some stats (...as) it looks a little something like this.

13,211 miles
140gb's of footage
x45 10c chicken wings
27.5 hours flying
6 planes
4 trains
1 rental car

Footage is ingested, converted and waiting to be edited. Summer is coming and so is BCD3!



Like Andy said the whole trip was surreal; After much procrastination and back and forth's about plane journeys; connecting flights and actually pulling this off everything seemed a bit more real once we "George Bushed" the button on purchasing our outward bound flights.

We kicked off proceedings with a Nando's (as always) once Andy touched down in Birmingham; after which everything was just a whirlwind of "what the hell are we doing", "is this gonna work" and more "what the hell are we doing". This was my first time in these cities and it was just as Kela had hinted saying it'd be like walking onto a movie set, big cars, big roads, big freeways, (big servings heh!) I was gassed just being there!

It was crazy to be in the studio's of some people whose music/beats I've been a massive fan of; just being able to chop it up with them and ask geeky questions (just like I would any of my Den fam) and have just as enthusastic responses was crazy humbling.

If you caught some of the tweets flying around then you may have a clue as to where and who we visited; but to keep things fresh me and Andy have a self imposed gagging order on some Kanye "Dont tell anyone anything about what you're doing" steez.

We put the distance in and travelled across three different states and 2 coasts; we also had to cop a rental car and travel a 160+ mile round trip to get to the other side of the city to see one producer (shook driving the other side of the road hahaha) came back needing 2 weeks worth of sleep recovery and a sour after taste from data roaming charges but it was all worth it.

We've got gold here...oh yeah if you guys liked the progression between BCD 1 and BCD 2 then BCD 3 is a just as big (if not a quantum leap) in terms of what you're gonna get; coupled with what we got in Berlin earlier on in the year and what the remaining UK based footage we've gotta get I reckon we've got about 75% of Volume 3 captured (and backed up, and backed up and backed up some more).

Sounds sooo cliche; but I now understand why certain artists come out with the trademark sentence "Cant wait to share this with you".

Shout Outs!
* Slop for holding us down executively producing the trip on some Suge Knight ish
* The homie greg for the hospitality in the West
* Homegirl Thea for the mini Brooklyn tour and Alphabet City; the amazing 10c wing spot
* What was possibly the wackest ever chinese take out we got in Jamaica Queens
* Fat lip for his DJ slot at the ill Dilla tribute we were at droppin runnin and spat his verse
* minus half a shout to lip for bumpin hi-tek's sungod in the same set #slippin heh!!
* A faded Killa priest at the same night who blessed the mic with random wu hooks
* Bumping into XXXXXXXXX out in the west coast after we had interviewed him in Brooklyn only a few days earlier

Great trip, even better footage captured...stay tuned!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Homework 86 - 2.5 Seconds Of Funk, SP1200 Week

Yoooo! been a minute since the last few challenges; apologies for the stop start but I've had a few things going on which would have made it hard to get to the lab the last couple of weeks! rather than set a x2 week challenge (which people normally sleep on as they think they've got forever to do it) here we are..Tuesday and a new challnege for this Sunday, maybe the more of you on it will get me in gear to kick this league off eh?? heh..

Ok so the last hardware battle we did was a while back with Homework 67 - DMX Week and we're continuing this on with another (and probably more so) legendary sampler adopted for hiphop.

Homework 86 - 2.5 seconds of funk "SP1200 Week"

This week we want you guys to go back in time and virtually equip yourselves with the legendary Emu Sp1200 if you dont know get to know (Vintage Synth // Wikipedia). This iconic machine was behind many a classic hiphop record and formed part of the production arsenal from some of hiphop productions heaviest hitters (Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, Easy Mo Bee and countless others!!) as we dont have real SP1200's to dole out you guys are going to have to improvise but this still can form quite a fun challenge.

To cut a long story short you are going to have to make a beat as if you were equipped with one of these badboys and heres how.

The goal of this weeks challenge is to make an SP1200 inspired beat, to get as near as possible to the constrainsts of this machine you will be forced to use the original factory discs that came with the machine which featured pre-loaded sounds to form your own kit and get busy programming.

The total sample time of the SP1200 could not exceed 10 seconds, the unit had 8 velocity sensitive pads (as opposed to the MP's 16) and x4 banks of sounds; meaning you had 2.5 seconds per bank to play with (dont forget you still would have to count in the drums too), thats why producers would do all sorts of tricks like the decay repeat, or the 16 levels equivalent to pitch notes and the classic sampling a 33 record in at 45 and then slow down.

While we dont expect you to get crazy chop/reassemble happy we'll approximate all this by stating the following.

* Only use the drum packs provided for your drum sounds
* for samples you can choose whatever you like but total sample time cannot exceed 10 seconds
* not mandatory but extra hiphop points to anyone who makes use of a bitcrusher/ring mod/or samples in at 26Khz / 12-bit to attempt to replicate the crunch (I know its not the same but hey)
* extra extra points if you find this challenge laughable as you own an authentic SP!! heh..kudos!! turn in a beat!

Synth's are okay but dont go crazy; whilst it wouldn't be impossible to MIDI up a keyboard back in the SP1200 hey day and add encorporate that into a beat; this challenge is more about fancy chop skills and bringing the best out of those stock drums so save a bassline or a little lead dont go all Jean Michel Jarre on us.

Beats are due Sunday 17th April, we'll be streaming from http://louisden.com/live looking forward to checking the beats...email them to homework@louisden.com no sendspace/mediafire/zshare just attach the beat!!

  • download the SP1200 kit here (originally sourced from the sp1200 forum)

    peeace....keep it crunchy!
  • Phonix - The Beat Leaks EP

    Phonix is US producer out in the West Coast (not to be confused with our guy Jon Phonics), dude behind some joints for likes of 50 Cent, Pac Div and Stat Quo, pretty serious resume and no shortage of bangers! anyway he dropped his Beat Leaks EP over Twitter a couple weekends back and I'm suprised I havent seen it posted plenty other places.

    What you've got here is a selection of instrumentals of various tracks from his production resume (including all those above!!) that have leaked in the last year or so as well as some unreleased treats; I suggest you bag it now as theres some serious heat on there!

    I hollered at dude and asked if a repost was cool so here it is!! I took the liberty of sticking some basic artwork on there (iTunes heads can relate heh!) and tweaking a couple tracks as some had a few seconds of extra silence at the start..

    Phonix - The Beat Leaks EP

    01. Intro
    02. Division (Stat Quo)
    03. Roses (Pac Division)
    04. Quarter After 2 (Sheek Louch)
    05. Building (Jadakiss)
    06. Sugar (50 Cent)
    07. The Change Up
    08. Quality (The Game)
    09. Dream'n Of Money (Tiron)
    10. Light Weight (unreleased)
    11. Burn (unreleased)
    12. Thank You Focus (unreleased)
    13. Motown (unreleased)
    14. Soulstar (unreleased)

    DOWNLOAD: sendspace

    Bonus Phonix Beatmaking Video!
    (check dude out making the 50 Cent joint)

    Make sure you follow him at @PHONIXBEATS if you like what you hear!.

    Beat*Society Live Mixtape

    Gotta give a respectful nod Beat Society's way; these guys are responsible for bringing hiphop production a live outlet with their Beat*Society flagship nights which have been going since 2004 and have played host to names such as Kanye West, 88 Keys, Just Blaze, Kev Brown, Illmind, Oddisee, Beatminerz, Marco Polo, 9th Wonder, Nicolay...shoot the list is endless.

    Without what these guys setup there almost certainly wouldn't have been the second generation of producer driven nights; I remember event highlight videos were behind many a geek out session between myself and Darren Paul back in the day and ultimately fueled the drive to setup our own humble outlet with the homeworks/video blogs which turned into something much bigger with the Beat Cypher nights since we started Louis Den!!.

    Anyway im rambling...last month saw Beat Society come back after a couple years hiatus and to mark the event they stitched together a little mixtape with some live performances and beats from some of the nights performers over the years.

    Rather than straight beats; what you've got is an actual PA feed so you get to hear crowd reactions!

    01. Stef & Sao's Introduction
    02. !llmind
    03. Jake One
    04. Don Cannon
    05. Oddisee
    06. Bahamadia & !llmind
    07. 9th Wonder
    08. Nottz
    09. Symbolic 1
    10. Bilal & Nottz
    11. Don Cannon
    12. Focus
    13. Stic.Man Of Dead Prez Interlude
    14. !llmind & Phonte aka Leroy Vanderbuilt
    15. Marco Polo
    16. Jati Shou Out
    17. Don Cannon
    18. Nottz
    19. !llmind
    20. Black Thought & Hezekiah

    DOWNLOAD: mediafire