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Archive for the ‘-Instrumental’ Category

A few weeks ago I sat at a coffee shop and listened to this instrumental 20 times in a row until it became a part of the scenery. And here I am — at the same coffee shop — listening to it again. No coffee this time. Just Cream.

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An incredible rendition of Ski’s “Dead Presidents” beat from Jay-Z’s legendary first album, Reasonable DoubtThink Twice & David Ryshpan injected some real emotion into their version, taking it to a pretty somber and reflective place. It’s hard to add to such a classic beat like this without taking away essential elements, but they did just that, and created something novel.

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The first 55 seconds could exist as its own song and be applauded. But Fat Jon, whose vibe at times resembles famous Far East producers, evidently saw it as a dope intro to a doper melody. A Sunday vibe for sure.

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I wish more great producers released random instrumental tangents.

This beat takes you on a trip – Just Blaze turns “Human Nature” into a galvanizing, electronic beast. You can siphon power from it. It leaves you exhausted by the end, lusting for more. Luckily, you can have it; just press play again.

P.S.: Interview coming soon?

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Bugseed is a dope Japanese producer whose production style lies somewhere in between Nujabes and Pete Rock. Some of the songs on Bohemian Beatnik are sentimental, others reflective, more jazzy, and all head-nod worthy. I often find myself creating fictional story-lines as I listen to instrumental albums, like this one, that stimulate some emotion. Although what comes to mind may tell plenty about the listener, it seems likely the specific thoughts prompted say just as much, and maybe more, about the particular sound of each track (e.g. what the producer was trying to convey and/or why they gave the track its name). It would be interesting to conduct an experiment where people listen to the same instrumental album and describe the mental scenes that form along with each song. I have decided to be the study’s first participant.

I am walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans after something great just happened to me (maybe killing an interview?). I have developed the false identity of an envied and respected celebrity. My thoughts switch from jolliness and self-appreciation for my recent success and excitement for my optimistic future.

I am dehydrated and feeling a faint bit dizzy in a foreign land, but a reoccurring thought gives me something to look forward to.

A tough decision is haunting me and completely taking over my thoughts. I continue to doubt the choice I am often convinced is the right one.

(At this point I have stopped reading the names of the tracks as they play (although I know some when I hear them), as they have likely affected my imagination).

A man has brought his drum set to a busy urban walkway, playing the same pattern over and over again. Some other street musicians have been listening for a while and have decided to add their own sound.

A wealthy white couple has decided to throw a 1930’s-style jazz ball set in contemporary New York. Everyone is somehow dancing in synch.

It’s a slow day at the factory. One of the vital machines has broken. It appears all employees are stuck in a black hole of reflection and introspection. This is an important day for the oppressed factory workers.

I am witnessing a lot of Americanization in China as I walk down a main drag – in peoples’ dress especially.

A depressing realization has come over me. I need to re-think some things and reach out to the right people.

It’s a beautiful day on Martha’s Vineyard. My friends and I have nothing planned so we’ve decided to sit outside and share our new favorite jams. Some of us are realizing that our taste for certain sounds may be shifting. It is a positive experience for everyone.

Excited to be in Berlin, I venture out to explore the riverfront and meet interesting people. So far, the day is not a disappointment. Confidence and optimism are reaching a career-high.

I am nervously preparing for something important. I am doing whatever I can to get into my element but the fear of failure is overwhelming my ability to concentrate. I am in a cognitive battle with myself, one that feels hopeless.

I overcame the aforementioned battle.

A beautiful woman is dancing ballet down an avenue on a sunny day, unconcerned with who is watching. Everyone around seems to be in high spirits, reacting positively to this uncharacteristic behavior.

A jump back into reality. Distraction yields no imaginative thoughts.

What a dope song.

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I was having a beer the other night, catching up with old friends, and an unconfident DJ was controlling the tunes, only fielding requests. One friend’s suggestion: “Put on any People Under The Stairs song. It will automatically be good music with chill vibes.” Sadly, the request was denied as we were dealing with spotty WiFi and an unfamiliar iTunes but the statement stuck with me. I really couldn’t recall a PUTS track that failed to fit his description. This morning I was flipping through some instrumentals to find some good bedding and came across the “Down In LA” instrumental. My goodness was he right.

The instrumental:

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Can you name the legendary producer who sampled this 1975 love song?

Clue: There are two quick vocal samples. One between 0:20 and 0:30 and another between 1:35 and 1:45.

Hint: The beat that uses this sample is probably more beautiful than the original song.

The Answer

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This track was an integral piece of my instrumental thesis playlist last spring. Sometimes, though, its presence was counter-productive, as my mind would digress toward some existential thought completely unrelated to the financial situation of the Eurozone. Other times, though, it propelled me forward, motivating my fingers and stimulating my brain.

After Thoughts” is vigorously reflective yet staunchly inspirational. It will send you back in time to a moment warranting contemplation, subsequently forcing you into profound thought. I don’t think it is any coincidence that the song is titled, “After Thoughts.” Oddisee is a thoughtful guy and an artistic producer. This is how he describes The Beauty In All as an album:

“The Beauty In All is about the flaws & mistakes that give life its character and worth – how even ignorance can give light to knowledge. For me, not knowing how to do something & still trying is a process that helped my production style evolve. If everything we are is out in perfect tutorials, we might never deviate from the teacher. This record is dedicated to imperfection and the sense of pride & accomplishment we get from our struggles. Hopefully, you listen to this record, reflect on the ups & downs of life, and see the beauty in all.”

In “After Thoughts”, Oddisee employs the most conservative production of any track on the album. The rest of The Beauty In All is more off-beat and experimental, but given the narrative above, how can one be surprised. You can check out the rest of the project below:

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How to listen to Freddie Joachim/Leaves in 3 steps:
1. Sit, lie, or walk
2. Listen with quality headphones
3. See what happens

Freddie Joachim is back with his classic, nostalgic instrumental design. Man can you get lost in his sound. Crisp drum kicks keep you popping back awake as your mind takes a ride to who knows where or when. Each track will evoke some new recollection or thought chain.

If you haven’t listened to Midway yet, what are you doing?

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Louder.

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