Tag Archives: J Dilla

House Shoes – From Detroit to LA

Having just about recovered from finally getting to see Dabrye live with all-star support from Ras G, Kutmah and Flying Lotus, I am back to fiending over new music (and occasionally writing about it). House Shoes debut LP, Let It Go, is due out June 19th and anyone else who made it down to London for Dabrye enjoyed one of the best sets I’ve ever seen, with three cuts off the album played very loud. Finally Shoes’ serious talent is getting pressed up, so go listen to him speak on his musical motivations below, courtesy of ABO181 and LouisDen.

Shoes talks about the impossibly confusing (for an outsider, at least) phenomenon of Detroit’s disregard for the enormously talented local hip hop scene. When I saw Phat Kat, eLZhi and DJ Dez play back in 2010, they mentioned the same thing. Well, should anyone need convincing of the genius of Detroit native J Dilla, House Shoes reconstructs the main riff to Nothing Like This. I have to admit, I had a bit of a moment when I first heard it.

In anticipation of his upcoming release, House Shoes put out two mixes of his own work. Entitled The Makings, you can find Part 1 and Part 2 on High-Rise.


House Shoes – The Makings Pt 1

New music from one of Detroit’s finest. The Makings is a two part selection of House Shoes-produced records, released via The Smoking Section to promote Let It Go, his debut album due out June 19th. It features vocal talent in the form of Danny Brown, Proof, MED, Roc Marciano and more, and will put soundly to sleep any doubts you may have had over Shoes’ ability to produce heavy records. Listen and download below, and stay tuned to High-Rise for part 2.

High-Rise first really became aware of House Shoes’ production when he dropped Free Your Funk, a mix he put together to anticipate the Dilla Tribute edition of the eponymous French club night. Although House Shoes was a household name already, this mix was a bit of an eye opener. One track in particular stood out, wrongly reported as a Dilla joint in places but featuring the man himself on vocals. Check it out below.


Benji B on J Dilla

Bling47.com relaunched earlier this year, opening its doors on February 1st to celebrate the life of one of the world’s greatest musical pioneers, J Dilla.  Since then, Waajeed and the Bling47 family have put out a huge amount of quality material, from previously unreleased Dilla beats to interviews with friends and collaborators. Earlier this week, they posted a second interview with Benji B, a man dedicated to the cause of good music and pretty much the most valuable thing on UK radio at the moment (with the possible exception of Mr Peterson). Check out the videos below to see him talk about two classic Dilla productions and the samples that inspired them.

If you harbour any doubts as to Benji B’s Dilla credentials, the rarities mix he compiled with Ge-ology will put them to rest. Check the 2011 High-Rise Dilla Birthday Special for a link. His first show in April on Radio 1 promises to be extra special, with Space Dimension Controller in the studio for a Science Fiction special. Get on Facebook to send him your track recommendations.

BeatPete Mixtapes

BeatPete just added unlimited downloads to his pile of mixtapes on SoundCloud. His Dope On Plastic mix has been a regular on the stereo at studio High-Rise, featuring the likes of Knxwledge, Kankick, Union, J Dilla and Suff Daddy. Listen below or click on the image for more tapes. Word on the street (Facebook) is volume two is imminent, so stay tuned for the latest.

BeatPete makes music with the Hit Ya Wit That collective out of Berlin, and you can find more from him here and here.

Headnod & Ruff Snippits

Two decks good, three decks better. Headnod and Ruff Snippits have put together just over an hours worth of hip hop, funk and soul, all refracted through the mystical prism of triple turntables. This is strictly unplanned, all the way live, unrehearsed, all vinyl business that features the likes of Dilla, Danny Breaks and MF Doom with a little Nate Dogg thrown in for good measure. The mixing style is enthusiastic (it was recorded in a bar), so the whole thing is laced cuts, sample drops and acapellas. Stream or download the mix below.

You can find Headnod over on his SoundCloud and hear more music from Ruff Snippits on his Myspace page. They also play regularly at various venues across Brighton – Ruff Snippits has a twice monthly set at the 3&10, Headnod holds down the Gladstone every Thursday, and both can be found playing records for The Doctor’s Orders at Above Audio on Wednesdays. All events are free entry and details can be found in the Brighton Source listings each month.

Push | Move

Having passed out whilst writing this post last night, yesterdays Sunday beats have become the soundtrack to your Monday lunchtime. It might be late, but at least now you can terrorise fellow employees by turning these beats up to the red and waiting for them to take that first tentative bite of sausage roll before hitting play. This weekend saw The Doctor’s Orders Brighton host their annual J Dilla tribute event to a capacity crowd at Jam. Once again, The Doctor’s came through with the winning combination of a wide selection of talent, a party atmosphere and some great performances – Ruff Snippits deserves a special shout for his one tune a minute Dilla samples set. Given the occasion, it would seem fitting to post up a couple of the heaviest hitters from the night (any excuse really), so first up we have Push from M.E.D’s 2005 album, Push Comes to Shove. One of the main reasons I enjoy Dilla tribute nights is to hear these tunes played very loud through a substantial sound system. Do what you can with the 2 watt jobs on your laptop.

And to keep things moving in a similarly rowdy fashion, we have Move by Oh No. Here, Dilla samples Mike Hankinson’s take on the Bach classic, Fugue in D Minor, to spectacular effect. One of the ultimate hip hop screwface beats.

There were a bunch of flyers for the next Doctor’s Orders event floating around Jam on the night. They had been keeping quiet about this one…

If J-Live’s last Brighton appearance is anything to go by then this gig should be pretty spectacular. The gig was delayed by a crucial football match and when he came on at Komedia, it was to no more than 40 to 50 people huddled around the stage. Not to be detered, J-Live proceeded to produce one of the best live performances I have ever seen, juggling and MCing simultaneously. Click here for more details and to buy tickets, and follow The Doctor’s Orders on Twitter for the latest. And just in case anyone has forgotten how long J-Live has been in the business of producing classic hip hop music – DJ Spinna’s ’96 Dome Cracker remix of Braggin’ Writes.

J Dilla Birthday Special

Since J Dilla’s tragic death in 2006, February 7th has regularly seen a global outpouring of mixes, live performances, club nights, radio shows, and artwork dedicated to the great hip hop producer and his music on his birthday. This year is no exception, with a whole host of interesting bits and pieces popping up across the internet. High-Rise is here to bring you a selection of the finest new Dilla tributes along with a classic mix from Benji B & Ge-ology. To kicks things off, the image below is the winning entry into So Far To Go, an art contest run by the J Dilla Foundation, and the work of the talented Joe Buck. High-Rise regulars might recognise his work from the cover art of Brooklyn Flower by Damu the Fudgemunk; check that out here if you haven’t already, and go to Joe Buck’s website for more of his work.

Next up is J Dilla: Still Shining, a documentary produced back in 2006 and released today to commemorate the life and work of James Yancey following his tragic and untimely death. There is some fantastic archive footage of Dilla DJing at shows and working in the lab along with testimonies from hip hop titans including Pete Rock, Common and Q-Tip. Video credits go to B.Kyle, check out his website for more details on the project.

Still Shining also happens to be one of my favourite Dilla beats…

Benji B and Ge-ology’s J Dilla Rarities mix is a compendium of some of the finest unreleased Continue reading

Slum Village Soundcheck

Detroit studio Soul As Is Music recently posted some great rare footage of Slum Village soundchecking before a gig. Noises made on the internet suggest that it was shot in and around the Key Club in LA during the 2000 GoodVibe Tour that featured support from Bahamadia and the Cali Agents. The video includes Dilla chatting with Amp Fiddler, setting up and testing the sound system with some beam-rattling heavyweight beats at the venue, and Slum cruising in the truck to go shop for cables. It makes me wonder if there is any more quality footage like this floating around, fingers crossed new stuff will surface soon. You can find more videos from Soul As Is Music over on their Youtube Channel and details of the studio can be found on their website.

Soporific State

This weekend called for an early hours house & techno resurrection that may or may not have been part of a Bushmills fuelled all nighter. The offices of High-Rise are nursing broken bodies so a Sunday quadruple threat is in order.

After a disappointing performance from Aphex Twin at Bestival 2008 we retired, crestfallen, to the tents only to hear Pacific State floating across the campsite. I will never forgive myself for missing them.

This record sounds incredibly raw to me, like someone taking pleasure in the fact that the synthesiser doesn’t really resemble any instrument that has come before. LFO are playing both Bloc and Bestival this year.

Fans of A Tribe Called Quest might recognise this Freddie Hubbard sample from The Love. For me, this is one of those occasions where the jury is out on who flipped it better; Pepe Bradock (aka Trankilou) or J Dilla.

To finish, some sleazy French sax from Laurent Garnier. He is also making an appearance at Bloc with L.B.S. (a ‘four hour free wheelin’ rave jam’) which should be pretty epic, especially if their set features a similar live solo to honour the passing of the late great Gerry Rafferty. I’m going to bed.

The Doctor’s Orders Brighton

Having introduced High-Rise regulars to the joys of Donky Pitch, it seems only fair that e-props are duly bestowed upon the good folks at The Doctor’s Orders for keeping Brighton fed with a steady stream of quality Hip Hop, Funk and Soul. Originally hailing from London, where Spin Doctor and friends have managed to create what many consider to be the Capital’s finest hip hop night, The Doctor’s Orders expanded down to the South Coast in November 2009 and have offered a monthly dose of live acts and DJ sets ever since.

The Doctor’s Orders Brighton, currently based in the recently refurbished Jam club, have played host to a wide range of artists including Phat Kat, Elzhi, Ty,  Mr Thing, Shortee Blitz, Harry Love, DJ Format, DJ Vadim and Jazzie B (OBE) of Soul II Soul. Founder DJ Spin Doctor and Brighton resident Rusty Ryan handle the regular warm up slots, weekly DJ sets and summer parties down on the Brighton seafront. Although The Doctor’s are best known for hip hop music, you can expect funk, soul and jazz to make their way into the mix, be it via the odd sample drop or an entire rare groove set. Turn up to a Doctor’s Orders night and you will usually find a friendly, close to capacity crowd of revellers drawn to this consistently dope selection. Personal favourites of 2010 would have to be the Phat Kat, Elzhi and DJ Dez show (read more on that here) and the famously popular J Dilla tribute night held in February each year.

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