11 posts categorized "BeatTips Diggers Goldmine"

August 22, 2012

BeatTips MusicStudy: Bobby Boyd Congress - "Dig Deep In Your Soul"

Early Funk From Obscure, Little-Known Band

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

One of the things that makes digging for "new" music so exhilarating and rewarding is the fact that you never know exactly what you're going to discover. Even if you're searching within a specific genre of music, the sheer number of recordings that may exist is staggering. And when it comes to funk music—particularly early funk, ca. 1965-1974—, the recorded output of music runs deep. A fact that's further made even more impressive when you consider the number obscure and lesser-known early funk bands who made only a few recordings during that time.

Bobby Boyd Congress certainly fits the category of "obscure" and "lesser-known" funk bands. To my knowledge, the only recording of the band is a 1970 self-titled album that they recorded in France. (You ever notice how France has always maintained a deep reference for quality American music, especially musics in the black American music tradition?) Still, I'm convinced that Bobby Boyd Congress, a quintessential New York funk band, made more recordings in or around New York City at the same time. Therefore, I believe (I gotta believe!) that somebody somewhere has something else of this superb funk outfit. And as long as I'm "diggin'," I won't give up trying to find it.

Finally, I'm compelled to mention that several months ago, a music professor (someone whom I hold in great regard) asked me about the relationship between the drum patterns of modern beatmaking and that of those of the early funk music typified here by Bobby Boyd Congress. Specifically, he believed that the relationship was less apparent in beatmaking in the early 1990s. I strongly disagreed. As I pointed out to him (and in my book, The BeatTips Manual, I show the link in greater historical detail), it was precisely the drum patterns of funk songs like Bobby Boyd Congress's "Dig Deep In Your Soul" that pioneering beatmakers like DJ Premier and Pete Rock drew their inspiration from.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Bobby Boyd Congress - "Dig Deep In Your Soul"

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted name in beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

October 11, 2011

BeatTips MusicStudy: Bobby Boyd Congress - "Dig Deep In Your Soul"

Early Funk From Obscure, Little-Known Band

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

One of the things that makes digging for "new" music so exhilarating and rewarding is the fact that you never know exactly what you're going to discover. Even if you're searching within a specific genre of music, the sheer number of recordings that may exist is staggering. And when it comes to funk music—particularly early funk, ca. 1965-1974—, the recorded output of music runs deep. A fact that's further made even more impressive when you consider the number obscure and lesser-known early funk bands who made only a few recordings during that time.

Bobby Boyd Congress certainly fits the category of "obscure" and "lesser-known" funk bands. To my knowledge, the only recording of the band is a 1970 self-titled album that they recorded in France. (You ever notice how France has always maintained a deep reference for quality American music, especially musics in the black American music tradition?) Still, I'm convinced that Bobby Boyd Congress, a quintessential New York funk band, made more recordings in or around New York City at the same time. Therefore, I believe (I gotta believe!) that somebody somewhere has something else of this superb funk outfit. And as long as I'm "diggin'," I won't give up trying to find it.

Finally, I'm compelled to mention that several months ago, a music professor (someone whom I hold in great regard) asked me about the relationship between the drum patterns of modern beatmaking and that of those of the early funk music typified here by Bobby Boyd Congress. Specifically, he believed that the relationship was less apparent in beatmaking in the early 1990s. I strongly disagreed. As I pointed out to him (and in my book, The BeatTips Manual, I show the link in greater historical detail), it was precisely the drum patterns of funk songs like Bobby Boyd Congress's "Dig Deep In Your Soul" that pioneering beatmakers like DJ Premier and Pete Rock drew their inspiration from.

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Bobby Boyd Congress - "Dig Deep In Your Soul"

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

February 03, 2011

BeatTips MusicStudy: James Brown & The JBs - "I Don't Want Nobody"

Rolling, Rumbling, Muddy Bass; Brassy Brass; Home Cooked Drums; and of Course, the Vocal Styles of Soul Brother #1

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

*In the discussion of music, numerous names are tossed around. Sure, their are many recording artists who are worthy of some level of research. But then there are those names that are worthy of intense MusicStudy. These are the Marquee Names...*

In 1969, America was trampling fast into a new era. Just one year after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy; and one year after the 1968 Summer Olympics "Black Power Salute" of black American track stars, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. 1969: the social turbulence of the 1960s was coming to a close.

Such broad-based social turbulence triggered a new awakening in the African American (Black) music tradition, when in 1965, James Brown introduced a new form of soul music he dubbed "funk." By 1969, James Brown had perfected his funk sound, which included tightly wound rhythms, percussive and "brassy" horn arrangements, and unmistakable grooves that rocked steady on the down beat. And seemingly always key to James Brown's funk sound was his straight-forward social commentary.

The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

James Brown & The JBs get down with "I Don't Want Nobody."

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

February 01, 2011

BeatTips MusicStudy: The Clash - "Armagideon Time"

Rhythm and Drum Lessons, via The Clash

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

The Clash. What an incredible group. An amalgamation of punk, ska, and reggae, their music was edgy and to the point, yet smooth and well thought out. Here in this video, The Clash are past their harder punk days. With "Armagideon Time," see The Clash yielding a sound that features a much more polished—yet still aggressive—rhythm. This is one song that helped me a great deal with programming drum frameworks.

The music and video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

The Clash - "Armagideon Time" (live 1979)

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

November 01, 2010

BeatTips MusicStudy: Gamble & Huff

Music Producers Worthy of Serious Study

By AMIR SAID (SA'ID)

Kenneth Gamble & Leon HuffSoul music historians can say what they will about the Motown Sound. Many argue that it is the most recognizable sound ever recorded by any single record label. That’s cool. But the “Philly Sound,” the sound relentlessly ushered forward by the famed production duo, Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, is, in my opinion, the meanest, most soulfully consistent sound ever recorded. Pure inner city soul music that just cooked! Their sound was one of the most disciplined, gimmick-free, distinctive sounds that I’ve ever heard.

In 1971, Gamble & Huff started Philadelphia International Records. Throughout the balance of the 1970s, the pair worked jointly on songwriting and production for many of the biggest soul recording artists of the era. In their prime, you could stick any artist with Gamble & Huff, and it was a guarantee that that artist would improve 100% fold! When they produced for an artist, they didn’t just rent out their sound, like many of today’s prominent hip hop/rap production teams. On the contrary, Gamble & Huff lent their sound to an artist, and asked that artist to simply enhance it.

The team put together by Gamble & Huff also included arrangers Thom Bell (who grew up with Gamble in the same neighborhood) and Bobby Martin. And like Motown’s Funk Brothers, Philadelphia International Records’ house band, MFSB, (a rough-city group made up of Philly veteran studio session and road players), kept Gamble & Huff’s signature sound steady and ready with smooth time, velvet harmonies, and pulsating rhythm.

Whether it was love slow jams, disco, or raw soul, the duo injected their sound, which was an infusion of different eras of soul music (notably doo woop and 60s R&B). Gamble & Huff were also champions of humanitarianism. Much of their songwriting contained unflinching social commentary. In fact, Gamble once stated: “We wanted to take social themes and translate them to commercial recordings.”

For educational purposes...

The O'Jays "Who Am I," produced by Gamble & Huff

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

October 10, 2010

BeatTips Editor's Re-Up: John Klemmer and Musical Border Towns

Personification of Jazz Fusion; A Lesson in Musical Border-Blending

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

John Klemmer's "Free Soul" was one of the very first records I ever tracked down and bought at a record convention. I think I first heard the song when I was 19. There used to be a jazz program that aired on WNYC, here in New York. I remember desperately calling several radio stations, trying to get the name of the artist; all I heard was the name of the song, "Free Soul." After finally receiving the name—John Klemmer, I went about trying to find (dig for) any and everything that hand John Klemmer's name on it.

With such a powerful sax-based rhythm, "Free Soul," a stellar blues-soul-jazz demonstration of what is commonly known as jazz fusion or free jazz, taught me a great deal. "Free Soul" was one of the first songs to really convey to me the possibilities of merging styles and contexts. And because hip hop/rap music is a sound that can truly convert any other sound into it's own form, I've found that it's very helpful to really study the broad strokes and subtle nuances of those other music forms that inspire me.

For educational purposes...

John Klemmer - "Free Soul"

John Klemmer - "Cry"

Nancy Wilson - "Sunshine;" featuring John Klemmer

---
The BeatTips Manual by Sa'id.
"The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education."

September 15, 2010

BeatTips MusicStudy And Digger's Goldmine: The Marvelletes - "You're The One For Me Bobby"

Up And Down, All-Around Rhythm And Warm Sound

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

For educational purposes...

The Marvelettes – “You're the one for me Bobby”


September 08, 2010

BeatTips MusicStudy And Diggers Goldmine: MFSB - "Sunnin' and Funnin'"

Silky Smooth Mid-Tempo Soul; Delicate Arrangement with Subtle Force

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

For educational purposes

MFSB – “Sunnin' and Funnin'”


August 31, 2010

BeatTips MusicStudy: Jan Akkerman – “Streetwalker”

Calm Groove Sheds Volumes Of Information About Engaging Rhythms

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

For educational purposes...

Jan Akkerman - "Streetwalker"

August 02, 2010

BeatTips MusicStudy: James Brown - "Papa Don't Take No Mess" And "My Thang"

Once We Were Warriors

By Amir Said (Sa'id)

There's this movie, Once Were Warriors, that tells the story of a small family in New Zealand, struggling to make it in a world that is quite unfamiliar to their tribal ancestors. In the movie, the main character—the matriarch of the family—comes to a bittersweet but redefining point: She realizes that all of her immediate family's woes have occurred because of their disconnect to their heritage and tradition.

Watching the following performance of James Brown on Soul Train, gives me such a bittersweet feeling, because it speaks to a time where there was no disconnect to heritage and tradition...

For educational purposes...

James Brown - "Papa Don't Take No Mess"

James Brown - "My Thang"

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