How I Got Into This Music
I was lucky enough to go the Brazil In Time concert in 2008. It was an education: an almost indescribable musical journey through the land of Brazilian beats, drums, scratches, cuts and keys. It’s still hard to explain how great the experience was.
Went on research mode to find more stuff by these guys and I found this album from their previous project: KeepInTime. This project is all about the beats: combining DJ’s with live drums played by grand old men like Roy Porter and Earl Palmer. The album is a selection of those great live performances.
Tracks that got my attention:
Keep In Time Theme – KeepInTime with Charlie Dark
Just love the opening beats and smaples. When the song gets to work, the weird keyboard loops (I’m totally guessing here) just gets me all hyped. This of course can lead to getting a bit annoyed by the weirdness, but those smart guys mix it up just perfectly to create a nice but fragile balance between hyped/buzzing and annoying.
Infinity Of Rhythm Mix – KeepInTime with Ammoncontact
Heheh, great title for a great song. Love the mix of the laid-back keys and the sampled bluesy vocals. The biggest treat for me is the use of the I’ve Got The Rhythm, You Got The Rhythm bit from A Tribe Called Quest’s Rhythm (Devoted To The Art Of Moving Butts). The change-up halfway the song took me by surprise, I like the rap and keyboard play/sample followed by a very mellow bit on keyboards. Closing part of the track’s also a tip of the hat to ATCQ. Great stuff!
Bring Madlib Up – KeepInTime with DJ Shadow
Still gotta spend some time listening to DJ Shadow’s impressive body of work, different collaborations and styles. For now, this track will do and it really doesn’t disappoint. I’ve grabbed people by the neck to let them hear this song; even complete strangers.. It’s so unbelievably energetic! It’s so friggin’ hard to describe, sigh..
Here we go: the intro? I still don’t know how they produced that sound, but it incredibly effective. Then, the beat jumps/storms in, with a great scratch sample. They use Chic’s classic Good Times violins in a refreshing way, still reminding you of its hip-hop legacy. After the break in the middle they take it to the next level with a Prodigy industrial type of guitar synth sample and some very, very sick and tight scratching.
That was Fresh!
A Peek In Time – KeepInTime with Cut Chemist
Shit.. Cut Chemist sets up the opening sample, making me expect some frantic stuff coming my way. Then the same sample is slowed down and made me think the song would slow down a bit. The catch? The sample’s slowed down but the track itself continues at another and different frantic tempo.
Uhm.. Did I really try to describe this track? Uhm.. Why?
Just get your ass in gear and go find the damn song. I’ve used a part of it as a musical background for a street scene I filmed of Saigon traffic.
A perfect fit! Great Brazilian vibe with the acoustic guitar and the scratched vocals.
Kings On The Mix – KeepInTime with King Britt
Another musical legend doing his stuff. The intro always puts me off and most of the time I skip this track. It’s a bit heavy on the trance vibe, not really my cup of tea.
Paulista Remix – KeepInTime with Eric Coleman
The intro is beautiful, the slow build-up is very well done. Nice mix of horns and flute, but it always triggers memories of some other latin style song I seem to have stored in that rotted grey hard disk in my head (probably running on Windows 3.11.. there, I made a geek reference, satisfied?)
A Remix In 3 Parts – KeepInTime with OhNo
Tough call. Three parts, each separate part don’t impress me that much and the some of the parts don’t add up to anything better. The best bit’s halfway the track, the retro synths with the vocoder vocals are perfectly moody. It’s all very nice and crafty, full of brilliant moments and ideas, but.. Doesn’t work for me.
Talking Drums Whispering Vinyl – KeepInTime with Quantic Soul Orchestra
Read some backmatter on the KeepInTime project and …
Wished I could’ve seen this track being performed live.
Roy’s Theme – KeepInTime with DJ Shadow
Great vocal samples, classic beats and horns.
Dirty Fingered – KeepInTime with J.Rocc
This mix of sounds and samples should be listened with your eyes closed and with a headphone on. Not everything is great, but after listening a few times, you’ll be amazed by how well sounds are layered and styles are mixed on this track. The different styles keep taking you in all different directions and I love the break with the simple guitar and breakbeats.
Song For Sophia / You Can Know Her – KeepInTime with Nobody and Doi Todd
Mixed feelings with this track. That intro is so un-fucking-believable! The weirdness keeps coming at you but it also feels like a safety blanket, warm and safe and ready to choke you. Like I said, mixed feelings.
From SP On My 303 – KeepInTime with DJ Nuts
Wow. I wanted to skip this track for this review, went to browse the internet for some backmatter while this one kept playing on. And while
watching pictures of nude.. reading an interesting article on rhubarbs, I was suddenly pulled back into this song. Still hate the intro and the opening theme and scratching. Then, halfway they inject some cartoon sounds and the setup changes: a great cool piano, a lonely trombone/saxophone and sweet 70s female backing vocals in the foreground. And then of course, both themes are combined to close off the whole thing. What the hell?!?
All Lights On Stage That Night – KeepInTime with Daedelus
My ears just start weeping when I hear this song. Sometimes it’s because of the overwhelming joy the track brings. Sometimes it’s because of the overwhelming cacophony that makes me want to crawl into a corner and stab little kittens. What, too much information? Oh. Okay.. Where was I?
The operative word here is: overwhelming. I’ve never ever heard something like this: the different beats and tempos, the weird string and horn samples and arrangements, it’s just too much!
I live for this sort of moments: hearing something new, something you haven’t experienced before, something weird, different, unsettling. The weird parts are really weird, the great parts are pure bliss. But even the mediocre or crap bits are still interesting. It’s all about the experiment, making me want to take a peak into these artists’ heads to get a better idea of what they were thinking when creating this music. That’s the beauty of this album and the KeepInTime project!