Soft Focus by Vanilla

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Beat tapes are something im getting increasingly distracted by, not least because of the groove they are offering but because its good to hear influences on people making the beats.

Recently the ‘Soft Focus’ tape by Vanilla has been ever present. Again, its a bewilderment that a 27 track album can be offered up for free or on a name your price basis, especially when the beats have this much soul.

Its clear to hear the influences on UK producer Vanilla and rather point to that I’d like to point at this release that keeps the head bouncing and the inner groove going from start to finish.

Cut up beats alongside warm vocals and grooves conjure up a fantastic brew. Bag it and try to listen from start to finish without rewinding to play, at least, more than one track twice. No chance!

A personal favorite for starters is ‘A Chance’

Inspiring stuff. Grab it.

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Freddie Joachim – The Joachim Remixes Vol. 1-4

Here at the Robot Bodypop our ethos has been the focus on future beats leaning more towards the more electronic side of music however we also feel anyone doing anything new with existing music also deserves mentions.
As big Hip-Hop fans we’re loving the work beatsmith Freddie Joachim has produced over the last few years with his fresh and ,dare we say it, more soulful take on some of some of hip-hops finest tracks. To take a look at how this guy works, check him out in his studio

Born in the Philippines, and raised in San Diego, CA, Freddie is a keen listener and collector of hip hop, jazz, and soul music. Starting as most of us do with DJing in 1996 he slowly progressed into recording and production, and musicianship. It’s these remixes that have caught our recent attention despite being available for some time. Tracks in there from Common, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Slum Village, Mothod Man & Redman and even the dark vibes from Mobb Deep is reworked into soulful brilliance

Not too sure how long these remixes will remain available as they are put out there by the man himself here. Full tracklisting below and a direct link to all the tracks can be found hosted here. Get involved.

VOL. 1 (2005)
01. Mos Def – Travellin Man (Freddie Joachim Remix)
02. Mobb Deep – Quiet Storm (Freddie Joachim Remix)
03. Talib Kweli – Get By (Freddie Joachim Remix
04. Common – The Corner (Freddie Joachim Remix)
05. Erykah Badu – On & On (Freddie Joachim Remix)
06. Mos Def – Work It Out (Freddie Joachim Remix)
07. Scarface – Smile Ft 2pac (Freddie Joachim Remix)
08. Reflection Eternal – Good Mourning (Freddie Joachim Remix)
09. Common – The Light (Freddie Joachim Remix)
10. Homeliss Derilex – Cash Money (Freddie Joachim Remix)

VOL. 2 (2006)

01. Mos Def – Mathematics (Freddie Joachim Remix)
02. Reflection Eternal – Move Somethin (Freddie Joachim Remix)
03. Cypher Optics – Stimutax (Freddie Joachim Remix)
04. Method Man & Redman – How High (Freddie Joachim Remix)
05. Beatjunkies – Sick Days Ft LMNO (Freddie Joachim Remix)
06. Little Brother – The Way You Do It (Freddie Joachim Remix)
07. Mos Def – Ms Fat Booty (Freddie Joachim Remix)

VOL. 3 (2007)
01. Common – Resurrection (Joachim Remix)
02. Common – The Light (Freddie Joachim Remix)
03. Freddie Joachim – Brown Crayon
04. Freddie Joachim – The Generations
05. Jill Scott – Love Rain Ft Mos Def (Head Nod Joachim Remix)
06. Nas – If I Ruled The World (Freddie Joachim Remix)
07. Nice & Smooth – Blazing Hot (Freddie Joachim Remix)
08. Talib Kweli – Get By (Joachim Remix)
09. Talib Kweli – Rock On (Joachim Remix)

VOL. 4 (2008)
01. Freddie Joachim – Marie Ft Choice37 (Remix)
02. Common – I Used To Love Her (Freddie Joachim Remix)
03. Common – The Light Ft Erykah Badu (Freddie Joachim Remix)
04. Freddie Joachim – Matter Of Time Ft Surreal (Remix)
05. Himuki – Hold On Ft Sene (Freddie Joachim Remix V.2)
06. Slum Village – EZ Up (Freddie Joachim Remix)
07. Slum Village – Get Dis Money (Freddie Joachim Remix)
08. The Office – Dunder Mifflin Infinity (Freddie Joachim Remix)
09. Freddie Joachim – Love Is Ft Profile & Latanya Lockett (Remix)
10. Son Of Ran – As Long As There’s You (Freddie Joachim Remix)
11. Stevie Wonder – Uptight (Freddie Joachim Remix)
12. Freddie Joachim – Color Blue
13. Freddie Joachim – Summer Breeze

www.freddiejoachim.com

Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to the Pharcyde

Thanks to Amerigo Gazaway of Gummy Soul, this free album sees possibly my two favourite rap crews from the East and West Coasts, A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde, join forces for this 14-track project. Mixing and matching vocals and instrumentals from both camps, this makes for ‘gems that never were’ like Pharcyde’s ‘Runnin’ set to the rhythm of Tribe’s ‘Electric Relaxation’. Incredible. Stream, download and embark on the Quest to The Pharcyde.

Download the full album here at Bandcamp with an instrumental release there too.

MC DRS – Count To Ten ft. Enei

I first met DRS skateboarding in Manchester. Albert Square was a plaza for wheeled talent and Del used to drop by with Matt Harfield. This was back in the 90’s and I still remember being shocked that this friendly and humble guy was also the voice of LTJ Bukems Progression Sessions alongside Conrad. Fast forward a decade and more and DRS has firmly rooted himself within Manchester’s history. Del is a musician, producer, MC & illustrator and his new long player ‘I don’t usually like MC’s but…’ is about to drop and from a punters point of view it’s one of the most anticipated releases of the year. As well as his hard work with Broke ‘N’ English and the Estate Recordings camp, DRS has managed to put together an album which both himself and his peers are incredibly proud of. The debut single ‘Count To Ten’ ft. Enei is making serious waves most notably since Kasra featured it on his Fabric Live release.

A testament to the albums quality is it’s release on Marcus Intalex’s Soul:R label. ‘Count To Ten’ with ‘Holding On’ featuring Jehst, Lenzman and Riya on the flip is out to buy on 23rd July at any retailer worth its salt.

DRS talks about the forthcoming single:

A. Count to Ten
“This is the second of a trilogy of tunes me Alex (Enei) and Kasra have put
together. Its a play on the count to ten technique used to hold down a bad
temper, which not a lot of people know I do have. I manage to tame it most of the
time but people who are close to me have seen its very ugly face! This tunes
about how I feel before I lose control!! I am not glamourising this in anyway, but
a heavyweight tune came out of telling the tale. Its the part of my character I’m
most ashamed of. If my music is anything its honest.”

AA. Holding On

“This is the first of the two Lenzman collabs. Another sumer roller, driven by a
hip hop piano. It reminded of some old UK hip hop sample, thats what gave me
the idea to get my mate Jehst on this riddim (making his dnb debut). I put my
verse down first, an insight into the actual logistic of life on the road and the
bullshit that comes with it. Jehst followed suit. and desecrated the tune. While
he was recording his verse I came up with the hook. I put it down and we sent it
to Lenzman. He suggested getting Riya to sing along with my hook! oof! that was
the icing on the cake. Bleak,but at the same time feel good. some how??

Bag the single and prepare for the LP and in the meantime you can roll through Del’s influences via the Youtube playlist below. Hardly surprising that its full of warm harmonies and pinnacle tracks.

Clearly a man who understands his music and is right on the cutting edge of whats new, DRS is making himself a ridiculously hard act to follow. Inspirational and aspiring are two words that spring to mind. People have tried to tell me that Manchester is stuck in the past & trying to hold onto the music that made the City famous. It’s people like DRS that give us ammunition in countering those ridiculous arguments.

Skittles – Dot2Dot

Following on from Broke’N’English’s recent Umbro bursary, their versatile imprint Estate Recordings is back in business. Luckily for you, us and any other fan of upfront music, their first release is Mancunian wordsmith Skittles newest cut. Out on the 7th November, Dot2Dot is already on Radio 1 rotation and gaining airplay from Mary Anne Hobbs amongst others. Put simply, its a banger and with the release featuring remixes from Zed Bias, Dub Phizix and Joe Kalius its as fresh as you can get. Beats and lyrics come as good as it gets. Essential listening.

One Guy Called Skittles