Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Organic Beat Cooperative rises from the ashes!

Stef arrived at the farm on Sunday night, and we've had some excellent jams and recording sessions since. Some of these were just me and Stef, others involved Joel, who was playing his tabla as well as his hurdy-gurdy.

Listen Here

the nearby church of St. Thomas a Becket
the nearby church of St. Thomas à Becket, Pulham

An idea we had six or seven years ago came back to life during the week. We'd been listening to a lot of hiphop back at the end of the last century, and had thought about attempting to make beats entirely with unprocessed recordings of acoustic instruments. The opportunity then arose to give this a go when ran a beat-making competition (they supplied acappellas). We left this rather late, and our entry involved me travelling up to Glastonbury early one morning, then spending the rest of the day in someone's front room putting together a saz/mandolin/acoustic bass/percussion/concertina beat for Roots Manuva's "Juggle T'ings Proper" on a TASCAM 4track cassette machine - the deadline was the next day, and we just about got our MP3 in. We entered as "The Organic Beat Cooperative". The finished product was OK, but poor sound quality and the rushed nature of the project meant that it could have been a lot better. We've since meant to do more, but haven't seemed to find the time.

So, with a Sony ECM microphone and my old IBM Thinkpad, we managed to make up some very unusual sounding, trancey acoustic beats. We'd start by recording a percussion jam, then listen back and find some appropriate loops, pick one, jam over it with strings, listen back to that, pick out loops, and so on. I'll be uploading some to soon. The Organic Beat Cooperative lives on! Next time I will be armed with a CD of hiphop acappellas, and we'll hopefully put together a demo EP with some of our favourite MC's flowing over our sounds.

Listen Here

The funny thing was, we were right in the middle of an organic farm, a very easy stonesthrow from the polytunnels I've been gardening in the last three weeks. And that very morning, I'd been planting out organic beetroots (for the first time in my life).


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