Oni koji detaljnije šnjuraju po blogu, sigurno su primetili da su njegove stvari ovde prilično redovan feature.  Još jedan brilijantan izdanak  britanske elektronske scene, Mr. Beatnick se bavi ritmom in all it’s shades and colors. Plot je hip hop, downtempo, prošaran uticajima jazz-a i funka.

Prošle godine je izašao album “Loose Joints” (free download) od tridesetak pesama, mish mash-a objavljenog i do tada neobjavljenog materijala (sa vokalima Fatima-e i Amp Fiddler-a among others)  kao i pregršt remixa (Marvin Gaye, Phat Kat and Diamond D) – koji savršeno sumira deceniju njegovog muzičkog opusa.

Pored toga što pravi neverovatno dobru muziku, Mr. Beatnick je i neviđeni car!!!

U ovom intervjuu pričamo o muzici, njegovim uticajima i planovima, i još nekim stvarima “that make him tick”.

Hi Nick, first of all - thank you for this opportunity.

I just realized, while going through your discography, that I’ve been a fan of your work for quite some time.

Couple of years ago, my husband stumbled upon a certain remix of a song by Azymuth. We ended up listening to it, basically for the whole summer that year. So, as I said, while browsing through your discography, I saw that you did a remix of  a song by Azymuth, and I said to myself  - it has to be that song,  and I was right.  Linha Do Horizonte ... Brilliant song, such a good remix.

Azymuth, Linha Do Horizonte, Mr Beatnick remix

So tell me, how do you  pick the songs that you want to do a remix of?  Are those your personal favorites, or are they some random songs that you find interesting for some particular reason?

(by the way, there’s a link for this song on your version of this song on You Tube, but no credits... That’s an injustice, that’s what it is... )

Mr. Beatnick:

Hi Jovana! I’m really happy you guys enjoyed that remix, it’s actually the first thing I released on vinyl (I think? Or one of the very early ones at least). I was very happy to do it because there was a Peanut Butter Wolf remix on the flipside of that 7 inch, he’s a longtime hero of mine.

In terms of getting commissions for remixes, there isn’t really a typical scenario. With that one a friend at the time, Lewis Robinson, mentioned that Far Out were looking for remixers and I jumped at the chance, I’m a long time fan of Azymuth. I’d been collecting the Far Out remix series for a few years – the Mark Pritchard Azymuth remixes were always outstanding, particularly his dub of Pieces Of Ipanema. So yeah it was an honour to contribute to that series.

Nowadays if I really like something, sometimes I call up the artist and offer my remix services. In a couple of other examples recently, I’ve swopped one remix for another (an artist remixes you and you remix them), and I’ve also had people call up and ask me if I’d like to work on a project for them.

So there really isn’t a specific way, it just all happens organically, for want of a better phrase. Sometimes remixes are a pain to do or you’re not feeling the source material – in which case its probably best just to say no!  Thanks for the comment about the youtube version of the track, I’ve not come across that particular upload, I’ve never uploaded any of my work on there, so it makes me smile when other people put do so. It’s very flattering, even if they spell your name wrong.

I always wanted to ask someone this question, and this seems to be a perfect opportunity. What is a status of remix as a music form? Is it „brand new“ song, or should it strive to be a brand new song... or is it basically a new twist on an old song, way to make it more accessible for a new audience?

Mr. Beatnick:

It can be any, all of those. A dub mix in the Jamaican tradition – a “version excursion”, preserving the song but adding space and effects.  A totally new song forged from the parts of another. Or a different way of looking at the same musical ideas.

There isn’t really a set meaning for the word “remix” in my mind. Sometimes a remix is simply an edit or DJ tool, a way to make a track work better on the dance floor, improving the pace or arrangement of the track so that it works better for the dancers, building and flowing more naturally. It all depends on the song and what context you intend it to be heard in.

In general terms, your music can be regarded as hip hop, more specifically - instrumental hip hop. Now, it’s not clear that this is a proper name for it, but what I have in mind is a particular branch of hip hop, which I regard as a more sophisticated version.  It is, I guess, a part of evolution of every music form, but it seems to me that this particular way of treating hip hop has gotten a life of it’s own. How do you look at it? Do you feel like it’s almost a separate music form now?

Mr. Beatnick:

That’s a very interesting question. I guess if you look over my work from the last ten years, as found on the Loose Joints compilation I leaked last summer, it definitely fits in with a hip hop approach somewhat.

At the moment I’m writing new material which applies those ideas to different rhythmic templates and tempos, so I’m not that convinced I really make “hip hop” with two capital H’s any more. I still love crunchy samples from old vinyl, and I still dig for records every day – a lot of my music is made with found sounds, which was the original cornerstone of hip hop production.

Nowadays you rarely get much sampling in hip hop due to the legal and sonic implications, hip hop is pretty much all 808s, heartbreak, auto tune and digital swag in 2011. Instrumental hip hop has always been a separate tangent since the early days of Mo’Wax and Ninja Tune, so in that sense the global beat generation movement we saw emerge a few years ago was a revival of those ideas in the context of 8 bit sounds, software beat making programs and a younger, blunted and wildly experimental bunch of new artists.

I don’t think I really fit in with that lot, in fact I don’t really fit in anywhere, and I prefer it that way. Hip hop will always inspire me, I guess what my work is about now is applying that classic 80s and 90s hip hop sound to new, more contemporary rhythmic ideas. And the dance floor is more important to me now, which it once wasn’t.

We are witnessing  the expansion of  these this new forms of hip hop, and they all seem to have a distinguishable local flavor. There was Nujabes in Japan with his jazzy beats and Hydeout Productions. J Dilla and his legacy in US. Europe has some sort of crazy eclectic fusion going on… I mean there’s Bullion , Onra , Dimlite, yourself… What would you pick out as distinctively European undertone?

Mr. Beatnick:

Another great question. I don’t know if i can really speak for Europe as a whole, certainly the artists I like in the UK like Paul White, Tightface, Bullion, Kelpe, Om Unit, Architeq and Mo Kolours are all about pushing fresh directions in the sound.

There’s an important element of humour in Paul White’s work, Bullion favours an existential, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to incorporating things in his sound. Mo Kolours is on some contemporary psych-soul flavour, Tightface makes angular boombap, Om Unit has this lovely drexiyan chugger thing going on, Architeq is a sonic scientist, layering analog synths to build walls of warm, immersive sound. Kelpe sounds like sunshine.

If you like one you might like another, but tempo aside there isn’t that much in common between the angles our friends are exploring right now.  I suppose it’s a bit like what I said for the last question, hip hop is the basis and the jump off, but the point is to push the ideas in fresh directions. I love Lukid’s stuff for example, you can’t call that „hip hop“ but it still is in a way.

Marvin Gaye, What's going on, reconstruction Mr Beatnik

I’m obviously curious to find out more about musicians that influenced you.

Mr. Beatnick:

I collect a lot of things and listen very widely to music. It depends what element of my sound you’re talking about. All time faves would include Delia Derbyshire, Pierre Henry, Diamond D, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, John Coltrane, The Garden of Eden, The Power of Zeus, McCoy Tyner, The Druids of Stonehenge, A Certain Ratio, Larry Heard, Underground Resistance.

What do you enjoy more – working as a DJ or as a Producer?

Mr. Beatnick:

Two sides of the same coin really. Full time DJing is far too exhausting for me these days though I loved it in the early 2000s when I was playing frequently and rocking some bigger audiences – or bigger than the shows I play now. I still love flying abroad to play special events for friends or people that are really passionate about what I do and know what to expect from my set. Producing is ultimately more rewarding in the long term, because DJing is only as good as the last great night you played out. I love ‘em both though, I’m blessed to be able to do both.

Your album (Loose Joints 2000 – 2010) is a retrospection of your decade’s worth work.  Was it a good decade? Any particular plans for 2011? Maybe some collaboration?

Mr. Beatnick:

It was a brilliant decade for me, yes. Some ups and downs, made some mistakes and learned a lot. Found my sound somewhere along the way, made some lifelong friends, achieved many things I’d always wanted to do.

In terms of this year, yes there are some collabs afoot, my new single comes out in May on Don’t Be Afraid, three new tracks with an Architeq remix as well. The next single after that to drop in November I guess. Plus some great remixes afoot for Throwing Snow, Odyssey (the classic disco group) and another one I can’t talk about it for legal reasons.

I’m very busy, busier than ever, to put it that way. Plus a new label in the works so I can release some interesting things that come my way by other people. I’m excited about it all. 

Can you tell me what are you listening to at the moment?

Mr. Beatnick:

Some new demos from Ahu, lots of Kraftwerk, I’m collecting all the singles. Funny how different the 12“ versions are! Mo Kolours still blowing my mind, beattapes by Paul White, Om Unit’s new single The Timps, Debruit’s remix of Pony by Ginuwine.  Fatima’s new single Redlight produced by Floating Points. Edits by Black Cow, dubplates by Refuge, Optimum and Egyptrixx. Subeena’s new single. Piles of stuff really. I’m deliberately leaving out the stuff I “mine” for samples. ;)

I’ve understood from an interview that you’re quite a Cronenberg fan and that struck me as quite odd. I mean, are you willing to elaborate on that?

Mr. Beatnick:

What’s odd about that? I do love a bit of body horror me. I’m more of a zombie fan really. I think I’ve seen about 70% of all zombie movies ever made, I just love those flesh eating bastards. Bring on series two of The Walking Dead!

Do you see yourself as “a man on a mission”, and if you do – what would that mission be?

Mr. Beatnick:

I do have a mission - to spread love, drink ale and eat pie.

*click on info button on the right side of the player, in order to see the name of the song


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