This is a fucking nice record. Took three weeks to get here (from Germany), mind, but worth it.
Damu is a Hip-Hop producer from the States taking heart from that golden era, boom-bap sound. He doesn’t try to imitate; and he doesn’t sound outdated. Hard beats and soul samples are his thing. And after being introduced to him by a good mate of mine last month, the time came to go vinyl shopping again.
Well, on Discogs. Found a new copy for 30 quid. When it eventually did arrive, the description on the back, alone, justified the money I’d forked out:
WHAT YOU NOW HAVE IN YOUR POSSESSION IS FAR MORE THAN A COLLECTION OF SKETCHES. HISS V 1 & 2 REPRESENT A BODY OF LOVINGLY CRAFTED MATERIAL THAT BEARS ALL THE HALLMARKS OF DAMU’S SIGNATURE AESTHETIC. CRUNCHY DRUMS BOLSTER INTRICATELY WOVEN NARRATIVES OF SOUL-INFUSED SAMPLES IN COMPOSITIONS THAT THUMP AND GROOVE ALL AT THE SAME TIME. HORNS APPEAR FROM NOWHERE BEFORE DISSOLVING SUMPTUOUSLY INTO THE MIX. LAYERS ARE STEADILY UNVEILED ONLY TO GRADUALLY FOLD BACK IN ON THEMSELVES. BUT HEY, YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY, RIGHT?
WELCOME. IN CASE YOU HADN’T NOTICED. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD SOUND.
Probably listened to the record(s) 7 or 8 times through over the past couple of days. The splatter gold/silver/white dye all looks very nice, but it’s the beats that really get you going. They range from the smooth, jazzy types; to the outright banging. Dug a bit deeper and went looking for Damu vids on Youtube shortly after the turntable motor started sounding tired. Turns out he uses an AKAI MPC with samples on floppy disks to piece his beats together:
Really feeling this at the mo.
This is a strictly instrumental album (meaning no emcees). Anyone familiar with the Pete Rock or Large Pro instrumentals of the past will have a good time here. 2 x LPs made up of 27 original beats, all of which were produced between 2004 and 2007 (Damu’s early years).
is how Hip-Hop should sound.
Short sample shot on my shitty phone: