The Wicked Sound favorite / best Beats, Instrumental Hip Hop albums of 2021 so far:
01. Jazz Spastiks Camera of Sound [Jazz Plastic]
Jazz Spastiks aka The Slipmat Brothers (consisting of members Coconut Delight and Mr. Manyana) are underground Scotish hip hop beatmakers, producers and djs. More then eleven years in the game and still critically under ratted. They have collaborated with many different vocalists from around the world and like to produce music with a dusty, jazzy, classic sound but keep it fresh at the same time. On the Camera of Sound album the beatmakers have linked up with various emcees featuring Artifacts, Count Bass D and DJ Pocket, C-Rayz-Walz, Kool Keith, Phill Most Chill, The Procussions, Soundsci and Wee Bee Foolish (Yeshua DaPoEd and Ken Boogaloo). It tooks them 7 years to finish this album, but the effec is brilliant. The album is co complex, joy from the start to the end, full of excellent beats, samples, scratches, and lyrics heading you back to good old days in Hip Hop music.
We really love combining the rough and smooth elements od sound, juxtaposing some nice rhodes piano, with a gritty drum break. The rhytms and swing of jazz music are an integral part of good hip hop along with funk and soul, that's how Jazz Spastiks described their music.
02. Otis McDonald Beats Vol.3 [Track Tribe]
San Francisco-based artist Joe Bagale was commissioned by YouTube to write and record 30 new tracks to be available in the YouTube audio library, which was the beginning of a new project he calls Otis McDonald. Otis McDonald’s tracks reach millions of Facebook and YouTube followers as well as some of the biggest social media network accounts. Beats Vol.3 it's his third collection of beats released this year, on which he is playing all the instruments, writing, producing, mixing, and mastering. An eclectic multi-instrumentalist/producer in his music is bridging multiple styles and sentiments, his sound tangibly rooted in nostalgia is still fresh, full of funk and genuine soul.
03. Madlib & Four Tet Sound Ancestors [Madlib Invazion]
Madlib & Four TetSound Ancestors is a special album that showcases a two-decade long friendship that has resulted in an album that follows Madlib’s classics like Quasimoto’s The Unseen, Madvillainy and his Pinata and Bandana albums with Freddie Gibbs. (Madlib) is always making loads of music in all sorts of styles and I was listening to some of his new beats and studio sessions when I had the idea that it would be great to hear some of these ideas made into a Madlib solo album. Not made into beats for vocalists to use but instead arranged into tracks that could all flow together in an album designed to be listened to start to finish. I put this concept to him when we were hanging out eating some nice food one day and we decided to work on this together with him sending me tracks, loops, ideas and experiments that I would arrange, edit, manipulate and combine. I was sent hundreds of pieces of music over a couple of years stretch and during that time I put together this album with all the parts that fitted with my vision, says Kieren Hebden AKA Four Tet.
04. Snips 52 Beats [Barbershop Records]
Snips is the founder of Barbershop Records and co founder of Livin' Proof, with over 15 years experience as one of Londons most prolific DJs and over 10 years worth of production credits across Hip Hop's underground. In 2018 Snips relocated to NYC and emerged as a budding solo artist, fusing the production styles of Hip Hop, House, Soul, Jazz and Funk in the same fashion he's known for as a DJ. 52 Beats is project initially started on Bandcamp with Snips uploading 1 beat per week over the course of a year with an accompanying behind the scenes video. This is part 1 of 4 volumes documenting the first quarter of the entire project. Musically Snips stays true to his Hip Hop roots chopping samples and keeping the sound rooted in traditonal Boom Bap which birthed his style.
05. Remulak Scrambled Eggs 2 [Remulak]
Remulak is a hip hop producer from the UK, specialising in various styles of the genre. From the emotive/jazzy beats, to the heavier boom bap sounds. Having started making music way back in 2001, Remulak now has several albums in his discography and continues to develop his music and production techniques. This is a second installment of Remulak's Scrambled Eggs series, follows on from the first edition and is a collection of revamped jazzy beats that were originally created between 2003 – 2017.
06. Elaquent, Boombaptist, Juicy The Emissary Komfort Food [Cream Dream]
Elaquent (Mello Music Group), Juicy the Emissary (Street Corner Music), & BoomBaptist (Insect Records, The Vapor Caves) have joined for this ode to the original. Mutually inspired by the work of J-Dilla, Komfort Food is a re-imagining of samples that the late Jay Dee masterfully crafted, produced in the styles of these three contemporaries. Pressed on a glazed donut, two-tone record, this album is packaged in what resembles a very familiar box of baked goods. What is inside? Komfort Food. A sure-shot for fans of Dilla & DJ's alike, you'll find that Komfort Food takes on a classy nod to his legacy, and also serves as a gem in the crates.
07. Funky DL Jazz Dust [Washington Classics]
Eloquently produced, Jazz Dust showcases Funky DL's eclectic creativity in producing some of the finest instrumental albums. In offering of a less polished sheen to the sound, the dust and crackles are deliberate and help retain the raw and authentic feel of Jazz and Hip-Hop. DL displays his instinctive nature in approaching the production. Nothing is overthought or over complicated, instead the album takes a smooth ride across a range of moods that work just for what they are. The musical themes (directly and indirectly) pay homage to both Pete Rock and Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest), the famed New York Producers responsible for a plethora of Hip-Hop classics over the years. Overall, this instrumental album pull no punches. Instead, what DL offers is an uncut insight into the sentiments that go towards being one of the finest Hip-Hop Producers to ever sprinkle.
08. The Alchemist This Thing Of Ours [ALC Records]
The Alchemist is an American musician, record producer, DJ, rapper and songwriter. After rising to prominence in the late 1990s, as a close associate of Dilated Peoples and Mobb Deep, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's leading artists in the 2000s, and has been hailed as one of the genre's leading producers. He focuses on producing entire albums for rappers and instrumental projects of his own. He is currently Eminem's official DJ. He received last year a Grammy nomination alongside rapper Freddie Gibbs for their joint album Alfredo. His latest album Haram, a collaborative record with Armand Hammer, a strong contender to a Hip Hop album of the year. But here at The Wicked Sound we focus on instrumentals with a strong jazzy feels, which he also released this year. The Alchemist new EP This Thing Of Ours features Boldy James, Earl Sweatshirt, Maxo, Navy Blue, Pink Siifu & Sideshow, on 4 tracks, but also instrumental versions of the tracks, which are great just on it's won.
09. Flying Lotus Yasuke [Warp Records]
Netflix’s Yasuke is a six-episode anime series about a samurai warrior of African descent in a fantastical alternate universe version of feudal Japan full of magic, mechs, and of course, swordplay. A dream project for the producer, Flying Lotus consulted on the story, working alongside renowned anime creators. The skillset of the Grammy Award winning producer is on complete display on the album, hybridizing synth melodies, bass lines and machine generated drum patterns while exploring new sonic territory -- traditional Japanese percussion instruments like the taiko and hyōshigi and west African percussion — a nod to the Afro-Japanese, feudal yet futuristic world Yasuke inhabits.
10. Georgia Anne Muldrow VWETO III [Epistrophik Peach Sound]
The Los Angeles-bred singer, songwriter, and musician is all and none of these things - she’s able to channel the greats from decades past in soul, R&B, and jazz, but her own music is too subversive, too forward-thinking to be cordoned off as a footnote to any one lineage. VWETO III it’s the third installment to her 2011 album by the same name. Like its predecessors, VWETO III is an all-instrumental affair, re-establishing Muldrow as one of the most reliable crafters of sturdy, funky, spaced-out hip-hop working today. The names people invoke when trying to describe Georgia Anne Muldrow are unavoidably, almost impossibly lofty: Nina Simone and Alice Coltrane, Erykah Badu and Ella Fitzgerald. VWETO III is intended for movement. It’s to be played when you birth yourself back outside after a long introspective period to get the things you need. It intends for you to be your own superhero and wants to be your theme for power, Georgia Anne Muldrow explained.