In today’s music scene, almost every genre will incorporate some type of digital music technique. Whether this be an artificial drum, subtle electronic effects or mixing with the EQ to enhance the bass or treble, the digital age can be heard in every genre. This latest episode from Beatbliotek Radio, a French magazine and label, perfectly experiments with these digital techniques through jazz, soul and funk genres to create a bright, upbeat and infectiously happy 48-minute mix.
The opening track, MFSB’s ‘Mysteries Of The World’, exemplifies the fusion of lo-fi electronica and instrumental jazz. There are deep, booming bass drones that permeate out into a wide soundscape, whooshing and buzzing as a sweet string section soars over the top, before suddenly jumping to a funky bass guitar with some playful keyboard melodies. The various layers pleasantly contrast with each other, which is to say that a deep and repetitive bass guitar, when juxtaposed with sporadic, high-pitched electronic trills creates a musical synergy. Listeners can hear this musical synergy across the entire mix. The effect of these complementary elements from jazz and electronica is that the music comes alive with energy and emotion. A track like The Rippingtons’ ‘Tourist In Paradise’ combines elements of jazz, from the saxophones and bass lines, rock, in the drum kit and roaring guitar solo, and world music, with pan flutes and bongos. All these elements swell together in a glorious crescendo, where a backup vocalist scat sings at the top of his lungs, creating an overwhelmingly happy mood. While the mix consistently maintains this upbeat groove, it isn’t afraid to veer into the experimental. Remixing Piero Umiliani’s ‘Mah-Nà Cow-Boy’, the track now has the same vocal line, which aren’t lyrical but wailing grunts, but adds in a female vocal line and a gospel arrangement of the 12-bar blues, fit with an organ and fast-paced bass guitar.
Producer ElFamosoDemon has created one of the most competently experimental mixes to be featured as our Mix of the Week. It is both consistent and diverse, throwing in wild variation but to the same emotional end. It fuses the relaxed vibe of smooth jazz, the joyous groove of funk and the infectious energy of electronica.