Music

MUSIC: Let’s Play A Game – Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette

by Lawrence Ferrell

What happens when you take a beat maker to a record store and challenge them to make a beat from the records they chose…blindfolded? The folks at Mass Appeal did just that with Rhythm Roulette. The video series, created by Matt Lubansky, took various producers to task by blindfolding them and having them grab three vinyls at a local record store. The results are quite interesting.

Producer extraordinaire Ski Beatz was the latest to take the challenge. His random picks included Rick James’ classic Cold Blooded, Argybargy by Brit group Squeeze, and reggae artist Delroy Wilson‘s The Best Of.
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Even legends like Erick Sermon ran into some roadblocks using records they wouldn’t consider otherwise. It’s the skills to create something listenable that makes this series interesting. It’s a reminder art isn’t easy. Each beat-smith have their own technique and style. Some use instruments, others beat machines/software, or a combination of both. As one of the participants, Nick Catchdubs poignantly stated, “When it comes to making beats, there’s a million ways to do it. If you’re a MPC dude…(I)f you are a hands on/analog ‘I’m gonna play every bass line, every little Rhodes keyboard bit’, great, that’s awesome. Everyone is going to have a technique that works to them. It just boils down to do you have interesting ideas.” Or as J-Zone puts it plainly “If ya got funk in you, you got soul, you could flip anything into something funky”.

Here are some favorites and you can find more here.

Erick Sermon
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Nick Catchdubs
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J-Zone
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Black Milk
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