Thursday, September 9, 2010
My first music review ever!
One of my closest friends and favorite beatmakers, Hayling Price is truly a Renaissance Man par excellence. He hit me up the other day to listen to his (sort of) new beat tape, and to say that I was thoroughly refreshed is an understatement. Sometimes we forget to celebrate nuance and delicacy in the world of hip-hop instrumentals. Often preferring the boom of the bass to the humble hum of the keys, we fail to remember that there must always be room for groove music, tunes to relax and reflect to. Hayling's corpus of work forces us to re-imagine sonic boundaries, to unlock our palates in preparation for something new. Keys Open Doors indeed. Go get em, Hayles!
Here are some words from the man himself:
I've played the keys all my life- was classically trained by a Juilliard professor growing up in New York, played in a hip-hop soul band in Philly, and currently produce for emcees and vocalists from my home in DC. Although I know how to sample I've usually relied on my skills on the keys to guide my production. This time, instead of composing my own stuff I chose to take a different approach.
I wanted to challenge myself to find chord changes instead of make them, so I went back to some of the musicians (Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk et al.) who have been the most influential on me and hip-hop at large. You can hear this on the intro track, which includes commentary from jazz greats and original tunes that have been immortalized by hip-hop classics. On the rest of the album, I looped and chopped up jazz piano samples up on the MPC and came up with the finished product that is KeysOpenDoors. Enjoy.