Monday, August 30, 2010

Rhythm Scholar Interview & Exclusive Weapon of Mass Destruction!

Born and raised in Chicago, Rhythm Scholar is one of NuFunk’s best-kept secrets. With a host of award-winning remixes and a unique talent for injecting funk into any existing track, as well as his own creations, the U.S DJ/Producer now unleashes his weapon of mass destruction - exclusively for…

Give us a little history about Rhythm Scholar and your musical background?

When I was growing up music was always present. I have distinct memories of certain songs being played in the kitchen or in the car when I was younger. My earliest crate digging was in my father's collection of 45s. As a result, I have a huge knowledge and appreciation of music from the 60s onwards. I thanked my parents more than once in the past few years for making music a big part of my childhood.

I went on to pursue music and radio studies through college. My first 'real' jobs were in record stores and I hosted a rap radio show back in its fresh and creative days. Most recently my remix sets could be heard weekly on the Saturday Night Dance Party on Chicago's 100.3 FM.

DJing seemed a logical step early on for me, given my wants to be involved in whatever I could musically. So I bought a mobile setup and I have been DJing whenever I can for almost 20 years.

As home computers and gear became more and more affordable, I started getting into producing and remixing, always trying to push the limits on whatever system I had.

These days I use a PC laptop, real and virtual instruments, turntables, midi controllers and whatever works to do what I do.

You seem to have been producing for a while, but only really started breaking into the NuFunk scene recently.  How did this come about?

My NuFunk beginning was about a year ago when I did a remix for the song 'Triggaphunk' by Hayz. Since then, I have been offered a few more NuFunk based projects, which you should be hearing in the near future. It's been nice to delve into my funky side for some projects that deserve it.

Tell us about the remix competitions you’ve entered and any awards and achievements?

I’ve entered a handful of remix competitions and have been lucky enough to win prizes in most of them. My Fatboy Slim – ‘Weapon Of Choice', Derek Trucks – ‘Get What You Deserve' and 'Megamix' for Acapellas4U are the most recent prize-winning entries. For the most part, I have taken the winnings and purchased more gear to mess around with.

Are you more of a DJ or producer, or both? 

I’m made up of considerable parts of both. I’ve been DJing for a lot longer than I have been producing, but the music creation is what I spend the most time doing these days.  If you listen to my productions and remixes you will hear that I add a lot of turntable and DJ tricks, so they're closely knit.

What’s the most bizarre comment you’ve had whilst DJing?

Haha - there are always the odd requests for songs - for stuff that would have NO place in a set on certain evenings. That said, I've DJ’d in a banana costume before, so who's to say what's bizarre?

Tell us your all-time favourite track?

What a grand thing. There's no way I could ever imagine naming an all-time favourite track. BUT - in the spirit of all things funk - I have an album that I think is pretty amazing by Manzel – ‘Midnight Theme’. Absolutely wonderful stuff - 70s funk at its best. Do what you have to do to hear it.  It's available on CD and for mp3 download, I promise you'll dig it.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music and remixing?

Well, there’s great funk for starters. Parliament and all the George Clinton stuff. Manzel, as I mentioned and of course James Brown. There are too many bands to name. I did compile around 50 songs I dig for my 10 minute 'Funk Solution (Extended Odyssey)’, which is available on my website. The track list on that production is a perfect example of what influences me on the funk side of things.

As far as my remix style, it all started with the edit-style mixes of the 80s. Reel-to-reel and razorblades has had me fascinated for 25 years now. For me, some of he masters are:

The Latin Rascals (Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran) - Check out the craziness on Hall and Oates – ‘Out Of Touch (Dub Version)’ or Information Society – ‘What's On Your Mind (Club Mix)’ or anything they edited for Freeez and John Rocca.

Omar Santana and Carlos Berrios (The Hit Squad). Taken either separately or together these two have done some incredible edit mixes. Check out Duran Duran – ‘Meet El Presidents (Meet El Beat)’ or Peter Gabriel – ‘Steam (Oh, Oh, Let Off Steam Mix Dub)’ or Latin Rascals – ‘Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (All-Star Edits)’.

I have also always really liked the INXS remixes that Nick Launay did in the 80s. Check out his mixes of 'What You Need', 'New Sensation' and 'Guns in the Sky'.

Your production seems to incorporate a lot of different genres of music, do you like many different styles?

Oh, for sure. My music collection is all over the place. There's something to dig in almost all genres and styles of music. On any one day I might listen to some Classical, Heavy Metal, Big Beat or RnB  I find a lot of inspiration in the varied styles.

Do you just remix or create your own original tracks?

I do both and sometimes it's a big combination of the two. Take, for example, my remixes of 'Weapon Of Choice'. Aside from the Bootsy Collins vocals and the Sly and the Family Stone sample, used from the original, that remix is all original music created by me. Since I was trying out different ideas, the remix is made up of three completely different and separate Rhythm Scholar original tracks that I strung together to make the final creation.

Which artist would you most like to remix for in the future?

I don't have any specific wants as far as artists, but I would like to be involved in projects that remix the older classic songs from yesteryear. Something like the ‘Motown Remixed’ series, or the 'What Is Hip' remix project would be great.

Your production has a unique style.  How important is it for an artist to have his or her own sound?

Well, it certainly doesn't hurt. If you have a recognizable style, people start to look forward to what you do next. That's the way I felt back in the day when I would flip 12" singles over to see who did the editing / mixing on the singles being released. I was overjoyed when certain names appeared, as I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. If a remixer is unpredictable in style or quality and you don't know what to expect from them, that doesn't always end up being a good thing. I'm glad that there are people who dig the unique things I do. To know that there are some people out there waiting to hear the next thing I work on because of my previous mixes or established style, makes me completely happy.

Any forthcoming releases and collabs?
Yes! As I mentioned, I have some label mixes I'm working with and I'm always working on some remixes just for fun, as well. I also have a bunch of original tunes that I'm trying to find suitable outlets.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

DONE! This NuFunk interview was it! :)

Can you reveal a killer production tip for our members that you wish you’d found out much earlier?

I have a couple of tips that I've always used that I know have helped me make better final productions. First, unless you're up against some deadline that is out of your control, don't rush your projects or final mixes. I have found it very beneficial to let productions 'simmer' - sometimes for days at a time during their creation. Do yourself a favour and take breaks from your tracks every once in a while. Perhaps you can switch to other tracks you're working on for variety or do something completely un-music related for a while like video games or movies. This is especially important right at the end when you THINK your track is done and you just want to get it out there or be done with it. That's when it's most crucial to take a break from the track - if even for a day.  You can then come back to it fresh to see if anything stands out or requires tweaking.

Another thing I ALWAYS do during the final mixing days for a track, is listen to it on a multitude of set-ups. A jam box, headphones or a cheaper set of PC speakers works well for hearing if your track is mixed evenly. See if you can hear all the elements in your track on a sound system you don't usually use as a reference - like your television. One of the BEST settings for deciding if my tracks are mixed or mastered well is my car. I love giving my audio the car-test, because I know what to expect from the sound there and I can tell if anything in my mix isn't fitting properly. Any elements that are either too loud or not present enough should show themselves in the varied audio environments.

What DAW do you use and why?

Ableton Live Suite.  So far, it's the most complete, intuitive and creative piece of software I've ever used to create music. It has some incredible features and the company has been so dedicated in adding new ones and tweaking things for the better. I don't see ever needing to switch as long as it's around. I'm so into it that I also offer Ableton Live tutoring, which is easy to do real-time while chatting over Skype. If anyone is interested in some hourly lessons - let me know.

Tell us something exclusive about Rhythm Scholar that nobody else knows?

I'm teaching myself Sony Vegas Pro with the initial intent of making a video for one of my remixes, which is made up of only Yo Gabba Gabba video clips.

If you were given £2000 to buy one single piece of equipment for your DJing/Production what would you buy?

Do the Yamaha studio monitors that just arrived today count? :) If I had to pick something else, I guess I'd like a 32" or bigger monitor to attach to the laptop.  

What are you thoughts about the swift growth of the community?   

I think it's great and I'm really glad that people are finding out about NuFunk and getting on board. It makes sense, though. The music coming out of the NuFunk scene is some of the better stuff I've heard in recent years. The mix of fresh new funk productions, intertwined with some sampling, is the type of stuff I'm digging the most right now. It's eclectic, funky and it feels right.

Tell us about the FREE download you’ve kindly offered - exclusively for members?
Recently, I did a remix of Fatboy Slim's 'Weapon of Choice' for a Beatport competition. The mix was very well received and that prompted me to finish other remix versions of the track that I was working on. While doing that, I got the idea to take what I was working on and basically obliterate it - but in a funky, creative way. The result of that destructive experiment is the track that I have made exclusively available for the members. It’s my 'Edits of Mass Destruction' remix of 'Weapon of Choice'. Over 3500 tiny audio pieces arranged for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

To get your copy of Rhythm Scholar's exclusive DJ Weapon, head over to our Member's Vault at the forum. You can't access the vault if you're not a member of, in fact the forum is invisible until you sign in.

Once you sign in, the password for the Vault is in the forum description. We've spray-painted it out in the picture below, but you get the idea:
And if you're not a member yet, get on it and join the rapidly growing community HERE

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Big M Interview and Exclusive Track

As head of one of the most respected labels in NuFunk and Bootleg Breaks, Mick of Big M is riding high. With a string of huge releases stretching back - stretching waaay back, he is now working with some of the most promising new producers in the scene, including Rory Hoy, Chris Awesome and Ram Skank, making Big M Productions THE place to be seen in 2010. 

How did your relationship with music begin? What music did you listen to growing up?

My first relationship to music was the regular listener’s side. At the age of 14 or so I started listening to Punk Rock and Heavy Metal, as I was pretty much into Skateboarding. This was at the beginning of the 90s. Suddenly there was something called Techno and although it was a bit cheesy sounding at that time, the whole rhythm thing for dancing was interesting.

Remember German Techno in the early 90s? Ha-ha! The first cool electronic music that reached us here at a time before the internet was The Prodigy. This was in the mid-90s, as they got big. With their sound I got the first excitement for Breakbeat music, which soon developed into my favourite genre. From there on, my interests and investigations in music increased because I realized that there was more music out there under the flag of Breakbeat. First, I got pretty much into Chemical Brothers and later on to Fatboy Slim, whose Rockafeller Skank was released at that time.

The whole BigBeat vibe amazed me so much, I wanted to get into DJing. Later on, I found interests in a lot of other music genres, where I collected all my inputs for my love of mashing up and re-rubbing today. I was into 60s Soul, 70s Disco, Funk, House, Jazz, Latin, Hip Hop and a lot, lot more. Thank god for the research power of the internet!

And when did you start DJing? And producing?

With the BigBeat vibe end of the 90s, I first got into DJing just as hobby. I was also always interested in computers. One day around 1998, by coincidence, I discovered at a friend’s house the possibility to arrange music in a simple arranger on the computer.

I got that software and played around a lot, recording DJ-mixed stuff and mixing it together; trying to build something I could call a track. As technology for home production got cheaper and the internet got big, everything speeded up. I got the essential hard and software and dug myself into making music.

A good buddy of mine started the label Twin Town in 2001, where I was pretty much involved and where I released my first track after three years of testing around. It was called 'Power to your Flower' and was a snippet of a Sergio Mendez track on a 140bpm breakbeat.

I remember I sent a demo CD of early tracks to Freddy Fresh, who was absolutely stoked about my stuff that was not yet fully developed, but had extreme potential. He told me the hints of producing a real banger based on sampling. Thanks Freddy!

I also started intense DJing and after a while then professional DJing. I released a lot of tunes through Twin Town. But at that time, I was running under my nickname Mick or, like most of the time, with my buddy Marc as the Mick & Marc combo.

After the great BigBeat vibe, when the genre was declared 'dead' (by Norman Cook himself, who was founder of the genre), there were times where it was unplayable. The audience didn't accept it anymore.  We dug into a lot of house music at that time.  So over 7 years I collected a lot of experiences in DJing and producing and physically collected quite lot of music on vinyl and CD, but also MP3s.

How did your label, Big M, come about?

Big M Productions was not really planned. As I said, I was pretty much into Twin Town Productions a couple of years ago and released vinyl through this label. I helped my buddy out a lot in administration and soon got into the distributional side of things.

I remember I sent out some self-burned promo CDs along with TTP vinyl packets and one reached Chateaudisc Distribution in Japan. They asked if it would be possible to release some of the promo stuff I sent as a vinyl release. It was all about the tune 'California Soul' and the other tracks around this one. They were so stoked about that tune. And until today that tune was the most successful rewind I did. Thank you Marlena Shaw for the absolute murder original!

So I released a first Booty at that time through Twin Town, but it was already called ‘Big M Bootie Vol.1’. The tremendous success led to ‘Big M Bootie Vol.2’. From issue no.3 Big M Productions was its own label. I have to thank Thorsten alias Toni Tress, alias Three Blunts Later and his label Twin Town Productions at this point.

What do you look for in the music you sign? Is there a particular ‘Big M sound’?

Basically I love old vintage styled and cranky hooks on modern breakbeats. I always loved Freddy
Fresh’s Howlin’ label for exactly this kind of output. The more polished side of Breakbeat, like Electro Breaks and so on, are already a bit too electronic for my taste. I do like and love some tunes from that genre - no question. But they have to have something special.

A nice example is that I love Krafty Kuts when he comes along funky, like his work with A-Skillz, but when he does the harder Against The Grain part of things, that's not so much to my taste.

In general, the Big M sound is what Mick likes most. Haha. It already developed so much, that I now have artists with more jazzy breaks like D.END or more chilled or BigBeat like Ram Skank. And with my buddy Impulsionic, whose new EP 'Bust a Groove' just came out digitally through Big M, Electro Breaks has found a place in the catalogue.

But what you can definitely say about Big M sound is: It's all about broken beats and feel-good vibes.

Who are your latest signings?

Hmmm. there's a lot! The latest from this year are J Roc/Sould Out DJs, The Breakbeat Junkie
Vs. DJP, DJ Kid Stretch, Stickybuds, Niko, Funkanomics, Prosper, Rory Hoy, Hayz, CMC & Silenta,
Ewan Hoozami, Chris Awesome, Timothy Wisdom & The Outlier, Jayl Funk, Impulsonic, The Funky Spanking and a lot more if I included the remixers and co-operational producers.

Any new releases coming up on Big M that we should be keeping an eye out for?

Of course. On vinyl we'll have a 12" next with J-Roc (Sould Out DJs) called Motown Mashdown EP, which will be a murder mashup and Breakbeat show on wax. It will be 'Big M presents... Vol7'.

Directly after that or parallel, a various artist breakbeat mashup 12" record is in the pipeline with The Breakbeat Junkie Vs. DJP, DJ Kid Stretch, Stickybuds and Niko. That will be ‘Big M presents...Vol.8’.
After that, I'm aiming for my own ‘Big M Bootie Vol.10’, some more from Prosper & Rory Hoy stuff and so on!

On the digital side of things, Ram Skank will finally have his first album which will contain murder Chemical Breakbeat and BigBeat madness, mixed with some nice psychedelic vibes; some big emotions, laid back moments and a lot of FX action. A great album for any situation.

Which bands/DJs/producers, outside of the Big M family, do you enjoy the most?

I love a lot of stuff. Some names out of the genre and related ones that come into my mind at the moment are A-Skillz, Featurecast, Ursula1000, Freddy Fresh, Skeewiff, Fort Knox Five, QDup Foundation, BadboE and of course some grandmasters like Krafty Kuts, Fatboy Slim or Chemical Brothers. But there are also a lot, lot more in a lot of genres - not only electronic!

Some people talk down about bootleg breaks, saying ‘we need originality to push the scene forward’ but it seems like everyone still wants to play big bootleg records – what’s your take on this debate?

I loooove bootlegs. When I spin, 80% of my set is bootleg stuff. Bootleg stuff (if it is well produced and not just a beat under a sample) can have as much originality as original stuff. Remember the 2ManyDJs shows? They just hooked together known music out of all genres to a complex mix. One could say that's no big thing. But it was pure originality and totally amazing.

It's not about the what, but about the how you realise it. We need artists doing really new and original stuff. I think in the future, this period will be regarded as the years of mashing up and remixing, just as we had the great BigBeat vibe end of the 90s, which ended or rather developed on.

These days a lot of people realise the possibility of sampling and remixing as a whole new sub-culture. And this is because the new technologies, which are now affordable and available for any small producer. This hype will decrease at some point, and what today is called 'bootlegs' will have their own niche and right to exist in the world of music for all time - just like every other new genre that was invented over the years.

The big thing that needs sorting is that we have a totally outdated copyright law, which criminalises mashups to illegal bootlegs – making it almost impossible for a small label to get the samples cleared. That's the main problem. If we'd get that law reformed, mashing up or bootlegging would no longer be regarded as second class music or not as original as new stuff.

How do you feel about new developments in production and DJ technology – Ableton, digital vinyl etc?

In the case of DJing, I must say I'm a vinyl junkie and love the classic way. I don't like digital vinyl and recent tech stuff at all, although I think it will be the future. More and more DJs change to spinning via Final Scratch, Serato, etc.

OK, if you're travelling a lot it really is a good way, but only for the comfort of travelling itself and not for the playing. For me, it always will be the real vinyl (and maybe some self-burned CDs for the unreleased stuff), as too much tech stuff behind a DJ desk is always something fragile. Software dependent devices can fail. A mixer and two turntables, that's all I need to have a good party.

At home in the studio it's totally the other way round. As I grew up with computers and work with them a lot. My production side of things is computer-based only. I had a synth, a sampler, a 303, but in the end I always ended up with the computer.

For me these days, there is always software or a plug-in somewhere out there that can do what I want. But when it's about mastering, a real device equipped studio is the better way. The warmth you can get into sound with physical mastering devices is always a bit better than digital-only mastering.

Can you reveal a few secret weapons you use to rock dancefloors?

As I love rarity, here are three murder records, which are still veeery rare and ones that I spin every time:

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Yeah, if you think you have sound that would fit into the Big M catalogue don't hesitate to catch up with me and send me promos.

Some quick-fire questions to finish with:
What’s the last tune/album/podcast you put on your MP3 player?

'Rory Hoy - Cosmic Child' - a perfect chill out album for travelling. As I hear dancefloor stuff all the time, I prefer some chilled stuff on the MP3 player when on the road.

What is your proudest achievement in life?

One of my proudest achievements is definitely my whole music thing. Of course there's also other private stuff I'm proud of...

Where in the world were you born? Do you still live there now? And does the place affect your musical direction?

I was born in (West) Germany, near the French border and Luxemburg. I still live there, as I love it here. And it's perfect - geographically in the centre of Western Europe. My location never affects my music, as I have always been most interested in music that comes from other countries like the UK. In my area here, I was one of the pioneers of breakbeats.

What do you think about the launch of

It’s a great idea to have a fresh new place to meet and greet with people from the genre. For me, it's nice and familiar, as I'm into private dialogue with a lot of the people and artists that are here on I must confess I'm a bit lazy writing comments or topics, as I'm so busy all the time.
But I always check everything to be up-to-date and I'm always curious.

And finally, can you tell us about the exclusive free track/mix that you are offering our readers?

It's a brand new re-rub/mashup I did from a powerful soul classic. It's called 'Young, Gifted, Brown' and pumping at 110bpm. It’s a bomb for the slower sets. Have fun with it out there!

To get your hands on a shiny 320 copy of this party banger simply head over to our Member's Vault at the forum. If you aren't a member yet, sign up here and for details of how to access the vault for a ton of exclusive tracks and mixes, check this announcement.

Sunday, August 15, 2010 Interview with Kid Stretch & Exclusive Midas Touch Booty for our now 300+ Members!

He’s been labelled the Disco King of NuFunk.  One thing’s for sure - Bob Antis – the artist known as DJ Kid Stretch - has the Midas Touch when it comes to producing Disco Breaks.  Here he talks to and explains why he’s constantly itching to get his teeth into 70s Disco, but admits he's no party animal and a complete scaredy-cat when it comes to visiting the dentist… 

Where did the name Kid Stretch come from?

It’s just a random name.  When I was young, I was trying to find a DJ name with my best friend and this was the one I liked the most.  I stuck with it, as more and more people recognised the name.

You’ve DJ’d alongside some great names.  Who were you most proud to perform with?

I’d have to say DJ Q-Bert and RJD2. Both of them are a great inspiration to my musical style, as I’m into turntablism and production. Those two guys are among the best for me.

What’s the most bizarre comment you’ve had whilst DJing?
Damn, I don’t know, people are quite normal in Greece, can’t think of anything weird!  Generally,  I get good reactions from people.

Tell us your all-time favourite track?

There are many, but one of the best tracks for me is Sunny performed by James Brown. There’s a really hot version on YouTube.

Tell us about the Warriorz label and why you launched this?

Warriorz is the Hip-Hop group made of three artists - Tolis (MC), John (MC) and myself. We had some releases on other Greek mainstream labels, but decided to go on our own and launched Warriorz Records.

Which other labels in the scene do you most respect?

Jalapeno and Fingerlickin have been around for many years with dope tracks and artists, but Freskanova is possibly the number one label for me. I admire Skint of course and dig more recent labels such as Manmade Records, Big M, Breakbeat Paradise, Pig Balls Records and Bomb Strikes. Goodgroove Records is right up there as well.  My first E.P was released on this label and pushed my name to the next level.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music and DJing?

I don’t try to sound like someone else, I try to produce what I feel.  I like creating disco breaks with lots of raw samples, something between a bootleg and an original song. I want to keep both aspects of DJ and production and blend them in a way that makes my style shine through.

What do you hate most about the NuFunk scene?

I don’t really hate anything, it’s all fun to me. Although I do get a bit annoyed when producers make songs and the melody in one key and the bass a different key.  It makes me lose interest in the song because it's clear that the artist doesn’t have a basic knowledge of music.

You’re well recognised for your disco sound in the NuFunk scene.  Do you think your sound will evolve or do you think disco will always have a strong influence in your production?

I always try to evolve my sound in small steps. I like to use disco samples, as it’s one of the best musical genres in my opinion.  The themes that were played in many disco tracks and especially the mixing of the tracks were way ahead of their time. Yes, I think that my style will continue to be influenced by disco - I want people to recognise me for that style.  To me, disco unifies the dopeness of the 70s with modern club music.

Tell us about Pale the Kid?

Pale the Kid is a side project by myself and my friend - DJ Pale Penguin.  The music is more Electro Breaks orientated with touches of Rave and Disco.  Pale The Kid have released on Breakbeat Paradise and Warriorz Records and remixed for various artists.  This year we’ll be more active with more material.
Any forthcoming releases and collabs?   

Yes, there is my All Disco E.P forthcoming on Warriorz Records.  It will contain Disco Breaks style tracks. I’m excited about this releases so stay tuned.  There’s also a Disco remix of Faith Evans’ Mesmerised, which is scheduled to be released on Wack Records as part of an E.P.  They’ll also be tracks on Manmade and Big M Productions.  As far as collaborations go, I’m searching for a vocalist, so anyone that can sing - get in touch.
Can you reveal a killer production tip that you wish you’d found out much earlier?

Hmm….Side Chaining is a killer trick for me.  I also use little tricks with sends, reverbs and eqs.

Nu Funk culture involves artists ripping up classic tracks, using famous samples to create dancefloor bombs. What’s your view on the use of samples, labels releasing such tracks and the age-old copyright debate?

As a Hip-Hop producer, I’d say go for it.  My view is that, when I sample a track, I do it out of respect for the original artist.  I want people to listen to the track and get that Old School vibe then try to search for the original track. I enjoy listening to samples and searching and finding the originals. I think the original artists should really get paid, but we all know that they don’t get sh*t from the labels.

Tell us something exclusive about Kid Stretch that nobody else knows?

I want to go to the dentist, but I’m afraid.


Are you a family man, party animal, or both?

I’d say I'm a family man.  I’ve never been a party animal - just want to have fun, but don’t like losing control.

If you were given £2000 to buy one single piece of equipment for your DJing/Production what would you buy?

I’d buy a mastering hardware with lamps

What are you thoughts about the launch of and the community?   

Damn, it’s great man and so much fun seeing all the artists I admire and fans under one umbrella, exchanging info and ideas.  It’s a good way of taking things to the next level - that’s what is doing.

Tell us about the FREE download you’ve kindly offered - exclusively for members?   Was the Midas Touch an all-time favourite of yours?

There are some songs that you listen to one time and like, but can’t remember the name.  Then you hear it again after years and think - 'I wish I had the acapella for that to make a remix'.  That’s exactly the case with the Midas Touch Boot.  I used the Banbarra drums that I sampled in Horny, but damn it goes so well with the vocals.  I hope you enjoy the track, which I produced especially for

To get your copy of this diamond Midas Boot exclusive, head over to our Member's Vault at the forum. You can't access the vault if you're not a member of, in fact the forum is invisible until you sign in.

Once you sign in, the password for the Vault is in the forum description. We've spray-painted it out in the picture below, but you get the idea:
And if you're not a member yet, get on it and stop missing out on all the fun-k HERE

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funky Friday Round-Up

After a week’s sabbatical, we’re back with a vengeance, and a crate full of serious funk for your trunk, with blazing joints from WARA, Hint, the Manmade crew, Badboe, Funk Burners and Rory Hoy.

WARA – Get Your Woman On The Floor EP

Three big tracks on Rebel Scream first, on this party-friendly release from WARA that’s already getting big support from Lebrosk, Kid Stretch and Jayl Funk.

The title track is where the serious gold is on this release - blending buzzing bass with disco groove and even a couple of Coolio snippets.

‘Banger Again’ takes a smooth flute sample and adds head-nodding hip-hop vibes. The Stakka Bo sample may be a touch too cheesy for some dancefloors though. ‘Unbelievable Banger’ takes the EMF classic and gives it a few subtle tweaks – not my thang, but if the crowd was in the mood, they’d love this one.

You can listen on the players below and grab it on Juno.

Wara - Get Your Woman On The Floor [Promo Sample] by Wara (Funkosol)

Wara - Banger Banger Again [Unmastered] by Wara (Funkosol)

Wara - Unbelievable Banger [Unmastered] by Wara (Funkosol)

Hint – Beryllium EP

Genre-defying beats from Tru Thoughts now, on an EP which opens with ‘Give It Up’ – an 80’s-influenced synth funk track with mad party vibes. Vocals come courtesy of Josie Stingray and 1-O.A.K, making this a wicked party starting tune.

‘Pretty Stable’ and ‘Gallop Track’ also feature lush synth sounds, but stray into peak-time ‘Crack House’ territory, with skittering beats and enough bouncy baselines to turn heads as you cruise past in your Vauxhall Nova.

The EP is out on August 30th from the Tru Thoughts shop, but in the meantime you can preview below.

Beryllium EP Preview Snippets by Hint

Various Artists – Manmade Feature Funk Vol. 9

The Feature Funk series is a kind of quality guarantee, in a scene where it’s sometimes hard to find the nuggets amid a sea of dodgy edits and boots and this ninth release in the series is no exception.

The EP opens in fine style with ‘Chainsaw Massacre’ by CMC & Silenta, a track which effortlessly blends what feels like dozens of different tracks into a single, dancefloor-devastating, raga-funk-soul-hop mash. If music was drugs, this would be a crack bong – INTENSE!

Moodbase is next up, with ‘Put Your Hands Up’, injecting a heavy Deep Purple riff (yes, that riff!) with growling bass and hype hip-hop vocals. Anthemic booty business.

Telephunken goes back, waaaaay back, with ‘Really Sayin’ Something’ and ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ – both of which take crusty soul classics and update them for a modern dancefloor.

‘Hit The Road’ by Tom Drummond hits hard with crisp breaks and booming bass laced under the unmistakable Ray Charles anthem. Tom adds acidic bass tweaks and vocal scratches, to create some incredible party fodder.

Amazing stuff. Listen below to ‘Chainsaw Massacre’ and keep an eye on their Juno page for the release.

Chainsaw Massacre by manmade

Badboe – Shine Like A Halo/Masterpiece

Badboe is back in the house with some crazy party fire on Bomb Strikes. ‘Shine Like a Halo’ is a thumping hip-hop banger that gives Dusty Springfield’s ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ a new twist.

‘Masterpiece’ on the flip keeps the vibes going with Jurassic 5 flows over lowdown dirty bass.

Another great release! Listen and buy below. You can also watch the video over at YouTube.

Funk Burners – Electric In The Streets/Whatchya Got

Tough funk breaks and old skool electro vibes meet disco-hop groove on this 12” from new imprint Funk Burners.

‘Electric In The Streets’ takes Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ on a spin through funky town, with hard machine drums, electro bass and retro stabs.

‘Whatchya Got’ is a flowing funky disco joint with some wicked little touches of Q-Tip lyrics to add some bounce. With a couple of lush filtered breakdowns and an infectious groove, this is a seriously booty-shaking track.

Listen and buy below.

Rory Hoy – Baby Likes It Fat

Rory Hoy is on fire this year, and this album on Freddy Fresh’s Howlin’ label shows we’ve barely scratched the surface of his talents.

Ranging from hip-hop to breaks, bigbeat, house, chillout and even full-on 60s Northern Soul – this album combines musicality and pop sensibilities without compromising on underground credibility or danceability. No mean feat.

Highlights include the acid bigbeat madness of ‘On The Floor 1,2,3’ and the raw funk of ‘D Sez Yeah’ and the slow-mo disco flavours of ‘Nightflight’.

Really though, every track on this release is a blinder in its own right. Preview below and buy on Juno.

Rory Hoy - 'Baby Likes It Phat' by Rory Hoy

Rory Hoy & DJ Prosper – T-Rex Booty

As if the album wasn’t impressive enough, Rory is also behind this wicked party booty out on Big M.

The T-Rex track gets a total of three re-rubs, one from Hoy & Prosper, one from Big M and a third ‘Funky mix’, which is my pick of the bunch.

The unexpected gold for me though is on the flip – where ‘Saturday Night Routine’ drops incredible slinky disco flavour.

Another cracking release out now. Listen and but below.

Until next week, keep the promos, press releases and updates coming to

Saturday, August 7, 2010 Interview with CMC & Silenta of Manmade & Roca Records plus EXCLUSIVE downloadable Promo Mix & chance to win MM009!

We spoke to the guys behind Manmade & Roca Records - partners in crime CMC & Silenta.  Here they confess to being OAPs on crack - poised to ransack the scene and take over the industry.  Oh, and they also offer fans an exclusive download of their special Manmade promo CD, plus the chance to bag the next Manmade Release for free…

So - how did you guys meet, are you both responsible for Manmade and Roca Records?

CMC: We’ve known each other since childhood. We lived in the same city in the early days and didn’t have much contact for years, but both became involved in making music. I started DJing at the age of 16. It wasn't until I moved back to my hometown after studying and working in several cities, that we hooked up and started to produce our first tracks.

Silenta: I learned to play keyboard and took some saxophone lessons. I started producing beats when my keyboard teacher brought this hell of a Technics workstation in to the classroom. I spent ages in front of that thing and ditched playing annoying and well behaved keyboard songs. Two years later, I had a home recording studio with a friend and produced my first album with him under the name Mono:Poly.
CMC:  I always had an eye on Silenta’s development. At that time, I worked for a big German Hip-Hop Soul label called Four Music and played out with the Mars All Stars during two tours through Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  I also played my resident nights with Mischinski in Stuttgart. With my contacts, I organised Silenta’s first releases on different labels.

Manmade and Roca Records are both my labels.  I manage the business, handle the distributors, artists, graphic etc. Silenta works more behind the scenes helping with some A&R work. We make the important decisions together and if I’m out of office he take over the reign, which is handy, as my second daughter was born three weeks ago!

Silenta: I’d say CMC is more the DJ and businessman.  I’m the producer and musician.

Tell us about both labels and how and why they started?

CMC: The label I used to work for [Four Music] was bought by Sony and I lost my job. I decided to take a trip around the world to find myself and think about what I wanted to do next in life. I moved back to Freiburg and decided to put all my experiences in the music business in to running my own label. I founded Manmade Records in late 2008.

Silenta: The plan was to primarily release our own mash-up tracks on Manmade. The first tracks were our own productions. Up to that point, I strictly worked without any samples in my tracks. CMC fortunately persuaded me to start integrating samples in to my sound. As a DJ, he has lots of experience in arranging tracks to make the party crowd go crazy. We produced our first track together and immediately knew – that’s the sh*t!  We planned to create more tracks, but CMC then had the idea to release them on our own mash-up label.

CMC: We got some important contacts via Autodidakt from Traktor Records to get us started. We knew there were lots of Nu Funk fans out there, who liked the same style of sound as we do.  We never imagined Manmade would be so successful. After some teething problems with a distributor, I changed to Kudos Records, who do a great job.  A large part of our success is owed to their work.  From the beginning, I always had a goal to release music on Vinyl or CD. I’m a vinyl junkie - I prefer the analogue sound quality.

Silenta: Roca Records is the next step - level two on our way to producing and releasing music.

CMC: With Roca Records we want to release high quality, non mash-up music from talented musicians and DJs. We focus on different genres, but mainly club tracks. I invest a lot in the releases and we have Whitenoise as our promotion partner.  We release everything physically on vinyl or CD - not only digitally. Roca is also the platform for our own sample-free tracks.

Tell us about the new Roca Records release, any stand out tracks? 

CMC: Yeah, watch out for the upcoming Funkanomics EP release on 10th of this month (August 2010). The promo has already caught a lot of attention and feedback by big names in the scene. Yesterday, the release hit number 12 in the Cool Cuts Chart and Kissy Sell Out played the CMC & Silenta Remix on his BBC Radio One show.

The idea was to release an EP by our friends from Bodensee. It's around 200 km from our town Freiburg. The guys are really nice and produce bombastic music. We chose three previously released tracks and let the guys mix two new versions for Roca, we also added a remix.  Have a listen HERE to make your own opinion. It’s my favourite release so far - Circle Kid Part II kills it on the dancefloor, I've been rocking this track out for months.

What artists can we expect to see on Roca in the future?

CMC: Everyone who produces good NuFunk, Funky Breakbeat, Breaks, Hip-Hop or DnB. I have no idea which way Roca Records will go in the future, although rest assured you’ll see a lot of CMC & Silenta releases. If everything works as planned, we’ll have some releases from Beatbrenning - a young and amazingly talented beatboxer from our hometown.  He’s one of the best in Germany. He recently came to the Swiss Beatbox Championship as a nobody and scooped second place. We collaborated with him on our Dub Pistols remix that we put up on our SoundCloud.
You can also expect to hear some more Funkanomics releases and other artists who send us brilliant stuff.

Silenta: The third Roca release will be a track by us, a funky piece, which we invested a lot of time and heart’s blood recording.  It’s all original, no samples. It’s called Funky Town feat. Penny, with banging remixes by Slynk, Nick Thayer & Zamali. This one and the Funkanomics release will definitely be something for your fans out there! We’re also in the process of recording a complete album, but we always get interrupted by Manmade Releases, remix requests, family action, moving our studio/office in to an old railway station and things like that.

And what’s next on Manmade?

CMC: We have mm009/ Feature Funk Vol 6 in the pipeline, which includes five tracks and promises to be one of the best Manmade offerings yet. It features Tom Drummond, Moodbase, Telephunken and of course – CMC & Silenta. We decided to create a wide spread of style and tempo on this one. Tom Drummond comes with a mashup version of a downtempo funk classic, Moodbase took the hook of Smoke on the Water to produce a midtempo burner and Telephunken delivered an uptempo funky breaks tune. We took nine tracks and mashed them up.  If someone can name all nine correctly email me and get a feature funk vol 6 for free ;-).

The release date is 7th September, 2010.  The 10th release on Manmade will be a double LP with cover and full artwork, featuring Slynk, Tom Drummond, The Breakbeat Junkie, DJP, Badboe, Prosper, Funkanomics and more...

Would you say Manmade is on a par or as respected as Goodgroove Records for booty releases?

CMC: I don´t know. I think their founder - Slim should get the prize for outstanding contribution at the first Nu Funk Awards. He’s the guy who pushed the whole Nu Funk thing to the next level, with all his big vinyl series, Regrooved parties, podcasts etc. I never met him, but we emailed each other a lot in the beginning of Manmade and he helped me out at times, I really appreciated it. Manmade started as an idea to promote our stuff. Slim wanted to release great artists like Featurecast, we had different ideas for our labels. I think we´re one of the top mash-up labels, but that’s it!

Silenta: There’s no competition amongst the mash-up labels.  Most of us are in contact, they all work for the same goal: To release good music to dance to! There’s no money to earn with it anyway, as production, mastering, promotion, graphics and distribution costs are so high. We simply do it for the love of good music.

What do you think Manmade has to offer that other labels don’t?

CMC: A friend of mine told me he played over an hour DJ set solely with seven Manmade Records and the ladies went crazy. Maybe it’s that? I think there are so many great labels out there, we’re obviously doing something right!

The labels and artists that truly make it in the Nu Funk scene tend to have the right attitude, rather than develop egos when experiencing a taste of success.  Do you think it’s important to keep your feet on the ground in such a small scene?

CMC: Yes, that’s why I love this scene so much. Goodgroove's Slim voted for us at 2009 and promoted it on Facebook. It makes sense to work together to push things forward. As Silenta said, everybody knows you and everybody tries to help out, that’s how a community should work. We don’t tie artists to our labels. Labels like Goodgroove, Big M, Bombstrikes, Manmade etc promote the same style of music and feature almost the same artists. It´s not like in older days when artists were bound to one label.

Silenta: I hope it will be the same in years to come, the Nu Funk-scene is growing strong.  More and more labels are rising.  I hope this relaxed, working together attitude will remain.

Tell us about the Nu Funk scene in your country?

CMC: We have a small and nice Nu Funk scene in Germany, especially in our city.

Silenta: Quincy Jointz also lives here and has already played here with some other great DJs. Ramp Fm is based here, too.  They regularly broadcast great shows like Lebrosk’s Funk Sessions. Lebrosk has a brilliant show with interesting guests like Lee from the Plump DJs or recently Badboe – he’s a big supporter of our sound - check him out HERE. Our friend Chris is a good booker and a big Breakbeat fan.  He regularly books guys like DJ Deekline.

CMC: We work in a collective in an old railway station, Chris also has his record store here: The is the best Breakbeat and Electronic music record shop I know in the south of Germany. If anyone comes to our area, call Chris and get your personal opening evening. It’s killer. He’s got around 8000 Breakbeat records from the last 15 years.

Here in the south, we also have the Stamina Agency from Marten Hörger, the Funkanomics live in a town around the corner. The posse around Jayl Funk is based in Nürnberg and some more great NuFunk mates like Basement Freaks and the guys from Big M Productions are spread over the country.  I think there will be more and more in the coming years. The party people understand that Minimal, Techno and House are getting boring. I think they’ll soon realise that Nu Funk is the bouncing bridge between Old Skool, Hip-Hop and Nu Breaks.  It has more soul than other types of music. Roca Records and the Urban Records Store/Agency try to support the sound around here with some great artists from the scene.

What are your proudest achievements?

CMC: My two little daughters, my wife and my friends. Musically, that we have almost finished our new studio and have found the beautiful place to stay and make music. Manmade and Roca - my babes.

Silenta: I’m also proud of my family and what we have achieved with our music and the new studio.

What are your biggest influences when it comes to making music?

CMC: Oh that’s difficult. Our musical background is the 80s and 90s hip-hop, especially the West Coast stuff and Beastie Boys. I love fast club music, a hiphop touch mixed with the 90s style to sampled funk beats. Making a Manmade track is totally different to my own original production. If we create a mash-up, one of us is looking for a sample, cuts it in to little pieces.  We add some drums, bass lines and risers and afterwards we look for a vocal. If we have up to 2-5 different parts fitting in a track we start to arrange them. If we record our own production, we start with a bass, guitar, or Rhodes hook.

Silenta: Afterwards, we add all other instruments or invite other musicians to add some recordings. When we’re almost finished we invite a vocalist. We take a lot of time to get the right sound. I have a lot of influences.  I also listen to many different genres of music. That’s why we produce more than just funky styled tracks.

CMC: I think my biggest influence is the DJing and the feeling that you get rocking out to party people, especially when the ladies shake their ass.  A DJ friend always calls me LL CMC.

Tell us something about CMC & Silenta that nobody else knows?

Silenta: In reality we’re not producing or DJing, we’re crack dealers, but don’t tell anyone. In fact we’re old age pensioners, camouflaged as young men in an undercover mission to hijack the DJ scene and to seize the power of the worldwide music market.

What are you thoughts about the launch of and the community?

CMC: It's nice to see what you’re doing. Something for all of us, the community gets free stuff and interesting information and the artists get attention. You support a growing audience of our favourite music. We've had an eye on what you’ve been doing since we met Hayz via Myspace two years ago and it’s nice to see that the team are seriously pushing things forward. It gives a nice feeling of community. Nowadays, there are many people working on projects, but only few really invest time to produce quality.

And finally, tell us about the free downloadable Mix CD you've kindly offered up - exclusively for members? 

CMC: We produced a mixed CD to promote our stuff when we play gigs. We gave the half of them to Kudos as a give away. Also the first 50 sold records of mm008 got one for free at Juno Records The mixed CD has all of our tracks from mm001-mm007 (except for Voodoo). We also put some remixes on it we did ourselves and a track from Slynk, Basement Freaks, Funkanomics and Javier Morillas. It’s mixed, mastered and tracked. We got a lot of positive feedback and now we’re giving it to as an exclusive download, accessible in your VIP Vault for all members.

To get your mitts on this exclusive Downloadable Promo Mix, head over to our Member's Vault at the forum. You can't get in if you're not a member of, in fact the forum is invisible until you sign in.

Once you sign in, the password for the Vault is in the forum description. We've spray-painted it out in the picture below, but you get the idea:
And if you're not a member yet then get on it and stop missing out on all the fun-k HERE

Monday, August 2, 2010

Make It Funky: 50 Fresh Breakbeats

After the success of last month's sample pack, we've done it again. This month we've raided the crates and found 50 hip hop and funk breaks for you - all recorded from vinyl and presented as 24bit 44khz WAVs for you to load into your weapon of choice.

Some will be familiar, others completely fresh and new. Loop, mash, slice, dice and splice them to your hearts content.

Choose your favourite host and get your download on:





If you spot a broken link, let us know.


The Team