My knowledge of beats and beatmakers is like Richard Villalobos' music. Minimal.
That's not only a terrible joke that few, if any, people will enjoy, but it's also true. Whilst I can get by when talking about hip hop, I only have a small selection of favourite producers in the genre. Predictably these are mainly Stone's Throw artists (an amazing label you should check out right now) J Dilla, Madlib and (MF) DOOM with the important inclusion of Flying Lotus.
What's the point in blogging on a topic you know little about, you may ask. Well one, because I would like to know more about the genre- I'm seeing DOOM next month and hate gigs where you can't hold your own when it comes to discussing the band/artists in question. And two, because I recently found a great beats tape from a Manchester producer called Starslinger. Starslinger wears his Dilla influence quite proudly- and why shouldn't he? Dilla's amazing- sharing J's love for sliced up samples and loose, occasionally arrhythmic drums lead by stuttering hi-hats. Though Starslinger has less futuristic synths whirring and wailing than Dilla, preferring to let the samples lead the composition.
It's all very good stuff, and if only the northern rap scene wasn't fuelled by MCs raised on speed garage, the beats would be the perfect for a local rapper to make his name with.
Anyway, you can download the album here. Enjoy, and please comment letting me know about other good producers working locally- or of any that I need in my life.