FROM DA BRICKS


Orchestral Flava – FDB Strings Mix
January 29, 2007, 5:02 pm
Filed under: FDB Mixes

Back up in it. Man, nothing worse than non-compliant technology. Anyway, I’m back from a nice weekend and fingers crossed blogger seems to be back on side: thanks for your patience. Planned to hit you with this compilation on Saturday but here it is to lift you out of your Monday blues: the ‘From Da Bricks Strings Mix’. I have been happy with all of the entries in my compilation series so far, but I think this might be the best. A string section can add untold flava to a hip hop joint, and is perhaps the most versatile of sample choices. Depending on its usage, it can either provide a dark and moody vibe or contribute to a straight up banger; I hope that this provides a cross-section of both. Here’s the tracklist:

1. Nas – Nas Is Like
2. Nine – Whutcha Want?
3. Society – Yes ‘n’ Deed
3. Royce Da 5′ 9” – Boom
5. Gangstarr – Code Of The Streets
6. Pete Rock – Tha Game
7. Real Live – The Gimmicks
8. KRS One – A Friend
9. Mobb Deep – Animal Instinct
10. Heltah Skeltah – Letha Brainz Blow
11. Black Moon – Shit Iz Real
12. Jay Z – Bring It On
13. Supreme NTM – Tout N’est Pas Si Facile
14. Pharoah Monch – The Truth
15. AZ – Mo Money, Mo Murder ‘Homicide’

The majority of these cuts are string-heavy in that they feature very prominent samples, although some are more subtle, particularly ‘Shit Iz Real’ with its creeping strings at the end of every bar during the verse sections and ‘Tout N’est Pas Si Facile’ which features sweeping strings in support of the horn loop and vocal refrain during the chorus section of the track. All of the big producers feature here: Showbiz, Diamond D, K-Def, Premier and Pete Rock, although Primo deserves a special mention providing the beats for no less than four of the selections made. This happened as a total accident: I had a few tracks in mind, but then just listened to a few albums over the weekend and made my selections. Perhaps this demonstrates Premier’s dominance in the field of string samples, or perhaps it is simply a coincidence. Any nominations for the ‘King of Strings’ gratefully received. I also want to mention that at the end of the AZ cut there is a non-strings track: I can’t do anything about this as it is added onto the end of ‘Mo Money…’ on ‘Doe Or Die’. However, the strength of this track warrants the brief deviation from the theme. Hope you enjoy it.

Ralph Vaughan Williams

As with the previous two mixes, I’m taking the opportuniy to throw up something a little different to complement my compilation. I know next to nothing about classical music, although my Dad has a relatively extensive knowledge of the genre (although this is of course an exceptionally broad musical spectrum). One of the pieces that has always left an impression on me has been ‘The Lark Ascending’, an incredibly beautiful piece of music that is led by a violin, hence its inclusion in today’s post. Composed in 1914, it is one of Vaughan Williams’ pastoral works, and there seems to be something quintessentially English about this piece. Anyway, I’m not going to pretend I know much about this at all, and it may not be something that you are interested in listening to. However, if you feel like something drastically different from your regular hip hop fix and want to appreciate the emotional power of strings in an orchestral context then give it a go. Who knows, you may never look back…

My Daily Blog Run

I thought I would also briefly give props to a selection of the blogs that I check out every day. Given that I spend a fair amount of time writing my own, I have had to streamline my time spent on other blogs. Of course, there are a load of quality blogs out there, but these are the blogs that I check out daily without fail. The key distinction for me here is that these blogs feature extensive, intelligent and unpretentious writing; a real pulling factor for me.

Wake Your Daughter Up – wakeyourdaughterup.blogspot.com
This was one of the blogs that really got me into the idea of starting my own, and it remains one of the best in the world of cyberspace. Although there are other contributors this is mainly run by Travis who has an extensive knowledge of hip hop and he loves sharing it. It is also one of the longest standing blogs out there. If you haven’t been there already, wake your sleepy arse up and peep it.

Poisonous Paragraphs – poisonousparagraphs.blogspot.com
Dart Adams has only recently come onto the scene, but it is a fantastic addition to the blogging community. Dart drops science on loads of classic ish as well as the wider world of hip hop, with articles covering film, music videos and the culture in general. His knowledge is extensive and he writes well. If you are into reading some decent hip hop literature then check it out.

Cold Rock Da Spot – coldrockdaspot.blogspot.com
Jaz has only recently started up his blog, but it is dope, with some phat compilations and written material to boot. Again, there is a lack of pretence about this blog that appeals to me: this is somebody sharing their knowledge and passion for the genre with no front whatsoever. Check it out and show some love.

Biff Hop – biffhop.blogspot.com
Another veteran of the scene, Biff’s hip hop spot is also one of the best blogs out there. Of late it seems to be run mainly by Alley Al who regularly comments here at From Da Bricks. Alley has been dropping some big posts recently linked by a theme, and like all of my favourite blogs, he drops knowledge whilst doing so. This is yet another example of the quality available to those of you surfing the hip hop blog scene: get there!

sām’pəld – sampuhld.blogspot.com
I also want to briefly shine some light on a brand new blog that should turn out to be excellent. Depleted, Moyinka and The Gosub Routine have just started up sām’pəld that will feature original breaks and some comment on their usage. If the quality of basslinesanglesrhymes (Depleted’s original blog) can be replicated then this is sure to join my daily rounds. Good luck boys!

I want to reiterate that this is by no means an exclusive list of the blogs that I frequent and want to send a shout to everybody who spends time and effort in a quest to keeping real hip hop alive in 2007. I have gained a substantial amount of knowledge and pleasure from the blogging community over the last four or five months and am happy to be a part of it. Keep doing your thing people!

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