Wes Pendleton : Loopwhole


Wes Pendleton’s first release since linking with Cali label Mellow Orange features nine smooth new grooves that take a fresh approach towards soul sampling. Hours diggin’ find the Philly-based producer flipping warming soul chops on Say Word?, looping infectious horns under soaring vocals on Love Shonuff, and bringing that Detriot bump with crisp hats and orchestral flourishes on Stop Talking.

His skill for extending loops to the point of memorability whilst keeping his chops varied ensures his sound stays exciting throughout; by the time Do No Wrong kicked in I was thinking of ways to get the money for the vinyl. Mad Loop breezes through with an effortless steez before understated jazz loops bloom on You’re Mine, and Just Right layers uplifting strings over lounging pianos.

The Passion exhibits Pendleton’s darker side as he subtly weaves delicate guitar runs around hazy keys, while percussive drum patterns wind down this ill EP on The Dawn, fortified by glowing vocoder hooks from 42North. Wes has come a long way since he began beatmaking on Garage Band back in ’99; hopefully this is just a taster of his skilful musicianship and natural ear for composition, because Loopwhole is one of the most polished beat tapes I’ve heard this year.

Get it free from Noisetrade here.



The Aretha Beat Tape

 Aretha Beat CD Cover

Throat Chop U and TMB-Music.com are bringing heat on their latest beat tape; after spending six months assembling twelve instrumentals formed from the Queen Of Soul’s extensive back catalogue, this dope collection of Franklin flips spans the full spectrum of boom-bap beatmaking. Dr Khil begins on an upbeat with phat drum sounds under an infectious vocal chop on No Getting By Without You, followed by A Star For Everyone‘s winding journey through Aretha’s lighter side courtesy of Wisconsin-based producer Madden Miles.

Starchild’s funky breaks bring the groove on Got It Right; before Master Of Eyes provides a highlight as Dr Quandary neatly places cuts around a central refrain backed by crisp drum work.It was Moteleola’s catchy vocal cuts on Call Me that sparked the idea for this release, and after one listen you can see why; his ear for loops is impeccable, and while his song structure retains it’s core melodic drive, the extra elements he adds keeps you glued. Maticulous changes up the pace on Listen, creating a chilled, electronic interpretation of Aretha’s ’68 smash House That Jack Built, and although Ross Munroe’s Roc-A-Lot bangs, a distorted low end makes it unlistenable after the polished sounds that preceded it.

 Handbook assembles the stand-out track as his dusted snare and rounded kick bumps with a human swing on Angel, leaving HP The Hybrid to to complete this two-track climax with Removed Stitches’ similarly staggered kick-hat shuffle. Start to finish the tape knocks hard, and after a few smaller labels releasing beat compilations recently, it’s good to see more people taking the initiative by embracing this easily digestible, entertaining format.

Check out the full tape here.


Urban Click : Dry Season


Since their work on Verb T’s last remix album, this triplet of talented Slovenian producers have been busy assembling another fine instalment in their series of seasonal releases. Offering a varied and expansive sound, their musical mood draws from every corner of the arid sonic landscape they channel for inspiration; making for a quick, entertaining listen that’s thoughtfully well assembled.  Kings begins with an immediate departure from their previously boom-bap sound, incorporating rolling southern snares and fizzing electronics that soon dissolve into Pa-Neck The Serpent; the second track as much of a curveball as the first, finding the crew juggling loose timpani and swinging hats over a stomping bassline.

Sandstorm moves to distinctly Indian climes through warming strings fortified by melodic vocal chops, while Gauld is a personal highlight for it’s simple, effective organ loops that amble along under more perfect voicings; calmly echoing the sweltering soundscapes they invoke, before they increase the heat further on Bloodrun. Red Pyramid‘s triumphant tones close out the album as strongly as it began, neatly illustrating the group’s ability to make beats that both scream out for an MC to come destroy them, and stand alone as interesting compositions. On Dry Season Urban Click have raised the bar they previously set themselves through this sequence of inventive instrumental EPs, elevating their sound every time they serve up a fresh batch of beats.

Get it for free, here.



Sincerely, Mando : Que Sera, Sera.


I don’t know much about Rancho Cordova; but I’m guessing there’s some pretty smooth scenery out in that part of California. Especially if those were the vistas Armando Ruiz was taking inspiration from when he assembled his latest beat tape; Que Sera, Sera. The whole tape is top to bottom hip hop easy listening, with smoked out snares, jazzy hits and mellow melodies to lift your mood and make the tape a cleansing listening experience that’s as refreshingly optimistic as it is lazily relaxed.

Using Reason, Ableton and Akai’s iconic MPC2000xl to assemble his aural landscapes, the man known as Sincerely, Mando has created a beat tape that encompasses his own sound creatively, but leaves room for experimentation. Twenty Seven tracks float by in no time and will quickly have you reaching for that replay button and another puff on the devils lettuce. He retains focus by reigning in the repetition of phrases within the short song structure, and works simply and effectively to give each track it’s own identity within the larger soundscape; leaving space for the listener to drift off into, and keeping his sounds calm enough so you can either zone out, or pay full attention, and still feel fulfilled. Horns and vocal lines echo over punchy drums providing a soothing mood, nearly every rap line sampled is instantly recognisable if you’ve been following the culture for a while, and the vocals are incorporated subtly enough to compliment the track without drawing focus from the melody.


Be There begins the tape strongly with an upbeat break, from the off the tape exudes a warmth as if the melodies come freshly soaked in the coast’s sun rays. Unorganized roughens up the serene scene somewhat with some Large Pro-style horns rockin over Nas & Meth quotes. Summthin Luvly is just that; Loose drums, echoing brass and string loops unwind slowly over the minute or so the track lasts, slowly dissolving into the more dissonant pan-pipe-funk of Summernights-Alchydays, before the vibe sombrely slides back into a golden era, jazz-laced bump on Overcast Loops; another highlight that will have older heads reminiscing back to the days when simple hittin’ beats had MCs clamouring for the mic. The disjointed melodies on No Thrills balance a minor bassline with major horn accompaniments to create a dizzying, ambient groove that settles in and then abruptly morphs into a dope summertime jingle on Neva Evas boom bap break. Despite it’s depressingly narcissistic moniker, Selfloathing is one of the tape’s most optimistic songs; and the repetition of the vocal line over the gentle ambient sounds, simple drum programming and warm textures create one of Mando’s best beats. 

Mornings Noons Sambas captures the producers sound perfectly; cleverly placed samples, simple melody and effortless cool, unrestricted by his imagination, and allowed to reach whichever musical conclusion the song ends up at without contrivance. Early Merlot strips down some chopped and screwed vocals to bare bones that knock hard along with the strong rhythm section. On songs like Gota Go Away he straight-up slams out rap beats that leave you grasping for a pen and pad; then displays his diversity on more lackadaisical bong-baiting numbers like What Can It Be, as the song’s ill Raekwon loops and chilled trumpet arrangements make it my favourite beat on the album. He closes the album as strongly as he opens it; Starch is dope and could as easily be used by any MC in the 90’s hip hop scene as it could by any of the current crop. Nspiteofmyself penultimately ends the tape on an upbeat with some cool drum programming that sounds like it’s straining to cling to the track to stop itself falling out of time, before finally the outro carries the tape home on Ice Cube’s easily distinguishable dulcet tones.

There’s always a barrage of new music coming over the internet to anyone willing to seek it; and with that constant flow comes producer after producer trying to get their beats heard; Sincerely, Mando is one of the many that deserve attention. His audible  journey through his sampler is a carefree and calm vibe inspired by his surroundings; and as long as he continues to make music from the heart and provide a laid back soundtrack for heads to chill to; every new batch of beats he cooks up is guna be as enjoyable as the last.

Buy the tape at his bandcamp and stay updated his new projects @sincerely_mando.