A beat cypher, what a novel idea. Could be interesting. Those were my first thoughts when a friend mentioned TeamSupreme to me. It sounded vaguely enticing, but an unrealistic novelty in reality. 12 producers using the same two samples and contributing one minute of beat action? No way that could work. If conducted by the wrong people, I figured it would be an utter disaster. Well what the fuck do I know? Directed by Dane (The Great Dane) and Preston (of Virtual Boy), TeamSupreme has been churning out their unique “cyphers” since April and have garnered respect from across the hip hop and electronic music spectrums. With a monthly spot at Los Angeles’ La Cita in place and a stable of producers ranging from (DJ) Nobody to Boreta of The Glitch Mob contributing to the weekly volumes. We wanted to find out more about the process behind TeamSupreme so we shot some emails back and forth with Dane and Preston. Here are the results. Can’t wait for Volume 3,000 to drop.
Dane: Me and Preston were hanging out and we decided to have a little unofficial project to make a beat in an hour at the same BPM with the same vocal sample, “My team supreme, stay clean” (a Biggie quote). After we finished up we put them back to back and thought it would be cool to try it on a bigger scale with more producers. That first little project turned into TeamSupreme Vol. 1.
Who all is involved with TeamSupreme at this point? Is everyone located in LA?
Dane: We started with just our close producer friends mostly in LA or Orange County, but now we have people sending in beats from NY, Colorado, Portland and more.
Preston: Our usual suspects consists of Papi, King Henry, Great Dane, Preston James, Djemba Djemba, Fuzz, Kloud, DJ Nobody, Dot, ELOS, Kenny Segal, Nalepa, Snorlax and Colta. We’ve also had many guests including Boreta of The Glitch Mob and Kendo of Two Fresh.
Hit the jump for the full interview…
What if any guidelines are there when choosing a sample?
Dane: Every week we pass it around so whoever’s turn it is picks a BPM, a Sample (which can be literally anything) and also a shorter sample that serves as a “transition” between the beats. Everybody puts the transition at the beginning and end of their beat.
Preston: For example, last week our transition sample was from Willy Wonka playing the Figaro theme on his flute.
What role has Low End Theory played in the proliferation of the TeamSupreme sound? I remember Nobody dropping a few beats back in May
Dane: Low End Theory is where we all kind of met in a sense. Personally I had been tagging along to LET with Henry and Preston (aka Virtual Boy) for almost 3 years before I even began producing, it’s like a second home to us. So naturally when we began TeamSupreme we drew from there for talent and support. Luckily they liked the project and have been bumping beats from TS ever since.
What makes a TeamSupreme live event unique and/or distinctly TeamSupreme?
Dane + Preston: It’s free. The lineup is stacked and everyone brings their own sound.
Who are some producers we should be looking out for on future volumes?
Dane + Preston: However, you can expect to hear some new guests on every volume. Some you may know, some you may not.
Any plans to expand beyond the Youtube/Tumblr format?
Dane + Preston: We’ve thought about setting up a bandcamp for special music compilation releases. Releases that includes finished versions of the tracks you’ve heard on tapes before.
What are your grand hopes and aspirations for TeamSupreme?
Dane: My hope is to showcase fresh producers. No hype, just really, really, good music. It’s so amazing that we’ve been getting attention from bigger producers like Boreta of The Glitch Mob and Kendo of Two Fresh, and I love that we can have guests like that, but my favorite part of TS is hearing and showing off the raw talent from people who are almost completely unknown.
Preston: My hope is to still be doing this with the team 70 years in the future when Vol. 3000 drops.