If you frequent this corner of the internet, you’re almost surely familiar with Greg Phillips aka Keyboard Kid aka WaterGod. Best known for his work with Lil B, Seattle-based producer has reignited the instrumental hip hop flame in recent years, instilling a sense of precocious positivity in the often-times staid community. A Based disciple to the fullest, Keyboard Kid has been churning out an almost insane amount of music over the past several years, releasing esteemed solo tapes on Donky Pitch, Automation and Mezzanine, as well as contributing dozens of (sometimes uncredited) beats to Lil B. Need we say more.
Already busy with a new puppy, the WaterGod let loose 37 minutes of narcotizing, all-original beat work for the 14th Astral Plane Mix. Matching soporific melodies with sharp snares and crackling feedback, Phillips effortlessly matches an off-kilter Based approach with a sleek, sci-fi aesthetic that constantly appears to be on the verge of implosion. The mix is chock full of exclusive material so take a gander at the track list after the jump for a taste of what 2014 has in store.
Last month, Dummy Mag’s Adam Harper wrote an extensive piece outlining what he calls the “neon” sound of the UK, demonstrated by labels like LuckyMe, Keysound and Numbers and characterized by bright synth work, loads of syncopation and a generally progressive spirit. Harper also touches on Bristol-based label Donky Pitch, which plays house for a globally focused cadre of talented producers, ranging from London’s ARP 101 to Seattle’s based kingpin Keyboard Kid. This month, the label reached the rather momentous 10 release landmark and are celebrating with a free compilation cleverly titled We Didn’t Think We’d Make It This Far Vol. 1. If you’re a Donky Pitch fanboy (like ourselves), you’ll recognize a good deal of already released material (10 tracks in all) that has come to epitomize the DP sound. There are also eight unreleased songs available including Ghost Mutt’s hyper rework of that one Kendrick Lamar song with the awful video filmed in a field “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”. If Donky Pitch is a new entity for your ear holes, We Didn’t Think We’d Make It This Far Vol. 1 is a perfect introduction and if you’re already in the know’s know, well, show some damn support anyways.
So Friendzone’s long-awaited Kuchibiru Network 3 mixtape has finally hit the webs today and it is even greater than we ever could have imagined. Exclusives from Jerome LOL, Main Attrakionz, Ryan Hemsworth, Keyboard Kid and more were the first lines to catch our mind’s eye, but Silkky Johnson, Finally Boys and Shady Blaze also feature prominently and more than hold their weight on an impressive lineup of contemporary MCs and producers. You can stream and download individual tracks below, but you should really just grab the entire tape in one fell swoop right hurr.
Laying in wait for months, Keyboard Kid has finally hit the masses with the long-awaited Don’t Leave BasedWorld tape, featuring 27 brand new instrumental creations. While the tape’s cover takes cues from Eazy-E and baroque art, the songs within exemplify the prolific beatsmith’s expansive repertoire and undying work ethic. The tape description puts Keyboard Kid squarely in the Lil B taskforce and the Seattle resident shouts out Raider Klan, Grimes and an odd Nickelodeon cartoon on various tracks. Keyboard Kid is at his best on the euphoric “Based Can’t Stop” and bonus jawn “My Based Journey” and while his productions are certainly tailored to a certain type of MC, Don’t Leave BasedWorld see KK expanding on his previous blueprint into exciting new territory. Few producers manage to ground ethereal/supernatural qualities in concrete beatwork quite like Keyboard Kid. It can only be described as the most based. Stream below and/or cop Don’t Leave BasedWorld for $6.99.
I can’t pretend to have known Austin Peralta or to be profound enough to properly eulogize him, but what I can do is recognize the enormous outpouring of love for a young man and transcendent musician who has tragically passed away. It’s easy to portray false love/appreciation through a computer screen, but I truly believe in the genuine nature of the hundreds of tributes that have popped up across the web. I remember seeing Austin at Low End Theory earlier this year and remarking on the ingenuity of his (quite literally) mind melting solos, but leaving halfway through the set nonetheless. Whether it was a lack of patience or just pure laziness, I can’t remember, but Austin’s passing has enlarged a feeling of deep personal regret. On a larger scale, Austin’s passing, like his music, is a remark on the ephemeral nature of life itself. So please, listen to this recording from Austin’s release party in Eagle Rock last year and recognize the incandescence that was Austin Peralta.
Hit the jump for the rest of the sounds…
For a guy who references satan a lot, Keyboard Kid’s music is generally pretty positive. The #basedworld don is gearing up for the release of Don’t Leave Basedworld and has let loose a steady stream of tracks, both on and off the album, to garner excitement. While the Seattle-based producer has often proven prolific, some have questioned his ability to stand alone as an artist as opposed to just hip hop producer. Actually, this sad sap is probably the only doubter. Anyways, the Keyboard Kid joint is “666Seance” a bonus track from the album and one his more abstract outings to date. Stream and download below and keep your eyes peeled for Don’t Leave Basedworld.
Taking a step back from his usual output of blunted hip hop pâte, Keyboard Kid released ComputersxDrugs earlier, a mixtape that is about as close to the label “laptop music” as anything out there. Nary an organic sound on this tape. A lot of ComputersxDrugs is pretty uncomfortable in the sense that I can’t really imagine an appropriate time to indulge it. It’s part techno and part noise, but there are moments of inspiration, particularly on “R@!53d0n8B1t”. Stream below.
While some deride the whole #Based movement, it’s impossible to deny the quality of music that has flown out of Lil B’s deranged mind. Seattle’s own Keyboard Kid is the prime purveyor of the based sound at the moment and has really come into his own as a solo artist in recent months. Later this month, he will release Don’t Leave Based World, an instrumental album that should act as a culmination of the work he’s put in over the past few years for a slew of MCs. “My Based Journey” is a bonus track from the album, but you can download the lush track over at Potholes In My Blog. As always, stay based friends.
Deniro Farrar’s sound has always been more akin to West Coast artists like Main Attrakionz and Schoolboy Q than his East Coast and/or Southern counterparts and the Kill Or Be Killed tape sees the Charlotte native matching bars with Green Ova member and East Oakland representative Shady Blaze. The tape is essentially an expanded version of last month’s DESTINY. altered and features an drool-worthy list of producers ranging from Green Ova mainstays Ryan Hemsworth and Friendzone to Sines and Lunice’s 808s driven take on Bass music. Like the title suggests, Farrar and Blaze are mainly concerned with street realism and their contrasting lyrical styles mash surprisingly well. Astral Plane favorite Haleek Maul features on the desolate Hemsworth produced “Cold Blood” and contributes one of the tapes best verses. Stream Kill Or Be Killed below and head here to download it (name your price).
Not only is Seattle’s own Keyboard Kid the Basedgod’s main producer (a feat in its own right), but an ever improving DJ as well. In March, we saw him join forces with DJ Darwin to craft the “808’s and Space” mix and it looks like he’s collaborated with the Mad Rad representative once again. The two are featured in this week’s Mixmag’s Mix of the Week — quite an honor. If I had to guess, Darwin handles most of the mixing while KK takes on song selection. I could be wrong though. Like “808’s and Space”, the mix features a mixture of KK originals and fuzzy, hip hop oriented bass tunes. The MΔRRI$ tune (“Different Girl”) is especially nice. Like everyone else (not a bad thing), Baauer appears in the mix. Dude is quickly making a name for himself. Stream and download below and find the tracklist after the jump.