I’ve been invited to guest judge the latest edition of a pretty cool weekly beat production competition put together by Sessions LA – a program that works with youth to nurture critical thinking via making music. The competition is known as “Microwave Mondays” and works like this: I, as guest judge, pick a recording to be used as sample source material, it’s uploaded to a file sharing site, and any interested producers have a week (till Monday, June 4th) to flip it for a track. At that point I check out the submissions and pick a winner. Other than props from yours truly I don’t know if the winner gets anything else. Come to think of it, this actually sounds like kind of a raw deal for the producers… (I keeeeed). The tune I chose as the sample source is…
Herb Geller ft. Mark Murphy – “Space a la Mode” (Atlantic, 1975)
I chose this record because it’s got a lot of different parts you can mess with either via loop, chop, etc. It begins and ends real floaty and in the middle they kinda jam. It’s also just a really beautiful recording. Mark Murphy’s voice is like early EPMD before EPMD – always cool under pressure, no need to act ill. And even though I know sampling cool songs doesn’t automatically lead to slammin’ beats, I’m just curious to see how any of the qualities I dig about the OG do or don’t translate to something newly created by someone hearing it all with fresh ears.
You can get all the information about this week’s “Microwave Mondays” over at the Sessions LA site (they also have the DL link to the Herb Geller track). Check out what some of my esteemed colleagues and fellow guest judges like O-Dub, Matthew Africa and DJ Day chose for sample source material. And don’t forget to support Sessions LA while you’re at it.