Growing up, my Hip Hop producer heroes were guys like DJ Premier, The Bombsquad, Q Tip, Pete Rock, and others along that line. I dug DJ Shadow’s production, always thought Geoff Barrow was a genius, and was a genuine fan of Dilla. In today’s music environment, not only is there a different influence to up and coming producers, but the game is changed completely. Once expensive drum machines are swapped for computer software and different types of innovation. Kids are sampling off of YouTube. It’s a different game now. Many influences from peers or the internet is common. Although you still need to have skills, there are a ton of bedroom producers that are making moves we don’t even know about. One young buck that’s been making a name for himself for the last 4 or 5 years is Daryl Donald. Inspired by Dilla, Donald took Scotland and the world by surprise with his beats and YouTube channel. Moody Hip Hop instrumentals that don’t necessarily have to be rapped over are his specialty, and his respect for Jay Dee comes out through his music. Short, to the point beats that should be played over and over, are reminiscent of the sound of the D, but this time out of the E, aka Edinburgh. He is sampling Jazz, Psychedelic and Progressive Rock, and it’s great to see a new producer go outside the realm of the normal sample fodder to keep the game fresh.
His latest effort, Kept, just came out at the end of May. It is an ethereal journey into sound. It’s Daryl Donald’s interpretation of what good music should sound like by his standards, what he would want to listen to when he puts on headphones. Starting off with “Planets”, a lighter introduction that has some knock, he sets the tone for the rest of the tunes. Seven tracks, the longest close to three minutes make up this Lp. A fine selection of sampled drums run through tunes like “Science”, “Human Condition”, and “Softly”, all with their own pops, clicks, and snaps that just add layers to these minimalist and beautiful beats. There are three bonus tracks added as well, that includes a remix of “One Little Indian”, the closest you’ll get to someone rapping over his beats. All in all this is a solid effort from this budding UK producer. It reminds me of Barrow’s sleepy drums on Portishead as much as some early Wall of Sound production s well. All with his own twist on the game. With 5 years under his belt beat making, the world is definitely his oyster. He’s ready to be discovered. Listen up, these beats won’t be kept inside for too long.
Download the record for free:
More on his Soundcloud page.