Elektronauts Hiphop Beat Battle #1: Voting and Feedback

Hi guys, I started a separate thread for the voting process to keep things clear.

Voting process

  • You can start voting today (19/7), and the deadline for voting is wednesday (21/7) meaning votes coming in after wednesday will not count.
  • Only people who joined the battle and submitted a finished track/beat can vote.
  • Before voting, I suggest everyone takes a moment to listen to all submitted tracks again completely, preferably in a way that gives you good sound quality. Every track submitted so far took time and effort to make, so I think they all deserve a thorough listening session!
  • After listening, you can post a top 3 to this thread (which of course excludes yourself!). Commenting on other submissions or sharing a list of ‘honourable mentions’ if you have any is off course welcomed, but please clearly state your top 3 at the start of your post.
  • After the voting every 1st place vote gives the recipient 3 points, every 2nd place vote gives the recipient 2 points, and every 3rd place vote is worth 1 point. The person receiving the most points will be declared the winner, and gets the honourable job to organise (and decide the rules for) the next battle! ps: I guess if by some miracle you guys decide to vote for me :smiley: , the person in second place can organise the next one).
  • Everyone can decide for themselves in what way to judge the submissions: There were no rules or limits on gear used, how many samples you could or had to use, or using outside samples/synths or acapella’s. This means everyone is free to decide what to take into account while voting (for example the overall quality, originality, how creatively the source material was used, how creatively the gear was used, how many samples were used, the mixing/sound quality etc).

Submissions:

@DimensionsTomorrow:

@rockpapergoat:

@Doug:

@drrumble:

@TheGhostCat:

@the_PMO:

@Sleepyhead:

@sezare56:

@Unifono:

@Kpucski:

@new_drugs:

@Affectionate-Bee-781:

@NeonMelk:

@woops

@garfield

@Yabba:

@Boxymusic:

@Maisin:

@sndrsklr:

@LyingDalai:

15 Likes

My top 3 :
1 - @DimensionsTomorrow
2 - @NeonMelk
3 - @the_PMO

There so much amazing beats here! Congratulations to everyone, it’s very hard to make a choice…
Special mention for @woops and @Unifono i would liked to put you in my top…

7 Likes

Wow you’re fast! I haven’t even listened to all the tracks, let alone picking up my favorites in the bunch.
Congratulations everyone for the overall level, I’m impressed, my monitors seem to be pretty happy singing all this ^^

4 Likes
  1. @DimensionsTomorrow
  2. @Unifono
  3. @rockpapergoat
6 Likes
  1. @sezare56
  2. @rockpapergoat
  3. @the_PMO

I made a fast sheet to be able to get some proper notations, as there were many tracks. Here were the criteria I used:

  • intro
  • title
  • beat : diverse
  • beat : tight
  • length
  • sample choice
  • outro
  • sources mentioned
  • originality
  • coherence
  • mastering
  • relisten
  • overall

Following were 1 point short to get in my top 3, but I really enjoyed your tracks nevertheless.
@drrumble
@Boxymusic
@DimensionsTomorrow
@Unifono

Special honorable mention for @woops: I really liked the originality of your track.
If I may give you an advice, get a subwoofer: I feel like you might not be aware that your bass get a bit too extreme.
@the_PMO your track was curiously mixed, a bit too rich in the middle IMO.

@sezare56 you’re so rocking the OT, it’s insolent.
I just love how you play with the voice, DJ Koala style.

@Sleepyhead thank you for this battle, I really enjoyed both making a track and listening to the other entries!

7 Likes

So this was insanely hard to judge. My methodology was to just listen to everything twice then go off my instincts. I didn’t check up on what samples were used - hard not to be influenced by the MC.

So I think my top three are
@woops - a proper journey there, a real sense of movement and structure.
@DimensionsTomorrow - For the lazy lazy beat, really original
@the_PMO - for pure authenticity, this sounds like it came straight out the 90s, copied off a tape.

Special mentions
@Unifono - to my ears the most professional sounding mix here.
@LyingDalai - sorry, I swapped you in and out of the top three like three or four times, I’m a sucker for interesting

I’m going to stop there, because honestly I should be working and there are too many that serve props. The final thanks goes to @Sleepyhead for making it happen.

Submitting, but don’t count my votes till the voting closes! I suspect my mind will change a few times or twenty.

8 Likes

Honestly, there were so many good beats it was hard to narrow it down to a top three. I ended up going with three beats that made me think I’d love to hear a whole album in that style.

  1. @the_PMO
    Your beat brought me back to the first mixtapes I bought in the early/mid-90s and the early days of beatmaking. Raw old-school hip hop vibes. Loved it. Great sample choices and chops.

  2. @TheGhostCat
    Absolutely loved your track. Great lofi vibe. It reminded me of a dope SP-202 or SP-303 mixtape. Modern underground vibes. I have to admit, you almost cost me a lot of money because you had me looking up Polyend Tracker videos.

  3. @Sleepyhead
    Loved your track. Killer! You said this was out of your normal comfort zone, but man, so dope. I came away thinking that I’d love to hear you do a whole tape of this style, maybe with all Ethiopian jazz or Nigerian psychedelic rock samples. I would have loved to hear even more of the Moog, it paired perfectly.

Great work everyone!

7 Likes

@the_PMO is my n°1 because i’m instantly sent back in the 90s, when i had dark hair, there was no bloody smartphones and Hip-Hop was so good.
The Bass is the Sh33T, the one shot samples are spicy, the effects are top notch and the cherry on top for me is the High pitched Drone, so characteristic of 80s/90s HipHop.

Then comes @Kpucski with his take on Blue Flowers that tickles my love for the weird.
Dr Octagon is an obvious classic and @Kpucski made something perfect with this dreamy, ethereal, ambiguous mix.
It’s a great track with the right amount of nastiness, a mess under good control.

And we have @DimensionsTomorrow with this tired (?) lazy (?) Laid back (?) slow paced (?) …Did i say laid back (??) groove that work so well. the contrast between the phat, slow, heavy beat and the sweetness of the main sample is a treat.

For the Honorable mentions, all of these were just victims of tiny personnal preferences but are loaded with goodness :

@Doug : Excellent production and awesome fat fat bass !
@TheGhostCat : love the two sides paced track idea.
@drrumble : that’s some classic flavor right there !
@Unifono : This is a high class level prod !
@Affectionate-Bee-781 : That was a sweet intimate track. pretty elegant.
@Boxymusic : fantastic mood and breaks.
@Lyingdalai : Great mastery of sounds.

Overall, congratulation to every one for this first battle. I’m please to know that people here know their stuff and i can’t wait for the next battles !!

EDIT : I’ve messed up my CTRL X, C, V skills when i pasted this from my wordpad to here !!! So there is a confusion AND a missing comment !!!

I’m so sorry @TheGhostCat and @drrumble , i 've fixed it…
I told you i was old and dumb…

10 Likes

Firstly, @Sleepyhead, thanks for putting this together, you were extremely organized and professional. Your Rytm is the comfiest looking thing I’ve ever seen!

  1. @sezare56 - Clean from start to finish; interesting throughout

  2. @the_PMO - Made me smile every time; perfect timing, felt like a turning point from a battle to a good time

  3. @woops - Best use of the provided samples—each selection served purpose and didn’t seem ‘tacked on’

Thanks to everyone for participating. There wasn’t a bad beat in the bunch.

-K

6 Likes
  1. @sezare56 - You just kind of bent the samples to your will and made them be what you wanted them to be. I really like the way that the Aaron Neville bassline is introduced, the Monica sample is sort of built up around that. But that’s turned on its head and the bassline is just constantly being mutated to follow the sample. Great stuff.

  2. @Sleepyhead - I think I go into this one with a little bias because I just plain like your style going into it. Everything just fits together perfectly. It’s understated and funky.

  3. @NeonMelk - This is such a lost style of production. That late eighties very early 90s almost a megamix style that copyright law would not let live. I think you nailed it too.

Honorable mentions:

@the_PMO - the front half especially sounds like this could have just been one of those lost Hiero songs that the lawyers wouldn’t let see the light of day. I liked your use of the strings in particular.

@TheGhostCat - Just a great flip. I want to hear someone on it. It’s just straightforward and good.

@DimensionsTomorrow - At the same time this is one of the simplest and wildest flips. It’s smooth and it’s disorienting. I can see what you did. I know how you did it. But I would have never ever thought to do it. I like it a whole lot.

10 Likes

Thanks to @Sleepyhead for setting this up and also to whomever will be sorting out the votes.

My picks in no particular order:

@DimensionsTomorrow
Perfectly loping in feel. Love the bassline. Really like how you used the turnaround in the outro

@NeonMelk
Very fitting to the accapella. I could mistake this for the Dust Brothers work if no one said anything(a big compliment not a complaint). I like how all the disparate sections fit together. A bit of a journey overall.

@new_drugs
This has all the lofi goodness that I like without the typical “Lofi hiphop to study to” cliches. It’s familiar but fresh.

Otherwise as I mentioned in the other thread, everyone’s submission was pretty dope. Such a wide scope of possibilities referenced and executed so well. I’m interested to see how the next one turns out!

5 Likes

So hard to choose !

  1. @woops
  2. @Unifono
  3. @LyingDalai

Thanks all, thanks @Sleepyhead for organising things; I wish I had time to use Irene…and other samples.

It was very interesting, I fucked up my live recording, bad compressor settings, wrong tempo, quantize…but I learned a few more things…:content:

Samples I used (provided only) :

(It would have been interesting for me to keep the same thread, easier to check participant’s descriptions, and quote sample sources).

6 Likes

oof… this was tough. in college, i was music director of the radio station. i used to have to review (and screen for profanity) tons of music every week. my system was if a song made it 30 seconds or so without skipping to the next track, it was probably good. if it made it past 2 minutes, it was a keeper. for picking my top 3, i didn’t do that but did listen throughout the day today to see what stuck, which were songs i’d want to listen to more than a few times. it’s pretty rare i even want to listen to my own stuff more than a few times.

all of these entries are so good. everyone should be proud of the work put into this battle. this community is awesome.

here are my top 3:

  1. @sezare56: this is both a smouldering cauldron of samples and also listenable. i am impressed.
  2. @DimensionsTomorrow: that loping beat and doom over the top sealed it for me. solid stuff!
  3. @NeonMelk: your jam is just plain fun, flows well with the vocals, and i love that monica sample chop.

honorable mention shout outs go to:

@Unifono
@Maisin
@LyingDalai

it was seriously difficult picking a top 3. you all crushed this one!

8 Likes

Honestly, the quality across the board with these beats in really inspiring. I had a genuinely good time listening multiple times to these. My top three are:

  1. @rockpapergoat
  2. @the_PMO
  3. @sezare56

I’m not going to @ everyone but here are my notes on each entry.

DimensionsTomorrow – The feel is amazing. Such a loose and perfect lazy groove. MF Doom vocal fits the mood perfectly. I love the variation in the samples throughout especially at 2:05.

Rockpapergoat – Great variation and the drums hit hard. The whole thing has a lot of warmth. I would like to hear a Digitakt version-it would be interesting to compare. The more I listened to it the more I liked it. The use of the vocal samples really got it stuck in my head and created an almost verse-chorus type arrangement.

Doug – Fantastic vibe. The acapella is cool and contrasts well with the hazy feeling of the beat. Showing the samples at the end is a great idea.

Drrumble – I love how the beat fits the acapella perfectly. It feels completely at the service of the vocal. I like how minimal you were able to keep it-this is always a struggle for me so I know it takes some discipline.

TheGhostCat – I love how melody forward this feels and the stutter work is pretty inspiring.

The_PMO – I love the strange, jazzy groove. It feels classic and futuristic at the same time. The sample implementation is so well executed. The bass line doesn’t feel like it should work but it fits perfectly and holds it all together. Nice work.

Sleepyhead – For me this has a perfect lazy summer afternoon mood to it. The vocal samples are implemented well. Very good arrangement overall. I could imagine any number of rappers over this.

Sezare56 – Wow! This one just keeps evolving. Very original. Nice to hear the ‘No Country’ dialogue in there. Nice flip of that bass line and great sample warping throughout. This is super inventive and has a really distinct vibe.

Unifono – This has a super classic vibe. The acapella fits like a glove. This is so tight and well executed.

Kpucski – Grimey! I love the Kool Keith vocal. This one definitely has a vibe all it’s own

Affectionate-Bee-781 – I love the drum sequencing on this. It reminds me of Massive Attack/Tricky era stuff. Lots of cool variation while maintaining the overall feel. Nice groove overall.

NeonMelk – I love the beat switch at 1:12! Such a cool switch up. Serious originality throughout. The beat switching and mood keep it interesting and surprising the whole way through.

Woops – This sounds so good. The bass line is superb and I like the blown out quality to it. That sitar(?) bit is a really nice touch.

Garfield – Cool to hear a different take on the Peter Shade sample. It’s fun to hear how many different directions there can be on the same source material. The vocal stabs are a nice touch.

Yabba – great bass line. I also love the horns. I’m also a sucker for slightly melancholic vocal samples.

Boxymusic – the piano creates a nice off kilter feeling. I love that you worked Ric Flair in there. The drum sound quality is really nice.

Maisin – another pleasantly off kilter jam. This reminds me of classic Prefuse 73 in a good way. The transitions and flourishes are pretty inventive.

Sndrsklr – Probably my favorite straight groove of the entries. It’s very immediate and hard hitting. The bass line is fantastic.

LyingDalai – Cool take on an acapella. Great sound design in the transitions. This is super original. I’ve gotta say, the entries that are done on the OT have got me reconsidering picking one up.

Thanks to @Sleepyhead for arranging this thing. I had a great time.

17 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

So many good things here, velor in the eardrums.

3 Likes

1 @the_PMO

2 @Sleepyhead

3 @garfield

Really difficult choice as they were all great :slightly_smiling_face:
Nicely done everyone!

6 Likes

1 @sezare56 - Loved that sound, seemed like a crazy hiphop vibe straight out of a western movie.

2 @Doug - Great vibe

3 @Sleepyhead - So clean

Honorable mention:
@Kpucski - crazy beat and out there style!

7 Likes