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Saturday, May 23 2015 | 06:30
Image: 1597396 “Sounds like the early 90s,” “Vintage” & “Boom-Bap” are phrases
often used nowadays in an attempt to describe modern music that is
reminiscent of hip-hop’s golden era, more specifically the sound of
late 80’s and early 90s sample based rap. Using those exact phrases
to describe K-Def’s Tape Two instrumental project is fitting on many
levels, not only because the audio on this album fits the description,
but because the tracks contained were actually made during the late
80s / early 90s by an ambitious young man from New Jersey known as
Kevin Hansford pka K-Def. When you listen to these beats, please keep
in mind that these pieces are sourced from an old cassette that was
recently rediscovered. What you hear on this project is actually coming
to you straight from the early 90s via a lost & found beat tape recorded
during Def’s formative years as an artist.
These days a lot of artists attempt to emulate the sound and the style
pioneered by artists like Primo, Rza, Large Pro and yes even K-Def, but
their intentions are usually more retro than real. Veteran hip-hop producer
K-Def has been “making beats” for well over 25 years, way before the
term “boom bap” was ever coined and before any rap producer opted to
make instrumental albums. Back then, bulky machines like the SP1200
and MPC60 were used not because of their “gritty” sonic texture, but
instead simply because those particular samplers offered new and
innovative ways to manipulate sounds, making production accessible to
folks who otherwise might not have access to a full band or recording
studio. Those 12 & 16 bit sampling behemoths allowed guys like K-Def
and Primo to combine and reprogram audio sourced from vinyl records
into thundering new instrumental compositions. Thanks in part to his
musical background as a DJ & Dancer, combined with a little bit of
networking, K almost instantly went from dreamer to doer. The story
goes something like this: in the early 90s, K-Def created a handful of
beat tapes that started to circulate the NY/NJ area via his network of
MCs, quickly reaching the ears of production mastermind Marley Marl.
Def’s big break came when his cousin passed a tape to Marley, who
immediately recognized that this particular young man from Jersey
had the “skills to pay the bills” as they used to say. Marley wasted no
time making the drive from NY to NJ, arriving straight at K’s front door,
offering him the role of in-house producer at the legendary legendary
house of hits! The rest is history

01 - Jersey in the House (1993)
02 - So Damn Tough (1990)
03 - I Was Reaching (1990)
04 - We Party in ‘88 (1988)
05 - Circus (1991)
06 - Can You Let Me Know (1992)
07 - Do What You Gotta - Pre Real Live Version (1991)
08 - Another Interlude (1992)
09 - It’s Fat (1996)
10 - Walk and Big (1993)
11 - Just Let Me (1994)
12 - The Memphis Layback (1996)
13 - Super Nig (1997)
14 - Smoke One Wit Me (1993)
15 - Feel the Vibe and Rap (1994)

All Instrumentals Produced by K-Def in the 1990s using
the Akai MPC60 & sometimes using Marley Marl’s Akai
S1000 Available from 19.06.2015
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