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Composing in code.

Instrumental Hip-Hop, Afterwards (MP3)

A beat from Bavaria

The name rawb1 is that of a SoundCloud account that’s a regular on the Stones Throw Beat Battles. The battles are a strong precursor of the Disquiet Junto. Each week a sample is offered up to the members, who then — with a handful of restraints, along the lines of variations on the game of poker — craft an instrumental hip-hop beat out of it. Much of the rawb1 account is a series of these entries, but the most recent track suggests itself as a respite, thanks to its title, “Cigarette Afterwards.” It’s a solid beat, which is to say it is unsolid: there’s a light shift or swagger to its pace, even though its foundation is a repeated sample of a piano, bass, and percussion. The tension, or more to the point the accomplished lack of tension, between affect and process is a key facet of a good beat, There’s also a bit of coital enthusiasm that serves as “Cigarette Afterwards”‘s approximation of a vocal. One of the pleasures of the Beat Battles is listening to instrumental hip-hop continue to become a self-contained force, not music intended for sublimation to a vocalist, but a formed composition unto itself.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/rawb1. The account appears to hail from Bavaria, Germany. More on the Beat Battles at soundcloud.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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