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Chicago Hip-Hop Built from Paul Simon Sample

Joshua Wentz digs his way out of the crates.

“My landlord gave me a stack of records that a tenant had left in a vacated apartment,” writes Joshua Wentz by way of introduction. “Most of them are really scratched, but a few are not too scratched.” The following track, “Piano Slum,” is one of the pieces that resulted when Wentz dug into the vinyl and came up with a variety of instrumental hip-hop excursions. This particular example is built on a small loop of a familiar Paul Simon song. Even as he cuts it and moves parts around, even as he creates a new melody from old, culturally entrenched note formations, he retains the original organ’s loose, analog wavering. As he describes his modus operandi, “I figured these albums would be a good way to scratch a musical itch: create some instrumental hip hop tracks with these albums as the foundation.”

Track originally posted for free download at More on Wentz, who’s based in Chicago, Illinois, at Another Wentz track, in which he played along with a passing train, was featured here last month.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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