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The Spoils of the Beat Battle

Been awhile since the last check-in at the ongoing Beat Battles series hosted by stonesthrow.com, the popular message board of its namesake record label.

The latest, number 151, like all previous Beat Battles, involves tossing up a beat-friendly sample and seeing which battler can push it further along.

As always, among the entries you’ll find both rudimentary cut’n’paste, and some inspired executions — and also as always, once you’ve listened to a handful of the mixes (at least 38 files were uploaded to the arena, at drop.io/battle151), you won’t listen to the original the same way again.

This time around, the source material is a tinny bit of rhythmic simplicity, though it has just enough different segments — old-school beats, Casio-quality congas, some vocoded chanting — to allow for numerous mixing outcomes.

The original is available as a download, but not for streaming, at mediafire.com. Among the highlights of the contest are those by bit1 (MP3), who provides a slo-mo version, all laconic hand claps, buzzy atmospherics, and a riff that suits the downtempo approach, and insDrumental (MP3), who judging by the sheer internal-combustion complexity of the outcome may have put more effort into his entry than a good number of his competitors combined.

The winner, chosen demo-cratically by votes on a separate message thread (at stonesthrow.com), was mplssoul, who worked in au courant sped-up vocals and a stuttery beat (MP3).

[audio:http://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/b3d20600-e4bd-012c-27b7-fd5ecdd47c47/43b19260-e50d-012c-aacd-f7583da1d649/bit1%20-%20Way%20Out.mp3?Signature=pdMIOAY%2BqICbUbafC5%2Bhb5OseZ0%3D&Expires=1264384433&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”Way Out”|artists=bit1] [audio:http://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/b3d20600-e4bd-012c-27b7-fd5ecdd47c47/8dc718f0-e7e2-012c-47b6-f85af4b26eb3/insDrumental%20-%20STBB%20151.mp3?Signature=FFuMPmL4on0hmiy4xia%2Bxgce06I%3D&Expires=1264384974&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”STBB 151″|artists=insDrumental] [audio:http://stlth.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/production/b3d20600-e4bd-012c-27b7-fd5ecdd47c47/98e99100-e5e5-012c-59f4-f0071c95fa06/mplssoul-myEscape.mp3?Signature=3Wb21QH8OEOcucpX%2BF7PfdnpX1E%3D&Expires=1264384769&AWSAccessKeyId=1DHMN2J6JW2RM0N4PC82|titles=”myEscape”|artists=mplssoul]

The direct links and streaming above may not function properly, but either way, be sure to spend some time at the drop.io/battle151 site, where the entries reside. The service continues to up its game, now allowing for Zip downloading of a given folder. Also give a read to the comments that trail each entry, evidence of the supportive community of producers that has built up around the Stones Throw Beat Battle.

And on to battle 152 …

By Marc Weidenbaum

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