Back in the days, my best friend gifted me an unlabelled instrumental beat tape by Berlin underground rap collective Creaturen der Nacht. I used to listen to those beats all of the time, at home, in my car, waiting patiently for my favorite loops to resound, over and over again. Rewind, fast forward, rewind, lost in dust-speckled sounds, predictably unpredictable.
Enter nostalgia, enter Collective Resonance. The UK-based radioshow and independent record label just released a new hip hop flavored batch of lo-fi goodness, fittingly dubbed Dirty Tape Beats. Fresh from the paws of now 21-year-old Georgia cub Alexander Aultman, alias Bearhead, comes an album that references the classic mixtape format for all its random glory. D.T.B. features an eclectic blend of styles with beats ranging from gritty to dreamy, building on sample-driven atmospheric instrumentals and layered with multiple melodic effects that play out in a slightly warped aesthetic, thus the name.
As Bearhead puts it, he quite simply needed to get this release out of his system and into ours. Inspired by classics such as Madlib’s Blue Note homage Shades Of Blue, some early Quasimoto and the Special Herbs Vol. 0-9 instrumental installments by Metal Fingers (aka MF DOOM), he set out to compose sample-based music that wasn’t as experimental as his usual productions, but rather a collection of beats particular to his preferences in hip hop. He began searching for samples, chords and melodies, feeding his initial findings onto cassettes to create that vintage sound, before adding some lush final touches on his laptop. The result being Dirty Tape Beats. Literally. Time to hit that good old play button again.