Monday, January 5, 2009

Dert "Talk Strange"

Yes I was up listening to beat tapes late last night, and the night before. I’ve always enjoyed instrumental Hip Hop – the Strictly Beats blog was my introduction to the music blog scene – and as such I figured why not give some new beat tapes a listen. As it is every year, the first quarter generally starts out fairly slow on the release of new music. Luckily the industry is changing and while our favorite rappers won’t be coming out readily with new music a number of up and comers have been blessing us with great music non stop since before the 2009, and it seems that it’s only going to continue.

Dert is a talented producer. As I mentioned in the Jansport J post below, sometimes beat tapes are inspired by one source, as is the case with Talk Strange, an instrumental project inspired by the tunes of Icelandic songstress Bjork.

My familiarity with the music of hers is fairly minimal. I heard the Timbo produced tracks and may have ran through the last album once? A couple of her older albums have gotten some play from me in the past also, but never to an extent of which I could identify where much of the sounds found within Talk Strange come from. Regardless, if you enjoy Hip Hop inspired instrumental music you should give this a listen.

Given Bjork’s experimental nature it’s understandable much of the sounds found within this record aren’t your typical Hip Hop fodder. However, Dert utilizes her voice beautifully across all 18 tracks and blends in electronic synths and sounds with an assortment of hard hitting drums and other samples to create yet another impressive electro tinged Hip Hop outing from LA.

While listening you will hear influences from fellow LA beat makers such as Madlib, Flying Lotus and Daedelus. But this is not to say the album sounds unoriginal. On the contrary, Dert has allowed his influences to coalesce with the music of Bjork while adding his own take on the current state of Hip Hop instrumentals – these tracks stand on their own as some of the smoothest and refreshing Hip Hop beats I’ve heard in awhile.

Never letting anything play for too long, he keeps the tracks moving and you guessing what might come next. He can flip string samples and create something you might expect from Pete Rock and the next minute have a track that is as subtly beautiful as it is intense. Toying with emotion is commonplace for a good singer, utilizing the voice to convey how they feel. Here we see Dert channel these feelings through his productions.

Whether you are looking for some new tracks to rhyme with or just need something to put on while you are chilling at home reading a book, Talk Strange should find a place in anyone’s collection – this is what I like to see at the start of the new year!

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