Always keen to support people who put it out there, I thought I’d share an album sent in by Prosodi J (clever play on prosody & DJ?) called Ichi (One). Listen here to find out what happens when a British born composer creates music in California with a Japanese flavour. Prosodi J describes what he does as a ‘blend of old and new instrumental Hip-hop, Breakbeat, and Jazz’. When I listen to it I can kind of hear old school electro and yet the beats feel a bit loser and laid back like some of Moby’s tracks. The samples are less obvious and more integrated when compared to the more experimental hip hop of someone like Kid Koala who lets the stop-start influence of turntablism inform the sound.
I feel like I shouldn’t really be talking about hip hop and break beat, because while I do love some of the classics from the genre, I have no informed opinions about it. However, I am a big believer that music doesn’t need to be explained or categorised all it needs is to be heard. It does make it easier to talk about music by describing it in terms of what already exists, but I guess my point is that you don’t have to be an expert of hip hop to enjoy hip hop, all you need is ears to enjoy music.
I like the way Prosodi J has borrowed the modal elements of Japanese music, reminiscent of the music of Ryuichi Sakamoto (film score composer and former member of from the hugely influential Yellow Magic Orchestra)and the epic theme from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence or the theme from Ridley Scott’s Black Rain, which was a Hans Zimmer score. These tunes were popular in the eighties and actually made a big impact on electronic music and the early days of hip hop.
I would love to know where Prosodi J found his influences because they seem to be pulled from all kinds of places ranging from Eric Satie to Cyndi Lauper with some crazy syncopated beats from the jazz era thrown in for good measure. It’s a great example of how sampling has impacted post modern composition. Some musicians might copy sounds but I guess hip hop is kind of honest and just borrows them.