Derived a few years ago when Rae used to host the Beat Down and have lines out The Bird’s doorway, Beat Lounge #4 on Thursday night played host to many of the same beat-makers, hungry for another round since Rae stopped hosting that instrumental hip hop music session, being busy as the lead vocalist of Rae+Band (AKA Public School Band). Thankfully, he caved and did a call out for anyone keen to showcase their beats. The result? The return of some known talent and a few great newcomers.
Rae explained that the night was a way to get beat-makers socialising, out of their bedrooms and up in front of a crowd. Standing in the crowd dancing to hip hop-jazz beats then drum and bass and sometimes ‘baby making music’ (Benny The Kids comment on newby, Samurai J’s set), I stopped and really considered beat makers. They are the ones who produce tracks, often with a better understanding of what’s new in their particular genres and more importantly, they often have a better understanding of what people want to hear, in comparison to the emcees who put lyrics to the beat, because they have to pay more attention to the smallest of details. Timing, levels, mixing; yet they stand in the background – sometimes people notice their name in a caption or if they’re fortunate an acknowledgment when people bother to refer to the production notes. Back when the internet wasn’t the primary outlet for obtaining music and CD stores were, you would never find a section of just beat tapes. Now, I wondered, could it be a whole new genre in itself? Or another division or element of hip hop? Bandcamp certainly could offer such a section.
Someone in the crowd mentioned that it’s nice to have a change; to groove to just the beats. We watched some beat-makers perform so in their zone they’d know every kick, synth entry and bass drop; while others others too shy to stand behind the decks for their full fifteen minutes played their mix and quickly exited the stage. Matt Rafle, Wisdom Tooth, Rob Shaker, Boost Hero Man, Oath One, Empty Cup, Rough Soul Beats, Chu, Creed Birch (who won last years Beat Down final), Sky, Samurai J and Benny the Kid all displayed the cream of what Perth has to offer in production. Rae hosts Beat Lounge every last Thursday of the month and it would be awesome to petition for another – if this is what the guys are like chilling, what would they be like competing at Beat Down?! Someone yelled out to Rae as he introduced the beat-makers, “Where are all the girls at?” He replied, “I don’t know, but they’re welcome to email me for the next one.”
By Aleyna Martinez
Photographer by Daniel Craig.