Yeah ok so, you’ve heard us, well me in particular, harp on about certain compilations that helped me change the way I thought about music. Bitesize chunks of brilliant music, collected works of producers that offer an insight into a movement or assimilated pieces that capture a scene on a cusp of something. Beat Dimensions did it. Dubstep Allstars did it. Sweee Tooth did it. Elevator Music Vol. 1 (ayooooooooo!) did it also; and these are all examples that did it incredibly well, so to release a compilation in a sense the idea is nothing new; but when it’s part of a bigger idea, a grander vision it can become more than just a compilation and form part of a historic document.
Finest Ego, is an outlet for a new generation of beatsmiths; one that “understands hip hop, techno and the diverse new styles between electronic and organic grooves evolving from them.” Backed and maintained by the team behind the Project Mooncircle label, they’ve previously released three compilations focused on producers of particular geography over instalments, namely Japan, Russia and Australia & New Zealand and each one has let the music do the talking; collecting individual ideas and working them together to create an embellished musical overview.
They’re often on the money too; the Russian episode caught the surge of cold hip hop featuring work from Pixelord, Demokracy and DZA, building up a notion of a local movement happening around them. And that’s what the next instalment in the series does woefully well. Compiled by Laurent Fintoni, the blogger/journalist and he who co-masterminded the charity minded Nihon Kizuna project, the UK and Ireland edition presents the largest insight yet (its twenty tracks strong whilst the previous three were around twelve in total) into a particular global area.
Populated by familiar names, producers like Om Unit, Arp 101, Monky, Kelpe, Mr Beatnick and more, it’s a great snapshot of where this part of the world is at musically. “It’s by no means definite,” Fintoni tells us, cobbling together time for us on his lunch break; “there’s so many more people I wanted to ask to be on there, but I think quite telling of how diverse and exciting UK and Irish producers are. “
“The UK side of things I handled through existing contacts and people I knew,” he continues. “Jinna from Mooncircle helped bring on board Lapalux and Soosh, who I wasn’t familiar with and who both delivered amazing tracks. Then for Ireland I knew a few people and got some advice from a friend of a friend who lives there and who recommended the likes of Eomac and Melodica Deathship who I also didn’t know and came through with amazing tracks I think.”
Functioning more of a lynchpin between areas, uniting those trusted people in the know, Fintoni’s ear twists direction through hard hitting beats by Elliot Yorke and Monky all the way to up swirling productions from fLako via excursions into primitive boom bap from Don Leisure and boogie funk from his collective, the Darkhouse Family.
“It came together quite quickly considering,” Fintoni muses. “Everyone has been supportive of the initiative which has been great, especially in this day and age when things are complicated for both artists and labels and a request to be part of something that’s primarily a promotional effort is no longer a rarity.
“The process of putting together the comp was very similar to Nihon Kizuna (aside from the disaster/relief element of course) and I took a lot of what I learnt from that experience into this project. I guess part of me felt that while the UK is productive and known for artists in the beats/hiphop/electronic thing of the last few years there has not been a proper document of how the ‘scene’ (and I use that word very loosely) has evolved and changed since the late 00s when the likes of Hud Mo, Mike Slott and Paul White burst onto worldwide consciousness alongside guys from the US. So that was an impetus, as was my own knowledge and connections to producers in these countries.”
Finest Ego’s United Kingdom & Ireland Compilation will be available for download on 5th August from their bandcamp site. It’ll be a free download for 10 days whereafter it’ll cost a mere 10 Euros.
Plans for a limited run of cassettes are in bloom too.
01 Punta Skala by Don Leisure
02 Beat Imperial by Kelpe
03 Black Gestapo by Danny Drive Thru
04 Survivor by Seagull Mansion
05 Ode to Vomitea Grey School by Vince Mack Mongrul
06 Wotchagonnado by Mr Beatnick
07 Baby Love by Mr Healan
08 Drink Don’t Drive by Huess
09 Where Is Everyone by Darkhouse Family
10 Oi Stalker by Benjamin One
11 Clever Carl by Ean
12 Roll Dat by T-Woc
13 Feel It All Now by Soosh and Gards from KC
14 On 2 You by Bobby Tank
15 Dr Funkenstein by Arp 101 & Om Unit
16 Seanie’s Beat by Eomac
17 Slide Away by Jay Scarlett
18 Naiad by Om Unit
19 Lost Consonants by Lapalux
20 Sweet Vixen by S Type
21 Spaced by Sound Species
22 Woe Betide Them by Melodica Deathship
23 Off The Burn by Sert One
24 French Vanilla by Monky
25 Tribal Colors by Eliott Yorke (Royalty)
26 Blurry Dream by fLako