Thursday, July 03, 2014

Groove Transcription - 4hero, "Play With the Changes"

The electronic music world, as a sweeping generalization, is somewhat of mystery to me.  I'm fascinated by it, and enjoy a lot of it, but haven't taken the massive amounts of time required to really delve into it and understand it.  At this point in the game, saying "electronic music" is much like saying "rock" or "jazz".  They are all genres that have grown so large and splintered into so many sub-genres that those large umbrella terms don't really say much anymore.

The impression that I get is that electronic music is both mysterious by nature, and also rather incestuous.  Artists release albums under aliases, and as guests, many having worked with each other, collaborating and remixing each others work.  This can make it hard to find out about an artist.  Such is the case with 4hero.  A London based duo, 4hero seem to have dipped their fingers in about every pie there is.  A Google search of them brings up a few of their albums, but also a number of compilation discs, remixes, productions, aliases, etc.  Initially getting their start in techno and house, they later became one of the biggest names in the UK drum 'n' bass and jungle scene.  They've collaborated with, and remixed artists as varied as Jill Scott and Azymuth.  In their last big studio release, 2007's "Play With the Changes", the duo quite successfully dabbled in the world of acid jazz, nu jazz, downtempo, neo-soul, whatever you want to call it.  It's a killer album that I highly recommend.

The title track features a few great grooves that translate very well to the kit.

Out of the gate we hear:

Gently tucked into the mix there's also a 3-2 cascara pattern on a cowbell:

And around 2:56 there is a very cool breakdown.  The notation at the top is intentionally arbitrary, as you can experiment with playing the 16th notes with a brush, or a shaker in one hand.


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