Words By: Mike Styles
Beats of All-Nations Radio returns with a double A-Side, that’s right we have a 2-part show for you, doubling up on the producers and stepping outside the So. Cal region for some heavy beats from the Windy City.
Some background, I had the opportunity to judge Beat Cinema’s Beat Battle v. 6 last month along side Co.Fee and Repeated Measures. There were twenty or so producers, most of them killed it, the battle was an absolute fire fight after the first eliminations. However two of the participants from Chicago blew our minds that night. Porchlite and I knew we had to get something cooking with Radius and Sev Seveer while the flame was still set on high. We all instantly got on the same page and began to draw out a blue print for Episode 003.
Radius comes from Chicago’s Southside but really a resident of the earth, a traveling beat maker. Designing sound since 2001, Radius has made quite a name for himself in today’s beat scene. He has successfully ran the LA circuit, gaining respect and head nods from the likes of Low End Theory, dublab and Beat Cinema to name a few. He’s released music in almost every format from 7″ vinyl, cassettes, cd and digital. Radius only needs the most minimal set up, a MPC 1000, a Korg Kaossilator Pro and Korg Kaoss Pad Mini to perform his improv beat sets. He packs light, travels heavy and extracts everything he needs out of the little that he carries.
Sev Seveer comes from the Northside of the Chi, with a background of journalism, in college he participated in Hip Hop Congress, hosted and DJed radio shows from “Beats n Rhymes” on WPGU 107.1 to “The Hip Hop Project” on WLUW 88.7 FM. He has managed to find time in all of that to create his own path with music. With many releases under his belt, some of his most notable works include Freddie Gibbs’ “Terrorist (Seveer Transmission Remix)” as well as featured releases with Pragmatic Theory, Push Beats Chicago and composing bed music for The Roy Ayers Project. No stranger to the live element, Sev has plugged in and played his SP and Kaoss Pad at SXSW for the last two years (2013: DJ Set, 2014: Beat Set), featured at Beat Swapmeet and opened for Elaquent.
What drew us to these guys was their ability to completely bend any rules of limitation on standard production, they take their own path and finish ahead of the rest. But that’s not the only reason. There’s something about these two that we can’t really put into words. Its more of the intangible nature. Maybe its their ability to be independent and on the move. Maybe its their good spirits. Maybe its their connectedness to the Earth…Its probably all of that and then some.
At the point of publishing this episode, neither producer has heard the mix of the other. So not only will it be your first time hearing this episode in full, it’ll be theirs as well. We’re sending a huge THANK YOU to the guys for all of their hard work on this episode. This ain’t the last hear gonna hear from them!
Get your mind right, enjoy the ride and be sure to check our interview with both artists below!
Beats of All-Nations Radio Episode 003 Featuring Radius & Sev Seveer
Describe This Mix For Us?
Radius 24 minutes of what it’s like to build with me. Exactly how I felt in that moment, raw. I chose to express that with the listeners. If you come to see me live or if we were vibing in a session, this is an example of how it would go. All improv set using various elements of beats, patterns, sequences etc on my MPC and effects pads.
Sev Seveer This mix is just me having fun with some barely-or-never-before-heard joints I did, as well as one recorded jam with Lanzo and Cos. My usual live set is in the moment/stream of conscious creation that I improvise. I chose a different technique for this mix because I have so much music that I’m holding on to, wanted to take some time to share and in the process, rep for my homies back home by including them. Any time I get a platform, that’s usually how I take advantage of it. I’m hooking you guys up with an exclusive look into various projects in the works, specifically the rap joints. Some cats make beats and take pride in the absence of emcees or whatever…that’s never really been my M.O. I grew up on rap music— bars on beats never get trite to me. In essence, this is almost like a peepshow. I dug a couple cool records and VHS tapes that sparked the 11th hour idea to record an audio collage narrative. The theme is that an assailant has stolen beats from my lab and created this mixtape with it. It’s fitting because I recently had something vaguely similar happen in real life.
Have You Two Collaborated On Anything In The Past?
R Yes we’ve played shows together and have had a couple of sessions too. Plus DJ Moppy and I have booked’em for our Beyond Luck monthly residencies as well.
SS Since coming back from L.A, Radius and I have been fortunate enough to get a few opportunities to collaborate. We’ve had various jams and stuff in the past that we recorded, but as for feature stuff…that’s all coming soon! Aside from my Push Beats family, Radius and DJ Moppy were the first cats outside of Push to really give me a spotlight to play live P.A beats at shows.
Essentials You Need While On The Road?
SS Wow. Definitely RCA to Stereo ¼ inch adaptor heads. Just cords in general. These things are like lighters and chapsticks. They are meant to be lost. They are part of nature, no one owns them. I find the record store before the food spots usually. Also, I gotta always keep a couple CDs or tapes duped up; you never know who you’re going to run into. But since I’ve recently been fortunate to travel a few times for music I’ve learned to pack light. That’s basic travel knowledge 101, but, music is the way by which I really came to grasp the art of movement.
R Learning experience, I have to have my chlorophyll concentrate drops for sure, water, granola bars, bananas and other fruit. Stuff to get me from point a to wherever when time is hard and I can’t stop to eat, nothing available for me to eat and/or afford it and whatnot. My phone to get around cities and stay connected to social networks to promote for shows and also share photography/documenting, because I’m into that as well & god willing at least a couch or mattress to sleep on (thank you)…
Hot Spots From Your Last Travels?
R Currently in Honolulu HI as I type this. I’ve been here 1.5 weeks and have 3 weeks to go til I’m back in Chicago. Looking forward to playing some shows here soon, I have a couple with The Lightsleepers crew here. Much love to the good cats I’ve linked with recently from Seattle and of course my other home Los Angeles which I was in last month.
SS Man…..In Austin for SXSW we checked out End of an Ear records. That spot is real dope. Great selections and everybody is genuinely happy to see folks digging for joints no matter what their experience is. S/o Soundfounder, Lo-Phi and REZ down in Texas. I also dug the Barcelona venue in Austin; just make sure you bring earplugs to that spot. My ears are still recovering. As for Cali, I didn’t get to spend quality time in L.A, but I’ll be back soon no doubt!
Tips On Networking/Traveling As An Independent Artist?
SS Well I’ve only just begun to learn my lessons to be honest. Personally I’m thrilled to be doing a joint feature with Radius because he’s a cat who really helped me grow early on as far being mobile goes. He’ll tell you, “if you see it, do it”. 2014 has been a great year for all of us in the Chicago extended fam. I’m more confident in myself as an artist and that has in turn given me confidence to make moves. We say it’s like planting your flag! Get these bases down, imperial! One thing about beat communities across the US, I’ve found that no matter where you go, the scenes are close knit. Like guilds almost. Spread love, be positive wherever you go and be magnetic, always be on a mission to send vibes to home base.
R Stay consistent, stay active, show/tell as much as you can, no one is going to do that for you. You have to be your own manager and agent. I don’t know what the other world is like or how cats operate within it, but I do know me so you must be you and rep that to others as honest as you can be. Keep building and pushing. Stay confident and creating & stay connected with respect. Realize and recognize that you aren’t in this alone, everyone wants to make it, no matter what or how they define that, so no need for an EGO. Embrace changes in the moment. Eat something that will energize you and will help sustain you & keep you moving around without sickness. Peace
R Wonderful time, was in it for fun, wasn’t even thinking on the lines of I am gonna kill everyone and take this, until the very last round, then I was like ok I’m gonna win now! Hahahah.
SS That was the first venue battle I’ve done. I’ve passed on many because the rules just never seem to allow for a good time, in my experience. When I saw the rules for Beat Cinema I HAD to get out there somehow. It was so dope to be up there with cats on MVs, SPs, MPCs, Abletons, everything. The “2 minutes of whatever you want” rule….it was all so well put together and allowing for creativity. I can’t say enough really.
Did Any Other Producers Catch Your Attention?
SS YES! I was super impressed by Phantom Thrett, and then realized after building later that he’s got a flag out here in Chicago and I was the one who was late. He was on that giant MV! I loved his beats, he has a lot of style and great lyricist, dope singing voice; the battle put me on to this crazy talented cat. Everybody did their thing though! I also really liked Sirplus. That cat was killing it, he gave me that competitive scare when he first played!
R Sev of course, Uncle El aka Elevation from home as well. I felt he should’ve advanced to his second round and not just because we are from the same city. I also felt that Phantom Thrett was ill and should’ve placed third place and Sev 2nd no disrespect to the winner because she was very good too, but I felt I got that round, just honest talk.
Thoughts On The Inland Empire Beat Scene?
R From my times SoCal in general have been dope. I’ve enjoyed hearing a bunch of cats sounds while there. I like when people have their own voice and can express that through various tempos & arrangements. I think Beat Cinema and the Hip Kitty Jazz Lounge are great events. Well worth the commute from L.A. to Claremont. The brothers have always been genuine and throw a great event with consistent lineups. Next to Low End Theory it is my favorite night to play and I wish it to receive more light, gratitude.
SS I was so comfortable out there! And like I said earlier, its dope to see how each community across the country is basically a guild of artisan beatsmiths who throw events and jam by any means. I was amazed by The Hip Kitty. It was like an ill combination of Bottom Lounge and Green Mill (both here in Chicago, two of my favorite spots). The fact that it is a college area is a great resource as well. I pretty much started on the path I’m on via Urbana Champaign Hip Hop Congress at the University of Illinois UC, where I attended school. Residents of the area and students alike made sure there was an authentic hip hop presence to dwell at.
R Just to say I appreciate you guys digging my sound and giving us Chicago cats an opportunity to express ourselves. Often times we get boxed in a few categories rocking from Chicago. We have a wide variety of sounds and tempos and influences, so many styles are in our DNA, so it is good to be able to express that to more people. I love my city and feel great to rep that with the world. Every where I go to connect & build and rock within their scene, I’ve had a great time. I’ve learned that there are many of us out here pushing to add balance to this world of music. Keep pushing and growing. If you like what we are doing, reach out and let us know and help us to get to you to share this music and vice versa. Bless
SS Projects coming, production spots coming, everything is in the works. 2014 has been great and I’m still constantly building it. I truly appreciate the support, platform and reach that Beats of All Nations has provided for us in the last month; this is what it should be about and I am having the time of my life making this music for folks to vibe out to. Respect to my fam’ back home and my growing extended family worldwide. Gratitude. 1