On episode nine of Beats of All-Nations Radio we are excited to bring to you a brand new mix from Los Angeles producer Co.fee. He’s been producing beats since 2005 and in 2011 he released his first EP on My Hollow Drum, titled Easy Listening, followed by the Bermuda EP released in 2012. Co.fee brings a uniquely refreshing feel to the show with this drum heavy eccentric mix of music from the international community.
“This mix is basically a playlist of my favorite songs and artists that I am feeling at the moment. I tried to keep it as diverse as possible.” -Co.fee
CONTINUE ON FOR TRACKLIST + INTERVIEW WITH CO.FEE
We started putting together events in 2005 sometimes it doesn’t seem like 10 years ago, but here we are. You’ve been making beats for just that long as well, it is a real commitment. How did you get started and what was your drive like then compared to now?
I had the Fruity Loops software like in ‘04. Downloaded it just out of curiosity. When I first used it I didn’t really understand how it worked so I gave up. Six months later I decided to use it again and totally got it. I figured out how to loop and sample vinyl around that time too so I was hooked after that. My drive back then was to learn as much as I can about beat making, studying the work of my favorite producers, and getting better with the software. I always used to dig for music like crazy, even before I was making beats, I just always had an interest in finding new music or classic albums, but learning how to produce motivated to dig even more than I was used too. Now I’m still trying to get better and challenge myself, but the focus is more on making cohesive projects instead of just trying to make a bunch of beats at a time.
You wanted to primarily work with rappers back then, how did that work out? Any out-the-trunk albums or hip hop comps floating around out there?
I grew up on hip hop so it was always a dream of mine to know how to produce, that was the motivation to use Fruity Loops in the first place. I made a Soundclick page and posted my beats on there, and eventually made a Myspace page searching for artist I could send beats to. I sold beats and even gave beats to friends or local rappers around that time, but it wasn’t anything on the large scale, half the time they wouldn’t even end up recording to my beats lol. I don’t think theres anything floating around online of someone rapping over my beats from 8 or 9 years ago. Posting and searching for music on Myspace was a great thing though, thats how I got connected with all the guys in MHD.
How did joining MHD and going to events like Low End Theory change your process for creating instrumental music?
Between going to Low End Theory every week and hearing DJ mixes from the guys in the crew, I would hear some of the most experimental and progressive music at that time. It inspired me to try to experiment more with my own beats, and to make full instrumental songs instead of just loops someone could rap over.
How has the entire scene changed in your eyes since then?
Its definitely gained more notoriety which is cool, I have noticed a change in sound too. When I was first going to events I noticed a lot of DJs would play real bass heavy and experimental beats. Now I hear a lot more melodic and danceable tracks at shows. It’s good to know that theres a variety of influences in the scene and it doesn’t stay static.
What tools are you using for production and DJing, Hardware/Software?
I mainly use Reason for production, I started off with Fruity Loops and used it for about two years but since then I’ve been using Reason. For DJing I use Serato, but for my beat sets I use Torq with my Midi Pad.
We obviously noticed a large range of global rhythms constantly referenced in your sound, where does that influence come from?
Beastie Boys are one of my biggest influences and I always thought it was dope how they incorporated Latin and African music into what they do. Also I’m a big fan of Mars Volta and loved how they incorporated their Latin background into their music. That inspired me to sample music from my background, I found some crates of my parents records, it was mostly Ghanaian music from the 70’s and those were the first records I sampled. I’m also a big fan of Madlib and Timbaland and noticed they sampled a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern music, so that encouraged me to search for more music from that region. That’s the cool thing about hip hop production, it can expose you to different types of cultures through sampling.
You’ve put out some pretty awesome EPs and mixes along the way, what can listeners expect on your debut album? Expected Release?
I see my album as a combination of what I did on my first EP “Easy Listening” and my second one “Bermuda” there’s some heavy songs mixed in with some melodic beats too, its all still very sample based, and I tried to go even further with sampling music from different countries. It should come out late spring or early summer.
Favorite acts out right now? Pretty much everyone I played in the mix lol. TALA, Rat King, Hud Mo, Quakers, Dirty Art Club, Mr. Flash, Death Grips, Run the Jewels, Warpaint. I’m still listening to the Tame Impala albums a lot also.
If you had a chance to produce for any three rappers this year who would you chose?
You recently rocked with Teebs at Low End and seem to build together often enough, are there talks of collaborating on any projects or future performances?
Yea that show was fun, Me and Teebs do collaborate a lot so you might see us put out a joint project this year, its just a matter of how satisfied we are with the material.
What’s up with your residency?
We have a night Called “Kaleidoscopic Sounds” at Hyperion Tavern in LA and we just have friends come by and play their vinyl collection, it’s cool because its a chill environment so theres no pressure to play certain types of records. If you do a set there you can really play whatever you want.
Thanks for taking time out for us!
Thanks for the feature.
1. Basement Jaxx- Alkazaar
2. Young Fathers- Effigy
3. Flying Lotus- Bad actors
4. Buscabulla- Sono
5. Curumin- Dancando No Escuro (feat. Marku Ribas)
6. IGBO- Entrance Theme
7. Alexander von Mehren- Aller retour
8. Free the Robots- Soul Cal
9. Dirty Art Club- Jet Lag
10. Mr. Flash- Venus in Furs
11. M.I.A.- 27 Dave
12. Kaytranada- Bolle Bolle
13. SBTRKT- Lantern
14. Evian Christ- Salt Carousel
15. Tala- Alchemy
16. Kuhn- Slime beach
17. Mr. Bungle- Goodbye Sober day
18. DJ Dahi- Tetris
19. Oh No- Ox therapy
20. Melody’s Echo Chamber- Shirim
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