Crafty Beat Maker “Gated” wants us to know that his latest project & Beat Tape, Dusted Loops, was “produced exclusively with the right side of the brain (the good side).” Gated’s mission with Dusted Loops was to simplify the process of beatmaking to excavating and chopping dusty vinyl jazz, soul, funk and bossanova samples within the creative confines of hardware limitations. The beat tape features 14 bangers that are all less than 2 minutes in length each averaging approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds on overage.
Recorded between August 7th and August 31st 2013, the hardware gear of choice for Dust&Loops was the Roland SP-404sx Linear Wave Sampler. Known for it’s “Sample anytime, anywhere with the built-in mic and battery power” tag line and seamless switching between it’s 29 DSP effects, the SP-404sx seems to have been the perfect canvas for Gated to paint his dusty vivid grooves with.
The beat tape opens with a track called 1961 which begins with a nice vocal grab that declares “Yeah, just hittin the road, popping in a bitchin’ ass mix tape and just being free!” That line sets the tone for what Gated managed to create as a general vibe on this beat tape. 1961 is a choppy yet cohesive jazz riff with dirty break beat drums that seem to breath together as it moves you toward the next tune.
The best compliment to this collection of head nodders is that Gated has a limited edition cassette version of Dust&Loops that will be available for purchase on October 1. The cassette comes with a few Gated stickers and the digital version of the album as well.
Track number 3, Stagger Manor, is not over done and is rather simple in its approach to the choppy piano loop. The white noise and envelope seem to stand in as almost another instrument over the boom bap of the drums here. The simplicity is nice. I’d say its inviting to a nasty staggering flow, indeed.
On track number 7, Chillin’, Gated loops up a very cool and classic jazz piano. The big drum break complete with huge snare, ringy ride cymbals and lazy snare rolls set a very boom bap worthy stage for the rather emotional piano sample.
On track number 8, Calypso, takes a dope flute sample and presents it as it was on the wax at first. As the drums drop in the loop is slowed a bit and the overall head nod factor takes over. Occasional switch ups allow Calypso to breath a bit as it is filtered to present various nuances of the sample while keeping the drums pretty steady.
Later in the beat tape Gated show’s his flexibility to freq’ vocal samples with tracks 11, 12 & 13 (Sign, Mi Piace & For U – respectively). Even while temporarily detouring from the running theme of looping noisy but good broken jazz chops, Gated proves his choice of fresh vocal laden jazz samples are just as ill as the others leading up to this stretch of slick bangers. I particularly enjoyed the filter freq’ing performed on Sign about midway thru the track. Very nice touch.
The overall vibe of this release is described in it’s title Dust&Loops. The sound is dusty and dirty. So much so in fact that it reeks of dusty vinyl white noise through out. As for the loops, Gated jabs a bit at the repetitiveness of the tracks with a funny movie excerpt, “You keep riding this ridiculous melody over and over and over again…” But the magic here is in how Gated somehow keeps it fresh with chopped drum breaks and dashes of filtered and chopped samples while maintaining the “please spit flame here” sort of deal.