Tag Archives: Mos Dub

Talib Kweli goes dub

Max Tannone’s new remix project has just hit the streets. This time it’s a follow up to his brilliant mash-up album Mos Dub released earlier this year.

The new album – Dub Kweli – pairs the lyrics of acclaimed hip-hop artist Talib Kweli with the sound of rough dub from the 70’s and 80’s.

There are plenty of interesting rhythms here, and several seem like odd choices. Not many of them are well known, like Jah Marcus Words. Nevertheless, the rhythms are flawless.

Among the better know include Stop That Train, a masterpiece originally produced by Derrick Harriot, or Marcus Garvey by Burning Spear.

Talib Kweli is one of the most skilled rappers ever and his voice suits these rock hard rhythms perfectly. If you listened to Mos Dub as much as I did, then you must have Dub Kweli as well. Download for free here.

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“I just do what I think is cool”

He has put Jay-Z together with Radiohead and made Mos Def rap to heavy dub rhythms. Collaborations that sounds impossible. How he did it? Mash-ups of course. Reggaemani has talked to New York-based musician Max Tannone.

This spring, I stumbled upon the album Mos Dub, an album that sounds downright crazy when described. Rapper Mos Def mainly combined with dub rhythms by masterminds Henry “Junjo” Lawes and Scientist? But I was completely blown away. This was undoubtedly a brilliant mash-up album.

The man behind Mos Dub is Max Tannone, a musician from New York. He’s probably best known for mashing up Jay-Z, Radiohead and the Beastie Boys, but aside from mash-ups also works on regular productions.

− I’ve made beats for a long time, and making mash-ups was just a side project. I wanted to try and combine making beats with mash-up techniques. That’s how I got started with Jaydiohead and afterward continued with my other projects, writes Max Tannone in an e-mail to Reggaemani.

On Mos Dub – his latest effort – Max used reggae rhythms and combined them with Mos Def vocals. He explains why.

− It’s just a great genre of music that sounds especially good with hip-hop. Hip-hop is so rhythmic, and therefore reliant on the downbeat. That reggae’s upbeat style gives it a new twist.

The whole greater than the parts
Max writes that a great mash-up is a song that’s able to stand on its own.

− A great mash-up sounds natural, and can be considered without having to reference its disparate parts. I guess in other words, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts, or at least attempt to be.

Making mash-ups is not something that’s done overnight. You have to find the right moods, tempos and, probably most important, make the a cappella in tune with the music. Max writes that he doesn’t have a set process for selecting the tunes that he later combines.

− If the tempos of the two songs are relatively close, it’s easier, but sometimes that doesn’t even matter. I begin with a concept. With Jaydiohead, the concept was obviously Jay-Z mixed with Radiohead. If the Jay-Z vocals were dark or introspective, I tried to select music to compliment that, and then go from there.

No set boundaries
According to Max there are no set boundaries for mash-ups. He usually starts with a concept but recommends trying whatever sounds good.

Mos Dub, for example, limited me to Mos Def vocals and dub music. Granted, dub music is a pretty huge boundary, even more so considering that I used a few tunes that are more ska and roots than strictly dub, but it still reigns in my choices. From here I just go by feeling, he writes and concludes:

− Listeners are the final judges on whether something is good or not. I just do what I think is cool.
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This is the second part of Reggaemani’s series on mashups. Next up is an interview with London-based dj and producer Al Fingers.

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Interview series on mashups

There has been several massive mashups lately. Therefore Reggaemani will start a interview series on this phenomenon.

Starting the series is French duo Bost & Bim aka The Bombist crew, who are responsible for the Yankees A Yard series.

Then we move over the Atlantic and focus on Max Tannone, dj and producer of several great mashups. He recently released the huge album Mos Dub.

The series ends with Al Fingers – a musician, producer and dj from London. He has done some really interesting mashups, for example Cher over the classic Declaration of Rights riddim.

Stay tuned.

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Mos Def inna Reggae Style

Mash-up galore! Max Tannone, producent och dj, har gjort en platta där han blandar tio låtar från hiphop-artisten Mos Def med lika många reggaerytmer. Resultatet är bländande bra.

Max Tannone har fått det hela att låta helt naturligt. Verkar nästan som att Mos Defs rap är som gjord för de här upphottade rytmerna. Ovanpå rappen och rytmerna har han också mixat in originalsången från ett antal reggaelåtar samt en massa effekter.

Merparten av rytmerna är välkända, exempelvis Johnny Too Bad med The Slickers och 007 (Shanty Town) med Desmond Dekker. Mer oväntade är Underground, hämtad från plattan Superape med The Upsetters, och Black Moon, från albumet Rebel Rock med Third World All Star. Bäst blir det i ösiga In My Math som bygger på Your Teeth In My Neck från Scientist/Michael Prophet.

Max Tannone måste verkligen ha gjort ett hästjobb med att sätta ihop Mos Dub. Det var länge sedan hiphop lät så här bra.

Plattan finns att ladda ner gratis här.

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