Cyclic Defrost

An Australian magazine focusing on interesting music

Various Artists – TeamSupreme: Collection 1 (Alpha Pup)

TeamSupreme

Curiously enough, the roots of TeamSupreme originally lie in a game between a group of likeminded producers operating around the LA hip-hop scene, the challenge being to make a one minute long beat in just one hour, using a set BPM and sample lifted from the Notorious B.I.G. What originally started as an idle joke soon became a weekly podcast, with producers from New York, Colorado and even Hawaii soon clamouring to get in on the action. Inspired by the podcast, this debut compilation on Alpha Pup sees the original one minute limit being relaxed, and there’s no sign of Biggie to be found here. The original spirit of the TeamSupreme challenge is certainly vividly captured though, with the each of the 19 predominantly lesser-known names here contributing instrumental beats that for the most part don’t stretch past the three minute mark.

While things mostly centre around a hip-hop/beats aesthetic, there’s an impressively diverse range of styles on show here. Elos represents one of the few names I was previously familiar with here, his ‘Clean Under Dirt’s offering up an eerie stripped-back downbeat wander that sees spooky synth tones and vocal samples drifting against spidery hip-hop beats before ending in a hilariously profane blaxploitation sample. Kendo’s ‘No Preservatives’ meanwhile ventures out towards witch-house at points, as tense footwork snare rolls slowly build momentum against thick walls of sub-bass, and delicate Asian-sounding synth melodies, before Colta’s ‘Showing’ unleashes a juddering collision of buzzing robotic synths and siren tones that suddenly accelerates out into fluid grimy rhythms and technicolour synth noodling, whilst managing to cram some Technotronic in there too. While most of the artists adhere fairly firmly to the hiphop template, Snorlax’s ‘Bottle Service’ offers an atypical divergence into off-centre breakstep house as bright, pitched up vocal samples dart against tumbling layers of percussion, before Papi’s ‘All Nite’ takes things out with a mutant retro-disco funk workout that’s easily one of the biggest highlights here. All up, Collection 1 is an impressive introduction to the collective of talent that’s sprung up to meet TeamSupreme’s initial one minute beat challenge.

Chris Downton

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Cyclic Defrost is Australia’s only specialist electronic music magazine. We cover independent electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art and leftfield hip hop. Read more

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