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Audio Agitation: STL's Best Beats

Dancer Diana Barrios (back turned) with (l to r) participants Chocolate Gowdey, Bud Cuzz and Valerie Felix in a theater exercise
Nancy Fowler | file photo

This playlist was made a few weeks ago but we've decided to re-share it formally as part of the Audio Agitation playlist series because there's no ice or snow (yet) and you might feel like dancing.

St. Louis is home to a rising tide of talented beatmakers and remix artists. They sample and slice up previously recorded songs, change tempos, and warp vocals while creating original rhythms and electronic sounds. Here’s a selection of three young musicians who’s work might expand your expectations of bass and drum focused music.

Mvstermind – one of the main forces behind hip hop collective MME. His songs are selected from a two-hour “beat challenge” he began organizing a few weeks ago. The beat challenge gives local producers a set of parameters such as "sample only video game theme songs" and a two-hour time frame to produce a full track.

Abnormal – these selections come from his Sept. 7 release, Narcissistic Euphony. Jazz beats pin swelling synths and raga-like melodies that evolved from electronic keyboards or heavily processed guitar lines. Melodies often display an East Asian influence.

Centipede –Centipede’s first song comes from his Oct. 9 release vibrational.medicine, the sale of which will be used to raise money for a homeless friend according to Centipede’s bandcamp page. The songs are laid back and often incorporate the hiss from spinning old records which gives the songs a timeless feel when coupled with the tweaked and effects driven instrumentation. The second track was produced as an entry to one of Mvstermind’s “beat challenges.”

These three musicians are helping set the tone of what electronic, beatcentric, music in St. Louis can be. For nationally recognized artists that work similar sonic territory, check out Flying LotusLapalux, and Oneohtrix Point Never.

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