I am a sucker for vibes-based samples in hip-hop production. Nothing is more gutter to me than a staunchly dark beat with some spooky vibes echoing throughout like candles flickering in the night. Immediately, Diamond D, Buckwild and the Beatminerz come to mind. While they sampled the likes of Cal Tjader, Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Macfarland and Dave Pike, it seems that no one considered the darkest of all jazz vibraphonist, ethiopian pioneer Mulatu Astake.
In and out of itself ethiopian jazz is moody by design since it resolves around the egyptian heptatonic scale and producer Samoo found the perfect way to highlight those harmonies when he remixed the Big L classic Put it On. The devil’s son had a undeniably raw flow and Put it On was a single that propelled him out of the oversaturated NYC rap scene and established him as the darkest horse in the DITC stable. You could argue that Samoo earned the same status in the GAMM records roster. He still used the signature world music based samples with an electronic flair (check the digitized video game blips) but has managed a perfect remix where the sombre beat has you almost forget the original, the lyrics hit even harder and the hook fits perfectly. I ran out my Put it On tape and this remix has got me fiendin’ again, so even with a million ”golden age” remixes out there (”Nas-It Ain’t Hard to Tell” anyone) it pays to pay attention to find one this solid.