Minus & MRDolly moves into new directions with his 'Broken Hearts Make Broken Beats' EP.
Updated: Aug 27
Portuguese hiphop producer & rapper explores the UK-inspired britfunk, jazz and broken beat realm with his first acoustic release. Including remixes by Max Graef and Pedro.
Hugo Oliveira aka Minus & MRDolly is one person, but you wouldn't know that by listening to his music. He produced everything he's released so far, rapped on several EPs and played instruments on others. Where as in his previous projects Hugo focused on more sample-based music, with this new EP it's all live instrumentation. It shows the classic progression of having love for jazz from a hip hop perspective: starting to sample the old records at first, before beginning to play it yourself.
The Broken Hearts Make Broken Beats EP is released on the Portuguese record label Jazzego, which is co-founded by the man himself together with André Carvalho. The label from Porto has a name that is a playful made-up term that derived from the Portuguese word “jazigo”, which means tomb. The vision of Jazzego is to bury the music industry ego’s and be a home for genre-defying music. Something that completely speaks to our own ethos.
The opener 'Salame' starts off on a high pace and immediately sets the right tone with a percussive groove, fast 4-to-the-floor kicks and soulful sax solo'ing. On top of this solid moving train Minus added cleverly picked vocal samples that determine the vibe with messages being spread throughout. "Standing on the shoulders of these giants."
Going into the 2nd cut 'The Break', the vibe gets more funky and almost sounds like it could be a tune from the classic britfunk era. Beautiful piano chords create the story here. The high eerie synth phrase evokes memories of a broken beat classic by Simon Grey called 'The Galactica Suite', in the Domu remix. But that could all be in my head..
The third original tune 'A Thousand Miles' is the only one that contains singing vocals and brings forth a more soulful approach because of it. Broken drum patterns determine the groove and warm Rhodes chords create the mood for Mary Raisekings' voice to shine upon. Then we reach the B-side where the Berlin-based Max Graef contributed a remix of 'The Break' and so did fellow-Portugese producer Pedro. Both executed it in completely different interpretations, sometimes barely recognisable but top notch none the less. Overall a great EP and wonderful new direction for Minus & MRDolly.
Broken Hearts Make Broken Beats is out now on all digital platforms and limited vinyl via Jazzego.
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