Soul Supreme creates DOOM tribute in the best way possible
🎵 | Soul Supreme – Huit Octobre 1971 / Raid
💫 | One for the hip-hop heads, sample scavengers, and jazz cats
👏🏾 | Lucas Benjamin, Jelee, Mo Wrights
The saga of celebrating MF DOOM's legacy continues. Amsterdam-based hip hop producer turned jazz cat Soul Supreme goes above and beyond with his interpretation of two MF DOOM songs and their samples (provided by Madlib): Huit Octobre 1971, which is sampled in One Beer and Raid for the legendary Madvillainy album. We're all very familiar with how jazz-influenced hip-hop, but this is one of many examples of how hip-hop influences jazz.
Soul Supreme digs through the vast and ever-connected past to show what the current state of jazz sounds like. He does so by joining forces with two artists who are a perfect reflection of the current state of Dutch jazz. Contender for best Dutch drummer Jamie Peet and son of legendary Surinamese musician Glenn Gaddum, Glenn Gaddum Jr have worked together on various projects before, making them a dynamic duo who shared Soul Supreme's vision to create this beautiful tribute. The brass section consists of the Vienna-native Niklouds Holler and Valentin Guenther.
Jamie frequently shares the stage with Niels Broos, another name from the Dutch soil you'll hear more about in the coming years. The improv aficionados know how to create an engaging live performance, let's just keep it at that while we leave this here.
To Soul Supreme, the mask DOOM uses represent putting the music completely on the forefront by hiding his own identity. He reinterprets this ethos by choosing keys over clout, soul over keys.
On top of these amazing artists, the mixing and mastering of the two tracks are done in a unique way. You could say it draws inspiration from the MF DOOM and Madlib versions, while also showcasing the enriching capacities of modern-day mixing and mastering. The kick on Huit Octobre 1971, for example, reaaaaally s̶̶̶l̶̶̶a̶̶̶p̶̶̶s̶̶̶,̶̶̶ ̶̶̶b̶̶̶a̶̶̶n̶̶̶g̶̶̶s̶̶̶,̶ knocks.
Even though there are just two tracks, to illustrate how rich the connections and ties are, we'll unpack them separately below.
Huit Octobre 1971
The debut album Troupeau Bleu by Cortex is arguably one of our favourite jazz-funk albums. Such an influential album, not only due to its sample-ability but also for its initial refreshing sound. Hailing from France, even until this day the band remains somewhat of a mystery, only dropping this album and a sophomore album. Both are very much jazz-funk classics, but whether Cortex can be indicted in the jazz-funk hall of fame is still a topic of discussion at our office (With Lucas having doubts, and myself in favor). If anyone has some inside information on the band, we'd gladly hear about it from you, as the band is somewhat of a cult-myth.
The original sounds very ethereal, which the vocals are most responsible for. The tune also includes early notions of hip hop drum patterns, while going all out on the synth solos. Soul Supreme's version loosely follows the arrangement of the original, with some nods to One Beer.
The difference, in our opinion, lies with the emphasis Soul Supreme places on the chord progression and melodies, creating a lush feel. The synths elaborate on this feeling, but add something slick, which could easily have been the soundtrack to a modern-day blaxploitation movie. The mad thicc bass drives this sentiment even further, while the hip-hop drum patterns are reintegrated by Soul Supreme himself, as he created this tune all by himself. A truly innovative way of taking inspiration from a hip-hop cut and relating it to the jazz sample it used.
The previous statement holds even more validity in Soul Supreme's cover of Raid. While Huit Octobre 1971 follows the structure of the original tune, Raid reinterprets the samples by following Madlib's arrangement.
Soul Supreme went as far as reinterpreting the sample Madlib took from the Bill Evans Trio's Nardis (Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival in 1968). Using the mysterious feeling the sample creates as a segway to resolve into América Latina by Osmar Milito e Quarteto Forma, here, too, the cover follows Madlib's chops and flips of the main sample.
You can easily hear the free-flowing drumming skills from Jamie Peet and how the band joins in on this flexible groove. We'd love to hear this version performed live sometime in the future.
Not only did Soul Supreme take influence from the music of MF DOOM (and Madlib), but the mythical ethos of the rapper and his approach towards art also ring with the Amsterdam-based artist. The mask DOOM uses represent putting the music completely on the forefront by hiding his own identity. He reinterprets this ethos by choosing keys over clout, soul over keys. Support the man!
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