7 More Bandcamp Beat Tapes for $5 or Less

Another look at some essential instrumental albums that won't break your bank account.

Welcome to Micro-Chop, a newsletter dissecting beatmaking, DJing, music production, rapping, and sampling — written by me, Gino Sorcinelli.

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7 More Bandcamp Beat Tapes for $5 or Less

Subscribers really seem to enjoy the Bandcamp recommendation articles from earlier newsletters and I’ve received a few public and private messages encouraging me to do more.

Since I had a few new discoveries and some long-time favorites I wanted to share anyways, today seemed like the perfect time to compile another list of essential Bandcamp beat tapes that you can purchase for $5 or less.

Friendly reminder—artists keep an unheard of 85% of the revenue from digital sales on Bandcamp. If you buy one of these albums, it will truly benefit the talented producer who created it.

Rejekts . by ewonee . - Perhaps best-known for his Wattstax-inspired concept album ‘73 and the expertly crafted Past Lives collaboration with Jalal Salaam, Mutant Academy producer ewonee . also boats a vast and impressive Bandcamp catalog for beat fanatics to dive into. The number of albums worth highlighting exceeds the confines of this article, but his 2014 release Rejekts . is without a doubt a standout moment. Comprised of songs that didn’t quite make it on Aux​.​Tapes_Vol​.​2, beautiful cuts like “each1teach1.,” “gram.n ahalf .,” “posse.cuts .,” make this an absolute steal at a mere $4.

A DJHarrison Xmas (remastered) by DJ Harrison- Sure, a Christmas album recommendation in early October is kinda insane, but this record is so good it’s worth listening to before, during, and after the holiday season. Here we find the talented DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and producer DJ Harrison covering classics like “Christmas Time is Here” with fresh and unexpected twists. He also manages to work in head-nodding originals like “Defrost” that aren’t to be missed—especially when considering the $3 price tag. With a pitch perfect cover of Stevie Wonder’s “This Christmas” rounding out the project, A DJHarrison Xmas (remastered) belongs in the Christmas music canon.

Mixed Jawns III by Small Professor- Philly-based producer Small Professor earned a Billboard write-up by producing the entirety of his impressive 86 Witness collaboration with the late Sean Price. Mixed Jawns III serves as a nice introduction to his instrumental offerings for those looking to further explore his discography.Only built 4 stuck in the 90's...II” is a powerful composition reminiscent of vintage Diggin’ In The Crates while the evocative “Wish men would stop harrassing women on the street” is a well-executed nod to Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.” The closing track “Wish cops would stop killing unarmed black people” ends the album with a sobering emotional gut punch. Pro splices up vocals from “Crooklyn Dodgers” over some haunting instrumentation to remind listeners of the racism and police brutality that permeate American society. Closing with such a statement-making track helps this album stand out in a crowded field.

Jake One Enstrumentals by Jake One- It’s hard to resist a project from someone who once made a beat with a karaoke machine and an ASR-10, especially when the songs are straight off the original tape Jake One used for shopping beats. Standouts here include the string sample infused “High Notes” as well as “Days of Our Lives,” which some readers may recognize as the track De La Soul and Common ripped on The Grind Date 15 years ago. A cleverly executed flip on “All of Me” brings this listening experience to a satisfying conclusion.

The Vibe Continuum by 10.4 ROG- If you’ve never heard of 10.4 ROG before, do yourself a favor and pick up this album—he’s quickly becoming a Micro-Chop favorite. The ominous sounds and hard-hitting percussion that kick off the festivities on “Used Books” serve as a perfect contrast to the seemingly mundane song title. Sitting at the other end of the musical spectrum is “The Vibe Continuum,” a truly gorgeous piece of production that evokes a slowed down “Riding High” kind of a vibe at the beginning. Building off the impressive opening, ROG takes the listener on plenty of unexpected twists and turns throughout the track. “Hue Ride” is yet another can’t miss moment on an album that has great replay value.

'08​-​'09 [Quitting Time Tape] by 14KT- 14KT’s For My Sanity is a mesmerizing blend of jazz styles mostly composed and produced with a Maschine sampler. It may very well be the best instrumental album of 2019. If the project is your point of entry for KT’s work, it’s worth checking the extensive beat reels from different phases of his career titled 20 Years of Beats [1996​-​2016]. The '08​-​'09 [Quitting Time Tape] reel blends together about 38 beats in total while capturing the sounds from when KT almost gave up on a career in music. After listening to this incredibly diverse and powerful collection of instrumentals, we should all be thankful he didn’t.

Collectin' Dust by Dibia$e- According to the liner notes, the beats featured on this album were produced on an MPC 2000 and lost for about a decade before being rediscovered and cleaned up for public consumption. The collection showcases a slightly mellower and more restrained sound than newer Dibia$e fans might be familiar with, but every track still slaps. On “Da Beat” Dibi creates a highlight moment by contrasting super heavy percussion with a fresh flip of a familiar sample. “StarStruck” is the perfect closer, riding a big and beautiful orchestral sample to close out this important entry from a beat scene icon.

Thanks for reading, see you on Friday!