SlopFunkDust and sessionin [LINE-IN + PLAY BEATS]

Zoom beat sharing, community, and good vibes.

I first heard of producer SlopFunkDust a few years ago through one of Elaquent’s appreciation tweets.

I listened to some of his stuff on Bandcamp and Spotify after reading the tweet and really dug it. I sifted through his production credits and learned about songs he did for Danny Brown, Roc and Chali 2na, Canibus, Cunninlynguists, Heltah Skeltah, Supastition, and more. He also blessed Little Brother with an beautiful remix of one of their early notable cuts from The Listening.

When I kicked off my daily playlist experiment a few months later, I started getting into his ASR​-​10 - Beat Archive Vol. 1 and ASR​-​10 Beat Archive Vol. 2 albums. I added cuts like “Lament,” a personal favorite of mine, “Night Breeze,” and “7-11” to my some of my daily playlists.

He and I also connected more recently while I was doing research for my massive Ensoniq keyboard article for Reverb. As I dug around on Twitter for various random tidbits to round out my story, I discovered that SlopFunkDust has over 1000 floppy disks full of beats from ASR-10. This tweet was from 2009, so god only knows how many beat-filled floppy disks he has now.

We hadn’t talked in a minute, but he reached out yesterday to tell me about the new sessionin [LINE-IN + PLAY BEATS] weekly showcase he and Antriks moderate. The online event also includes resident producers DJ Flow, Backwood Onedr, Sndtrk, and Zenan.

When I saw the lineup of previous guests and list of people who were participating in last night’s meetup, I was impressed. I’ve always been a fan of Vitamin D’s work and Shawn J Period’s production (like the song below) was untouchable during the mid and late-‘90s. Sndtrk and Zenan have also been in heavy in my recent music rotations.

Having an opportunity to sit back and listen to all these guys share beats from their stash via a massive group Zoom was too good to pass up. I joined on the later side of things around 10:45 PM EST, but I’m so glad I stopped by.

When I first signed on Shawn J Period played a few burners before Vitamin D stepped up. He flipped Force MD’s “Tender Love” and Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’” for two seperate beats and they were hands down two of the best instrumentals I’ve heard in a minute. For more Vitamin D craziness, here’s a sample of his 8-bit takes on hip-hop classics.

I made a series of 8 bit 90’s hip hop classics. I would like to accompany them with 8 bit style graphics & release them. Like our favorite hip hop artist in a video game. Imagine ATCQ traveling in a mega man level. Do any of you know a graphics artist that can pull that off?
April 28, 2020

Producers like Tony Dark, Jah Freedom, Illastrate, Nabeyin, Waddy Rios, all of whom I discovered for the first time last night, shared high-quality cuts during my visit. Elaquent and STLNDRMS played some some next level madness when it came time to share, and Zenan’s flip during the sample challenge—which he apparently put together on a major time crunch—was unforgettable.

I really needed this. I needed community and I needed to connect with other people who like to sit around and listen to other people’s beats.

I went back to teaching full-time in January. I am extremely grateful to have a job and I love what I do. My students are amazing and I’m lucky to work with them. But teaching is an emotionally and mentally demanding job in the best circumstances and it’s certainly even more challenging for families, students, and teachers during a global pandemic.

I’m an academic support teacher at a private college prep school with a large population of international students from all over the world. Coordinating Zoom lessons with a sizable group of 8-12th grade students in 11 different time zones takes a good deal of energy. Though I love teaching, sometimes I feel like I’m just barely keeping Micro-Chop afloat and losing touch with the world I write about.

Last night I felt connected to that world again. The good energy, supportiveness, and laughs at sessionin #5 gave me a major morale boost. It made me feel like I was part of a music community again, even if I mostly just watched and listened.

I can’t wait to go more sessionin gatherings in the future. Thank you SlopFunkDust for inviting me.

Thanks for reading, see you on Monday!