How French Producer 20Syl Makes Hip Hop Beats



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Feb 5, 2010

This is a video of french beat maker and artist 20syl doing his thing in what looks like a very well equipped home lab.  If you look around, you see sound proofing on the walls using egg cartons, at least a half dozen different synths, turntables, tons of other musical instruments, and his MPC.  He’s not exactly cutting and splicing magnetic tape together, but this is definitely a much more analog form of production than the type practiced by the vast majority of artists today.  I have huge respect for the quality of sound created by the top electronic producers of the day, but this just seems like a more authentic form of production to me.  Really good producers like Wolfgang Gartner and Deamau5 can create warmth in their sound, but what’s really cool about this is that warmth is inherent in the instruments that are used in the video.  I’ve always heard that error, or the possibility of error, is a sort of quality or property of sound that separates good music from great music, or at least recorded from live.  It gives it a human element.  This partly explains why I was so crazy for the Blakroc album – it has a raw quality that differentiates it from high quality productions, and especially stuff like pop that we would describe as over-produced.

The alternative is that its not more “authentic”.  It could just be that “rawness” is just another property, from the vast array that music can have, that changes the experience for the listener.  A parameter, but specifically one that doesn’t affect the normative “goodness” of music.  I don’t buy that – do you?

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