10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The instrumental companion piece to The Alchemist and Curren$y's 2011 EP Covert Coup, this 10-track collection showcases Al's always-impressive production prowess. For well over a decade now, the ALC has been one of the most consistently on-point beatmakers in hip-hop, expanding his already-gigantic discography and working with some of the biggest names in the business. As anyone familiar with his style knows, he's a master of loops: chopping, layering, and reconfiguring choice samples that bring the perfect amount of atmosphere, tension, and straight funkiness to the table. Rejecting easy ways out (i.e., presets, 808s, or walls of synths), he focuses on moody yet infectious sonic backdrops custom-tailored to the emcee he's working with. Not content with straightforward soul/funk jacks, he mines increasingly obscure source material, crafting tasty nuggets of boom-bap out of cutout-bin prog-rock jams, forgotten jazz fusion, and much more. All of these tracks are great, but "Blood Sweat and Gears," "Full Metal," "Life Instructions," and "Smoke Break" are especially great.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The instrumental companion piece to The Alchemist and Curren$y's 2011 EP Covert Coup, this 10-track collection showcases Al's always-impressive production prowess. For well over a decade now, the ALC has been one of the most consistently on-point beatmakers in hip-hop, expanding his already-gigantic discography and working with some of the biggest names in the business. As anyone familiar with his style knows, he's a master of loops: chopping, layering, and reconfiguring choice samples that bring the perfect amount of atmosphere, tension, and straight funkiness to the table. Rejecting easy ways out (i.e., presets, 808s, or walls of synths), he focuses on moody yet infectious sonic backdrops custom-tailored to the emcee he's working with. Not content with straightforward soul/funk jacks, he mines increasingly obscure source material, crafting tasty nuggets of boom-bap out of cutout-bin prog-rock jams, forgotten jazz fusion, and much more. All of these tracks are great, but "Blood Sweat and Gears," "Full Metal," "Life Instructions," and "Smoke Break" are especially great.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

14 Ratings

Precise

RGBizzie,

This is PRECISELY what I needed today. Sophisticated, covert killer music. The arrangments are crazy interesting, and puts me in the most lovely dark covert ninja mood. The Type is the perfect track in my mind and its 5minutes long!! Domo Arigato.

About The Alchemist

Among the most revered rap producers to surface during the '90s, the Alchemist (born Alan Maman) began his career in L.A. (he grew up in Beverly Hills) and ended up in New York City. As a teenager, as part of the duo the Whooliganz (with Scott Caan, son of James) and the greater rap collective the Soul Assassins (with Cypress Hill, House of Pain, etc.), he released the single "Put Your Handz Up" on Tommy Boy in 1993, though the Whooliganz's debut full-length, Make Way for the W, was eventually shelved. The Alchemist continued making beats, however, working with and learning from DJ Muggs on 1995's Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom as well as with childhood friend Evidence of Dilated Peoples. These connections led to a prolific career as a reliable source for tough yet detailed beats suffused with soul.

After moving to New York to attend college, Al hooked up with Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, producing the songs "The Realest" and "Thug Music" from their 1999 record Murda Muzik, a collaboration that led to work with Pharoahe Monch, Royce da 5'9", Fat Joe, Defari, Freddy Foxxx, Ludacris, Big Daddy Kane, and Ghostface Killah, and even rock acts like Linkin Park and Morcheeba. In 2004, the Alchemist released his first solo full-length, 1st Infantry, which, besides featuring his own beats, also had him rapping alongside Stat Quo, the Game, Lloyd Banks, Mobb Deep, and Dilated Peoples, among others, and in 2005, after Eminem's DJ Green Lantern left the Anger Management 3 tour, the Detroit rapper hired Al as his replacement.

In 2006, the Alchemist showcased his work with a pair of mixtapes of previously released and unreleased material, The Chemistry Files and No Days Off. After releasing the instrumental collection Rapper's Best Friend in 2007, 2009's Chemical Warfare featured Eminem, Juvenile, Dilated Peoples, and the Lady of Rage. The year 2012 found him releasing Vol. 2 of Rapper's Best Friend along with Vodka & Ayahuasca, a collaborative album with producer/rapper Oh No recorded under the name Gangrene, and Russian Roulette, an album built by sampling Russian music. A year later he worked with Prodigy on the album Albert Einstein, while 2015 saw him collaborate with Oh No on Welcome to Los Santos, a collection inspired by the virtual radio stations found in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Featuring samples from Israeli radio and thrift store albums the producer bought while visiting Israel, the beat tape Israeli Salad was also released in 2015. During the next couple years, the Alchemist was behind collaborative projects with the likes of Curren$y, Havoc, and Jay Worthy. He issued a fourth volume of Rapper's Best Friend and continued to produce for a select group of artists, most prominently Kendrick Lamar ("The Heart, Pt. 4," "FEAR."). ~ Marisa Brown

  • ORIGIN
    Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA
  • BORN
    Oct 14, 1975

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