When on January 31st, a mix-tape by Midiflash – better known as Robstar and LowDown from Munich – will see the digital daylight for the very first time, both producers will already be looking back to a working history of 15 years. Up until today, their initial musical influences are still easily detectable in their beats: They were shaped by the Pete Rocks and Premos, who eventually made them leave their turntables and turn to producing-equipment in the mid-90s. »For quite a while, it all happened behind closed doors, without any ambitions to go public«, which is why, as LoDown puts it, it was mostly former G.I.s from the Army-bases around Munich doing the rapping-parts in their tracks. On this mix-tape, the case is a slightly different one. This time, it’s an international MC-armada, getting together due to a single common denominator: their love of HipHop-culture. M-Dot, Nutso, The Society Of Invisibles, Little Vic, Side Effect, Banish, Morlockk Dilemma, Antihelden, R.U.F.F.K.I.D.D., Black Tiger, Mortis-One and many other guest-MCs from all imaginable places in the world can be found on Pleased To Beat You.
As the Snowgoons, PH7&JR, and lately also The Funk League from France have proven: it’s actually possible to gain access to well-respected international MCs, you only need to know how. What’s obvious, is that MySpace, Soundcloud and Facebook have changed the whole game quite a bit. The new forms of communication make the worldwide musical exchange much easier, and so the HipHop-utopia of a globally connected scene, as Zulu Nation once suggested, could actually become reality. »The internet has definitely made the whole world move closer together. Before, a project like Pleased To Beat You would simply not have been possible in this form« And this is exactly Midiflash’s approach to Pleased To Beat You: HipHop as a transnational culture. »The internet has definitely made the whole world move closer together. Before, a project like Pleased To Beat You would simply not have been possible in this form«, as Robstar and LoDown explain. Besides, they find it »just thrilling, when, for example The Society Of Invisibles and Morlockk Dilemma share the same beat, or when Berlin meets Los Angeles«. Plus, the duo was lucky enough to work with executive producer ApRock, who already had very good contacts due to his Joining Forces Network, so that he could actually make dream-collabos come true. Robstar and ApRock even went to school together, but then lost contact for quite a while, until they met again somewhat incidentally through social networking.
Midiflash’s sample-oriented beats, often accompanied by hard drums, form a perfect symbiosis with the somewhat rougher styles of their guest-rappers. Together, they’re waving the flag for classic timeless Rap, even though the project doesn’t see itself as a return to the »old values«. Still, both musicians emphasize: »As someone growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, a certain conscience for the four elements is automatically deeply embedded within our understanding of HipHop.« Their HipHop-consciousness is best illustrated by their single_Transatlantic Artivism_, which was produced prior to the album along with a lavish video, in collaboration with I Love My Hood and the Aerosol Kings from Belgium, featuring the MCs M-Dot, Roger Rekless, Black Tiger and Kapa. »We certainly don’t see ourselves as nostalgic backpackers, who got stuck in the Golden Era«, as they put it. And consequently, they classify their sound as »Boom-Bap from a 2012 perspective.« Luckily, they also manage to avoid the common dilemma of many producer-albums, and don’t end up sounding like a wildly arranged compilation. Instead, Pleased To Beat You (DJ LP2 from Copenhagen did the mixing) sounds like a stringent record with a carefully elaborated sound-concept and a broad arsenal of talented guest MCs. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for quite another while until a regular album is to follow this mix-tape. For now, they’re focusing on productions for Tatwaffe, Prop Dylan, and M-Dot & Krumb Snatcha while also planning to team up more with German MCs in the future. But until then, the free mix-tape Pleased To Beat You offers a variety of treats to make the time in between worthwhile.