Welcome to BURR. Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar.
In this series, Brighton hip-hop DJ, Matt ‘Brickcellphone’ Leppier, is chatting to some of the underground rap talent on his radar. It’s as simple as that. Follow him @brickcellphone and listen to him spin some of these artists on Friday afternoons on Platform B.
It’s an Appelsap special for you this week as we bring you an interview with the globetrotting, Norwegian hip-hop producer, Ol’ Burger Beats.
Whether it’s on his trance-inducing instrumental projects or his collaborative work with rappers from all over the god damn globe, you can’t deny the quality nor quantity of OBB’s work. His live set is certain to be exciting, too, as he graces the Boiler Room stage in Flevopark to translate his juicy discography into an all-action set for the Appelsap crowd. Let’s get into it…
As a producer from Norway, can you shed some light on what the hip-hop scene is like over there?
Like everywhere else, hip-hop is the most popular music right now in Norway. There’s a lot of trap rappers and RnB crooners. In other words a lot of Norwegian artists wanting to emulate what’s happening in US hip-hop, but with Norwegian lyrics. The music I’m making feels a little separated from that scene.
Outside of my label, Mutual Intentions – it’s not the largest scene for the kind of hip-hop I’m making, so I’ve found that there’s much more potential in promoting my music outside of the Norwegian market.
You’ve worked with rappers from all over the place, making your work truly international. Is that something you pride yourself on?
Where the rappers are from hasn’t been important so far, it’s more about how each of the rappers has a style and output that match the albums I’m working on. But I’ve found that collaborating with my favourite rappers can help introduce my music to their audiences, as well as introducing my listeners to these artists.
So it often attracts a different listener than my beats do alone. And also it’s a great feeling to hear some of the coolest MCs on your own beats.
Our favourite YouTube comment on this artist’s work
Tell us about your latest project ‘Out of sight, Out of mind.’ What’s the reception been like and what were you trying to achieve with it?
In December I came across an old folder of beats that were made during the Mind Games sessions, tracks that didn’t quite match the theme and sound of that album. I had forgotten about most of the tracks, but when I listened to it again I figured that some of them deserved to be released. There were some unreleased verses too, a song featuring Illa J was one of them. So I made a quick mixtape and recorded it to cassette. The end result sounded cool, so I decided to give the music a proper release. Mutual Intentions took care of the digital distribution and HHV.de pressed the music on vinyl.
The feedback has been very positive so far! The album has been streamed close to 2 million times in the few weeks since the release, and some people even told me it’s my best project yet. I’m not so sure about that, I would recommend the Mind Games album over this, as it’s stronger conceptually. But for a compilation of outtakes, the reception has been really great.
Without giving away any of your sample finding secrets, who are some of your favourite jazz musicians of all time?
That’s a really difficult question. There are so many different styles, different sub-genres, different eras and different instruments, and I’m still discovering new (old) jazz music all the time. The answer would differ from day to day I think. But to try and answer the question, some of my all-time favourites are Donald Byrd, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Cowell, Roy Ayers and Bobby Hutcherson. Their catalogues all cover different eras of the jazz history, spanning from bop to jazz-funk, but I really enjoy almost every album by those guys.
Explain what Mutual Intentions are all about…
It’s a collective of musicians, DJs, visual artists and friends, united by an interest for beats, boogie and everything in-between. Some of the artists involved are Ivan Ave, Fredfades, S.Raw, Jawn Rice and Yogisoul. For me, it’s been great to be surrounded by people with that same interest and passion for music.
The crew turned into a record label a couple years ago, and my album Mind Games was the first full-length album on the label – and still the best selling too. There are many exciting releases coming up the next few months, and a beat compilation album by our manager Stian Stu is one of them. I’m proud to be a part of it!
Like everywhere else, hip-hop is the most popular music right now in Norway. There’s a lot of trap rappers and RnB crooners… the music I’m making feels a little separated from that scene.
What can we expect from your set at Appelsap?
Beats! I will be playing some of my own favourites from my catalogue, a lot of unreleased instrumentals and new songs, some new remixes and new collaborations and I will probably reveal some of my sample sources as well. I’m excited to share all the new music with a live audience and of course, I’m really looking forward to having it featured on Boiler Room.
And finally… What’s your favourite Norwegian beer?
Lately, I’ve been returning to the Ægir brewery. They have many great variants, and I especially like the Lærdøl Sour Cherry Rye. It’s very refreshing and tastes like Norwegian nature. Highly recommended! Also, that brewery is based close to where my mother’s family lives in Sogn, so it feels good to support something that’s local and close to my roots.