This album is the result of the visionary zeal of Irish born photographer, filmmaker and writer Brian Cross (aka B+) who moved to Los Angeles in the 1990â€™s.
In 2000, DJ Shadow was touring with B+â€™s movie called 'Keepintime: Talking Drums Whispering Vinyl'. From this, B+ had the idea of live show in LA where DJs and producers (including Madlib and DJ NuMark) would jam live and create music with two of LAâ€™s top drummers, Paul Humphrey and James Gadson. This CD is the product of the recorded multitrack parts from this live show being sent to a host of producers worldwide with a brief to built on the rhythms and add their own individual touches.
Inevitably, some of the beats and samples have a touch of clichÃ© about them on a near 30 year retrospective hip hop tip but that is more than outweighed by the very best producers beat inventiveness; such as DJ Shadow (2 tracks), Cut Chemist, King Britt and Charlie Dark. The latterâ€™s contribution is a particularly monstrous opening track of deep electroid bass boom using a M.C. sample â€œThis is special, whatâ€™s happening tonight is specialâ€. It certainly is.
Ammoncontactâ€™s track is a small opus that includes the extraordinary jazz vocalisations of Dwight Trible. There are a few more â€˜opusâ€™ style tracks from O.H.N.O, J-Rocc and Nobody that span moody folktronica to banging boom bip. This gives the album lots of variety. As a prime example, Brightonâ€™s Quantic Soul Orchestra brings some soul funk to the party whilst Eric Coleman and Cut Chemist are more jazz-latin-funk. The two extremes of hip hop would be represented by the ode to the 303 by DJ Nuts and an Orchestral boogie scratch by the genius known as Daedelus. Highlights a plenty, but check out what master DJ Shadow can do with a snippet of someone saying â€œBring Madlib Upâ€.
In addition to all this, thereâ€™s a 120-minute DVD of the original â€˜Talking Drums Whispering Vinylâ€™ film and other shorts, trailers and DJ Shadow video.
In â€˜Keepintime: A Live Recordingâ€™, B+ could have produced something that in years to come will be seen as an influential as â€˜The Front Lineâ€™ compilation was to reggae back in the 1970â€™s.