#HeavyRotation – Ol’ Burger Beats “Loft”

Stream on Spotify and Apple Music. Buy the vinyl on HHV.

Via Bandcamp – Loft is an instrumental hip hop album inspired by the free and spiritual jazz played by the New York loft movement of the 1960s and 1970s. A difficult time, where economic decline and poorhousing politics somehow led to some amazing, innovative music, often self-recorded to cassette tapes.

This music was recorded to tape on a loft as well, far away from the original loft scene. Written during the corona pandemic, this album also emerged from a difficult time. The do-it-yourself spirit and freedom of the loft movement inspired this process a lot, and it was recorded mostly with instruments from that era. There are no static BPMs or software instruments on this LP, everything is kept as analog and authentic as possible. Vintage electric pianos, tape loops and hardware effects emulate the sounds of the 1970s and the aesthetics of hip hop sampling.

The album features independent jazz legends Idris Ackamoor, Ralph Thomas and Wendell Harrison. Chicago-born Idris Ackamoor was a founding member of The Pyramids, an influential jazz ensemble that was formed in the 1970s, and still releases critically acclaimed music today. Another Chicago musician, multi-instrumentalist Ralph Thomas is best knownfor his 1980 cult-classic album Eastern Standard Time. Detroit-native Wendell Harrison founded the important record label and jazz collective Tribe Records, and, like Ralph Thomas, also performed together with Sun Ra among many others. All three musicians have been very inspiring to me, and are important to the legacy of free and spiritual jazz. I’m so grateful and honored to have them featured on these loft tapes.

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