Los Angeles. The city of angeles. Home of the endless summer, real OG kush, and the most diverse music scene in the world. Los Angeles is different from most other cities in both its scale and design: the sprawling city is made up of literally hundreds of unique neighborhoods connected by a life-giving network of freeways; the circulatory system of the city. People from all over the world end up here, chasing pipe dreams of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry… and while most fail to make those dreams a reality, Los Angelinos remain ever-hopeful and ever-accepting of new art and culture.
Over the last few years the Los Angeles beat scene has erupted on an international scale with the huge success of Flying Lotus, the growth of Low End Theory (from a free Wednesday dive-bar night into having their own festival) and now the massive popularity of the Soulection crew. But there’s more to the story than just that (oh, so much more… still waters run deep) and as an LA native myself, I would be remiss in not bringing your attention to Team Supreme, who just released the 100th volume of their beat cyphers today.
I was first turned on to Team Supreme in their early days by local artist Nütrik (owner of Luv Ü Records) who has since been featured in several volumes. Their concept was simple (and not unlike the Stones Throw beat battles): each week a sample and a few guiding rules would be provided and the group of LA producers would flip the sample and compile their work into a podcast. Over 100 episodes, Team Supreme has held open submissions (which I’ve missed every ****ing time) and featured artists like Djemba Djemba, Penthouse Penthouse, Mr. Carmack, Great Dane, ELOS, Snorlax, Clicks & Whistles, Sahy Uhns, Ooah, Boreta, Big Gigantic, Arnold, CZ, Kraddy, Gypsy Mamba, BOATS… and so many more. From Team Supreme’s website:
Over 100 weeks ago on a balmy So Cal evening, Alpha Pup artists Preston Walker (of Virtual Boy) and Great Dane (newly signed) challenged each other to a game: produce a one-minute beat in one hour, using a set BPM and sample from the Notorious B.I.G. Sixty minutes later two new tracks were created, and TeamSupreme was born. Combining playtime and practice, the idea of TeamSupreme soon spread across the flat, freeway-laden land of LA, with producers clamoring to get in on the action and be a part of the exciting beat experiment. Uniting artists from not only LA but also New York, Colorado and Hawaii, TeamSupreme evolved organically into a weekly beat challenge. Every Monday one of the participating artists picks a BPM and two samples, one transition sound and one remix. With the original time constraints relaxed, the producers must then create a one-minute track in one week, the results of which are merged into a weekly podcast and played out in a monthly event.
To celebrate their 100th cypher, the sample and rules were picked by the legendary DJ Shadow and is, as usual, a fantastic and diverse array of electronic future bass / experimental “beat” production. Like every edition of the Team Supreme beat cyphers, the mix is available as a free download and they’ve even archived all the past chyphers so you can download those too.
Stream and download the 100th edition of the Team Supreme beat cyphers right here and be sure to check out the past episodes too… who knows, you might discover your next favorite artist. While you’re at it, check out founding member Great Dane‘s latest album Beta Cat to get a full dose of the Team Supreme experience. You’re gonna like the way it sounds, I guarantee it.