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The Making of Rhythm Section Anthology
13 Apr '2023
Here’s how the artists from the eclectic Rhythm Section label put together their contributions to create must-have sample pack
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If you're a fan of electronic music, you may have already heard of the record label Rhythm Section. Founded in 2014 by London-based DJ Bradley Zero, this label has quickly become known for its unique blend of house, jazz, and hip hop.

 

Rhythm Section has a distinct focus on community and collaboration, with its name referencing the idea of a "rhythm section" in a jazz band – the group of musicians who provide the foundation for the music to be built upon. The label has released a range of material showcasing a diverse array of artists and styles, and these often feature experimental production techniques and a DIY ethos, resulting in music that stands out from the crowd.

 

Over the years, Rhythm Section has achieved significant success and recognition within the industry. Some of its most popular releases include tracks from artists such as Neue Grafik, Al Dobson Jr, and Henry Wu. The label has also won accolades, including being named "Label of the Year" at the Worldwide Awards in 2016. Its unique sound has earned praise from other industry professionals, with Gilles Peterson calling Rhythm Section "one of the best new UK labels." Whether you're a die-hard fan or new to the label, Rhythm Section is definitely one to watch in the world of electronic music.

 

It’s with this pedigree in mind that we’re proud to bring you Rhythm Section Anthology, a sample pack full of sounds from some of the label’s most vibrant producers, including Ruf Dug, Contours, Phrased and Holloway. It’s available right now on Loopcloud and Loopmasters.

 

 

We caught up with some of the producers behind Rhythm Section Anthology to find out how they got their start with the label, their approach to production, and how they made their contributions to the pack.

 

Contours

One artist who has worked closely with Rhythm Section is Contours, also known as Tom Burford. This Manchester-based producer has made a name for himself with his unique blend of electronic and world music influences, creating a sound that is both eclectic and deeply rooted in tradition.

 

 

“I don't think I'd ever consider myself a jazz musician; I feel like there's a level of virtuosity there that I definitely don't have…but I would definitely say I'm heavily influenced by jazz. Having this background in percussion and drumming, I was really interested in digging slightly deeper into particular rhythms, and particular approaches to drumming. Initially, that started with untuned percussion, and then has led to things like the balafon, as I've kind of wanted to explore more melodic percussion as well.”

 

 

Contours' music often incorporates live instrumentation, such as the kora and kalimba, alongside electronic beats and samples. This results in a rich and layered sound that draws inspiration from a variety of cultures and genres.

 

“The sample pack is made up of percussion I've gathered over the years, some of which is me sampling instruments that I own, like the udu or djembe, congas, bongos… and then some of it has been percussion that I've had the pleasure of being able to use but would never be able to afford, such as an entire gamelan.”

 

Ruf Dug

Another artist who has collaborated with Rhythm Section is Ruf Dug. Hailing from Manchester, Ruf Dug has been a fixture in the UK music scene for over a decade, with a sound that is heavily influenced by house, disco, and psychedelic rock.

 

 

“I’m not one of these producers who have their workflow absolutely rigorously sorted out, I just kind of fast with things and try not to lose interest in it. Most of the work that I do happens on the laptop, and then I'll just use maybe a synth or an effect or something.”

 

Ruf Dug's music often features a blend of live instrumentation and electronic production, creating a sound that is both organic and dancefloor-ready. He has released several EPs and albums through Rhythm Section, including "Island" in 2018, inspired by his travels around the Pacific Islands. He’s brought this field recording and ‘found sounds’ attitude to the sample pack, too…

 

“It was a combination of my own sample library that I've built up over the years – things that I've recorded, field recordings, times when I've been in studios and been able to use lovely microphones to record things – and I also fired up the D-50. I remember being in a sort of 90s streetsoul kind of mood.”

 

Ruf Dug is also known for his dynamic DJ sets, which have taken him around the world to play at festivals and clubs. With his unique approach to production and a love of musical experimentation, Ruf Dug is a true innovator in the world of electronic music.

 

Z Lovecraft

Based in London, Z Lovecraft makes music that’s heavily influenced by house, techno, and experimental electronica, with a sound characterized by its dreamy, atmospheric quality, with intricate rhythms and lush synth pads. 

 

 

He has released several EPs through Rhythm Section, including "The Creator" in 2017, which received critical acclaim for its unique blend of influences. In addition to his work as a producer, Z Lovecraft is also a respected DJ, hosting a popular show on NTS Radio and playing at clubs and festivals around the world. 

 

“I’ve always been obsessed with getting the most out of all types of equipment. But when we started our studio, I wanted to expand it and I thought sample packs would be a good way to get the beat-making and producing community engaged in what we were doing. Rather than it just being, “Here's more music”… “Here's tools to make music”.

 

Rhythm Section Anthology

The pack, produced by the artists in this article and more Rhythm Section regulars, is available now on Loopcloud and Loopmasters.