The Soft Boy Records producer Gaptoof has been hosting a weekly beat battle for producers on his Instagram during the pandemic.
The idea is simple, the Cork producer chooses a sample and the producers involved go and flip a beat with the sample. The participants then submit their beat to Gaptoof and they all listen over Instagram Live and offering opinions and advice on each other’s tracks. At the end of the session, three producers are crowned the top 3 by all participants.
And so we come to The Space Tape, a 19-track release collating the last six weeks of the beat battles, out today on Bandcamp, with all proceeds in aid of MASI (Movement for Asylum Seekers in Ireland).
Producers like Wastefellow, Alex Gough, Cheesmore, Brién and boyfrens have tracks on the mixtape.
It’s available today, and with Bandcamp Friday in effect, if you buy it today all proceeds go towards MASI.
Here’s Gaptoof with more:
What was the impetus for starting the beat battle?
After the third lockdown was brought in I really started to feel the effects of no gigs, community and generally something to look forward to. With this in mind I came up with the idea to host a weekly Instagram Live where I would make beats, give feedback on beats and generally talk about music. The goal was to inspire musicians and artists like myself to stay motivated in a time when it can be hard to stay consistent in their work. After about two weeks people in the chat started to show interest in a potential beat battle, so I started to plan out how it works on a weekly basis.
Advice and feedback is something that solo producers maybe don’t always get – what kind of insights were the battles offering to people do you think?
Apart from general critique on the technical side of each individual beat, producers gain some insight from myself and others in the chat on where their beat would fit in the industry and what kind of artist it would suit. However, the most insightful part of the stream comes after the beat battle is over. Conversations are had about what we’ve heard and there is a deeper look into peoples’ inspirations, work ethics, aspirations and overall goals in their music. For me, these conversations can be more valuable than any sort of technical critique because they go a lot deeper and they give people something to think about the next time they make music.
What have you learned from the beat battles personally?
The biggest thing I’ve learned from the beat battles is that however bad things may seem in the midst of this pandemic, people are still driven to make art. Maybe even more so than before! It’s so inspiring to see the sheer amount of submissions each week and the excitement behind each new assigned sample, especially from producers and musicians that haven’t participated before.
THE SPACE TAPE hosted by GAPTOOF tracklist:
1 – INTRO – GAPTOOF.
2 – Cheesmore – In my Head ft. Greg Tisdall, grubby and Chrome boi
3 – The Main Event – VinoToof
4 – Cuculn – Ennui
5 – Ward – Daylight
6 – Alex Gough – IDGAF
7 – boyfrens – Not Your Type
8 – ScareDaCat – Samosa
9 – Fran – La Lágrima
10 – JORDAN BEATS – Steak Sandwich
11 – F.O.B. – same old thang
12 – Guhregory – DONTRANADA
13 – Brién – Trifle
14 – HEADSGONE – Twist
15 – Oisin Egan – Nedved
16 – Wastefellow – S. Gaptan
17 – Sam Healy – Orpheus in the club (circa 2005)
18 – Guhregory – 10 Hour Flute Solo
19 – Rhoshi – 02 GENERATOR
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.