What we’re listening to (#15): ‘Chapter 10’ by Brock Berrigan

Brock Berrigan, hip-hop beat maker and and clear advocate of Budweiser beer, released an album of beats a couple of months back and, after recently discovering it, I haven’t stopped listening to it. Based in New York City, Berrigan labels himself as a ‘sample hunter’ on his various social media pages, and after a few listens to the album it’s quite clear that this label is most definitely true – you’ll find many an artist scratched and mixed and sampled all over the tracks, from the Derek Lawrence Statement (“I am the Preacher”) in “The Preacher” to a more familiar Greg Dykes and the Synanon Choir sample (“Arise, Shine”) in “Three AM”. The latter has been used by artists like J. Cole in “Rise and Shine”, but honestly Berrigan has done it better here, the chipmunked pitch change in J. Cole’s really takes away from the epicness that ¬†comes from the sample track:

“Went to the top of the Empire State Building last week and got inspired to do something epic.”

I imagine if Berrigan was a slightly bigger name we’d be hearing mixtape upon mixtape of rappers hoping to make it using these tracks (he has worked with Jetpack Jones if you want to here Berrigan’s beats with some rap over the top). His production never gets boring; he’ll throw in Madlib-esque sound clips from films and television shows, and sometimes he’ll change the whole foundation of a song mid-track to keep it interesting – dark and mysterious vibes are strewn across the first section of “Valley of Fire”, the album’s closing track, high-attack snares and moody samples give a perfect album. Then later he’ll introduce a soul sample, the very smooth bassline and strings definitely helping change the mood to the major side of things.

Is there something you’re trying to “say” with your music?

“Just to enjoy yourself. Life is short and you could fucking die any second. I got a good sense of humor so I try to put that in there.” – Berrigan, via eyesandedge.com

What probably helps Berrigan be as skilled and polished as is he his is that plays many instruments himself – his first instrument wasn’t a sampler like many producers claim, he picked up guitar at a young age and as such you’ll hear a guitar refrain or two from him on some of his tracks, and his experience in percussion definitely helps drum-selection too. If you dig this album as much as me, support Brock Berrigan by picking it up here:

http://brockberrigan.bandcamp.com/

This article was written by Mo Hafeez.

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