Skip navigation
Sample New Lo-fi, Soul & Jazz by German producer Shuko and keyboardist BASTi
Sampling

Sample New Lo-fi, Soul & Jazz by German producer Shuko and keyboardist BASTi

With an A-list of production duties for the likes of Nipsey Hussle, Anderson .Paak, Chance The Rapper, Snoop Dogg & more, German producer evolved from a self-described "sucker for 90s samplers and vintage synths" to a big name in beatmaking. Even more so after signing to Timbaland's Mono Music Group imprint in 2019. His new Tracklib EP with keyboardist BASTi offers four sample-ready, loop-based tracks, ranging from lo-fi vibes to jazzy keys.

By DannyVeekens

Can you please tell me a bit about your new EP for Tracklib?

It’s the third volume, and I’ve learned a bit from the previous libraries. People were really feeling it, but based on feedback I got from producers, I had the feeling that this time I should add a track focused on the jazz/lo-fi scene. That became “Jazzmen.” I’m producing stuff like that myself as well, so I know what those producers are looking for.

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:38

Was that the overall direction for this edition?

Kind of. But it’s a lot of fun to show people the versatility that I hope to evoke with my productions. So “Just Sorry” feels more like a soul track. “Tyler” is reminiscent of a Tyler, the Creator type of production with a French, organic 70s feel. And then “Pan Tao” and “Jazzmen” are leaning more to lo-fi jazz vibes.

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:01
undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:17
undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:12

So what did you learn from the previous two drops?

Needless to say, producers are usually looking for the right loop. So I wanted to offer even better options with these tracks. Sometimes I have the bass line stand out, or just the chord progression stand out. That way, producers can just use it as they see fit, and put a melody on top of that. One of the biggest problems with my usual productions, is that the beats are too “full.” Too many instruments. Because, you know, you wanna show your skills. For people looking for loops, it’s better to have more space for the drums or for a rapper or so. So I give producers segments with our EPs for Tracklib: tracks around a minute long, all choppable so people can use whatever they see fit. Music you can put in your DAW, put drums beneath, and see right away if it works. And work from there.

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:18
undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:11

What was the collaboration with keyboardist Bastian Völkel like?

I’m alright with keys, but BASTi is a real musician. If you want to make authentic music, I think you need people who are really-really good in what they’re doing. If something needs to be a soul record or needs to have a certain feel, I need someone like Bastian. He’s crazy. I can say what I need, and he comes up with exactly what I have in my head. For example, I give him gospel records that I love for reference for a certain vibe. That’s all he needs to send me a ton of ideas. Sometimes, it’s even better than the music on the record! That’s why I also clearly mention him on the EP cover and in all credits: it’s a collaboration. I don’t want to take all the shine as the producer.

When did you start creating music for sampling yourself?

I’ve had some issues with sample clearances and master rights with some of my older work, so I decided to start creating samples myself. Even before I knew about Tracklib, to be honest. This started about five, six years ago. That’s also why I want to work with the right musicians: I want the music to be real.

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:27
undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:06

And yourself? Which gear did you use for these new tracks?

I’m a heavy Ableton & Reason user on the DAW-side. But I’m much more of a hardware type of producer. I have several MPCs, so that’s my favorite piece of gear….

I also noticed an SP-1200 on the album cover for one of your recent releases, ‘Jazzterfield.’

Yeah, I have an SP-1200 as well. But it’s a little bit of a pain, to be honest, because I need to fix the pads. Besides that, I have a ton of other vintage samplers and synthesizers I like to work with. I guess I’m that old school guy who likes to work with hardware synths. Software-wise, u-he and Omnisphere are really good. But I definitely prefer real synthesizers. I prefer to tap buttons and turn knobs...

Shuko
Shuko

"It’s always best to collaborate with people who are better than you. That’s the only way to craft your own production style."

—Shuko

So how does Tracklib fit in with your way of working?

Tracklib is a bit like the sampling I used to do back in the days: cop every record I could find, and stack them in crates till I sampled them. It feels the same with Tracklib: over the last few years, I’ve downloaded a lot and put them in a folder, waiting to be sampled. I have my MPC ready and can load any of that when I feel like it, or when I’m looking for that certain type of sound or sample.

Any recent discoveries you downloaded straight away?

Let me look up my collection... I love The Putbacks. Plus what I love, is Tracklib loop player. I wish that would be available on any platform! Even on sites like YouTube or SoundCloud and all. That’d be crazy! You can instantly hear if a loop is useable, then check whether it’s Category A or Category C, and start working with it right away.

Track not found

Another recent discovery is “This World Is Really Mine” by Sound Experience. I love the keywords section as well, to randomly look up terms and styles. That brings up new ideas if you look up, for example, ‘Brazil.’ Oh, and that there’s music by Les Baxter on Tracklib, is crazy! I’m a huge fan of his work. I feel he’s quite underrated because he was mainstream, but his music is insane...

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
5:03

There are no multitracks for these EPs. Is that a deliberate choice?

I’m not a fan of multitracks, to be honest. That’s just me. I want producers to get creative with music. The best things happen when you pitch music up, chop it up… That’s when new textures come to life. I love to see how producers get creative with whatever they want to sample.

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:11
undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:11

Is that also because you wanna stay true to the essence of sampling? After all, on vinyl records there weren’t any multitracks either...

Yes, totally. Back then, you were always looking for either drums or for free spaces with the piano or that trumpet player or whatever, with not too much stuff going on. That’s the reason why a lot of 90s hip-hop is “Filter Music,” so to speak: filtering bass lines or whatever to be able to get a certain part. I love that stuff! With my music for sampling, I have the feeling you can do that as well.

You’ve also created drum packs before. How is your way of working different when it comes to these tracks for sampling?

When I work on music for sampling, I take a lot of time, to be honest. Think of the sound design—maybe you don’t hear it on all tracks, and one might think something is “just a piano.” But I try to find the right microphone, try out different angles to place the mic in the studio, analyze the piano sound from a record by, let’s say, Gladys Knight…

undefined cover art
Add track to favorites
Add or remove track from collection
Share track
Download track (1 credit)
1:09

Can you give an example of that, based on the new tracks?

BASTi and I are always tweaking pianos, and I always sample a lot of pianos when I’m in other studios. The good thing about the MPC is that there’s an auto-sampler in it, so you can basically sample a lot when you have a good microphone. So we have a ton of samples, but also actual pianos like a Yamaha. To answer your question: we always try to figure out which piano sounds best for tracks like the ones on this EP. I mean, there are thousands of pianos and possibilities. Whether it’s a grand piano, an upright piano, a toy piano… You name it. Plus: then there’s microphones. Also endless possibilities there: vintage microphones, using them in different angles in the studio… For me, that’s the fun stuff. I’m still learning, and will forever be learning.

Bastian is also really good with synthesizers. He’s younger than me—25 years old or something like that—but he’s really into sound design and synths. I also learn a lot from him. That’s why we’re still working together after five years: you have to keep learning from each other. The biggest thing I’ve learned from working with him, is that it’s always best to collaborate with people who are better than you. That’s the only way to craft your own production style.

Sign up now and get 7 free tracks

Start your free trial now to access more than 100,000 songs and multi-tracks of real music.

Subscribe


Comments