MASCHINE and the new MASCHINE+ have been core tools in the creation of hip-hop producer/rapper Khrysis‘ newest album, The Hour of Khrysis, released earlier this year on 9th Wonder’s Jamla label and featuring big collaborations with De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Pharaohe Monche, Problem, and Evidence. In this SKETCHES video, we travel to Khrysis’ home studio in Raleigh, North Carolina to see how he puts a beat together in record time (mostly) without a computer, using a simple set-up of a MASCHINE+, the Komplete Kontrol S49 keyboard, a classic Technics 1200 turntable and his cell phone, which he calls “the greatest tool in the modern arsenal.”
Using a sample from Oakland producer Sndtrak and a record full of dusty drum breaks, Khrysis delivers a delicious slab of classic boom-bap, adding variation and grit to the beat by way of live drops (also known as mutes) and the frequency kill switches on an old Numark M3 2-channel DJ mixer (through which he runs his turntable), then adding a bassline from MONARK.
Khrysis, a member of The Soul Council and foundational North Carolina hip-hop outfits Little Brother and the Justus League, was making beats before he even knew how to make beats – as a kid, he hooked up a dual-cassette deck and a Casio keyboard to make pause tapes from his parents’ jazz, soul and funk records. Eventually, the North Carolina producer saved up to buy a computer with FL Studio (when it was still called Fruity Loops) and discovered the sampling capabilities of Ensoniq’s ASR-10 keyboard. Shortly after MASCHINE arrived in 2009, Khrysis got on board and he’s been using it ever since – getting deep into the craft of sample flipping and chopping that’s the backbone of hip-hop, while playing the pads with his own natural swing and finesse.
Check out all of our SKETCHES series here.