Friday, March 16, 2007
AFRA&INCREDIBLE BEATBOX BAND:Human Beatbox animated video
Human beat boxing is a vocal percussion of hip hop culture and music. It is primarily concerned with the art of reproducing drum sounds using one's voice, mouth, and nasal cavity. It can also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntable scratching, the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments, and the replication of a vast array of sound effects.
The term beatboxing most likely refers to early drum machines which came with pre-programmed musical patterns.
History of beat boxing
The technique and the art of replicating percussion sounds with one's voice is thought to be conceived in India several thousands years ago, and the Chinese developed Kouji which was one kind of vocal percussion performing arts. These had litte relation with hip hop, however, and are not related to modern Western beatboxing. This kind of sound-simulating techinique is called humming and chanting. Beatboxing is currently experiencing a second wind, thanks in part to the likes of artists like Rahzel and Kenny Muhammad, that has carried the artform across the world. In 2002, the documentary Breath Control: The History of the Human Beatbox premiered. It is a history of the art form that includes interviews with Doug E. Fresh, Emanon, Biz Markie, Marie Daulne of Zap Mama, and others. The same year even saw the emergence of a beatbox clothing label, mic(ism)® - sported and supported by beatboxers worldwide®.
A man named Imiterio Ruiz, who came from an affluent Mexican family, originally brought beatboxing into America in 1930. Imiterio's father, an intelligent and respected man throughout Mexico, was contracted by the Texas government to help manage Mexican laborers who couldn't speak English throughout the Hearne, Texas area where the laborers were laying the Union Pacific Railroad lines; it is for this reason that Hearne is known as "The Crossroads Of Texas." It was Imiterio who taught these railroad laborers to beatbox throughout Hearne and Calvert, Texas as it had been used by Aztec Indians (later, slaves) throughout the 14th, 15th and 16th century in central Mexico. Beatboxing had been used for years as a way of entertainment amongst the Aztec Indian, brought to America by Imiterio Ruiz Sr., and spread amongst Union Pacific Railroad laborers by his son Imiterio Ruiz, Jr. The railroad workers would travel from city to city working across America via train (through Denver, Colorado), and this is how beatboxing reached New York from central Mexico.
Beatboxing's early pioneers include Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and Buffy from the Fat Boys. Doug E. Fresh is credited with being the first "human beatbox", and Barry B for coining the term . The term "beatboxing" is derived from the mimicry of the first generation of drum machines, then known as beatboxes.
 Vocal percussionists
Throughout a series of concerts in 1969, most notably at The Fillmore East in NYC, John Mayall (formerly the frontman for "The Bluesbreakers") with a new band introduced an acoustic style of the Blues. Sans drums and, for the most part electric guitars, Mayall and the band included a tune called "Room to Move" which included a middle section of pure beatboxing predating and outdoing almost every other future attempt at this style short of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't worry, be happy" almost twenty years later. The Mayall concerts were recorded on an album called "Turning Point".
In 1970, British band Mungo Jerry released In the Summertime, eventually selling 23 million copies worldwide. An interesting quirk of the track is that no traditional percussion is used, with all rhythmic and incidental percussion generated by the vocalist(s).
Viv Fisher, a frustrated amateur British musician and sound engineer released a 7" vinyl single of multivocal work in 1978, entitled "Blaze Away", performing as "Me, Myself and Me Again", on which he performed all parts of a brass band, additionally using multitracking techniques to satisfy his desire for an accurate portrayal of the many instruments and depth of sound in a real brass band.
Mbube is a style of close harmony choral singing, originating in Africa. One of its components is the vocal representation of percussion and bass sounds by one or more members of a choir. Ladysmith Black Mambazo are a well known group performing in this style and have been releasing music in this genre since 1973.
The early eighties
The art form enjoyed a strong presence in the 1980s. Many people's introduction to the art form, and perhaps one of its first recordings, came when Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick released "La Di Da Di." However, the Fat Boys "Stick Em" and the album on which it appeared, "The Fat Boys," was released in January 1984, one year before the "La Di Da Di" single, which appeared as a B-side to "The Show" in 1985. (The rap community and beyond celebrated Buffy's heavy-breathing style on "Stick Em.") Even today, when people make fun of beatboxing, they imitate the deceased Buffy by huffing and puffing into their hands. The Fat Boys' movies (such as Disorderlies) introduced the art form to a wider audience as well.
The mid eighties
Other important beatboxers in the mid-'80s who followed the greats like Doug E. Fresh included Greg Nice, Ready Rock C from Will Smith's crew, and The Jock Box from the comically named Skinny Boys crew.
In 1984, Viv Fisher recorded the first known multivocal TV theme tune, vocalising parts of a Brass Band for the title sequence of a BBC gameshow series entitled Bob's Full House. In 1985, he performed the same role for BBC drama series, Blott on the Landscape, this time vocally recreating all instruments and percussion.
In many ways, beatboxing fell off the radar along with breakdancing in the late '80s; it almost slipped even deeper than the underground. Though many people kept the art form alive on the streets, in ciphers, within B-boy circles, and in showers, it didn't re-emerge until Rahzel "the Godfather of Noyze" released "Make the Music 2000", which is the first album focused primarily on beatboxing. The title is a reference to "Make the Music With Your Mouth", one of the first recorded beatboxing tracks by the hip hop sensation Biz Markie. (Markie also achieved moderate success with his single "Just A Friend".)
In the mid-'90s, Rahzel proved a versatile entertainer. He was formerly the vocal DJ for The Roots, a group that contributed to the popularity of live instrumentation in hip hop. Not only did he help put beatboxing back onto the stage, he introduced its modern form, an impressive if not awe-inspiring combination of polyrhythms, vocal scratching, and simultaneous lines of melody, rhythm, and singing. Rahzel himself acknowledges that he combined his influences of pioneer Doug E. Fresh, jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and sound effect master Michael Winslow (of Police Academy fame) to give rise to his modern format.
On "If Your Mother Only Knew", a beatboxing sample of Rahzel, he wows an audience by singing and beatboxing simultaneously—a feat now considered easy by the growing young beatboxing community. On several tracks, he introduced the idea of simulating turntable scratches with his throat, something even underground beatboxers upholding the art form through the lean years hadn't even heard until the album's release.
Using his commercial appeal, Rahzel paved the way for beatboxing's migration to the center of the stage, both literally and metaphorically. In its beginning, beatboxing was relegated to a supporting role or gimmick, like a side show. With beatboxing's increased popularity, Rahzel began touring the country doing solo shows.
Of course, many beatboxers express frustration with Rahzel receiving most of the attention and being known as the best beatboxer in the world. Though many well-practiced amateur and professional beatboxers possess different levels of skill, each one brings something different to the form. As Carlo Aguirre (also known as Infinite), a beatboxer and MC from San Francisco's famed Felonious says, "Each person has a different instrument."
Other well-known, seminal beatboxers whose work is well known throughout the international beatboxing community include the Bronx's Kenny Muhammad (also known as Kenny X, The Human Orchestra); Philadelphia's Scratch, beatboxer for the Roots; Killa Kela, one of Europe's finest, Click Tha Supah Latin, an MC and beatboxer located in Los Angeles, Shlomo, who has collaborated with Björk, MC Squared, an internationally renowned 5-time winner of Showtime at the Apollo, RoxorLoops from Beatoxic Crew, Each who is a key organiser with the Vowel Movement located in California, "mouthdrummer" Wes Carroll of The House Jacks, also located in California, and Canada's own scratch pioneer Poizunus.
The Four Elements
The last track on Rahzel's CD 'Make The Music 2000' is a track with his famous 'If Your Mother Only Knew' routine. But it contains a hidden bonus track, which is a 'Man vs. Machine' battle with beatboxers [[Rahzel is also known for another piece. He does the well known "Jesus Walks" performed by Kanye West. ]] and Kenny Muhammad vs. turntablists DJ Skribble and DJ Slinky. The song is by most beatboxers referred to as The Four Elements, because it contains an impression of the four elements in beatbox style at the end.
* The first element is Earth (performed by Rahzel), using basic beatboxing techniques with a dry 'taste', in a fairly simple beat pattern.
* The second element is Wind (performed by Kenny Muhammad), a complex and fast beat with words in it said in a very low voice. It has a stormy character. Wind is probably the current most favourite beatbox routine. It is a cover of the song 'Nummern' (Numbers) by the German group Kraftwerk.
* The third element is Fire (performed by Rahzel). It is the only element containing sounds that were not produced by the human mouth. Fire is a cover of 'Rock The Bells' by LL Cool J.
* The fourth and last element is Water (performed by Kenny Muhammad),Its one if the most popular amongest beatboxer after the wind. The sounds are punchy and fast. Water is a cover of a tune called 'Funky Drummer' by James Brown.
Increasingly, The Four Elements is becoming a very popular concept within the beatboxing community.
New York City
New York City is the birthplace of the art and still home to many of the world's most original and impressive beatboxers. These include Buffy of The Fat Boys, Doug E. Fresh, Hayden, Rahzel, Kenny Muhammad, MC Squared, Matisyahu and many others. In 2002 Kid Lucky created Beatboxer Entertainment, an organization to unite NYC's beatboxers, which has since grown to include beatboxers nationally and internationally.
Beatboxing began to gain visibility in the United Kingdom in early 2002, thanks in part to the founding of UK-specific beatboxing communities. While Killa Kela is often considered to be the most famous UK beatboxer, others such as Shlomo, Lianhart, Faith SFX, and BeardyMan are gaining their own followings.
The King of the Jam beatbox picnic created by Mark Splinter was the first beatboxer gathering held in the United Kingdom. Beginning with a meeting of four beatboxers, one MC, some sandwiches and a video camera at St. James' Park in London, the event grew sharply in popularity, drawing 80 artists to the 2004 Tournament. Though Splinter has since relocated to Lithuania he continues to arrange the meetings at the same park on a bi-annual basis, and a World Tour is planned.
The first Human Beatbox Convention was held in London in 2003, bringing together 100 beatboxers from around the world.
Other beatboxer events in the UK include Bristol's 'Make Some Noise' in May and the UK Beatbox Championships, which are held in various cities during the months of February, June, and July. The 2006 UK Beat Boxing Champion is BeardyMan.
Dallas Texas area
The collaborative processes of many "underground" rappers brought about a need for beats. When Ion started the acceptance of street culture, a multitude of followers supported the movement. The art of beatboxing was practiced by many, but a few stick out. Hayden Lemaster and SMVY began showcasing their talent quite often.
San Francisco Bay area
The Vowel Movement, created by Bryan Neuberg (also known as Process), Kid Beyond, and Tim Barsky, is a collaborative San Francisco Bay area community that supports the art of beatboxing. It features regular showcases that emphasize sharing and inclusivity amongst its practitioners, bringing the art form to a diverse audience, and pushing the boundaries beyond the classification of hip hop.
Australian beatboxer Joel Turner (founder of 'Beatbox Alliance') first came to fame after appearing on the Australian Idol competition, and then went on to become the first solo World Beatbox Champion by winning the Hip Hop World Challenge in Germany, 2005. Additionally, Joel and fellow Beatbox Alliance member Tom Thumb placed first in the team battle event.
In 2005 BeatboxAustralia.com was created, founded by Australian beatboxer MadMastaC. Beatbox Australia is the first company in Australia dedicated to the 5th element it is a beatbox agency and also a community for beatboxers to chat and gather. In 2006 Beatbox Australia started organising events and beatbox jams around Australia and promoting Australian beatboxing and also launched there first set of clothing line.
November 2006 saw the appearance of A-Town Entertainment. Adelaides very own beatbox specialist hip hop agency. With regular appearances on local radios hiphop shows, monthly jams, regular city cyphers and performing around adelaide, A-Town is quickly becoming a force within the hip hop scene.
Canadian beatboxer Poizunus first entered the spotlight after a Much-On-Demand beatbox battle that aired nationally on MuchMusic across Canada. Since then he has starred and provided beats for two MuchMusic commercials alongside Toronto MC Divo and also freestyled on MTV Live with World Record Freestyle Champ D.O. He has also placed top 4 at the Hip Hop World Challenge, has toured the UK, and performed live with UK Legend Killa Kela and US DMC Champ DJ Craze at WMC 2006. Poizunus is currently set to release his first EP which is tentatively titled "The PreP", which is scheduled for a spring/summer 2007 release.
Other notable Canadian beatboxers are:
Sean Maxim Mauricette, a.k.a. Subliminal is a jack-of-all-trades (part beatboxer, DJ, lyricist and producer). In 1998 Subliminal toured Canada and Western Europe as well as performed in the 1999 MuchMusic Video Awards and opened up for such recording artists as D12, Arrested Development and Jagged Edge to name a few. Currently a member of ACTRA, Subliminal also has his eyes on acting. Working alongside actor Kevin Bacon and singer Jill Scott, Subliminal has also been cast for primary roles in CitrusTV's hit series After Hours with Kenny Robinson, playing dual roles as both the show's DJ and co-host. As of December 1999, Subliminal has produced, directed and performed in numerous television and radio commercials for Sony Music Canada, Sprite, McDonald's and Kellogg's (Pop-tarts).
'Jugular' is known as "Toronto's best-known beatboxer". Born and raised in Toronto, Jugular has stunned crowds with his unique style of vocal percussion. He is noted for his accurate imitation of sounds from musical instruments to turntable scratches, and can also sing and rap. Jugular regularly performs in cities across North America including Toronto, Calgary, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland, and New York City.
'Eddy Da Original One' is also a multi-talented beatboxer (a poet, graphic designer, sound engineer/producer, and technical coordinator for corporate, theatre and special events, as well). A distinctive writer, he is recently featured in “T-dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers” and “Erotica” (both published by Up From The Roots Press). In 2005 he became a member of the newly formed band D’bi Young and the Dubbin Revolushun Gang-Stars as a beatboxer/backup vocalist . He has appeared on TV, movies and radio. When he is not on stage across the country, he does poetry or beatboxes behind some amazing performance artists (e.g. Dwele). He is also does production for other artists, as well as producing (human vocal percussion) tracks for commercials, bands and film projects.
White Noise is a hardworking beatboxer performing in Ireland with 300+ live shows under his belt since 2001. He's also represented Ireland at beatbox battles in Leeds and the World Championship in Leipzig, 2005. Sometimes performs with fellow Irish beatboxer Hemlock. Has also used delay effects and live looping in his shows. Bigger gigs include performances at the Irish DMCs, ITFs, and at the Oxegen music festival, 2006.
The most known beatboxers in Scandinavia are Felix Zenger and Rey. Rey has been working with many worldwide drum and bass and hip hop artists.
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