Tagged: 4hero

Tune Of The Day: Marc Mac Presents The Visioneers – Paul’s Guitar Story

Marc Mac has been close to the beating heart of contemporary British for over two decades now. He was genre defining in the early 90s dance/hardcore movement, as part of A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd and redefined drum & bass as half of 4hero, where he was responsible for my favourite ever remix. And more recently he has been cataloguing his love of soul music, in all its forms, through his Visioneers project.

Their album Dirty Old Hip Hop, which consisted of instrumental covers of many of the most sampled tracks in rap, was and is one of my favourites of the last few years, and the follow-up, Hipology* (and the associated free mix-tape), which I only just discovered, is even more of a love-letter to the last great art-form of the 20th century. Kind of like an album length version of The Roots’ Act Too.

Anyway, I’ve been listening to his Visioneers stuff again quite a lot recently, and this has to be the stand-out track; it really is just beaitiful. The guitar line is wistful, funny & sad, the beat is, of course, absolutely spot on, and the whole is simply wonderful. Seriously, it has to be one of my favourite pieces of music of the last few years.

It’s like he bottled nostalgia, wrapped a beat around it and then pressed it on vinyl. Just listen to it, you’ll get the idea.

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*He’s also created a wonderful scrap-book site cataloguing the things that have influenced his work.

Wallflower photo by yours truly


Marc Mac presents The Visioneers – Runnin’ (cover of The Pharcyde’s hip hop classic)

Marc Mac of drum & bass pioneers 4hero goes back to his roots with an album of hip hop covers, including Runnin’ by under-rated masters The Pharcyde…
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Original of Runnin’ by The Pharcyde

Marc Mac of UK electronic pioneers 4hero has made a career out of mixing the future of music with its roots. So, with 4hero (most famous for drum & bass), he made a note for note cover of Minnie Ripperton’s soul classic Les Fleurs. And now, with his Visioneers project, he’s made an album which pays respect to the best of jazz & hip hop and merges the two genres effortlessly.

The album, Dirty Old Hip Hop, is full of lazy, funky covers of hip hop classics like Nas’ The World Is Yours & the tracks that inspired them, such as Isaac Hayes’ Ike’s Mood 1. But the stand out track is a cover of Runnin’, originally by West Coast hip hop band The Pharcyde.

The Pharcyde were an act who eschewed the pimps & hos attitude of their contemporaries for music & lyrics that could be both amusing and deadly serious. Their breakout track Ya Mama extended the old dissin’ competitions of their youth to ridiculous levels (Ya mama got a glass eye with the fish in it), whilst Runnin’ (off of lost classic Labcabincalifornia) talked of how to stand up for yourself without being dragged into the macho world of so much hip hop. And all accompanied by a lovely gentle melody and some great beats.

Marc Mac strips out all of the lyrics of Runnin’, apart from the chorus (Can’t keep runnin’ away) and replaces the samples and beats with live instrumentation and drums. What you end up with is a beautiful, haunting (almost) instrumental track that sounds more forward thinking than half the hip hop being released today. And as it was released in 2006, but I’m only just getting to grips with it now, I can probably nominate Dirty Old Hip Hop by Marc Mac & The Visioneers as my Ohmega Watts for 2007!