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Arts The Beatdoctor

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[size="6"][b]Arts The Beatdocto[/b]r[/size]


Residents in the area of Hilversum, The Netherlands, have reported seeing a certain shady figure lurking about the local hospital. This individual is dressed in some sort of freakish doctors’ attire, including coat, stethoscope and a scalpel the size of a small sword. It’s rumored that he has been able to infiltrate the medical staff, referring to himself as ‘a new kind of medical expert’ called a ‘Beatdoctor’. All that is known so far is that he goes about the hospital, indiscriminately prescribing unhealthy doses of cinematic, dark and melancholic hip-hop beats to unsuspecting patients. When confronted with these reports, the medical staff has been quick to distance itself from the practices of this shadowy individual, describing his brand of medicine as ‘unusual’, ‘evocative’, and in some cases even ‘dangerous’. The point of his experimental treatments, and the side-effects they might have for his test subjects have seen rampant speculation from keen observers in the field. Now it seems his plans can finally be revealed…

23 year old Arts the Beatdoctor has delivered a beautifully crafted debut with his first album, entitled ‘Transitions’. The album features 15 tracks, and is the product of 3 years of sampling, composing and tweaking. It stirs up a complex stew of emotions: melancholy being one of the most tongue-catching ingredients, supplemented by foreboding, a few tablespoons of tension and a few splashes of release. Comparisons to artists such as DJ Shadow, Krush and RJD2 spring to mind with his blend of atmospheric and cinematic hip hop beats. Apart from the aforementioned artists, Arts finds his inspiration in jazz and classical music: “What really gets to me are the harmonies that are being used. There's a lot of stuff that's about ‘playing wrong notes, but making them sound right’. For that quality, jazz is a good starting point if you want to make music that's surprising, exciting.”
Arts found his passion for music early in life: “I started on the keys pretty young, when I was ten. Later I switched to guitar and moved to computers and samplers when I turned seventeen”. Transitions occasionally sounds very organic as it employs guest musicians on certain tracks. “Quintessence has contributed a lot of sounds which I used pretty naturally, but I also invited a saxophone and trumpet player, which solo’s I cut up, detuned, and used - most of the time on other tracks than they had originally played on.” There are also four tracks on the album that are accompanied by MC’s Pete Philly, Skiggy Rapz and The Proov. Their qualities as musical lyricists is what attracted Arts to them: “I'm not a very ‘lyrical’ kind of guy - music speaks to me clearer than words. So I tend to look at the voice as another instrument. I choose to work with Pete, Skiggy and The Proov because they all have a very musical approach to rapping and singing.”

Arts already has left a multitude of musical fingerprints on different hip hop and non hip hop projects. In 2003 he made his official debut by producing a track for Lord Cyrus ”Diamonds R 4Ever” compilation, alongside MF Grimm and other American MC’s and producers. The Dutch scene however is where he got his first break: “I have to thank Pete Philly a lot for that - He picked up one of my demo CD's when I was still in my ‘indescribable abstract music" phase. I guess he heard the potential, because we talked a bit and decided to make some music together. At this point he was working on the Mindstate album with Perquisite, so I got introduced to him too. When my EP was finished and it was time to look for a label, one of my first demos went to Unexpected Records”.

When confronted with questions about his persona, Arts suddenly turns secretive. Some speculate his name comes from the Dutch word for doctor, which is somehow also ‘Arts’. Other than that, not much is known about his operations or what his true intentions really are. It is however certain that ‘Transitions’ puts him firmly in line with a new crop of supremely talented artists coming out of Holland right now among producers such as Nicolay of the Foreign Exchange and artists such as C-Mon & Kypski and Pete Philly & Perquisite. Arts broadens this group of artists with his unique take on cinematic hip hop beats. In short: leave the apple a day, and bring in the doctor already.


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