PAUL WHITE


Artist


HIP HOP

 

South Londoner Paul White started making electronic music as a sixth-former and courted a number of styles from a young age: ambient, techno, happy hardcore, drum and bass and - influenced by ‘90s skate videos - hip hop. It seems fitting then that one of Paul’s earliest composing jobs was as a library music composer, flexing his multi-genre skills.  However as a child of the J Dilla age of hip hop, Paul soon took to mixing up unusual musical styles via beats.
 
A musical explorer through time and space like his hero Madlib, Paul’s early releases for One-Handed Music took you on cinematic orchestral journeys distilling strange and disparate sounds into melodic moody soundscapes. His 2007 remixes for Brazilian chill-out psych trio Democustico on Far Out, transformed loungey tracks into trippy leftfield soundscapes. 2008 saw more remixes: for hiphop luminaries Frank N Dank, Bullion and FOE as well as indie band Bombay Bicycle Club with similar effect. Paul’s richly textured re-workings demonstrated a great imagination as well as attention to sound quality.
 
In 2009 Paul released a clutch of EPs, singles and his debut album The Strange Dreams of Paul White which cemented Paul’s arrival in the hiphop world.
“There was also something very British about his avoidance of the traditional soul, jazz and funk sample sources of his hip-hop forebears in favour of prog and psychedelic rock, reggae and the abandoned vinyl of English charity shops. Paul’s playfulness and world-class production chops are also evident throughout his Sounds From The Skylight beat tape, which rounded off an impressive 2009.”– Alex Chase, One Handed Music
Paul White was now on the lips of radio DJs like Mary Anne Hobbes and Gilles Peterson of BBC Radio One and frontline club DJs and producers like The Chemical Brothers and Diplo (“his biggest fan”).


The next year One-Handed Music co-released Paul’s second album with LA’s Now-Again Records, sister label to the infamous Stones Throw Records. Paul White and the Purple Brain was an exploration of one of Paul’s obscure-record-hunter experiments, pairing Swedish cult psyche-rock guitarist ST Mikael with Paul’s unpredictable fine beats. Exotic, unusual and otherworldly, Purple Brain brought something new to British hiphop and conversely brought hiphop into other arenas.
 
His remixes continued, now including collaborations with MED and Talib Kweli, Bosco Delrey, Bilal (unreleased), Tranqill and Mux Mool. Later in the year an eccentric downbeat single with Turkish singer Ahu demonstrated just how subtle and melodic Paul’s work can be whilst remaining fresh and intriguing. Paul also mixed a podcast for Stones Throw entirely of his original material showcasing the consistent quality and variety of work that he has amassed. He also started doing some live shows with Mo Kolours on drums, which rocked.

A cavalcade of collaborations followed in 2011 on the album Rapping with Paul White. Declaring “We don’t know where we’re going but we sure make a lot of noise getting there!” in the intro, the 18 track album features a motley crew of vocalists including Stones Throw’s Guilty Simpson and British folk singer Nancy Elizabeth. Having eased you into Paul’s contemplative headspace, the hip hop album takes turns through elements of soul, psyche rock, African rhythms and all sorts, using memorable samples and his honed and versatile production skills. It’s like some sort of rollicking joyride around Paul White’s intricately wired brain/ record collection. Amazingly the ever productive (literally) Paul also released an equally intricate remix of the album later in 2011.

AUDIO

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