Man versus machine: Dibiase premieres first single from 'Machines Hate Me'
"Machines Hate Me" marks Dibiase's official debut, but the Watts-bred beatmaker has been warring with samplers since the days of Judge Dredd. With his sensibilities honed at Project Blowed and countless hours hunched over an old-school 8-bit Nintendo, he's been an unmistakable fixture on the local beat scene since his emergence at after-hour battles at Kutmah's Sketchbook night, boom box perched on his shoulder like a left coast version of Radio Raheem.
But Public Enemy wasn't the soundtrack blaring. Instead, Dibiase devised his own dynamite comprised of J Dilla-descended moonlit soul, G-funk's south L.A. swing, and the dusty cartridge and epileptic flashes of 8-bit Nintendo music. From RC Pro-Am to Castlevania, there is no beat that Dibiase has been unable to funkdafy. And on his forthcoming Alpha Pup release, he flips both Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! and "The Price Is Right" theme songs, adding a gritty, forceful groove and toying with the pace like a rope-a-dope.
With the Low End Theory's emergence, Dibiase has seen his profile rise of late, both from his frequent and ferocious live sets and his outside production work with U-N-I and Intuition. The former's Dibiase-produced "Beautiful Day" became something of an underground hit in 2008, earning MTV airplay and hundreds of thousands of MySpace plays. And both won mix show play on Power 106.
But "Machines Hate Me" represents the most complete and fully realized iteration of Dibiase's work. Lead single "Lumberjack" leans toward his psychedelic soul side, creating an orchestral maze more reminiscent of J Dilla than a flannel-clad forest dweller (presumably, it derived its name from his facility at chopping samples.) Yet it reflects only one facet of the producer, with the full-length fleshing him out further as a California cognate to Hyperdub's Ikonika -- one of the best at creating soundtracks that balance between the futuristic and the days when saving the princess was your primary concern.
Download: (Pop & Hiss premiere)
-- Jeff Weiss