Kper – Listen To My Beat (Nujabes Tribute Mix)

I made this tribute mix for Japanese producer Nujabes (real name Jun Seba) last month shortly after hearing of his tragic passing away in a car crash at the end of February. It’s taken me longer than I’d hoped to put it out but considering that in that short time another two greats left us, Guru of Gangstarr and Malcolm McLaren, it felt only even more right to pay homage to the man. Later this week Dday One will return with his In Session series dedicated to Guru.

Nujabes is someone who I first discovered via my obsession with Japanese anime and also thanks to Waxfactor, who if you’re a regular listener/long time fan you will know is as much of a Japanese underground music nerd as I am, if not more. Best known for his production work on the OST for the Samurai Champloo anime series (which introduced his work to many outside of Japan thanks to the series’ worldwide popularity), Nujabes is frequently name checked as one of Japan’s best known hip hop producers having collaborated over the years with many homegrown and foreign artists including Shing02, Forces of Nature, Apani B Fly, Five Deez, CL Smooth and many more.

While not the most technical of producers, Nujabes always impressed me by having a cinematic and emotional quality to his music that few hip hop producers are able to pull off, and pull off well. The majority of his productions have a quality to them that is directly inspired from hip hop’s golden era but adapted to his own tastes and environment, namely a totally foreign society and culture to that from which hip hop originated. Simply put, for me anyways, Nujabes music had a real soul to it, and that quality echoed in me everytime I heard his music. Often heavily drenched in jazz samples, Nujabes’ beats were and still are instantly recognisable. It’s this quality that I tried to put across in this short tribute mix.

Losing such a talented individual so tragically and at such a young age will never make sense but as someone said recently in a eulogy for Guru the one consolation we have when artists pass away is that their art stays with us forever. Nujabes was a great producer, someone who connected Japan to the rest of the world in the same way other Japanese pioneers like DJ Krush have done and someone who did a lot for the music and the scene in his country. All of which are reasons enough to commemorate his passing and celebrate his life.

I’ll leave you on this note to enjoy this 45 minutes tribute – tracklist below as well as direct download link and stream player. I’ve included the releases the tracks are taken from.

For more on Nujabes check his myspace and the Hydeout Productions website (a label which he founded and ran) who will be releasing music he left behind in the coming months.

RIP Jun Seba aka Nujabes – you will be missed but not forgotten!

Download Listen To My Beat (Nujabes Tribute Mix) (Right click and save as)

Nujabes ft. Fat Jon – Battlecry (Samurai Shamploo OST)
Nujabes – After Hanabi (Flowers 7″)
Nujabes – Kunomi (Metaphorical Music LP)
Nujabes ft. Shing02 – Luv (sic) (First Collection LP)
Nujabes – Reflection Eternal (Modal Soul LP)
Nujabes – Moon Strut (intro) (First Collection LP)
Nujabes ft. Fat Jon – Mystline (Samurai Champloo OST)
DSK – Winter Lane (DSK meets Nujabes remix) (Winter Lane 12″)
Nujabes – Impression (Samurai Champloo OST)
Nujabes – Sea of Cloud (Modal Soul LP)
Nujabes – Summer Gypsy (Metaphorical Music LP)
Nujabes – Still Talking To You (Still Talking To You 12″)
Nujabes – Next View (Next View 12″)
Nujabes ft. Uyama Hiroto – Modal Soul (Modal Soul LP)

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