I’ve recently got back into running after a gap of around 6 months. I’ve had some knee trouble, a sign of getting older I guess. Anyways I can’t run without music, I need a beat to help propel me, a rhythm to inspire me, lead me to my goal. So as you can imagine I’m picky about the music I put on the iPhone. It’s got to tick the aforementioned boxes. In most cases it has to be well known to my ears, I don’t need musical surprises. They can throw me off my stride. I guess I’m saying that tempo is important to me. I like to take myself away from home to begin my run. Knowing that I have to get home inspires me. It also means I can’t go back after only running up the road for 5 minutes. Today I decided to go for a run to clear my head before I began working on a new interview for the site. I got to my start point and knew the distance I’d be covering. It then came to soundtrack selection time. I broke my own rule and went with the ‘For The People Like Us’ album by German Beatmaker/Producer Klaus Layer.
It dropped a few weeks back but I’d not had chance to rock it properly. Now seemed like the ideal time. I hit start on my running app and pressed play. Straight away it hit me, Klaus knows beats. Yet again on his 3rd full length release it shows. He clearly embraces the sounds of the 90’s. He makes each track feel brand new while keeping a foot in the past. It’s boom bap at it’s best. Layer is a fitting name to go by as the songs have little elements of classics running through that true heads will notice and most likely cherish. Tempos stay the same, little production flourishes continually engaged me throughout the brief 28 minutes, but in this case that only added to this runners quest. I dug the snatches of German speech from one track to the next as if Klaus was weaving a sonic tapestry that only some of his home grown fans would truly get. I for one like them, it’s not a language I understand but I do speak the universal language we call Hip Hop and it sounded like some dope verbal intercourse. As I ran I got the same feeling I did from listening to his last 2 releases. Klaus clearly works with analogue equipment. It’s clear in the wall of sound he creates. You can just see him banging away on an MPC, digging through piles of records so he can sample, isolate and filter the smallest of sounds and flip it in the rawest audio texture. He’s a craftsman who deserves more shine.
The only thing I would’ve liked was a guest vocal or 2 to break things up. It’s not a gripe by any means. I’d heard he’s got more music dropping this year with some talented cats we all know and love. This album is going to feature in heavy rotation as I get back into my groove with running. It’s the perfect soundtrack for getting fitter with. It also matches with the feel of the city I live in, it’s a city that’s changing and moving away from it’s industrial past but still paying homage to it. I guess that’s like Klaus Layer and the 90’s huh? It’s funny the things that cross your mind whilst running. I can’t forget to mention the continual stellar work that Redefinition Records put in with artists on their label. Not many labels in this day and age care that much about quality of quantity. I salute that and all the moves they continue to make. Do yourselves a favour and check out all they have to offer. Hip Hop is alive and well. Trust me on that yours, aching writer. Peace.