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Kassa Overall: Workshop

April 1 @ 2:00 pm5:00 pm

BEHIND THE BEAT with Kassa Overall

Almost as long as Kassa has been drumming, he has been making beats, starting in his Seattle basement with an AKAI MPC 2000 and an ASR-10 he got from a Seattle Police Department auction. In this session, Kassa takes you inside his production process, from his work for artists like Theo Croker, Das Racist, and Danny Brown, to his singular approach to jazz sampling and the remix process, which melds jazz and hip-hop idioms. In this workshop, he offers a practical look into his beatmaking process, including how he chops up drums on Ableton, bringing you into the production process for his Shades of Flu mixtapes. He will show you how to make Pitchfork-worthy remixes on a laptop and put out albums for less than $100 using platforms like Distrokid and Bandcamp, with no record label, utilizing whatever capital you have. Participants will leave inspired to grind on their own projects and have an idea of how to bring those projects to fruition.

Along the way, Kassa will also offer philosophical insights on production and remixing, which he regards as a crucial way of connecting music from various diasporic traditions, bringing together disparate historical styles, idioms, and approaches to create a new story under a single circus tent.

For a portion of the workshop, Kassa will be joined by local luminary and KEXP DJ Vitamin D. The two will compare notes on the relationship between jazz and beatmaking, discuss current technologies such as Serato and Ableton, and improvise music on the spot.

Suggested Listening:

Shades of Flu and Shades of Flu 2, available exclusively on Bandcamp

WBGO Podcast on Kassa’s beatmaking

Suggested Reading:

Ableton interview with Kassa

Shades of Flu reviewed in Pitchfork

Shades of Flu 2 reviewed in Pitchfork


April 1
2:00 pm5:00 pm
Event Category:


Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144 United States
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