||Years in the making, Notes From The Underground is an essential and
evocative album from acclaimed producers Gone Beyond and Mumbles.
The journey began when Cut Chemist enlisted the duo to participate in a
2007 concert series titled Pravda, held at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in
Los Angeles. The series was a tribute to the Russian classical musicians
living under the rule of Joseph Stalin, primarily Mosolov, Shostakovich,
and Prokofev. One night featured DJs and producers incorporating these
works into their beats and included the likes of DJ Spooky and Amon
Tobin. Gone Beyond and Mumbles spent months scouring through
hundreds of recordings from various classical performances and put
together fve tracks for the show.
Ten years later and the spark of this performance has ignited into a full
album, made even more relevant by current events and the socio-political
atmosphere. Notes from the Underground is named after Dostoyevsky’s
classic existential novel, pointing the way to the themes presented by the
music. The album is an artistic commentary on the ability of the human
spirit to overcome oppression, adversity, and fascism. Gone Beyond and
Mumbles have remixed and given a modern, empowered voice to the
great composers of Russia who wrote under the yoke of Stalin during the
early 20th Century, exposing the struggles and this compelling music to
a new generation.
The remarkableness of the project is transmitted in how natural the
contemporary beats sound accompanying these vintage compositions.
Take “Apropos for the Wet Snow” which uses a melancholy piano motif
and ?avors it with dusty rhythms, subtle, staccato horn blasts, and
echoing soundscapes. Rather than obscuring the feeling of the original
piece the production embellishments serve to enhance. “Knight In The
Panther’s Skin” is another extraordinary moment, including lush strings,
gentle piano, and an operatic vocal over the drums for an, especially
Gone Beyond and Mumbles previously collaborated on the 2005 album
S.E.V.A. for Mush Records and on 2012’s A Duet For Space And Time
10” for The Content Label. Both producers are revered as beat-making
legends, with an expressive sonic palette that takes the listener deep
into the duo’s mindset. Notes From The Underground is a startling and
important document from Gone Beyond and Mumbles, and a welcome
return of this collaboration to The Content Label. Hip-hop sampling and
remixing is a powerful way to interpret classic themes, and Notes From
The Underground is meant to stir the listener toward thought, motivation,
and empowerment in these challenging times.