araabMuzik has made a name for himself via videos posted online showcasing his MPC mastery and by supplying Cam'ron, Vado, Fabolous and Busta Rhymes with his gritty abrasive and distinct hip-hop tracks. Two things set him apart from other producers: his drums and his sample sources.
While most beatsmiths go the traditional route of soul and jazz samples, he goes for elecronica, techno and movie scores. Then there are his drums which are the real catch. araabMuzik programs monster kick drums that knock really fucking hard. (His tracks actually have a literal right to be called bangers.) He accompanies this with rapid-fire hi-hats that often move blindingly fast. Plus he has a great way of accenting the beats, charting peaks and valley of emotion and tempo with a well-timed cymbal crash.
On his debut album Electronic Dream released this month on Duke, araabMuzik goes through his crate of mega-Ibiza-club jams and flips it all into something that would chip a house diva's tooth. The track featured here is my favorite, sampling Starchaser's 'So High,' transforming it into something that is at once euphoric and scowl-inducingly hoody down grimey. Lo-Fi's vocals from the original, stuck behind the unrelenting drum programming, remain blissful but here tainted with an edge of lost desperation.
araabMuzik is making a very strong claim to be MVP of the MPC.