20syl is defineltly one of my biggest inspirations of all time. It is really hard for me to be objective on this guy’s work because it is just fabulous to me. He’s originally from a medium sized city in France called Nantes.
We have to discuss about synthetisers in this blog post but I’ll first explain where this guy did first.
20syl started is musical carreer in Hip Hop music. He is a talented rapper with conscious lyrics and he’s got this laid back voice which makes every track sound chill and real.
He’s also a talented beatmaker. His talents were made famous with “Hocus Pocus” all over the world with especially an American success story.
We can here the old school vibes in these track which generally defines Hocus Pocus.
20syl use to produce all his beats with only samples from his own performances. Here’s a small example of what he was doing in 2006.
Meanwhile , 20Syl developped his skills especially Dj-ing ! He’s part of C2C which had also international success and played gigs everynight for 3 years. They’ve won DMC contest 2 years in a row with super cool co-dj-ing performances.
From there, all his influences strated to be more electronic and he started to use synthesis in his tracks. He’s a big fan of arpeggiators and beat repeats which gives a glictchy atmoshpere to his tracks. He’s doing remixes as well as originals and the sound he uses are very of their own kind.
I’m not a big expert about synthesis so it’s really hard for me to guess how he created these sounds but I know what instruments he uses to create some of the content.
In this video, “Kodama” 20syl shows us how he mixes the joys of sampling with the EMP era.
He’s now owning the On and On label which produce electronic hip hop of quality.
We can see here the MPC 2000XL which is a modern version of the MPC60 with more processing power and few more options. He also use the Novation launchpad to trigger his scenes probably in ableton live (pretty sure he uses Live). He also sometimes use the MPD26 which basically reproduces the perfomance side of an MPC.
We can see MicroKorg Synthetiser/Vocoder as well as the Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 synthetiser. These two insturments really give the electronic vibe to this particular track.
The atmos of the song is held by the Sequential Circuits’ Six-Trak synthetiser which has still some old school feel to it.
To conclude, 20syl is also a talented graphist and produces most of his artworks and videoclips. A fully-Operational producer that deserves more attention in my opinion.
Here’s a last music from him just to admire the power of electronic hip hop. 🙂