“For me, sampling is like a collaboration,” says DJ Yuta Yamaoka, better known to global beatheads as Pigeondust. Residing in Chiba, Japan, Pigeondust spends his days either vinyl-digging or sourcing samples — that is, creating sonic collaborations — from his discoveries. Pigeondust is also a member of the EN TOKYO crew, representing a new generation of Japanese beat-makers who draw from a large variety of genres. In 2015, Pigeonhead joined Cold Busted with his fantastic album Moon, Wisdom & Slackness. He now follows up with an ambitious double album titled Way Back When.
Way Back When explores a galaxy of hip hop styles throughout its whopping 36 cuts. The vibe is gritty and street-smart, samples from jazz, funk, world music, and other pathways poured into one groovable stew. “Cheinowa” sets the tone with its tough beat, funk bass pops, and fly-by musical riffs. “Spiral Beat” is also notable for its arpeggiated jazz loop that shifts into gentle ‘70s piano soul. And the collaborations aren’t exclusive with samples — Turkish producer Ozoyo joins Pigeondust for the drum-twisting nature walk of “Magicnight,” and Swiss producer DRWN appears on cut-up jazz jam “Intense.” There’s much to explore here.
The album is available from Cold Busted on double vinyl, its packaging a loving homage to Yo! MTV Raps and its sought-after trading cards. Each album comes with a Pigeondust trading card complete with artist photo and vital stats. Represent.
Michael Moebus (Meem) – “Hard to choose a favorite track. A lot of these sound great.”
DJ Halabi (Reversion Records) – “This is just awesome. Nuff said.”
Rory Hoy (Super Hi-Fi) – “Amazing release. Thanks so much for sending my way!”
Jeromy Nail (Uniting Souls / Viva Recordings) – “Dope cutz. Will drop these in my sets.”
Aja Allsop (Ketch A Vibe Radio Show) – “If this is anyting to go by, 2020 is going to be a good year.”
MGiK (Sofa Surfing) – “Proper tunes. Air play is a must!”
Floored Capri (Kane FM) – “Beautiful, warm, fuzzy, dusty, funky.”
Salvo Borrelli (Garam Masala Radioshow) – “Wow. Soul is in the air.”
Double-D (Funky Fresh Radio Show) – “Deep down funky beats.”
Shantisan (Salted Soul) – “Lovely sampling and editing action going on here. Very creative!”