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LAYERS: Disassembling Co. Fee's "Koi"

From Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla 1974. The samples in “Koi” were taken from this film.

Last year, Co. Fee released the deceptively titled Easy Listening—nine beats with common threads of simplicity and unrelenting abrasiveness. Despite his association with the ever mellow Teebs, Co. Fee’s brand of instrumental is far less like biting into a soft, ripe pear and more like crunching a pine cone between your teeth.

At a time when every Los Angeles beat maker is adding echo to samples and shuffling beats in a continuing shift away from from the old, simple boom bat format, Co. Fee sounds like RZA circa 1997—a hard beat, some synthetics, and a sample from some esoteric source. Like the Wu had Hong Kong cinema, Co. Fee rocks Bollywood with tracks like “Gypsy Skirt” and “Kali.”

For this week’s LAYERS, we find Co. Fee dipping into the gold mine that is 1970s Japanese cinema.

I made this when I was starting to really get into a lot of Japanese music, stuff like Meiko Kaji, Yakuza film soundtracks, Godzilla soundtracks and a lot of other albums from 60s/70s Japan. Listening to music from that whole era inspired me a lot and this track was the result of that. Also thought it would be cool to break this song down since it has the same elements and sounds that are in most of my beats.

Drums

I thought using a snap as the snare would fit the sample best. I use another snare on top of it though as the beat progresses.

Hi-hat

Adding the hi-hat was pretty simple for this beat since you can already hear it in the sample, so I just tried to match the same cymbals that were in the loop.

Vocal sample

I usually like sampling vocals, especially female vocals. I feel like its a nice way to add melody.

Instrumental loop

Right when I heard the vibes/xylophones in the original track, I knew I wanted to use them. I didn’t adjust too much from the original—maybe a little pitch change, but that was it. You can hear the hi-hat in there already, like I mentioned before.

Strings

I thought adding in strings would compliment the vocal sample well, and would help it to not sound too repetitive.

Put the pieces together, and here’s what you get. Co. Fee’s “Koi.”

Previously: LAYERS: Taking Apart Mr. Bibal’s “Supa Bibal Warudo”

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