The London jazz duo make a track in 10 minutes.
Blue Lab Beats are producer NK-OK and multi-instrumentalist Mr DM, a London duo who combine jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk and R&B influences into a heady electronic fusion. The duo have released two albums and several EPs since 2017, and last year signed to legendary label Blue Note, establishing themselves as one of the UK’s most accomplished electronic jazz acts.
On this episode of Against The Clock, we visit the duo’s studio in North London (named the ‘Blue Lab’), where they made a track in 10 minutes using modern gear like the Native Instruments Maschine, with classic jazz sounds supplied by a Rhodes piano and electric bass.
As NK-OK tells Fact, making music with a time limit is something the duo have been doing quite a bit over the past year. “In lockdown, I did a version of this which was just a 10-minute beat challenge where I’d ask people to send me samples while I was on Instagram Live, and then I’d make the tracks there,” he says says. “And then me and David did our own version when we could finally meet up.”
“In my lockdown period I made 30 to 40 beats in that month because I was doing it once or twice a week, then we made 10+ or something.”