Matson on Music
'Stop Biting' night at Lo-Fi now an album, mini doc
Stop Biting Beatmakers Compilation Vol. 1 (Care Package; download here)
Quiet as it's kept, one of the purest nights of music in the Seattle hip-hop scene happens Tuesdays at the Lo-Fi on Eastlake Avenue, a dark, long, wood-floored building with rapping/breaking in the back room and a bunch of drinking-age dudes (and some women) bobbing their heads to local deejays in the front. The deejays sometimes compete with each other for the best original beat. It's called "Stop Biting," which in rap parlance means don't copy anyone else.
Consider "Stop Biting Beatmakers Compilation Vol. 1" a greatest hits of the front room. The album starts with dusty, '90s-style hip-hop and gets dancier as it goes. Standout tracks are by OCnotes, Specs Wizard, WD4D and Arthur Russell Simmons, and there's a very lovely night-drive type song by Macros toward the end.
Some of these beatmakers/producers/whatever-they're-called got started in punk bands; some are in electronic groups; others have been rapping since 1979. They're an interesting, productive and mostly head-down community. Take a look inside their private studios on an attendant YouTube documentary, linked at carepackage.bandcamp.com.