What is the end result of a classically trained jazz musician who starts listening to Madlib and Dilla? Enter, Dave Rodriguez - 'Godriguez'. The Sydney sider has been making beats under the aforementioned name, 'Godriguez' since 2015, bringing his more traditional music history and talents to his sleek modern beat production. The end result is a captivating mixture of murky hip hop grooves, jovial, erudite use of jazz conventions and scattered hints of worldly exotic jives. At times it resonates of the late, great Nujabes, at other times you'd be forgiven for thinking you might have struck gold on a stash of un-released Madlib or Dilla beats. Although the influences of Dilla, Madlib are evident, Godriguez's beats feel refreshingly original, certainly some persuasions can be felt, but other parts of his production can be exceedingly hard to pin down, to merely pinpoint his inspirations being hip hop beat masterminds and jazz feels crude, it seems a far more holistic manifestation of a vast variety of disciplines, dub, house, soul, disco and many places in between all spring to mind listening to his beat tapes.
If this all sounds remarkably familiar perhaps you've heard Godriguez's beats before. Hiding in the shadows, Godriguez is the sounds behind Sampa the Great's lyrics. Having been fortunate enough to have talked to Godriguez, Figaro learnt their meeting and working together was very much a 'per-chance' occasion - having met at an open mic event he was running. Naturally, it only took one listen of her flow for Godriguez to know her putting down vocals on his beats. Since the inception of Sampa the Great's mixtape, 'The Great Mixtape', she's seen a meteoric rise, from opening for Kendrick in 2016 and garnering a strong reputation for good live performances across the nation. Perhaps the most outstanding element of the 'Great Mixtape' to many was how seamlessly Sampa's flow and Godrigeuz's production worked, the pair definitely appear to enjoy one of the most promising and fruitful partnerships in Australian music right now, something Godriguez describes as "super organic". True to the craft though, the best thing about his meeting with Sampa? Simply jamming, jamming, which we can only hope continues.
With the increasingly popularity of Sampa and new tunes en-route ('Blessings' & '24' have both been released by Sampa the Great, prod. by Godriguez and well worth a listen) Godriguez seems relatively happy to keep lurking in the background - for now. When asked for whats to come? Godriguez is more than content to keep hearing the beats he's churning out as an impressive, almost breakneck pace. That and? "Jamming with everyone ever", or at least whoever he can get his hands on. In addition to more beat tapes to come, we may be fortunate enough to see some live band shows in the not so distant future, perhaps something akin to a Floating Points show, or Melbourne's Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda with the delicious Godriguez flavour and Jaylib-esque punch. One can only hope.
You can catch Godriguez live with 'Sampa the Great' at St. Jerome's Laneway Festival.
You can listen to Godriguez's beat tapes and work at: