Ludwig Questlove Breakbeats Drum Set

Wilce’s first time playing the Questlove Breakbeats drum set

I must be insane because I let my five year old convince me that we needed a drum set. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. In reality, I think I wanted a drum kit just as much as he did. I’ve actually been looking for a small “apartment-sized” kit for Smoothspin Studios for a while. Something mainly for recording, but also for the occasional basement jam session. I don’t have a ton of room in the studio and I didn’t want something that was outrageously loud. I even briefly considered building a kit around a 16-inch floor tom that I would used as a kick drum. I ultimately settled on the Questlove Breakbeats Drum Set by Ludwig. It’s perfect for what I need. Here’s how Questlove describes it:

“I wanted to build a device that was apartment-friendly and compact for the street musician; but also something that was quality-sounding. A gritty, raw, ‘break-able’ kit for gigging in clubs that you can fit in a cab. Breakbeats by Questlove does it all.”

The Questlove Breakbeats Drum Kit

I found this set used online at the Guitar Center in Seattle. It was about $350 including tax and shipping, but only included the kick, snare, tom, and floor tom. It didn’t come with the bracket to attach the tom to the top of the kick drum, so I’ll have to get one of those. Jonny was generous enough to loan me an extra hi-hat, cymbal, stands, and kick pedal he had. He even threw in a free lesson for Wilce when we went to his house Sunday to pick up the hardware.

Jonny teaching Wilce how to hold his drum sticks like Charlie Watts

Since the kids will be hammering on these things, I also ordered a set of Evans mute pads which fit on top of each drum and muffle the sound. I’m not sure they live up to the reported 95% volume reduction, but they’re better than nothing.

Evans drum mute pads promise a 95% volume reduction

Here’s a little taste of how the drums sound. It’s worth noting out that I’m an awful drummer and haven’t had a chance to properly tune any of the drums yet. I just tightened up the heads a little bit with a pair of pliers because I don’t even own a drum key yet. I had to order one off of Amazon tonight.

The author testing out the Questlove Breakbeats drum set in the studio

I’m really happy with the quality and sound of the Breakbeats kit. I hope my neighbors like it too.

Dan Deacon – “Feel The Lightning” (What Up Mang Remix)

What Up Mang Dan Deacon Feel The Lightning

Check out What Up Mang’s new remix of Dan Deacon’s “Feel The Lightning.” We started with Dan’s acappella vocals and completely rebuilt the backing track with synths + live drums courtesy of new What Up Mang drummer Juan Barle.

You can also listen on SoundCloud:

Support Dan Deacon: (Source:

What Up Mang Release Debut Album Golden Hour

What Up Mang Golden Hour Album Cover

Smoothspin Records:

San Francisco indie electronic band What Up Mang have released their debut 12 song LP Golden Hour on Smoothspin Records. Golden Hour is a true San Francisco communal effort and features several of bandleader James Carnes’s fellow Lower Haight residents including neighbor Baby Wonder (Caty McKenna) on vocals and his landlord Scott Mayfield on synthesizers. McKenna’s husband, lifestyle photographer Stian Rasmussen, (also a Lower Haight resident) shot the album cover. The album’s intricate sound is colored with layers of soaring synths, percolating dance beats, psychedelic soundscapes, and Beatles-esque pop melodies. According to Carnes, the album’s title is a reference to “those rare fleeting moments when good friends, a glowing sunset, and an abundance of hope for the future leave you feeling that life, right now – is golden.”

Golden Hour is available for download or streaming all over the internet including:

What Up Mang have also announced some upcoming Bay Area shows via Songkick including a live DJ set on 11/19 to celebrate the release of their album as well as an official album release show with fellow labelmates Twenty And Bored on 12/20.

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