To sum up Beatsqueeze History in a few words, aside from a long and wonderful common experience between sample wizards, this is a matter of tireless passion for the vinyl record through all its forms. As if you reunited under the same banner all the disciplines and activities related to record vinyls, from crate digging to turntablism without forgetting composition, production, publishing, all kinds of distribution, live performance and of course record dealing.
It's in the mid 90's, when he was still called DJ Diess from the rap crew La Formule alongside an MC named JC, who is now internationally famous under the alias Wax Tailor, that Ugly Mac Beer has cut his teeth with turntables, feeding his already insatiable passion for scratching. Great breakbeats and battle breaks admirer, Mac Beer will start going through a solo career with a single obsession: release his first breakbeat and create his own label.
After several participations in the DMC Championship, Mac Beer releases in 1999 his first breakbeat entitled Breaking The Waves Vol.1 in collaboration with JC, followed by Vol.2 soon after. Two records released on his new born label - Diess Production - which will sign the beginning of a breakbeats series as nutty as cunning, like Drunk Master Break, Win A Trip To Hell Breaks or the now famous Just For Your Hand Vol.1 & 2, which are still part of the best breakbeat records sells in France.
It was at the same time, while he ensured the distribution of his own records in the Parisian record stores that Mac Beer met Mister Modo, compulsive digger, beatmaker and seasoned record shop owner. The two got along immediately and a nice complicity soon took place between Mac Beer the crazy scratcher and Modo the master digger.
Especially since he's been touring the record dealers, another idea began to root in Mac Beer's head: launch his own specialized scratch / turntablism record shop.
In 2002, his first shop opens under the name Beatsqueeze, Rue Notre Dame de Lorette in the 9th district of Paris, and decides not to limit his collection to scratch records but to offer a very large selection of high standard hip hop, soul, funk and OSTs records. With Modo precious' help, who back then moved to the flea market in a shop called Copa Music, which rapidly becomes a canonical place for DJs and music experts. Naturally, the two fellows officially team up to run the store, which will move a few months later at Rue de la Rochefoucauld, still in the 9th district. Their talents and personalities perfectly complement each other, and while Modo's diggin and manages the shop, Mac Beer is on the label, and rocks both records production and distribution.
However, mp3 raising, streaming platforms development and the Serato arrival disrupt the rules concerning DJing and turntablism, records sells nosedive draggin down many and many independent shop owners, and Beatsqueeze, like many others, ends up busted in 2007. Anyway, our two diggin companions keep their chin up and refocus on the label, former Diess Prod (which is still stamped on their records, as a quality guarantee for those who know) and now called Beatsqueeze Records, doing what they do best: production.
Their first common project sees daylight in 2006, on a 45 rpm entitled Weed With Roots In Hell, taken from an old dark american movie, one of their mutual passion. A loony project in the style of Madlib and his animated alter ego Quasimoto, where old movie dialogues, loops and psychotropic scratches stir together. The tone is set. The next year is out Mo Dougly Weird Stories, another twisted project against a backdrop of trashy shows and old school movie references, starring a bevy of American MCs like MF Grimm and his Monsta Island Czars crew, Mike Ladd, Roughneck Jihad and D-Styles from Third Sight.
Known since his debut under the alias DJ Diess as an unquestioned breakbeat specialist made in France, Mac Beer puts the boot in alongside Modo, the two enjoying a strong reputation in the eyes of the pros but also rookies. However, the duo decides to explore other musical fields, more soul, more pop, less complex and more accessible in the style of the visionary instrumentals and heady loops produced by the great J Dilla on his legendary Donuts, true ode to sampling and its limitless possibilities. Thus, Modonut is born, but deeply distinguished from the exclusively instrumental Jay Dee album by the incorporation of vocals and the very surgical care shown in the loops and beats.
Modo and Mac Beer finally search for the rare gem and this will not take long before they meet, through a common friend, the soul jazz singer Jessica Fitoussi. After a few tries, she records in one go the famous Not Afraid, which will become the absolute hit that everyone knows, approved everywhere by everyone and massively broadcasted on Nova back then. Modonut is released in April 2009 on Kif Records, featuring El Da Sensei, Mike Ladd, Dj Troubl, Kankick, and for the two producers, rapidly praised by the critics, it's the beginning of a true acknowledgement in the eyes of the public.
Driven by this success, our two movie fans fond of samples pursue their great collaboration releasing Remi Domost at the year's 2010 end, a much more dark album in line with Mo Dougly Weird Stories, on which the infernal duo gives birth to a monster worthy of the name of the worst horror movies, cinematographic style they both worship. Slappin with samples and nightmarish sounds, explosive featurings (Mike Ladd, Formula Abstract, F.Stokes, Roughneck Jihad) and sick humour, Modo and Mac Beer offer us a classic horrorcore demo, able to petrify more than one lad but slaking furious hip hop lovers' thirst with sharpened flows and gore horror movies.
In the meantime is released on Beatsqueeze Records/Diess Prod an instrumental vinyl series dedicated to scratch from which Homemade Bun's by Modo (2009), Los Burritos (2011), Just For Your Hand SFX Series / Classic Movies by Mac Beer (2012) -which is an adaptation of his anthology breakbeat released more than 10 years before- or even the groovy vintage compilation called Music Library (2011), are stemmed from. All this without considering the numerous featurings Mac Beer has produced with ScratchScience, DJ Hertz' label (team winner of the last DMC Championships), every breakbeats and other project Mac Beer has produced since 2002 for the crème de la crème of the French turntablists, like DJ Trouble, Le Jad or DJ Kodh.
In 2012, Modo and Mac Beer get back to the Modonut project where they left it, giving it a next episode worthy of the name, Modonut 2, whose large range of sound heads more to hip hop than the previous volume, but still with the same groove and melody sense. True to themselves, a special care is provided to the featurings on which we can hear Jessica Fitoussi and Mike Ladd again, irreplaceable accomplice, the Danish singer Astrid Engberg (La Fine Equipe, Berry Weight, Mattic...) and a bunch of heavyweight US rappers like Psycho Les from The Beatnuts, Craig G, Junclassic or even F. Stokes on the scratchy hit Diggin' in the Crates.
In October 2013, a new chapter in the adventure is written with the release of the third opus of the series, Modonut Invasion EP. This time the two sound diggers filmthirsty amuse themselves developing in six hip hop bombs the invasion and invasion anxiety thematic, proper to SF. We again are witnesses of an avalanche of samples from old surf records, movies and B series, of groovy instrumentals and massive scratches, on which are featured the usual Mike Ladd but also the franco-american The Real Fake MC, worthy representative of old school and funky hip hop instilled in the 80's.
In 15 years of activity, Diess Prod/Beatsqueeze has released more than fifty or so albums, maxis, breakbeats and other reedits on vinyl. A true goldmine for DJs and scratchovores, and a real accomplishment for our two passionate diggers in a difficult time as everyone knows. However now, it seems that their tenacity and love for the record has payed, as we witness since several months a resurgence of the sacrosanct vinyl. Even if we have to put things in perspective - the vinyl market is still an underground market facing digital sales - it allows to look serenely forward.