When Collaboration Works – Dave Sparkz and Wun Two’s ‘Natural Selection’ Reflection


Image from davesparkzwuntwo.bandcamp.com

During my high school years, I convinced myself that I wanted to design graphic t-shirts for a living. We had a substitute teacher for one of my classes, who just showed us a film for the class as he indolently laid back in the teacher’s desk for the rest of the period. At the start of class, he announced that he was a part of the entertainment business, and taught for a few years on marketing and commerce. I found him to be the perfect opportunity to gain some insight on how to start my branding line.

We spoke near the back of the classroom for about ten minutes as nearly the whole class was sound asleep while the film continued to illuminate the room. He warned me about the over-saturated market of the clothing business. He told me that to create the most opportunity in nearly any industry was to collaborate with any other motivated entrepreneur and join forces.

Ever since then, after trying to make it in the fashion, sales, and entertainment industry, that point was instilled in my mind to constantly remind me. It seems that usually, the best efforts are the results of affiliating with similar minds. Over and over again, I would see instances and efforts where this seemed to validate his response, and this project is no exception.

Collaboration projects have been the constant inquiry many fans of artists try to attribute to music forums and social media. Fans of Chance The Rapper have been excited for the announcement of the upcoming collaboration with Childish Gambino. Fans of Mild High Club were excited to see their favorite group work with their other favorite group, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. When it comes to German Hip-Hop producer, Wun Two, his collaborations have never been disappointing.

2012 was his year for introducing his sound to the world. The sounds of short and simple, laid-back drum snares and sample loops with added Jazz and Soul touches. With projects such as wait for silence.EP and the fat EP (Biggie Smalls remixes), More listeners have been slowly attaining his tastes in slow Jazz music and old-school Hip-Hop beats.

Dave Sparkz hasn’t yet reached the underground household name Wun Two had, but as an affiliate of the German Hip-Hop movement, his name is sure to become a staple once the movement garners more support. It seems that much of the now beloved “Soul Hop” movement has been initiating from the regions of the western world, most prominently Germany, the U.K., and the U.S.

Although both these artists range widely in numbers, none of that matters once their talents collide to create an enclave of head-nodding sessions and relaxed beat trips. The project is divided into two sides. Side A represents the talent of Dave Sparkz, as Side B follows Wun Two’s works. Getting into Side A first, it’s important to state the difference between both these artists’ touch.

While Wun Two is most recognizable for his lo-fi aesthetic mired into his beats, Dave Sparkz likes to familiarize his beats with the classic 1990’s Rap feel. His touch is more clear and cut-throat. One of the tracks, Shady, is reminiscent of the gritty beats of Mobb Deep’s prestige with The Infamous. If Shady would be a nod to the horror of Mobb Deep’s grime, then tracks like Trochilidae would be a nod to the early smooth sounds of A Tribe Called Quest.

Entering into Side B, you get the same feel of tributes to the feel of early Hip-Hop, but with a more Jazzy effect to them. In these beats, you could hear the record scratching half the time. Wun Two’s beats compared to Dave Sparkz differs when it comes to the sonic clarity. Wun Two’s beats here are begrimed, and the elements of these tracks just burst out of the scratching and lo-fi gunk.

My favorite track here, here you are, is a simple loop of chords and drum snares, but separated into two repeated patterns throughout the duration, keeping the interest intact. One example here is the track open freeway, where Wun Two remixes J Dilla’s Let’s Ride beat with added bass samples and drum snares, crafting a begrimed feel to it.

What allows this project to work is how much these two artists understand each other. Both sides come out a little different with their distinguished elements, but complete each other in terms of familiar tastes. Dave Sparkz understands the music taste Wun Two has because they both grew up listening to the same Jazz and Hip-Hop records.

When a collaboration effort ensues, the project works when the two creators understand each other’s likes and talents, without really merging the two talents into unity. Even if both sides were disassembled and rearranged in order, I could still tell which artist produced what beat. Although,  I could also tell that these two understood each other, and saw their talents as a potential mark on their creative paths.

Whether it be in business, literature, the arts, or even architecture, assembling could only work when the affiliates truly comprehend each other’s point of view, which is why this project works so well.

You can listen to this project here:





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