Hollywood, CA (August 24, 2011)–Re-recording mixer Craig Mann recently teamed with supervising sound editor Joe Dzuban at Todd-AO to complete the soundtrack for a new documentary on hip-hop band A Tribe Called Quest.
Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest is a portrait of one of the most influential bands in the history of hip hop. The film follows band members Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi from their childhood days in Queens, NY through their rise to stardom, and ultimate break up in the late ’90s. Directed by Michael Rapaport and produced by Rival Pictures, Beats Rhymes & Life is currently in limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.
From a sound perspective, Beats Rhymes & Life differs from most documentaries due to the prominence and importance of the music. The soundtrack weaves live recordings and album tracks together, not only as a way to showcase the group’s talent, but also to help tell the story.
According to Dzuban, the music became a character in the film. “In a normal documentary, you start with the dialogue and everything else augments that. The dialogue is king,” he says. “But in this case, the music played a role in storytelling just as much as the dialogue.”
“Mike was very concerned about making the music ‘bang’; it had to pop!” adds Mann.
Mann said that his approach to the mix was to treat the soundtrack like a DJ set. “I suggested that we have the music cues blend from one to the other,” he recalls. “We pulled a lot of tempo trickery and pitching to keep that vibe going throughout the film. One of the things that I really enjoyed about working with Mike was that he was always open to the ideas and tastes that we brought to the table sonically. Giving us that latitude on the stage really made a difference to the finished product.”