Charlie Beats

by Whetzel

Baby Beat 02:46
Baby. Baby. Baby. Baby. Baby.
Still Night 02:33
Opening 03:08
Night Drive 02:24
Honey Wine 02:48
Oh Yeah! 02:14


I started working on this album when my wife and I learned we were going to have a baby. I wanted to make some music to encourage the baby to hang on and be born in nine months. We'd had one miscarriage and didn't want that to happen again. That was the root idea for the "Baby Beat" track. I made the beat in 144 BPM, the tempo of our child’s heartbeat the first time we heard it. After that the album became a meditation and preparation for having a child. I was musing over my past, and thinking about the future.

I had gotten some new synth sounds that I wanted to experiment with, and also I had some new ideas for mixing electronic and acoustic drums. "Still Night" is based on an idea for a beat that I had in 2002. "Opening" is based on a beat idea I had in 2006. "Night Drive" is something new. The lead mandolin part is inspired in part by the guitar part from Dr. Dre's track "Xxplosive." "Honey Wine" is one of the more mystical, moody sounding tracks. The beat is something new and interesting in 6/4. "Oh Yeah!" is based on a beat idea I had in 2001. The melodies came from parts I played on a hand-made balloon horn instrument I bought in Nantes while on tour with Yas/Whetzel.

The working title of this album was “Baby Beats.” The title “Charlie Beats” was suggested by Hothead Unlimited, the designer of the art for the album. It was a brilliant suggestion as the album is indeed a celebration of the birth of my son Charlie. I hope you enjoy it!


released May 21, 2018

Composed, recorded, mixed, and produced by Whetzel (AKA James Whetzel).
Drums, percussion, bass, synths, guitar, and mandolin by James Whetzel.
Vocals on "Baby Beat" by Dr. H
Mastered by Emch at Subatomic Sound.
Art by Hothead Unlimited


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Olin Place Seattle, Washington

Olin Place is a record label founded by James Whetzel in 1999. Styles of music include downtempo, instrumental hip hop, Indie Pop, West African and South Asian traditional music and fusion, ambient music, soundtrack music, and instrumental Christmas and Holiday music on sarod. ... more

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