Posts tagged ‘hip hop’

The artist formally known as…Cloudy October

What’s in a name, what’s in a phrase? Alternative, left-field hip hop…maybe, but when the first chords of ‘The Aviator is Dead’ hit, you might feel like you’re sitting in a caravan in the middle of a volcanic landscape and all you can hear is the wind and the sound of hot lava bubbling under your feet. The man who created the album, Cloudy October, has nothing to do with volcanoes and lives in an ancient building somewhere in Portland, Oregon. He’s somewhat secretive and has had more name changes than Prince or Puff Daddy.

Sometimes, he visits the library and has a dig around his local record shops for a few good sample chops. Cloudy October isn’t in the music game for money or fame cause only art can break your heart, but Kitsch can make you rich…I was intrigued when he first wrote to me saying: “note to self: All my female cousins have become women out of no where. I decided to document this phenomenon in my song Two Rude Dudes. I had this beat for years and it always made me smile and laugh so I decided to rhyme on it…The plot takes place at my grandmother’s house in Atlanta, most the song. I hope you can find time to listen.”

The result of our chat in the bungalow is an interview about names, living for the moment, racism, and also about long-lost Thundercats action figures and library cards…

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What’s good – can you introduce yourself?

This might be the hardest one to answer hahah. umm, my name is Cloudy October, sun of Carolina. I am a half-american producer/songwriter living in Portland Oregon currently. I am a participant in the arts, currently music being the main one I put most of myself into. Right now not working a nine-to-five is real good and having an opportunity to be questioned and raise attention towards my work is mighty fantastic. How are you?

Cloudy October – is it a feeling, a certain sound or just a name?

I was given the name Cloudy October because it is a time of the year in most places that people really disregard. It is a time that people are regretting the departure of summer even. I am a person who is always attempting to be in the present moment so even a cloudy day in a gloomy month cannot really equate to a bad day for me. My current title is a reminder, for me and others, to ensure anyone who encounters me, has an extra reason to accept the present moment. Or maybe even look into books that are written about being in the present moment, after our encounter.

Cloudy October – the legend, the secrecy…You’re rumored to have been born in Atlanta, had facial surgery and have gone through several name changes. what’s the best thing about having a new name, does it open certain doors? can you reveal some of your previous names?

Having a new name is great. Depending on the reason I guess haha. I think for many people, weather a name change comes from Marriage, Divorce, or a personal emotional decision, like myself, can be beneficial. I have many female friends, one being my mother, who often keep last names of men who have done horrible things. All so they can have yet another connection to their offspring. I heard that Flying Lotus used to be called the Piano Overlord or some shit. Switching names probably allowed him to break away into some new sound.

For me, being a black man without a eurocentric name gives me all sorts of extra room in my day to inform people about the importance and meaning of a name when my current title raises interest. There is so much history in our names, interesting and painful shit. I have had many rhyme names as well; Kid Hype, Kwondo The Red Eyed One, and Pineapple Jack are a few.

This is a line from your track Vagabondage:

“born in the land of the raped and the used, I guess that makes me nameless too.” The name theme crops up again, can you elaborate on that?

What frame of mind were you in when you wrote the lyrics to that track?

Man when I wrote those lyrics I was in my usual; ‘america is racist as shit’ moods. The more I discover about current systemic racism and the recent history of racism within U.S. policy, the less american I feel. Half american actually. Most African-American names, especially last names, are often directly connected with previous ownership from the transatlantic Slave trade. Vagabondage is about homelessness from a few perspectives, and about racism as well.

To know my first given name is connected with such horrible and ignored events, that mirror the present inequalities between whites and non-whites, makes me feel as if I have never had a home or a name.

Who are some of your favourite musicians?

All of them. just kidding. Stevie Wonder, Prince, LL COol J, KRS-ONE, Busy Bee, THE COld Crush Brothers, The Treacherous Three, Run DMC, Pete Rock, Aesop Rock, Mark the Forty Five King, Marley Marl, Edan, Rakim, Poor Righteous Teachers, Musiq Soulchild, Heavy D, The Funk Brothers, Michael Jackson, Juice Crew, The Alkaholiks, Freestyle Fellowship, Hiero, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin, Fiona Apple, Zero 7, All the rappers rhyming under Native Tongues in the mid 90s. Nas. Jay Z. Eminem. I could go on haahha. so many great mutha phuckas.

What do you do when you’re not in the studio, the Action Office II? what can you tell us about your studio, what’s it look like in there?

I have the very typical, 5000-dollar home studio that took me years to slowly acquire all the gear to complete. It’s like an adult vintage dorm of sorts I gather. Being that I live in a very old building, it has its charm. I am surrounded by organs, chord posters and sheets for curtains. There is really never a time when I am not in the studio. I had a huddle with three other Portland artists recently who, like myself, make no money with music but work more on music than we do for other people. That’s that Portland Oregon shit for real. If I ain’t at the Action Office II, I am usually doing a show, hanging with Mr. Jeigh, or hanging out at the Library or at 99 cent Records.

Who did the cover art for the ‘Aviator is Dead’? Is it a concept album?

My brother Nicholas Graham of Sheetfort via Pinball Publishing, built the whole design. He did an excellent job. We are really proud of it. It looks so so good. For a debut, this album makes rappers bleed for days. You should see the blood trails around the city here.

When I hear the term ‘concept album’ I always think of more elaborate efforts, like Edan’s ‘Beauty and the Beat’ or any Rupert Holmes record. I don’t think ‘The Aviator is Dead’ is a concept album. I do feel that it is a small album with a great concept. Aviation in hip hop is somewhat dead because anyone can record music and over saturate the already over saturated market.  On the contrary, the Aviators, the Pioneers blueprints are so available using the same tool that also makes music kind of suck, the fucking computer. One can choose to study up and come correct, or regurgitate and ignore the present moment with some nostalgic bullshit.

You say you like watching Knight Rider, how do you like the A-Team or Thundercats?

I was never really into the A-Team. I would like to see some more of it to see what its all about. Now Thundercats…Super into them as a kid. I still remember losing my Mum-Ra and Lion-O action figures after a ‘show and tell’ in the first grade. Come to think of it, this is the first time I have come to the realization that they may have been stolen, thanks Beat Bungalow.

What have you got to tell about Portland, Oregon – what are your favourite places to hang out?

Portland has many of the same negatives any city has. but the positives are kind of one of a kind. FOr a person who is aspiring or already and artist, its a key place to be. Many spots to live at for cheap. A transit system that would be beneficial even in a larger city, so no need for spending money to use and maintain a vehicle. There are many cool spots to chill at and so many live shows its ridiculous. I like to hang out at 360 vinyl, 99 cent Records and the Library for sure.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I just want to say thanks again for this opportunity. Its a first for me. Normally I only do local radio interviews. Also I would like to remind all who like anything regarding myself to download my debut album ‘The Aviator is Dead’ for free.

Please keep in mind that joining the mailing list of an artist you think is dope is almost as good as buying his or her shit. Also, If you want to make sure I eat, I am on itunes and amazon and damn near every site you can think of and will be on Pandora in a few months.

Last but not least I would like to mention that I am about to make what I foresee as being an incredicle second album before the year is through. stay tuned, pretty please.

thanks;

June 23, 2010 at 08:53 1 comment

Raps by the pound – classic from ’95

June 6, 2010 at 18:06 Leave a comment

Entering the Jericho Lounge > Thaione Davis interview

What’s up Thaione, what have you been up to lately? Can you please introduce yourself?

First off I would like to say thank you for reaching out all the way across the pond and taking notice of Chicago.  As far an introduction, I go by Thaione Davis…producer, MC, DJ, b-boy aficionado born and raised on the southside of Chicago.

I would say that I have proactively been in the quote unquote game for 10 years now and have had the privilege to perform and travel many places across the globe and experience many things.  I keep a very low profile, however I am constantly creating and growing…learning new techniques and studying as much as I can.

What’s been on your mind recently, any particular topic that you’ve written lyrics about?

Well recently (as in this morning) I was chewing on the thought how much lack of identity and individuality I see everyday.  I specifically remember when it was the norm to be yourself and cut your own path, but all I seem to notice is a bunch of sheep aimlessly following somebody who aimlessly following someone else.  The shit is crazy!

This is on all levels not only within music and the culture (hip hop).  I just notice a lot of trends and things like that which I personally couldn’t see myself conforming to.  From the tight pants craze, to the infatuation with all these gadgets and dependency on the technology.  It’s to the point that people can’t sit down and have an extended conversation face to face anymore…but can text or message you all day no problem.

It’s just physically and mentally a lotta cats don’t have any identity…it’s just an uninspiring feeling that’s all. To answer your question about subject matter, my  topics typically fall in what I call a basic category.

By that I mean they seem to always include:  life, love, liberty, change, music, freedom, people, places, things, rhythm, and culture.  I may  take from those 11 points of interest and always find a way to expand on each.  I feel as if each of these points are areas that we all deal with everyday in our personal lives to some degree. These are pretty much focal points for me that continually revolve and evolve and as I continue to grow my take on each may evolve as well.

A lot of your songs and the beats you rhyme over are quite laid-back and soulful. Which producers have you worked with?

Even though I’ve produced most of my catalog, I have more fun rhyming on other people’s beats.  Probably because I know the process and what was entailed when I produce, with other producers it’s just a beat that needs rhymes….I don’t know the back story or process they used.

I’ve dealt with a bunch of independent cats over the years.  Some of my favorites include the likes of Kenny Keys, Rashid Hadee, the OPUS, J.Sayne, Maker, Melatone, just to name a few.  I have a lotta respect for folks that put quality in their craft.  I am very meticulous so understand that every second of an album I put together is crafted on purpose…including the what you call ”mistakes”.

From coloring of the sound to the arrangements and transitions, all those things are thought out and placed on purpose.  And sometimes, as with many things, what we consider “mistakes” are included because they not only add to the feel of the record, but enforce the humility and authenticity of what I’m trying to convey.

What’s Chicago like in terms of it’s music and culture? One example, of course, is that house music started there. I’ve never been, but from what I gather it’s a pretty multi-faceted city. Is that true, what’s growing up in the Southside been like for you personally?

Chicago is very multi-faceted, yet very segregated.  If you know the true meaning and the strength behind that word “segregated” then that embodies the pulse of the city. Yeah house music is from here, and if you listen very closely to the producers here, there’s sometimes an undertone of those elements present.  It may be very subtle and un-noticable but that driving house force and rhythm is there you just gotta know where to look.

Growing up on the soutside is basically the whole big city growing up in a place called ANY HOOD, USA.  Major difference gangbanging.  I know LA and California have they share…but to this day in Chicago (specifically southside and Westside, where the majority is black folks) you can still get shot and killed at any moment, that’s the reality of it.  I mean you literally can get shot walking from your front porch to your car parked in front.

Word to the wise when in Chicago, if you visiting keep in motion…stand in one spot too long and the wrong people may take notice.  Attitudes like that coupled with the segregation I mentioned before only create an atmosphere of non-trust and internalized conflict…everybody deals with it, but not too many speak on it.  I was born and raised in Princeton Park Homes on the southside, right off 95th street…so I’ve seen and participated in my own fair share of bullshit.

I remember my boy got shot 17 times while playing basketball on the opposite side of the tracks, he was only 14.  Things like this stick with you and are always reflective in my movements as a man, a father, and an artist.  To put it simple, Chicago will prepare you for whatever the world has to offer….it will definitely thicken up your skin.

I personally come from a bad environment physically, but there was also love and community around…so you get submersed in a canvas of contradictions meanwhile trying to paint your own portrait and express yourself as best you can.

I absolutely love Chicago, and hate it equally at the same time.  I despise the mindstate, yet embrace the approach.  A truly beautiful city, but very complicated in nature.  I don’t want to come off as something I’m not, just merely a reflection of the times and people and places I’ve been.

Tell us about hip hop in Chicago, probably the most widely-known MC from your home city is Common, have you ever had the chance to hook up with him to make music?

Chicago hip hop is dangerous.  It’s a ticking time bomb with an infinite fuse line.  There’s so so much talent here…so much fucking talent here…raw un-nurtured talent, but with nowhere to go.  We are definitely purveyors of the crabs in a barrel syndrome.

Some have been fortunate to break the mold, but many have not.  We have a lot of pride and confidence and at the same time can’t nobody tell us nothing.  A talent pool with no guidance.

We don’t have any “industry” here in Chicago so outlets are minimum…politics are plenty.  We got so many styles that you often see fools hating so hard because you not on what they on…instead of borrowing that whole, “this thing is big enough for everybody to get a piece”, we often stifle each other and don’t wanna see nobody come up….meanwhile watching other cites here support they own (to a degree) and start shining.  We the 3rd largest city in the US, but on the flip side we got the number 1 murder rate…ain’t that a bitch.

From day one I approached this thing with a global outlook so I have been fortunate enough to navigate through the cracks a bit more…I’ve always thought “beyond the block”.  That don’t make me no different from my peoples out here though because everybody ain’t trying to hear that…going against your comfort zone is sometimes a demon in its self.  Im forever rooted though…still charge the same price for beats I always have…still helping cats as best I can…still hooking fools up based of the strength.  I wanna see my shine as much as the next man, but I wanna see us respected first and foremost….

naw I ain’t never had the chance to hook up with Common to make no music…that’s not something I even think about.  Com certainly got his stripes and rep the city but the access ain’t there for nothing like that to be happening….at least anytime soon.

Any other people that you’d like to work with from the US or overseas?

That list often grows and shrinks accordingly.  Sometimes you respect what someone is doing then you finally link up with them and they are complete assholes and it’s a major turn-off….or vice versa.  Bottom line I prefer to work with cats I can deal with as a man (or a woman)…meaning I have to respect you as that individual first I don’t care how cold you are.  I didn’t get into this to chase dollars you feel me…

My whole goal at the end of the day is to enforce and reinforce my legacy, plain and simple.  When you look back on my catalog I want you to take from it that I was always “consistent”.  Integrity is more important than association for me.  I do have a global outlook so I am open to work with anyone, but I ain’t got time for no emotional ass muthafuckers.

You were involved in a radio show on CTA Radio a few years back – how do you feel about much of the radio politics these days?

Yeah I founded CTA Radio about 10 years along with my man Kevin Maxey and Pugslee Atomz…those were some really good times and we were definitely a part of some priceless moments on WHPK.

Politics!!?!?!  Man you have to understand I come from Chicago, Illinois, USA.  This is probably one of the most politically inclined regions on the map…not to mention The President of the United States is from there….shit he used to stay 2 blocks from me!

But seriously Chicago movers and shakers all have to play the politics game.  This is the home of gangbanging and Al Capone, so gangsterism remains in full bloom…you have to always be prepared out here because somebody always waiting to cut your throat.  With that being said there is a horrible sense of unity and camaraderie and yes that also is reflected on the radio.  We have college radio and mainstream radio and both mediums fall victim to the politricks!  I remember the “pay to play” era where you paying for airplay…then the whole “dope by association” so if you were associated with so and so they’ll show you some love.  One thing at CTA Radio and WHPK in general, we played Chicago shit.

My credo was “if you from the crib, we gone play your shit…period”.  Now mind you we did play a lotta weak shit, but sometimes all cats need is that little chance of opportunity.  It often helped cats get better because the critiques were very curt, you’d get dissed on the spot, fools might call up and be yelling in the phone “cut that weak shit off!”

On the major stations you never used to hear to much Chicago artists, but things have changed a bit…the only problem is that if it don’t fit in they trendy category then they not gonna spin your music.

At CTA Radio if you were from the crib, you rapped, and had your shit recorded….we were gonna play your joint.  When I was a shorty there was a hell of a lot more balance, just by the variety of music you could hear on one single station….funny how things fall apart.

What’s it like in the US, does independent music get much airplay? If not, what do you make of online radio?

Independent music from what I see gets plenty of play….maybe not on air, but I hear a lot of independent music everyday.

The good shit is out there, but sometimes you gotta go below the surface to find it….you gotta still dig.  Online radio and blogs and things like that definitely level the playing field, but at the same time its like “too much power to the people”.

It makes things very very saturated so competition level is higher (so it seems) but in reality there’s compromise because cats just throwing shit out there to keep they name and shelf life up.

Overall the majors have had the rug pulled from beneath their feet because there are a lot of independent artists making moves in a grander scale than they would on a major.  The tides have shifted.

Have you always been a full-time MC and producer, what was the worst job you ever had?

To tell you the truth, I have never liked being an MC.  As crazy as it sounds I never liked rhyming.  I’m a producer first and foremost.  Not too many people know this, but I kinda accidentally got into rapping on the mic.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love rocking shows, but I never wanted to rap.  My first record when I got signed in Germany, has limited vocal tracks and the instrumentals included on the album as well.  The reason being I didn’t have any more raps at the time.  I mean sure I had rhyme books like everybody else, but I didn’t have anymore constructed songs formulated.

That’s the reason why “Progress (pro 2.6)” is an instrumental / vocal record.  Looking back on that, it sorta foreshadowed the point where we are at today as far as being a producer / MC.  I never thought I was that good on the mic (because in Chicago we have so so many great MC’s it’s ridiculous)

I didn’t think I stood up against these cats out here who just seem to be naturally gifted and wordplay.  My ability to rhyme is all based on hard work, diligence, patience, and respect for my craft.  I acknowledged my flaws and worked very hard over the years to develop and get better.  I hope that going through my catalog you can see the growth not only as an mc but also as a producer and musician.

That is what I offer to the people, a sense of genuine humility not to be judged but reflected. This is not a job to me, it’s a contribution to my legacy and the fact that I existed.

A job….the worst job I ever had is irrelevant.  Work is just work, it ain’t shit.  It doesn’t define me as a man, nor my beliefs or values.  With this music I have developed a craft and it will serve as a testament of my existence, and stance during a particular time on this particular place. My goal was never intent on being “number 1” or the greatest, or any accolades like that.  I say I’m ranked number 9,046 when it comes to this.  I stay in my own lane, and do my own thing….I don’t have to answer to anyone.  I’m not your typical MC and I’m not in competition.

I respect it and appreciate it more as I have gotten older.

Which records and artists have left a big impression on you?

There’s too many records and artists to specifically run down the line, but I will say this…probably the biggest impression is the possibility of what it could be.

When I say that I’m referring to the process of recording a record, or producing it, or writing lyrics to it…the process of creating a vibe, a moment, a movement.  The genuine offering and snapshot of yourself captured and documented…like creating a mini time capsule and presenting it for the world to be discovered over and over again all across the globe.  That for me is the best impression and inspiration…because everyone that I could ever mention, they documented their process and put it out there for me and others to find…now I (we) are doing the same thing.  Genuinely offering ourselves, inspiring others as we have been inspired.  That’s what I mean when I say I’m out to leave a strong legacy behind.

What have you got planned for the next 12 months, are you releasing new music?

Plenty. I plan to continue enjoying this…Definitely keep clocking some serious hours in the lab.  Keeping the production reel spinning (I’ve been doing 100 beats with a few cats).  That’s basically where we produce 100 beats in 4 months.  Since last summer I’m on my 3rd batch so it’s been really fun. Touring is a revolving door so of course that’s on the menu.  I got a couple of projects in the pocket that will surface soon.  Looking for different avenues to release the different vibes you know.  Since everything is so saturated right now, I’m taking my time releasing material…

Thanks!

February 25, 2010 at 07:58 3 comments

Going all-city, from all angles: DTMD interview part 2 (Toine)

We’ve already heard Dunc’s view on this, but from your perspective: what’s your mission?

I would say our mission as artists would be to bring a little something different to the hip-hop scene. I feel like a lot of the music out there is style without substance or all substance with very little style. I’m trying to find a healthy medium that would make people believe there are still much more new things you can do with hip-hop.

How did you and Dunc meet and start making music together?

Me & Dunc met in middle school and started rapping just to do whatever we could to not pay attention in class. We kept it up through high school and eventually started wanting to record our stuff. Then we realized we wanted original beats to rap on, so me & Dunc started making beats on Fruity Loops and from then we started taking music a bit seriously.

Your track “What that mean” is about people doing their own thing, musically and otherwise. What made you write the lyrics?

I’ll say the motif of every song on the EP is to be yourself to the fullest.

What’s the last vinyl you bought?

I can’t say I’ve bought a vinyl. I’m eying some turntables so I can start flirting with the beat making side of things, so maybe in a few months I’ll come back to you with my first vinyl purchase.

Who are some of your favourite MCs & musicians?

I’m a huge Phonte fan, Andre 3000 is probably the best lyricist to ever walk the planet and I’m just coming around to seriously enjoy DOOM on the mic (and beats). Producers? Huge Madlib fan, I look out for everything Black Milk drops, Karriem Riggins is popping out more on my radar, and Sa-Ra’s last album was incredible. Damu, Kev Brown & Oddisee have been instrumental in showing us that you can be from the DMV and still do your own thing. Other than that, I wish Bilal dropped an album every 2 years.

Tell us some more about DC and the hip hop scene there…

DC Hip-Hop is a place without identity. That’s not a problem. The problem is feeling that we need to have a definite identity. DTMD is making different music than The Circle Boys made, we’re not making go-go fused hip-hop, we may not even make the same thing Damu makes. The difference is we try to respect all angles for just giving different perspectives to music. The city is too diverse to be held to one sound so we gotta highlight everything…as long as its dope. We’re slowly becoming a scene to keep an eye on though.

Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?

I’m all about DTMD right now, but I think Blu is dope.

Any last words of wisdom or shouts?

Give back to the earth and everything will be okay.
Peace to Low Budget, Slimkat78 & yU, XO, Damu & DJ Undadog, and anybody & everybody else who’s given DTMD a chance.

Thanks;

February 22, 2010 at 09:02 1 comment

The Lowdown on Lisbon: Supafly Records

If you’ve ever been to Lisbon, you might have already come across this shop. It’s in a cobbled side street in the Bairro Alto, worth checking if you’re on the look out for some quality wax. But here we go: the owner, Chico Fly, explains it all and gives the lowdown on what music is big in Lisbon right now…

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Please introduce yourself: how long have you been in Bairro Alto and who opened the shop?

Ok..my name is Chico, the record store first opened in July 2003, but I’ve been involved in record stores since ’97. The store is purley vinyl based – we don’t touch CDs. And we specialise in black / urban music.  Rap, funk, Dubstep, headz, beats, scratch tools, drum and bass. Having lived in London most of my life, I obviously have a strong UK flavour in my musical taste, and so constantly try to show my customers new styles, wheter it be dubstep, grime, funky House…

What are some of your best-selling records at the moment, any recommendations?

Dubstep is strong for us right now, drum ‘n bass has died over the past year but the same people are moving to dubstep.

Artists? Anything by Joker is flying out of the shop, the whole Bristol sound, Pinch, Guido etc.. A lot of the UK Funky House stuff is doing good: Roska, Donaeo, Crazy Cousins. Also the “mash-ups” always do good, anything on labels like GoodGroove, Bomb Strikes.

…and your all-time favourites, any old school classics (any style of music)?

Gwen McRae . “All this love I’m giving”, Run-DMC. “Peter Piper”, Shut Up & Dance . “20Pounds to get in”,  Bob James . “Nautilus”,  Lenny De Ice . “we are i.e”

What musicians are big in Lisboa at the moment, any home-grown talent that people should look out for?

Lisbon is booming with talent!!! in all styles of music, so let me give you a lil rundown: we start obviously with Buraka Sound System. These kids with their fusion on Africa vibes over the crazy dubstep/electronica/dancehall kinda mash-ups have been running the world over the past couple of years. Releasing material with M.I.A, Diplo, Kano, and remixing for everyone and their mum. Check out the Fabric CD from december. BIG BIG

Hip Hop, we have “SamThe Kid”, first real underground Hip Hop artist to break to the festival/concert scene. Top producer, top rapper, for me the best complete hip hop artist to ever come from these shores. Dubstep:  check out “OctaPush”, 2 kids who won the RedBull Music Academy in Portugal last year. They have already released an EP on Steak House records, and have a new track featured on the new SoulJazz compilation “Steppas delight”

Mash-Ups, check out my bro, “DedyDread” has already released 2 tracks on UK labels. The first on J-Star, the 2nd ( just released) on WACK records . Just nice reggae style mashups perfect for the sun. I could go on for days, I really believe that Lisbon is boiling right now with talent, and I believe that the hardest thing has been done, which is for 1 artist to open the door, now watch the others start to appear.

What’s your view on digital downloads and the so-called death of vinyl?

Well, as a vinyl store I am obviously not the biggest fan of MP3, as a DJ I understand that Serrato makes your life much easier. I think the situation becomes a problem in countries like Portugal more than Germany or the UK. Here the whole clubbing, DJing cultures are still quite new, so we don’t have so many DJs who have a large musical culture. So if we don’t start with culture, then the computer/MP3 cannot help us. What happens here is that kids who have Serrato or play Mp3 make music fashion and not culture, this then makes music recyclable. It’s too easy to download DJ Premier’s top 10 of the week, and then delete the files and download 10 new tracks the next week. When you dig for the tracks, and when you pay for the tracks it makes your love just a bit more special.

Again I could go on for days about this subject, but I will shut up now.

I know there are always good gigs and DJs at Paradise Garage, any other venues and nights that are worth checking out?

Well, I think Bairro Alto, is the best area to hang out. There are so many bars in the area that you always find something you like. Also the drinks are much cheaper than in the clubs. Clubs, check out LUX Club, nº1 club in Lisbon, also varied international and nactional DJs. “ LX Factory” is a new spot which has been open for about a year. This is actually a road full of warehouses which have been transformed into clubs and bars etc.. and Music Box, for live bands

Any last words?

Anyone who comes to Lisbon come should check us at the shop, we are opened Tuesday-Saturday 13-21hrs. Address: Rua do Norte, 54 . Bairro Alto. Lisbon. God bless the vinyl DJ, Peace and Love to All.

Thanks;


January 28, 2010 at 11:12 1 comment

Time to chill – HandyCat on Norwegian hip hop

HandyCat is an up-and-coming beatmaker from Oslo who co-founded Bonsaiety Records, now independently putting out releases with a bunch of like-minded artists, including her album ‘International Rap Foreplay’. In the interview she talks about what’s good about hip hop in Norway & one of her biggest strikes to date: a remix with former Def Squad MC Keith Murray. Oh yeah, and she makes her beats on Fruity Loops, 9th Wonder-style…


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What types of music/artists do you like?

Underground hip hop first and foremost. I like several of the artists on Rhymesayers, Strange Famous, Anticon, Def Jux etc. I also like different types of electronic music, and even some good ol´ progressive rock sometimes.

How did you make the remix with Keith Murray and Denku happen / how did it come about?

I was asked to do it by Taiyamo actually, we´ve worked together before and we got an EP in the works.

Tell us more about your record label, Bonsaeity Records: who’s involved with that?

André Jensen and myself founded Bonsaiety in the summer of 2008. The idea was to gather original artists that we like, know and/or have worked with, because its easier to promote ourselves together as a label. We help each other out in every way we can, and many of the artists work together. On board now is Chosen Fume (rapper), Delario (rapper(producer), Kjartan (rapper), Paul Bernard (rapper/producer), MesAyah (rapper), Invisible (anonymous group), Stonefish (HandyCat & Adrift), André Jensen (rapper/producer), and myself.

How did you get into making music?

I´ve always been extremely interested in music. Started up with the violin at 6, then piano and singing at 7. In 2003 I was randomly introduced to Fruity Loops, shortly after I was addicted.

Your beats are quite different from the usual diet of hip hop instrumentals. What kind of elements do you think make a good tune?

Personally, I’m into very melodic stuff. Variation is important. The best tracks come out when you try new things, try not to get stuck in a pattern.

What do you do outside from making beats to chill out?

I watch a lot of movies, listen to music, and travel when I can.

Are there any good club nights or music events going on in Oslo/ Norway that you can recommend?

Well, there’s some gigs coming up that I’m really looking forward to; Keith Murray is playing in January,  Talib Kweli  in February and Brother Ali in March – and there´s always Goodshit Radio, live radio show from a  place called Skuret every other Monday. That´s always fun!

Whats cool about the Norwegian hiphop movement?

The people in the scene are nice. Musically its still kind of underdeveloped. Hip hop is a huge trend here nowadays, and overflooded with rappers and beatmakers. So it will be interesting to see the outcome of that.

Any fresh music that you’re listening to right now?

Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Buck & Del – Weakdays and weekends which is the latest release on Bonsaiety Records, and it can be downloaded for free at www.bonsaiety.com. Mos Def – The Ecstatic, Felt 3 – A tribute to Rosie Perez, Brother Ali – US, Bike for three! – More Heart Than Brains

Have you got any plans to release a new record in the next year, any plans to do a tour?

I am indeed planning a new record! No plans for a tour this year, but perhaps the next!

Thanks;

January 3, 2010 at 23:33 2 comments

It’s a family thing…20 years of Krispy

It’s not just Christmas that’s being celebrated in a few days…

Krispy are a hip hop group from the north west of England: producer Mr Wiz and his brother Mikey D.O.N. have made a big impact on UK hip hop, especially in the early days when most of the new sounds still came from the US. They were brought up on a diet of roots reggae and dub, mainly through their father’s sound system MellowTone. Together with their homie Sonic G they formed Krispy3, got down to business and released “Coming Through Clear” in 1989.  They’ve been on the scene ever since and Mikey now hosts a show on Manchester’s Unity FM (Tuesday, 8-10pm Brit time).

In the 1990s, the Finlayson brothers traveled Europe with MC D on the ‘Kold Sweat’ tour. Mr Wiz remembers: “Katch 22 was also on tour with us and I remember being in Dortmund in Germany, roundabout 1995. The atmosphere was amazing: Mode 2 was painting graff pieces and the crowd were going crazy. It’s something I won’t ever forget.”

They released “From the Country” in 1999 which featured collabos with Roots Manuva and IG Culture. Their new album “Time Flies” is in the making…hip-hop, boy – so now ya know know…

December 22, 2009 at 14:48 Leave a comment

Automatic/cinematic: Interview with The Herbaliser’s Ollie Teeba

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Herbaliser… take Berlin“, posted with vodpod

Here we go: something wicked this way comes…Beat Bungalow got together with Ollie Teeba for a chat before a recent gig in Berlin. Ollie spoke about his love of soundtracks, all things old school and legendary sound engineer ‘No Sleep Nigel‘…

Q: Some of your music sounds quite cinematic, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, springs to mind. Are you inspired by people like Quincy Jones or Lalo Schifrin?

A: You’ve pretty much nailed it on the head right there, with a few of other names I would throw in. A bit of John Barry, Roy Budd and Morricone. All of those guys have had a massive influence on us because they were the ones that really mixed the orchestral sound with funk. I remember when I was about 11 or 12, watching ‘Enter The Dragon’ and ‘Dirty Harry’. In ‘Dirty Harry’ just from that first scene where he shoots the woman on the rooftop and there’s that heavy drum with that amazing sound, buzzing organ, I was like ‘Whoooaaaa, what’s that?’.

Q: Your new record label K7 is based in Berlin: what about the city itself, what do you think of it compared to London?

A: Berlin is definitely a cool place to be in. The east part seems to be particularly interesting. There’s really good graffiti everywhere, whole shop fronts and big pieces and you just don’t see that in London. If you did have it, in no time it would be covered in tags. You get some cool shops out here and some really nice records shops. People in Berlin definitely know their stuff, they know their music, they know their style and it’s a good place to be. There aren’t many places I visited other than London where I could see myself living. Berlin is definitely one of them.

Q: You’ve worked with the same engineer in the studio quite a lot: ‘No Sleep Nigel’ has been doing a lot of your albums.

A: We started working with him on our second album ‘Blow Your Headphones’, and a rapper we had done some work with had recommended him. Basically we did a mix and he said that the mix was no good and he said we’d need to speak to ‘No Sleep Nigel’. And I was like ‘ I’ve heard of him, he’s the guy who’s mentioned on all the 80s hip hop records’. He die a lot of MC Mello’s early stuff… also Blade. It just had that big booming sound and we thought he was the right man for us. He’s just a really cool guy that we’ve become really good friends with. He’s quite a lot older than most hip hoppers, he’s in his 50s and just knows so much about so many different types of music. Although sometimes, you don’t want to get him talking because once you get him started, the mix gets done several hours later (laughs).

He’s a wealth of information, and man, he’s forgotten more about sound than I will ever know. He’s a scientist and understands how it works on a complete scientific level, which I suppose any good sound engineer should do. We wind him up and let him go and a little while later you’ve got an album that sounds fantastic.

He also mixed our new album Session 2 – we’ll keep working him until he dies…

Q: Does he still get no sleep?

A: Well, he’s more ‘Some Sleep Nigel’ now, because he’s older now and he needs his rest.

Q: How many rooms have you managed to fill with records at your home?

A: I have one room that’s entirely filled with records and otherwise it’s just got a bed in it. Nothing else. But there’s even some spill into my living room that’s why I’m moving and I need a bigger place. Too many records, too many sneakers and too many leather goose jackets. All this stuff is something I got into when I was 13 or 14 and it’s all part of the old school, original hip hop experience, which is something I hold very dear to my heart and it’s still the coolest thing. No matter what new stuff people are doing with hip hop. I look at it, I listen to it but it’s just not as cool as the old school, dude.

December 13, 2009 at 19:11 2 comments

Notes from the Underground – Suff Daddy

suffkorg

‘Suff’ means booze in German, but during the interview this up-and-coming beat maker took a break from sipping liquor on the rocks. Beat Bungalow caught up with him after the release party for his PilsDaddy LP at a Berlin vinyl hot spot. He waxes lyrically about the musical undergound, his work with Oddisee and his brothers huge record collection.

Winner of the Phat Kat remix competition, some have even compared the Suff sound to that of the late Jay Dee.

And if you listesuffpilsetten closely there might just be a few of those slow-clapping, electroid elements in there. Chopped up vocals, dirty drums and all of that but with its own distinct overproof feel, just like his favourite drinks. His mixtapes are also worth checking out.

For real, Suff Daddy is far from tee-total, so catch him at an Alcoholics Anonymous session near you…until then: read this.

Photos: Robert Winter

_______________________________________________________________________

You’re originally from Düsseldorf (home of Kraftwerk), but have been living in Berlin for a couple of years now. What do you think of the Berlin music scene, and what’s going in hip hop there right now?

Most of the time I make my own music at home, but in Berlin I think the best stuff is coming out of Prenzlauer Berg. There’s a few peeps who used to call themselves ‘Funkviertel’ and who live in that district. Part of that crew are Drum Kit, V.Raeter, V-Mann and also Morlockk Dilemma. I don’t have a lot of time for the Berlin scene otherwise – all the commercial stuff that’s coming from here sucks and I don’t listen to it. Otherwise, there’s a lot of hype about techno and electro. I’m not into techno, even though I’ve got to admit that I used to like house music quite a bit a few years ago and there’s still a few decent tracks coming out.

But most of the time I’m at home making beats, chilling with my girlfriend or I’m in the beer garden with my mates. fLako is another guy from Berlin who I’ve got a lot of respect for and he makes some sick music. There’s also Audio 88 and Robot Koch is another producer and he’s got an electro vibe going on. Generally speaking, only the underground stuff is good around here.

Let’s talk about your ‘Digital Invaders’ project for a bit: that’s a few years ago now isn’t it? How did that come about?

I’ve been making beats for 10 years and for the first seven, I didn’t show them to anyone. I was keeping the music on my hard drive and didn’t play it to anyone, just my friends. Then one day I got talking to Powell from Paris. At the time he was recording tracks with Bless 1 from Chicago. We kept sending each other beats and then he asked if I was down for putting together a compilation with him. None of us had any connections then but we had ‘…’ from the US on there, a couple of French artists and one of my best friends from Berlin, Hazeem. We just wanted to work together and put something out there. I only knew Powell through the web and we’d never met face-to-face even though we’ve known each other for four years now. So this year in August, we were going to meet for the first time at a Beat BBQ in Cologne, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Digital Invaders isn’t going anymore because everyone is doing their own thing, but it was good fun.

And what about your PilsDaddy joints with Pillskills out of East Berlin?

I met Davey Dave in September 2008 at my EP launch party and he asked if I would send him some beats for a collaboration. I really like their lyrics because they don’t take things too seriously you know, they’re unpretentious and it’s just music with a funny twist.

Your brother’s vinyl collection had a big influence on you and your music. What kind of records did he have in that mysterious collection?

He started digging and collecting in the late 1980s until around ’97. He had all the classics, such as DITC and Large Pro. He had the first Main Source single, which was just called ‘Atoms’, a lot of French Hip Hop, stuff from England, Pharcyde…I could go on forever, but mainly golden era hip hop. In that respect,  I’ve always tried to become like my brother what hip hop is concerned. He’s no longer doing this and has a different lifestyle with a steady job and so on. But it kind of stuck with me and without his record collection, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

Did any particular sound or style of production stick with you?

Large Pro’s record ‘The LP’, which was never officially released but it’s been put out again recently. Tracks like ‘I just Wanna Chill’, Souls of Mischief and lots of others.

Your sound is a lot different compared to the other stuff that’s big in Germany right now. How do you feel being a 30-year-old producer, have you considered making music full-time? What’s your plan for the future?

I’ve still got this dream that I can do music full-time and do nothing else, even if that doesn’t sound that realistic. I’m not doing this because of the money, but because it’s what I like doing and because it’s my own little dream. I just want to sit at home and produce – until I’m old and have to go into an old folks’ home. I’m continue doing what I’m doing, even though it doesn’t pay. I’m happy with my Label, Melting Pot Music, and my plan is just to keep releasing records, ideally ten every year. Most of the stuff that’s available at the moment I did a year ago and I’m getting tired of listening, but it’s all good.

Just recently, my second remix 7’’ came out on Goodbye Records with a version of Psycho/ Look of Love by J-88. Olski from MPM ihas been releasing an instrumental LP, which is called Hi Hat Club. My next EP is due before the end of this year. I’m also working on something with fLako and Retrogott from ‘Huss & Hodn’. Another project I’m working on is with Hubert Daviz from Cologne, which is going to be called SuffDavies. Another project with ‘Sichtbeton’ that’ll be called SuffBeton. Another connection I made is with Miles Bonny from Kansas City who is a trumpet player and singer. Also, MegaSuff with Flomega. He’s a good guy and always very busy, but that should be done soon. Otherwise, I’ll still be putting in my hours as a DJ here in Berlin and maybe work on a little live project. That’s what my plan is til 2010.

What was it like working with Kev Brown and Oddisee, how did that work out?

I didn’t know much about Oddisee before we linked up, but one of my friends said to me that he was on tour and coming to Berlin. So I just wrote to him and asked if he was up for getting together and record something. He said cool and we met up for one day. He was a cool dude and the whole recording session lasted for about two hours. He rapped his verse and the hook and then Kev Brown came in on the track as well. That was before I got in touch with MPM.

By the way, mad props to Fleur Earth Experiment – I’m really digging the scene in Cologne right now. There’s some interesting and original music coming from there. Shouts to Hulk Hodn, Twit One, Uno und Testiculo, who did the first volume for Hi Hat Club. All the other commercial stuff is just bullshit as far as I’m concerned and I just like the underground stuff. For me it’s like this: the people who don’t earn a lot of money with making music often make the best music. I don’t want to hate on anybody, but most of the mainstream stuff is bullshit.

Lets talk about the Liks, The Alkoholiks. They were quite a big influence on your sound right?

That’s true, they’ve had a big influence and I think all of their records are tight, except the last one, ‘Firewater’, which I didn’t rate too much. My favourite one is ’21 and Over’. All they’ve done is rhyme about beer, bitches and weed, so it’s pretty limited in terms of what they rap about. But I just really like it and I just think they’re great. It’s the same with me, I don’t want to claim that I’m making really sober and serious music.

Have you got any plans to work with live instrumentation?

A lot of people have asked me that and it’s probably going to happen sooner or later. I just bought a Moog and I’m messing around on that at the moment. But I don’t play any instruments or know how to read music. I just experiment and record the stuff that sounds good to me. One of my predictions, 2010 at Sonar Festival in Barcelona, maybe we can do a live thing there…that would be tight.

thanks;

October 17, 2009 at 18:59 2 comments

Going down in history…UK Hip Hop exhibit

flyer final-1 sq

This is right up our street: an exhibition that looks at how hip hop developed in the UK, from the beginning until now. If you’re in Manchester or visiting England, check this out at the Urbis and find out how British MCs, DJs, graff artists became independent from the US and developed their own movement. The exhibition includes contributions from vinyl veterans such as Snowboy. Among other artists featured in the exhibition are Krispy,  Rodney P & Skitz, Fallacy, DJ Woody, Benji Reid and Seek. The best thing about it: it’s absolutely free, no dollars, pounds or euros involved!!

The exhibit was put together in collaboration with hip hop writer James McNally and musician Kid Acne. A spokesman for Urbis said: “‘Home Grown’ will showcase never before seen photography from the personal collections of DJ Milo (The Wild Bunch) and DJ 279; rare film footage sourced directly from Malcolm McLaren and cult documentary director Dick Fontaine; and exclusive documentation from seminal early hip-hop clubs like Spats and the Language Lab, right through to influential latter day spots such as Deal Real record store. It also will include rare – and sometimes unique – audio, flyers, posters, clothing and unseen photographs from the private collections of artists, promoters, producers, dancers and photographers.”

Exhibition starts on October 15th and will run every day until March 2010.

October 12, 2009 at 09:52 1 comment

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