All posts by Vahé

THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring JERMISIDE

JERMISIDEonly 2 more interviews to go in the long-running series focusing on Pete Marriott‘s new album #REALHIPHOP, featuring emcee Jermiside.

VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

JERMISIDE: I’m Jermiside. Rapper/Producer & Lessondary Crew affiliate. Lover of all things creative.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

JERMISIDE: This track came about from me having a good working relationship with the homie MegaRan. If I remember correctly Ran hit me up with the track and asked if I’d like to jump on it and if anybody knows me I’m always up for a feature. Its funny you ask this question because I had forgotten me and Pete were label mates for a short stint. I did 8 bars for a remix of his song “The Champ is Here” a while ago.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

JERMISIDE: My writing process as of late is just sitting down with the track and seeing where the music takes me, sometimes people already have a concept in mind which is cool because it makes my job easier. I’m actually trying to get back to writing without beats like how I started, just to focus more on my lyrics.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

JERMISIDE: Real Hip-Hop to me is genuinely expressing yourself in hip-hop form. My definition really has nothing to do with how it actually sounds. Like for example someone might say Migos isn’t real hip-hop BUT to me they are. They came in the game with a unique style, they care about bars & delivery, they’re hungry, its more the intent than the content if that makes sense.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

JERMISIDE: Freddie Gibbs & MadlibRobes” and anything by Tall Black Guy.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

JERMISIDE: jermiside.bandcamp.com or twitter.com/jermiside.

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NEW SHIT // Vahé:LeisureCAST – 035. ACCEPTANCE SUITE

coverVahé:LeisureCAST – 035. ACCEPTANCE SUITE

soundwaves that reflect the need to accept, but not to yield.
in essence, to be at peace with the holographically solid world we call Earth,
& all the highs and lows that come with it.

tracklist:

01. tomoyasu hotei and ray cooper – a drug score (part 1) (acid spill) (intro)
02. unforscene – the journey
03. green vision – guardian stars
04. onra – don’t stop
05. brittany bosco – city of nowhere
06. dwele – love
07. soul cycle – club groove
08. dakah hiphop orchestra – jazz thing (feat. guru)
09. new flesh – communicate (feat. gift of gab)
10. international pony – les parapluies de saint georg
11. gaelle – aftermath
12. om’mas keith – you’re the only one 4 me
13. ino hidefumi – soshu-yakyoku
14. seelenluft – landkuer 1
15. ocote soul sounds and adrian quesada – coconut rock
16. joseph malik – aquarius song
17. united future organisation – pilgrims
18. sparkle – plenty of good lovin’
19. sonny boy – yesterday
20. yukihiro fukutomi – love is to blame (feat. isabelle antena & ernesto)
21. tarika blue – sun thru winter.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring JUNCLASSIC

after a brief respite, we’re kickin on with the last handful of interviews with the featured artists offa Pete Marriott‘s solo LP #REALHIPHOP.

JUNCLASSIC

VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

JUNCLASSIC: Peace. My Name Is junclassic (one word all small letters). I Got Into HipHop By Rhyming In The Cafeteria And On Street Corner Cyphers In The Mid 90s. Found I Had A Passion For It and People Dug My Punchline Prowess and Passionate Delivery. I Found Writing As A Great Form Of Therapy. Thats What Kept Me Doing It Till This Day.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

JUNCLASSIC: Pete Did A Dope Mix For Me Called 7 Modes Of junclassic Back In 2011. He Dug My Work and Asked If We Could Collab. Once I Heard His Beatwork I Agreed Immediately. I Am Proud Of The Two Joints We Have On The #RealHipHop Project.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

JUNCLASSIC: Unless The Producer Has A Specific Topic In Mind, I Listen To The Beat and Let It Direct Me. Pete Let Me Do Me On Both Joints I Have On His New Project. “Foundation” Is A Political Joint, Speaking On The Ills Of Society From The Consequences of Global Warming To The Prevalence Of Self Hatred In The Hood. “Gotta Get It” is More Of A Celebratory Song With A Dope Bounce To It.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

JUNCLASSIC: Real Hip Hop Is Hip Hop Done From The Heart. Its Not About Posturing Or Spitting What You Think People Want To Hear. Nowadays I Think You Can Hear The Difference. Real Hip Hop Is For People Living and Dealing With Reality, Not Fantasy.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

JUNCLASSIC:Broken” Featuring Scarface Off The Pinata LP With Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. That Beat Is So Soulful. And It Was Dope To hear Gangsta Gibbs Talk About Stuff Outside Of Being Gangsta, Like His Estranged Relationship With His Parents and His Father Being A Crooked Cop. Gives The Listener More Understanding As To Why Gibbs Got Into That Gangsta Sh*t.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

JUNCLASSIC: Thank You For This Interview. Huge Shout Out To Pete Marriott. I Describe His Beatwork As A Hybrid Between Pete Rock and Timbaland. Yep. He’s That Unique. And Dope. You Can Peep My Music At junclassic.bandcamp.com. Also soundcloud.com/junclassic. Get At Me For Bookings and Features Via twitter.com/junclassic. Stay Up. Peace.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring BARRY CORLISS

switching gears a little bit, i got to chat with Mr. Barry Corliss, who worked with Pete on mastering the #REALHIPHOP LP.

#REALHIPHOPVEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

BARRY: Hi. I’m Barry Corliss. I own and operate Master Works, a mastering facility in Seattle, WA.

How did I start?

After many years as a musician, I put together my own studio in the mid 90’s. I was an early adopter of the new digital technology, and I was one of the very first people in the Northwest to be able to make a CD. My musician friends, who were making recordings in local studios, came to me to make CDs of their projects.

They asked if I could maybe do a little mastering while I was making the CDs. It quickly became apparent that mastering was my true forte in music. I decided to stop playing and focus all of my energies on one thing, mastering. For several years I worked out of my home studio. In 1997 I opened Master Works in Seattle, and have been at that same commercial location ever since.

Why do I continue to pursue it? You know… music is something that is in the blood! What else would I do?

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

BARRY: I started working with Pete Marriott in 2011. We got along really well. Pete was making fine tracks, and the listener response was very positive. Many years of Pete‘s hard work have led up to #REALHIPHOP‘s release. It didn’t happen overnight!

VEE: what is your mastering process like & how involved do you get with the producer when working on the finished product?

BARRY: My mastering process is something that has evolved over the last 20 years. It is my personal method, rooted in my concept of good sounding music. I don’t use any software plugins in my mastering. I use high end analog and digital outboard gear. I prefer the sound quality I achieve using these tools.

I’m not a believer in gimmicks in the mastering process. I don’t believe in heavy multi-band limiting or compressing, I consider it unmusical. In fact, I never compress hip hop! Compression reduces the dynamic range of the beat, and that’s not something I want to do. I have my own techniques for achieving loudness and impact without sacrificing the breathing dynamic of hip hop.

How involved with the producer do I get? I’m not a mastering guy who takes whatever you give me, does something to it, and shoots it back. If I think that a remix or tweak will significantly improve the final product, I’ll say it. Often specific issues are better dealt with in a remix, rather than with a “fix” in mastering. The bottom line is always the best possible end result, no matter what it takes!

I’m fortunate to have worked with many talented producers and artists over the years… Jake One, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Vitamin D, Amos Miller, Pete Marriott, and many, many more. I’ve learned a lot from them and their projects.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

BARRY: To me, “real hip hop” is a personal statement. Tracks about riches, bling, gats, super expensive cars, drugs, gangsterism and excesses may be entertaining, but when its just an obvious fantasy, that’s hardly “real hip hop”…

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

BARRY: Why, Pete Marriott‘s #REALHIPHOP of course!

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to request you for work?

BARRY: I have a website: http://www.master-works.com that is a good starting point.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring OTOMATIK

OTOMATIKnext up in our series of #REALHIPHOP interviews, we bring it in right with emcee OTOMATIK.

VEE: Before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

OTOMATIK: It is a pleasure to be here with you Vahe and part of #REALHIPHOP, so thanks again to you & Professor Pete Marriott! I’m  Ozdille’ The Otomatik. Everything in my life connects me to Hip-Hop. From seeing my uncle kill the floor on Beat Street to my best friend being the super talented DJ Joe Black. Unforgettable cyphers with my brothers to reigning victorious in challenging battles, to the inception of 6 Line Records. Hip-Hop has been and  always will be my life. What drives me is growth.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

OTOMATIK: Pete Marriott is a professional, passionate, perfectionist. Spoken highly of by one of my mentors, Al Nazon. We chopped it up online and grew a mutual respect for one another. I asked for his opinion on something I recorded and even sent him the lyrics considering he may not have caught everything since i was spitting fast. I would say that made him a believer of me as an emcee and drove the desire for me to be part of #REALHIPHOP. this is the first time I have worked with Pete but it is definitely not the last 😉

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

OTOMATIK: Time stops, of course not literally but i am in an impenetrable zone. It could be fifteen minutes or five days. Once that clarity sets in for the record let me do what it do 😉 I am usually producing my own work but in this case I let Pete send me what he thought I would be dope on. A little suggestions here and there from The Professor but I was trusted to do what I do.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

OTOMATIK: The evolution of you with a hot flow on a dope beat. Nothing more. Nothing less.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

OTOMATIK: There’s good music out there I respect but my wig is intact lol.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

OTOMATIK: soundcloud.com/listentootomatik or soundcloud.com/remixahhremixx, email at  theotomatik@gmail.com & iTunes Search Heart & Lyrics.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring RANDOM (aka MEGA RAN)

RANDOM (aka MEGA RAN)today’s #REALHIPHOP-related chitty-chat comes courtesy of accomplished emcee RANDOM (aka MEGA RAN). peep.

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VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

RANDOM: I’m Random, aka Mega Ran. Former teacher, current MC/producer and speaker. My early experience with music was Motown and Philly Soul music at home from my mom… I knew that from that age music was always better if you felt something, be it joy or pain. All these years later it’s still the love of my life.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

RANDOM: Pete and I knew each other from way back, and when I would pass through Seattle on tours, I’d ask Pete about coming through, and even DJing for me, and that always went well…. fast forward and Pete sent me a heat rock and I was honored to hop on it.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

RANDOM: I like to listen to the track 10 or 15 times before I write a word, let the music take me someplace. I usually ask the producer what he or she imagined to be on the track, and then hopefully that lines up with what I’m thinking, but if not I like to take it to a new place and have fun with it.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

RANDOM: I feel like “real” is so subjective that anyone can define it differently…. so to me when I hear “real hip hop,” I think about authentic, organic beats, impeccable flows and wordplay, and dope concepts.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

RANDOM: It seems to happen every time Andre 3000 guests on a verse… but honestly as a complete work, the last track I heard that got me excited was Earl Sweatshirt‘s “Chum.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

RANDOM: all music is at megaranmusic.com, all info is at megaran.com, and contact is probably best on Twitter, @MegaRan or at the contact link on my site.
thanks!

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring CARYS MATIC

Carys Maticnext up in our series of #REALHIPHOP interviews, we chat to Carys Matic, who ends up closing out Pete‘s LP with a poignant spoken word piece that sums up the overall themes of the album, and leaves us with a tingling sensation once the final bits of vinyl scratches complete the journey. take a squizz.

VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

CARYS: My name’s Carys Jones, AKA Carys Matic, and I’m a poet/musician originally from the UK. I’ve been involved with music my entire life. I had piano lessons as a kid and started singing in church  (my father’s a retired pastor) and in the school choir. I also played trumpet, but the one instrument I stuck at was the drums. I started writing poetry at a young age, and began to combine poetry and music as I got older.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

CARYS: Pete and I first got in contact through the Beat Inn group on Facebook. He asked me to record a spoken word outro for his new album and I jumped at the chance. This is my first time working with Pete, but I hope to collaborate with him again in the future.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

CARYS: I’m a bit of a scatterbrain by nature, I don’t really have one specific formula that works for me every time. In terms of collaborating with producers, it varies. Sometimes a producer will reach out to me, often they’ll already have a concept in mind as was the case with Pete, other times they’ll give me free reign. When working on my album ‘The Spaces in the Silence‘, I collaborated with a number of producers and musicians. Some of them I reached out to myself, others contacted me, and others remixed acapella pieces I’d previously recorded.
I heard an instrumental I really liked by a producer named Prophet 9 and wrote a verse to it. I emailed him & sent him a video message of me rhyming over it and asked if he approved. He said he loved it, so I finished the track and recorded it. If he hadn’t liked what I did with his track, I wouldn’t have used it. I’m a big advocate of collaboration, but I’m not a fan of the ‘mixtape’ culture where often someone will hear a beat they like and record over it without permission.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

CARYS: Lately there’s been quite a bit of talk concerning what qualifies as ‘real hip hop’, and what doesn’t, the controversy surrounding Macklemore‘s success at The Grammys being a prime example.
For me, ‘real hip hop’ is about respecting the art form, creating for the love of it, being loyal to yourself and not compromising your motives for the sake of success.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

CARYS: That’s a tough one, because there hasn’t really been anything I’ve heard lately that’s slapped me upside the head and made me think “woah… what just happened?”. That said, I was impressed with Homeboy Sandman‘s ‘White Sands‘. Paul White‘s production really compliments Boy Sand‘s style, and his lyrics are on point as always. I also enjoyed Ty‘s ‘Kick, Snare, and an Idea’ project.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

CARYS: Via my website carysmaticjones.com. I recently took a hiatus from Facebook and I’m considering deactivating my account permanently, but for now I can be found at facebook.com/carysmaticjones. I’m also on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/carysmatic, and Twitter: @carysmaticjones. My album ‘The Spaces in the Silence‘ is available for download from carysmatic.bandcamp.com.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring KILLAH TRAKZ

some more of that #REALHIPHOP knowledge via Killah Trakz.

KILLAH_TRAKZVEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

TRAKZ: Peace, my name is Killah (pronounced Kill (ah)) or K allah Trakz. Got into music from my childhood friend and partner in rhyme Brian Goode. In all honesty I just one day started freestyling out of thin air and it stuck. I’ve heard some of my songs got people emotional, even changed lives. I’m Haitian and it’s tough having strict parents who follow a more traditional role in upbringing children in a dominant way, so since I was always in seclusion I kept rhyming. I feel as though this new generation associate my heritage with street credibility, but as artists we’re overlooked and I want to really break that barrier.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

TRAKZ: I worked with Seattle-based producer Kev West on a project called #IHATEMIXTAPES which did phenomenal in numbers, and I guess Kev and Pete have history and the two spoke of me and now I’m here. This is my 1st time working with Pete.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

TRAKZ: My writing process ….. If you hear, see, or I reply “WOO!” then the record’s done. 15 mins to write, 30 to record, so an hour of turn around time.  And producers usually give me full creative control on what I rhyme about.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

TRAKZ: Real hip hop is like explaining love. It’s a definition so broad and so wide (pause) there’s no one word or a fair sentence to describe it. So I’ll go with emotions through the beat, the rhymes, and the mood/setting.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

TRAKZ: Eminem‘s “Rap God” or Busta Rhymes, who always re-invents himself. Between those two but Eminem‘s “Rap God“, sheesh.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

TRAKZ: go to you favorite search engine and type Killah Trakz and everything would show up on me.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring DVS JACKSON Esq.

today we have a nice chat with one of MY personal favourite emcees that i’ve not only encountered in the last decade, but also had the pleasure of working WITH in some capacity. and that’s signor DVS Jackson Esq. this man’s wordplay has long impressed the fuck out of me, and to have him included on Pete‘s #REALHIPHOP LP is something i was kinda hoping for (actually i wanted a whole project to materialise b/w the two, but this is a damn good start).

DVSVEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

DVS: Hello, world. My name is The Most Honorable Right and Exact DVS Jackson, Esq. DVS for short. I started out as a public speaker when I was still in Kindergarten. As I got older, that morphed into singing, then poetry and, finally, Hip Hop. I’ve been an MC for the better part of 15 years, and loving every minute of it. My motivational factors are a genuine love for the culture, a feeling that I have something to say…and the knowledge that after all of these years of dedication I’m still skilled at my craft.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

DVS: My contribution came from Pete asking. Pete and I have known one another for almost a decade. We have dabbled here and there creatively, but there has never been a project tied to us. A vocal guest spot here, a remix there, but never anything concrete. So, when Pete mentioned he had a project in the works and wanted me to contribute, it was just a natural progression.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

DVS: My writing process varies. I tend to write very quickly when inspired or when I have an idea of the intended direction. As such, my contributions to #REALHIPHOP didn’t take very long. Pete has always had a very good handle on what he is trying to accomplish. He also allows space for the artist to express themselves. It was really quite painless.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

DVS: That’s a tricky question. I don’t think there is a real definition of what you consider “real”. Reality is relative. For instance, if you ask me who I listen to in the whip…I’m going to say Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, classics like De La and Tribe…and that’s my version of reality. Now my son, he is a huge fan of Flatbush Zombies. That’s his reality and I honor that. And since I honor his opinion, as well as my own and others who may not have as much “love” for the culture in the traditional sense…I tend not to trash Hip Hop I don’t personally understand or appreciate. I just don’t listen.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

DVS: Chance The Rapper‘s “Acid Rap Mixtape” completely threw me for a loop. Here was someone representative of my eldest child’s generation who obviously had some sense of MY oldhead sensibilities. In addition, he made a very CHICAGO album. There are so many inside references that hit especially hard for someone born and raised in the Go. From wordplay to his homage to Chicago’s “Juke” movement to a playful irreverance i feel the artform is missing….I totally honor and respect that young brother’s contributions to the game.

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

DVS: Well, my latest LP “DVS 4 Alderman” was released on Windimoto Records and is available at most online retailers, with an expanded edition available directly at http://windimoto.bandcamp.com/album/dvs-4-alderman-bandcamp-exclusive-expanded-edition.

I also have 4 EP’s that I’ve released for the unbelievable price of Free.99 available at http://waldorfandstatler.bandcamp.com with my partner in crime/brother from another mother tREBLEFREE. tREB is currently screaming at me to get my vocals in for the next EP…so stay tuned as more Waldorf And Statler is on the way. Thank you sincerely for you interest…and tell Pete Marriott to hurry up and release this album so I can get my cheque. Dreams don’t run off promises, goddamnit.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring JAZZ

we continue on with our dedicated coverage of all things #REALHIPHOP featuring a short interview with Jazz, who contributed to a couple of the joints on Pete‘s LP. he breaks down his musical history, production/songwriting process and his thoughts on hip hop.

JAZZ (aka Mista Jazzluvah)VEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

JAZZ: First and foremost I am Mista Jazzluvah, formally of the Hip Hop/R&B group WHISTLE. We had such hits as “(Nothing Serious) Just Buggin‘”, “Right Next To Me“, “Always And Forever“, “Barbara’s Bedroom” and “Chance For Our Love“. I have wanted to do music ever since the 4th grade. I got my start in 1985 by way of Kangol Kid and Hitman Howie Tee.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

JAZZ: Well Pete and I go way back to the days before WHISTLE. We both lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn and rocked out in the same musical circles. He and I reconnected about two yrs ago and talked about me coming back and doing my style of R&B. From there he did a track for me and sent me some songs he wanted me to drop hooks on. I wrote the hooks to two joints (“Nice” and “Lookout“) and the rest is history.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

JAZZ: Well I write what I feel. I am a songwriter/producer myself so I just get the vibe or hear the track and give my viewpoint of what I hear. There are too many so called producers who aren’t that at all. I am a throwback to the days of Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, LA and Babyface, Gamble and Huff, Teddy Riley the list goes on. My Job is to make a song better. It doesn’t matter if I wrote it or not.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

JAZZ: Real Hip Hop is hip hop from the soul. The kind of hip hop that takes you to a time and place that you cant forget. No matter what time frame or style.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

JAZZ: I am feeling anything that has a flow and substance with good lyrics. I will always love hip hop even when I don’t like certain rappers or songs. I came from the essence of the block party and tape days. I feel like I am a singing Emcee. I flow on R&B.

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THE #REALHIPHOP FILES // featuring LaVeda DAVIS

as part of this BLAUG’s ongoing coverage of all things #REALHIPHOP, we got individual interviews lined up with most of the artists and contributors to Pete’s project. we’re kicking it off with the lovely LaVeda Davis. she breaks down her art, her process and how she came to be on the LP.

LaVeda DavisVEE: before we get into it, could you kindly introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to the folks at home? how’d you get into this music thing and what continues to drive you to pursue it?

LAVEDA: Greetings. My name is LaVeda Davis. I’m a singer/songwriter originally from Miami, FL, and I have been singing as long as I can remember. My father played music all the time when I was growing up. I heard Luciano Pavoratti, Leontyne Price, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Hartman, Otis Redding, War, Brooke Benton, Marvin Gaye, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, SalSoul Orchestra, Barry White, Issac Hayes, Santana, Ohio Players, Barbara Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Motown, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Bassey and many others.  I knew early on, that I wanted to sing.
I stay driven and inspired because I love music, and want to leave behind a catalog of great songs.

VEE: how did your contribution to #REALHIPHOP come about & had you worked with Pete before?

LAVEDA: Pete reached out to me and talked a bit about his upcoming project (#REALHIPHOP) and said he had a track in mind he wanted me to hear, and wondered if I would be interested in writing the hook and a few ad-libs if inspired. I fell in love as soon as I heard JunClassic. The track is dope, and I was humming to it immediately!!
This is the second time working with Pete. He remixed a single of mine (“Second Skin”), that will be released in the near future.

VEE: what is your writing process like & how involved do you get with the producer when coming up with topics or themes?

LAVEDA: Pete has been the only producer that had a theme in mind. Other than that, I am given free reign once I receive tracks. Generally, I listen several times, and let the music dictate what the story will be about. There have been rare occasions that a title will come first; and I will begin there. But usually, I will be lead by the mood of the track.

VEE: this may seem like an overdone question to ask, but considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop”?

LAVEDA: For me, “real hip hop” is the raw, honest and imperfect soundtrack to our lives. You want to wear the message like a piece of armor.

VEE: what’s the last piece of hip hop music you heard that flipped your wig?

LAVEDA: Anything by JDilla, flips my wig. I haven’t a clue to what is going on right now. What I have heard, doesn’t make me want to hear it again. So when I need my fix; I go old school (Tribe/Pharcyde/Slick Rick/Poor Righteous Teachers/De La Soul/Raheim/EPMD/KRS-1).

VEE: last but not least, where can people go to check out your music or to get at you for shows or features?

LAVEDA: Thanks so much for the invite. Was a pleasure chatting with you.

For Booking and features:
bookinglaveda@gmail.com
Manager – Stevie Robinson.

My new single was just released on HSR Records (#42 on Soulful House/Traxsource):
I SECOND GUESS MYSELF

SPEECHLESS (The Remixes)

LET LOVE HAPPEN (EP)
FACEBOOK
SOUNDCLOUD
TWITTER #1
TWITTER #2.

V.

PETE MARRIOTT // #REALHIPHOP // THE INTERVIEW

Mr. Marriotti’ve got two words for y’all: HIP. HOP.

a funny sounding title for a genre of music, for sure, and it would be if it were completely devoid of context. but context is created when we the people assign our hopes, dreams, passions, skills and love to the WORDS. therefore “Hip Hop”, in 2014, has an immense history and powerful impact on our lives. we have a fairly well-established timeline for when and where it began, who got the credit for sparking the movement, and over time both artists and fans alike developed an idea for what might constitute that REAL shit. “real hip hop”. but beneath the officially sanctioned story for the beginnings of any movement is what some might call some ‘realer shit’.

in this writer’s humble but sturdy opinion, using the word “real” has strong allusions to a Matrix style existence, wherein the “real” exist on the fringes or dwell within the underground confines of the surface level material world. usually in this scenario, the world at large that exists before our eyes is illusory, fake, not what it appears to be. most of the time the inhabitants of THIS world expound the same kind of ideals that they live and abide by: illusory, fake, not what it appears to be. MY personal estimation of “real hip hop” is something along the lines of the well-informed ‘rebel’, someone who is knowledgeable in things seen and unseen, who carves a path for himself as an individual, and who above all else, does not conform to any one standard.

what you end up with is another word we all like to use called “artist”. over the years of knowing him, listening to his music and waxing poetic on a whole buncha topics, it’s safe to say that Pete Marriott is one such artist, and is a name that should be more widely known within the larger hip hop community. to that end, i had a nice long chat with Pete about his now-released decades-in-the-making LP #REALHIPHOP.

—-

VEE: how’ve you been? and what have you been up to in the past 12 months?

PETE: First off, before I answer this question, I want to thank you for all your support and I’d also like to thank John Book if you don’t mind.

There’s so much going on in my life right now. I had some really great moments, experienced some disappointments, had a few victories, as well hit a stumbling block or two, and then wins again, it’s a rollercoaster, but overall…my life is beautiful.

I’m still making records, my musical and production skills continue to improve in the direction I want it to go as I keep experimenting with both new and old ideas alike and I’ve made alliances with reputable brands to endorse products I actually use in my daily work life. Best of all I’ve kept my integrity intact through it all.

I’m grateful for my life and now my focus is to continue to make great art and get out there on tour and perform these records for the people. I think I more than enough proved myself as a producer with two #1’s and eight top 10’s on the college radio mix show charts, so now It’s time to show my audience what I’m made of as a DJ and introduce them to the artists I’m working with on stage.

VEE: man, thank YOU for being so generous with not only your time, but your plethora of musical talents & knowledge. it’s always a pleasure picking your brains on all things music and getting up to date on what you’re cookin up at the moment. cos let’s face it, it’s always some top notch shit.

you mentioned you’ve got some business ventures going at the moment. i do recall you were repping Image-Line last time we spoke? what’s the latest with that and how do you go about choosing who you align yourself with in a business sense?

PETE:  Thanks man, I really appreciate that you’re digging the work. I’m doing my best to push myself while also reigning myself in when I’m in my studio. It’s hard because quality is a very important thing to me, so it’s pretty challenging for me to hold myself back in that manner.

I mean I’m an arTist and I actually want my art to mean something in the end of it all, but I also can’t be in the Kalium Galaxy with my work while everyone else is still on earth, so I’m constantly reminding myself of this fact, but without losing my artistic integrity.

As for the business part, I still have my endorsement deal with Image-Line for both FL Studio and Deckadance and I also have a new endorsement deal with IK Multimedia to represent their T-RackS product line.

It’s very important to me that I keep my integrity intact by only representing products that’s apart of my lifestyle. I actually make records using both FL Studio and T-RackS so these strategic partnerships make sense to me. Authenticity is the to key my personal success.

Right now I’m placing my energy into preparing myself to perform for the college and festival scenes with the artists on my album. It’s all about finding the right booking agents and getting this touring situation together. I worked very hard on this album and of course all other records I produced and continue to produce, but getting the #REALHIPHOP Tour together is my main focus right now.

VEE: it sounds like the dynamic and struggle of one’s artistry is going to be just that, a struggle. i mean in terms of straddling a line between necessary financial moves and maintaining artistic integrity. so like you said, it’s your ‘authenticity’ that sets you apart in this regard. and i think that’s the word that best sums up the album you’ve been working on that got officially released on March 3rd: #REALHIPHOP. now i’ve been a Pete stan for many years, way back since an Okayplayer by the name of Che Grand gave me a track you produced called “The Illness”, so i’m always up to date on what you’ve got cookin. but speaking of, could you say a few words on that track?

PETE: Man… Che Grand was kinda sorta my very first unofficial internet collaboration, too bad we never had a chance to do something tangible.

VEE: you’re upcoming album #REALHIPHOP is something that is both from the past and is the future, but still of “the NOW”, and most importantly is your baby from beginning to end. i’d like for you to tell the folks out there all about #REALHIPHOP, how the recording or RE-recording process has been, who is featured on the mic tip, what this project means to you on a personal and artistic level, and why people should be checking for it.

PETE: I’m going to break down my process on the emotional and the technical. Let’s begin with the emotional.

#REALHIPHOP is what I consider a legacy project . I’ve taken some joints I recorded as far back as 1987 and put them side by side with new joints that was recorded as recently as a few days ago and put them together.

There’s quite an interesting mix of guest artists on this record. I could have easily gone the route of approaching the typical peanut gallery of rappers that most indie Hip Hop heads would know, but I didn’t want to do that, not for this record.

I wanted to give people that strong sense of discovery again. You know that moment where you’re like “Yo! This is dope! Who are these guys?” Because that’s the way I grew up on Hip Hop music. I handpicked everyone because I’m actually fans of their work and I recognize their voices are just as important as anyone else doing this music today.

I’m so grateful to artists like Jazz (from the group Whistle) who’s singing some very soulful hooks. Mr. Man (of Da’ Bush Babees), E-Dot, Benz, Romance and Da’ Lord Supreme who is on a few of the joints I resurrected from back in the days.

I got LaVeda Davis on the album who I met through Stevie Soul, (a well known and respected manager in the indie soul music scene). LaVeda has been featured on Tricky’s albums and she’s bringing that jazziness on the very record I’m in my studio mixing today.

I also got my dudes Junclassic and Killah Trakz is on a couple of joints as well, DVS Jackson Esq, Random (aka Mega Ran) and Jermiside, all very dope MC’s who spit that fire.

And one voice you will hear quite a bit on the album is Otomatik, who I’m very glad my dude Al Nazon introduced me to. That dude is fucking nuts with the hooks. He definitely helped bring the fun factor to the record.

Another standout artist is Carys Matic who dropped some most serious spoken word. I chose her to be on the album’s closing song and what she said really hits home for me so I’m very excited for everyone to hear it.

I think very highly of all these artists and wish to continue working with them for as long as they wish to work with me. These are people I want to go out on tour with. I didn’t choose them because of their celebrity or social media status, but for the very same reason I want people to judge my music, for their talents and skills.

Some of the joints on #REALHIPHOP are dark and edgy, some are fun party jams, some are measured cool out joints and some are your classic boom bap joints but with a modern twist to them. I just wanted to make a solid album of good music and I think I achieved that here. This record is special to me and I hope others will agree once they get the opportunity to listen to it for themselves.

On the technical level this album has been quite a challenge and lots of fun to work on. Taking vocals that was recorded on 4-Track Cassette in the 80’s by a teenage version of myself and bringing them to the digital present and then getting them to sound good is a lengthy process of itself, but thanks to the tools that IK Multimedia provided me I was able to do it within the FL Studio environment.

T-RackS CS Grand played a huge role restoring these recordings. I used components such as the Black 76 on my drums, De-Esser on my vocals and the British Channel on my drums, Quad-Image on my pianos, The Buss Compressor, I mean T-RackS is my Swiss Army Knife, I pretty much used almost everything it has to offer.

FL Studio has always served me very well, I think because it’s like 2nd nature to me. Quite a bit of my friends are like how come I’m not mixing with Pro Tools and I’m like it does everything Pro Tools can do and more.

I also played-grammed a lot more drum parts on this album using my Alesis Control Pad with both hi-hat and kick pedals. I have great virtual drum kits such as Addictive Drums, BFD, EZ-Drummer among others. My e-drumming has really improved over the years and you’ll hear more than quite a bit of that on the album because I didn’t want to heavily rely on sampled drums, plus I get to give the album my personal feel in the beats.

As usual I chopped up and layered lots of samples and played quite a bit of piano, bass and guitar on the album. Both my Les Paul and Strat served me well on the album and at a certain point I activated my Mr. Soultronica alter ego who gave the album a few very cool synth textures here and there. Nothing too heavy, just enough to give the music that extra edge.

As far as mixing the album goes, I took a subtractive EQ approach on some songs and others I boosted frequencies. I went with what made the most sense for each song. I think one of the biggest problems in hip hop music is everyone is so focused on loudness that no one cares about dynamics anymore. My mastering engineer Barry Corliss was personally recommended to me by Jake One and Vitamin D and I have discussions about this with Barry all the time in regards to my mixes.

When I take a record to Barry he listens to my mix and then does his magic but he’ll always point out things to me about that particular song that he might like, for instance I tuck my bass under my kicks rather than place them over. The reason I do that is because I know when Barry brings my low end frequencies up they will wrap around the kick rather than overpower them.

I also mix my synths lower than most producers do currently. I’m not a fan super loud synths, they sound obnoxious and non-musical when you crank the volume up and that’s annoying to my ears, so I mix my synths to be more subdued and gel with my acoustic instruments and samples instead. Barry hears these things and knows where to seat them so I don’t lose that dynamic range.

We make a great team.

Prof. Pete MarriottVEE: you definitely have a unique approach when it comes to carving out your own piece in the hip hop pantheon. i guess one of the most obvious differences would be your approach to the artwork/photography attached to your releases in the last few years. it really does have a bit of a jarring effect considering that most fans are programmed to buy into a specific image associated with hip hop, depending on which niche or subgenre is being represented. but it speaks to your originality that you made the decisions to break away from ‘tradition’. i also understand there’s a music video or two in the works? have you worked in the audiovisual realm before or will these be your first forays into music videos? do you come up with the concept and then hire a director or have you done any directing yourself?

PETE: As far as the artwork go it’s basically a modern take on many of the covers within my personal vinyl collection. I own lots of jazz, funk, and soul records from the 60’s and 70’s from various artists and labels and the records that stick out the most to me are the ones where the artists are not on the cover.

I personally don’t crave fame so I’m kind of indifferent to the idea of putting my face on the cover. I only posed for one cover that was A Shot Across The Bow EP and the only reason I agreed to do that was because the people who was managing me at the time insisted that it was necessary. They were wrong…

Another cover where you can sorta see me on is for the single “The Champ Is Here”, that was a shot  Mrs. Marriott took while I was performing a live Dilla tribute DJ set at a spot downtown Seattle.  I had Melissa Ventura a graphic designer I often work with dirty it up to hide my face a bit. I don’t know, something about seeing my face on the cover just don’t feel comfortable to me.

As for the music videos I’m working with a talented director called J. Rockaz The Observer he recently done the Yancey Boys video for “Quicksand” featuring Common and Dezi Paige. I basically played him “100 Proof” to get his opinion on it and he told me he had ideas for a video so it pretty much began there.

I know he’s a creative artist in his own right and because of that, I’m putting my trust in his vision. I personally don’t like when the label’s A&R rep or an artist’s manager interferes with my records so I told him one basic thing: Surprise me.

Myself on the other hand is waiting for the weather to get warmer for me to reshoot a video I started working on last year. My ideas is pretty complex and it’s hard to be a filmmaker and record producer and there’s a certain level of planning and logistics involved, since I’m doing it completely by myself it will probably take me about a year to complete the video I have in mind.

The good thing is I have quite a bit of cool video gear such as a slider and a jib arm and a modest collection of lenses to work with and I live in the NW where there is more than enough beautiful locations to shoot. I promise It’s going to look awesome, but like with my album, it’s going to take time to get it right.

VEE: before we finish up, i wanna throw a question at you that i’ve asked all the players who contributed to your album, which is the following: considering the album’s bold title, what is your own personal definition or interpretation of “real hip hop“?

PETE: I was born and raised in Brooklyn, which is the true birthplace of Hip Hop music and culture. Unlike the great Bronx Tale that everyone’s been sold over and over again, it was actually Brooklyn sound systems led by DJs like Grandmaster Flowers, King Charles and crews like Nu Sounds and The Blue Guerrillas that created Hip Hop. And I mean absolutely no disrespect to the sacred trinity from the Bx, but they know the truth where it all began.

To me real hip hop is about love first and foremost. I love the true history of where I come from and the fact that I grew up in a culture that I personally witnessed go from the streets of New York City to around the globe.

I love the fact that my hands touched Technics SL1100’s as a 7 year old in Lord Garth’s Basement to SL1200’s in Professor Paul’s basement when I was 14 years old.

I love the memory of Howie Tee and Chubb Rock showing me how to use a Akai S900 sampler, and how I learned how to rhyme from cats like Elliott Ness, Speed, Sir Lord Professor P, Ernie D and Jazz.

I love that CR Toney, Frankie Bones and Spliff 51 inspired me to write graf, so to me real hip hop is love.

I’m a creative soul and I love that about myself and want to share that love with others through my work.

I guess #REALHIPHOP is love.

as an added bonus, Pete has given me the opportunity of putting together a mix of his work, starting from the late 80s n stretching til today. as if all those tasty treats above weren’t enough, here’s 80mins more.

tracklist:

01. CHOICE MC’s (PETE MARRIOTT & BIG CHOICE) – This is The B Side
02. PETE MARRIOTT – The Rebirth Of Mr. Soultronica
03. PETE MARRIOTT – The Kidnapping (feat. ROMANCE)
04. PETE MARRIOTT – Nice (feat. BENZ & JAZZ)
05. PETE MARRIOTT – I Can’t Stop (Thinking About Her)
06. ARI UP – KEEP IT (feat. PETE MARRIOTT aka PANDA)
07. PETE MARRIOTT – Let’s Make Some Noise 2.0 (feat. MR. MAN & DVS JACKSON ESQ.)
08. PETE MARRIOTT – A Shot Across The Bow
09. PETE MARRIOTT – Rap Demon (feat. DA’ LORD SUPREME)
10. PETE MARRIOTT – Old School, New School
11. PETE MARRIOTT – Wishing On A Star (feat. ROMANCE & LAVEDA DAVIS)
12. PETE MARRIOTT – The Illness
13. PETE MARRIOTT – 100 Proof (feat. KILLAH TRAKZ)
14. PETE MARRIOTT – Fly Girl
15. PETE MARRIOTT – Plant The Flag (feat. KILLAH TRAKZ)
16. PETE MARRIOTT – The Champ Is Here (feat. FULL TIME GRIND)
17. PETE MARRIOTT – Follow Me 2.0 (feat. DVS JACKSON ESQ.)
18. PETE MARRIOTT – Plant The Flag (Remix) (feat. KILLAH TRAKZ)
19. PETE MARRIOTT vs ERYKAH BADU – On & On 2012
20. PETE MARRIOTT – Inside My Love (feat. GLORIA RY’ANN)
21. US PLUS ONE – Murder Me (produced by PETE MARRIOTT)
22. CHOICE MC’s (PETE MARRIOTT & BIG CHOICE) – Let’s Make Some Noise.

V.

Vahé:LeisureCAST – 027. ///MACADOCIOUS///

MACADOCIOUS

Vahé:LeisureCAST – 027. ///MACADOCIOUS///

in an attempt to finally catch my own tail and restart this BLAUG somethin proper, here is a 3+hr mix of the finest unheralded, underrated and largely unheard G-FUNK classics i could find (released approx. 4 months ago). i spent many months sorting through hundreds of joints to arrive at these 47. plz enjoy in good health, and by that i mean smoke a fat one n float off to the sounds of the fonk.

tracklist:

01. domino – macadocious
02. kid fresh – hard wit da smoothness
03. asa – the other day
04. da fam – i like (feat. el debarge & amg)
05. peeps – why (prod. by battlecat)
06. lil’ gene (aka mr. sandman) – 1996
07. big jake – pimp til i die
08. dallah’ man (aka jimmy da gent) – hey you
09. mc quake – drop top caddy
10. boo – 12 in the mornin’
11. presidential playas – gotta be down
12. mr. x – playa’s life
13. double k.o. – trop a l’ouest
14. b.g. knocc out & gangsta dresta – compton hoe
15. dead end – my deeds is done (remix)
16. g pack – pass the dank
17. big fellas – we put it down
18. kock d. zell – reason
19. sk – real good
20. 3-2 – them against me
21. rev up musicc – live 4 die 4
22. fat daddy – not one could do me
23. flow click – rollin’
24. battlecat – swerve on
25. n sane – female gee (feat. le le)
26. 815 click – feel it
27. aelpeacha – mets de la funky
28. ceaser – thank god
29. the dove shack – smoke out (feat. montell jordan)
30. cleaveland city crooks – throw ya’ hands up
31. poppy – my day
32. gangsta boogie – block party
33. romey rome – bounce with me
34. city to city – suspect
35. mob affiliates – paper chase
36. pat chilla – hard on my grind
37. daddy-d – southside
38. pede – let me be
39. g double p – high
40. dee arthur – cognac sippa
41. that nigga winfree – it’s the juice (feat. milki, the mad wun)
42. hakim & j-mack – playalasticshitwedo
43. l. g. wise – responsibility
44. macadocious ent. – smoke with me
45. mad dog clique – heartless
46. 4 trey – ghetto situations
47. mw ghetto soldiers – smoke on.

V.

blogging’s a bitch, right?

dear Internets,

no i haven’t gone away or abandoned my lil e-home. just been cookin up a whole buncha stuff and haven’t had the chance to spread the good vibes through my own damn blog. its one part being too busy, one part extreme fucking laziness.

but that’s kinda the beauty of havin’ ur own thing, i’m only on my own deadlines and only i can disappoint myself if i get lazy. subsequently, only i can motivate myself to get it back n up n running again in some sort of semi-consistent way. alls i can say is, i’ve been crankin out some mixes lately, so look out for those.

and some more epic-style articles i been mulling over in my dark corner of the apartment (MAD mad-scientistesque imagery now that i think about). i’m currently entangled in writing a fucking treatise on maxwell that venerates both the artist and his 1998-released 2nd LP embrya. it’s been delayed a bit cos i wanna get it fucking RIGHT lol. there’s too much to say and it needs to make sense.

anyways, let’s talk soon.

V.

2-FOR-1 Nu Mixes For That Ass // THE HOUR’S GETTING LATE + L.I.A.S.Y.N.F (LOVE IS A SONG YOU NEVER FORGET)

i managed to squeeze a couple of new additions out into the LeisureCAST family (now almost 4.5 years deep) over the last 7 days, the first (#025) covering 2.5hrs of obscure 60s & 70s psychedelic blues rock to put you into some kinda hippyish trance. the 2nd (#026) delves into chill territory from whence my mixmastering and love of music was birthed, and includes a nice even mix of old faves and brand new bangers (but nothing really before the mid-90s). til i get the archives sorted and provide the tracked/separated versions (via mediafire), plz enjoy em as standalone mp3 files via SoundCloud below 🙂

COVER

Vahé:LeisureCAST – 025. THE HOUR’S GETTING LATE

trackleest:

01. morgen – love
02. pinnacle – astral traveller
03. octopus – restless night
04. bang chan – nhung dom mat hoa chau
05. the zig zag people – peel it off your face
06. bent wind – mistify
07. aum – you can’t hide
08. the things – i don’t believe
09. ashkan – one of us two
10. dog soldier – pillar to post
11. the open mind – i feel the same way too
12. may blitz – smoking the day away
13. jasper wrath – odyssey
14. saturnalia – and i have loved you
15. ultimate spinach – visions of your reality
16. strawberry alarm clock – curse of the witches
17. blue cheer – peace of mind
18. tea company – you keep me hangin on
19. them – square room
20. ash ra tempel – light look at your sun
21. krokodil – sunlight’s beautiful daughter
22. meic stevens – yorric
23. hurdy gurdy – peaceful open space
24. insect trust – special rider blues.

cover

Vahé:LeisureCAST – 026. L.I.A.S.Y.N.F (Love Is A Song You Never Forget)

trackleest:

01. cassius – interlude
02. eric roberson – still (dj kemit & ahmed sirour remix)
03. om’mas keith – slow motion
04. don-e – find you
05. brushing dead – everybody wants your pussy
06. dre-kay – longing for tomorrow
07. adriana evans – after the party
08. shafiq husayn & the dove society – twelve (feat. breezy lovejoy, j. mitchell, jimetta rose & mprvs)
09. laurnea – sun don’t rain
10. static major – playground
11. ambersunshower – serengeti plains
12. darryl reeves – she said
13. sweater beats – anxious
14. adrian younge presents the delfonics – lover’s melody
15. bilal – catch what i’m throwing (prod. by steve mckie & adam blackstone)
16. katriina – spared your kiss
17. i’ced – angel
18. tennille – yellow haze (feat. sir michael rocks)
19. king – in the meantime
20. rochelle jordan – shotgun
21. chris bowden – telescopic two
22. terrance downs – when we meet (prod. by chris brann).

V.

D’ANGELO + ?UESTLOVE // “Brothers In Arms” // Live @ Brooklyn Bowl // 04/03/2013

DnQuestoBrothersInArms

i know everyone’s still quite antsy in the pantsy bout D‘s upcoming return with that third untitled LP, but don’t pretend like you’re not enjoying the road LEADING to that album. i don’t wanna hear anymoar complaints bout this shit. i’ll even promise to not bitch n moan about it my damn self if yous don’t. yes? ok done deal. this recent duo-only gig @ Brooklyn Bowl should help with that promise, as it throws back to those beautiful chill b-side cuts from the Voodoo sessions, ones generally involving just D’ on keys and ?uesto on drums. they step it up a notch here though as D handles keys, bass and guitar solos, re-interpreting his own material and doin a gaggle of covers as well. much love to “soundbetter” for providing the full set in pretty decent quality. lap it up D-stans!

trackleest:

01. go back to the thing/let me have it all (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
02. cosmic slop (Funkadelic cover)
03. woman’s gotta have it (Bobby Womack cover)
04. the line
05. you caught me smilin’/africa talks to you /the asphalt jungle (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
06. tell me if you still care (The S.O.S. Band cover)
07. our love has died (Ohio Players cover)
08. the root
09. really love
10. alright
11. mother’s son (Curtis Mayfield cover)
12. new position (Prince cover)
13. africa
14. encore break
15. lady

V.

PETE MARRIOTT // Rap Demon (feat. DA’ LORD SUPREME)

RapDemon

Pete‘s comin back with a vengeance with some soon-to-be released material, possibly a double album: one side the new stuff, one the old. this joint from 1989, featuring Da’ Lord Supreme (one of a handful of emcees from Pete‘s original crew), might end up on the side labeled Demos & Masters, a collection of tracks from the late 80s/early 90s that Mr. Marriott has meticulously re-polished and essentially re-created. enjoy some quality hip hop & wait with me in anticipation for the full length release.

V.

THIS TERRIFYING INTERVIEW!

TTO8

sometime last year i had the accidental pleasure of flicking onto Melb’s local community TV station, Ch.31, and being transfixed by the controlled madness of a 6-episode series entitled This Terrifying Ordeal!. after subsequently tracking down the show’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and eventually watching all 6eps, the fanboy switch kicked in. everything about the self-described “zero budget” show was clicking with me somewhere deep in the loins, and i HAD to e-friend the minds who created it. after watching the series a few times over, i felt the need to help get the word out, & what better way then to pick the brain of one of the co-creators, Ms. Emmy Gates (Matthew “Rhombus” Macaulay being the other).

V: howdy doo! how are you doing this fine morn/day/eve/morrow? can you please introduce yourself to the folks at home?

E: hi there! my name’s Emmy (Emily) Gates. i’m one of the co-creating, Rhombus-wrangling, Norwegian-slaying members of the T.T.O! ensemble.

TTO3

V: before we delve into the swirling miasma of turgid thoughts and misanthropic adventures that is This Terrifying Ordeal!, give us a bit of a background on your regular non-camera life thus far?

E: oh boy. i was born mousey-haired, freckled and shy. my greatest achievement in society’s standards is that i have done 3.8 years of a four year teaching course. then abandoned it. now i sell tickets, own ferrets, and am happy. i think that’s it.

TTO022

V: as you may already know, i just happened to stumble onto your show while randomly perusing Channel 31 one night, and was thrown right into the middle of Episode 2, and was permanently stuck there until the credits rolled. i know i was one of the first fanboys to emerge, and was wondering what the response has been like from the general unsuspecting populace? was getting the word out about the show hard or did the online presence on Facebook and YouTube help?

E: i think it’s STILL stuck in a friends/friends-of-friends ripple. we got a few fan-persons, but i don’t think we’ve really found our niche yet. it’s hard to pitch a show to people when you can’t even describe it to them.

 

V: the show touts itself as being “zero budget”, yet you were all able to create entire worlds with distinct characters and present it in a way that seemed you WEREN’T zero budget. what is it like creating a zero budget project, where do you source all the materials & locations and was the lack of budget ultimately a blessing (to spur creative solutions) or a hindrance?

E: i loved it. as the Art Director, an unemployed student living off roughly $20 a week, everything was sourced from op shops and childhood dress-up boxes. and my braaaaaaiiiiiin. making essentially all of the props myself (though Luke and Lauren were quite a help when needed) was traumatic. we had deadlines, we had no money, and everything was made in one-go. if something didn’t work i had to make it work. God Bless Super-Glue.

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V: i understand the individual stories were all written by different authors, with different directors. did the Rhombus/Emmy co-creatorship oversee these or was it left up to the writer/director? what individual responsibilities did the extended cast and crew have?

E: i’d like to take credit as the evil dictator of the project. i think we all collaborate well as a team. if we didn’t we’d all have killed each other years ago. we assigned certain roles to everyone for each shoot, but due to varying schedules and the sporadic nature of our shoots, we often just had to feel our way through it.

 

V: what was the process of actually getting the show on the air like? how did you approach Ch31: did you make the show first? or sell the pitch first and then make it? or did you show them a demo reel/trailer first?

E: i think we… half made the first episode first? it’s hard to remember. the stories all spawned from little ideas Rhombus and i had. we wanted to make comic books, films, adventure games… then just thought – why not combine it all and make a ridiculous anthology show!

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V: being an avid fan of any and all things considered “stoner” viewing, i really cottoned on to the flow and vibe of T.T.O!. though i don’t necessarily think you were ALL on something to even conceive of such entertaining and creative stuff, the show does lean toward the abstract more often than not. what were your main inspirations, were there any homages we might have missed and how did you guys come up with and develop all the original characters?

E: personally, i’m as sober as can be. i just have the mind of an 8 year-old. and hence my main inspirations were shows and things i loved around that age. we were initially going for a ‘kids playing in their backyard’ kind of vibe for the show. which worked it’s way into cardboard/paper costumes and family dress ups. and filming in Matt‘s backyard! the Bacchus Marsh area was a huge inspiration for us. the range and beauty of the surrounding areas was magnificent.

 

V: is an episode fully scripted or are there a lot of on-the-spot additions and subtractions?

E: well… they start fully scripted! i’d say they wind up about 75-90% accurate in relation to the script. depends how much Luke is involved. that’s not a rip. he’s a great improviser. we did have to chop and change a bit though, depending on timing and improv.

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V: okay, we’ve come to what i’m calling the stream-of-consciousness-happy-funtime-thing-with-the-thing-rapid-fire-questions. they are a result of me re-watching all 6eps in one sitting and taking various notes:

who came up with the funkyass intro sequence?

hahaha! that was made in five minutes. after about 20 hours total of messing around to make our intro sequence work, we’d hit our submission deadline. so we took a screen capture from the original pilot, added a kaleidoscope effect and i added a nifty font. the theme tune is what really makes it work in my opinion, which is entirely Rhombus‘ genius.

who is Eduard, and why is he obsessed with Pavlovia?

i have no idea.
actually, Pavlovia was a ‘we don’t want to be able to be pinned down as racist so let’s invent a country.’ originally it was an erratic homage to Pavlov, then people kept thinking of Pavlova, so we ran with it. both reference salivation anyhow.
Rhombus originally made T.T.O! as YouTube shorts, years ago, edited from old movies in the public domain… and presented by Eduard

 

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if it was in your power, would you like to see the world switch to a Bag Of Rats-based economy and why?

God yes. maniacal laugh economy would suit me better, though. i’d be the richest gal in the world.

i found the music to be highly complimentary to the entire series, who handled the tunes/soundtrack/score?

RhombusRhombusRhombus. there were other people involved, and although their involvement was amazing, i’m giving all credit to Rhombus. because he magicked up whatever we needed, and it was always brilliant.

-what are the pros and cons of being a Slinky Pompadour?

pros: slinky arms. ridiculous voice. adorable offspring.
cons: unflattering angles of my bottom available to the public. being unable to see/breathe.

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-socks vs shoes: which is the superior race?

shoes gots the funk.

-approximately how long did TBWFF (“The Boy Who Found Fear”) wander for until happening upon an advanced superior race of dog, presumably some time in the future?

i would say approximately 37,000 years. but it’s debatable.

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-would you guys ever consider releasing a soundtrack? the song that the Ravenous Flesh-eating WereBear boogies to is quite fonky.

Dunk‘s to thank for that one! i’d love to. Rhombus has this crazy idea of us starting a family band and playing the songs live. i’d love to make music videos for some of the tunes.

-aliens vs a family of angry dolphins. who wins?

depends what kind of alien. ask Zombie Douglas Adams.

-if PumpkinLove could retrieve his legs from the garage with ease, what would be the first thing he did?

i really like to hope he’d shave.

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-what makes a Hobo Tree grow?

wistfulness. the urine of homeless dogs.

-speak briefly on the hidden dangers of Apple Schnappes?

it turns you into a pompous git. but that’s barely hidden.

 

-“The Desert Ballroom” is one of my personal favs (up there with “Pumpkin Patch Epiphany”). the story manages to maintain plot and narrative within the disjointed and twisted nature of the looped story (which cleverly involves our ‘host’, Eduard (not really a question, im now realising)).

you liked P.P.E? masochist.

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historically speaking, whenever a tv show did a musical episode, it would always require extra work. was there more prep time and rehearsals involved for “Pumpkin Patch Epiphany”?

OH GOD IT WAS HORRIBLE DON’T MAKE ME THINK ABOUT IT. we had to cut out our favourite character! i played a stoner platypus! he was amazing. and completely superfluous. we also got rained out about… 3 times? dang Melbourne weather. no rehearsals, though. never any rehearsals.

 

explain the origins of The Messenger Man?

flying pie man. don’t question it.
okay. am i going to do this? Naked Earl Maxal is an anagram of  Alexander Kalma, one of our crew. based on a mad lib i did regarding Rhombus and i about 3 years ago.
that’s right Alex. you’re the flying pie. that explained nothing, sorry. the whole pie part? i don’t even know.

how much does a coffee cost in The Escherland?

$3.70

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what is the Winding Deathowl’s dayjob?

door-to-door trumpet sales.

the crowning glory in the series is without a doubt “Dios del Rabano” (aka The Radish God), which also features one of the series’ truly terrifying moments courtesy of Emmy and her machete. where did you guys shoot the majority of this episode, and what was the length of time everyone spent, on average, creating each episode (from beginning to end?).

we spent approximately 1 weekend filming per 15 minutes of final footage. that’s it. no rehearsals. that’ s not including the two years Rhombus and i spent discussing everything. 24/7. hoo boy.

 

V: and i guess finally, how can the good people of Earth get in touch with you guys for: praise, criticism, possible future work, sexual propositions, Hobo Pie recipes etc.?

E: come visit me! and our ferrets! or visit us virtually via this@terrifyingordeal.com / facebook.com/terrifyingordeal.

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V: thank you so much for your time and for sharing your creative brains with the rest of us. hope to see more of your work(s) in future. any final thoughts you’d like to add before i disappear under water into the bathtub, Eduard-style?

E: i don’t actually use my real voice once in the entire series. and… i’m not as disgusting in real life. i promise. thanks for watching us faff about. and if you didn’t watch… thanks for nothing.

LOVE,

EMMY.

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V.

MISTA VEE PRESENTS…THE D’ANGELO SUITE: PT. I + II

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in anticipation of the new D’Angelo record that is reportedly around 90% complete (with a likely 2013 release), i fucked around and compiled the 2nd in the”Suite” series of mixes that began with THE BABYGIRL SUITE. it’s a 2-part mix, the first displayng the finest bootleg remixes i could find, and the second showing off the coolest D’ covers i’ve ever heard. enjoyuh.

MISTA VEE PRESENTS…THE D’ANGELO SUITE

PT. I

 

tracklist:

01. BROWN SUGAR (KRISWONTWO Remix)
02. LEFT & RIGHT (SAM CHAMP Remix) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
03. DEVIL’S PIE (NULOVE Remix)
04. BROWN SUGAR (HEARTBREAK SOUNDSYSTEM Rework)
05. LEFT & RIGHT (MFP’S JX-3P Remix) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
06. DEVIL’S PIE (SOJO Analog Remix)
07. INTERLUDE (By BOOMBAPTIST)
08. BROWN SUGAR (AL FINGERS 83 Remix)
09. LEFT & RIGHT (RED ASTAIRE Rework) (aka FOLLOW ME) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
10. DEVIL’S PIE (MUNDAS MUNDASINSKI Remix)
11. BROWN SUGAR (DESTREMENTS Remix)
12. LEFT & RIGHT (RUFF SNIPPITS Remix) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
13. BE HERE (JBIRD Remix) (with RAPHAEL SAADIQ)
14. BROWN SUGAR (DREAM MERCHANT Remix)
15. DEVIL’S PIE (PAUL NICE’s Dirty Little Bossa Blend)
16. LEFT & RIGHT (FREDDIE JOACHIM Remix) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
17. BROWN SUGAR (MENDOZA’S Remix)
18. ONE MO’GIN (BOOTY SWEAT Remix)
19. BROWN SUGAR (CHRIS BLAKK Remix)
20. LEFT & RIGHT (ISHFAQ Rework) (feat. REDMAN & METHOD MAN)
21. I BELIEVE (SIMBAD Remix) (with Q-TIP)

PT. II

 

tracklist:

01. L33 – INTRO
02. SYDNEY SOUL COLLECTIVE – BROWN SUGAR
03. (RAS) RIDERS AGAINST THE STORM – DANGER ZONE
04. MARK LEVANG & BERN – SPANISH JOINT
05. MASSIMO BORSELLINI (MB) – CHICKEN GREASE (Live Session)
06. CHIEF – SO FAR TO GO (feat. MOKA ONLY)
07. MARA HRUBY – SEND IT ON
08. J BARBER – ONE MO’GIN
09. MATT PARAD – THE ROOT
10. CON BRIO – SHIT, DAMN, MOTHERFUCKER
11. EBRAHIM – I FOUND MY SMILE AGAIN
12. PAUL RAJ – UNTITLED
13. STAS MARKEVICH – FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE
14. SAMANTHA RISE – ONE MO’GIN
15. UNCLE DADDY – BROWN SUGAR
16. CJTUNE – LADY
17. MAX SWAN – ONE MO’GIN
18. RUDY CURRENCE – NOTHING EVEN MATTERS (feat. MEELAH of 702)
19. NELSON VALENTINE – AFRICA

V.

GENERIC 80s BAD GUY // GNRC80sBDGY VOL. 2

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so i managed to sneak in one moar mix before 2012 was all said n done, and it happens to be one of the sickest ones yet. i dont normally gas myself up like this unless i truly impress myself, so yknow, not shit-talkin here. VOL. 1 has racked up quite a bit of positive feedback and stats since i released it over 6 months ago. and now i bring yous VOL. 2. whilst 1 was mostly an upbeat affair, i chose to take a more meditative approach this time around, starting off slow, increasing in tempo, and then finishing slow as well. somehow it all works as a whole. please listen/dwnld/share the good vibes if you feel it to be worthy.

MERRY NEW OONTZ YEAR!

 

(tracklist is available only on the SoundCloud page).

V.