Looking at this site, one might think I was the laziest dude in music, but without making a whole bunch of excuses, I’d like to keep everyone abreast of what I’ve been up to the last few months. Just as I was finishing ‘Morgan’, the studio where I mixed and recorded for 10 years closed abruptly. Just as I was building up the momentum, it was suddenly curtailed by gentrification.
After a few months in limbo, I secured a new space within a short walk of the old one. We spent a month gutting, sound-proofing, flooring, upholstering, wiring, and painting. Finally we have a new work-space, and it is in many ways, better than the old one. It certainly is nicer on the eyes.
Since the renovation, my friend Zack Martin and I have been working non-stop on a new project that really dwarfs anything that has come before it. Things are really starting to come together, so hopefully soon I’ll have a preview of the new work. Just wanted to let the world know, you are not forsaken.
All my lovely people in Portland… I’ll be out there for 4 nights, every single one in a different stylee:
Sat 1st: Scenario @ Produce Row Cafe (90’s Rap- All Vinyl)
Tues 4th: Supper Set Produce Row Cafe (60’s Garage and Psych – All Vinyl)
Thurs 6th: Almost There Lightbar (New Electronic, Soul, and Dance)
Friday 7th: First Friday Super Jam Goodfoot Pub & Lounge (Anything goes, but expect a packed dance floor)
See you there!!
This site has been neglected for a while now, but it’s only right that I return on this occasion–The release of my first solo LP, “Morgan.”
A couple years ago I connected with Thes One from People Under the Stairs about his interest in my Galactic mix series. He asked if I would be interested in joining a small co-op of artists he was starting, to counter the changes in the music industry. The opportunity was very welcomed and really reinvigorating. I had always planned on releasing my own album at some point, but had never really thought about the direction I wanted to take. As always, I just kept making music, but now with the idea in the back of my mind that each song should fit as part of a whole. I needed a “sound,” and making an album using nothing but samples was not it.
I had a small arsenal of musical instruments I tinkered with here and there, but they pretty much collected dust when it came to releasing stuff and merely served to be used for making sounds. One day I picked up a guitar and started playing along to a sample I had looped up in Pro-tools. When I was done, I muted the loop and was left with a fairly competent sounding guitar track. Then, I fired up the Fender Rhodes and played along with the guitar. I had no idea, but I was actually perfectly capable of writing my own stuff without the use of an MPC. I just needed to step up my fidelity to fare the sounds on those old records. I spent some money on amps, mics, pre-amps, and outboard effects, and went to town.
My friend Jeremy Page had a studio where I would mix the tracks when I was done at home. He was about 20 minutes away by foot, and I traversed that path over and over for years. As the record came together, and ran closer and closer to fruition, I began to realize what an integral part the walk had played in the process. The repetition and minute changes in routine blended with the music in my headphones as I reviewed it in transit, walking the route down one main corridor. That street was Morgan Ave.
After 20 years of DJing, 3 EPs, and countless mixes, I’ve finally settled into a comfortable place with the music I call my own. I no longer have any doubt in my legitimacy as a musician, and I intend to stay on this path and improve daily. This record is a metamorphosis and the transition to that path.
Doc Delay is my favorite kind of DJ—one who possesses deep knowledge of several styles and excels at spinning all of them. The good doctor also has the ability to make unlikely musical elements mesh incredibly well, as he proves on his Eastern Block Party mix, on which he drops rap a cappellas over slamming Eastern European funk and rock tracks. Besides his hiphop credentials—producing for Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and opening for Large Professor—Doc has extraordinary psych-rock, world-music, and prog gnosis. This is looking like one of funk/soul monthly DUG’s best bookings in its storied history. DAVE SEGAL
Back in April, I finished, and released the third installment in my Galactic Music series of mixes on PL70.net. An artist cooperative started and run by the bull, Thes. The boost in web-presence brought the mix to a new group of people who weren’t familiar with the older two. Probably a little weirder than what they expected, but hopefully something that will encourage them to expand their boundaries of what’s hip hop.
The first couple mixes met with great fanfare, so I felt I needed to really make this one a step up in all directions. I spent a year meticulously amassing source material and slowly pieced the mix together using pro-tools. Working in key, with full fidelity intact was truly the most important concern in these arrangements. Too many mixes I’ve heard lately, my own included, have a rushed feel and transitions based solely in percussion. I wanted the finished product to sound like each element could not be separated from the family of music to which it was grouped. Every song should benefit from the one before it, after it, and over it. The genre of the songs need not matter–simply their sounds together.
It took me over a year of toil and restraint. Working all night sometimes only to completely remove the whole section the following day. I don’t know if it was exhaustion, or actual completion but eventually I called it quits and was left with this:
You can download a 320kpbs version of the mix for free HERE
In the next couple weeks I plan to upload some of the source tracks and “Loosie” blends from the mix. stay tuned…
For people who didn’t know MCA personally, sharing private Beastie Boy memories is their way of mourning a seminal influence on their childhood.
I wanted to wait a few days before posting anything and let things kind of settle in. When License to Ill came out I was 9. There was a 16 year old girl named Veronica who live upstairs in my apartment building, and she would look after my sister and I frequently. One night she brought down this record with a plane crash on the cover and played it loud in my living room. I was amazed at the art on the gatefold. Veronica explained to me that it was a cigarette and that pretty much blew my mind. I remember hearing something that I hadn’t really heard before. I remember “Hard Times” and The Fat Boys, but this was something different. I asked my grandmother to buy me the album for Christmas.
The following Halloween, after playing the record incessantly for almost a year, my friends Micah and Jamie joined me in dressing as 10 year old versions of the trio. We actually rhymed along with Paul Revere for Jamie’s parents. I got the tape of Paul’s Boutique when it came out, but I don’t think my ears were ready for what was on that record. It wasn’t until college that I REALLY rediscovered it.
AK and I have spent the past couple days going backwards through the discography. Some of which, I had barely scratched. Last night we drove home from Philly and listened to License to Ill in the car. I haven’t had that much fun on a road trip in a long time. I wonder how many people just like us, are driving around, rhyming along with MCA. That’s the best tribute I can imagine.
As a humble homage, Tom has put together this mix tha is a journey through some of the great sources, originals, and remixes that are some of our generation’s only true classics.
I’ll be opening and closing starting at 11pm
Sat, April 14, 2012
This event is 21 and over
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
I’ve been making this Rare Rap mix Series Since 2003, and with the web-only release of the 4th edition, I thought it might be blog worthy to share the entire series and provide some history behind the projects. Not every track in this series is great, but there’s something that I found unique enough about every song to include them. The first volume is definitely the most dated sounding and I cringe at the sound of some of my cuts, but it’s interesting to follow the trajectory through the years. I used an alias given to me by this dude Hermitcrab – Tom Thumz. The CDs sold around town and people gave me some great feedback. A few promo copies came in actual supermarket meat trays. The second was part of a double CD package that went with me on a 2 month tour of Europe so most copies ended up over there. I kept catching more and more of these records that I never knew existed, and rediscovered things I had buried for years. The outro on II is my favorite. We recorded this guy Mel in Union Square and he claimed to have been MC Shan’s baby sitter. Volume 3 was the most widely distributed. 1000 were pressed and Traffic had it in stores everywhere. As more and more discoveries fell in my lap, I couldn’t help but try to amass enough for another mix. Volume 4 was recorded one weekend in March 2009, and by the time it was done, there was no drive or energy to try and package and market another hard copy.
Last week, my friend Raj over at Soulstrut posted the fourth mix on the site’s front page and helped breathe some life into the project. I thought I would use the opportunity to share the entire series. So, here are the first 3 mixes