Friday, June 30, 2017

E. Grizzly Preps Beat-maker Bedrock #3 Ahead of 6/30 The Pharmacy Show with THE SH*THAWKS, FELIPE PUPO, MANIKINETER, PLANET 88 & KING ANI MAL (Producer-selected Playlist)

"When you're a DIY musician/producer, you do everything; you write the songs, you record, you compose, produce, and mix. I look at production as a finished product, not just a beat to sell to an emcee. And really, I don't sell beats. I produce my own albums and EP's. It's so time-consuming that it's hard to do it for someone else, unless I'm a huge fan. But when I first started making music back when I was a wee-lad, I had these cliché ideas of how an album is produced. I was an emcee, so I needed beats and I started sampling. It was pretty simple stuff. Mostly, a couple samples chopped and Copied together as a few loops on Reason. Then, I would put a drum beat on it; either Reason drum sounds or drums I sampled, chopped, and Copied together. There's certain albums that helped change my whole perspective about production, though. These aren't my favorite albums, but they definitely influenced how I make music."

I. Kanye West - The College Dropout (2004)

"There [were] a few things about this album that changed my perspective about production. The first thing was the whole issue with Lauryn Hill and the song "All Falls Down." I didn't understand why he had to re-create the whole song without the Lauryn Hill sample and a new girl singing the hook. It sounds like the same song! But I realized when I tried to release my samples, the labels and distribution didn't want to touch it. They said I either had to buy the samples or re-create the exact same thing. It was the last time I ever worked with samples. The other thing I didn't know was even though Kanye West produced the album, all the cool piano riffs were done by John Legend. It's when I realized that most producers have production teams. There [are] a few producers that are amazing and can do everything themselves, but most producers have help. So, I found a bunch of musicians and we started making music together. We'll jam a few things until we found something we liked."

II. The White Stripes - Elephant (2003)

"This album taught me a valuable lesson about recording and mixing. I always thought you had to record with the best equipment available in a big studio and try to get the cleanest sound. When I read Jack White recorded Elephant with no computers on an 8-track, it blew my mind. He made a Platinum[-selling] album in 2003 on an 8-track. Sh*t's unbelievable. And I love the way it sounded. Such a dirty, analog sound. I never recorded in an expensive studio again and until this day, I try to re-create the dirty mixes and recordings that Jack White does; haven't completely figured it out yet, but it's a work-in-progress."

III. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (2007)

"I always thought you had to have complicated melodies with production: 6-7-note riffs. Many people would tell me all you need is 3 or 4 notes. Then, a few albums made me get into minimalism. One Day As a Lion and Queens of The Stone Age did simple riffs that were catchy. I was into it. Then, when I really studied James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, he does this thing where he plays 1 or 2 notes and puts layers and layers of similar things on top. It's simple, yet complicated. And it's all up-tempo. This album really made me move in a minimalist/up-tempo direction."

IV. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (2010)

"This album changed the way I looked at production and song-writing. The Suburbs is a concept album with a common theme. It influenced me to make entire projects with a similar theme, which forces me to think in terms of a body of work, rather than one song [at a time]. This affects everything: the production, song-writing, mixing, recording, art, etc. but I really can't make an album any other way now and it's mostly because of The Suburbs. There [have] been concept albums before this, but this is the one that influence me the most."

"So, I evolved from sampling and Hip-Hop beats to what I'm doing now, which is the band Felipe Pupo. We are a "Synth-Calypso-Punk band," which is a mix of Calypso, Punk, Reggaeton, Hip-Hop, Hardcore, and Metal. All the production so far, has been done by me and my homie, Scott Labenski. I tell him the direction I want to go. He comes up with these crazy ideas. Usually, genius and all over the place. I'll organize these ideas, subtract some things, add synth, move things around, write, and produce a song out of it. Then, we both record and mix it. His biggest influence is Tom Morello and Rage Against The Machine. Zack de la Rocha was also a big influence on me, but as far as production, these albums I mentioned helped me get to this point."

- Erik "E." Grizzly (Felipe Pupo)

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