Skip to main content

All-around Breakdown: Un-G The Magnificent - "A Magnificent Mix" (Penned By: Gary Gabisan)

Un-G Opening for Sulu & Excelsior, 11/15/19 (CREDIT: Jean-Baptiste Sankara)
Music has always been my muse and my place of refuge. Just like in high school, The Bad Brains & Public Enemy brought me through some pretty tough times, this Magnificent Mix allowed me to express and find some creative release through our present-day sh*t-show. This music came about when I was living in Southern California. I would, occasionally, fly back East to play shows with my bandmates (P.I.C.) to satisfy that itch to create and perform, but other than that, I didn't really have anything like P.I.C. going on in Cali.

Plus, I started working as a Digital Communications Specialist for a non-profit health care provider that was a talking point in the 2016 Election. I loved the work, but I was looking and dealing with a lot of ill and hateful sh*t all day and every day. I needed to release the pressure, so after work, I would take out the pen and pad and The 16 Pads (AKA my Akai MPD24 controller hooked up to Ableton on my laptop) and see where it would take me. Also, at the time, California passed Prop 64, which allowed me easy access to edibles, a whole lotta edibles.

- Gary "Un-G" Gabisan (@un_g)

01. "Deja Vu" (0:00)
Beats & Vox - Un-G

"'Deja Vu" was an experiment to see what if you collided J Dilla=style production with a piercing 808 beat. I used Dionne Warwick’s "Deja Vu" and layered it with some sub-bass, keys, and percussion. There was this one time I believed I smoked a blunt laced with something and I felt like everything I was experiencing happened before. The track felt like it spoke to the moment, so I went with it."

02. "Everything Is" (3:07)
Beats, Vox & Scratches - Un-G
Electric Bass - Joel B.

"'Everything Is" was inspired by the Black Orpheus Soundtrack. I'm a big fan of the film, Black Orpheus. The music and movement throughout the film is just beautiful. The soundtrack and related artists get a lot of listens when I'm just vibing out. I took elements from Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Estrada Blanca" and put them up against the break from "Theme from The Planets" by Dexter Wansel. Joel ["B." Bernardo] from P.I.C. laid down some live electric bass to add some drive to the track. The lyrics are a stream-of-consciousness of some random sh*t that was going through my head at the time."

03. "Improvise Harmonize" (5:58)
Beats & Vox - Un-G
Scratches - RonSolo

"'Improvise Harmonize" is built off of Luiz Bonfa's "Manha de Carnaval," a song from the Black Orpheus Soundtrack. I loaded up bits and pieces of the song into 16 Pads and recorded myself just vibing out on my MIDI controller. I took the best moments and put them together to make the song. Joel from P.I.C. heard me perform the song when I opened up for Sulu & Excelsior and he said, "Yo, let me play some bass to that track!" Joel added an upright bass part and DJ RonSolo from [Virginia] Beach did all the scratch work. The lyrics are about my experience traveling to Cebu, Philippines to attend my mother's wake and funeral."

04. "Hold The Line" (8:56)
Beats & Vox - Un-G

"'Hold The Line" is a re-working of brother, Joe Bataan's "Young, Gifted & Brown." I like to help out in setting up community events, especially, for filmmakers and musicians from the Filipino community. My wife and I had a hand in coordinating an event with an arts center in [San Francisco]. One of the folks in charge at the arts center felt like Filipinos weren't "creative enough" for his organization to get behind, but this person did like going to the Philippines to visit his "girlfriends." This song is pretty much a "F**k You" to that dude."

05. "Mifune" (11:31)
Beats & Vox - Un-G

"For "Mifune," I wanted to see what it would sound like rapping over the opening credits to one of my favorite Akira Kurosawa films, The Seven Samurai. Like "Improvise Harmonize," I loaded up parts from the soundtrack into 16 Pads and recorded myself messing around to a breakbeat. I spliced together the moments that turned me on and layered in some keyboards to fill out the frequencies. For the lyrics, I let the beat guide the pen and the two verses are what came out."

Eric T.S. Gonzales AKA RICE "with" Drake(!!?)

06. "Magnificent Style" (13:32)
Beats & Vox - Un-G
Keys - RICE

"'Magnificent Style" is built from a 45 I got in Manila. Whenever I go to Manila, Diego Mapa (from Tarsius, Pedicab) is kind enough to take me to his spots. At a dig, he told me to get this 45, it was "Everlasting Thrill" by The South Side Movement. "Magnificent Style" is "Everlasting Thrill" chopped and layered in many different ways with parts from Nina Simone & Herbie Hancock songs. My P.I.C. bandmate, RICE, played keys over the track. Lyrically, the verses were inspired by a lot of ill sh*t happening on one day at work, plus, some extra sativa chocolate."

07. "Down with The Sound" (16:29)
Beats, Vox & Scratches - Un-G

"'Down with The Sound" is built from one of my favorite go-to karaoke songs, "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters, re-worked and freaked through 16 Pads and backed with some Moog keyboards. I used to DJ with MDA (from One Block Radius, Truck & Trowel Hamburgers) at The Far Bar in Little Tokyo in Downtown LA. We would spin a random mix of everything from vinyl or off of Serato. One night, a crowd came that wasn't feeling anything we were doing. I knew they were just waiting to hear the hits, but we always stuck to our guns and did our thing. My DJ philosophy is that one should listen to the DJ to discover something and let the DJ introduce you to some sh*t you never heard before. That philosophy is the thought behind the verses and chorus in the song."

00. "A Magnificent Mix" (20:00)
Video By: Un-G The Magnificent

"The visuals are from a video I shot while riding Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner going from San Diego to LA. I wanted visuals to go along with the music, but not over take the listening experience. The seven songs together ended up being 20 minutes and the entire shot uncut ended up being 20 minutes... so, BAM! The Magnificent Mix was born."


Popular posts from this blog

Written Words: A Conversation with HAMMERED HULLS' Frontman Alec MacKaye & Guitarist Mark Cisneros (The Witzard Interview)

HAMMERED HULLS at Dischord House / CREDIT: Jim Saah

Not only will Alec MacKaye forever be immortalized as the iconic "cover model" for multiple 7+12-inch releases for his older brother, Ian's bands, Minor Threat & The Teen Idles, he has, also, been in countless Punk/HarDCore bands of his own: Untouchables, (The) Faith, Ignition, The Warmers, and Bells Of.. MacKaye has not been part of a band, let alone any musical project, for 20+ years, following the demise of The Warmers with Amy Farina & Juan Carrera in 1997. After an extended self-imposed musical sabbatical, Alec MacKaye has finally returned with a new band. HAMMERED HULLS, featuring an array of Punk/HarDCore mainstays: Mark Cisneros, Mary Timony & Chris Wilson. Together, Cisneros, Timony & Wilson have played with Acquaintances, American Hearts, Autoclave, Chain & The Gang, Deathfix, Des Demonas, EX HEX, The Firebird Suite, Green 4, Helium, Hound, KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS, Led Byrd, TH…

With The Quickness #1: Salad Days Director & Writer Scott Crawford Compiles DC Punk Playlist Spanning 1980's-2019 (Exclusive Spotify Playlist)

CREDIT: Dale Stewart

With The Quickness will, hopefully, be a new column here at The Witzard (shout-out to John Bachman for the column name!) to feature Punk/Hardcore playlists to be curated by people from both in and around the genres. For this inaugural installment, we've asked film-maker, music journalist, musician, and graphic designer Scott Crawford to curate a DC Punk playlist. Oddly enough, I first heard about Crawford via his @saladdazed Instagram & Twitter pages, which largely feature Punk/Hardcore memes, along with rare archival photographs. As a teenager living in the DC suburbs, Scott Crawford started a fanzine called Metrozine, who, in 1985, released a 7-inch compilation called Alive & Kicking with WGNS Recordings. It was recorded at Don Zientara's infamous Inner Ear Studios. It featured contributions from United Mutation, Gray Matter, Beefeater, Mission Impossible—featuring a 16-year-old Dave "G." Grohl on drums—Cereal Killer, and Marginal Man. S…

Dj Cold Cut & DJ Dragon Smasher Mash-up Run The Jewels & Run-D.M.C. Classics On Run The DMC; Plus New RTJ4 Singles (Pig Food Records)

Honestly, at this point in time, Run The Jewels (RTJ) should require absolutely no introduction... but, just to be safe, here's a brief/obligatory introduction: RTJ consists of rapper/producer and Definitive "Def" Jux co-founder El-P and emcee and OutKast affiliate Killer Mike. Legend has it, El & Mike first met on the set of Mr. Muthaf**kin' eXquire's "The Last Huzzah" (Remix) music video shoot. Soon after, [adult swim] Senior Vice President/Creative Director Jason DeMarco—then, at Williams Street Records—connected Killer Mike with El-P, who would produce his phenomenal 2012 album, R.A.P. Music. Mike, additionally, appeared alongside El on his own 2012 Fat Possum Records album, Cancer 4 Cure, on stand-out track, "Tougher Colder Killer." R.A.P. Music & Cancer 4 Cure were released weeks apart, so fast friends Killer Mike & El-P decided to tour together behind their then-new albums. After the widespread success of said tour, El-P &a…