Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hipgnosis: Interview With Underground Production Wizard

I had an opportunity to interview one of the up and coming producers in the Hip Hop underworld. Because teleportation hasn't been released out on the public market as of yet we were forced to conduct our interview via email. I have not changed a thing as I wanted to keep the interview in its original state so don't mind all the grammatical errors for all you anal mf's.

Where are you from and how did that influence you in creating your voice as a producer?

i'm originally from Illinois pretty much right in the middle of everything, but moved around a lot as a kid throughout the midwest. i got started with music early on and got into record-collecting even earlier. (my first record was a mickey mouse disco record! hahaha) Hip Hop was my early love, back in the 80's. i was pretty good at breakdancing when i was 8! I played trumpet from my preteen years until i was about 19-20, when I started getting into actually spinning records, then making original electronic music in '98-'99. dead/phish show attendance was from about 93 until 98, with raves being a huge part of my life (attending and promoting and eventually DJing) from 93 until 2001 or so. it was all about the acid house and IDM back in the early days, then i fell in love with Hip Hop again with DJ Shadow's "Endtroducing". Saul Williams' "Amethyst Rockstar" sealed the deal for me. Check out the *lyrics* of "Coded Language" for a nice view into where i'm coming from with music.

i hosted shows on 2 different radio stations in champaign-urbana, often doing crazy collages with pitchable tape players, DAT, CDs and vinyl. the midwest is sorta known for its psychedelic scene, so i spun a lot of bleepy experimental music: Warp Records, Merck, Rephlex, Caipirhina, Ninja Tune, covering every genre of electronic basically, gaining a huge knowledge of music via the radio shows, which obviously influences me as well.

since about 04 i have been making a sort of glitchy experimental hip-hop and dubstep ish stuff, usually with some super wonky bass and . very trippy stuff. i definitely make my music for people on drugs. it's a lot of fun. sometimes i have to do the drugs to make the music sound the way it does (taking drugs to make music to take drugs to).

it's probably most similar to maybe Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, Dabrye, something along that line, with traces of Dilla, Aphex Twin, or Burial. i really want to put an album out on Warp, simply out of respect. i could die a happy man if i did that. : ) they have given me so much enjoyment, i would straight up GIVE them the music! hahaha

You go by the name Hipgnosis does that in any way reflect your beliefs (gnosticism)?

Yeah HipGnosis is a multi-layered name, really. There's the obvious hypnosis association (which i have studied extensively along with psychoacoustics, cymatics, brainwave entrainment theory, etc. some heavy stuff.) My music is very entrancing also, with my goal being to try and reach states of heightened awareness through simply listening to music. i am a gnostic that has been influenced by shamanism, chaos magick, ancient gnostic religions and early christian theology/cosmology, the western mystery traditions and the eastern mystery traditions, freemasonry and other initiatory systems, Thelema, and so much more. (In college i studied comparative religion, with a focus on Eastern religions and Pre-Christian pagan traditons.)

Do you read a lot and if so what type of stuff do you read and how does that play a part in your music.

i read a lot of non-fiction mainly, but spice it up with select fiction. i'm usually reading several books at once, often a combination of books on spirituality, esoteric studies, music, and psychology. i'm really into what i call "Mindfuck Fiction". you know, like philip k dick, neal stephenson, stuff like that. william s burroughs, robert anton wilson, and a few others too. it's pretty influential on my musuic, often contributing to the moods of my songs in some way.

Most of my readers are part of the cannabis culture so I must ask you what is your take on the herb? Do you use it? And if so how does that play a part in your creative process and/or production?

man, i smoke pretty much 24/7. i am an ardent suppporter of legalization and medicinal use. i smoke to relieve anxiety and for fun, and for inspiration, and for boredom-relief, and for having a bad day, and for having a good day... you get the picture. it's a major factor in my music tho. you can dig my stuff anytime, in any mindframe (espec. since i have so many diff styles/releases) but it's best enjoyed when under the influence of some nice herbs or fungus. :) or both!

Some producers are sensitive about this subject almost like magicians when you ask them about their tricks but I still must ask what are some of the tools you use to create your music?

well i can use almost any electronic instrument and most softwares as well. having worked in studios for several years, it was necessary to become versatile with Digital Audio Workstations, as everyone is going digital these days. ProTools is pretty popular in recording, but for production i use Ableton Live and a bunch of VST instruments and effects. i'm self-contained with a laptop and a keyboard, truthfully, so shows are easy to do. i have a crazy cool "virtual studio" in my computer with limitless possibilities. :D

This is a bit off topic but are you into the occult, magick, etc.? And if so how do you incorporate this in your music?

it's not off-topic at all, actually. i have been involved in magick and the occult since i was about 11. i started reading books on initatory systems, OTO rituals, Aleister Crowley, Theosophy, etc. in my teens i became involved in Temple Ov Psychick Youth (TOPY) started by Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV. i have since developed more of an eclectic, open-ended chaos magick-style syncretism of belief systems and rituals, which i am constantly rearranging and changing from day to day, year to year.

i'm interested in Free Illuminism, enlightenment, evolution, future-thought. i am trying to start a lodge, in what i have dubbed the "Open Source Occult" movement. i want the hierarchical despotic "ownership" of the Gnosis to be removed from the elitists who keep it hidden. Gnosis should be available to all, for we are all the makers of our own salvation. Organized religion only hints at the Mysteries. The "secret societies" that hold the keys to them are too incestuous and tightly closed. not more.

What have you got cooking now (recent projects, collaborations, etc.) and where can people find your music?

i always have like 20 thousand things going on, but here's some of my upcoming stuff. sometime september-ish i'll be releasing the first of two 4-song instrumental EPs on an independent label with the follow-up a few months later. (not going to drop names yet.) i just started collaborating with a singer-songwriter from canada named Helen Austin. amazing voice and songwriting. my collaborations with Pixieguts from Australia continue (though slowly due to my writer's block on lyrics.) doing some remixes. i'm still in the conception stages of a new collaborative project called "the black thumb" with a new producer, so i don't know when that's happening. i have a new track on a compilation on Lab Beat, the label that put out "Scientific Illuminism (Is For Sissies)" (my last album) coming out soon also. i do the weekly show "Between Zero and One with HipGnosis" every Wed at 10 pm Central/11pm Eastern time on http://glitch.fm , with the blog for it at http://thereisnotwo.tk . there's links to everything at my website http://hipgnosis.us including free downloads, DJ sets, archived radio shows, and links to purchase music too. i update regularly, so keep checking back. i'm on Twitter *Way* too much, so if you want to bullshit with me and get cool links to music and reading material and whatnot, follow me @HipGnosis23

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"I Hate Hip Hop" Film Premiere with Special Performances by Phraydoe Peans and Much Much More!

If you haven't heard already and if you are into art and culture you really need to check this event going down in Central Florida:

“I Hate Hip Hop” an independent short film will be having its official premiere at the Enzian Theater Sunday August 2nd. The event starts at 12:30pm with live music performed by local Hip Hop artists, B Boys break-dancing, followed by the premiere of the film and ending with a Q&A with the Director and fellow Artists. The event will also feature art pieces from local graffiti artists on display and for sale.

About the film:
Spencer doesn't understand Hip Hop. His roommate Sammy tries to explain the origins of Hip Hop, but Spencer continues to make ignorant comments which makes Sammy give up. That night the spirit of Hip Hop casts a spell on Spencer as he sleeps. When he awakens he realizes that he can only speak in rhyme which starts to affect his personal life. Is his new found flow a gift or a curse? Will Spencer get kicked out of film School leaving his ambitions in the can? Will the love of his life breaks things off with him? “I Hate Hip Hop” is a new age comedy for the lovers and haters of Hip Hop, either way you got to see this film. To get more information on the film go to myspace.com/ihatehiphopfilm. Here is the trailer for the film:

In addition to the film there will be live performances by local Hip Hop artists and professional break dancers. Come and see special guest Phraydoe Peans, independent Hip Hop artist, perform songs off his new EP called Extraterrestrial. Phraydoe Peans has traveled all over the country producing music for artists like living legend "Scarface", underground King "Crooked I" and the late great "Revenue". One can find his work on DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz: Pimp Hop Introduction. For more information on Phraydoe Peans go to www.phraydoepeans.com

Come out and help support Hip Hop culture. Everyone featured in the event are local independent artists. The event itself is meant to help promote Hip Hop culture and arts in Orlando. The event is to also help gain awareness to the ever growing independent scene of arts and culture right here in Central Florida.

The Enzian Theater is located @ 1300 S. Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL. 32751
For more information on the event and to purchase tickets contact Godlike Entertainment at 407-922-0957 or at godlikeartist@gmail.com. It's $6 if you order and $8 at the door.

I personally think events like this is what Hip Hop is all about. If your in town come and check it out. I will be there and I hope to see you there. One love much respect and legalize me.
-Jack Treez

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Phraydoe Peans: Psychedelic Hip Hop

I love Hip Hop culture but with more and more new Hip Hop acts sounding the same, originality in Hip Hop is starting to be like water in a desert. I say Hip Hop acts because most of these rappers are literally acting, putting on an act in front of y'all of an image or mask that is not grounded in reality. Most of these cats, but not all, are rhyming about things they have never personally experienced (CB4) or are rhyming about things they think we want to hear (money, cars, hoes and the occasional homicide), instead of speaking from the heart which is true art and in my opinion real Hip Hop. One example I can give you is platinum selling Texan rapper Paul Wall. This dude was a devoted baptist who use to bring a bible with him every day to high school! You can see testimonies of this in the Beef IV DVD where they put that information out. I can go on and list other cats but it's really besides the point. There are, however, artists in the game who keep it 100 and come through with something different and original which is what Hip Hop is all about. A lot of good up and coming Hip Hop artists can be found in the underground independent scene (you just got to really look hard). One cat in particular caught my ears and eyes. He goes by the phonetically spelled name Phraydoe Peans. Phraydoe is not only representing Hip Hop culture but is an avid supporter for the cannabis culture which already makes him a friend of mine. I watched his music video on the Myspace and it had a psychedelic feel that you don't see or hear in Hip Hop (not to mention that he's breaking bud up on the guitar and rolling a blunt before he starts to spit *420*). Its like if Pink Floyd was doing Hip Hop this is what they would sound like. Below you'll find his music video for a song called "Weather in My Head" off his new EP called Extraterrestrial. If you are able to load a bowl or roll a blunt I recommend you do so now, because this is definitely a song you would want to smoke to and if not the video and song will make you feel high anyways.

I personally love this song because it doesn't have any pretentious ego in it which is very rare in the Hip Hop game and I can relate to the whole metaphor of having so much shit going on in your head that it feels like a thunderstorm is jumping off in your my cranium. On top of all that I read that he produces, writes his own music and runs his own label called Godlike Entertainment which is breaking the whole lazy pothead stereotype. Overall his music's vibe is definitely something you can smoke to which is why I felt the need to share it with you.

You can find more info on him at myspace.com/phraydoepeans or you can check out his site http://www.phraydoepeans.com/ which has some crazy videos on there like Tu Pac speaking out on the Illuminati. Hope you enjoyed the music and the video. One love, much respect and legalize me. Jack Treez

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Melissa Etheridge Speaks About Cancer and How Marijuana Restored Her Health

There is a huge divide in this country when it comes to the issue of Cannabis (I will be posting more on the subject). I think the divide has been caused by the misinformation and propaganda surrounding this sacred herb. If you don't know already I am an avid supporter for the medicinal use of Cannabis which some could say would make me biased on this issue but I think it's deeper than that. I think that every human being is a supporter of health and would support anything that is beneficial to our health and if it turns out that Cannabis is good for you beyond a shadow of a doubt then I think everyone would stand behind it. With the recent flood of reports of the dark side of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs: addictions, side effects, etc. There is more of a demand for natural homeopathic remedies that are a lot safer and 9 out 10 times a lot more effective.

With this growing demand for homeopathic remedies came a wide-spread growing awareness of the health benefits of using this sacred herb. Melissa Etheridge a Grammy award winning American singer was on Anderson Cooper discussing her experience with stage II breast cancer and her introduction to medicinal marijuana. She stated that she could not imagine going through the chemo-therapy without using cannabis and that cannabis dramatically restored her health. She is now a major supporter for cannabis' legalization in this country. Here is the video:

There are numerous testimonies out there of the miraculous healing that cannabis has provided people with a wide variety of illnesses. Not to mention marijuana has been used medicinally for thousands of years from India to China. Marijuana is still a schedule I drug which is up there with cocaine and heroin which in my eyes is ridiculous and sad because you have millions of people populating our prisons because they were either selling or using this harmless beneficial herb which is eating our tax dollars frivolously. In some cases these non violent offenders are doing more time in jail than pedophiles. On the brighter side the advocacy for its medicinal use is growing and as of now 13 states have legalized its medicinal use. I applaud people like Melissa Etheridge because of her courage to stand by her principles. It is people like her that can change people's spoon fed perspective on cannabis and have the pull to help make reformations on the laws against cannabis. Like always come to your own conclusion on this and any other topic. One love much respect and legalize me... Jack Treez