South of San Francisco, lays a somewhat quaint, often overlooked region of California’s Bay Area, known as ‘The Peninsula‘. In itself, it’s a totally different area than ‘The City’, as Californian’s call it, and it’s been that way for over 150 years since the line was officially drawn in 1856. It’s a part of the fabled tech-hub known as ‘Silicon Valley’. You know, the place that birthed Apple. and Facebook. and Google. And Yahoo. Not to mention the thousands of others. With the tech boom came the immigration, and into the area poured countless entrepreneurs from all over the world, forming a melting pot of people and places, meeting with ideas and innovation. This is where it takes place, and Onewerd‘s music is just that: A melting pot of people, places, ideas and innovation, rolled into one. Juuuust the right balance of many different styles and influences, with his own unique twist to it.
Currently in the process of rolling out his 2nd new project of 2015, Onewerd is prepping an instrumental EP titled Axiomatic, and has released two new singles ‘Burn It Up’ and ‘Dig The Groove’. We caught up with the producer/emcee to discuss gear, creating things, his collaborative record with JB Nimble, live music and where you might catch him hanging out before his April tour alongside Brooklyn’s JB Nimble. The duo released The Waiting Room LP in February.
Study Music : Let’s start with Onewerd the artist, then we’ll move into the person off-stage and outside the studio. What gear did you use in the studio for the making of Axiomatic?
Onewerd : This is my favorite question! Most of the project was written and arranged in Ableton….A big part of my work flow has been collecting a sample library that I can transfer from one CPU to another, which helps to speed up creative decisions and have a familiar palette of sounds to draw from. Some of it is based on sounds I’ve sampled from gear I have…an Access Virus, Korg MS2000, Roland JP 8000 and some [additional] outboard processing. I don’t necessarily think outboard gear is superior to plugins and software, but it’s inspiring just to use a certain piece of gear sometimes, and that makes it worth it for me.
SM : What was the creative process like for the making of Axiomatic?
Onewerd : When we first spoke about this project, I was definitely inspired to create something that drew from primarily Hip Hop roots. I knew I wanted to sample traditional Funk, Rock and Blues sources, so I pretty much started with digging into [my] sample libraries and looking for some tasty choices. I wanted to put my own electronic/bass-oriented spin on things, so there was a fair bit of programming and sound-design that went into the process as well.
SM : You also just released the collaborative album with JB Nimble, ‘The Waiting Room’. You’re rhyming as well as handling production duties on the entire album. How does the process differ between creating the instrumental stuff and producing stuff that will have vocals?
Onewerd : This is also my favorite question! When I started making beats, it was strictly for the purpose of having something to rap on. A combination of factors gradually led me to producing more involved instrumental work and remixes, which started to get in the way of my rap beats. I’m starting to feel comfortable with a balance between the styles, and having a more specific set of intentions and goals when I’m producing a track. [Doing] the project with JB Nimble was particularly dope, because I was a big fan of his album The Jester’s Dance. It gave me a pretty specific reference point to start from, and it was fun as hell to try to add my own twist to beats that I thought would fit his style!
SM : You seem to take inspiration from a lot of different genres and styles. What artists have inspired you over the years?
Onewerd : My biggest influences as far as production and rapping are probably the anticon collective, Living Legends, Rhymesayers, Quannum Projects and Def Jux… Pretty much a shameless ‘indie rap’ nerd…
SM : When you’re not working on your own music, what have you been listening to recently?
Onewerd : G Jones, Hail Mary Mallon, Hellfyre Club, Mr. Carmack, and Om Unit [have been] on pretty heavy rotation lately. The ‘Soundcloud community’, so to speak, has probably been the biggest influence on my musical tastes in recent years. It pretty much ripped the lid off of my [previous] influences and has given me a window into a ridiculous mix of styles.
SM : You’re based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Let’s run down some of your favorite places around the pond.
Onewerd : Favorite Bay spots?
SM : You got a favorite restaurant or place to grab a bite to eat?
Onewerd : I’m a Peninsula head, so shout out to Rave Burger in downtown San Mateo!!! Dope local business, the homie hooks up the ill Jalapeno burgers…bruh…
SM : How bout for drinks?
Onewerd : I don’t really drink anymore, but I spend a fair bit of time rapping in bars, so there’s that…
Where do you tend to go for records & music?
Onewerd :: Amoeba, player! [ed. note: quoting The Grouch’s ‘Bay to LA’ lyric, in reference to the San Francisco, Berkeley & Los Angeles record stores, ranked #1 in North America by Rolling Stone Magazine]
SM : Where are some of your favorite spots to catch live music at?
Onewerd : Shoot, if [live music] is there, I’m down…Shout out to the Honey Hive Gallery out in the Sunset! [a ‘borough’ of San Francisco]. They’ve been holding it down for a lot of independent artists, Daniel Berliner [the curator of the venue & gallery] is doing something cool out there… Also, 50 Mason (Downtown San Francisco), The Legionnaire (Downtown Oakland), El Rio (SF), Milk Bar (Haight St. – SF), Hotel Utah (SoMa – SF), Elbo Room (Mission District – SF)…too many to name…
SM : Any favorite spots for art in the city or general SF bay area?
Onewerd : The Mission, and the Duboce Tunnel (RIP). Walls, trucks and alleys…
Onewerd’s Axiomatic EP will continue to roll out over the coming weeks leading to ‘The Waiting Room’ Tour. Cities and dates can be found up top in the Events & Tours section.
Stream the single ‘Dig The Groove‘ below, and look out for Onewerd‘s Axiomatic EP dropping just in time for spring and his upcoming ‘Waiting Room’ tour along with JB Nimble & Dan Dillinger. Check out the tours & events section up top for dates, cities & venues.
Onewerd ‘Dig The Groove’ | Axiomatic
JB Nimble & Onewerd – The Waiting Room
Season 2 | E00 (The Discussion) | Hosted by E-Lit & Foss.
E-Lit & Foss kick off the newly upgraded SM Podcast, discussion includes new music from LA, Twin Cities, NYC, Europe and beyond, plus debating consistency vs evolution at labels, comebacks, conspiracies and much more. Listen to the full version (including the new music mixes by E-Lit & Foss) by hitting ‘The Podcast’ button up top.
– E-Lit runs the hip hop department at @AmoebaBerkeley, one of the three legendary Amoeba Music stores, ranked the #1 Record Store in North America by Rolling Stone. He is also a radio DJ & Host on KALX 90.7 FM in the SF Bay Area.
– Foss is the Creative Director at Study Music Group. He is also an artist & producer (under the alias ‘CTZN’), who’s resume includes the groups Understudies Crew, Nowstalgia (w/JB Nimble) and Poe & CTZN, as well as collaborations of all shapes and sizes with folks such as Del The Funky Homosapien & Deltron 3030, Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta), Living Legends, Masterminds, Jam Baxter, Durazzo and countless others.
Jel, producer/beatmaker from the storied Anticon label/collective, takes time out of a live MPC performance in Oakland, CA to call out everyone’s favorite Apple employee, Dr. Dre, with some choice words…Check the video for a top quality MPC performance and see what he had to say…
Check out music by Jel at JelsMusic.bandcamp.com
New EP from Brooklyn’s Rogue Pharmacist!
Download it free in the shop up top, or listen on your favorite streaming service.
Rogue Pharmacist on Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/artist/3UiUlAkWI9p0SzFlW5N6bU
Rogue Pharmacist on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/rogue-pharmacist/id625290338
Brooklyn, New York City’s Rogue Pharmacist returns this year to follow up on their 2013 debut #IndieRockSuperhero. The downtempo, electro tinged ‘You are Bullet, You are Gun’ is the first single from the upcoming EP ‘Wash The Bones (Winter Season)’, which will release in February, exclusively through outlets which are free to consumers. No iTunes, Amazon or Google for this one. It will however be available to stream for free on Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Soundcloud, AudioMack, DatPiff.com, Xbox & Playstation devices and for free download in the SM Shop up top.
Ahead of Rogue Pharmacist‘s upcoming new project slated for a February-ish release, we look back at the NSFW ‘One of The Many Ways’video, from their debut album ‘Indie Rock Superhero’. The short film was created with Four Chambers and has a dark, artsy, erotic vibe to it, even casting some of the ladies from Gods Girls(!) to appear instead of group members.
From Vex (of Four Chambers and God’s Girls, not to mention being in the video herself):
On the concept
“We based [the rogue pharmacist video] loosely on the idea of witches, and [society’s] fear of the power of feminine sexuality. I was actually in a theater production of “the crucible”…it’s still one of my favorite plays…”
On the shoot & production
“we shot this in freezing temperatures, in a burned out office building…with cars going by on the over pass…you can see us shaking from the cold in so many shots! When we shot the bits in the dark, we bumped into a group of kids [who were] looking for trouble to get into, and [we] convinced them [that] we were ghosts…”
Rogue Pharmacist is on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Music, Sony Music, Rdio, Deezer, Wimp, eMusic &
We caught up with Paul from SubjectJazz for a discussion on the album ‘Bullet For The Jazz’, the creative process, studio gear, what he’s listening to, and where you might find him digging for records and hanging out around his hometown of Paris, France.
Study Music : Lets start at the foundation, what gear did you use for the making of ‘Bullet For The Jazz’?
SubjectJazz: During the time I was working on the ‘Bullet’, I was working with my records, the [Akai] MPC2500SE & MPC2000, sometimes SP sounds sampled on my [MPCs], Fender jazz bass and [all run] into Logic Pro for the final edition. I didnt have the SP’s at the time. [Since the recording of ‘Bullet’] I’ve changed it a lot, the setup, with the [E-Mu] SP’s and the [Akai] S950, only using the MPC2000 as a sequencer, and a Mackie for the mix…
SM: What was the creative process like during the making of ‘Bullet For The Jazz’?
SJ: First, [I’d] listen and dig through movies from 1940-1967, take pieces of films…traditional French films mainly, [but also] gangster, jazz, experimental, Chinese…then [I’d] try to adapt the feelings of those, the old world mentality, and some specific scenes of everyday life into the composition…[to patch together] several pieces, and translate the music into images…like short stories, [like] the theater of sound…
SM: What artists and records are you listening to right now, old or new?
SJ: When it comes to listening to records [for the actual records themselves, not for sampling], I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental stuff these last few months, like DJ Krush or DJ Shadow, [which I] didn’t listen to a lot before, but it’s damn ill. Lewis Parker also, and all of the Lord Finesse library, Buckshot…
SM: …and in the Crates?
SJ: Concerning actual records, it’s growing week after week…It’s all about sampling, so every kind [of genre]…70’s Italian records made my last month…Blue Note ones…always the same color to my ears… right now Yusef Lateef!.
SM: You’re based in Paris, France. What are some of your favorite record stores or places to go digging in the area?
SJ: Monster Melodies, Groove Store and Betino’s record shop…Discogs when it begins to be hard to find [records] that I need to have. I prefer to let the ‘luck of the dig’ into good places [dictate] the rest.
SM: Where do you spend your time outside of the studio? What are some of your favorite places to eat, drink or see live music?
SJ: Near Pigalle generally…favorite acoustic [venue] is Trianon, all day. Second… Bataclan. After, Duc des Lombards for mad live jazz. Mainly friends flats [for drinks], always better served by ourselves!
Drinks in Paris : The International.
Eats in Paris : Blend Burger, of course. Best burger in Paris!
UPDATE: Announcing ‘Bullet For The Rap’. Over the next few months we’ll be dropping a series of SubjectJazz tracks, produced in Paris and featuring a slew of different emcees from around the world. The first one is called ‘Bonne Nouvelle’ and features Oakland, CA’s CTZN and Brooklyn, NY’s JB Nimble. The set is rounded out with the instrumental, and a piano driven bonus beat called ‘The Study’ featuring cuts added by MarzAttacks. It’s now playing on Spotify and also available on iTunes and all digital outlets.
Bullet For The Jazz is out now!
Announcing ‘Bullet For The Rap’. Over the next few months we’ll be dropping a series of SubjectJazz tracks, produced in Paris and featuring a slew of different emcees from around the world. The first one is called ‘Bonne Nouvelle’ and features Oakland, CA’s CTZN and Brooklyn, NY’s JB Nimble. The set is rounded out with the instrumental, and a piano driven bonus beat called ‘The Study’ featuring cuts added by MarzAttacks. It’s now playing on Spotify and also available on iTunes and all digital outlets.