For my podcast I wanted to explore the concept of the producer as an important and relevant musical artist, focusing on the relationship between spaces and music from a production standpoint. In the 20th century, commercial access to certain technological advancements, helped usher in a new and unique wave of musical artists—not fully musician, not fully technician, but rather intermediaries of the two.
The first artist I introduce is Lee "Scratch" Perry. Sometimes shamanistic, occasionally psychotic, Perry walks the thin line of madness and genius. It was in his Jamaican studio, the Black Ark, he perfected and proliferated Dub style music. He had a spiritual connection with his studio and honed a near symbiotic relationship with his technology.
Next I move to the slightly more contemporary, though no less innovative group the Beastie Boys. Rapper-pranksters who spurred the sampling craze that would consume and become integral to Hip-Hop music. Their initial experiments with the marriage of magnetic tape looping and rapping would go on to define the nature of Hip-Hop for decades.
Finally, I showcase an active and prominent member of the current Hip-Hop community, El-P, who strives to find a more authentic voice in a genre that has, perhaps, lost touch with its roots. El-P draws on his experiences in New York, and uses an impressive array of technology to channel an eerie empathy while attempting to find a voice for his city.
The Musician Technician Intermediary