A week ago I was watching the Cav’s struggle against the Magic at a friend’s house when my Blackberry started buzzing. I had just got a new email from an Eric Young who introduced himself as HipGnosis. He was looking to get some exposure in Atlanta on a new album he was releasing. I followed his links to his website and to his Myspace Page and the beats sounded tight. I decided to get a few promo albums from him and see if a blog would work.
What really interested me in this new found project is that it is the epitome of a grass routs movement. A fan of his living in Atlanta knew of my blog and recommended it to him. She suggested that I review his new release Ear Responsibility which dropped on Monday June 1st. (I definitely recommend that you download here). Eric and I started an email string and a week later he has a new fan and contact here in Atlanta. It was such a cool meeting and chain of events, I was a little nervous waiting for his music to come.
To be honest, I was relieved once I started listening to Ear Responsibility because that album is hot. On the first listen I heard a little RJD2, a little Prefuse 73, and a little Boom Bip. The more I listen to this album the more I understand what HipGnosis means when he told me, “Genre doesn't mean much to me. I use classical, jazz, and anything I can to get my point across.” Each song has its own flavor whether featuring vocals or straight instrumentals. You can categorize HipGnosis as a Hip Hop producer but his music is so much more.
I am always on the lookout for new talent in this ever changing music industry and the thought of bring it here to this blog personally was intriguing. One thing I have always tried to uphold is introducing music I truly like and featuring music that people definitely need to explore. I just so happened that HipGnosis is one of those artist.
Late last night HipGnosis and I joined up on twitter (@Smithblogsatl , @HipGnosis23) to talk about Ear Responsibility.
SBA: Eric, are you around?
HG: yes i am. how's it going?
SBA: Can't complain. Had a pretty good night so far.
HG: it's just been music all evening for me, finishing up a mastering job for a label in minn.
SBA: So this week has been a pretty important week for you with the release of Ear Responsibility. How has the feedback been so far?
HG: it's still kind of early, even though it's late, haha. people are grabbing it, especially since the free d/l of it.
HG: i just released another album about a month ago in the UK so things are hectic.
SBA: It must feel nice to finally get it out there? For those who don't know the story behind it, why was it released for free?
HG: was due to come out 6/1/08. things didn't work out cover design issues and then distro. i got discouraged and moved on. ppl were not happy.
HG: when i titled it 2 yrs ago i didn't think it wld turn into REAL prblms w/ irresponsibility.
SBA: What can we expect off the UK release? Is it along the same lines as Ear Responsibility? What label is it on?
HG: UK release is on Lab Beat, a glitch hop label. more experimental, like Flying Lotus or Prefuse73. electronic influenced still fresh hip hop.
SBA: Speaking of Prefuse 73, I hear alot of similarities in your guys music? what kind of influences do you see in creating your sound?
HG: influenced by oldschool raves, goldenera hiphop, too much weed/shrooms, not enuff sleep, mental illness, more weed...
SBA: haha, one thing i always wanted to ask a hip hop producer? how do you find you collaborations with rappers? How did E.R.'s colabos happen?
HG: often just ppl u know and meet. on ER all talented friends from U of I in illinois. collab w/ ppl from net too smtms
SBA: Do you have dream collaboration? Favorite producer to work with or favorite mc?
HG: dream producer wld be Dilla or Shadow, dream MC prob saul williams or Doom.
HG: Pharoahe monche a big one too.
SBA: I know you have been creating music for a minute but where do you see it going? More hip-hop or more electronic? Or a little of both?
HG: def both and neither. genre doesn't mean much to me. i use classical, jazz, and anything i can to get my point across i guess.
HG: it's all blending and blurring these days anyway.
SBA: My last question is going to a little bit of a selfish one but may help other with inspirations never meet.
SBA: Do you have any advice that you would give to a novice who is trying to start making music?
HG: mostly practice, read every book on sound engineering u can find. berklee music has stuff free online just get yrself out there and do it.
HG: there's tons of programs and equip out there. find smth u like and just go for it.
SBA: Eric, I really appreciate the time you took out today. Have a good night and I'll talk with you later. Peace.
HG: thx a lot brent. its been fun. peace man.