|Alejandro Escovedo and crew ripped through Waiting For The Man at Austin's Continental Club.|
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|Slim Twig will be DJing upstairs with Carl Didur's ZA installation running downstairs.|
Calico Corp. label
Weird Canada: Carl Didur on Zacht Automaat
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|Black Milk discusses his new album via Skype at the Drake in advance of his Mod Club show Oct 15.|
Known for his progressive and boundary-pushing style, Black Milk's anticipated new No Poison No Paradise finds the always on-point Detroit producer/MC going back to hip hop basics. While 2010's Album of the Year was an album of dense and heavily layered sounds, the new record will have a more stripped-down approach, relying on sample driven beats to support much more elaborate narratives.
The decision to move operations from his D-town home base played an important role in his recent burst of activity which resulted in the Record Store Day release of his vinyl-only instrumental set Synth Or Soul – the first in a collaborative series of EPs with illustrator Upendo Taylor called Fuzz, Freqs, & Colors – and his forthcoming album (due October 15) both on his new Computer Ugly label.
"Recording outside of Detroit for the first time put me in a place without instant access to a lot of the musicians, engineers, emcees and singers that I usually collaborate with," Black Milk explains, "just me in a room with my equipment and my thoughts." Although he did have a few guests drop by for a visit during the sessions, namely Dwele, Robert Glasper and Black Thought from The Roots.
"I wanted to focus more on storytelling and having a collection of songs with subjects that tie into one another," he continues, suggesting that No Poison No Paradise is very much a concept album which functions as a series of dream sequences drawn from the subconscious mind of the fictional character Sonny Jr.
In the track Perfected On Puritan Ave. (below), Sonny flashes back to a time when he and his childhood friend are playing basketball and aspiring to be NBA stars or rappers then flashes forward to find Sonny living some of his childhood dreams. Along the way, Black Milk also touches on the experiences of some of Sonny's peers, weaving and bobbing in a non-linear narrative. "Just like a dream, the scenes are always changing and sometimes feel random and inconsistent," he explains. "It's a mixture. Some songs and stories are told from Sonny's older self, some from his younger days, and some from a third person perspective."
Though not a direct first person account of his own life, the themes Black Milk explores on No Poison No Paradise arose from the experiences he had growing up in a working-class Detroit neighborhood as well as the internal conflicts of maintaining inspiration and integrity as a musician.
For more information about the No Poison No Paradise listening party at the Drake Hotel on Wednesday (October 2) from 6 pm to 10 pm and/or to RSVP, go here