Asita Recordings

We like Pam Grier, Red Stripe, the sound and the smell of records, mixtapes,the SF Giants, analog synths, McCovey Cove, Lanikai at night, and San Francisco's indian summer.

Friday, December 02, 2005

PE Producer Hank Shocklee video diary

Bomb Squad
founding member and Public enemy producer,Hank Shocklee, drops knowledge on a group at the Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle. Good footage that probes a bit deeper than the normal interview, exploring topics of sampling techniques, equipment, and the pros and cons of digital vs. analog recording. Yeah, I didn't know that Red Bull was in the business of making music either.

"Back to level 2 with a seriously inspirational lecture from the Bomb Squad’s Hank Shocklee, the man that brought the world one of the most legendary Hip-Hop acts of all time – Public Enemy. ‘Public Enemy #1’ intro-ed the session, and from the very first beat everyone knew they were in for a very special session indeed. Hank gave us the lowdown on how primitive techniques were back then, and for that ongoing debate on which is better: “Digital is a photocopy of analogue…you’d need at least 12 Mac G5’s to get even close to giving you that Neve board sound.” Gordon Ramsey fans will be pleased to know that making a great Hip-Hop beat is like baking a cake – ‘Impeach The President’ is the milk “some James Brown shit is your eggs.” Here ya go, expect some blazin’ Sara Lee MF Doom collab’s coming to an mp3 blog near you. Hank explains: “I like dark music, I like music that makes me feel depressed… I like music that when I hear it, it makes me feel like the baddest motherfucker walking down the street…I would look for sounds that sounded like I could jump off a building, that I could smack everyone upside, not that I’m violent. I just like these sounds,” he grins. “I don’t wanna make music that you listen to, I wanna make records that MOVE you. I was at a P.E gig at Madison Square and when ‘Rebel…’ broke out, shit just went crazy. I saw kids mugging, running round acting all crazy and I was like damn that’s the shit, there wasn’t no fight that broke out, kids were just mad hyped on the vibe of the tune”. He went on to say “I wanted to make dudes on the block feel energized at 3am, something to keep them awake and alert to keep them on their hussle at the time of the morning, and I wanted to create a state of emergency. Politically it was chaos, times was fucked up, and I wanted the music to make people be on guard, ready for when shit went off”. He parted with these words of wisdom “You gotta have a why?. If you’re making music you gotta have that. Why are you doing this? If you can’t answer that question then get out, get out now. Biggie and Jigga had a why. You ask them why they got into this they’ll tell you “We doin’ it for the bitches and the money dawg…” It might not be the right reason, but they still got a ‘why.’” What a legend. After the session ended, it seemed more than a half of, if not everyone inside couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. Arial from Israel commented “I can’t believe I am in the same room as this man, his music means so much to me”, even one of tomorrow’s guests, Vancouver’s techno wunderkid Mr Mathew Jonson concurred “Man, I’ve spent more time listening to Public Enemy more than any other music ever, is doesn’t get much better than this”. [ watch it already! ]

Stay Free interview with Chuck D and Hank Shocklee
Red Bull Music Academy
Hank Shocklee discography
Bomb Squad discography


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