Sound Off: Audioconfusion's Jalipaz on Brian Chartrand, Gay Kiss, and Brown G.O.D.
Welcome to the latest installment of our weekly feature, Sound Off, where Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest each week to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Dwyer and Jalipaz at Audioconfusion Studios
Jalipaz runs Audioconfusion Studios in Mesa. He has manned the boards on some of my favorite local releases (disclosure: I have recorded with Jalipaz on several occasions), including Knife Man, by Andrew Jackson Jihad, which was released earlier this year.
Jalipaz has a unique approach to music, so I sat down with him at his mixing board to listen to some hip-hop from Brown G.O.D., art-punk from Gay Kiss, and alternative rock from Brian Chartrand.
Brown G.O.D., "Ashes to Ashes," featuring Rampage.
Brown G.O.D. is a Phoenix-based hip-hop artist. This track features Rampage of the Flip Mode Squad. The two emcees have toured together, and this marks their first collaboration. For more information, visit Folded Arms Pro.
Jalipaz: Nucky Thompson [laughs]. You know who that is, right?
Up on the Sun: Captain Kirk, too.
I used to record a lot of rap. Different guys, too. I recorded this one rap act. All the songs were about Japanimation. These two black dudes, and they loved it.
What were they called?
I can't remember...I remember they had a song that had the sample of the Rocky movie. I liked it because it was different. It was in the '90s, when it was all gangsta rap.
So overall, you're impressed with this production?
I thought the production was good. [I like] old-school rap production because the vocals are in with the music, they are not above the music. A lot of new rap stuff is above the music. In this, the main vocals were in with the music, and I really like that.
In the mix, not on top of it.
It's easier for me to listen to rap that way. That's just me. He has good rhymes, good rhythm.
I appreciate that we got a Stella Artois rhyme, we got Nucky Thompson, Star Trek. We covered all the bases there.
[Laughs]. I'm not into words, so I don't really know what they were rapping about.
I like the guitar sample. A lot of what I listen to rap wise is really really laid back, a lot of the "weed rap." I tend to like smooth stuff, this had some of those elements but also the big beat, and horns. It sounded commercial and aggressive.
It reminded me of a rock song as much as a rap song.
In terms of the overall orchestration?
Yeah, exactly. That and also the way it was mixed. Just the energy, too. The energy was way more rockin' than rappin'. Again, I say this a lot, but for a local band, I was really impressed. "For a local band." You shouldn't have to say that, you know what I mean? But I do say that a lot. I would say for a [national] band, this would seem pretty standard. Nothing blew me away, but they are good at what they do. With a band, I would say "I'd like to see them live," but with rap, I don't think any rap band pulls it off live.
It's certainly hard. I mean - there's a live energy to hip-hop. With a rock band, you have a massive difference in presentation, but hip-hop requires a lot of pre-recorded material.
It can be, but you get someone expertly scratching, and an emcee that really moves, gets the crowd into it, it can be a great thing. That said, it's tough. Just like rock bands - most people aren't that great at it. Then there are always the chosen few who can pull it off.