Uh, Huh You know What it is: Interview with Frequent-C
17 Feb 2011

The Author


I got a chance to catch up with one of Boulders rising producers, online canadian pharmacy FrequentC, and had him drop a little knowledge about his creative crew, self-proclaimed genre, and perspective on entangled topics of music making.

SBL: Alright so, I wanna talk to you about some of your soundcloud.com beats first.  I had a chance to chill on some of your music while I was painting and I’m into a lot of your tracks.  I noticed that you played some of them, or at least parts, when you opened for the Biscuits, which ones were they?

FrequentC: Yea definitely, I usually like to sample parts of older songs in my sets because they contain some of the original sound I still incorporate, especially the hip-hop remixes.  I played everything from my older hip-hop remixes to my new Slim Thugz songs, which are collaboration tracks with my boy Julian Garland, the Candyman.

SBL: The Islands track is one that stuck out to me because of its complexity and the female hook that sizzles at the end. With something so musically multifaceted, about how much time goes into these pieces?

FC:I released that mix last year in conjunction with some new hip-hop remixes along with my own adaptations of some of my favorite tracks during that time. Since a mix is normally a collection of original songs and material from other artists put together to create one continuous track, it usually takes less time to create depending on the length and the amount of new production added to the mix. I personally like to add tons of new instrument layers, acapellas, and effects to a mix.  With that being said, it could take anywhere from a couple hours, to a couple days.

SBL: Sometimes when I’m working on a painting I feel like I’ve been looking at it for so long that I can’t even see it anymore. Do you ever reach a point while you’re working on a track where you feel like you can no longer hear it?  How do you maintain a fresh ear?

FC: I can spend days on end in the studio, but recently I’ve found it more efficient to produce and create for half of the day, every day, while using the time in between to brainstorm, refresh, and incorporate new ideas. Sometimes progress slows if you spend too much time on one thing.

SBL: Also, that Dr. Dre track is mad saxy, is that Big G in the back?

FC: Haha, unfortunately no…that remix is actually one of my first tracks in which I mashed a “Forget About Dre” acapella together with an instrumental remix from the Jazz group Unwrapped,  and added a few more layers of instruments. All that sax is from Unwrapped.

SBL: Do you think that people are caring less and less about sampling and re-appropriating songs in an original format? If so why?

FC: Not really, I think now that there has been such an explosion of subgenres in electronic music in the last few years that people are actually becoming more and more picky, at least about how something is sampled, if at all.

SBL: I hear from mad heads that everyone is trying to be a DJ or a Producer and take music making into their own hands. . The growing availability of music-making technology seems to be finding its way to the average person.  What are your thoughts on that?

FC: I find it incredibly motivating that so many people from so many different walks of life now have the ability to channel their thoughts, feelings, and aspirations into music with the amount of simple technology there is today. People just need to grasp their own sound and begin formulating a new way of production, that way the entire culture evolves together.

SBL: I see producing/djing/screws and chops/sampling and other more modern approaches to music making occurring more frequently. Do you think these techniques are finding a cozy place in mainstream music?

FC: Definitely, one of the greatest things about the technology of modern music production is the ability to manipulate it.  I mean, look at DJ Shadow, he made one of the greatest hip-hop records to date, Endtroducing, completely structured from sampled elements. The only difference today is that people can do that much more easily with production software instead of having to use turntables.

SBL: Lets say we are making a musical milkshake, what genre would be your main ingredient?

FC: Hip-hop, with a splash of Jazz

SBL: Name a few other producers you’re into right now….what are they doing that intrigues you?

FC: Currently I’ve really been paying attention to the sound design of Amon Tobin, the intricate inclusion of jazz in my homie Dominic Lalli’s duo Big Gigantic, and the melodic layering of multiple bass and synth lines found in the music Project Aspect & Unlimited Gravity, who are my good friends as well. The three of us are part of The Mile High Sound Movement out of Denver, which is a family of producers, artists, musicians, painters, photographers, promoters, designers, and fans who all come together for the love of sharing live music and art.

SBL: A lot of times you’ll throw on an album and skip to a few tracks on it that you like, what’s one album that you could listen to all the way through?

FC: That’s tough.  I could probably listen to MF Dooms entire Special Herbs Box Set Vol. 0-9, but then I could also do the same with Emancipator’s last two albums…or any People Under the Stairs album…or Pete Rock’s Instrumentals…its tough.

SBL: One Artist I’m into right now, Jamie XX, is in the process of remixing an entire Gil Scott-Heron Album from the 70’s…if you had to choose an entire album to take under your aesthetic wing and make your own, what might you choose?

FC: Damn that’s a tough one too, but probably any Herbie Hancock album of the 70’s, but if I had to choose one, then Marvin Gaye’s “Whats Going On” or Pink Floyd’s “Animals”.

SBL: You’ve referred to your music as Jazzstep because it utilizes improvisational and syncopatic aspects of what jazz is defined by, this process must add a large element of uncertainty and mystery as to what each live set sounds like…..does this ever worry you?

FC: Not really, I consider each show a new challenge…I have the most fun making each set different, it’s more difficult deciding on which instruments to perform with live, and which sounds to program to my keyboards because some sounds can become repetitive if not used or manipulated well.

SBL: Jazz paved the way for hip hop and its nice to see you embracing that when you play current hip hop tracks combined with live instruments and live mixing because it creates a full circle. What instruments are you playing now and what instruments do you plan on adding to your repertoire?

FC: I grew up playing guitar, bass, and keys, so in a studio setting I incorporate all of those elements, and in a live setting I usually perform with 2 keyboards. One self supportive Korg and one 49 key midi keyboard which allows me to program any sound onto it. I’ve really wanted to incorporate violin…but I need to learn how to play it first.

SBL: Do you find yourself switching up your style depending on the other artists you play shows with?

FC: Absolutely, but the crowd plays a very important role as well.

SBL: Do you think your flow was thrown off or intimidated by hard-core Biscuits crowds during this past run?

FC: Not at all, it was a refreshing challenge playing a crowd who only cared to hear the Biscuits, but it was also humbling to be able to play all my original music and receive a positive response from a crowd who had never heard it before.

SBL: Out of all the shows you’ve played which one is the most fun to look back on?

FC: It’s a tie between my first headlining show in Aspen last November and my set between Big Gigantic and The Chris Berry Trio at one of EC’s String Cheese late nights during their Red Rocks run last fall. The Gothic Theater was completely sold out and I only played a 30 minute set, but those were the rowdiest 30 minutes of my life.

SBL: So I’m assuming you do what you love and you’re still young so this far in your musical journey what’s the most rewarding aspect?

FC: Seeing people glow, collaboration with other musicians, and finding new friends through the music.

SBL: At the end of the day and its just you unwinding, what’s going on up top? What are you thinking? Any mantras?

FC: I always find myself asking what can I create, through music or other creative mediums to continue to make this journey more enjoyable and rewarding for myself, but more importantly for others. But then again I’m also like, where’s the blunt at?

SBL: I heard you’re a Gemini, I am too and as an artist I’m constantly expressing myself through my hands, which is the main body part connected with Gemini.  How do you feel about that as a Producer?

FC: I’d have to fully agree with you on that. Obviously the hands are the primary part you use as a guitarist and pianist, but I’ve been using my hands for communication and expression since I was a little kid, especially while talking or playing air/knee drums when writing beats in my head.

SBL: So you think you’ll ever make it to the east coast?……Philly would look really good on you.

FC: Definitely, hopefully I’ll be making my way East this fall if things go according to plan.


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