Mind of Sterfrii by Sterling Martin
I didn't want to comment on the death of rapper XXXTentacion but within the past day Florida detectives arrested Dedrick Williams who faces murder charges on what was thought to be a "random robbery." 20 years is just too young. Between talks of him "deserving to die" and the videos surrounding his death (that I didn't go out of my way to see), I've seen an inhumane side of our society. Together, we have to do better. Thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans.
New in music is an abundance of albums... everywhere. From Jay-Z & Bey to NAS to SKITTY to even The Polish Ambassador. Which ones are you putting in rotation?
Four I’m Feelin’
Sunsquabi – “Deluxe”
Sunsquabi released their Live From Red Rocks album this past week and it is truly something special. The jams that Squabi delved into for this set were incredibly impressive whether or not you know the original tracks. They opened with “Deluxe,” a standout that also served as the title track on their last EP. There are three unreleased throughout the set, which are from a forthcoming EP due for release this fall. The performance also boasted a number of guest instrumentals and vocals from Leah Druzinsky. Thankfully the trio recorded the epic night in its entirety for our listening pleasure.
JMSN – “Talk Is Cheap”
How does he do it? If you’ve never heard of JMSN, you’ve been missing out some of the most soulful music damn near ever. Kendrick Lamar had JMSN all over Good Kid M.A.A.D. City and it’s obvious why. His voice, his production choice, just everything about him oozes swagger and style. For his latest single “Talk Is Cheap,” there are welcoming, funky vibes with a ton of emotion weaved in heavier until the very end. Any music lover can find a reason to listen JMSN—prove me wrong.
Daily Bread – “Make Em Feel It”
There are few artists today that manage to be as consistent and hard working as Daily Bread. Since the release of On The Daily, the Atlanta-based producer hasn’t shown any signs of pressing the breaks. As for his latest single “Make Em Feel It,” the electro-hip-hop vibes truly shine through in what seem to be a perfect blend of bass and boom bap. If you dig what you hear, you really should check out the rest of his discography.
Shield & Jon1st – “Holla”
The wobbles and womps of Shield are one of a kind. Hailing from Denmark, the beatsmith is singular in his ability to create complex soundscapes as well as thick, heavy bass lines. His newest release “Holla” is a collab with Jon1st, who is a title-winning World DMC turntablist. Together the two managed to create an instant hit that really will have you dancing on the first listen.
Spotlight: Thought Process
What do you get when you combine freeform electronic music with hip-hop elements along with weird and wonky bass music? Easy—you get an experimental sound, one like Thought Process has created for himself. The wide range of styles and genres that can be found in his music are all cohesive and still incredibly diverse.
Joseph Rich, the mastermind behind Thought Process, got into the “EDM” scene when he was a teenager. He originally is from an island in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay called Kent Island, from where he eventually left for State College, Pennsylvania. “My first ever electronic music event [was] a single day festival called StarScape held on an old abandoned Army Base on the beach. That event definitely had a huge impact on me and gave me the first taste of what this entire culture was about—I was hooked. After that I obsessed over learning how to DJ,” Rich remembered. It wasn’t until years later that he would go on to pick up producing though.
Now based in Denver, the producer is gaining momentum unlike ever before in 2018. Thought Process is becoming a more regularly seen name around Colorado, which says a lot being that the area is known as a hub for these styles of music.
I got to catch up with Joseph about all things Thought Process for this week’s artist spotlight. You can check out our interview below, as well as his new collab track titled “Pusher, Plucker” premiering today in tandem with this interview. Enjoy!
From your involvement as a fan to your background as an artist, tell me about how Thought Process was first conceptualized.
TP: Thought Process was first actually conceptualized in State College, Pennsylvania with one of my best friends, Will Houstian. It used to be us just DJ’ing random house parties and bars at Penn State in our free time, there wasn’t a big scene there for this type of music so we really tried to just host and throw parties with our friends and just have fun. Once Will graduated however, he moved to Atlanta and I headed out here to Denver, but the Thought Process project never really left me and it was this city that mainly motivated the concept and where it really got started for me.
How do you go about creating a track? What about a set to play live?
TP: Every time I sit down to write, it’s a different and new experience. I haven’t approached songwriting the same way twice. It really just depends on how I am feeling that day, the general mood, or what the overall intention is. Some days I sample wonky sounds from old records, or other days I want to make gnarly bass lines and work on unique sound design. I try to go into a session with no expectations and let the music just kind of happen.
Live sets are a much, much different experience. I try to go into a set with a very well defined intention in mind for the time I have and what I want people to hear. I like to make every set a journey, something where the listener can be held captive the entire time, with concise flows of energy and mood. My main focus lately has been trying to write VIPs for live sets, and introduce tunes of mine people might already know in fresh and unique ways. I have also been having my good homie Phil Gallo (artist name pheel.) live scratch over my sets lately and that’s been a massive amount of fun. Check out his solo project too, his music is dope.
What all do you have in the works right now?
TP: Currently I have an EP I’m finishing up that I am hoping to get released soon. The EP is titled Food for Thought and you can definitely expect that later this summer. Otherwise, right now it’s full steam ahead to create new material for upcoming shows and events. I’m opening up for bass music artists, Shades at The Black Box in mid July and I also have my first festival set this summer playing Big Dub in Pennsylvania. I’ve never been before, but I’ve heard really great things and I get to play a full moon set on a Pirate Ship stage so it should be a rowdy time, shout out to The Gradient Perspective for that opportunity! I just finished this collab with my good friend Meg Hennessy, she goes by Xenolinguist and she produces some seriously alien beats. Check out her new solo EP via Street Ritual and our new tune, “Pusher, Plucker” below!
Does living in Denver make it easier to promote yourself because of the music scene, or is it more difficult because the market is becoming more and more over-saturated?
TP: Living in Denver has definitely made it easier to get my name out and market myself, I was worried about how much music there is here and how difficult it would be to get my sound out but what i’ve learned is that there can never be too much music, and if you make what you feel and what you like people will pick up the vibe and support it if they like it.
Where do you see your music taking you in the future? Do you have any specific goals or ideas for the Thought Process venture?
TP: I hopefully see my music taking me to a point in the future where I can travel and see more of the world through playing shows, I have huge goals of growing the Thought Process project to be more self-sustainable and would love to support myself from my art. I also really just want to see what I can find out about myself, and make music that says something a little different and can move people in the way that music has moved me. I have some specific release goals & show goals for the next year that I’m currently working on, so keep your eyes peeled and you’ll hear about those if they realize themselves.