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DJ Krush Statement

Shows Postponed

DJ Krush, Method of Defiance

DJ Krush

!!! MESSAGE FROM DJ KRUSH !!!

Everyone,

Unfortunately we will have to announce the cancelation of Chicago and New York shows. I really wanted all you to enjoy the new set as soon as possible but... I'm really frustrated and sad tell you this.

I have been a DJ for a long time, but this is my first time canceling shows like this. We are not sure what we will do for the other shows at this point, but we are all doing whatever we can.

I will definitely come play for you all soon.

Thank you for your patience.

M.O.D. Technologies Digital

Incunabula Series

Inception: July 29th

Bill Laswell, Wadada Leo Smith, Milford Graves, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Israel, Foday Musa Suso, Garrison Hawk

MOD Digital  

The Incunabula Series promises to present rare and unique, one time only captured events - in some cases originally experienced by a fortunate few - and recover unusual, lost until now, studio recordings. It wil document as far back as the early '80s up to the present time. Moments seldom heard or experienced by anyone.

 

Unfolding and turning like new pages in a timeless book of secrets.

A Projection of music/sound transmissions that can now rise and spread beyond the confines of an imaginal background.

MAGIC CALLS ITSELF THE OTHER METHOD FOR CONTROLLING MATTER AND KNOWING SPACE.

Helio Parallax

Self-titled debut

CD/Digital: out now, Vinyl July 15

Josh Werner, Marihito Ayabe, Takuya Nakamura, Bianca Casady (CocoRosie), Jah Dan (Major Lazer), Bill Laswell remix

Elevation

With effective explorations in time and space, Helio Parallax presents a sound deeply rooted in spiritual expression. True analog electronic music (no laptops) with cinematic landscapes (think Blade Runner meets Miles Davis' Elevator To the Gallows sound track) anchored by deep dub/hip hop beats with skilled instrumentation to create an atmospheric landscape coined "Sci Fi Dub Noir".

Josh Werner (Wu Tang Clan, Lee Scratch Perry, Cocorosie, Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band) brings a concept of Sci Fi Dub Noir, performing visions of dub, hip hop and free jaz, with production and compositions directly from the lineage of futuristic collisionist thought. As Bass Player magazine (March 2014) said, "Josh Werner has re-0rmerged with a project that spotlights his masterful dub playing."

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Takuya Nakamura (George Russell, Arto Lindsay, Cocorosie, Quincy Jones) blends a new brand of Jazz, lo-fi analog and Hi-Fi gigital space techno to his style of composition and production. His ethereal trumpet playing establishing a cinematic landscape of sound which evokes futuristic expressionistic moods throughout.

Dub specialist/beat maker Marihito Ayabe (Dub Nomads, Chimp Beams, Shing02) offers a blend of hip hop and reggae programming with atmospheric sound design.

Special guests include Bianca Casady (Cocorosie), LOUQUE and Jah Dan (Major Lazer).

Helio Parallax
Strange Dream (feat. Loque)
Another Broken Human
Kilgore Trout Dub
Soft Blind Pony Ride (feat. Bianca Casady)
Speed of Life (feat. Jahdan Blakkamore)
Frank's Lament (feat. Doug Wiesleman)
Nocturne for Secret Planets
After the Flood
Happy Helio
City of Glass
New Planet, Old Sun (CD & LP only)
Strange Dream Dub Bill Laswell Remix (via download code with purchase of vinyl)

Bill Laswell Residency

The Stone, NYC

April 22-27

Bernie Worrell, Method of Defiance, Dr. Israel, Mumpbeak, Milford Graves, Wadada Leo Smith, Josh Werner

Bill Laswell Residency  

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Zorn's club The Stone in New York City will be host to a Bill Laswell "residency" April 22-27. In addition to Laswell's own projects, the week will feature other artists that have worked with Bill in some capacity. For up to date info, please watch here or go to The Stone's website.

April 22

8PM
Space*Time Redemption
Bill Laswell & Milford Graves duo
10PM
Bill Laswell & Wadada Leo Smith duo

April 23

8 and 10PM
Helio Parallax
Josh Werner, Takuya Nakamura, Gintas Janusonis & Mari Ayabe

April 24

8 and 10PM
Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band
Tunde Adebimpe, Josh Werner, Alex Holden & Ryan Sawyer

April 25

8 and 10PM
Mumpbeak
Roy Powell, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz & Pat Mastelotto

April 26

8PM
Bernie Worrell solo/Bernie Worrell & Bill Laswell duo
10PM
Bernie Worrell, Bill Laswell, Dr. Israel & Grandmixer DXT

April 27

8 and 10PM
Method of Defiance: Third Column
Bill Laswell, Dr. Israel, Garrison Hawk, Bernie Worrell, Peter Apfelbaum, Adam Rudolph, Guy Licata
Special Guest: FODAY MUSA SUSO

Bernie Worrell

Elevation: The Upper Air

OUT NOW!

Bernie Worrell solo piano

Elevation

BERNIE WORRELL - keyboard legend, founding member and essential collaborator/composer/arranger in George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic, has worked with an extremely diverse array of artists, the amount of which is practically inconceivable -Talking Heads, Bootsy Collins, The Rolling Stones, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Black Uhuru, Fela Kuti, Burning Spear, Pharoah Sanders, Buddy Guy, Sly & the Family Stone, Mos Def, Albert King, Sly & Robbie and so many more. Without a doubt, the most influential and defnitely the most emulated and copied electronic keyboardist in modern music. His synthesizer work totally defned 80's and 90's West Coast Hip Hop and can still be clearly recognized in the pop hits of today. ELEVATION is his first solo acoustic creation. Intimate, personal, atmospheric and touching, a humble statement which is both vulnerable and surprisingly child-like at moments. This is clearly the most unexpected and uniquely unusual contribution from this musical icon to date. Songs and themes (some recognizable... some as dreams) will appear as flashbacks and memories, some conscious, some subconscious. Based upon simple themes by John Coltrane, Joe Zawinul, Bob Marley, Carlos Santana, Charles Mingus and others. With delicate impressions of classic soul music from his own history and three original ambient soundscapes, delivered with a strikingly minimalist touch.

This Music has to be felt, not analyzed , compared, judged or even listened to. It exists in the distance... past and future. Produced by legendary ikonoklast, Bill Laswell, with original artwork by Japan's modern master - Shinro Otake.

In a Silent Way
I'd Rather Be With You
Alabama
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Light On Water
Ooh Child
Samba Pa Ti
Realm of Site
I Wanna Go Outside In the Rain
Wings
Redemption Song

Method of Defiance

Nahariama

CD, vinyl and digital available now!

Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, DJ Krush, Dr. Israel, Guy Licata, Toshinori Kondo, Aiyb Dieng, Rob Burger, Graham Haynes

Nahariama

CD, Vinyl and digital available now!.

METHOD OF DEFIANCE: NAHARIAMA - FOURTH COLUMN...The second instrumental ofering from Method Of Defiance, Bill Laswell's international music collective of interchangeable columns. The first release "Incunabula" featured guest artists - jazz legend, Herbie Hancock and Japan's master sound generator, DJ Krush. NAHARIAMA continues the thrust forward. This time with guests - cornetist, Graham Haynes (son of jazz icon, drummer, Roy Haynes), keyboardist, Robert Burger (John Zorn, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson), Senegalese master percussionist, Aiyb Dieng with DJ Krush returning. Hard Drum 'n' Bass, Space-Dub, Mutant-Funk - courtesy of Bernie Worrell (Funkadelic), flashes of electric Miles Davis drift across Ambient soundscapes over a massive low-end assault below. Disorder with a meaningful coherence of detail and urgent resonance. Future music with a past and present, NAHARIAMA 4th Column...more to follow.

Code Woo Redux
Anachronizer Reloaded
Dark Rain
Anathema
Unearthed
Fukushima
Abyssos
Quantum Clash

New Vinyl from M.O.D. Technologies

Lee 'Scratch' Perry: Rise Again & Praxis: Profanation

High Grade double LP's out now!

Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Israel, Guy Licata, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Josh Werner, Sly Dunbar

Rise AgainProfanation

Two of the most successful releases on M.O.D. Technologies are arriving on vinyl.

Lee "Scratch" Perry's "Rise Again", originally releases in 2011 has been hailed as one of The Upsetters finest releases in decades. Co-produced by Bill Laswell and Josh Werner, the album features an outstanding cast of supporting characters from the legendary Sly Dunbar to Gigi, Garrison Hawk and Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio. Each copy comes with a special code to download the album digitally, as well as to receive a new, digital only track again featuring Tunde.

Praxis. One of Bill Laswell's most popular projects. Originally released in 2008 in Japan only, M.O.D. Technologies brought "Profanation" to the rest of the world 3 years later. Now we are proud to bring you the album - the first proper Praxis release on vinyl. Also includes a digital download code of the release.

Pre-orders available in the MOD Technologies store now!

Bill Laswell

Tuwaqachi (The Fourth World)

Digital only. Out now!

Bill Laswell solo, Koyaanisqatsi

Tuwaqachi

TUWAQACHI: THE FOURTH WORLD was created by iconoclast musician/producer Bill Laswell as an alternative score to Godfrey Reggio's 1982 ground breaking film "Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance". Originating as an audio/visual interaction for live/solo performance only. The program has been compacted into a continuous one hour journey. Replacing Phillip Glass' epic original score with a completely contrasting vision (film and sound together to be used for live performance only). The sound alone, "TUWAQACHI" the new sound track, is a haunting rite of passage, through shadows and aether, darkness and light. Ethereal environmental ambient, enhanced distorted destruction and doomed decay. A new enlightened, visceral and sometimes tortured landscape. Bill Laswell's signature low end theory at its most demonic and illuminated. Proceed with caution.

Jano Band To Rock It With new Album

by Elias Gebreselassie

Courtesy of Capital

Jano

Ethiopia - Anybody listening to modern Ethiopian music nowadays would most probably hear songs influenced by rhythms of Blues (R&B), soul or hip hop.

The first Ethio-Rock group, a 10 piece quartet called Jano Band, is setting its sights on introducing yet another element, fusing Ethiopian melodies with rock music beats. It plans to release its first album on August 1.

The band that is busy rehearsing at an old picturesque house owned by a former patriot, Ras Nadew Tessema, a warrior from the 1896 Adwa battle.They say they are aiming to achieve great heights in introducing this unfamiliar Ethio-rock band.

Michael Hailu "Micky", the lead guitarist and "rock aficionado" for the band said he joined the band more than a year ago, and has performed with it once, the reception they received at first was one of bewildered but appreciative applause.

Michael has worked on other rock themed Ethiopian singles with artists including Abel Mulugeta, Zeritu Kebede and Michael Belyaneh. He also worked on the musical arrangement for eight of Teddy "Afro" Kassahun's "Tikur Sewe" album singles.

Hallelujah Tekletsadik, one of the only two female band members said she started singing as a student in school carnival programs, with her first gig being at the age of seven tackling the smash hit "Black or White" song by Michael Jackson.

"Addis Gessese, the manager of Jano band, saw me perform a year ago at Jupiter International Hotel and asked me to join the band which I happily accepted," said Hallelujah adding that she’s found that the inclusion of females in the band has added flavor and personality.

Kirubel Tesfaye, the band's leader and keyboard player himself, is the most experienced of the members. He said it has been a new experience for him to work in a new musical genre as well as to deal with the behaviors and characters of the other band members.

Kirubel who has 10 plus years of musical experience has previously worked with bands like Zemen Band and Sweet Band and with legendary singers including the late Tilahun Gessese (Hon.Dr.), Mahmud Ahmed and Tewodros Taddese and with upcoming recordings with Tsedeniya Gebremarkos and Micheal Belayneh.

"The makeup of the band having four music instrument players and four singers will give more variety to the audience in terms of ideas while giving a much needed beak for the lead singers," Kirubel told Capital.

He added the band is in for a long haul expecting challenges but will work on accommodating the society's musical tastes and desires while introducing the "Ethio-Rock" music genre.

Jano band was established about a year and half ago is managed by Addis Gessese, a veteran music industry insider and brother of renowned ethio-reggae singer Zeleke Gessese, while the producer is Bill Laswell a renowned music composer and spouse of Ethiopian singer Ejegayehu Shibabaw 'Gigi'.

Video Interview with Bill Laswell

Courtesy of Tadias TV

Jano

Ertale

CD OUT NOW!

Michael Hailu, Bill Laswell, Dominic James, Steven Bernstein, Peter Apfelbaum, Adam Rudolph, Rob Burger

Jano

An Ethiopian rock explosion. Traditional melodies, massive bass and drum polyrhythms, metal guitar assault, soaring vocals, dense electronic textures. A devastating energy blast. So far, there has been nothing this powerful and versatile that will most likely come to be associated with so called ''World music''. African Futurism at it's most liberated and intense. With a hard rock element unheard until now in Ethiopian music.

M.O.D. Technologies is proud to present the debut album from this group of young Ethiopian rockers. In 2011, Bill Laswell and crew trekked to Addis Ababa, where they built a brand new recording studio which will serve as a base in Ethiopia. The result of the very first recording sessions (before the mortar was even dry!) is this release. Led by 23 year old guitarist Michael Hailu (who is currently Teddy Afro's musical director and is resposible for writing or co-writing 9 of the tracks on Afro's recent album) and supplimented back at Orange Music by M.O.D. stalwarts like Dominic James, Peter Apfelbaum and Steven Bernstein (along with Rob Burger and Adam Rudolph) the 10 tracks on this album are nothing like you've heard before.

THIS is 'world music'.

THIS is authenticity without the radio-friendly watering down that Western pop-stars love so much when they become 'world musicians'.

THIS is Jano.

Interview with Jano Producer Bill Laswell

Reprinted from Tadias TV

Jano

New York (TADIAS) - When it comes to world music, New York-based producer Bill Laswell is convinced that the next big act coming out of Ethiopia is a young rock band called Jano - a ten member ensemble that fuses distinctly Ethiopian sounds with heavy guitar, drum and other instruments.

"I think they were probably deeply influenced by the great musicians of Ethiopia, the great singers without question," said Laswell in a recent interview with TADIAS. Laswell, who has put together the band's forthcoming CD, has an extensive resume including work with Ethiopian vocalist Gigi, among others.

Regarding Jano, he added: They have "progressive sounds. It's very new and very different. Nothing like this ever came out of Ethiopia."

Laswell said what makes the young musicians unique is that they manage to keep the traditional Ethiopian vibe while appealing to global music lovers. "You hear old songs by singers from the 60's inside of the rock," he said. "Another interpretation that might upset some people but carries on the tradition in a modern way." He continued: "These are modern instruments but it does not overlook the kirar, it does not overlook masinko, it does not overlook the traditional singing, the church music and the power of the tradition. It does not take that for granted. They don't join the ranks of Ethiopian music, they break the rules."

The group consists of four vocalists (two male and two female), two guitarists, two keyboard players, a bassist and a drummer - all in their twenties.

According to Laswell, the band was talent-spotted by Ethiopian entrepreneur Addis Gessesse who is also credited for helping to launch the careers of reggae star Ziggy Marley and Ethiopian pop icon Teddy Afro.

As to the release date for Jano's album, Laswell said they have an unconventional marketing strategy worked out. "The album is done and the packaging is done and they are in the process of creating it now in Ethiopia, and probably it will come here soon," he said. "It will come as a word-of-mouth and not so much as a marketing distribution build up how America does things, but more to do with getting that interest to communities." He added: "I think it will start in the Ethiopian community and hopefully it will build into what the world calls the 'World Music' genre, which is pretty big internationally."

Garrison Hawk Interview

KUCI's Jarrett Lovell interviews Garrison Hawk

KUCI started in 1969 as a Pirate Radio station and still continues on today in the same tradition - As their Mission Statement says "We are the last bastion against crappy, sound-alike radio in Orange County. We are the voice of freedom for all the independent music that gets snubbed by the major labels. We are the defenders of the faith for those who choose to express a different opinion. We are Corporate Rock's worst nightmare. We are KUCI."

Recently, Jarrett Lovell of "The Dread Zone" interviewed M.O.D. Technologies own Garrison Hawk.

You can listen to the whole interview here - KUCI.org

A Hawk's Eye View

After years of flying under the radar, Garrison Hawk is ready for his close-up

By Bill Murphy

Garrison Hawk

What's the famous line from Hunter S. Thompson? Something about the music business being a wanton cesspool where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs? Maybe it was the TV industry - I forget. Nevertheless, for all the horror stories you hear these days about Wall Street, Main Street or Easy Street, there's always the exception - the one person who has worked patiently and diligently to transcend all the turmoil, all the strife, all the corruption, in the name of creating something positive.

Garrison Hawk is just such an artist. Survive, his long-awaited solo debut, caps more than a decade of hard work in the trenches. As one of the brashest, most versatile and heretofore slept-on young voices to come out of Jamaica in a generation, Hawk has lent his radical talent on the mic to the likes of Armand Van Helden, Tricky, Sly & Robbie and the Method Of Defiance collective, but has yet to claim his rightful share of the spotlight. All that's about to change.

Musically, Survive is a futuristic hybrid of styles covering hardcore dancehall, reggaeton, hip-hop and even country & western - all a reflection of Hawk's wide-ranging tastes and his multi-culti upbringing. A native of Mandeville, Jamaica, he moved to the Bronx as a teenager and soon made his mark as a singer, rapper and deejay of exceptional promise; after rocking the mic at a local show with Shabba Ranks (one of his boyhood idols), Hawk started popping up on underground singles like "3 the Yard Way" (with DJ Excel) and "Addicted" (the flip side to Smoothe Da Hustler's "An It Don't Stop"), which got him airplay on New York's Hot 97 radio and top spots on the European charts.

"I never really think of music like there's a limit to it," Hawk says, explaining the multiple sources that feed into Survive. "for my ears, I hear sounds, and whatever inspire me, I'm captured by it. That could be Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh, Johnny Cash or Bruce Springsteen - for me it was always open." Produced by Bill Laswell and featuring the matchless rhythm section of Sly & Robbie, Survive is as much a triumph of will over adversity - really mind over matter - as it is a musical breakthrough. "It's just like they say: the older you get, the wiser you get, you know? I learn so much over the years and I can see it so clear now. When I was much younger, I probably put out a lot of immature and rushed stuff. I went into this with the idea that I need to do something meaningful."

Looking back, there are instances when even in the youthful rush of events, Hawk was reaching for something new and different. A chance meeting with Tricky, who had made his mark with Massive Attack and his own trip-hop classic Maxinquaye, led to an unusual partnership that really showcased Hawk to a larger audience for the first time. Tricky's 2001 album Blowback marked a complete retooling of his sound, and on cuts like "Evolution Revolution Love," "Bury the Evidence" and the ominous "The Hawkman Is Coming," Hawk asserted his presence with a vengeance to anyone with an ear for hip-hop's jagged, ragga-laced edges.

In the years since, Hawk has honed a style that's more nuanced and sleek, merging singing and rhyming into a soulful mix that comes through on Survive in the dancehall chants of "Wild," the throaty growls of "Murderer," and the downright sanctified balladry of the title track (featuring Ethiopian songstress Gigi on co-lead vocals). For sheer versatility, it's reminiscent of Hawk's recent work with Sly & Robbie (on 2004's Version Born), as well as his vocal step-outs on Method Of Defiance's Jahbulon, released in 2010. But more than anything else, this is the sound of someone who has finally found a groove that he can latch onto. It's beyond mere boasting or toasting; Hawk is taking reggae and dancehall into new territory, where music and message intertwine in a bass-heavy, polyrhythmic, damn-near existential listening experience. Now that's saying something.

* * *

How did you first hook up with Sly & Robbie?

I met Sly and Robbie through my old manager [Eric Eger]. I'd done work with them before when I was with Tricky. When I was signed with Palm Pictures, Chris Blackwell suggested that I should do some stuff on Sly and Robbie's record, so that's where I ended up working with Bill Laswell. That was the first time we all worked together.

But I first got introduced to Sly and Robbie when I was working with Eric, through Warner Records. The agreement was that the company wanted them to produce my record with another guy in London. That's when I actually met them up in the studio, in the city. Basically I tell Robbie, when I meet up with him, we was hanging out and it was a really cool vibe, and I just tell him, "Listen, I need you to put your best into this record, because it's my first solo record, and I want to make sure it's gonna get out there the right way." And he was like, "Don't worry - I'll take care of you and make sure everything is cool." That's the first time we met, and we start working. I went back to Jamaica to work with them to finish the record, and that was it.

Which studio was that in Jamaica?

It was Anchor Studios. They use their whole - they have their own people, like the Jamaican dream team, you know what I mean? They brought in Sticky Thompson and Bongo Herman and all the top musicians for the foundation.

Sly and Robbie have always had this laid-back vibe as a production team - but man, they get a lot of work done.

For me, it was a dream to work with them at that point, because I was always a fan of the stuff that they did. I just always believed that they're a major part of the creation of reggae music, and the backbone of that, you know what I mean? So when I get to work with them, basically it was, "Well, I'm getting the real deal here." And when I went into the studio with them, it was amazing. It's like, you're seeing these guys lay it down like nobody else can. Sly is the most amazing drummer I've ever seen, and the way they do their thing is so different and original. Garrison Hawk Robbie lays his stuff down, and it's like he makes sure everything is together. So they put time into it, and a lot of effort in getting the record sounding great. I mean, I remember Black Uhuru coming out, and from that time, right there that was the biggest shit in the '80s.

Usually in Jamaica, Sly and Robbie could pretty much pick anybody to do their stuff, and when they heard what I had, they started giving me tracks too. I guess to them, they figured it would be something different for the reggae market, and that's something they've always done.

What you're doing is completely different too. You're rhyming hard, but you're also singing too. Can you talk about your style and how you developed that?

You know what, for me man, I never really think of music like there's a limit to it. For my ears, I hear sounds, and whatever inspire me, I intend to - I'm captured by it. I just like to put my own twist to stuff. I usually like to stay off the backs of what everybody else do, so basically for me to do rapping, it seems to me like there's no limit to it. There's no definition. I can just get up and do it to sing, or I could just get up and do it for the hardcore reggae stuff, with no strings attached. For me, it just seems so natural and normal and easy, you know? It all has to do with what I hear and what I feel. I like to express myself according to how I hear it, so that's why all of this comes out.

How old were you when you first realized that this was what you were gonna do?

Oh man, I think I realized this when I was about 18 or 19. For me, it was just a hobby - I was just basically on the street, working out and playing around just for the fun of it, but other people have seen it on a bigger scale than I do. I was thinking that I'm gonna be ending up doing a 9 to 5 in computers, or go to school to be a doctor. I been there and I tried stuff, and I worked, but I just never seemed to be that kind of person. I couldn't fit in, in terms of getting a degree to go get this job or whatever. Just doing music for the fun of it, it seemed like the only thing where that make me feel free—which is what I should do, and I realized that ever since I start taking up this music thing, it's like I’m adventuring off to somewhere. This is the only thing I think I'm supposed to do, because I never feel comfortable doing anything else. So I stick to it and I put my time and effort into it.

When you first decided that you wanted to commit to music, were there any key artists who influenced you?

Oh, yeah. I used to love Toots and the Maytals, and Peter Tosh, and Shabba Ranks when he came out, and also the American and British artists like Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel. So it was always open, for the whole scenario. There was always something for me where - I used to be more into American music than even the Jamaicans. Back home I would listen to Motown - Marvin Gaye and the Temptations, real soul music. I think all of that is an influence. I never really limit the kind of music I listen to.

When was the first time you hooked up with Tricky?

Well, I hooked up with him probably around '99. I was working on my own record, for AV8 Records. I did a demo and I went there to shop it because I was doing some stuff with Roger Sanchez and Armand Van Helden and those guys. I figured I was just gonna finish up my demo and bring it to AV8 because they were over there. And my cousin was a close friend with Tricky - one of his best friends - and he let Tricky hear something I was working on, and Tricky was like, "Don't let this guy go to AV8 - let me meet him." He was blown away from some of the sounds that I was doing, and I guess he figured this could be his next shot in the business. So I said to my cousin, "Hey, let's meet him up and see what he's about." That's before I even know who he is. I don't know the guy, but I figure it's worth a try.

So he suggests and he begs me not to go to AV8 Records with this, and I should just have him deal with it, and he'll get us this deal at Hollywood Records. And I hang out with him a while and I was like, okay, let's see what happens. Then we got the deal and we did the record by his place - this was in Brooklyn. So Tricky opened me up to who he was and what he does and how big this can be, and I figured I was gonna try and see what happen, and it worked. I take my shot with him, and he brought me to Chris Blackwell, and he was blown away too, and right there he signed me to his company, to Palm Pictures. I actually signed to Tricky's label first, to Durban Poison, and then to Palm.

So we did the record, and I was surprised because it took off and did well, and we had a tour with Tool, you know? Those guys are amazing. The whole tour was amazing. I would never be able to tell that a record like that would get to that level.

Blowback was a pretty radical change for Tricky, I remember.

Yeah. It was really an adventure, man.

What's behind the title of your new album Survive?

I think the thing that stand out from naming the record Survive, basically where it's coming from is that for this record to get out there, it's been in recycle many times, for different reasons. It's been a while when this record shoulda been out, and it never got out, and it comes down to the time where Bill make it possible. So in a sense, for us, it's just survival to get this stuff out there.

And in another sense, for what we seen that's going on right now - we could make some sense out of it for what's going on in the world. The record is basically talking about survival in our time, you know? For people who is going through the struggles and who have the hardships, for the people in the ghettos, for the people in love and out of love - for all of that source, it's a survival. So it's really going out there for the people who survive all this terror and depression and the economic stress and all the shit we're going through right now.

What has it been like working in the studio with Bill Laswell?

You know how it goes with Bill. I basically had to leave Bill to just do what he do. I take instruction from him because I know Bill is a genius who knows how things should be, and how everything should be in place, you know? So I just really take my instructions and go there - he'll never let me just rush in and do a song. Normally, I would probably rush in to do a lot of songs a certain way, and he'll direct me in a way, where he's saying, "Okay, you gotta be serious now about this. This is it - this is the shot. If you're gonna give a message, you have to be this way. You have to be sure and you gotta be positive about what you're doing."

It's the same with the voicing. If it's not in the right key range or the right sound, he'll suggest not to do it - not to rush it. For me, it's an amazing experience, man. I'm overwhelmed that I did this record with Bill.

When it came to writing the songs, did it all come to you very quickly? Did you go away to think about ideas and lyrics? How did that work?

You know, I try to take the time out to think for some time, but it would never come to me. So basically what happen - you know this is when we're in the studio - most of the time I can't even write a word down, you know what I mean? Most of the time it's just a vibe and energy, because when you're not pressing for time and you're not stressing on somebody rushing you at the studio, it's good to go in and just be free and let out your soul according to how you feel it. So it all had to do with expression, and how I got to express myself.

Garrison Hawk

How do you feel now that the record's finished?

Man, I'm excited, dude - you know what I mean? I seen that we've put a lot of work into it, and I seen we're on it day by day and everything is in place. I'm excited about it. I just wanna be out there to do some shows so people get some of the realness, you know, and be out there for the fans and just to be supportive of the whole thing. So that's why at this moment we're trying to set up this tour thing - just enough to do on our own to reach out to people so they can get a piece of what we're putting out.

Where do you feel like your sound is right now?

I think I'm on top of the game right now, because for all the years I've been in the business and doing so much work, it's been an experience. I can see now what people are interested in, and what is necessary to put out there, and what is not. Maybe it's a good thing that nothing happen before now, because needed that time to find myself, to find a message and a purpose. So I'm majorly into what I'm doing right now.

What inspired the song "Wild"?

I think that was a whole inspiration coming from the reggae scene in Jamaica - like a dancehall scene, and the movement of the dancers in the club, particularly how the girls get down [laughs]. It's just really a dancehall thing from being in Jamaica, to get loose and free themselves. And for real, I can picture it in the summer here too, where people are just driving around and bumping it in the car, and it just make you feel a summery vibe.

There's a song called "Country Games" that you left off the album.

I think we're saving that one. You know that track with the Police that Puffy did with Biggie Smalls? ["Every Breath You Take"] It was that kind of vibe - I get energy from that song because I grow up in the country. In Jamaica, I grow up with country music on the radio station, and I'm a big fan of it. I think basically what happen is that when you're used to something, and you listen to it so much, it just becomes you. It's just a part of me expressing myself - maybe unexpectedly, beca' it's something in me that maybe I wasn't even aware of. So I start writing and singing, and basically the song just came naturally from me. It was really unusual. There's times in life you never cease to amaze yourself by what you get up and do. You never know what you're supposed to do or if it's gonna work for you, but you just get in your comfort zone. Having my own studio, I'm free to do whatever I feel like, so I just start messing around with beats and playing stuff, and it started to sound like country, and it just started inspiring me to keep that energy and that feel. It just basically comes out of me more like a country and western song. Like I said, you got Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen - a lot of these guys. And honestly, Elton John is one of my all-time favorites. Vocally I think he has one of the most inspiring vibes in music, you know? It's unbelievable.

I feel myself venture off into a lot of alternative rock, too, and then with Jamaican music - for me it's not even about Bob as much as Peter Tosh. There was an intense situation with him there, from my whole view. He was just being fully outspoken in his time, and tried to express himself in a certain way - it was such a revolutionary time, and he went through a lot of shit. Especially in Jamaica back in the time, being a Rastaman, they never usually get much respect, you know what I mean? A Rastaman always been a back page guy - a person who's never a front-liner. They always considered the last in line. It's amazing to me that today it becomes more expressed and shows more an image of what our culture is, really.

Bunny Wailer had a song called "Blackheart Man" that talks about how Rastas were wrongly perceived back in the day.

Yeah, and you still have that in Jamaica. You still have a set of people who consider Rastaman the bad guy and a person who is not worthy, saying that their lifestyle is unclean and their lifestyle isn't called for. And I think a lot of people who fight against that back then - mostly you find that in the older generation. That generation wasn't open-minded enough to listen or learn something from another view, so basically they keep that. Already their brains were washed in a certain way, where whatever they were told in the beginning, from ancient days, they keep that. Even now that the younger generation is getting more into researching stuff, we can't even bring that to the older generation because they already believe what they believe, and they're still not gonna see.

 

Garrison Hawk can be found on these other releases from M.O.D. Technologies:

Method of Defiance: Jahbulon
Method of Defiance: Dub Arcanum Arcandrum
Praxis: Profanation - Preparation for a Coming Darkness
Lee 'Scratch' Perry: Rise Again

Garrison Hawk

Survive featuring Sly & Robbie

Out now on CD and Hi-Quality Limited Double Vinyl

Hawk, Sly & Robbie, Bill Laswell, Gigi, Teddy Afro

Call it a deep stealth mission or just flying under the radar-however you want to phrase it, Garrison Hawk has been planning diligently for his moment to strike, and it's here. SURVIVE, Hawk's long-awaited and true solo debut, caps more than a decade of hard work in the trenches. As one of the brashest, most versatile and heretofore slept-on young voices to come out of Jamaica in a generation, Hawk has lent his radical talent on the mic to the likes of Armand Van Helden, Tricky, Sly & Robbie Survive and the Method Of Defiance collective, but has yet to claim his rightful share of the spotlight. All that's about to change.

Musically, SURVIVE is a futuristic hybrid of styles covering hardcore dancehall, reggaeton, hip-hop and even country & western-all a reflection of Hawk's wide-ranging tastes and his multi-culti upbringing. A native of Mandeville, Jamaica, he moved to the Bronx as a teenager and soon made his mark as a singer, rapper and deejay of exceptional promise; after rocking the mic at a local show with Shabba Ranks (one of his boyhood idols), Hawk started popping up on underground singles like "3 the Yard Way" (with DJ Excel) and "Addicted" (the flip side to Smoothe Da Hustler's "An It Don't Stop"), which got him airplay on New York's Hot 97 radio and top spots on the European charts.

"I never really think of music like there's a limit to it," Hawk says, explaining the multiple sources that feed into SURVIVE. "For my ears, I hear sounds, and whatever inspires me, I'm captured by it. That could be Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh, Johnny Cash or Bruce Springsteen-for me it was always open." Produced by Bill Laswell and featuring the matchless rhythm section of Sly & Robbie, SURVIVE is as much a triumph of will over adversity-really mind over matter-as it is a musical breakthrough. "It's just like they say: the older you get, the wiser you get, you know? I learn so much over the years and I can see it so clear now. When I was much younger, I probably put out a lot of immature and rushed stuff. I went into this with the idea that I need to do something meaningful. You gotta be serious, and you gotta be sure, and you gotta be positive about what you're doing."

Looking back, there are instances when even in the youthful rush of events, Hawk was reaching for something new and different. A chance meeting with Tricky, who had made his mark with Massive Attack and his own trip-hop classic Maxinquaye, led to an unusual partnership that really showcased Hawk to a larger audience for the first time. Tricky's 2001 album Survive Blowback marked a complete retooling of his sound, and on cuts like "Evolution Revolution Love," "Bury the Evidence" and the ominous "The Hawkman Is Coming," Hawk asserted his presence with a vengeance to anyone with an ear for hip-hop's jagged, ragga-laced edges.

In the aftermath, Hawk started honing a style that was more nuanced, merging singing and rhyming into a soulful mix that comes through here in the dancehall chants of "Wild," the throaty growls of "Murderer," the downright sanctified balladry of "Survive" (featuring Gigi on co-lead vocals) and the chilling "Apocalypse". For sheer versatility, it's reminiscent of Hawk's recent work with Sly & Robbie (on 2004's Version Born, for instance, and singles like 2008's "Sweet Music," with King Jammy and dancehall legend Joe Lickshot), as well as Method Of Defiance's Jahbulon, released in 2010. But more than anything, Hawk's sound and substance have evolved to the point where they seem to come naturally-an existentially cool hybrid style that's beyond calculation or obsessive tinkering. As Funkadelic famously warned, if it don't fit, don't force it.

Hawk Hawk