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A Gentleman Named Actionslave

A Gentleman Named Actionslave

  • By Teague Alexy
  • Release 17/12/2013
  • Music Genre Rap/Hip Hop
  • Media Format CD
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CD 
Price: $20.75

Product Notes

Why commonplace? When....Actionslave. "To express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can," says James Joyce in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That's what Actionslave is. A painting. I started making music before I could play an instrument. There was a general feeling that hip-hop was a fad and if it was lucky enough to last, only young people could do it. We did it for the pure enjoyment of listening to the playback, getting giddy when the beat came together or laughing at one another's rhymes. We had no interest in becoming lifelong musicians or even being musicians at all. Prank call generation kids following instincts for having fun. I wanted to reinvigorate that spirit of making music. There were no affordable beat machines and samplers specifically designed to make hip-hop like there is now. We had to figure out some sort of basement method. The creativity involved in figuring that out fed more creativity, and doing things differently made it original. Sloppy, but original. I wanted to revisit that philosophy and incorporate things I have learned about musicianship, sound, production etc. A rap producer would kill for the collection of musicians I have around me now. A gangsta rap producer would kill eleven, twelve people, no problem. Actionslave started when my brother Morgan was passing through Minnesota and we had big fun making beats that we were calling 'gangster theme music'. Morgan was skeptical of my new found interest in Minnesota roots music and was determined to bring me back towards music I made in Jersey. We would goof-off and freestyle over top of the beats and eventually some amusing song concepts emerged. I decided to let the lyrics be as free and fun as they would have been when I was a teenager - before I realized people are easily offended and before I decided things like sarcasm and venting will never go as well with acoustic guitar as truth. The lyrics on Actionslave are written to a now ancient code of Philadelphia old school hip-hop filled with esoteric references to my childhood and early recordings. Every piece of musical gear I have owned or borrowed over the last ten years is probably on this record. I discovered the artist Jean Michael Basquiat while working on Actionslave and tried to make a connection with the way he combined words and symbols into his paintings and put them on canvas, or doors, windows, walls, and would fearlessly go over his own work. I would make a beat on a circuit bent drum machine and try to play saxophone and theramin through tremolo and keyboard through a tube amp with fuzz and noise synthesizers and other things I can't really play and then edit, cut it, loop it, play electric guitar, execute some beat science, create rules, break rules, go over, move it around, add delay and constantly learning. Angelo DeRosa was my first musical partner and I have always been at my best with that man at my side. We met in 8th grade and though we live miles apart we never stopped collaborating or being the truest of friends. Angelo is on three tracks. DJ Mouse aka Lyndon Ramrattan from Trinidad is one of my favorite people and Minnesota became a better place when he arrived. To me, his vocals on the opening track bless the album. I have learned plenty playing and recording with Steve Garrington (Low/Retribution Gospel Choir/Actual Wolf) the past couple years and his bass on Shake The Foundation makes me wanna jump up and down. I also sampled some live things and studio outtakes and such from Ryan Young, Joe Savage, Dustin Tessier, Chad Bloodson, Ian Thomas Alexy and BJ Capelli. Joe Mabbott, who works with Rhymesayers and Doomtree, and Erik Koskinen, who works with everyone else in Minneapolis, mixed it. With the exception of a single Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin and Wood) breakbeat, I only sampled from my own bands. Ryan's Lament (for Disco Dave) is a dedication to Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys who I always considered the most creative and best band of their generation. A Moment for Beatmaster Wiz is a dedication to Lamont Smith who along with Angelo and I was in the 7 man crew Breakdown Posse in high school. Lamont was such a kind, talented and cool kid and passed away as a young man. My Dad is a painter and we share the same birthday. I think I instinctively make each 'Teague Alexy' albums into a sort of personal painting. The New Folklore was exploring storytelling and using characters outside self, time, place and reality to reveal deeper truths over a freewheeling live band. This Dance was a gut-examination. Going deep down into my own heart to find truth and contradiction over a more dialed in sound. I feel like I am working towards something and these albums and tours have been exercises for things I need to develop in order to create some sort of master work that will encompass my entire life. But I am not there yet and that is not what this is. This is from the basement. This is Actionslave.

Details

Artist: Teague Alexy
Title: A Gentleman Named Actionslave
Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
Release Date: 17/12/2013
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 707541655798

Credits