lørdag den 24. januar 2009

Behind the Beats: Isbjerg

Yes, we do celebrate one of our own here,but he deserves a little credit once in a while. And in Isbjerg’s case, we do have one of old cats in the game. Isbjerg grew up in Denmark and were introduced to “The Message” Since then he grabbed the mic, got in the spotlight and rocked it with the best danish acts at that time. And since the danish scene weren’t that big, it meant that everybody knew everybody and Isbjerg’s been working with former DMC world champions and danish old school legends. Further more, Isbjerg’s been on a bunch of features and albums throughout the last 15 years..
He didn’t dropped the mic, but layed it on the shelf for time being, focusing on producing. He then found a bunch of acapellas to practice on and found KevinNottingham.com and grew with projects..
He’s done plenty of interviews, but never on his own and never as a producer. With that much coming from his Rap1Masse blog, we had to ask him a whole lot of questions.Briffe : So what up. You first took notice joining in on the 90’s contest, and you had your first remix album with the American Gangster. But back to that in a while – First, what made you change from being an MC to dive into the producing ?
Isbjerg : Producing has always been my thing, I wanted to get an inpact on my music, so I brought records I liked and did bring some important stuff to my own joints and when I got a computer in the beginning of the 90’s I had to try to produce something and despite the 8bit and lousy sounds, I did two albums and 3 mixtapes with beats on it.. Garagesounds vol 1 and 2 were the bomb in a time of independent artists coming out, doing their own thing. Shortly after that, my computer broke down and I was stock trying to produce on Music 2000 on my playstation 1… How low can you go ? But I got an MPC and got beats back in my everyday.. And now after KevinNottingham.com, I found the hunger and lust to do more and do better… His site and the Nottinghammers raised my production rate from 10 beats a year to 10 beats a week..Not that I have to, but I really want to make beats..

Briffe : I like your dedication. So, what equipment do you have now ?
Isbjerg : I still got my MPC, but prefer my old Acid Pro 4, really pressing it to follow my commands. I’ve got stacks of CDs and some LPs and stuffed it on my extended harddisc, bought for music arrangement, samples and sounds… I’ve got movies and live concerts for inspiration and since I thought of making ‘ Before I sleep’, I got myself a lot of old school equipment and try to balance simple samples and live feel..

Briffe: So you’ve released remix albums and mixtapes for more than a year now How is that different from being the one laying the vocals and what does it take for you to begin a remix album ?
Isbjerg : Imma have to say, that no matter how good a MC I consider myself, I can never compete with the acapellas in my remix. I’m not retired as a MC but the producing makes me wanna do more and work harder to make it happen. It’s great to have a whole album of acapella and brainstorm what do with it. I really had fun doing the El-P and Sick Jacken album, and Jay had me going the distance. I had to go 20 years back in producing with El and Sick made me listen to a lot of westerns albums. I’ve been a fan of Bill Withers for years and combing Jay with Bill were a dream as well of making the Wright album.. I’ve just finished J-Live remix album, full of orchestral music and raw drums and are working on Nas/Olu Dara project as a father/son thing..I saw the Notion contest on Kevin, but couldn’t find a perfect theme for it, until the IllMatic beat contest came up - So if the theme idea works for the vocals, I’m in..

Briffe : Tell me about the process of finishing the albums. How long did it take to find a way to spread the word and what were your approach to releasing it ? Do you have a favorite album or do you have a special release experience ?
Isbjerg : I’ve realized that having a company makes me take on a lot more tasks than I did as a MC. I gotta do the mastering, the graphics, the album ID and making the release plans – I’m not alone on it, but I like to be certain that things are getting done.. And like everybody else, I have my facebook/myspace profile, I’m on various sites spreading the releases and I’ve started a release mailchain, including Kevins site and have included more blogs throughout 2008. The album are much like children, and that makes it hard to find a favorite, but ‘Before I sleep’ really made me work harder and I do consider the album deserves a better hit score, that it got – I consider re-releasing it through Kevin to make it standout and make it heard by those, who I imagine would like it..
Briffe : I must admit, I haven’t got the entire album, only the joint on your Remix1Massee albums – Now, do you got a MC, you would like to produce ? Either a acapella pack or a real MC ?
Isbjerg : I would love to do more Biggie – I had a remix album planned, but decided to wait because of the hype surrounding the movie and the mixtapes coming out because of the hype..
I’ve had a talk with Australian MC Notion and wouldn’t mind doing more for him, as for Trav William from Florida and to find a skilled MC on a level as those, I wouldn’t turn down doing as much as possible..

Briffe : Who did you listen to growing up? What producers or artists had an impact on you? And what about today… who do you listen to in the game these days ?
Isbjerg : I grew up on Run DMC, Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. I heard a lot of Gangstarr after hearing ‘step in the arena’ and wanted to be DJ Premier, and the same thing happended when I first heard Company Flow. El – P and Primo have a lot af styles and sounds that you can try to copy, but can never outdo… Those two are trendsetters and today I do tend to listen to more new artists, but I can’t keep up with the many albums coming out, so I listen a lot to my own projects, the selfish bastard I am..
If I told you, that my favorite albums are : Paul’s boutique, 3 feet high and rising and It Takes a nation of millions to hold us back, you can imagine the style and sound, I like..

Briffe : What can we expect to hear from you in 2009? Any more remix albumss? Another albums or productions maybe?
Isbjerg s: I’ve promised myself to make more instrumental albums, but I’ve got room for more acapellas to be dombined with some good stuff.. I gotta do something in 2009, that I didn’t do I 2008, or else I would only repeat my work

Briffe : Thank you for taking the time to talk. Is there anything else that you would like to end this off with ?
Isbjerg : Yeah, get the free remix album on my site – Don’t hold back…

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