GMEBOGOSSE 002 :: Jailblazer - A View From The Hann Window

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Recorded and arranged August 13–22, 2015.

Hardware:
Mutable Instruments Clouds & Frames
Make Noise Function & Wogglebug
Strymon El Capistan

Software:
Adobe Audition Edits, Mix, & Convolution Reverb with Shepard Tone Impulses

www.justinchrismeyers.com
www.sym-ltd.com

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"Hip-hop is currently the most adventurous and experimental form of popular music. When most rappers describe their lifestyles, it's an experience mostly removed from my own, but the idiosyncratic cadence of my favorite rappers is where I find the most appeal in hip-hop. This mix attempts to recontextualize the essence of this appeal by deploying a sampling technique, granular synthesis, which warps and distorts the material defined here within the range of a 1 second audio buffer. The sampled material's amplification curves are reshaped with different envelopes, one being the "Hann Window". In two instances of the mix full songs are sampled and distorted in real time, but most of the material consists of scanning 1 second audio buffer loops, reshaping rapper's characteristic intonations. If the material succeeds for the listener, it does so because of the power of the source material, coming through even while a song is processed to the point of sounding more like stuttering than the usual seamless flow. Distilling this essence of the art form could perhaps give the listener a new perspective on the music and instill the same profound respect for the art from that I have.

Hip-hop is a predominantly African American genre, invented and cultivated in urban and poor cultural centers, but since the early 90's has maintained a large white suburban audience—an audience that couldn't fully relate to the core experience of being black in America. Full disclosure, I'm a white male who grew up in Southern Minnesota. When I had the idea for this mix years ago the implications of race never occurred to me, but that's the advantage of being white in America, I don't have to think about my race on a daily basis. I hope growing up as hip-hop became a mainstream cultural force has given my generation some empathy for the black experience.

The Jailblazer moniker was born out of the desire to explore new methods and concepts in my music, it's purpose is to play with and defy the listener's expectations. I adapted the moniker to distance the material from my previous work, attempting to give the listener a different perspective. The real-life "Jailblazers" were an early 00’s iteration of NBA’s Portland Trailblazers who were notorious for misbehaving, getting caught with drugs, arguing with their coach and amongst each other. They had absolutely no regard for their fan base as well, denying autographs, spitting on hecklers and just not being what the public wants from their professional athletes. They were predominately a African American team, coached by an African American, labeled the "Jailblazers" by a mostly white fan base. The Jailblazer era was over when most of the players were traded away to other teams or retired. Once traded away from a toxic environment, players matured and lead successful NBA careers. My favorite Jailblazer, Rasheed Wallace, went on to win a championship as an integral part of the Detroit Pistons and Zach Randolph is the veteran leader of the gritty Memphis Grizzles, a playoff team in the difficult Western Conference."
- Justin Meyers, August 2015