Sunday, January 20, 2008

BOOM BAP SUNRISE: Zane Tate breaks it down

One of the hottest debates in the music world revolves around the state of hip-hop today. Dead or alive--- only time will tell, though the debate has certainly invigorated the culture and brought out some truly fresh acts. What's undeniable is that hip-hop is one of the grandfathers of many new filial musical trends, such as electro, broken beat, future soul, nu jazz, downtempo, and countless others. Zane Tate, one of the great new talents on the US broken beat/ nu-jazz scene would surely agree. His first album, BOOM BAP SUNRISE: Rural Sounds Volume One is one the examples of such musical genealogy.





L: I discovered your music through getting curious about your album cover that my friend, Kenji Nakayama, designed. Tell me a little about the album...how long did it take to make it? Who did you work with on it?


Z: I guess your first album always feels like it took your whole life to make since everything sort of built up to that point. But realistically I wrote and recorded most of it over a couple years. Every instrument, every part on Boom Bap Sunrise is me. There's the occasional sample of course, but I played all the instruments (keys, synths, bass, etc.), composed and arranged the songs, programmed the drums. The exception is the remix of Star Slide, which was expertly produced by my good friend Dave Healy aka Green Cigar.

L: I would say your album fits the broken beat genre that is one of the dope new developments on the underground music scene… could you tell me a little bit about the genre and who are your major influences/inspirations?

Z: Yeah it's definitely got a Broken Beat influence as well as Hip Hop and downtempo. I think that influence will be even more pronounced on the next album - I've been listening to a lot of Bugz in the Attic lately. But when I was making this album I was listening to Amp Fiddler a lot, and Mark de Clive-Lowe. Hip Hop artists too like Nicolay, Pete Rock, Kanye. I mixed all those styles up a bit so no single track sounds like pure broken beat or pure hip hop, but they're all heavily influenced by those sounds.

L: When are you the most creative? How do you come up with a track?

Z: Early in the morning, which is why the album's named Boom Bap Sunrise. You know, every day is like a new start with new opportunities, new blessings. And first thing is the morning is when I feel that the most - like today could be anything, so how am I going to participate in that? That inspires me.
From there the music can start with any number of things, like a simple chord progression or beat, or maybe I'm trying to communicate a particular experience or idea. The song "Sunday" for example was written the Sunday after Dilla died so I wanted to write something mournful but celebratory too.

L: What are you working on these days?

Z: A lot! I've been working on some collaborations and productions with other people like my man Tray, Motown Pride, and a few others who I can't mention just yet. I'm writing the next album now, and it's probably going to have a heavier Broken Beat feel, and a heavier Hip Hop feel at the same time. I'm also working on some new Drum and Bass. And I'm preparing my live show.

L: Any wishes for 2008?

Z: I plan to get out on the road a bit. I hope to get a lot of new music out there with some interesting new collaborations - I have more ideas and inspiration than I know what to do with.... It's going to be an exciting year! I hope everybody checks out the Leisure Lab site and of course my site to stay up to date. Good things coming...

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