Thursday, August 26, 2010

Interview: AUTOMatic is Everlasting

The Milwaukee emcee / producer duo A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic, known as AUTOMatic, deliver on their latest project, Transistor.

The album is sort of a homage to the days of good music, laced with soulful beats, dope rhymes and classic interludes.

When I heard their first leak, "Brown Leather," a few months back I knew they were cooking up an amazing project. When I finally received the full album, I worked my way through their 19 tracks and at the end I wanted to listen again. That's rare with much of today's music, where many projects are often over sized. Every track and every interlude make sense on the album. Ultimately, Transistor keeps you interested.

Their sound takes you back to a time when everything about Hip-Hop was dope. When it was less gimmick and more music. When the radio had variety and music channels played ... well, music.

What Prime and Trell do on Transistor is prove contrary to popular belief, quality Hip-Hop is alive and well.

I reached out to the duo for a Q&A just ahead of their August 28th release of Transistor. Check it.

The Mad Bloggers: There are a lot of producer / emcee duos. What makes your partnership successful?

Trellmatic: Its kinda hard to explain but I think we just have that natural chemistry that flows well.

TMB: Trellmatic, how is it working with A.P.R.I.M.E.? What's something you've learned from your partnership?

T: Well, it’s rather easy working with Prime. I can make a gang of beats and know exactly which ones he’d like before he even hears them. 9 times out of 10 I’m correct.

TMB: A.P.R.I.M.E., how is it working with Trellmatic? What's something you've learned from your partnership?

A.P.R.I.M.E.: We vibe so well that Trell knows the direction I’m going without me having to tell him.

TMB: Transistor is the second project. How is it different from the first project? What have you both learned from the previous project that you applied to Transistor?

T: The one thing I definitely notice was growth and maturity, both production wise and lyrically. What I applied production wise was more so broadening the soundcape without taking away from any of the original elements that’s found in our music.

A: We learned how to trust each other. The first album was more so an experiment that turned out well. The one thing that I learned and applied to this album is that you can do the impossible twice.

On the first album, we kinda played it safe. Choosing joints that we thought people would dig, considering that we had so many detractors from the moment we announced that we were forming a group. So, it was a lot of beats with soul samples and that went over well. This time around, I feel, we were more in-sync. We both were heavily into jazz, suffered from the HB's and were determined to make a project completely different from the last. Trell helped me with song topics and I assisted him with sample selection. I think that we were successful with that mission. The one thing that I learned and applied to this album is that same ol' dope beats/dope rhymes philosophy can do wonders.

TMB: Tracks like "Everlasting" and "Once Again", among others, more or less reminisce on what Hip-Hop use to be. How do we get back to producing quality projects and get away from the gimmicks that seem to have over-saturated Hip-Hop music today?

A: Turn off the radio and break out the cassettes and just take in that vibe.

T: I would say turn off the radio and the flat screen, and break out the vinyl and open your ears and mind.

TMB: What's the dopest track lyrically on the project?

T: “Gauntlet”

A: I'm a self-depreciating emcee, so asking me about my dopest song could get a bit messy. However,“Teenage Love” is my favorite. I think because of my detailed account of that relationship, it makes it relatable to an array of people.

TMB: What's the dopest track production wise on the project?

T: “Do you want it” is the dopest. I love the way that I freaked the baseline over that sample. And those drums...bananas.

A: “Nobody" is my favorite. Trell played that beat for me a week before I went to NY and I kept hearing it in my head while I was there. When I got back, I asked him for the beat and he hated that track. Fortunately, he trusted that I would make it hot and now he loves it.

TMB: It seems like the House of M crew have an uncanny ability to put together some amazing interludes and skits. Where do the ideas come from?

A: I went to a comedy college that I found on the back of a bottle of Swag-glo.

As the resident comedian of House of Mutants, my inspiration comes from everywhere. For example, "White Girl Chicken" was inspired by my friend making an ignorant comment about my other friend's white wife, making fried chicken better than black people. Other than that, most ideas come from me clowning between takes in the booth.

TMB: What's the one thing you'd like people to take away from Transistor after listening?

T: That the music we make is honest and comes from the heart.

A: Hopefully you’ll walk away with the feeling that “Damn, Automatic makes some fiiine mediocre music”.

<a href="">Everlasting by The Mad Bloggers</a>

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