Baron Wolfgang Von Thes-One - INVINCIBLE BULLY INC.


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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baron Wolfgang Von Thes-One

Ammmmmmericaaaaa....fuck yeah!

Thes One and Music that Works
Thes One

David Ma spoke to Thes One about the history behind his debut instrumental album, Lifestyle Marketing. The producer for People Under the Stairs touches on specifics of the project, his thoughts on record collecting, updates fans on his work with partner Double K, and discusses a production trend he deems "painful."

Lifestyle Marketing is pretty dense compared to some of your other production. What are some of your favorite tracks off of it?

I think the second track, Get on the Phone. That one was the first big track I did. A lot of these were done in 2002 or 2003, and that one was one of the first ones done early on. It sort of set the tone for the rest of the project. I wanted to keep the idea of the commercial, keep the tagline intact and keep some of the structure intact. I also wanted to make a composition that went from point A to point C and not have it just be a beat record full of loops. That was important, because it was the starting point. The tracks actually almost appear in the order they were made.

You've said that you found Herb Pilhofer's Music That Works in '94. What took so long for this project to get off the ground?

Well, the project sort of just stopped in 2004, because I was busy with other stuff and, now it's seeing the light of day. Its been a weird start-and-stop project. It's cool that it's coming out, but I had originally made it for myself to challenge myself as a producer.

As you production career presses forward, you've built a pretty sizable body of work. Compare your beats on Lifestyle Marketing to your People Under the Stairs production.

I think they're different. With the PUTS stuff, I can pretty much sample anything as long as it fits into what Double K and I are doing as a group. But with this, I had a specific thing in mind I wanted to accomplish.

Was this a harder project for you to accomplish?

It was a lot harder working with ten seconds of music to sample. So I had to rethink what I was doing. I got to focus on the music and nothing more. I was able to do stuff in 3/4 time signature and other technical stuff without it being an issue.

What equipment was used to make the majority of Lifestyle Marketing?

I primarily used an MPC3000 for the sequencing. Before I put things into the 3000, I would run them through and SP-12 or SP1200. Other things went through a tape delay or different analog equipment. I filtered a lot of stuff too. I didn't use any Pro Tools or anything like that. So I had to create a few things to make the loops sound good because there was such a limited amount of samples to work with.

The process, from your discovery of Music That Works to releasing this project, took over ten years. Sum up the process.

Looking back on it now, and to see it as an album instead of a few things I did on my Zip disc, is very interesting. It was made over such a long period of time. It captures a certain production style of mine during that time period. Its just sort of fills a portion of my career, and I'm thankful for how it came about.

You've stated that you never intended to release these beats. What do you want people to get from this two-disc set now?

It's funny, because the record market is so bad currently. So I think it's okay to put this out right now. [laughs] When I was making it, I wasn't worried about the intent of how it'd be received. I just wanted to make the music and focused on that. But are people going to buy this? Maybe. It's a good snapshot of what you can do given a limited amount of music, and it's a good case study in production technique. If anything, I don't want anyone to get anything out of it besides them simply enjoying it.

Besides making beats, you're an avid vinyl collector. Touch briefly on record collecting and what you get from it.

I would say I drive around at least three days a week and waste gas. [laughs] I mean, it'd probably make more sense just shopping on eBay at this point, but I have this affinity for driving around L.A. and talking to people. I went to this store called Record Recycling yesterday, and I was there all day. And in retrospect, I knew I wasn't going to buy anything, but I probably just wanted to shoot the shit with Roy, a buddy of mine that works there. It's a part of the community of digging that's lost in the Internet world. I mean, I'll usually hear about Shadow diggin' and even run into Josh at some of my spots down here. But there simply aren't as many stores available anymore. Plus, it isn't as competitive as it was when I was like twenty-one years old. I mean, I used to hide records to get later if I couldn't afford it then and stuff like that. It was furiously competitive. I felt like the clock was always running. My view of record collecting now is a bit different than when I was younger.

Let's shift gears. What's People Under the Stairs currently up to?

We're chillin' right now. We spent most of last year on tour and we're back to making music. We have side projects we're working on, but theoretically, we're making another record. We're always working on something. I set aside beats for Double K all the time.

What do you want people to say about you as a producer after having done it for a while now? Especially with your debut instrumental album being released.

I would want people to view the stuff I've done and know that I wasn't influenced by the hot producer of the moment. I want people to hear my production and ask: "When did this come out?" I remember when people were copying Premier and Pete Rock real hard, so you'd have a gang of producers from a certain time frame sounding all alike. So I guess I'd like people to hear my stuff and not be able to tie it to anything that was happening at the time.

So you think there's an influx of unoriginality currently?

Definitely. Like right now, you got a ton of producers biting Dilla's style on Donuts. When I heard Donuts, I flipped out and thought it was incredible. But I hear CDs and new beats people got comin' out, and it's painful. l mean, people are reducing Dilla's legacy to biting. Just because a style is good doesn't mean it's up for grabs. And it's just one of his styles. I mean, Slum Village didn't sound like that — Dilla had many different styles throughout his career. And I think it's a disservice to his legacy that people are biting so hard.

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