Face Punch

I was just given this link so this amazing video. I needed to share it with the world.


Peek it. It’s sweet.


Atmosphere Producer/Engineer Joe Mabbott

AtmosphereI work with Joe, and I think it’s really cool that he can say this about an album he worked on. I did this interview for the college’s blog and thought I might as well post it here too. Congrats Joe, keep making damn good music!

Joe Mabbott made Billboard Charts recently with his work as Mixer and Engineer on records by the local hip-hop group Atmosphere. Four Records In The Top Rap 100: #1, #91, #93, #96. The album, When Live Gives You Lemons charts: #1 Internet, #1 Tastemakers, #2 Indie, #2 Alternative, #2 R&B, #5 Top 200, #6 Rap Core, #7 Digital, #13 R&B Core. He is also a MSCM Faculty Member.

-MSCM: How/When did you get started in the recording/production business?

Joe: I started in 1995 as an intern at Trail Mix Studio, which I later bought. I got into the recording field just being a musician and having a lot of passion for music. I started as a post production engineer during the day, and working on music and records at night. I eventually just focused on the album side of the business and haven’t looked back.

MSCM: How did you get started working with Atmosphere and Rhymesayers?

Joe: I started working with Atmosphere on the God Loves Ugly record. I met them through Chris Blood (McNally Smith faculty member, Music Technology) who did their record Lucy Ford. Chris had business to attend to in another studio in Atlanta, so I took over working with them. Then they turned around 2 months after completing God Loves Ugly and came over to my studio to work on a handful of songs that would eventually become part of Seven’s Travels. It was the first time they were exposed to Pro Tools and loved it. The ease of making changes to the arrangements and mixes was a little mind blowing to them. Plus I think we all just melded together and had a really good working vibe. From there I kinda became the Rhymesayers engineer. Brother Ali, Semi Official, Musab, I Self Devine, they just kept coming in. They are an amazing label to work with.

-MSCM: Who is your favorite artist or group to work with in the Twin Cities? Why?

Joe: I can’t answer that. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a ton of great groups in this city. It’s a pretty tight knit musical community. I don’t advertise my studio, so all of my business is word of mouth. Once one good record gets made, my clients tell their friend and the rest is a trickle down effect. That’s really the best way to work.

-MSCM: Who has been your favorite client of all time? Why?

Joe: Again, I have to say that everyone I work with has their own unique style to them that makes them great. My favorite clients are the ones that keep making good music and keep this amazing music scene the way it is.

-MSCM: What was your favorite album you’ve worked on? Favorite track?

Joe: Crecent Moon Is in Big Trouble was one of my favorite records I worked on in while. It was all tracked live in the studio in one day, each song had at the most 3 takes. There was just something very raw and amazing about that day.

-MSCM: How do you approach producing versus engineering?

Joe: I find myself wearing both hats on almost every record I work on. There are a lot of elements I feel I bring to the table besides just picking the right microphone and placement. I try to put as much of my own personality as the band allows into every record I work on.

-MSCM: How do you think the industry is changing from a recording/production side? How does that affect you and your work?

Joe: Digital recording has changed the world of the studio. When I first started in this business, it was about big studios, big labels, and big budgets. That’s not the case so much anymore. There are amazing records being done for dirt cheap and in people’s living rooms.

It hasn’t really changed my business that much. I’ve adapted well in the change, but you have to. Plus I get hired for my ears and my ideas. Nothing will change that.

-MSCM: What are the differences in recording hip-hop versus other genres? Is hip-hop your favorite to work with?

Joe: There are a ton of differences in recording from genre to genre but the one simple thing to live by is capturing the best sound and mood you can from record to record.

-MSCM: What are some tips you’ve learned along the way?

Joe: With the different genres I’ve recorded it’s always good to keep an open mind. You can apply what you learned recording some blues record to how you’re gonna get a grimmie sounding organ to translate in a hip hop track. It’s like having a hat full of tricks and figuring out when to use the right magic.

-MSCM: When you are working on an album/project what does your schedule look like?

Joe: Depends on the client. Some of my clients work day jobs, so it is based off of what their schedule is like. For most of my clients, music is their job. Sometimes I don’t get a day off for two months straight. It’s really project per project based. It’s a good idea to try and keep some personal time set aside when working on a big project though. Keeps you sane.

-MSCM: When you get that GRAMMY who will you thank in your speech?

Joe: Come on that’s easy. THANKS MOM!

-MSCM: What are some things you would tell the future producers/engineers?

Joe: Network, keep an open mind, prepare to work your ass off, and have fun with it. We work in one of the greatest fields you can work in. Sure we’re not doctors, but sometimes the music you work on or listen to will change someone’s life forever, and that’s pretty amazing.

-MSCM: What would you still like to accomplish or see happen in your professional career?
Joe: I just want to keep making good records and hopefully inspire other people to do great things in music.

Digital V-Cards.

I feel like I might be the only one who finds this sort of play on words funny, but I need to write about it.

In business I think some people forget that acronyms and other shortened names can be associated with things that aren’t so business-like. My favorite 2 examples of this are below:


In the world of business retail this means Point Of Sale, let’s refer to Wikipedia since it knows all: “Point of sale or point of service (POS or PoS) can mean a retail shop, a checkout counter in a shop, or the location where a transaction occurs. More specifically, the point of sale often refers to the hardware and software used for checkouts — the equivalent of an electronic cash register. Point of sale systems are used in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, and casinos, as well as almost any type of retail establishment.”

Now in my world after 5 and on weekends POS means Piece Of Shit, Urbandictionary.com says: “It means piece of shit, and you use it towards anything that is worthless, AOL is a prime example.” So I ask the people that came up with the Point of Sale, did you really want people thinking your product was worthless?

The vCard

If you are a member on LinkedIn then you have seen the option to “Download vCard,” this provides a digital way to get a list of information about a contact or person. Wikipedia describes a vCard as: “vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways, such as on the World Wide Web. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.”

In the world of non-business activities the vCard is something completely different. I call upon UrbanDictionary.com for their definition: “the virgin card. If you have your own card, you’re still a virgin. When you are devirginized, you give up your card to the devirginizer. If you have at least two cards, you’re a card collector.”

Because of the clashing definitions, and my current situation of living in both a professional and non-professional world I find myself letting out a little giggle (at least in my head) when hearing about this new technology. I can only imagine how many “card collectors” there would be in this world if acquiring a vCard was as easy as the image above.

Interlock Lives! – Sold Out, Seriously.

Interlock Lives! Sold Out ShowWith over half of the tickets pre-sold almost 3 days before the event it was standing room only at the Triple Rock on Friday, May 9, 2008. The Interlock family set out to show that the Twin Cities hip-hop scene was still alive and well after a long cold winter in Minnesota, that objective was more than accomplished.

If you missed the show then you missed your chance to get your hands on a physical copy of Prof & Rahzwell’s Kaiser Von Powderhorn. The two rappers wanted to make the Interlock show and its crowd a special one by only giving the “mix tape” away there, don’t fret though, you will still be able to download a digital copy of the album (check back for more information on this).

**Follow-up** ( Added May 13, 2008 )

City Pages magazine was smart enough to review Kaiser Von Powderhorn and music critic Jordan Selbo had this to say about the new EP, “In less than 18 minutes, Prof manages to snatch the crown for best TC rapper of the year.”


Now I leave you with a short clip of “Baby Jacob” from the album Kaiser Von Powderhorn.

Prof & Rahzwell – New Tracks – Killer Shows

Prof & Rahzwell bring the party and this time they’re bringing the party to the Triple Rock on May 9th for the Interlock Lives show. Promised to be the show of shows, lucky attendees will also get a copy of Prof & Rahzwell’s new “mix tape” (which isn’t a tape at all, but rather a CD) called Kaiser Von Powderhorn.

Now for those people out there who just can’t wait to hear the new tracks you can get an early peak of 2 of them on the Prof & Rahzwell MySpace page, or at mplsrap.com. To give you a preview of the sneak peak I will first ask if you can think of the Chris Brown song “Kiss Kiss.” Now imagine that beat topped with a new take on the lyrics, a better take on it, the hometown party boys did just that.

Friday May 9th marks the date for the show of all shows, and Prof has promised to bring more craziness than he ever has before (there’s even rumor of him showing up in a diaper), so if you’re not planning on seeing these guys then I’m pretty sure you’re either dense or just plain crazy.

I leave you with a video of the single “Gold Teeth” feat. Rahzwell (off their CD Project Gampo) so you can get a preview of what’s sure to be an amazing performance on Friday.

Green Porno – Dirty

Green Porno. Have you heard of it yet? I’m not sure people in general will find this as interesting as some, but I think it’s a combination of creepy and genius.

The Sundance Channel and Isabella Rossellini have made a short series called “Green Porno.” The website promises “Live Nudes” just like any other porn site, but the twist, nude bugs?Green Porno - Live Nude Bugs

Upon a more complete investigation one realizes that this isn’t a kinky porn, but an informational piece about how bugs reproduce in our world. This piece is perfect for you if you’ve ever wondered how an Earthworm, Snail, Fly, Spider, Firefly, Bee, Mantis, or Dragonfly reproduce.

Like many other “independent” pieces you must expect some of the unexpected; and while this is an educational and informative piece the language isn’t really meant for your 4-year-old, or for the office for that matter.

I think it will be interesting to see the everyone’s reactions to such an off-kilter piece, especially one with such a graphic title. Porn in general, is usually seen as a dirty word, and Porno is usually seen as the videos you don’t want your kid to see.

I give this project two thumbs up though, and I hope that the world can learn to embrace the fact that bugs and sex are all around us all the time. 🙂