Last week I called Dirty Projectors the best band currently making music; this week I write about someone once picked to open for them.
Gabriel Quiason is a man of many names: Turtle Dove, The Marionettes and Black Cherry (his collaboration with friend Rosie Stadnik; they opened for Dirty Projectors late last year). He has been recording music privately in whatever space available to him since he first realized that he could use his plastic $2 computer microphone and some free software to put together what amounted to some really savory little experiments. Recording as everything from bedroom punk to droney shoegazer, his music was mostly for his and his friends’ enjoyment, never really expected to travel further than MySpace. Fast forward several years later, trade the $2 microphone for a $1500 MPC, replace shoegaze and punk with hip-hop, and suddenly you find yourself face to face with the newly-minted Cloud the Exclusive.
Picking up where J Dilla left off, Cloud the Exclusive is Gabe’s attempt to take his careful and studied approach to music-making and -listening and apply it to the troublously homogeneous world of hip-hop. Cloud seems to take influence from nearly everything but hip-hop, infusing everything from 50′s pop to world music into densely chopped rhythms. The beauty in Cloud’s chopped style of sampling is that, like Dilla, he does not simply borrow from his appropriated sources; instead, he wholly reconstitutes the samples into new, fresh melodies, not only creating a new and unique song, but placing the original sample in a completely new light. Here’s an example of his process (the sample played first, his beat second):
Of course, none of this would matter if it were not for the fact that people are genuinely responding. From his MySpace to his YouTube page, Cloud is creating quite a stir, with interest sparking from MC’s looking to rap over his beats, beat-making rivals jealous of his abilities, and, of course, hip-hop fans simply looking for something new.
Cloud the Exclusive will be performing at Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn on September 13th. You can download his latest beat-tape for free by clicking here.