Cloud the Exclusive

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.

One Comment

  1. Dj Linx
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    No comments??
    I hope this isn’t a sign that Cloud is being slept on.
    I stumbled on this guy’s talent by watching a youtube video he uploaded where he shows the basis of how Dilla made the track “Waves” from the Donuts album. As far as I was concerned, this guy seemed to have grasped very well Dilla’s method of chopping and re-arranging samples to construct new melodies. A link was provided to his myspace page, and now 4 beat-tapes deep, i’m eagerly anticipating his next release.
    Whilst initially his style sounded very Dilla-esque, it has evolved with each new release to be a very distinct sound which calls back to the essence of mid 90′s east coast hip-hop, and seriously exceeds the manufactured prevalent mainstream hip-hop style. Fused with deep soulful vibes, rugged hardcore, and hard beats, Cloud’s music has the flare of a future super producer in the making.
    If there is a flaw to my ‘critique’ it’s that i’m an unashamed fan of this guy’s music so it’s difficult to find fault with something which sounds totally agreeable to me, but some people may find listening to instrumental’s with repetitive loops a test of their patience. Fortunately for those who appreciate this style of production, this is part of what gives his style that Roy Ayres – like groove hanging, something which can only be done by those who know the right grooves that maintain that soulful integrity.
    Cloud -The Exclusive may very well become Cloud – The Ubiquitous.
    Keep an eye out.
    Peace.

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