The dope Detroit based producer chats to us about past projects and his new album 'Two/Three' which features tight performances by Jay Dee, Doom, Wildchild and many more. Come read.
Who are you and where you from?
I live in Ann Arbor. I grew up in a small town off the gulf of Mexico in Florida and moved in and around the detroit area when I was nine.
What's the thinking behind your name, and what other alias's have you used?
The name Dabrye was created by combining letters for an esthetically pleasing image. Much like how graffitti writers do. The word is totally made up. My other aliases are SK-1. My first 12" was under this alias and I'm always recording ragga jungle with Todd Osborn as Soundmurderer (Todd) and Sk-1 (myself). Todd and I started the label.
We released ten 12" that were almost all reissued and compiled for the UK by Rephlex. We still make this music and plan to have another CD for Rephlex while pressing our own domestically in Detroit. We recently released "Toronto V.I.P" on Planet Mu.
James T. Cotton is my dance music alias. At first I released a 12" called 'Mind Your Manners. This was sort of a mutant swingtime tech/house record. I immediately diverged from this style because I felt that Cristian Vogel was doing it better. Plus, I had a long time interest in making Detroit style techno and Chicago jack tracks and acid. So I made do with my computer making these styles until I built my dream studio with Roland gear and other older machines.
I've a handful of releases on Spectral under this name. I've been collaborating with my long time DJ idol Traxx as Saturn V. With D'marc Cantu as 2amfm. And solo as JTC on other labels like Muzique, Udek, and Creme Organization. I co-produced the most recent Dirty Criminals record on International Deejay Gigolos.
Tadd Mullinix. I have released braindance or IDM under my birthname for Ghostly. But I will diverge from this style as I want to reserve this alias for more experimental new music projects. Dabrye is my hip hop alias. All aliases were conceived simulaneously when I got my first computer somewhere in 1996-97.
How did you first get into hiphop and what are some of your favourite records?
I first got into hiphop listening to rap and RnB radio in Detroit, like WJLB. My first hiphop purchase was Eric B and Rakim 'Let The Rythm Hit 'em'. Then came the D.O.C 'No One Can Do It Better' and then Public Enemy 'Fear Of A Black Planet'. These are still
some of my favorite releases.
Previous to your recent release, what other projects have you put out?
The first two Dabrye albums ('One/Three' on Ghostly and 'Instrmntl" on eastern developments) are intrumental albums. First of all, I love instrumental hiphop but I also had no connections with MCs that I really wanted to work with. These instrumental LPs were also intended to be a resume for the MCs of the hiphop world but being signed to a mostly electronic music label somehow kept my recordings out of the scope of the hiphop world.
What equipment do you use most and what's the best thing a newbie should buy?
I use my PC, an assortment of early synths, drum machines, turntables and FX. Most people already have a PC so I would reccomend someone starting out to buy some simple editing/multitracking software like Audition. I still use this all the time.
How long did 'Two/Three' take and what's been the most rewarding part?
I've been working on it for about 3 years. The most rewarding part was being able to touch base and collaborate with MCs and producers that I truly admire.
Tell us about the musical vibes on there and what guest spots it offers.
There are a lot of guests and I'm proud of all of the collabs. The general musical vibe is dirty Detroit style beats with icey synths and quality street flows. There are some soul/jazzy moments and some political lyrics as well.
What other artists would you like to work with down the line?
I'd love to work with Busta Rhymes, Rah Digga, Black Milk and Young RJ, Fat Killahs, Wasted Youth (Detroit hiphop), Ghostface, and Almighty Dreadnaughts (Guilty Simpson's crew).
What label's the album out on and how did that relationship come about?
'Two/Three' is on Ghostly International. Todd Osborn introduced me to Sam Valenti when I was working for Todd in his Ann Arbor record store, Dubplate Pressure. Sam heard I made house and was interested in a casette. I gave him a tape I kept in my car that had a little of every alias on there. Sam wanted to release multiple styles of music for the first time for Ghostly.
Any plans to come over here and tour the UK at all?
I will definetly roll through in September.
Any forthcoming projects you can spill the beans on for us?
Speaking of beans, I am finishing three beats for Beans' new LP.
Have you got any shout out's or messages to round this up on?
Big shout to the Glasgow massive. I always feel really appreciated when I perform live there. Thanks tons and all my best! Peace.