By now I am sure you are all familiar with a little movement called trap infiltrating the dance music scene. Today I present you with 2 forerunners of the movement, Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks. The duo LOUDPVCK (pronounced Loudpack) work collectively from two different coasts, L.A and NY, to bring us those sounds straight from the underground. I had a chance to catch up with the guys to find out everything from their roots to the one person they would like to smoke with. I also have their latest remix of Adventure Club's “Retro City” dropping today. Check out the interview below and go ahead and bump the remix as it is dirty in all the right ways.
LH: When and why did you two decide to link up? Why do you work well together and why did this collaboration work better than pursuing solo projects?
R: We met at Berklee College of Music in 2009, Kenny came over one day and we took a bunch of bongloads and listened to “Hell Hath No Fury” by Clipse and that was it. We started working on beats together a lot and giving each other input on our own stuff. I dropped out of school a year ago and since we've been sending each other tracks constantly. Recently we thought we had some really good ideas so I flew to Boston and we hammered out the first three LOUDPVCK tracks.
LH: What are your music backgrounds/interests?
K: I started playing guitar at 9 and drums around 11. My parents exposed me to an insane amount of different genres from a young age so I feel like I always grew up with a pretty eclectic taste. In freshman year of high school I downloaded a demo version of fruity loops and from then on my interests shifted toward production. I've always made hip hop, but other producer friends and Berklee kids put me on to so much different music I would have never found otherwise. I like keeping my ears well-rounded outside of the genre I spend so much time thinking about, I find it helps my perspective stay fresh.
R: I come from a musical family, my dad is a record producer and songwriter so I've been around it forever and I've been playing piano seriously since I was a kid. Jazz is my favorite kind of music, I love playing jazz and blues piano that's like my meditation. When I was sixteen I began playing around with different DAWs, and then a few years ago I got Ableton Live and have been completely addicted to producing electronic music ever since.
LH: You use a lot of eclectic vocal samples like "Fear and Loathing" in your tracks, how do you choose them and why?
R: Sometimes someone will just show us a sample or hand us a little vocal snippet and we're just like "we have to use that." Other times we will have a song with somewhat of a thematic concept and go searching for samples that compliment that idea. We tend to incorporate sound effects that have something to do with the content of the record and we use a lot of weed & drug related samples because that's identifiable with trap music.
K: They help you catch a vibe instantly. In such a primarily instrumental genre anything vocal really catches your attention, and those little moments through out the song give you something to hold onto besides a melody.
LH: How does the music scene in LA compare to Boston?
R: Los Angeles is really on fire right now with talent, culture and events. There's a real community here as well, I'm always running into my producer and DJ friends who are out at the same shows which is cool. Boston has a strong college crowd but the music culture totally struggles there in my opinion.
K: Boston has a couple venues that have dope shows every month, but there are so many filler dates between the few good ones; AND everything closes at 2 am... LA is just so much more concentrated with acts and promoters, I feel like you can't leave for a night without missing some amazing concert.
LH: Who was the first of you to pick up on trap? I know Ryan had a few releases under his belt before you guys collaborated.
R: That depends on how you look at it. Kenny and have both been listening to traditional dirty south hip-hop AKA "trap" music for a long time, we grew up on that stuff. The recent explosion of "EDM" Trap or whatever you want to call it is something I think we both noticed happening and wanted to experiment with.
K: I've been listening to what I consider Trap since like 13 or 14, early Jeezy / Shawty Redd and Gucci / Zaytoven shit. When this new wave came around I would hear like UZ and Baauer records referred to as "trap", and it made no sense to me for a few weeks. Ryan was definitely first to pick up on the whole scene, and once he played me his "Fiji" record I knew it was time to get to work fast.
LH: With so much trap circulating the internet, what is your personal definition of the current trap sound?
R: Hard TR-808 drums focused on intricate rhythmic patterns. Simple, concise synths and chopped samples.
LH: You mentioned you are looking to release an EP on an electro label, any particular one in sight?
R: Mad Decent/Jeffree's and Fool's Gold are our dream labels.
LH: For Kenny: What's your history with cinematic music group and how do you think that has shaped your path in music thus far?
K: Cinematic is family. I think I was Shipes' first official intern, I bothered him on twitter for like 3 weeks just to get up. One day they let me come through, I played like 4 beats, all 4 ended up being Smoke DZA records. It was actually the same summer Jonny had signed K.R.I.T, so I got to spend everyday making rounds with him, and studio every night trying to make some shit for DZA. I don't think I'd be doing half of what I am now without the knowledge and relationships I took away from my time at Cinematic. Shipes is still the first person I call everytime I have an idea, KRIT still answers all my annoying production questions, and I will be making music with DZA until he's too old to rap!
LH: What do you think is the significance of the Certified Trap Vol 2 Mixtape? Do you see the future of trap music coexisting with the urban community or in an electronic lane of its own?
R: The mixtape was important because it put a spotlight on the stylistic choices of the producers and brought a lot of artists together. The question of the future of trap is an interesting dilemma right now. I hear a lot of people asking/wondering whether it's going to go more in the direction of these instrumentals just getting bigger and better and becoming their own thing entirely in the dance community, or if we're going to start hearing Flo Rida and Rick Ross on UZ and Flosstradamus beats. I can't really say what will happen but I think the former is more likely, at least in the immediate future.
K: I think compilations like Certified Trap are proving that this isn't a fluke. People are pushing genre boundaries and the EDM and Hip Hop communities are responding; both demographics are looking for innovation. This new "trap" music builds strength from the fact that it's equally rooted in two huge genres, so I don't think it will be long until we see a major artist break a record borrowing from this sound so they can reach out to more fans. So many big pop records these days take from House music, yet the two worlds are able to thrive separately; I hope trap will be able to transcend the urban / dance market the same way.
LH; Your mixtape is dropping with Trapaholics, share a bit about how he got involved with crossing over from one form of trap to the other and why you think someone from that side is so enthusiastic about the EDM area of the genre?
K: Both Trapaholics and the guys at Live Mixtapes have been very adamant about helping to transition this new EDM wave into the urban community. Being that so many legendary rap mixtapes have had their stamp on them, Trapaholics understand that co-signing this movement adds a lot of credibility and momentum to the scene.
R: You'd have to ask him about the specifics of how he heard this music, but I think he just feels the beats are really hard and wants to help support them.
LH: For Kenny: Schoolboy Q - Party has a heavy electronic influence, is this reflective of your changing tastes as a producer?
K: Definitely. I did the Party beat last March, I was really trying to stay away from any type of sampling and had been listening to a lot more EDM music through friends at home. I think electro music typically just has a way more interesting sound palette than most Rap, and when you take away the 4 on the floor rhythms there is so much bounce in a lot of these records. "Party" just shows that the two can fit together organically.
LH: You have an EP dropping on 10/25, can you spill any details?
R: Can't say a lot except it will be on Livemixtapes/Clubtapes and it's going to have several new originals as well as an official remix we did for Adventure Club that we're really excited about.
LH: What would you like to achieve as producers and DJ’s? What are your plans and thoughts for the future?
R: We want to take our music a lot further in 2013 and really push the envelope creatively.
K: Loudpvck world tour! And produce a mixtape for the kids who did "Hot Cheetos and Taki's".
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
R: Be patient and focus on your music
K: Your Network is your Net Worth
One track that gets the club dripping in sweat?
R: Zeds Dead x Omar Linx - Cowboy (UZ Remix)
K: Lil Durk - L's Anthem
One person you would like to blaze with?
R: Larry David
K: Jiro Ono
What did you want to be when you grew up?
R: Record producer
K: Jiro Ono
What’s your vice?
R: Weed, cigarettes, coffee
K: Wax, Tagging
If you could have a super power what would it be?
R: Invisibility ’
K: Xray Vision
K: Cat Marnell.. obviously.
R: Chippy Nonstop