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Kritiken/Interviews

Noah23 Interview

First of all, what most people don't know is that you are not born in Canada but in Mississippi, USA (except they listened carefully to „Zapata Physicians“). Even though you moved to Ontario at a young age, have you experienced differences between growing up in the USA and Canada?

There are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences between Canada and the States. The city I grew up in, Guelph, is a very musical city which is great. I also love the accent and expressions from the southern US so I draw inspiration from both places.

How and at what age did you start making music? Do you still like the songs you did back then? Because most artists deny their early work for some reason.

I started making tapes featuring lo-fi folk, punk, hip hop and experimental noise music in the early 90's. Most of it is still interesting to listen to. I am never entirely satisfied with any music I do, so I just keep recording new art. But yeah, I would like to digitize much of the old work for people to hear. Some titles for those old tapes are: Aluminum, Peter and the Moth, Knee High Sesscity, Lampshade, Yukon Dawn ect...

Let's talk about your recent music. It always seemed that you release music non stop but the last months have been crazy. Clout, Technoshamanism, The Fool, Famous Playaz, just to name a few. And there is a huge list of future releases like Crab Nebula, Weird Apples, Bourgeois Cyborgs or a new Crunk23. Looking at your lyrics I think that you know every expression in the universe except for „writer's block“. Where do you take the energy from?

I think that comes from wanting to try new things and collaborate with other artists. 2006 was a very busy year for me for some reason. I had an abundance of pent up tension to work with and made around 100 songs last year. As long as I feel its a true representation of where I'm at for that moment, then its cool. I love to make music.

Your discography is kind of split into „main releases“ (Quicksand, Jupiter Sajitarius) and „minor releases“ (like Neophyte Phenotype or Mitochondrial Blues). Do you take a different approach on records that are going to be CD-R and those distributed overseas by labels like 2nd rec?

Each album kind of represents itself. Some of the records I've done for Legendary are more like compilations of songs, but others I consider to be cohesive albums. I like my albums to sound like mixtapes anyways, so its not a big difference. The audio mastering would be the main thing to set apart 2nd rec releases.

Information about your label Plague Language is rare these days. Although PL gets mentioned on a lot of songs from you or fellows like Baracuda, it's website is offline and there are no news about new artists or other related stuff. What is the current status of PL?

Plague Language has been on hiatus for a few years, but just recently we've come together as a new lineup, primarily Livestock, MadAdaM, Baracuda and myself and the combinations thereof (Bourgeois Cyborgs, Weird Apples). We intend to start a new catalog of releases and tour together. The old PL records will be collectors items basically. So be patient and you will see a new era in Plague Language.

Let's get into your lyrics. They're a mix of biological terms, technological expressions, esoteric topics, scientific fractions and traditional „rap writing“. With the repetitive use of some of the aforementioned it's like your songs are connected to form some sort of network. Is that the intention of your way of doing tracks, to weave and enlarge a meta-layered web of correlative links and references?

That is actually exactly what I am doing. Memetics is the study of ideas and language as replicating biological entities that live in the host organism which is the mind... But yeah I feel my work to be like a giant self referential body of thought. I love working in motif and repetition. Some people like finding the little jewels in more than one song, or others comment on the synchronicity of the terms I use. For instance maybe I quoted a movie that you've never seen, you hear that quote used in my lyrics first and then see the movie and pick out the quote, that can be interesting.

One of the recurring expressions used in your songs is 2012. What does that stand for?

Popularized by Terence Mckenna, on the winter solstice in December of 2012, we will reach the eschaton. People say the Mayan calendar ends that day. There is a lot of crazy ideas about 2012. It is the year of the dragon, it could be a big year. I personally think that Time is coming to an end. Not the world, or existence, but the 4th dimension is undulating into a new phase.

Some people think that your lyrics are just randomly put together terms and foreign words without any meaning at all. You kind of explained it in „Birdfish“ with the line „Isn't really what but it's how I say it“. Is there really no meaning in the „what“?

No, I write with intent. I just dont subscribe to a perfectly linear form of communicating what I want to say. Really I think technique and content are equally important.

Except for some single ones dispersed throughout the internet it is nearly impossible to find lyrics to your songs. Did you ever thought about providing them along with your releases or on the internet?

Actually yeah, I've been meaning to type up a few of the albums lyrics for the internet, and I'm always thinking about publishing a book, of either new or old stuff. Some day when I do an album that I am really really proud of, I will include the lyrics.

Next to your lyrics your songs are characteristic for slight changes in your voice. „Canadian Hyphy“, a song from the Crunk23 record, is an exception since your voice on this track is a lot more dark and gloomy. Is this something that we'll hear more often on future releases?

I definately like trying different voices and personalities on the mic, so yeah I think you will hear more of that style and some other ones too. For me I am just compelled to continue changing and creating. There are lots more flavors still to come.

You have a young daughter. Do you want her taste of music influenced by the music you do and like or should she find her own?

Thats a good question, I would say a little of both. Not just with music but for religious things, I will expose her to what I believe and let her find her own choices. I listen to all types of stuff, and she already seems to have picked up a joy for music, but I wont push it on her too much. I can picture it now... when I am old and no longer "cool". She will say, "Dad your music is wack" hahaha.

You live in Guelph, Ontario along with fellow musicians like Baracuda or Livestock. How is the music scene there? What are the artists people should hear from?

Well obviously MadAdaM is the primary one making beats for us all, so he's been grinding heavy as of late. My homie DS did the beats and rhymed with me on Famous Playaz. He's been around Guelph and always has some fresh shit. Hangnail and Lord Kufu are very original artists from here as well. The music scene in Guelph is always changing, but almost always vibrant too. There are a bunch of bands, rappers and djs around that make cool sounds, but theres always people leaving and younger kids coming up too. Guelph is always dope though, so stay up.

Like I read on your myspace blog there is a European tour involving you, Ceschi and DJ Scientist planned. Is there anything specific known already like countries or even cities?

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, hopefully France and more. As soon as we have the cities confirmed I will let the world know. But the lineup is amazing... Ceschi is a brilliant performer and we will put on great shows wherever we play. I promise.

One last question: Did you see „The Number 23“? What do you think?

Yeah I did end up seeing it, it was pretty cheesy but there was something strange I noticed... In the film there is a gravestone that a weird dog protects, and on the gravestone is my birthday. Feb 10th. explain that one...

Peace out y'all and stay up on Noah23.