G.E.M.

Every genre of art has an outstanding time period of artistic expression that inspires generations and shapes the culture. This movement carries on the tradition of creating masterpieces that will surpass lifetimes. In this moment... It's Golden Era Y'all. 

The [M]usic [P]roducer [C]haundon

We all hear sounds in a variety of ways. From the traffic outside our windows as people go about their daily grind, to the tranquility of nature with it’s distant sounds of bird calls and humming insects providing a fuzzy bass line. 

Sound is all around us. It encompasses us with a soundtrack of its own making. Sometimes we can hear it clearer than others, as if we are in tune with the universe a little better than the next person. I often wonder how many others truly feel that way. I can’t be alone in that experience. Many people must share such a vibe. 

Familiar sounds create and trigger emotional responses and ease our troubled souls. They comfort us like a well loved record does. I can transport to another world. For me, the noise of my environment and the records I love inspire my writing. That is a true connection.  

So what happens when both those elements connect with you on another deeper perhaps more profound level? What do you do with that new found creative energy? Do you let it go to waste or do you channel it into a new and exciting direction? What happens when your ears react to the sonics coming from the speaker in such a way that you want to reinvent them from something that's already been made? We can call it a producer's ear.  A gift for the evolution of art as we know it.  That’s what Chaundon has. 

The past influences the future. Chaundon has THAT ear for being a sonic architect. He understands and respects what has come before and how it can shape tomorrow. Old records chopped, truncated and sampled made new and fresh. Rhythms long ignored, unearthed from dusty grooves, to live and breathe again for a whole new audience. 

A golden era is defined at different points or junctures in history. We know this to be true. But who’s to say that every era can’t be golden? Who can tell us that it was better before than it is now? Chaundon doesn't believe that. In his eyes, now is a golden era. His soundscapes capture that sentiment. They give us a range of emotions. We live in a confused, and at times dark, world where social injustice could swallow us whole. We need the sunlight to breakthrough and shine. That’s what music can do for us. That’s what Chaundon wants. He wants us to all embrace a new golden era.

Digital vs Physical

We live in a digital age. Theres no escaping it, people. The majority of what we desire and want is a mere click away. We no longer have to get off our butts to shop. In my case, that directly applies to the music I buy. Be it a digital download or physical product from a website, it’s all done by clicking. Is that a good thing though? I can see the merits to both, honestly I can. If I want a song right away, I can fire up iTunes, type in the title or artist, and up it pops. Boom. Done. It's mine. Is that satisfying? 

It feels a little soulless but in the end I’m getting what I want. Maybe it’s a generational thing. I’m not against digital downloads at all. I like the ease of it. It’s cool to know if an album drops at midnight, I can get up for work, fire up the macbook or iPhone, get clicking, and its done. I’m rocking something new on my commute. I guess that, in its own way, is satisfying. Another aspect is from the perspective of the artist/musician themselves. In the rap game the digital release is a godsend for the up and coming rapper. The free album/mixtape plays a big part in getting your name out there, it's promo. For the rapper or producer, it’s a wonderful platform to showcase your work without spending great sums of money. Release it through a website or blog and wait to see if the downloads total up to a figure you like. I’ve discovered many new talents in the past year this way. That’s when the digital experience makes sense to me. That's when I’m hyped for it. I’ll explain. If I’m buzzing off the download, then I’ll watch the videos. If I’m still engaged, then I want to see what comes next. If that includes a physical release, be it cd or tape, then I’m on board. You’ve got me as a fan. To me, that’s the successful route to establishing a career. It’s music fishing. You got me with the bait now reel me in. 

I grew up with an overabundance of record shops where I could buy the newest releases that I’d read about in the previous months magazines. To me it was exciting. My pocket money freshly liberated from my piggy bank, ready to splurge. My backpack would have both tape and cd walkman inside. I didn’t discriminate about format. I just needed that new fix. I was a full time hip hop head and you couldn’t tell me nothing. I knew what I needed. I had a list of wants in my head and a little bit of room for musical experimentation. When I picked up a release, new or old, I would scrutinize the front and back covers. I searched for any information that would lead to another purchase. For example, guest appearances, producers, or even the record label it was on mattered. About the latter, if it said Def Jam in the early 90’s, it most definitely would be a good album. Oh how times have changed. When all my decisions were made and money paid, I was on my way with a bop in my step. I was satisfied. I would get the bus home and break open the seals and start to absorb the info in the credits. That’s something I loved to do as a teenager. I still feel the same now. It was my thirst for all things hip hop. I wanted to know who had written, produced and scratched. I wanted to see who was involved, be it as homies or featured guests. Every new tape or cd could lead to the next. It was exciting. It’s what made me the collector I am today, for better or worse. 

In the digital age, many new and established artists avoid the major label system. They don’t need them to put product out there for the masses. It’s a brave new world where they can control their own destiny. Now, I don’t profess to know the payout for artist on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. If I were to guess, it's better than what the record label would pay. Many of the artists I support have hit upon the brilliance of offering  us, the consumer, a great way to satisfy all our audio needs. If you buy direct from them via their website or bandcamp, you get an instant digital download plus a cd, tape or record mailed to you. That works for me. It gives me the best of both worlds. It’s immediate satisfaction with a secondary high when the postman delivers the physical product to my door. All bases are covered. The collector in me is happy. My dusty shelf gets a new addition along side my iTunes library. 

Maybe I’m a bit more modern than I thought. I couldn’t live without my physical music, but I also know the same can be said of the digital.  As long as I can combine the two, I’m personally a content consumer. 

Writer Chris Cammack, In His Own Words

My name is Christopher Cammack. I’m 35 years old with a few greys hairs peaking out. Now don’t let the greys phase you. I regard them as the physical manifestation of my history -- a history with a deep love for Hip Hop culture. 

If my mum hadn’t bought me  ‘Licensed To ILL’ & ‘Raising Hell’  maybe things would’ve been different. I guess I have her to thank for the path I’m on. The culture has woven it’s way through my childhood, teen years and adulthood. It’s shaped me for better or worse, right & wrong. I’ve seen trends come and go, legends born and lost. My life has been checkered, to say the least, but music has kept me safe and comforted on the darkest days. 

In the last few years, I’ve found my passion.  Writing. Nothing gives me more pleasure. The thoughts that fill my head have a home here. I want to share the gems I discover with you. Knowledge isn’t the sole property of one person. It’s for all. If I co-sign, it you’ll hear about it. That’s my word. I live in the Steel City of Sheffield with a large collection of cds, cassettes and records. Throw in boxes of kicks and you start to get the picture. 

My life is Hip Hop. I am Hip Hop.

Allen York x Trackoholics - Happy Hour EP

Remember how dope it was when Allen York rocked the Golden Era Music Stage at A3C this year? We do too! He's been busy ever since. 

His latest project, Happy Hour EP, dropped today. York supplies the bars and Trackoholics supply the beats. We're always happy to see our family doing good things.

Stream and download the album here: 

http://www.audiomack.com/album/allenyork/happy-hour-ep

Enjoy.