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Edan - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

On The Cutting Edge

April 2005

MVRemix: For people reading this that have never heard your music, how would you describe your style?

Edan: My style is all about freedom. Its all about promoting creative freedom. I am definitely someone who has heard a lot of different music, and within that time did a lot of research while I was listening. So I made it my goal to find out what it was about all of those recordings I heard that made them great. Basically, through that intensive listening and that love for the music, whether it be Rock, Jazz, or Hip HopI was just a keen observer. So I am someone who believes in warmth in my music and things that are flawed warmly. And things that are not too sterilized by the so called advancements of technology. So a lot of people consider my stuff lo-fi, but its really just about presenting something very human. People definitely call my shit strange, but I don't believe that anything is strange under the sun. Everything is possible. So I am definitely into breaking down any preconceived categorizations or boundaries that exist within the music. Just on some Bambaattaa shit of playing a Beatles or Monkey's record right next to a Baby Huey record. I'm on some fuck the boundaries, and fuck the cultural differences. Lets celebrate them, but lets see how we can unify people. So my style is all about freedom and unification. It's also about knowing your history and trying to make the most powerful current music based on the understanding of the innovations. Whether they be well-publicized or damn near lost scroll type information. I'm just all about knowing my place in this music shit, and doing the research and love. So in the end I won't make a fool out of myself when I make my own music, because I have acknowledged the history. So I'm trying to take all of that knowledge I have learned and make the most potent shit I can make today.

MVRemix: Tell us about your new album Beauty And The Beat.

Edan: Its just dialogue and continuing the conversation between the artist and the listener, as far as I'm concerned. My first album was a snapshot of where ever the fuck my mind was then. And this album is just an up to date documentation of where my head is at. On one hand this album is me finding my own voice, and on the other, it was a conscious effort to marry certain styles of music that up to this point, really haven't been fused in such a way. People might hear the samples and think what I am doing is old school. Because in general, people nowadays think samples are old school. If its not done on a keyboard or if its not crunk, your shit is just old or whatever. But this album is a combination of the Hip Hop essence that I am very fond of, and finding a beautiful way to merge that shit with the rock music I was a big fan of. Certain rock records, like Jimi Hendrix, have an all-encompassing sound and it swirls around you. Its very fluid and the feedback and peripheral sounds just seem to splatter all over the canvas. And with Hip Hop, that sort of outpour of sound isn't always there. It is a very rigged sort of thing where you are taking sharp sounds, like snare drums and kicks, or stabs, and people really aren't making them as fluid or colorful. A lot of it is just on some dance bump shit. And I'm a big fan of records that just melt your mind. I wanted to combine that feeling with the Hip Hop that I love. I just wanted to fuck it up a little bit. Make it messier and human - fluid and unpredictable. Just splatter the canvas basically. That was the goal, as well as make a fun house sort of record - where you are in this fun house of sonic entities and things change quickly. You might be in this hallway and there are 30 doors on each side, and you open one and see just a big eye levitating in the middle of the room. Then you close that door, open the door across the hall, and you see a car driving into the wall and disappearing. Then you open the next one and you see a horse doing jumping jacks. Basically, just strange delights and strange beauty. Part of the challenge was trying to bring these ill psychedelic rock records I'm a fan of, and make them Hip Hop. And I don't know too many people that share an appreciation for both of those at once. So I realized if I can combine these things, then I can honestly express the things that make me tic and in turn come up with a unique sound.

MVRemix: If a fan could only hear one song on this album, which one would you want it to be and why?

Edan: Wow! Its crazy because I kind of made this album as one long song. In a way I should just give it one title and not have any names for the tracks. It really is one piece of music, so I would just leave it at that. Because if I give you one long song, and then I pick out one, then I am going against what I just told you.

MVRemix: I was reading the new Elemental magazine and in your album review they stated that your album is British inspired. Do you feel that way?

Edan: Not really. In a way, I know what the dude is saying, because there is a certain type of British psychedelic. I guess you could say that popped off with the Beatles doing "Sergeant Pepper" or early Pink Floyd. The guy who invented the early Pink Floyd sound was this cat named Sid Barrett. And then there was this whole swinging London, and the a lot of psychedelic music was popping off around '66. That actually does have a big influence on the record, so in a way they are right. But I think money said that going to England helped inspire that, but that is not the case at all. I had a lot of these records here in the states without ever going to England. There is some of that in there, but its inspired by British and New York music, Delta Blues, Harlem Jazz, and everything. Its inspired by painting and visual arts as well, like the surrealist movement. A lot of early 20th century art that was going on in Europe inspires me. Even Marcel Duchamp, the guy who put a moustache on the Mona Lisa and said it was art. He was out to challenge the establishment and what was thought of as high art. He also put a urinal in a museum as an exhibit and just flipped it upside down, and called it art. And all the stuffy art motherfuckers just freaked out and it was on some scandal shit. But he was introducing the concept of by you just nominating something that is already in existence as a piece of art, you are sort of creating an original idea. So if you just took like a street sign and slapped it on the floor, or anything that already exists in nature or society, you can make it an original concept just by nominating it as a piece of art. That later went to be named the Ready Made. And I think Hip Hop has a lot of shit in it that is very reminiscent of this approach. Cats are taking beats that already exist, taking the break, and saying this is fly, this is me! So its pretty much the same concept - its a ready made. And people thought sampling in Hip Hop was just stealing. But its the same concept - we are nominating this and presenting it in a new light - so its definitely brand new. Same thing with Andy Warhol, who would take Marilyn Monroe's face, Xerox it ten times and just paint it different colors. Its just presenting these things that already exist, and it does make a brand new impression on the mind. Its not rehashing the same thing, because its making you think about things you have seen a million times in a different way. If you want to bring that up to speed now, someone like Ghostface - he'll take the Delfonics, and just rap over it as it is. And I think that represents a lot of the spontaneity and raw essence of rap. So I'm influenced by all of that shit, not just Britain. There is depth to what I am doing, so its unfortunate when certain cats think I listen to Schoolly D and Bis Markie all day and just fucking jerk off. There is more to this shit than meets the eye.

MVRemix: What else do you have going on in the future?

Edan: Touring - I definitely want to do hundreds of shows this year, but its difficult man. I'm just trying to figure out how to organize everything and meet the people. I also want to continue to make new music, but I'm going to wait until something intelligent comes along for me to say. Because a lot of people make music and put it out right away, but I'm a little more critical of myself. I know that I could be recording for a year, then only after start to make something that I am ready to put out. As far as specific shit though, you might hear a verse on Cut Chemist's new album, which is on Warner Bros. Also, I am going to continue to work with Insight, and develop our live show. I'm sure more collaborations will come about in the future. Oh yeah, look out for a DVD to come out. I was in this short film called SBX, that this friend of mine, Jun made. He basically heard this mixtape I made called Fast Rap and at the end of the mix there was this little snippet of Lord Finesse battling Percee P in '89. I actually got that from some kind in England. So Jun, who lives in the Bronx, he heard it and then tracked down the video footage. Then he made a short film that was inspired by that footage. He touched on the D.I.T.C. flavor, and had the battle as the centerpiece. AG is in it and GD, who are down with him. Show is in it for a second, Lord Finesse and Percee P are in it. Its like a musical in a sense, as AG will be talking, then it will just bust into a song. I have a little cameo in the movie, so look out for that in a couple of months. My single from this album, "Torture Chamber" featuring Percee P is also coming out, and Cut Chemist did the remix. So look out for that as well.

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"Wow! Its crazy because I kind of made this album as one long song. In a way I should just give it one title and not have any names for the tracks. It really is one piece of music, so I would just leave it at that."