#020: DJ Alibi

DJ Alibi

Alibi, congratulations on the album release - ‘One Day’ is already out in Japan and will be released in Europe and the US in two weeks.

Thanks man. Its been a long time coming, so I’m happy people now have a chance to check it out. Hopefully folks dig it.

Could you give a timeline for how you made this album; when did you start it and when was it completed? Were there any particular stand out important moments during its creation?

I started making the album in late 2004. My demo to Tres Records had the beginnings of it on it, namely the ‘One Day’ track. Its pretty much off the strength of that track and some others that Tres picked me up. I finished the record a year and a half ago, but I’ve been making little changes to it pretty much up until the release.

Labelmates Giant Panda and Insight feature on the album (as well as a secret guest) - I’m guessing that was hooked up through Tres?

That would be correct. Big ups to Sight and the Pandas. Both tracks turned out dope.

When were those tracks recorded and how did it go down?

The wonderful world of internet, man. I sent them dudes a beat, they went into the studio, recorded it, and sent me back the acapellas to mess with. One upside of the internet is that collabs are now very possible, even if you’re on different coasts. Its a cool thing fo sho.

Plus Bamboombox guests - they’re from your local crew Soliva Spit Society. What’s going on with Soliva at the moment?

Yeah Bamboombox is me and two guys from Soliva. Right now, Liquid Serebral from Bamboombox just made an incredible album with Dexter Noizulli from Soliva as well named ‘Ode to Hyde’. The project is called Magnolius. Please check out myspace.com/magnolius. So one third of Bamboombox is heavily involved with that at the moment. Al Buddy Black, who is also in BBB just made an album with me producing and Apollo Creed (a Toronto veteran emcee) called ‘Pucker Oats: Day One At a Time’. I’m sure you’ll hear more of us in the future. Check it out at myspace.com/puckeroats. Soliva is the tree - all the projects I’ve mentioned are branches.

On the track ‘On The Record’ Theo 3 features; who is this guy because that is a nice track. He mentions something about you picking him up? And a beef with A-Trak or something? haha

Hahaha. Yeah well, some people get confused when they hear the track. Its a concept track - he’s speaking as if he’s a record I sampled. So A-Track is actually “8-track” and so forth. Just pay attention to the lyrics. Theo is one of the dopest Canadian emcees ever man. It was an honor to work with the dude, since he’s been puttin out records for a looong while, and few cats from Toronto can step up to him in terms of skill.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is ‘Guns of Kabul’ - just dope! I wasn’t expecting the drum and bass section! That was great!

Thanks man. Thats probably my favourite track on the album. It was inspired by ‘Guns of Brixton’ by the Clash. I just wanted to make a raw, energy-driven track. I’m very happy with it.

The story goes that you sent Thes One a demo and he hooked up your deal with Tres Records. A lot of the press releases have talked about you being Thes One’s protegé. Has there actually been any kind of one-to-one tuition? (haha) Seems to be a lot of hype around it.

Nah, theres never been any one-to-one private lessons here haha. Actually, I’m not too pleased with being called Thes One’s protege, and I’m sure he isn’t either. He’s one of my fav. musicians, but our styles are quite different, and to lump everyone who makes sample-based, chord-driven hiphop in the same category is unfair.

So you were born in Russia and moved to Canada later on and many influences can be heard on your album. The track ‘Live At The Rex’ has a very jazz feel which is lovely, the drum and bass bit in ‘Guns of Kabul’ of course, ‘Nina’s Song’ has some Indian vocals on there, a lot of just chilled sections and some banging drums as ever.

What do you find influences you and how do you come to bring things together?

Man, alot of things influence me. Sometimes it’s certain records. Sometimes it’s certain events in my life. For example, I recently had a trip to Morocco which basically changed my life. When I came back, all I wanted to do was make music. So yeah, it’s alot of different things.

I also heard you can play a whole bunch of instruments… violin, piano, trumpet, bass, guitar. These days how much of your music do you create with instruments, or is it solely from your crates?

These days, more and more music I create is using instruments. Except drums. Drums have to be sampled. You just can’t get the sounds you want by playing a drumkit yourself. It’s all in the swing, and few drummers can pull it off.

Following on… what equipment do you use?

Sound Forge and Sonic Foundry Vegas. So all software. Don’t be fooled by this hardware vs. software fiasco. It’s all in how you use what you got. Make sure to back up your hardrive often though!

What is your approach to record collecting?

I don’t really have one. When I get some money (which is rare these days haha), I might occasionally pick up some records here and there. Some obscure stuff. But I’m not a crate digger in the truest sense of the word. I don’t really know much about labels and years and who played on what and et cetera. I just sample what I like and what fits. The only knowledge of records I DO have, however, is of Eastern European records. They make up the bulk of what I sample.

You did a couple of dope remixes too that were on the KTRS mix last year, one for Giant Panda and one for Lightheaded. Why did you choose the Giant Panda track ‘Chops’ to remix? The original beat is really minimalist and you flipped it to a really chill funk.

I don’t quite remember how it came about, but I think Chikara gave me a choice of some songs to remix off ‘Fly School Reunion’ and I picked that one. I appreciate the comment on the beat, I’m really happy with it.

Plus, who is the O Man?

The O Man is Newman’s uncle who hangs around him all day and eats from his fridge and smokes blunts in his basement. He also runs a radio show apparently. We’re trying to find him a real job now…

I’m sure some people are wondering about djalibi.com - whats up with that man, you need some updates!

Bah… I need to find someone who can do that for me. I’m completely illiterate in site-design.

So what do you have planned now? Started working on the next one? Any worldwide tours?

A rock EP is in the works with a close friend of mine. It’s just an independant thing for fun. So look out for that. Also, more work with BBB and Pucker Oats. A sophomore album will also be started on shortly. I’ll keep y’all posted.

Any other things you want to say?

Thanks to everybody on the forums for the support. And, oh yeah, the album… GET IT!

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One Day by DJ Alibi - buy it!

DJ Alibi - One Day

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DJ Alibi
DJ Alibi on Myspace
Tres Records

One Response to “#020: DJ Alibi”

  1. the fudgemunk Says:

    good interview yoyo! best wishes for the release alibi. keep on…

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