Tag Archives: Remix

Artist Feature: Pat Messy

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Reflection is that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

– Pat Messy

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

PM: I was born and grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, been up in Oakland for some years. Right now I am in a place called Elevation.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

PM: A lot haha. I think reflection is the process of trying to make sense of what’s going on all around us. It’s that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

How does your music fit in with that definition?

PM: My music is my response to the frequencies of life. I try to capture what I see in the world and in the people around me, reflect it off what I hear in my head and feel in my gut, then somehow translate it into rhythm and rhyme. As far as the musical side of things, I do a lot of sampling (not just loops tho). I like to listen to music, so I listen to records for timbres and tones, little musical chops that inspire me to create. For example, on Skeleton Key, the entire melody was taken from a single 1/16th note from an old funk record. The tone of the note they hit had me bugged so I chopped it, spread it out over my keyboard and played a brand new melody and progression. To the point that you can’t recognize the original sample. I try to do that with my sample work, reflect on the music before me and respond in a way that transforms it into something new and fresh.

With The Elevation LP, I really created from a reflective place, it’s pretty much the stories and experiences that I wanted to share from my formative years. The songs I like to write are usually conceptual. I don’t really sit around brainstorming things to write about. I just write, and then what I need to write about emerges in the process. I try to focus in on that subject, communicate my learning and understanding that I get through reflection and giving these thoughts attention. All my songs go thru a lot of editing and reworking to stay on topic. I have a song about being hungover. I have a song about chasing skirts. I have a song about losing my mother after a long battle with cancer. I’m all over the place!! I tried to create a personal record that is accessible, like hey, this is what I’ve been dealing with, this is what I’ve learned, if you can learn something about yourself or the world around you by listening to my records then I’ve done my job.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Shake This Maze Remixes

First of all, we are GRATEFUL for the support with Shake This Maze Second Edition!! We still have copies left but many of you have  helped build this project into a successful reality. Soon we will be posting a behind-the-scenes VIDEO of V’s Craft in the making of the albums by hand in Brooklyn.

The soundtrack of the piece will include some remixes of Shake This Maze tracks.

The first one is called He’s So Jade and contains elements from He’s Your Guy and Jade Eyes.

Elements are from

He’s Your Guy

Jade Eyes

Our second Shake This Maze remix is called Spark Job Stab

Elements are from

Spark This Shit Flaming

This Job


Be on the lookout for the video dropping SOON!

Reflection and Response


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Final Argentine Thursday: Nas!

First of all I’d like to thank everybody whose been riding with us through the Argentina Thursdays and V’s Recollection series. The periods when we produced these pieces were super important to our growth as artists and fundamental in learning how these mediums really act as reflection and response to our everyday environments. It has been such a joy to share this period and discuss it with others.

To end I go back to the beginning. Buenos Aires, 2010. I began getting back into writing flows during this period, and my first one in awhile was about something that happened far from Argentina, on a street somewhere in Tunisia. My friend and LIFESTYLEcollective member Nassim told about when he started practicing religion again after he saw a boy have a seizure and then miraculously stop. I felt the story would be a cool narrative to put into song. I took a famous track from the Amelie soundtrack, Comptine d’Un Autre Été, sped it up a bit threw some drums and some basic melodic elements and wrote the track.

I rerecorded an acapella today  (December 8th) in Madrid.

Full Track (Early 2010)

Acapella (December 2011)

Yea he got up on the bus/ Summer in Tunisia sweat and dust/ And the wheels started to roll/ Things would change little did he know/ 10 minutes later he him lying there/ Eyes wide open in a broken stare/ Epileptic seizure mothers so scared/ The people move back to give the boy air/ While the uncle tried to resuscitate/ The mother realizes he’s slipping away/ Eyes fill with tears as she turns to pray/ Starts to cry shrieks of pain/ And my friends watches this from the bus/ Feels the mother and her grief for her son/ Suddenly he sees it from her eyes / Lost in the moment inside his mind

Suddenly the dude starts to breathe/ The passengers move back to their seats/ The mothers’ tears turn to joy/ And our protagonist smiles for her little boy/ Suddenly the sun starts to rise/ Move from the dark to the morning light/ The people move back to regular business/ And our dude thinks about what he’s just witnessed/ Quite a transition from near death to a new day/ All wrapped in two hours on a Tuesday/ Bus moves on as his thoughts move fast/ Wondered about death since his father passed/ He said he didn’t change right after then/ But after this moment he gained perspective/ So in the next few years he did his 5 prayers a night/ Started to live a more righteous life||

I think it was dope that Nas could tell the exact picture, the moment when he decided to start practicing again. Reflection and Response at its fullest, in a desert out in Tunisia then back to France, Nas’s country of birth. It’s pretty dope that Nas’s initial moment of spiritual clarity became my initial moment of artistic expression through hip hop.

Reflection and Response


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Argentina Thursdays: A Pair of Coplas

Buenos Aires, early 2010. Coplas. Found throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the set up is a call and response format accompanied by a bombo, or drum. The coplas I recorded by folk music activist Pablo Martinez are Andean in origin. The instrument that sounds like an elephant is called an “erke.” I played the erke in Pablo’s folk music band, and play the erke part between the vocal parts on the track.

Think Spanish gospel.

Pablo Coplas

Aquí estoy porque he vendio

Porque he venido aquí estoy

Si no les gusta mi modo

Como he venido me voy

Una sola mujer tengo

Dos hijas quiero tener

Una pa de vez en cuando

Otra pa permanecer

Jujeño yo soy señores

Yo no niego a mi región

Jujeñito lengua dura

Canta cuando hay ocasión

Here I am because I have arrived

Because I have arrived I am here

If you don’t like my way

As I have arrived I’ll go

I have only woman

I want to have two girls

One for every now and then

The other for always

Gentlemen I am Jujeño

I do not forget (negate) my home

Young Jujeño of hard tongue

Sing when there is an occasion||

I then did a remix of Pablo’s track and added some drums, piano, bass, and chopped up his vocal sample. This remix was a fun way to collaborate with a kind of music that I had never heard before.

Coplas Remix


Reflection and Response


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This track is a collaboration. While in Argentina for study abroad I befriended a man whose 15 year old son plays the quena. One day both came to a mutual friend’s house in Buenos Aires and I recorded some short samples of him playing a tune that is popular in the father’s home region of Jujuy Northern Argentina.

After returning to the U.S. I worked with the homie Clarke Reid. We played around with the sample and Clarke added some nasty keyboard and bass to the track.

It was truly a pleasure to be able to collaborate on a global level with such cool musicians.

Reflection and Response


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