featured interview

Bisc-1 A night in the life of Bisc1 You probably haven’t heard too much of his music, but it’s likely that you have seen one of his art works here or there. Whether it’s a Def Jux release album cover or a piece on a New York wall, this NY citizen has already a long carreer as a graph artist behind him. Now it’s time for him to explore the opportunities of a musical carreer. ‘When Electric Night Falls’ is his debut full length on Embedded Music after a well-savoured EP and a much downloaded mix tape. Right now Bisc1 is on a tour through the US and the only way to reach him was to mail him some questions who reached him in a car somewhere in California...

So Bisc, what happens when Electric Night falls?

The sky grows heavy. Thoughts move fast. And creativity explodes.

What does the night mean to you from a creative point-of-view?

Peace of mind. Creative hours. Reflections. Lay back and work on my visions.

How did you get with Johnnie Vegas to get to work with you on the album?

Johnny and I met in a park in Brooklyn 10 years ago, kicking raps. We had
mutual friends. Since then, we always stayed in touch. Eventually we took
it to the studio together and went to work.

Vegas produced almost all the tracks, how important was an overall consistent sound for this album?

Extremely. Even the sound from the other producers had to fit to what we were going for. We have a serious future of projects ahead. So we will continue to craft the sound we are shooting for. I like records with an overall feel. We are in the day and age of the mixtape. We wanted to make a record.

The sound of the album is very atmospherically and soundtrack-like, did you start with the beats and did you go from there or did you start from the lyrics on?

We had a lot of songs recorded. Basically we sat back with everything. Found both lyrically and beat wise what we wanted to achieve and then set out to really put a record together.

Could you tell us something more about the featuring lyricists on the album?

Esen is my long-time homie. We went to high school together and been in this hustle forever. From B-Boying to DJ-ing. Raping and painting. That's my brother from another mother. Grimace and I met the same time with Johnnie Vegas. They are brothers, twins actually. So when I build with J. Vegas, Grimace and I kick it.

If you compare this album with the rest of your work, it has become more personal, very personal even at times, was this your goal or did it come out naturally during the recordings?

It’s all natural. I like music with emotion and reality. So I guess I see it as a outlet to let myself out. When I write I just follow the feeling of where my head is at.

In ‘Turbulence’ it goes ‘the pendulum swings from right to left’, is that how you’d best describe your life, as ‘turbulent’?

Let’s just say my decision-making process in life is a lot of back and forth. And my mentality has a lot of ups and downs, so yeah, I deal with an internal turbulent struggle.

You moved from Connecticut to NY, have you accustomed to NY life already?

I have been in NYC for 10 years and my whole high school/middle school life I was skating and buying gear and music in the city. I am def more than accustomed. NY is my home...

What have you learnt about NY in the last few years?

Nothing I haven't known really. The most important move I am seeing these days is understanding that NY is not the world and as much as there is no other place I would rather be. I'm trying to expand. NY is massive and there's always work that can be done. Sometimes you gotta step out of NY…

what’s a NY state of mind for you personally?

High speed. Electric rush. Balance. Danger, intensity. I love and hate NYC. It saves my life and might take it too.

How d’you get with DJ Ese?

I was designing mixtapes for him years ago and we started making music. The rest is history.

Influences of the Def Jux roster is obvious, which artists do you associate with mostly?

My favourite record off their collection is Can Ox (‘The Cold Vein’ ed.). I like most of the records they release. Real people with real music.

And what about Company Flow? Would there be this album if they hadn’t released ‘Funcrusher Plus’?

To be honest I never got into that record until I was working with Jux. Can Ox was a big window into to what El-P was doing. I definitely knew of them and that track ‘Lune tns’ was my shit from mixtapes. On some graff writting that was dope. I'd say if Gang Starr didn't make ‘Hard To Earn’. If things like video, graff and painting didn't happen there might not have been a record. If Company Flow didn't make a record I wouldn't be with Ese and Embedded. I'd def be painting and writing music with no question.

As a graphic artist do you approach your music very visual? Like how many video clips do we have to expect and do you like making movies and putting it on Youtube?

Yeah I am getting into it now. I like video editing. It’s time and it’s work. But motion is dope. Audio is dope. This Youtube thing is making me learn new skills. So I'm down with it.

How much of your time do you spend on the Internet and what are your main activities?

I stay connected. It’s an electric culture. A wireless world. I'm writing this in the car in California while connected. All day long, in terms of what I do. Email. News. TV-shows. I don't have a television. Myspace. Youtube. Google for info.... pretty basic.

You’re on the road right now, how has the Travelling Circuits tour been so far?

I'm seeing a part of America I never have so that's fresh. We did a 720 in the rockies in a blizzard on the highway and hit the barrier. But the car is cool and we are alive and moving on. Give thanks.... the shows have been dope. Good people all around.

There has been three years between your debut EP and your debut LP, in between you did a mix CD, how come you waited until now to release a debut full length and why this project?

Good things take time. Can't rush this process. I'm the only one who puts the clock on it.... so with that. We put work in...

Are you a fan of SF literature? Who are some of your fav authors?

Not too much. I definitely live a paranoid, grim-viewed of the future life. I was in NYC for 911 and I think that pushed the mind state further in terms of how I see the future. Our government sucks out here right now and the environment in heating up fast. Sci-fi is just coming to reality. I don't need the books, it’s all in the media right now.

So ‘Blade Runner’ ain’t your favourite movie?

(laughs) No. I recently watched that. Definitely not an influence in my work. Conceptually maybe we run the same tracks. I'm on some 'Usual Suspects'-style of movies. Although ‘Gatica’, ‘Equilibrium’ and ‘1984’, those are fresh movies that definitely run with my vision of the future. I hope for the good but think too much about the bad.

What’s the first rap album you ever bought?

Run DMC's ‘King of Rock’ or Beastie Boys ‘License to Ill’.

What’s the last album you uploaded unto your iPod?

K-os ‘Atlantis’.

What’s next for Bisc1?

Time to travel. Let NY get warm and try to paint a bit. Me and Johnnie are going back to the studio when we get off the road. I can't wait to work on a new project. I have a few videos in the works and a dope audio visual project to follow up the record with. Everything is in time.


For sure...DJ Human & Grimace, live from a highway in Cali. All the readers, supporters and people checking this out. Thanks for taking the time.... get at me...peaces.



POSTED 03|01|2008
conducted by Cpf

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