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interview // recon

The Deepspace5 producing mastermind and member of the former Pride member is none other than The Recon. Through his powerful production methods has made Recon formerly known as High Tech one of the most respected produces. Recon’s influential style can be heard on the all of the beats on the Deepspace5 EP.

 

How did you begin producing and who was your inspiration?

It ain't something I decided to do one day. I guess it was a slow evolution, but only natural that I ended up there...I love gadgets, and I love music, so it went hand in hand. I started playing drums at age 10, and guitar and some piano through the years as well. When I was a teenager, my cousin's boyfriend was getting rid of his Alesis HR-16. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, and my parents bought it for me. I used it to jam with my cousin (the former cousin's brother) on guitar, or later on to program marching cadences when I was in high school. That's were I really started learning how to manipulate a drum machine in fine detail. Later, I got a little cheap Roland SR-1 sampler, upgraded the drum machine to a SR-16, and played around with my music minister's QY-10 Sequencer and a Yamaha MU-80 Sound Module from church. That got me going with all the midi stuff, but the sampler could only handle playing like 2 samples at one time, so it was very limiting. I got heavier into the all-sample stuff once I hooked up with the Pride, and we were able to buy the MPC-60.

As far as my inspiration, I don't really know. Sup is definitely my all-time favorite rapper and producer. But I don't even know if I would say that serves as inspiration for me when it comes to making beats. I'm influenced by hip-hop, old 80's metal, hardcore stuff going on now, drum corps, even Yanni. I just try to make something musical and hope that it sounds good to me. Alot of it's just accidental. If I hear a sample I like, I'll try to build a beat around that, or I just play with the samples until stuff sounds right. I never really start off saying, "Okay, I want the beat to sound like this," where I'm aiming for a certain style and trying to find samples to fit that.

Who was the first artist to use a Recon Beat?

That would have to be myself. Then I was just "High Tech"...around 1996. But, none of y'all have heard those songs and you never will. The first of my beats that anybody's actually listened to would've been off the Pride's "Common Knowledge" EP. I did the intro, called "Agenda", based on a beat on my previously mentioned material, and the beat for "This I Know".

What types of equipment do you currently use?

I sold the MPC-60 to buy a drumset. Everything I do now is on computer. I have Acid Pro 4.0, Cubase w/ Battery, Vegas, and many more programs. As far as beats, that would be Acid. I know a lot of people think you can only do loops in Acid, but if you KNOW how to use it, that's not true. Not at all. It'll do everything an MPC will do as far as sequencing a beat. In fact, it'll work wonders for synching up songs, say for a mixtape (which I'll talk about later). All it lacks is the MIDI/SMPTE stuff, but I don't really need that.

But I will admit that the FEEL is different. I mean...I'm a drummer. I love to feel the pads and put some of it in "live". But all I need to do to overcome that is get a hold of Akai's MPD-16. It's the pads without the brains of the MPC.


How did you, Sintax the Terrific, and Manchild hook up to form The Pride?

I was talking on a music discussion group about holy hip-hop stuff, and met manCHILD online. He was in Greenville, SC, and I was in Atlanta. He started telling me about an open mic at somebody's house, where a lot of the Sound of the Rebirth ("Priesthoods" at the time) got together. I met Sintax and Manchild there. When I got there, I was the only white dude there, and everybody was coming up to me like, "hey are you with the Pride?” After a few of those, I was like, "Who the heck is the Pride?” Needless to say, they arrived, we met, I rode with them to Cruvention in Orlando later that month, and it went on from there.


What is the origin of Deepspace5?

The Pride was cool with Labklik, and we had gotten to know Sev at the Atlanta Cruvention. At the next Orlando one, Sev flew to Atlanta, and we all drove down from there, and met Listener. Illtripp was supposed to be there (which I was looking forward to), but got in a bad wreck and didn't come. We had decided to record some songs in the hotel room. That was fun & brutal. Although there were five of us there, this had nothing to do with the name. I think manCHILD got the idea for "deepspace" of some of the out-there beats I was messing with at the time; The five was just something meaningless. We've found that something like that really trips people up...over nothing.

People who never heard that first EP probably wonder what the heck I've even done for Deepspace5, but get that one and you'll know. I did all those beats and rapped a little.

Which artists have you produced for?

Sintax, the Pride, Deepspace5, myself, Mark J., Sound of the Rebirth, Not R Selz...I think that's about it......oh, and the kids at church!

Where do you get your inspiration for your beats?

Honestly, nowadays I don't have a whole lot of inspiration for making beats. When I was with the Pride, I was inspired by the lyrics they put on them, which made them into impressive songs. I tend to self-doubt, and I would often think a beat should be on the scrap-heap until after the song had lyrics. Then I loved it. So, a deadline has always been my greatest inspiration. Many of the Pride's beats were put together last-second in the studio. If it wasn't for that, the beat wouldn't have been made. So I've got ones that I've started at the house, but I don't know when I'll call 'em finished.

On an average, how long does it take to create a Recon beat?

Actual time spent is probably no more than a few hours. But there's ones I work on, let sit, come back to, hate it, hide it.....

Which of your beats is your favorite?

The coolest sounding might have been "Agenda", but that's only because I was lucky enough to find cool samples. But I mean...two loops. That's all it is. How hard is that? As far as being proud of what the beat came out like based on my work, it's a five-way tie: "Slow Motion", "On Def Ears", "Hall of Justice", "Breeze and I", and "Magic of You". (MAN, I'm decisive.)

Are there any projects currently in the works?

Actually, I'm working on a mixtape of all the old-school holy hip-hop joints. The oldschool cats are gonna love this one. I'm sure the young guys will think it's the sorriest mess they've ever heard. But I promise y'all this is going to be put together well. It'll have I.D.O.L. King, Dynamic Twins, SFC, PID, Michael Peace, D-boy, Stephen Wiley, JC & the Boyz.....basically focusing on about 1987-1991. I just hate for folks to think it all started in '96 or '97 with Cross Movement. These dudes got me through my early teenage years and deserve props. I hope this'll do 'em proud.

What can we look forward to in the near future from Recon and Deepspace5?

Well, I may do some small solo effort here or there, but If I do, nothing big. Like I said....mixtape...and as far as Deepspace5 goes, Beat Rabbi's new joint should be out soon on Illect Recordings.

Any last words?

Just thanks to everybody....any contributions I've made are certainly no big deal, but it's amazing to hear from somebody online getting all excited about talking to me, like I'm somebody. Glad I could help, and hope the rest of y'all put out quality.

 

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