Blue Nose Music/ Fahrenheit Records recording artist/ producer Cameron Couch and Producer/DJ FES-1 are making noise by staying silent.
Tacoma, Washington musician Cameron Couch is known for creating unique musical projects; that’s exactly what he’s done (yet again) with Silent.
In speaking with Couch I learned he originally created this project to collaborate with other artists – recording over his own instrumentals. After reaching out to 10 artists just to have most of them decline the offer – doh! He decided he wouldn’t put any vocals on the album at all. He would go all-out on the instrumentals, again that no one would record over.
The collab album idea started taking the shape of a (solo) rock/blues/jazz album with a Hip Hop foundation. Now Couch took to writing his project as a common love-story, reflected in the track titles, and played out over 15 tracks.
Somewhere during the creative process Couch got the idea to send “Silent” over to long time collaborator (Producer) DJ FES-1, whom Couch has over a decade of history with (and has never actually met face-to-face). FES-1 took to the project like his own, mixing/ scratching/ transforming the project into a molded-together masterpiece that they are both proud to put their names on.
Now word has come down from the top; long time Jazz aficionado, and Westcoast Rap OG – First Degree The DE is set to release “Silent” in the first quarter of 2017 on his label Fahrenheit Records. That means Couch and DJ FES-1 have a strong follow up to now label-mate Phonk Beta (of Brotha Lynch Hung, Madesicc Music fame) and his two Hip Hop/ Jazz instrumental albums “Symplex 1 & 2” as well as First Degree’s own “Instrumania” series. (www.FahRecords.com)
Silent (imo) is a fantastic piece of music nearly 40 mins long that encompasses (what seems like) every type of instrument you can think of. You can set your playlist to random and listen to any one track out of sequence, but the album was made to be sequential – each track leading right into the next.
Look for Cameron Couch & DJ FES-1 “Silent” early 2017 on iTunes, Amazon & all the digital outlets from Fahrenheit Records, distributed by The Orchard/ City Hall Records.
The dopest Northwest Rap you probably haven’t heard of: Fahrenheit Records group Blue Nose Music “Releases The Hounds” on the underground.
With edgy lyrics over smooth, hard hitting beats Tacoma, Washington based Rap group Blue Nose is helping to maintain the old school Westcoast sound that has long since been lost in today’s music scene.
Under the guidance of Fahrenheit Records, Blue Nose has reached a whole nother level in the Westcoast Rap scene. With features from well known and loved NW artists like Shao Sosa, Awall aka 2piece, Tony Snow, Skrilla and Cali transplant King Scrub – along with an appearance from San Francisco OG Rappin 4 Tay and Mr The DE – First Degree himself; Release The Hounds is of a caliber never before heard out of the Northwest region.
Labeled as a compilation, The Hounds is actually a full length 20 track LP composed of all original tracks. Blue Nose showcases their versatility and aptitude for Rap with this album, grabbing ahold of their slot among Underground factors and holding it tightly. Artists Thunderchief, Greg Double, Tactical, and Castroni have been rapping and performing around the NW for a decade and gaining the respect of fans and artists alike. Artists 5ive 3re, Mac 9, Dank Xmas, and Lil Gr3y while younger in the game prove their worth with their appearances on The Hounds album. Wynter Brown, an extremely talented young artist hailing out of the West Midlands, UK joins forces with Blue Nose on a track entitled “Da Breed” along with Thunderchief, Greg Double and First Degree The DE.
The production credits behind this project are as impressive as any other element of this NW classic. Bay Area veteran producer 3HMB of Hotbox Ent, Oregon based Mobb style producer Tony Snow, Mainstream producer Sk8Beatz, Blue Nose’s own Phenom57 and Chuey Boy Tactical, Iballz of Tac Army Radio and Tac Town Records, Built Supreme up and comer Dank Xmas, StudioMike from Denver Colorado, and Mooch Music out of Florida set the tone for the grittiness of The Hounds and the bar very high for upcoming Underground Rap artists.
As of February 17th 2015 “Release The Hounds” is available on all major online retailers as well as in stores, with the help of Fahrenheit and distribution through City Hall Records.
Fahrenheit Records NW Rap group; Blue Nose Music is performing at the 2014 Battle Of The Bands, November 23rd @ Studio Seven in Seattle Wa (110 S Horton St) This is an early, all-ages event – bar w/ valid ID.
Doors open @ 4pm, and each group will perform a 30 minute set before a panel of judges. The top 3 will go on to perform at the next event in January.
Advance tickets are available from the artists, $8 a piece – saving you $2 off the door price and supporting the performer you purchase from.
[About Blue Nose Music]
Blue Nose Music has been gaining notoriety in the Seattle/ Tacoma area for the last few years as an independent no-nonsense Westcoast Rap label, releasing albums and throwing events without gimmicks or the typical showboating of today’s Rap scene.
Albums such as Welcome To The Doghouse, Puppy Love, Ego Centric, Experience 5ive 3re, and Release The Hounds have stuck to the script reminiscent of Westcoast Rap of the 1990’s. With lo-fi beats, simple hard-hitting choruses and a party-life attitude; BNM has grown in popularity among the 20-40 year old demographic of the Puget Sound area.
Events they’ve thrown entitled The Microphone Massacre Bash, The Pisces Party, The End Of The World, Bad Karma Nights cemented their place in the world of Northwest Nightlife. At venues such as The Stonegate and The Harmon Underground (Tacoma), Karma Lounge and The Liberty Theatre (Puyallup) and 88 Keys (Pioneer Square, Seattle) BNM has hosted countless up and coming Northwest Hip Hop artists and provided an opportunity to connect them to the eager fans in search of fresh Hip Hop and an evening of entertainment.
For tickets e-mail: BlueNoseMusicEnt@gmail.com
Check out Blue Nose Music online on Spotify, AmazonMp3, iTunes, Bandcamp, reverbnation, YouTube and the rest.
Long before Autotune, the Talkbox reigned as the King of the West Coast
Many of todays Hip Hop/ Rap fans may have never heard of the group Zapp – or their front man Roger Troutman – but they are arguably one of the most influential groups in the history of West Coast Rap/ Hip Hop – and Popular Music in general. A few of their more well known hits include “Computer Love”, ” I Wanna Be Your Man” and “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”.
I doubt there are many of you who haven’t heard the song California Love by 2pac and Dr Dre. You have all heard Roger Troutman play the Talkbox. What you may not be aware of is the fact that Zapp & Roger originally created that song, releasing it on the album Zapp IV back in 1985.
There have been very few producers/ artists throughout the years to use the talkbox at all, even fewer have used it to the extent or on the level that Roger did. Troutman (who was rumored to have been mentored on the Talkbox by the great Stevie Wonder) used it in a way that was unforgettable, and has been sampled and resampled throughout the years by West Coast Rap artists.
The Talkbox is basically a small speaker box that you plug an instrument into, that has a plastic tube sticking out of it – and very few have been able to master it. When an artist is able to really put the talkbox to work, the effects are almost always magical. A few other examples of artists to use the Talkbox; Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, DJ Fingaz, Bozko, and Rogers own son – Roger Troutman Jr.
Fahrenheit/ Blue Nose Music Rapper 5ive 3re is a young artist emerging from the Seattle-Tacoma Wa Underground Rap scene, who works his hardest to bring the Talkbox back to life and to the ears of today’s Hip Hop/ Rap listeners.
While the majority of artists and listeners his age were following the latest and “greatest” trends of thier time (the late 90’s and early 2000’s) 5ive 3re spent his time studying the music of the 70’s/80’s and early 90’s. He went on long stretches of time when all he listened to was Zapp & Roger; wishing that he could get his hands on a talkbox. These days he spends hours on end playing the keyboard, whether its the MicroKorg, a Yamaha, or simply his laptop keyboard running a musical interface. He says he wants to make an entire album using only the Talkbox, though that may just be his ambition and passion for the box encouraging him into hyperbole.
5ive 3re (pronounced Five Tre) – writes his own music and records/ talkboxes under the umbrella of Fahrenheit Records, based out of Northern California – through the small Seattle-based Rap label Blue Nose Music.
Currently, you can find 3res first album “Experience 5ive 3re” on all major online retailers (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc) While he prepares to release a duo-project with fellow Fahrenheit/ Blue Nose emcee Greg Double entitled “2 Rap Katz”, and continues recording his 2nd album ” Hungry With No Appetite “
So to the West Coast Rap fan out there, rest assured the instrument that helped shape the sound – and the culture of the West; is living and well.. And it lives in the Northwest.
Blue Nose Music set to re-release their flagship album “Release The Hounds” on Fahrenheit/ City Hall Records
In 2013, BNM released a 20 track album showcasing their style and aptitude for West Coast Underground Rap entitled; Release The Hounds. With features from heavy hitters such as Rappin 4 Tay, Awall aka 2piece, Shao Sosa, Tony Snow, King Scrub and Skrilla; Release The Hounds boasted track after track of commercial free, undergound, mobb themed music.
in 2014, now teamed up with Sacramento Rap legend First Degree The D.E. and his label; Fahrenheit Records, Blue Nose is working on a plan to Release The Hounds yet again – this time on a bigger scale, distributed by City Hall Records – Digitally re-mastered, with new tracks and sporting new artwork.
Set to hit stores and online retailers early 2015, Release The Hounds features Blue Nose artists Greg Double, 5ive 3re, Thunderchief, Castroni, TACtical, Lil Gr3y, and Mac 9. Guest appearances include Bay Area legend Rappin 4 Tay, Sacramento legend First Degree The D.E., North West juggernauts Shao Sosa and Awall aka 2piece, Mobbed out rapper/ producer Tony Snow, the infamous Villionaire King Scrub, and the hard working artist/ promoter Skrilla of Perfect10 Ent.
Producers of the album include Oakland Super-Producer 3hmb; Tony Snow, Iballz of Tac Army Radio, Blue Nose Producers Chuey Boy Tactical and Phenom57, StudioMike, Mooch Music, and the extremely talented Johnny ESPN.
You can currently still find Release The Hounds for purchase on online distributors such as iTunes, AmazonMP3 and GooglePlay; as well as in local stores around the Puget Sound area – Silver Platters, Rocket Records, Sonic Boom Records, and Everyday Music.
Preview the first track off the album “Cant Handle The Night” featuring Thunderchief, 5ive 3re, Greg Double, Tactical and Castroni on a late-night chill style beat produced by Phenom57 on Greg Double’s SoundCloud page here:
I’m told Umoja Fest has been a reoccurring event for 30+ years in Seattle’s Central District, but somehow I hadn’t heard about it until this year.
Umoja = Unity, and this is exactly what this festival is about. Located in the heart of the CD along 23rd ave (Between Jackson & Judson) in Seattle, this weekend saw the ave lined with people sitting in lawn chairs and on blankets awaiting the annual Parade. You saw parents strapping elbow pads on their 7 year olds, and filming as their kids whizzed around the skatepark at Judkins Park. You saw hundreds of people filing in to watch young men playing hoop on the tandem bball courts. With multiple music stages and food trucks, people wandered through the festival with their families and absorbed their surroundings. I noticed a few people sitting around the outskirts of the park, just enjoying the sun, people watching, and the rare opportunity to relax and do nothing for a while.
The main reason I was attending the festival, is a few of my good friends had been invited to perform on Umoja Fest’s’ Hip Hop stage, so I went out to show support (and seize the opportunity to hand out flyers, and shoot some music video footage as well.)
When I arrived I found the Hip Hop stage, which had been setup in a fenced area that looked like it would have been used as tennis courts if not otherwise occupied; located just past the hoop courts. Fresh looking graffiti on the wall on my left read “Free Palestine” along with some famous quotes from the likes of Albert Einstein and an ex President regarding War, Peace and civilian casualties.
Welcomed by the host; Veteran Hip Hop Poet/ Writer Josh Rizeberg of Tacoma, we gathered in front of the stage to hear the opening act (and i apologize at the moment I can only recall his name was Gregory) speak about Peace and Freedom, freeing Palestine, ending corrupt wars and occupations, and Power to the People.. Only briefly summarizing his complex political messages.
The next act, Skrilla, is a well known Hip Hop artist/ promoter from Tacoma who brought with him his young twin sons for their first ever opportunity to watch their father perform. His strong rhymes and catchy choruses echoed the message of the Struggle, life’s ups & downs, and maintaining a positive outlook throughout life’s hardships. After he thanked the crowd and went to relax with his family under protection of the shade, Rizeberg took to the Mic to introduce the next act; Influential Minds.
Accompanied by a guest performer, a young lady who sounded amazing as she sang live (and did not hide behind pre recorded vocals), IM did their thing under the blazing sun and the shadow of the Blue Angel Jets flying over head; from the ever popular Seattle Seafair event which was taking place at nearby Lake Washington.
Next up was my good friend and label mate, Thunderchief, accompanied by 5ive 3re; who joined in to perform their song “Up Late”. Thunderchief, who can at times be a bit “wild” or “unconventional”; Delivered a more mature and positive message for the festival goers. With slow, serious instrumentals and clearly spoken lyrics, he spoke to the soul of the people. He even performed a well executed song which (he openly admits to the crowd), was completely freestyled and recorded “in his mommas shed”. When his time was up, he told the crowd he loved them all, thanked them for their undivided attention – then descended the stage in search of water on this still muggy Saturday afternoon.
Veteran Tacoma Rapper, Awall aka 2piece was next to take the stage. Sporting a camo bucket hat that matched his shorts, a Squashington Music Tee, and Seahawk colored Ken Griffey’s, he proceeded to rock the crowd in his typical impressive fashion. Speaking about positivity in the face of hardships similar to the others before him, he danced and entertained the crowd while the chorus sang “I am fearless, and I’m coming’ for that #1 spot”. After a few songs he was joined by the host of the stage, and standing alongside Josh Rizeberg, performed the last song of his set; speaking about everything from old school hip hop and how it inspired them, to political corruption, while delivering the uplifting “Power To The People” message that Rizeberg is known to live by (as well as stand up and fight for.)
The last act I saw perform was a Seattle artist known as The Sav, who was enjoying the buzz from his newly released album, handfuls of CDs at his side.
Then we slowly made our way out of the Hip Hop stage area, stopping to hand out flyers and chat with people, watch the kids getting down in the Skatepark, and relax in the grass for a bit before we headed home to BBQ and enjoy the (rare) Northwest sunshine. As I was walking to the truck people were still pouring into the park, seemingly centered around the basketball tournament still underway.
Overall it was an excellent event to be apart of, the entire area riding the good vibes of unity, neighbors bonding through similar interests and a sense of community. I left the festival with a positive feeling about our Northwest Hip Hop community, and our society in general. I will be a much more informed Umoja Festival attendee when i go next year.