Hip-hop producer Amp Live is excited to announce the release of his latest solo project Headphone Concerto on August 5, 2014. A modern twist on a classical concerto piece, Amp’s new LP consists of three distinct movements and, like a concerto, can be listened to in three parts. The project features a variety of guests, from Dom (Big Gigantic), Eric Rachmany from Rebelution Prof, and Sol among others.
On his latest effort, Amp utilizes every muscle in his musical memory to take his audience on a sonic journey that explores the contrast between musical instruments from the saxophone to the trombone. On the track “Runback,” a sweeping cello is paired with a melodic synth. On “IHeartHipHop,” the orchestral strings coalesce seamlessly with the flow of MCs like The Grouch & Eligh, Opio, Planet Asia and more.
Ill Esha’s guest vocals swell up in an undeniable electronic rhythm on the infectious “Are We Dancing and “10,000 watts” takes the audience to a church with pulsating deep house influences, touching on music as a higher power. “Penny, Nickel, Dime” challenges listeners to examine their relationship to money while bopping to some buttery jazz horns.
The carefully crafted album draws on his childhood playing drums in a Baptist church and hanging out with the local skaters listening to New Wave in the Texan suburbs, where he was raised. He spent his formative college years in jam sessions that later informed his high-energy live shows.
Best known for his work as one half of the group Zion I, Amp Live released eleven albums with emcee Zumbi. And while the two remain one of the most respected and prolific groups in the independent hip-hop scene, Amp is gaining notoriety for his solo shows, where he plays all his own instruments (like the cello) and custom made music machines, like his one of a kind MPC guitar. His brainchild, the MPC guitar lets him play drums live and improve melodies at the same time.
“I was turned on to experimental electronic music in my early days in the Bay area,” explains Amp. In 2007, Amp remixed several tracks from Radiohead’s seventh album In Rainbows. The project, which featured Del, Zumbi, Too $hort and others, displayed Amp’s imaginative interpretations of music and eventually led to Radiohead’s approval and subsequently Amp’s official release of the project. In addition to Radiohead, Amp has done official remixes for The Submarines, Tokyo Police Club, Green Day, Jamie Lidell, among others.
Through a blending together of drum machines, live instruments, singers and rappers, Amp Live is a modern day composer creating a concerto that is accessible to all.