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chuck gibson aka perception interview

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Chuck Gibson Biography

"Hitechfunk is a catycalimsic vision for a new urban order. Generated by tone, Hitechfunk is visual voltage." Hitechfunk is designed by Chuck Gibson, a master of the sonic and graphic arts. Hitechfunk is a brand of music, a design concept and a fashion remark. Gibson is a medley of his surroundings. As an electronic music producer, Gibson honed in on the highly specialized skills deemed proper for the future. His art is a reflection of his knowledge – an attempt to incorporate the rudimentary elements of funk with the onset of far – off technologies. Producing and designing for Underground Resistance, Gibson’s message has reached over twenty countries and is branded in various publications. From retail to vinyl to poster art, Gibson’s perception of funk has pervaded the urban zone. Trained by UR special forces, Gibson’s skills were more than a mirage, but an evolving hybrid of the funk to come. His artistic experience was defined by his years at the Center for Creative Studies and Wayne State University. Both campuses provided the means for an artistic exploration. Gibson’s reality outside the classroom, allowed him to take his education to a different place as a message and means for the next generation. Gibson’s work spread to other prominent Detroit electronic music labels such as Metroplex, KMS, 430 West and Direct Beat. His credits include URB Magazine, Raveline Magazine (Germany) and the Disc Style Book.

Interview with Chuck Gibson by Kazuumi Ishii

Most people know you as a graphic artist. Today we are meeting you as an electronic music producer. How would you define yourself as an electronic music producer ?

Well, I’ve been producing music for a while now. My roots are real underground hip hop via Dilla and Detroit Techno soul.

So how then would you describe your music ?

Hahah good question. My style of music is pretty much a collection of what I’ve listened to while I grew up. And that’s Jazz, hip hop, rock and techno. My idea album would be a collection of music that represents a story something like a story in sound…huh oh well that’s what TOKEM is. hahah

You have just finished your first compilation called Tokem. How did that come about and how did you go about selecting the artists for the album ?

It All started about 5 years ago, DJ Dex (UR) Frakie (DJ 3000, Motech) took a trip to NY. While we were there we wanted to work on a project together, that would highlight what we enjoyed about music as a whole. So we all came back and I decided to pursue the project myself, but I wanted to add a twist. That twist was the idea of an interactive Soundtrack; I wanted an album that would really allow the listeners to full understand the story and tone of the song. So I wrote a story, that would be the story line for the music on the album.

So I presented this whole concept to everyone, Mike Banks, and other crew members and they said that’s dope make it happen. So it only took 6 years to make.

There are some acclaimed personalities from the whole electronic music sphere.

Yes, indeed, this album is an album that I would want to buy. Everyone on the album, I’m a fan of and I truly enjoy what they do.

We almost had a couple other names on the project, I guess I can name a few. Moodymann – Kenny Dixon, DJ Dex, Ray from Tunnel 7, my boys from Ican. It was just too much music and timing were an issues.

How did the idea of experimenting with hi-tech fusion in Midnight Speaks came about ? There you had a vocalist, namely Lizzy.

Well, the fact that I love music all kinds of music helps me come up with these ideas. And it’s boring to tell a story with only one style of music, in a movie the music is all over, so why not my album. Lizzy is in a band called letter camp, and her voice is absolutely amazing and she is just a beautiful person in spirt. Her and her husband are good friends of mine, and working together came about after a night of hanging out. I told her about TOKEM. She really liked the idea and we had a great song. I really plan on working with her more everything she touches turns out amazing.

Midnight Speaks sounds very romantic though. Do you have an addiction to romanticism ?

Absolutely, there are so many feelings and emotions you can invoke through music. You can change how a person feels through music, that feeling could be love or hate, I would be a fool not to exploit it. That’s what great musicians have been doing for years, I’m just trying to understand how.

Tell us a more little about the collaborations on your tracks.

Everyone on this album I consider friends or someone I admire. The project between Gerald Mitchell and Fabrice Lig was just me wanting to hear something from those two. I really thought it would be a great song and I was curious what the final song would be. So I called Fabrice and he was more than happy to do it, then I ask Gerald; he was a bit more hard to get him in the studio because he was so busy at the time. So we used Ableton Live to exchange files between the two guys. I made sure they understood the part of the story they were making music for and from there on the pieces just came together.

A question about studio stuff. With the advances in computers and software, are you using anything analogue these days ?

I was taught how to make music on analogue gear, and at a young age I had all this gear in my bedroom studio, I drove my mother crazy. It was great to have that experience under my belt, but now I’m older and I’m all about getting my ideas down as fast as possible. My laptop and soundcard allows me the freedom to record anywhere and anytime.

I’ve been using Ableton Live for a while, I think I started with version 2. I was also the first Ableton user in the UR camp to use it… (That’s right Santi / S2 I said it) Currently my studio is 2 MacBooks, Allen and Heath Xone 3D, Version synths, Edirol R-09 WAVE which I love and Korg drum machines and I don’t leave the house with out my AKG’s.

So, You often produce with Mike Banks. Do you enjoy the collaborative process? Who does what in the studio ?

Being in the studio with Mike is like old times, he’s the captain of the boat and all you have to do it hold on and don’t fuck up. And if it’s not funky he’ll let you know.

Does Mike ever give you guidance or direction ?

Mike Banks is like my big brother, mentor and friend. I joined UR at a young age, so he presented opportunities to me that would not have been there if it weren’t for him. He gave me my first piece of studio equipment and he was the first person to put me on a plane and take me overseas to truly see the results of hard work, persistence and the passion of music.

He also taught me to fight for what you believe, and know the true meaning of ownership and independence. As far as guidance in the studio, I’ve spent many nights and days in a hot ass studio taking lessons from Mike about bass lines, drums, sounds etc… those were some long ass nights.

What would you say was the best experience related to recording and releasing this album ?

I guess the making of Mikes track and Ann Sanunderson and my song Deeper. I was on the 430 West tour in Japan and I was in my hotel room playing Lenny Burden some tracks, when Ann Saundeson walks in and says "what’s that" I told her it was a song I was working on for my album, I explained to her the whole concept in detail. She asked if she could listen to it on her iPod, I said sure no problem. The next day she had a complete song and was ready to record … Classic moment…

Deeper Video

Speaking of labels, why did you decide that Hitechfunk should move into fashion ?

Well I’ve been designing t-shirts since High School. Then I took over the clothing and apparel manufacturing for Underground Resistance and Submerge. So it was a natural progression to do my own thing. Hitechfunk apparel was actually before Hitechfunk music, the opportunity was given to me and I just ran with it.

How did you decide on the look for Hitechfunk ?

All man its like pulling hair. Its so hard because each season has a theme and a statement. Its hard coming up with socially relevant ideas and designs. I just don’t want to put any design out, I wanna say something, do something, having some depth to my designs. I think that’s what I learned from working at Submerge and UR, I was taught to make something that will still be relevant 10 years from now. My people at Underground Gallery wait patiently and somethings not so patiently for me to come up with new ideas. I can be a pain in the ass, oh well I’m a artist right. hahahha

Do you see the music as promoting the clothes or the clothes as promoting the music ?

I think they stand together and represent a statement.

What is the future holding for Hitechfunk ?

Well the record label is getting ready to release the Tokem remixes and some singles of my own soon. I really want to approach Hitechfunk from a fans point of view. I like to see and hear collaborations from my favorite artist. I think the art of collaboration spawns interesting and inspiring results. Can you imagine of Jimmy Hendrix, Prince and Rage Against The Machine worked together, that would be some crazy shit. hahaha

I’m also working with S2 of UR and ICAN on the new project and working with Ryan Myers a great guitar player, we recored together on TOKEM.

Just wanna make good visual music…

Finally, what are your plans for the future as a musician, and as a graphic artist ?

I’m going to focus on HTF music and design… and I’ll be touring playing live soon in support of TOKEM and Hitechfunk/UR. But most of all trying to be a artist who’s not willing to conform to standard BULLSHIT…. Creative minds think alike…

Tokem – A Story In Sound out now

Various – Tokem – A Story In Sound [Hitechfunk]

[ UGCD-HTF01 ]

Tracklisting:

  • 01. Perception feat. Diametric – Page 1
  • 02. Gerald Mitchell & Fabrice Lig – Uncontrollable
  • 03. Perception feat. Sterling – Fight Slow
  • 04. DJ 3000 – Fight Slow (remix)
  • 05. Perception – Collagen Ear
  • 06. A Guy Called Gerald – Our Fall: Tokem
  • 07. Perception feat. Ann Sanderson – Deeper
  • 08. Perception – Life’s Little Drum Beat
  • 09. Perception feat. Lizzy – Midnight Speaks
  • 10. Fabrice Lig – Eenter Tokem
  • 11. Perception – I Am Navi
  • 12. Perception – Blue Grass
  • 13. Mike Banks – Hold My Own
  • 14. Perception feat. Diametric – Year Zero

Get "Tokem – A Story In Sound" here:

Perception Discography

own releases

  • Windchime, 12"
    Underground Resistance (2004)

recent remixes

  • DJ 300 – Sangita (Perception remix)
    Migration, Motech (2005)
  • Gerald Mitchell & DJ 3000 – Alia (Perception remix)
    Alia, Motech (2007)

contributions

  • Mirage (Beat Vocal mix)
    Crime Report, Underground Resistance (1996)
  • G4
    430 West presents Back To The Rhythm, 430 West (2002)
  • Song Of The Hmong
    Interstellar Fugitives 2 (Destruction Of Order), Underground Resistance (2006)
  • Controlled Substance
    Interstellar Fugitives 2 (Destruction Of Order), Underground Resistance (2006)
  • Codename: Muster
    Interstellar Fugitives 2 (Destruction Of Order), Underground Resistance (2006)

Related Links

Written by Kazuumi

May 15th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

2 Responses to 'chuck gibson aka perception interview'

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  1. Great sounds …

    rick golston

    16 May 08 at 5:54 am

  2. that’s right Chuck! you were the 1st one in the UR camp to use it. I remember!!!!!!! I was just the 1st to master it! (j/k hahahaha)

    Great interview man, I look forward to working on the next project, I got some ideas lined up homie!!!!

    HTF til’ I die -S2

    Santiago Salazar

    16 May 08 at 3:00 pm

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