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Interview: Galaxy Cloak

Alternative Hip Hop newcomers Galaxy Cloak released their debut, self-titled LP on April 12 via Kurt Travis’s Esque Records.  Channeling equal parts Wu Tang and N.W.A. with a heavy dose of experimentation and funk.  Music Existence had the opportunity to chat with GC masterminds Menes The Pharoah and Sorcery Orchestra to get the scoop on the new LP and production strategies, tour goals, and what’s up with their trippy lead single, “WHOZ THERE”.

Tell us the story behind Galaxy Cloak, what’s the name signify?

GALAXY CLOAK WAS CONCEIVED IN THE SEEDY BACK ALLEY OF THE UNIVERSE. A SMALL HOLE IN THE WALL OPENS UP TO ANOTHER WORLD YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED. GRIMEY, DIRTY, DINGY, IMAGINATIVE PICTURES HANG OFF KILTER ON A WOODEN SLAT WALL IN A BLUNT SMOKE FILLED ROOM. IT SMELLS LIKE TAR, PAINT, ROPE, AND THINGS LIKE THAT. THE WHITE WITCH BECKONS YOU FROM THE CORNER OF OUR FILTHY AND HUMBLE ABODE, OPENING HER CLOAK TO EXPOSE A GALAXY OF IMAGINATIVE POSSIBILITIES FOR AUDIO DESTRUCTION. THE GALAXY CLOAK AWAITS YOU. ONCE INSIDE HER FREEZING EMBRACE YOU WILL  LEARN OF COLD NORTH WIND GUSTS, CRAWLING CHAOS, STRANGE PHLIGHTS, AND KROOKED SCHEMEZ. PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION AND HAVE YOUR GALAXY CLOAKED!

 

Who is your inspiration/role model in the music industry? Why?

[SORCERY] MADLIB. THAT DUDE WORKS NON STOP AND IS SO CREATIVE IN HIS MUSIC. FROM SAMPLING TO PLAYING ORGANIC INSTRUMENTS, HE IS THE DUDE.

[MENES] WUTANG, MF DOOM, KOOL KEITH, and A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHERS! JUST GREAT EMCEES AND MUSIC REALLY.

 

Tell us about your songwriting process?  How were you inspired to start a “WHOZ THERE” and how did that develop from writing to composition, recording, and completion?

[SORCERY] THAT WAS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE FIRST BEATS I COMPOSED FOR THE GALAXY CLOAK ALBUM, AND THE ONLY ONE WHOS MAIN SAMPLE DID NOT COME FROM A RECORD. I WAS WATCHING ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES BY RALPH BAKSHI, AND THERE WAS A 1/2 SECOND BLEEP BLOOP THAT I JUST PICKED UP. I SLOWED IT BY LIKE 300%, CHOPPED IT UP ON THE MPC AND STARTED PUNCHING PADS. FOUND SOME DRUMS, CHOPPED THOSE UP, AND MADE THE BEAT. FOUND SOME MORE VOCAL SAMPLES AND CHOPPED THOSE UP, FINISHED THE ROUGH LAYOUT AND SENT THE BEAT TO MENES. THEN HE KILLED IT.

[MENES] H.P LOVECRAFT MADE ME WRITE THAT SONG..

 

You your debut album dropped 4/12, what can you tell us about it?

[SORCERY] IT’S PRETTY FUCKING CRAZY. I THINK PEOPLE WILL EITHER LOVE IT OR HATE IT. I THINK THE BEATS ARE SOME OF THE BEST I’VE EVER MADE AND MENES CRUSHES EACH AND EVERY TRACK HE TOUCHES. ITS VERY IMAGINATIVE AND FILLED WITH VIVID IMAGERY THAT WILL LEAVE YOU CATCHING NEW THINGS WITH ALMOST EVERY LISTEN. I AM STILL CATCHING THINGS THAT I MISSED THE FIRST 100 TIMES I LISTENED TO IT HAHA. ITS FUNKY AS SHIT, THERES STRANGE INSTRUMENTS, DR SUESS BASS LOOPS, RARE RECORD SAMPLES, SLOW SLUDGY SLUMPERS, AND HYPE LOFI HOOPTY WHIP BANGERS.

[MENES] I CANT REALLY SAY TOO MUCH ABOUT IT OTHER THEN YOU SHOULD PROBABLY LISTEN TO IT IN A CRYPT FILLED WITH HITS OF THE BOOMBONICS.  I LOVED CREATING IT, AND I WAS ON ANOTHER PLAIN FOR A LOT OF THE WRITING PROCESS. SORCERY JUST PROVIDED FANTASTIC AMMUNITION TO MY GALACTIC MINIGUN.  LOTS OF MY INSPIRATION FOR WRITING COMES FROM BOOKS AND CELESTIAL BEINGS WHO TALK TO ME WHEN I SLEEP, NAAH MEAN?

 

What production software do you use on the album?

[SORCERY] AUDIO TECHNICA AT-PL120>KORG KP2>KP3>MPC2500>KP3>LOGICPRO8.

I START WITH RECORDS, RUN THEM THROUGH THE KP2 BECAUSE IT HAS A PHONO INPUT AND I DONT NEED A MIXER(LOVE THE KP2), THEN I RUN THAT INTO A KP3 TO SNAG THE SAMPLE AND CHOP IT UP(KORG KP3 HAS GREAT SAMPLE MANIPULATION). AFTER THAT EVERYTHING GOES INTO THE AKAI MPC2500 AND BROKEN DOWN FURTHER AND ASSIGNED TO PADS. THE MPC THEN OUTPUTS TO THE 2ND KP3 FOR ANY EFFECTS I MAY WANT AND GOES INTO LOGIC WHERE I ARRANGE AND MIX THE FINAL TRACK. LOGIC IS GREAT AND THE WORKFLOW IS THE BEST IVE EXPERIENCED. SO YEAH THATS BASICALLY HOW IT GOES DOWN.

[MENES] TRADE SECRET. BUT ITS ALL ABOUT THE DIRTY DUNGEON BASEMENT REVERB.

 

What is your favorite track?

[SORCERY] “GRAVE MAKAHZ”. THAT SHIT IS THE FUNK DOOBIEST AND ALL THREE EMCEES KILL IT. SHOUT OUTS TO SEA/SWORDZ AND WHITE LOTUS.

[MENES] PROBABLY “ITZ GOOD [LOVE AND LUST]” OR “WIZARDRY”.. JUST TWO SPECTACULAR TRACKS THAT BODY A LOT OF WHATS HAPPENING TODAY IN “RAP”.

 

Do you have any upcoming tour plans?

[SORCERY] NOT YET, BUT WE ARE READY FOR THE POSSIBILITY AND VERY EAGER TO SHOW PEOPLE HOW HYPE OUR SHOW CAN BE. HIT US UP IF YOU WANT US TO PLAY SHOWS IN YOUR TOWN!

 

Big Festival or late night club?  Why?

[SORCERY] HOLE IN THE WALL DIVE BAR. LATE NIGHT $2 BREWS, DARK DINGY, GIRLS SHAKING THEY TITTIES AND FELLAS GETTING HYPE!  ALLLLLLLL G!

[MENES] GIVE ME ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, MIC AND SOUNDSYSTEM OR NOT.  I WILL KICK THE MOST RUGGED SHIT WHENEVER NECCESARY.  I HAVE BEEN RHYMING AND FREESTYLING ON THE SPOT FOR 10+ YEARS, AND I’LL NEVER STOP… NOTHING MATTERS TO ME WHEN THE FUNKY FLY BEAT DROPS… ITS ON AND THERES NO OFF SWITCH ON THE BACK OF THIS ARCADE MACHINE.

 

TRACK LISTING
1. THA NORTH WIND
2. WIZARDRY
3. SHADOW WALK [MAKE DA SAILZ] 4. THE CRAWLING CHAOS
5. WHO’Z THERE
6. CENT SUPPRESSOR
7. NO MORE GALAXIES
8. THA DIRTY
9. STRANGE PHLIGHTZ
10. CLOAK CREEP
11. NOBODY
12. IT’Z GOOD [LOVE AND LUST] 13. GRAVE MAKAHZ
14. KROOKED SCHEMEZ
15. DEATH WITCH [DETACH]

Buy Galaxy Cloak Online HERE!

What is more important to you, Facebook or Twitter?

[SORCERY] I USE FACEBOOK MORE, I KNOW TWITTER IS DOPE, BUT I DONT REALLY FIND MYSELF THERE A LOT.

[MENES] THE WOLVES NEED THEIR FOOD.

 

We know that you play Hip Hop music, but is that the music that you personally listen to all the time?  

[SORCERY] I LOVE THE OLD TIME ROCK AND ROLL, CLASSICAL, JAZZ, HARDCORE. I’M REALLY OPEN MINDED ABOUT GENRES. I’M PROBABLY THE MOST PICKY ABOUT WHAT HIP HOP I DO LISTEN TO THOUGH.

[MENES] ANYTHING WITH SWING AND FUNK AND FAT CELESTIAL SOUNDS, I’M IN… I’M OPEN TO A LOT OF MUSIC BUT AM ALSO QUICK TO SHUT IT DOWN IF IT HURTS MY BRAIN.  I LOVE MUSIC… ITS MY LIFEBLOOD.

Connect with Galaxy Cloak:
Facebook | Twitter

Follow ESQUE Records:
ESQUE Records Official
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

 

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