A founding member of Soundsci, one of the illest crews repping right now, Audessey has a rich and deep hip-hop history. From releasing the great "Underground Science" back in 1999 as part of
MassInfluence, to dropping one of this year's dopest LP's in "Formula 99",
he's proven to be a mainstay on the underground scene. The following interview touches on his work with both groups, his background, future projects and a lot of stuff in between, so don't sleep... And make sure to bookmark the new Soundsci.com to stay in touch with what's going on with the crew.
claaa7: You made your name known with the trio
MassInfluence, and now you rock as an integral part of Soundsci. How different
is the experience working through these respective channels?
Audessey/Ton3: One of the biggest differences
is that while I was in Mass we all lived together in a loft and with Soundsci
being that some of us are in the UK, NYC and two of us here in the United
States we really had to make technology “work for us”. With that said, Skype,
email, and having compatible systems and ways to work on material is extra
important to the process of how we make songs. Distance we thought was going to
be a challenge ended up not being an issue at all. We just found out another
way, another “system” to get stuff done that works for us and hopefully you all
hear the good results from the hard work in the music.
c7: Around 2003 you released the 12” single “The
Gusto” as Audessey the Sound Sci, which points to you being the man behind the
name for your current group. What exactly does Soundsci mean?
Ton3: Soundsci is short for “Soundscience”
and everything that goes with the Science of making the sound that we make.
c7: When I spoke to Oxygen, he mentioned that he
recorded his stuff for “Formula 99” separately from the rest of you. What was
the recording of the album like from your perspective?
Ton3: Wow…recording the F99 project
was really fun and organic actually. We really wanted to try up our game
musically from the DFV (Dig For Victory) project and push the envelope
phonically and musically. I think that is seen in the tracks itself: “Formula
99” , “Da Livin”, “Give Thanks” were far much more than just sample
running in a loop. On the song “Formula 99” we used no samples and really
experimented with effects on the vocals and using a lot of the human instrument
factor as we could. For example the back ground effect noises were just me
making random noises and then found a analog delay that we put on them and they
fit perfect in the scheme of the track and what we wanted to do with it.
c7: What’s your favorite joint off “Formula 99”,
Ton3: I think they all are for different reason as
each song (to me) has their own special thing
about them (time that they were being recorded, topic of the song, etc) that
makes them dope on their own merit. They
all are my favorite….ROFL!!!
c7: “Formula 99” has been getting a great response
from true hip-hop heads all over, and many of us are already fiending for new
music from you guys. Have you started working on anything yet, and if so what are
you planning for the next project?
Ton3: Well, we have an EP soon to
come out (before year end) called “The Ultimate” that will feature some remixes
off the F99 project by Dj Formatt , DJ Spinna , and about 5 new Soundsci songs.
c7. How would you describe the group dynamics of
Ton3: Good question…Let see if I had
to breakdown the dynamics of the group it be like this ..
Ollie Teeba: Producer/DJ
Together they are called “The Process”
and they work on the musical (beats) of Soundsci.
Oxygen: MC/DJ/Crate Invader
UGeorge: MC/Vocalist (the dude can really, really sing some soulful stuff)
c7: On Soundsci’s debut EP, “Dig for Victory”, it
seems that the group just consisted of you and The Process, seeing as how even
UGeorge is listed as a guest performer. Could you tell me about the original incarnation of Soundsci, and what happened between the two
releases that made y’all into the 5 man unit that you are today?
Ton3: The dynamic of Soundsci was very
simple at first where it was just him and myself but we always wanted to find
way to expand the sound and the dynamics of the sound whether that be through
another MC, live instruments, recording techniques,etc. So when I asked Geo to
be in the song “The ?” and he came and did it with us we both felt that it
would be a very cool and interesting dynamic to have him in the group on a full
time basis. His rhyming skills along with his vocal abilities would be an
interesting element and dynamic to add
to the mix that folks would enjoy. With
that said, we asked Geo if he would like to actually be down with Soundsci and
he totally was down to be a part of the circle. So at that point Soundsci was 4
because Ollie was already working with Jonny on some of the Soundsci beats at
Jonny and Ollie have been working together for
ages and have also known each other for a very long time so it was a natural
fit with them working on beats together. In the process of us doing the F99 I
met Ox on the DWG forums (Diggers with Gratitude if you don’t know best check
it out) and in speaking to Jonny he had an existing friendship with them in
Ox’s time in Sputnik Brown. Jonny came
to me about doing the cut with him and Ox and shucks to do a joint with Ox
would be dope so cats started to build on it and Ox and I started going back forth
and we finally worked out the rhymes for “F99”. After that it just seemed
like a natural fit for him in the group as our chemistry was really dope on “In
a Flash” and Geo and Ox had a convo and as they say the rest is history so
here with are with a 5 man team.
c7: With MassInfluence you released the underground
classic “The Underground Science” in 1999. But already in ’98 there was a
limited LP set titled “Live from Mitchell Street”. I was curious about what exactly
Tone: It’s funny you say that I saw
that as well and looked for it but could never find it. I know our first major
release was Underground Science, which was all of the singles (at the time)
that we released plus some new joints and remixes of “L.i.f.e to the MC”. If
someone out there who reads this actually has a copy of this “Live from
Mitchell St.” record I really like to SEE it.
c7: My first exposure to your music actually was
through the MassInfluence cut on Mr. Len’s solo debut LP. Mr. Len was also
featured on your single “Analyze”. What was/is your relationship like with him?
We first had a connection with Mr. Len when at the time with Mass went
to Denmark and did a show with Company Flow, Mr. Live and other artist and the
relationship flourished from there. After that later on we recorded “Get Loose” for Mr. Len’s
project “Pity the Fool”.
Nito had a friendship with him and
asked him if he be down to do some cuts on the song. We later went into BullFrog
studio’s at the time and laid down the verses one Sunday afternoon for “Analyze” and then he already did his cuts
at the loft so we just sampled his cuts and lined them up with the track and
flew them in and BLAM! The cuts were in there and the song was done.
c7: Also, before MassInfluence, who really started
to make noise in the late ‘90s, you have a rather deep hip-hop history that
maybe not everyone is aware of. Could you break that down for us please?
Tone: Well…. my history goes back to when I was in
middle school and I started out beatboxing and break dancing with this crew in
Virginia called “The Jam Masters” ( in the early 80’s) at the time my tag was “Jet Set” and then “
Crazy Fresh”. I was doing talent shows
beatboxing and dancing and then toward the end of middle school I started
writing rhymes and listening to the many different emcees at the time BDP,
Kane, Biz, TLaRock, JustIce, FatBoys, RunDMC, Skinny boys and I was able to
start to learn flow and cadence. My grandmother who lived in New Jersey at the
time (Irvington) was huge because being able to go up north to the city and
listen to the like of 98.7 Kiss and WBLS
was hiphop heaven for me. I would make tapes of the show and then come back
home and listen to them for hours practicing. We had one hip hop show when I
was little which was on Sunday nights with DJ Frankski and Chocolate Jam and
they would play all the latest and greatest hip hop. I kept on rhyming in high school doing talent
shows and when I went to college in West VA I continued to write rhyme and got
a chance to work on the college radio station while I was up there introducing
kids to hip hop music that was really up to speed on it. I then came home and
started being a hype man in this group called “State of Mind” which then we
went our ways and started rhyming with this cat in the 90’s name B-double and we
had a group called True Soul which later turned into the “Urbanytes” (doing locals shows and releases) and I hooked
up with a childhood friend of mine (DJ Red Assassin) who let me borrow his EPS
16 Plus and I learned how to make beats I would say this is around the early
90’s (say 90-93). It wasn’t until 94 when I met H on a trip to Atlanta with
Nito and the birth of MassInfluence started.
c7: You’re from Atlanta, but the music you make
often has that vintage boom bap sound that many would associate most with NYC.
How much has the city of ATL itself and the music from there really inspired or
Tone: When I first moved down to
Atlanta in the mid 90’s I lived right smack in the middle of downtown right
before the Olympics so it was a crazy time for the city ,but being in the
middle of that and just taking in life at the time and even now that I’m older
has really shaped my perspective and understanding say as a man, a person for
which will affect my craft which is making dope hip hop music. I’ve had the
chance in my time in Georgia to live all around the area so it gave me a nice perspective to really
soak it all in.
I think that living, breathing,
growing, learning in the here really influenced me a lot. Being that there are
so many different scenes here (jazz, R&B,blues, southern hip hop,
underground hip hop) you will always come across something that catches your
ear. First and foremost I love music and even though I might be put in a box to
make a certain kind of music I think its only natural that being in the place
for so long (since 96) would have an impact, but with the soul and jazz roots
here in Atlanta and surrounding areas being in Georgia has opened up my mind
and ears to all different styles of music.
c7: So, besides the things that we have touched
upon, is there anything else you’re working on or planning that we need to be
on the lookout for in the near future?
Tone: Um lets see…I am also working
on a project (untitled at the moment with a talented producer from France (A
Cat Called Fritz) DJ Lyrik. Also, were
working on some other new Soundsci stuff
that potentially might be released next
year sometime but we’ll just have to see how it goes. Also, UGeorge will be
having an EP/LP coming out next year as well as Ollie Tebba’s EP, and finally
Oxygen and I have a project with IllTreats called “Classic Material”. On top of
that were forming a label called WorldExpo Records so there is a lot going on
right now…a lot to get done ,but its all such positive stuff. We are really
c7: I'll definitely keep my eyes and ears open for those projects. In conclusion many thanks for taking the time to do
this interview with The Lost Tapes, it’s super appreciated. I hope to hear a
lot more banging music from you as soon as possible!
Tone: Man first of it should be me THANKING
YOU for the dope interview and taking the time to talk to a bro. It’s people
like you and what you are doing that make making music worthwhile. THANK YOU
for supporting Soundsci and hip hop!