” Cratery 88 : Mr. Attic “
Those Cratery dudes bring Mr. Attic into the fold for episode 88-
“As a producer, Attic is as carefree as he is meticulous. Blessed with an incredible ear and cursed with an attention to detail. Democratic about his record choices. And uncompromising about the sound of the final product. Attic’s signature weapon of choice throughout most of the 90’s was Ensoniq’s EPS 16+ (although he switched to the MPC 2000 later). And with it, he made some pretty legendary contributions to Toronto hip-hop around this time. “Drama” was his (and partner Swiff’s) first single under Da Grassroots moniker. I should note that sonically, this song was much different than the majority of hip hop being released in Toronto at the time, in that the mix sounded phenomenal. It didn’t sound like a local, basement record – it sounded full bodied and well rounded.
This was in part, due to Da Grassroots connection to Noel “Gadjet” Campbell, an engineer with a golden ear and future Toronto legend, who was credited with the mix. No one in the city had really achieved those sort of sonics up until that point. The warm kicks, ample snares and moody rhodes on “Drama” was a milestone because it matched the quality of the sound being achieved stateside. The single did well by indie standards back then, and was even heavily bootlegged in Tokyo to try and meet the demand of the Japanese market. Attic’s continued work with Gadjet introduced him to the next wave of Toronto rappers like Saukrates, Choclair and Kardinal Offishall, all of whom have his joints in their discography, notably the latter’s “Ol Time Killin” which is an undisputed hometown classic. Da Grassroots forged a relationship with Seattle based Conception records (through our mutual homie Jake One) to release their own production-based debut album “Passage through time” in 1999, featuring a veritable who’s who of Toronto hip-hop at the time, including a debut single featuring yours truly. I was probably one of the lesser known artists on the album, but Da Grassroots always favoured the music, not the politics. Over the years, flagship Canadian artists like the Dream Warriors, Brass Munk, Thrust, IRS, Tara Chase, Marvel and Checkmate have all added Attic pieces to their discography. But his most frequent and closest collaborator remains Mr. Roam (originally of Born II Roam), whose “Postal Work”, “Price of Living”, “Groupie Central”, “System” and ultra-limited Tom Strokes album are timeless examples of Attic’s beat prowess and some of my personal favourites from his discography”.
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