My, How Time Flies I
Our lives and our history are most often represented by the timeline, a straight course from point A to point B. We are born, we go through life, and, eventually, we die. Throughout our existence, we are never fully aware of what percentage of our timelines we have trekked. Every age we reach, we only get 1 year of practice of being that old, which is why sometimes we need to loop back to a place more comfortable than now. Suddenly, we are catching salamanders, chasing fireflies, or sleeping with a light on in our 30s, being either completely oblivious to the harshness of the world or aware of it and attempting to keep it away. Sometimes we reach moments of mastery, and pull ahead because as children, we may be forced to grow years in a second as we encounter love or loss. In our 20s, we may sit on front porches and chatter with the wisdom of the elders, or we may face a diagnosis that shakes us because it introduces us to our autumn colors earlier than anticipated. With the constant looping, pulling, spinning, twisting, and coiling, our time line becomes a ball of yarn, wrapped around itself, traveling back and forth from beginning to end.
Producer Brass Clouds (Horsefeathers) and emcee Lucas Dix (Jellyfish Brigade, Shut-ins and the Colony) have teamed up to form BCxLD. Together, the Portland based hip hop duo present My, How Time Flies, a four part EP series to be released throughout 2016. With Brass Clouds’ all original instrumentation and Dix’s heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting, the pair creates a project that intertwines elements of hip hop, electronic, R&B, and folk; a project that zig zags through the calendar of us, highlighting the highs, lows, and everything in-between.
My, How Time Flies I features Jay Cobb Anderson of Fruition, Brad Parsons of the Local Talent, and Stephen Sauer. It will be available for pay what you want download on Tuesday, February, 23rd, 2016 at http://bcxld.bandcamp.com. It will also be available via iTunes and Spotify.
"The Ballad of Darla and Igna"
For some people, their car is their sanctuary. It’s a place of contemplation in between a rotating wheel of departure sites and destinations. Over the years, the manner in which the car is kept may change. For some of us, the ashtray no longer fills up and the trash doesn’t pile as quickly. However, the daily goals and the course may stay the same. “The Ballad of Darla and Igna” is an ode to the vehicles that get us from here to there and the passengers that have accompanied us along the journey.
Lucas Dix reminds me of a time when a mental divide between poetry and rap did not exist. The ideas this guy brings forth are original, and the canvas is always blank and he does something new with it every time he speaks.
I didn’t enjoy the beat on “Stink in my Yuck” but aside from that Brass Clouds slays everything on My, How Time Flies I. The entire track is only 1:43, and the drums don’t bang like they always should. Aside from that, I don’t know how many instruments that guy plays, or what his process is; but it works and it’s dope.
One of the things I’ve really appreciated about all of Dix’s projects, is that while they share some similarities, there’s an effort for each of them to have a distinct sound. If I was going to describe the overall sound of the EP, it definitely seems to be influenced by the R&B and hip hop of the early to mid-‘90s (before Diddy ruined everything), balanced with some West Coast underground. By this, I mean that if you listen to the sung chorus of a song like “Everywhere,” with its smooth vocals, even smoother bass line, and new jack drums, you can definitely hear the influence of someone like Jodeci. However, when you turn right around and listen to the next track, “Little Light,” with a darker sci-fi tone, harsher mid-tempo drums, and lyricism that you could definitely describe as abstract, we’re talking about influences like anticon. and Hieroglyphics. Put it all together, and you absolutely have a unique sound. It doesn’t necessarily cohere completely and flow perfectly from start to finish, but the flip side is that there’s not one individual track that sounds bad. It’s more the case of trying to bring together these different approaches and figure out what exactly the sound of BCxLD is. The good news there is that we’ve got several more volumes coming our way in the near future, and I’m fairly confident that the duo will reach their full potential.
When faced with a life threatening illness, people find sanctuaries and escapes in many different forms and fashions. In this particular instant, I found comfort in the Wisconsin snow, using it to help me mentally overcome a difficult journey. Shout-outs and much love to the people going through the thick of it.
Starting with the love song to two different cars that got Lucas through and to various places in his life “The Ballad Of Darla and Inga” waxes poetic with the chorus “Cold wind coming like a march on the block/Last one left, only car in the lot/Call her Darla, the vessel for the Argonaut flock/Where it’s safe to believe that we are what we’re not/We are what we’re not,We aren’t what we got”. Talented songwriting in general is difficult to find in any genre of music, and with a lot of new MC’s just repeating catchy hooks and bridges 17 times it’s refreshing to see someone write with such passion, heart and purpose like Lucas so often does, and over multiple projects in short time spans. With Lucasjoining Brass Clouds who handled all of the production for this 1st in a 2 part project, I am reminded of the first time hearing the Jellyfish Brigade EP and how the pairing fits so incredibly well together. Brass Clouds creates lush, melodic and drum heavy beats that almost gently wrap themselves around Lucas’vocals and provide the perfect canvas for him to paint vivid grown man tales (see “Empty Town” withJay Cobb Anderson, or “A Alikes and Me”).