Jazz runs deep through the music of A Tribe Called Quest. It’s as Q-Tip infamously puts it inExcursions,the opening track of their sophomore album:”Don’t you know that things go in cycles? The way that Bobby Brown is just ampin’ like Michael.”A new 7″ release by Amsterdam-based, Jerusalem-born keyboardist, DJ & producer Soul Supreme is in its own way a reflection of that. The record features homages to iconic hip-hop tracks “Check The Rhime” & “Lyrics To Go” from a jazz perspective.
“It’s kinda ironic: these tracks are interpretations but almost everything is different,” says Soul Supreme. “The harmony, the melodies, the instruments that are used for each part, the structure… I want to take the listener on a trip to overlook a track they know, but from a different perspective. I try to go ‘in and out’ of the ATCQ tracks so the listener never knows what’s going to happen next. My overall goal is to give existing music my own twist. I don’t want to sound like a rehash of something listeners have heard before.”
The characteristic guitar line on ‘Lyrics To Go’ is an example of that: in Soul Supreme’s version, the guitar melody is actually a Moog in disguise, emulating guitar bends with his synth by adding lots of distortion. But to Soul Supreme, that’s far from science. He doesn’t sit down with apad & pento think of ways to switch things up. It happens through improvisation on his Moog Sub37, DSI Ob6, Rhodes MK1, or on his now new Yamaha piano. In that sense, it’s A Tribe Called Quest’s hip-hop he loves, but a jazz influence that prevails. Obsessively studying the work of pianists such as Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Weldon Irvine for over fifteen years now.
This 7″ follows the line of Soul Supreme’sThe Message / Umi Saysrelease on Chicago-based imprint Star Creature Universal Vibrations last year. The 7″ taking on tracks by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Mos Def was sold out in a matter of days.
“It’s like that y’all, check it now…”
About Soul Supreme
Soul Supreme is an Amsterdam-based, Jerusalem-born keyboardist, DJ & producer. He began playing the keys at the age of sixteen, obsessively playing 6 to 8 hours a day—even skipping school for it. After a couple of breaks from playing music because of this thing called Life, it was a move to the Netherlands in 2014 which made him reconnect to playing the keys as his biggest passion. Soul Supreme eventually also immersed himself into beatmaking for seven years, as well as DJ’ing up to this day. As a DJ, he has played alongside Damu The Fudgemunk, DJ Shadow, Boogie Blind, DJ Day & Shortkut.
A Check the Rhime
B Lyrics to Go