The Confluence EP, which was released by Fat Beats Records on September 26th, is the Brooklyn-based (by way of the Pittsburgh, PA area) producer maticulous’s latest album, and the follow up to his debut effort, The maticulous EP. Confluence may well may be aptly named as the heart of Pittsburgh lies at the confluence of the Three Rivers – the Allegheny, the Ohio, and the Monongahela Rivers. But the album thematically works as the confluence between Pittsburgh’s hip hop scene and that of New York’s hip hop scene, as maticulous works with some of his old hometown’s hottest and most talented emcees, as well as the confluence between hip hop’s golden age and current underground scene. For some of us jaded New Yorkers who think we’ve seen it all, it says that we should be paying attention to the Steel City.
As a producer, maticulous has worked with Doom, RA the Rugged Man, Ruste Juxx, and is a member of Audimatic, with the fantastic Audible Doctor of the Brown Bag AllStars crew. He’s also released a couple of interesting instrumental projects, all of show his production style. Similar to that of the great J. Dilla, and Pete Rock his has an incredibly organic and cinematic quality.
After the release of The Confluence EP, I got a chance to speak to maticulous about the new album, the state of hip hop and a number of other things in this Q&A – the first done here in quite some time.
WRH: You’re originally from the Pittsburgh area (Ebensburg, PA) and you moved to Brooklyn about eight years ago. What exactly inspired the move to Brooklyn? As an artist have you noticed anything different between the pittsburgh scene and that of Brooklyn (or of NYC)?
WRH: How would you describe your sound?
m: That’s a good question, man… I’d say traditional with my own modern twists. Sampling records, drum breaks, the dustiness of classic hip hop but usually my tracks come out very clean in the end.
WRH: Who are your influences? Who are you listening to right now? Who do you think is the hottest rapper right now?
WRH: Audible doctor, and the Brown Bag AllStars recently released a single, “406” and in the song the entire crew lovingly describes working at Fat Beats as being a formative experience for them as artists, as it was someplace where they cut their teeth and got in touch with fans, and so on. I understand that you also worked at Fat Beats as the store’s manager. Did you find your time at Fat Beats inspiring how you did things as a producer? If so, how?
WRH: Your newest album, The Confluence EP just came out the other day, and it features some of the best emcees from your old hometown. How does this project differ from your first release? And how did this project come about? How did you decide which emcees you were going to work with?
m: I’ll definitely be making hip hop music. It’s part of who I am. I hope to do shows DJ’ing for artists that I produce records for…expanding my audience, make it easier for people to put a face with the music. My goal is to produce whole albums for people, not just getting placements.
m: Get to the point where the music you share with the world is of the highest quality possible, and have honest people around you. It’s very easy to release music today, and the quality has suffered. Make music with respect to those that came before you. Part of the reason I don’t do the A&R thing anymore is because I’m an artist myself…who am I to tell someone how to create, but bring the “A” game if you decide to release it.