April 18, 2006
Induce: the Wondersounds of Cycle
It is hard to come across a mainstream hip-hop album that isn't 24 tracks for the attention deficit: intro, outro, 10 digital perfect songs complete with hook, 3 joke songs about butts and boobs, and 9 worthless skits (is this hip-hop or a comedy act?) all smattered in a loose framework that makes it appear to be a concept.
Miami Deejay/producer/emcee Induce doesn't have to rely on appearances. His debut LP, Cycle, is conceptualized competently from beginning to end, and back to beginnings.
"[My music] is personal and emotional," says Induce. "That is why I chose to make my first album less of an extravaganza and more of a concept."
The main album consists of 10 tracks; six main songs and four ambient tracks, taking the listener through fluid trek, the literal cycle of Induce's creation. Three extra tracks are included at the end, "a little something extra" for the listener.
Cycle is ethereal, using voice as a layer instead of a focus, a refreshing change from the artless egomaniacal salesmanship of 50 Cent and his clones.
Induce gathered his friends in music for Cycle, recording original tracks of drums, horns, and keys to sample from, giving the album a pure, organic feel.
"Call" flows sweetly, blending light touches of Rhodes with the trails of vintage trumpets and flute a la Traffic.
In "Coltrane's Brain (The Rebirth)" Induce invokes the 1960's jazz genius Farrell "Pharaoh" Sanders, creating a stratum of velvet piano, wooden bass, and sharp hints of breakbeat. The result was so satisfying, he reprised "Coltrane's Brain" on track 9, the aptly named "Rebirth's Reprise."
"I couldn't just leave it an instrumental. The beat just needed an MC," he says.
The emcee gracing the track is Induce, he admits modestly. "[emceeing] is where I started, and I still have it in me. I like writing."
Induce has always been influenced by forward-thinking hip-hop groups like Miami-based The All and much-missed A Tribe Called Quest.
"I always wonder what an artist felt while composing a song," says Induce. "What was it like when Q-tip, Ali Shaheed, and Phife listened to Midnight Marauders as a finished whole? What does it feel like to record an album solely for your own listening?"
His hometown was an influence. Miami has a history of musical independence, unique funk, disco, and Miami bass. He helped create the indy label Counterflow, which was responsible in part for forging the current network of hip-hop in Miami.
"We were like, 'let's do it ourselves, let's do this for real,'" he says.
Induce has since moved to another label of his creation, Wondersound, upon which Cycle was released.
He has a couple of future releases coming up, including Antennae, a project consisting of Deejays Induce and Maneuvers on drum pads, and MC Stres on the mic. The Exit LP was released on Botanica del Jibaro in Japan; Induce will be bringing the LP to the States in the near future.
Induce's next project is half finished; he has beats laid out for a new album and plans to MC the entire album himself.
He finished a tour of Europe in September 2005, spinning in major cities like Barcelona, Spain, and is currently setting up a tour of the U.S. East Coast with several other deejays. Right now, he says, he is concentrating on finding radio play. Recently, Induce secured the #13 spot on 90.9 FM, CJSW, University of Calgary.
Tracks from both Cycle and Exit are available on Induce's Myspace account, myspace.com/induce1. Purchasing information is located there or at wondersound.com, his record label's webpage.
Induce keeps busy and stays positive about the future of hip-hop. He hopes to contribute in bringing the art of hip-hop back into to the limelight
"You know, it wasn't that the music has changed," he says. "Its that the people in power changed the music."