For a feature story this week we sat down with “no school” rap duo Talibam! to talk about their groovy, ass-spanking debut, Puff Up the Volume. The snazzy production team of MC K-Wizzle and MC Moaty Molguz played every instrument on the work, sans samples. You can also get a taste of them via their “rap reports,”, and their Launch Pad #1 release, in which they took the Dirty Projectors’ Swing Lo Magellan and made music on top of it. Below are excerpts from out chat with Talibam!’s MC Moaty Mogulz, who talks about Puff and how they convinced no wave icon Rhys Chatham to join their posse.
You recorded Puff entirely without samples, right?
MC Moaty Mogulz: This record was made entirely without samples and it’s all live playing and overdubs. So, it was made in a way that is pretty opposite; it was made as a band making a record and it just happened to then fall into the rap idiom.
What about the rapping?
[We did the rapping] primarily during our residency in the bank vault, in that studio. We had a studio previous to that in winter 2010, which is when we recorded Cosmolpitude and AtlantASS, right next to Shea Stadium. The record kept building and finally we were both prepared–we had written all of our lyrics and revised lyrics.
Do you anticipate a backlash from the rap community?
We had one disgruntled voice on YouTube calling us out saying we were a sixth grade, amateur version of LMFAO. I didn’t know who LMFAO was. He recognized the melody from their hit because it’s like the most insipid techno. Then I saw it and I’m like “Jesus. We are the sixth grade, amateur schoolhouse version of LMFAO.”
Will Puff be a one-off project?
No. When people think of Talibam!, we want them to think no school rap. So, potentially our reggae album or the techno record could even be released under a separate name just so we don’t continue to have so many disparate things falling under Talibam! We’ve also been really trying to engage in the internet in the last six months with the rap reports, the commercials, the videos, the Dirty Projectors “Launch Pad” mixed with the second of the “Launch Pad”s–we’re gonna do Frank Ocean. But we also want people to think of us as producer, production track people that rhyme.
So you want Talibam! to be known strictly as no school rap?
I think in some ways, if you look at what we’ve done in 2012 as artists, Talibam! is almost now a work of artistry; we’re an art collective and all of these different projects fall under the umbrella of Talibam! The rap album is the thing we’ve spent the most amount of time on in the last three years so that to me is our focus. But the story I want to communicate is that Talibam! made a rap album and it’s a good album. It’s like put it on at your BBQ or late night at the party, it’ll be a good time.
Are you looking to break into the pantheon that Das Racist is in?
I think their audience would react well to what we’re doing. We’re bringing a party. Our record brings a straight up party, probably more of a party than what most bands that are considered party bands would give. That, to me, is not novelty, that’s just entertainment. Even the title Puff Up The Volume is a play on a lot of different phrases but it also represents, to me, where our culture is–politically, socially, economically. In 2012, the volume is so extreme. We’re trying to bust that bubble and deal with reality.
Talibam!’s Internet presence is on the rise with your “rap reports” and even Rhys Chatham made a hilarious cameo in one of them.
After an AtlantASS show Rhys was at, he was like “I want to do a rap report with you.” He knew all the lines; he just jumped into it. We had eight minutes of footage and we managed to get a video out of it. We didn’t ask him. It was after the show and we literally had fifteen minutes before we had to shut down the theater. We busted it out; we’re on the spot. The Rhyster.
How do you plan on further expanding the Internet presence?
Mogulz: I think we should get our own content on Crackle or something. If Jerry Seinfeld can have his own Crackle show, there’s no reason Talibam! can’t.
Talibam! perform September 21 at Secret Project Robot and September 29 at Le Poisson Rouge