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Cadence Weapon
Cadence Weapon's new release is a pay-what you want download

Cadence Weapon Deals with Separation Anxiety

On the release of his new pay-what-you-want mixtape

By Scott Thomson

Rollie Pemberton has returned from his very brief hiatus. The artist, known formally as Cadence Weapon, has recently released Separation Anxiety, which is the first release following his 2008 record, Afterparty Babies.

Separation Anxiety is another varied collection of songs, much like his Cadence Weapon is the Black Hand mix tape, which came out in 2005. The new collection features Cadence Weapon To get to the point where you can be financially solvent is a really hard thing to do; And it�s getting harder and harder.� along with friends and label mates. “Everything I have on the mix tape is very disjointed, on purpose. Every song has a separation in it.” Pemberton says over the phone, from his native Edmonton, AB.  “It doesn’t connect in the way a traditional album does, but that’s a purposeful thing.”

Random information about Cadence Weapon:

His 2005 record, Breaking Kayfabe, was nominated for the initial Polaris Prize, which is handed out yearly for the record to the best Canadian album, based on artistic merit, and not sales or genre.

In regards to this nomination, and what it did for his career, Pemberton had this to say:
“It put my name out there to people who may not have heard it, at that point. It was a major boost for my career. It got other people thinking about me, whom I was, and where I was coming from.”

Separation Anxiety fuses genres like Dance and Electronica with Pemberton’s rhymes and more standard hip-hop beats to create its sound. “Over the years I have done so many things, and I wanted to showcase that in a combined effort with other things I have done. I wanted it to mirror the Black Hand mix tape in that it is very diverse.” Pemberton says. “That has confused a lot of people.”

The mix tape features artists like Roots Manuva, Sally Shapiro, Shout Out Out Out Out and Final Fantasy reworking older songs, as well as assisting Pemberton with new material. “I usually like to do collaborations with people I have done a show with, or have a kinship with.” says Pemberton. “Shout Out Out Out Out are close friends of mine and it seemed obvious that I would work with them. “

Pemberton appeared on the Shout Out Out Out Out song “Coming Home”, which can be found on their 2009 record Reintegration Time. On Separation Anxiety, they return the favour, and remix the same song. Pemberton says the versions are “drastically different.”

The 20 track long, Separation Anxiety is being released in a digital form only, through www.cadenceweaponmusic.com. He too has joined the list of artists who have used the “Pay What You Can” approach.

“Originally I wanted to do another mix-tape like I had done with the Black Hand one, and I figured the best way to get it to the most people possible was either make it free, or create some sort of value system for it. I was going to put it out for free, but I figured people would download it less because there was no value in it. If I did the pay-what-you-want thing, it would create a value system.”

Over the years I have done so many things, and I wanted to showcase that in a combined effort with other things I have done�

Pemberton says the response has been “pretty positive.” Even still, he talked about the difficulties artist face in an ever-changing music industry.

“I would say it’s easier for people to get their music out there.” He says. “To get to the point where you can be financially solvent is a really hard thing to do; and it’s getting harder and harder.” He says he would be “very daunted” if he was just starting out.

While there are no plans on touring with the release of Separation Anxiety, Pemberton is keeping busy. He is currently working on his next album, tentatively titled Roquentin, which is based on a character in the book Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre. Final Fantasy will be doing some strings on it, and former tour-mate, Buck 65, will take time away from his hosting duties on CBC Radio 2 to rap on it.

Cadence Weapon's Separation Anxiety
Cadence Weapon's Separation Anxiety

“I am focusing on the production, but it’s largely involving live instruments. I have a full band for it.” He says. Unlike past records he says he is working on this record a bit differently then he is used to. “I still start off with the beat, but now I am kinda leaving spaces for people to add things. It is a different approach, but it has been fun.”

Pemberton says he has an “unconventional way of doing albums.” He starts with a title of a song, and then constructs a beat based on how it makes him feel.

I figured the best way to get it to the most people possible was either make it free, or create some sort of value system for it.

“It is kinda a backwards approach.” He joked.

“I walk around and think about these ideas and come up with different lines.
It’s kinda like a collage. None of the songs I have written, I’d say, I sat down, and wrote the song.”

He says he plans on having Roquentin out in the spring of 2010. Until then, he will continue to be in Edmonton, and work on it, letting the influences of the city bleed into his music. “I just feel like people (in Edmonton) have a certain spirit here and this desire to create, that is kinda different then anyplace I have ever been.” He says. “I feel like it (regionalism) is important. The kind of music I really like, the southern hip hop for example, has a very specific regionalism to it. Southern rap can only come from there. I just always want to do that, but from where I am from.”

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