If you've checked out spoof blaxploitation flick Black Dynamite then you'll know about the highly authentic soundtrack composed by Adrian Younge (who also edited the film). The soundtrack itself stands when compared to those Younge took influence from, the likes of Marvin Gayes 'Trouble Man' , Shaft by Isaac Hayes and Willie Hutch's score to Foxy Brown to name a few. It was high time to catch up with the man himself and ask a few questions about Black Dynamite, his newly launched record shop and his next venture under the guise of Venice Dawn. Thankfully, he agreed, so peel your eyes and enjoy BristolFunk viewers :
"An essential component, in old soul, is the warmth of the tape" - Adrian Younge
BF: The artwork for Black Dynamite was an integral part of promoting the movie and album, have you decided on the art for the new album and are there any tips you'd give to artists when thinking about it?
Adrian: "The artwork was designed by Freddy Azures, of wax poetics magazine, for the black dynamite album. He was also commissioned to create the artwork for “something about April.” The artwork is an integral part of the new album because it explores notions that were frowned upon by many in a historically racist society. Can’t say too much now, but you should get it when you see the artwork. The time frame for the album is about 1969."
Sounds like a classic. You favoured an analogue only approach on Black Dynamite, do you think that some music today is over produced or could do with a return to warmer, more organic sounds?
"It all depends; if you are creating old soul music, I think it is unfortunate when recorded with exclusively modern technology. An essential component, in old soul, is the warmth of the tape. With the digital age, some music isn’t supposed to be that warm; however, some is. Modernly, many producers are lazy, or uneducated, and do not feel the need to inundate themselves with analog technology. Ironically, these producers spend so much time in post (trying to create an analog sound) that they should have just started the right way: recording in analog!"
How excited are you about the new album? Do you have a title and has it been hard work?
"Very excited. It was a lot of work and well worth the effort. I believe it is my greatest artistic accomplishment as a composer."
"The new album is entitled “Something About April.” The album depicts the ups and downs of a relationship through the eyes of a male and female. It will follow in the steps of Black Dynamite, but it is more progressive. For the BD soundtrack, I had to somewhat stay within the boundaries of classic Blaxploitation; with Something About April, I had the freedom to do whatever I desired. That being said, the new album is a darker album with more emotional content."
"I believe Something About April is my greatest artistic accomplishment as a composer."
If there is a message for people to take from the new album, what would it be?
"From a producer standpoint, there is one message: be yourself and don’t be negatively influenced by people critiquing your new sound. You must be the judge of your own music, and make your new music for yourself; then think of others. Basically, focus on your personal expectations of greatness."
You recently opened your own record store, were you inspired by record store day and what is your favourite record from the racks currently?
"The record store component, to our record store/salon, is operated by myself and my close friend Patrick Washington. We were just inspired by our love for vinyl. My favorite record on the racks currently is Portishead’s “Portishead.” "
Nice choice, is the Haircuts and records idea a new one? Why not a milk or juice bar?
"I’m sure that someone has thought about it; however, I have never seen another recordstore/salon. Also, this picture is our stylist, “Snag,” cutting Rob Swift of the Executioners:: "
The first records I bought were Babylon Zoo- Spaceman and The Luniz- I Got 5 On It, both on tape, what was your first record and any regrets?
"My first record was michael jacksons thriller; no regrets."
If we were just playing musical top trumps, you would've won.. 11 and a half minutes of Greg Carmichael's Barely Breaking Even do it for me, but do you have a 'guilty pleasure' record in your collection?
"Everyone does…R.Kelly and public announcements first album: “Born into the 90s.”"
BF: Haha, that's some honesty! Thanks for your time- Anything to add??
Adrian: "Wax Poetics is releasing an EP of Venice Dawn soon. It will be a free digital download. And possibly playing UK at the end of the year"
-Venice Dawn's New Album 'There's Something About April is out Soon. Thankyou to Adrian Younge for humbly allowing me to interview him-