Sunday, 20 March 2011

Profisee: Logan’s Run

Lo-Quality speaks to Profisee about his upcoming EP, Logan’s Run.

Representing Scotland’s talent, Phuturelabs have lined up a fourth release and their first EP for 2011; lyricist and Edinburgh MC Profisee drops new work Logan’s Run, featuring production from Process Rebel, Poirier (Ninja Tunes), Scharkz, and S-Type. Profisee has worked with the likes of Hexstatic, Yard Emcess and Neil Landstrumm in the past, keeping one foot planted in intelligent vocal delivery and the other in dance music. The new EP does its best to maintain the variation in styles with electronica, dubstep, hip-hop and hints of jahtari, leaving clues as to what to expect from his full-length LP.

The title of your EP is Logan’s Run - big sci-fi fan, or are you feeling wary about ‘that age’? “No, I'm not worried about the new age that we’re moving into, in fact probably the opposite,” says Profisee. “I'm quite excited about the new technologies, plus the social and scientific developments that are hopefully around the corner. The choice of title Logan's Run, I suppose is just an observation of that and my own ageing process. Particularly in the west, we are immersed in youth culture and remaining eternally young. So, I guess it's a personal and social commentary on time, loss and change.”

Title track Logan's Run [No Guts No Glory] kicks off the EP with Glasgow’s S-Type producing, with a groove you can lean into. It’s in the same vein as Calvin Harris and Rascal collabs, but it’s a more laidback electronica meets hip-hop vibe ridden by the lip-curling chorus; “Heard it before / It’s the same old story / Lay it on the line / No Guts, No Glory.” Altogether it makes the Harris and Rascal duets look like an hyperactive affair. Next up, the most high profile producer on the EP, Ninja Tunes’ Poirier takes the listener to an 8-bit game landscape with Movin, and uses the clunky nature to add weight to the delivery of Profisee’s vocals. It’s not quite jahtari, but I’d be tempted to invent Spectrum-rap as a genre to cover the sound. It’s a simple track of few notes, but it’s this simplicity which highlights this track as one to take the dancefloors by storm, goaded on by Profisee to keep moving unless “you’re dead or a mannequin.”
“They were all hand-picked choices... I feel like the man from Del Monte!”
There’s a fantastic list of producers on the EP, from the global Poirier to local Glasgow talents like Scharkz and S-Type; did you personally select them, and how do you think they added to the overall sound?

“Yeah, they were all hand-picked choices... I feel like the man from Del Monte! Essentially as an independent artist, I have been fortunate enough to meet and perform with a wide array of DJs / producers. To be honest, most of the collaborations have been through forming a personal and musical connection. Undoubtedly this has added to the texture and vibe of Logan's Run. I have worked this way for years; in fact this idea is feeding into my album process… One possible title for the album being Exquisite Corpse. Diversity often produces unexpected results.”

Credit: Kenny Hall -
Glasgow producer Scharkz produces on This Means and Why Today, the former being a carving of Ultravox’s Vienna with spacey female vocals a la Sneaker Pimps and an industrial degraded feel. “You can say what you like / This means nothing to me / I will stand, I will fight / This means nothing to me,” lyrics roll across the dubstep drawl of beats, mingling with synthpop. Why Today takes a simplified piano journey into glitch-filled electronica territory, contrasting off-key sung vocals with the slicker rhymes of Profisee, slightly masking the poignancy of the lyrical content - wishing for the chance of a last goodbye.

Another international link is forged with Prof’s collaboration with the Netherland’s Process Rebel, producing How It Go, a bouncy take on dancehall, hip-hop and plenty of bass melodies. Did Profisee have an idea about how he wanted the accompanying music to sound or support the lyrics, or did he welcome each producer’s interpretation? “As a general rule, I write to the energy and emotion the beat provides,” he explains. “For Logan's Run, it was actually a certain vibe that I was on at the time, and I guess I gravitated to tracks as a consequence. When I first started writing, I just wrote lyrics all the time to any beats, nowadays I often have a specific emotion or idea in mind and look for the beat to match it. What works the best though is when I get a beat that just ignites the emotions and concept.

“I also like to work closely with the producers’ ideas and direction - which means your singing from the same hymn sheet. The chopped chorus on Logan's Run was my idea, and because me and S-Type are open to ideas, he totally understood where I was coming from and transformed the track. Also, I worked very closely with Scharkz on Why Today; that track has special meanings and if you have experienced certain things, you will hear that in the lyrics and the music. It was a real pleasure working with all the producers on Logan's Run.”

Any plans to take this out on the road, with possible live performances from the producers?

“I am looking to take the EP on the road performing the tracks, live. I’m aiming to incorporate album tracks into the show too, so that I can showcase the forthcoming LP. Because of everyone’s busy schedules and various locations of everyone, it’s unlikely we'll be able to get everyone in the same place at the same time (unless someone has an amazing budget!?). But I'm doing a few gigs with S-Type (Glasgow), and there is a possible Amsterdam gig lined up, so hopefully that’s confirmed and I’ll do a show with Process Rebel.

“Ironically, I've deliberately avoided gigging recently, to focus on the album, and complete releases. I’m also looking forward to working out a brand new live show, for the festival season.”

The EP will be released for free download on 28th March 2011 on a Creative Commons license at Phuturelabs. Check for news updates and gig info.

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