As part of the 2017 Red Bull BC One World Finals, Red Bull have teamed up with well known Dutch street wear brand, Patta, to produce a creative and innovative soundtrack of music. The aim of the project is to bring a fresh sound to the Breaking scene and the World Finals, plus to also release the finished EP digitally and on limited vinyl.
With the creation of 6 original tracks in mind, Patta and Red Bull have drafted in two highly skilled, industry renowned producers that they knew would be perfect for the job. These producers go by the names of Lunice and Alchemist, and both have already proven themselves to Red Bull and Patta through long established musical relationships with the two companies. The two producers also have backgrounds in dance and the Hip Hop culture.
Simply going by his first name, Lunice, as his name brand in the industry, 29 year old Lunice Fermin Pierre II, from Montreal, Canada, is a self-proclaimed, 'odd kid,' who refers to his style as, 'all funk, no thrills.' Lunice is a Red Bull Music Academy Alumnus (former student), who has toured with the Academy and been featured in its online magazine, RBMA Daily. On top of this, Lunice's producing career came about because of dance and Hip Hop culture:
LUNICE: I started B-boying, started graffiti, started scratching. I started beating boxing because I couldn't rap and, from all these elements, that got me into producing. And once I figured out producing and beat making that's when I was pretty much hooked from here on out because it's something I can really express a lot of the arts through.
Daniel Alan Maman, aka Alchemist, from Los Angeles, California, made his bones creating music for 11 years in New York city. Having been in the music game since '93, the 39 year old Alchemist is a long time fan of all of Red Bull's music endeavours, and has a long standing relationship with Patta.
ALCHEMIST: I think Red Bull does the dopest shit, to be honest... the interview series, they do the lectures... I watch all of them. If Red Bull is doing something related to music I'm definitely down. And Patta is a clothing brand I've known since they used to be Fat Beats, which was a record store they ran in Amsterdam that was the main hob for Hip Hop vinyl in the late 90s/2000s. They transferred into the clothing company and are one of the strongest brands throughout Europe. I've done a lot of stuff with them in the past. They reached out and asked me what I think about Lunice and I said he was super dope, and then they mentioned Red Bull.
Plus, like Lunice, Alchemist's musical roots stem from dance and Hip Hop culture.
ALCHEMIST: I was into a lot of dance early on; Expressive dance, aggressive dance, Krumping, Militant dance, battle dance, it was all about dancing aggressive, so I kind of developed my style from that. It's always dance related. I'm the Crooked Robo Cop, that's what they used to call me on the dance floor, cause I was the foul enforcer with robotics techniques.
Scheduled to work with local musicians in London, Amsterdam and LA, we caught up with the two music makers at their stopover in London. Sitting down in one of the Red Bull music studios, surrounded by instruments and mics, we chatted about how the creation process was flowing.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR APPROACH TO MAKING SURE THAT THIS SOUNDTRACK APPEALS TO A WIDER AUDIENCE AS WELL AS THE BREAKERS?
LUNICE: We've both established our production side of things, where we make the music and then release it and play it out and that helps create the general fan base for reaching the masses over time. Now it's like going back to our roots, the B-boy and aggressive dance stage of things, and coming with what we already have, which is our festival/club fan base, the people who come to see what we play. I think naturally it'll bridge between the two because we already have that process in mind as we make our music.
ALCHEMIST: You have to have the parts for the moves, the breakdown, so people (the Breakers) can get their shit off. Those parts were always just select parts of records back in the day, just sections where the drummers just had too much sauce and everything broke down and it was just the drummer and the stabs. Of course our challenge is to incorporate that element with what we do and then it'll be a full listen. And if they (Break DJs) want to pick a certain part, cut it up and start doing their moves, that's what it was originally. Those records they used to cut up were not entirely that, it was just sections, so we have that in mind when making it.
BEING DANCERS YOURSELVES DID YOU SEE IF YOU COULD ACTUALLY DANCE TO THE TRACKS YOU ARE MAKING?
ALCHEMIST: There's no way not to, he can't stand still while making a beat (referring to Lunice). The dance creates rhythm and gives us the pattern. You got to incorporate the energy, man. One of the arms is Boogaloo Shrimp and the other arm is Crazy Legs, when I'm making a beat. You just channel it.
DO YOU THINK THAT FOR THE RED BULL BC ONE WORLD FINALS WE WILL USE ALL THE TRACKS THAT YOU MAKE?
ALCHEMIST: I'm not sure how they are going to present it (the music) at the competition but I'm pretty sure we're going to give them enough ammunition that B-boys are going to start losing their shit and start bouncing off the walls as soon as they hear this. They're going to think of new moves. They might have to re-think their presentation in their routines when they hear the beats.
LUNICE: Back in the day it used to be like that. When the breaks first came in they (the Breakers) didn't know what to do with it, you just went in (danced). When I used to B-boy that's how I danced. I had some set lists but nah man, it was all just all in.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION TO BRING YOUR ENERGY INTO THE MUSIC?
ALCHEMIST: I think we already lived it, that's what it is. Like I can still smell the cans, I can still smell the paint, you know what I mean, from the yards. We all did graffiti, we all ran around and did all the elements (referring to Hip Hop culture). You kind of just incorporate that. I don't need to watch 'Style Wars' or 'Wild Style' again, all that shit just plays in my mind. We're built from that. And then you bring it to a new generation, as everything is new now, no one is trying to do something old. The tradition of it is good but it's more about a sound that is now, and that way we can bring something that is traditionally old in the style but the sound is updated.
Even though Lunice and Alchemist have never worked together before this project a mutual respect for each other's music, their common connection to Red Bull, and a shared history of growing up in the Hip Hop dance scene, has sparked an instant connection and energy that the two are now channelling into the collaboration; Lunice and Alchemist, the Funky Man and the Crooked Robo Cop.
The final question I asked the producers was: If there was a message in your music what would you say it was? To which Alchemist simply replied: 'Hemoglobin... Look it up.'
So go look up 'Hemoglobin,' and while you're at it look up the Red Bull BC One 2017 World Finals, look up Patta street wear from Amsterdam, and look up the soundtrack by Lunice and Alchemist to check out the finished, fresh and innovative new music.
Interviewed and written by Emmanuel Adelekun