HVW8 Presents - Music Is My Art
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So when you hang out with Eric Coleman and B+, its of no surprise that if you mention HVW8, you’ll get the response “we know them, they’re friends of ours”. We know about the HVW8 team from the Dublab ‘In The Loop’ connections and Eric informs me, “They’re originally from Canada but now they’re living in Los Angeles and they do art shows.”
HVW8 moved to LA from Montreal, where they were formed in 1998. Clearly HVW8 are very well connected, especially in the leftfield hip hop community. The fact that Ubiquity are releasing a 13 track compilation speaks volumes in itself. Not only have they got the support of the LA community but they have also used their worldwide contacts to make this compilation a multi-dimensional soundscape ranging from hip hop, broken beat, nu-soul, funk and house.
You’ve already heard some of these tracks on Peterson’s Worldwide radio show such as the excellent Plant Life, ‘Your Love’ (shame it’s not longer), current playlist favourites Omega Watts and the unusual mix of folksy soul of ‘Blue Jay’ by Osusu & Hannibal. ‘Blue Jay’ is a choice track and Osusu & Hannibal are ones to watch as an album is planned for next year. Also, Soul-Jazz favourite Osunlade show us how to do ‘Herb Albert’, there’s John Arnold’s up tempo house ‘Rise Up’ (that was featured on the preview 12”) and ‘Wrap U Up’ which came out as a separate Yam Who 12”.
The aim of the album was to recreate the soundtrack to a HVW8 art show. Apparently they arrange for bands/groups/musicians to create art pieces at music events, clubs and exhibitions all over the world. The three members of HVW8 are Gene Pendon, Tyler Gibney and Dan Butler. The CD/LP will include a booklet/fold out examples of the artwork. In addition, they have been involved in commercial work for Puma, Gravis and Levis and next up in the pipeline is a clothing line.
However, it’s not all about the $ signs as one of their recent projects was a tour called ‘Political Minded’ which featured portraits of “activists” such as Noam Chomsky, Nusrat Faten Ali Khan and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Tyler explained in a recent interview, that instead of using a portrait of John & Yoko to symbolise anti-war, they painted an image of peace activist and musician Ali Khan so that when people ask them, “who are these people?”, they can explain who they are and why they have chosen them for the piece. Check out their web site, see links below.
This is a fine CD, a step above most and it definitely won’t feature in Vice’s ‘worst cover of the month’. To borrow a quote from our friends at If Music…, “U need this! Ubiquity prove their worth as Worldwide label of the year.”
Reviewed: HVW8 Presents - Music Is My Art (Ubiquity) CD Cat. No. URCD179 (Release date: 13th September, 2005).
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