by Jeff Milo
It's no big deal or anything, the local DJ/producer just happens to harbor a casual admiration for the Swedish electronica/soul songstress's beats (and lyrics). It's led the industrious engineer to begin work on an EP inspired by those Scandanavian beats, snipped, sampled and scratched together atop which some of his clients and collaborators, like MCs Mister and Ben Miles, have started laying their raps.
Whatever inspires Logix, Eddie Logix, (or Richard Solecki), usually ends up dictating his next project - or, as can be the case with the Detroit hip/hop scene, his next client. It could be merely Lykke Li's beats or the list of fellow artists contributing to Aptemal's Detroit Hustles Harder compilation; turns out there's enough inspiration just around the Detroit scene to keep him busy year round as a full time producer.
Indeed, Logix has been a busy bee this year in his home studio (up in Troy, where he lives with one of his primary performing/recording groups, Midcoast Most); his latest (Ben Miles' Play It Forward), was the fifth release local release crediting his name in 2011.
He also keeps busy with hip/hop collective Progress Report (with MC/DJ D. Allie), while also producing his own work, both sampled and original compositions, ala the ambient breakbeat and instrumental left-field hip hop odyssey of this year's Liquid Copper LP (streaming here).
Growing up between Berkley and Troy, Logix got into hip/hop, -as they say-, "at a young age," but distinct from some, he also got into self-production at a comparably "young age." It was out of necessity, he says, at first, because he knew what kind of beats would work best under his own lyrics; he knew what kind of rapper he, himself, was turning out to be, and thus knew which samples, which time signatures, would fit.
"The more I did it, production and engineering, the more I got into it; I bought my first drum machine in high school and started messing around."
Logix, who performs later this month (Nov 17th, with Midcoast Most at the Magic Stick), said he started paying attention, early, to the intricacies of other producers work, whether it was Motown or J Dilla. He was eager to learn... "How they got them to sound the way they sound; I started really studying, not even just hip/hop, but all genres."
"I started digging for records...from there, I guess there's no turning back, you could say."
That lead him to the Recording Institute of Detroit, where he studied under its founder, renowned Motown producer, Bob Dennis. When he finished classes, two years ago, Dennis asked young Logix to come in and help teach classes, in what he considered "some kind of long, extensive internship, almost a mentoring-esque relationship."
Which, for this student of music production "was pretty crazy, to be taken under his wing." At this point, Logix had evolved beyond his drum machine, mastering Pro Tools, Reason as well as implementing keyboards, MPC pads and MIDI controllers.
Now working full time as a producer, Logix said that the verdant talent of Detroit's music scene keeps him busy, the next suggested collaboration is never far from the most recently wrapped recording.
"I'm inspired by what's going on," Logix said, "and by my peers more than anything else. There's a lot of good music happening around here."
Some of that music is made by Midcoast Most, which includes MCs J. Walker and Nonesense, and who just released their 2nd album, The Coast is Clear, a fierce blend of tight, clattering beats, wringing together electro, soul and funk, tastefully dashing in guitars and jazzy flutes under the impassioned lyrical pours.
Logix joined the group in 05, in time for their first album, having known Nonesense and J. Walker since 03, when they'd started the group. The band has had a spat of highly experimental years, here, trying more synthesizer-oriented sounds, with less samples, Logix said, as they look forward to releasing a couple more releases in 2012.
Logix met D. Allie when the latter was finishing his solo debut, The Cooperative; "He had heard some of my beats and asked me to do some on this project. Through that, we talked about doing another thing, an EP... (D. Allie) was persistent to have me rap on it," not just give him beats and call it a day.
"It was gonna be a one-time EP," Logix said - but by the time they'd finished, it started growing into a group: Progress Report. Between PR and MCM, there's a similar trend: "In both, we're trying to make music that's honest," said Logix, "and true to ourselves. Just like with Ben (Miles), it's very much just personal / what we relate-to, what we go-through."
"What's different is, MCM sits down together and comes up with the whole concept and hook for the tracks, the beats catch our ears and we all start brainstorming together. With (PR) I may have a beat and send it to Dave (D. Allie) and he comes over for a session and we go back and forth..."
Production, for Logix, is both "a creative release," and "...work, hard work. It does feel like work, but it is a creative release, too."
"At some point, it just came to be where I just have to do it."
Look for more releases from Midcoast Most next year, as well as projects with Mister and that curious Lykke Li EP. He's also working on an EP with singer Angelica Moross, interpretting artists from the "27 Club," (those who offed themselves at that age), including Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and the like...
"And probably another instrumental thing."
Top 5 Albums:
1. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
2. Bill Withers - Just As I Am
3. J Dilla - Donuts
4. Common - Like Water For Chocolate
5. Wu Tang Clan - 36 Chanbers
Top 5 Producers:
1. J Dilla
2. Danger Mouse
5. Norman Whitfield