Blockhead – Quar and Peace
I first discovered Blockhead when I dug into Billy Woods material after being captivated by Billy’s Hiding Places record. Billy and Blockhead have collaborated on a couple of records over the years. In a year where instrumental music seemed to reign supreme for my listening ears, Quar and Peace fit the bill.
As I mentioned on my introductory post, I ride a playlist on shuffle of new music most of the year. Everytime Quar and Peace tracks would play, I was drawn to its depth. Some instrumental based hip hop beat records seem to camp in the mundane and are only solid for a couple of tracks, Blockhead’s record holds up all the way through. Maybe that is because it has some diversity musically. Sometimes the beat imitates house meets funk as in ”7th Heaven” or straight r&b jazz in “Sweatin’ It Out” that could be from 1975, 1995, or today.
All throughout, the collection of instrument loops used is massive and effective; flutes, B3, electric guitar, synth, horns. Bordering on electronic in some spaces too, this is the most thorough beats record of the year.
Blockhead was the first artist I DM’ed and he wasted no time to respond.
Seven Questions with Blockhead about his record Quar and Peace:
- Describe your record for us
This record was kind of an exercise in beatmaking. I made it during the first month and half of my quarantine and every track was made on Instagram live, in under an hour. I hadn’t planned on releasing the songs but, after a while, I had a decent amount and actually liked how they came out so I figured, fuck it, and released it digitally. It’s an album made entirely with instinct
- Tell us about the album artwork.
Well, cause it’s a quarantine album, it only made sense to address that in the art. i figured the boombox with facemasks on was pretty spot on so I got my long time art collaborator Owen Brozman to draw it for me and that was that.
- Describe 2020 in a sentence.
A year i’ll never get back
- Besides music, what are you passionate about?
Basketball, film, Humor, food
- Name three of your favorite musical artists.
- What are you reading right now
I’d like to lie and rattle off some names but I’m not a big reader. Obviously I’ve read books before but it’s not something i do with any regularity. My ADD makes it hard to focus and I generally haven’t gotten much out of the books I have read.
- What’s next?
Well, I’m working on an album with Producer Eliot Lipp as well as a secret projects I can’t publically address yet. I’ll probably get to work on a new solo album in the next 3 or 4 months. I tend to get the itch when it gets cold out.