This month's contributor for "How Sound Affects" is DJ RoddyRod. DJ RoddyRod is a producer & DJ based in Maryland by way of Massachusetts. In the early 90's his group, Maspyke, released their debut album The Blackout to much critical acclaim. They followed up in 2005 with the release of Static on ABB Records. RoddyRod is also part of the DMV collective of producers and artists know as The Low Budget Crew.
My soul has been curated from birth, including the ingredients of mostly Jazz, Funk, and Gospel. As most of us who are brought up in musical loving families, you get a good sense of your own taste, based off of what your parents or extended family are jamming to. My Mother, who is a native of Tuskeegee, Alabama, was raised on deep southern morals and the Clark Sisters! My pops, (born and bred from Massachusetts) other hand was a true Jazz aficionado who championed be-bop influence from NYC in his hey day, so I was listening to a lot of John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Miles and Wes Montgomery on the regular. I was fortunate to get the best of many different faucets of rhythm. My uncles were primarily into Jazz and my aunts were into Funk and Soul, primarily Earth Wind and Fire, Commodores, and Parliament Funkadelic.
It wasn’t until later in my teenage years that I started to link the rhythms that were playing around my household, to the hip-hop that I was affectionately engulfed into. My thoughts of the first time I felt something that I heard deep in my soul, was My Favorite Things, by John Coltrane. It was actually McCoy Tyner’s solo 2 minutes into the song that truly had me stuck. I felt the exact same way with Slick Rick’s “Hey Young World”. If you listen closely, the piano riff has a haunting effect similar to Trane’s My Favorite Things.
When I hear songs that use melodic tones in this way, I swear it provokes me instantly to feel a certain emotion. Sometimes it’s comes off as a “get off your a** and live life” feeling, other times it’s a melancholy type effect that brings me back to my childhood. I’ve always loved the marriage of both melodies that are off-the-beaten-path, and rhythms that are dirty with heavy swing.
Later in my late teens, My older cousin got me into the house music and in return, gave me an appreciation to fourth and fifth chords that were not used as much in hip hop. That was the introduction of what different capabilities electronic music has had on my generation. Most people knew off the bat about the early beginnings of the Linn drum, the 808 and 909 drum machines used in hip-hop by artists such as Just Ice, TLA Rock, Boogie Down Productions,and Mantronix, to name a few. But equipped with a sampler to add chops and pieces of different records, this has created my perfect formula of my particular sound that I love dearly.