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Tag Archive | "nerdapalooza"

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Dual Core Hits The Next Level With Their New Album

Posted on 12 August 2009 by Tim

Two guys. Two countries. One passion – making awesome music.

Dual Core is a nerdcore hip hop group comprising of c64, the producer/DJ and eighty, the MC. These two guys combine their musical powers to create hits like Hostage Down, End of the World, My GF is… and Take it Back. Since 2007, Dual Core has released 4 albums – Zero One, Super Powers, Lost Reality and Next Level.

“His beats made me want to rap, and he quickly became one of my favorite producers,” recalls eighty in regards to c64’s production.

A Little Background

How did the name Dual Core come about?

eighty: Living on separate sides of the ocean, we’ve spent almost our entire career working separately. I saw us as two separate processors working in unison, essentially like a dual core chip.

c64: A lot of our tracks have computer-based references too, so the name was ideal.

What musicians influence your style?

c64: I’m a big fan of underground hip hop – a common interest which lead to myself and eighty originally meeting on a website years ago. A few of my favourite hip hop producers / deejays came to prominence in the 1990s, such as DJ Premier, RZA of Wu-tang Clan, Muggs of Cypress Hill, Dr Dre and Pete Rock – you may hear their influence in my sampling techniques and scratches. I listen to a lot of electronic music, most recently groups like The Prodigy and The Qemists, along with UK-based sounds like drum and bass and dubstep. Portishead have also been on my playlist a lot recently. A lot of older music inspires me heavily – snippets of soul, jazz, heavy metal, psychedelic 70s stuff, 80s rock – it all makes its way into our music in one form or other. I also have a large amount of respect for ‘chiptune’ artists – the level of creativity shown with such limited tools is incredible.

eighty: I grew up in Cincinnati hearing midwest underground hip hop. Acts like Hi-tek/Reflection Eternal, RJD2/MHz, J.Dilla/Slum Village, Molemen, and Blueprint helped define my taste in music. Currently listen to all sorts of music can be found in my ipod which round out the sound of the music we make.

The New Album: Next Level

Your new album Next Level is pretty sweet and it’s clear you put a lot of effort into it. When did you guys start working on Next Level and what areas did you focus on to improve musically?

eighty: Thanks! We technically started on it early in 2009, but much of the work was completed in the months before the release. I can’t say enough about the awesome that is c64′s work ethic. As for improvement, I just tried to keep up with his production like on every Dual Core release.

c64: I started work on instrumental tracks in 2008, and put the best ideas aside for the album. All the writing, mixing and artwork was completed over the last few months though. We tend to set ourselves short deadlines that don’t fit in well with our non-musical lives, but they push us into completing albums! My personal aim was to be happy with the sound of every single track, create something that is a an accurate reflection of our influences and real lives, and make interesting, non-disposable music that I (as a listener) would enjoy. Eighty really stepped it up with the concepts and story-telling on this album, and as a result we have produced what I believe are our best ever songs. When I first heard the raw vocals for ‘Painting Pictures’ and ‘Life’s Work’, I knew we had created something special. Hopefully our listeners will think so too.

Recent Events

What did you think of Nerdapalooza this year?

eighty: It was a blast! We already have some plans in the works for next year.

c64: It was great seeing everyone get together to perform our collaboration song ‘Magnificent 7′ – I believe there are 3 or 4 seperate videos on Youtube! After working on the track remotely that was definitely a big moment for me. Unfortunately flights from the UK were a bit too expensive this year, but it would be cool to make it out there in the future and experience Nerdapalooza first-hand.

I see you’re playing at the Facebook party in Las Vegas. How did you guys manage to snag that opportunity?

eighty: It was all thanks to ytcracker, he hipped the Facebook folks to our music. It turns out our contact at Facebook is a fan of the song “My GF Is…”

c64: Shout outs to ytcracker! You can check his slick flow on our new tracks ‘I Remember’ and ‘Magnificent 7′. Also many thanks to the other artists who made guest appearances [on the album] – our man Remington Forbes, Beefy, Random, Schaffer the Darklord, MC Frontalot and MC Lars.

Want more Dual Core? You can find them here:

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Schaffer the Darklord Talks Manslaughterer Plus Nerdapalooza

Posted on 20 July 2009 by Tim

Schaffer the Darklord and his trusty Black Box companion have rocked stages from Florida to Oregon with a unique blend of smart, nerdy raps and clever humor. This New York City-based rapper and comedian has released two other LPs, Meet My Maker (2004) and Mark of the Beast (2007). The Darklord is here to discuss his whirlwind weekend at Nerdapalooza, the nation’s premiere nerdcore hip hop event and his upcoming album Manslaughterer.

Exclusive: The Darklord's Scary Puppet T-Shirt Design You recently performed at Nerdapalooza, how did that go? Any funny stories to share?

Nerdapalooza was downright epic this year. Even more so than last year, which is quite a statement considering how utterly rife with awesome last year’s installment was. I rocked an absurd eight performances over three days this year. I headlined the kickoff party. I did guest verses with Epic-1, MC Lars and MC Frontalot on Saturday. I did guest verses with MC Loki, Dual Core and The Grammar Club on Sunday. My proper set was Sunday night. That’s a lot of rapping for an easily winded monkey like me!

I don’t know if I have any particularly funny stories from the festival, but I do have some fun stories. For example, during Lars’s set, I had the opportunity to perform “Do the Bruce Campbell” from the “Digital Gangster LP” with all of the rappers involved (Lars, YTCracker, ZeaLouS1) onstage for the first time ever. So much fun! On Sunday, I got to perform Dual Core’s Twitter-style track “The Magnificent Seven” with Int80, Remy, Lars, YTCracker, Frontalot and Beefy onstage. Another splendid memory from a weekend of nerdy magic.

I don’t know if this qualifies as “fun” or “funny,” but I was present when Loki got a little too “battle-y” while freestyling drunk and dissed Cupcake, paving the way for ZeaLouS1 to deliver the most brutal freestyle beatdown I’ve ever witnessed. I believe I may have even likened it to the “verbal equivalent of prison rape.” (It was a relief to see them make nice afterward, albeit with young Loki having learned a very valuable lesson.)

Now there are just too many cut-scenes flashing in my damaged memory to list them all. Rolling around Orlando with Kourtney, Gigahertz and Fatty Goodness. Goofing with Ham-Star and BBear at the EPP house after-party/video shoot. Mister B’s Sailor Moon costume. Chilling with Jaylyn in the green room. Uncle Monsterface’s “Toxic” cover. Seeing everybody from EMPulse and Dork Party back in April. Breakfast with Sangriaa. Crossing paths with a smiley Hex every few minutes. Bugging Nina, Melissa and Aaron at the merch table and door ever couple hours. Razzing Chozo about his sleep deprivation. Counting Kabutos. Damn. There’s just way too much to remember. I gotta admit, though…becoming friends with Beefy kind of made the festival for me. Love that guy.

Nerdapalooza sounds like a blast. With a whoppin’ 8 performances did you have any time to do anything else?

Barely. Between my performances and my frequent trips back to my room to change into/out of my suit, I managed to catch many amazing performances from some of my favorite acts like the Grammar Club, ZeaLous1, Emergency Pizza Party, mCRT, Devo Spice, Krondor Krew, My Parent’s Favorite Music and Uncle Monsterface…just to name a few. Also, I did very little sleeping, but a considerable amount of drinking.

Will you be coming to PAX or any of the big events on the west side?

No plans as of yet. I don’t want to sound like I’m just waiting by the internet for PAX to invite me to perform, but um…I am kind of just waiting by the internet for PAX to invite me to perform.

Schaffer the Darklord Your third album, Manslaughterer, is coming out soon. What’s the story behind the album and the title?

“Manslaughterer” drops August 2009. (Fingers crossed!) The record is a collection of 17 songs I’ve written since my last record (“Mark of the Beast”) came out in November 2007. This record is darker, more rock-n-roll-flavored and features higher production values both in terms of beats and vocal recordings.

Since the last record, I’ve built a vocal isolation booth in my apartment. This has made recording much more convenient and also allowed me to deliver higher energy vocal performances. I think that as much as I’m known for having a ridiculously high-energy stage show, I’m also known for having pretty lackluster vocal delivery on the recordings. This has been due to me being self-conscious when working with other engineers and concerned about disturbing my neighbors when recording at home. This record has some vocal performances with real fire behind them…still a far cry from the live show…but closer. As far as the title is concerned, I just think it’s funny.

In showbiz, the term “killing” means “to deliver an exceptional stage performance.” I think I do just that from time to time. However, I don’t get onstage with the intention of “delivering an exceptional stage performance.” If I did and I killed, I would be a “murderer.” I just get onstage and do what I do the only way I know how to do it. If I do it and I kill, it’s an unintended result. Hence, “Manslaughterer.” I’m a killer…but on accident.

Manslaughterer evokes all sorts of great imagery, which I’m sure will be reflected in your music. What will the cover art look like and who’s the artist?

The front cover is be designed by me, and the rest of the layout is being crafted by my friend Carlylia Muller. (She also designed my newest t-shirts with the scary 2-color puppet design.) I’m trying to keep the image under wraps for now, but I will tell you this: A portion of the artwork from “Mark of the Beast” will fit together with a portion of the artwork from “Manslaughterer” to create an image. In other words, fans will be able to physically lay the cover of MOTB on top on the cover of the new record in such a way that will create something that, in my opinion, is pretty cool. Also, the last album was predominately orange, and the new one is predominately red and yellow. These decisions were not made by chance.

The new record will feature cameos from:

  • MC Frontalot
  • MC Lars
  • Shael Riley
  • Coolzey
  • Liisa2Eyes
  • Jane Silence
  • Removal
  • Kabuto the Python

Kabuto the Python, interesting. I’m sure that’s going to be a vicious track, how did you two start working together?

A common friend introduced us electronically, and we immediately started scheming on this song. Have you heard his track “The Face-Kicking Song?” If not, stop reading and start listening post-haste! I love his gritty delivery and violent content, and those two traits are perfect for our collaboration on this record. Our song is…well, let’s just say it’s very…bloody. That’s as much of a spoiler as I am willing to leak at this time. Schaffer The Darklord

Did Portland, Oregon producer Dave Famous craft most of your instrumentals like your first two albums?

Actually, no. Dave Famous made loops for four of the 17 tracks. Coolzey wrote loops for three of the songs. DJ Snyder produced two of them. Three beats were written by my wife (and Dave Famous’s sister!) Dr. Schaffer. One beat is by Canadian instrumental rockers Removal. One is from Chad Schneider. One is from Stephen Doerhoff of Witch’s Hat. The rest were written from scratch by me, and ALL of them were edited and arranged by me. The producer with which I’m working to mix and master the material is Latin Grammy-nominated engineer James Cruz. He’s enhanced these instrumentals further with additional keyboard and guitar tracks.


Should we expect an epic, national tour for the album? I know I’d like to see you swing by Portland again.

This fall I hope to embark on some ambitious touring. Portlanders can expect to see my sweaty, pointing frame rocking some stages in the area.

Schaffer, thanks for talking with me!

STD Skit and Performance of The Bender:

Schaffer the Darklord Around the Web:

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