Factor & the Chandeliers Review

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Factor“Tonight, I’m not going to make any music… but right now, Enver and I are going to jam out this track.” That’s Factor speaking, producer extraordinaire from Saskatoon, Canada, recently acclaimed by Exclaim! as “undeniably one of Canada’s most overlooked producers.”

The night before, Factor was down in his studio busting his brain on a brand new beat until the wee hours of the morning; this one’s smooth and sensual, yet characteristic of Factor’s bumping hip hop groove; with a stylistic splash of Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi’s Rome present. Factor is producing this one for Jeans Boots – a budding musicienne whose singing is pure to the point of crystalline.

But before tonight’s dance party begins, Factor back in the studio, determined to get a certain drum sequence back on the right flow. “The new music we’re making is pretty progressive, almost in between genres,” he says. “It’s still hip hop, at the essence.”

“Tonight is going to be a positive night,” he continues while exchanging party texts. “It’s Champagne Friday – the first Friday following the release of Factor & the Chandeliers.”

That is Factor’s debut instrumental record, a lush, eight song suite featuring guest musicians including Enver Hampton (Saskatoon’s #1 bass player according the Planet S readership), Michael Dawson from Library Voices and Gregory Pepper, who also collaborates with Factor as Common Grackle. Chandeliers’ sound – meticulously arranged, driving beats layered with mounds of live instrumentation, from violin to acoustic guitar to field recordings – can be likened to something J Dilla would’ve worked with. Later at the party, Dilla’s monster track “Nothing Like This” blasts through the speakers at the 633, and when someone asks what’s bumping, Factor is quick to identify Dilla’s unmistakable production touch.

Like Dilla, Factor loves to work and immerse himself with a huge group of collaborators: from his steady crew of MCs on his Sideroad Records imprint, to legendary lyricists like Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship. “I don’t necessarily want to be making beats that sound like whoever,” Factor says, “I want people to hear my shit and say, ‘that’s Factor.’”

In early Fall, Factor released his sophomore album Champagne Nightmares as Paranoid Castle, his collaboration with the witty-as-fuck MC Kirby Dominant from L.A. Factor’s collaboration with Awol One yielded The Landmark earlier this year, and Factor’s latest, excellent solo record Lawson Graham dropped only late in 2010. While his release output remains epic, so too does his work ethic. Currently finishing new tracks with stalwarts Kay the Aquanaut and Def3, Factor’s only recently returned home from a head-swirling east coast/European Champagne Nightmares tour through October/November. Tonight, then, is definitely appropriate to be popping Veuve corks.

Expect much of the same on December 10th: Factor’s Christmas festivities-style Factor & the Chandeliers album release party at Amigos’, featuring a generous offering of friends including Cam the Wizzard, the triumphant return of Chaps, Gregory Pepper and ho- guest surprise appearances! Bottles of Champagne are sure to be in attendance too; this’ll be one helluva holiday-time show not to miss.

“It’s gonna be a party,” says Factor, “as well as mentally stimulating.”

Factor & The Chandeliers - Factor & The Chandeliers