Blockhead, Little People
17 Meadow St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11206
This event is 21 and over
Tony Simon, a/k/a Blockhead, has been making and releasing utterly distinctive, funky and emotive music for 15 years.
Blockhead grew up in downtown New York City. As the son of an artist, surrounded by visual culture, he early on found that his passion was for music, for the sonic. A fan of a whole range of sounds, especially hip-hop, Blockhead steadily built a tremendous collection of tapes and later CDs from innumerable artists, a quiet accumulation of knowledge and know-how.
After a brief stint as a rapper, he realized his calling was behind the boards and not on the mic – and from there he began to produce beats. Since making that decision, he's kept pretty busy: carving a niche as a quality underground beatmaker that people call when they want something special.
Blockhead produced nine tracks on Aesop Rock's critically acclaimed album “Labor Days.” Additionally he produced half the tracks on Aesop's follow up EP, “Daylight.” He has also worked with other indie giants Atmosphere, Murs, Mike Ladd and Illogic. In between, he found time to complete a break beat album entitled “Blockhead's Broke Beats,” with ten hard-hitting instrumental tracks, which was released on Mush Records, the US home of cLOUDDEAD.
To understand Blockhead’s presence and gravitas – look no further than the fact that he has also contributed three tracks (including the first single) for Cage’s “Hell’s Winter” on Def Jux. The other producers on the project are DJ Shadow, El-P and RJD2. All this occurred simultaneously to his debut album on Ninja Tune, “Music By Cavelight,” described as “one of the most fantastically good albums you’re going to hear this year” (Sunday Telegraph) and “a beautiful record” (Metro), with Blockhead himself tipped as “definitely one to watch” (Touch.) Blockhead returned in 2005 with “Downtime Science,” another set of deep, emotional instrumental hip hop tracks, this time dedicated to the downtown area of Manhattan where he grew up and has lived his entire life, encompassing all the attitude, anger and edginess of the neighborhood. This expansive album also features some melancholy reflections upon failed relationships and the promise of future loves. "The Music Scene," his first full album in 5 years (discounting the tour-only release of “Uncle Tony's Coloring Book” in 2007) has elevated his craft to another level.
Blockhead released “Interludes After Midnight” in 2012, marking his latest triumph in the world of instrumental music. His thoughtful beats and iconic samples continue to help him stand apart from the crowd when it comes to originality and emotion.
Since 2010, Blockhead has performing in a variety of electronic festival like Photosynthesis, Emerg-n-See, Art Outside, Camp Bisco, Trinumeral Festival and One Step Beyond, co-headline tours with Emancipator and Signal Path, and support date runs with both Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. No longer content with being behind the boards, Blockhead has emerged as a real touring force with his new live show that keeps audiences nodding along and wanting more!
You could be forgiven for thinking that growing up in the Swiss alps in the 90′s wouldn't exactly be the best place to be exposed to some of the best underground hip hop New York had to offer at the time. However anglo-swiss producer Laurent Clerc AKA Little People, argues he couldn't have been in a better place. Thanks to the forward thinking programming of Laurent's local radio station and a DJ with his finger on the pulse of a golden age in the making in New York – Laurent's musical education in all things hip hop was of the highest order. An old Mac and a stack of old LPs were mere catalysts for Laurent to try and emulate the sounds from across the pond.
A subsequent move to the UK introduced electronica to his broadening taste and influenced his own sound. Then followed work soundtracking short films and theater productions which added a cinematic element to his repertoire. Following a disheartening stint doing some production work for a Paris based hip hop label convinced Laurent that he should be doing things on his own terms. A self released EP led to being picked up by Illicit Recordings in London – through which "Mickey Mouse Operation" was eventually released. This was 2006 and his debut album only made a very modest splash. Over the past 4 years it has however turned into something of a sleeper 'hit' – gathering fervent support in the US and slowly climbing the US iTunes electronic chart in the process. Laurent seems to have timed the release of his second album perfectly – due to drop in Spring next year just as the interest in his first album is peaking.
Little people's sound is part beats, bleeps and snippets of other people's music. Stemming from hip hop, it effortlessly combines warm synths, intricate melodies and string arrangements. The cinematic quality of his sound led to his music being used on CSI and other shows in the US and UK.
Little people's upcoming album sees Laurent shift his focus away from what he feels is the over reliance of samples in his genre, towards composition and the use of organic instrumentation – whilst keeping the trademark warmth of an old piece of vinyl. However rest assured, the beats and the synth bleeps are still very much on the menu.