Ceschi Ramos with Factor Chandelier + Band (Record Release!)
Sammus, Nostrum Grocers, Dylan Owen
599 Johnson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY, 11237
Doors 6:00 PM (event ends at 9:30 PM)
This event is 16 and over
On Sad, Fat Luck, their second collaborative full-length, rapper/singer Ceschi Ramos and
producer Factor Chandelier have condensed three years of heavy touring, profound loss, and late
stage capitalism polemics into a 13-track album.
While driving on the autobahn manically throttled on espresso during a tour with cult rapper
Serengeti, Ceschi put on a beat that Factor had sent him out of the blue. Factor has a history of
gently nudging a vocalist towards a specific sound he’s after, and this was one of those cases as
Ceschi found inspiration for the title track flying solo 200 km/h across the German highway.
Sad, Fat Luck was the song, and album, he had to make in the wake of the type of high-grade
personal hell that makes you wonder if you’re living in a simulation. “They’re watching me hang
myself for rounds of applause,” he laments over a pristine, propulsive Factor beat.
Early in his career, Ceschi’s band Toca was signed to Snoop Dogg’s management team. He
learned a bit about how to navigate cutthroat Hollywood and its bullshit lunches and empty
promises. During a meeting with an L.A. agency rep, Ceschi was asked to describe his music
concisely. Knowing that the breadth of his influences is too wide to properly digest, Ceschi
blurted out something like, “If Kendrick Lamar met Elliott Smith in a psychedelic limbo. If Kurt
Cobain’s brain blown ghost met Frank Ocean.” And the man got it - right away. No talk of
Freestyle Fellowship, Neutral Milk Hotel, My Bloody Valentine, Silvio Rodríguez, or the vast, less
marketable influential giants to Ceschi.
A student and peer of the ‘90s California underground scene, Ceschi flips multiple styles and
cadences, often moving from chopping verses to spoken word-adjacent raps in the same track.
He is also a gifted guitarist, inserting his warm minimalist balladry (“Daybreak”) into the tracklist
as a sort of palate cleanser amongst heavier, wide-eyed productions (“Lost Touch”).
When seven friends die in a seven-month span and you exist in an epoch of normalized tragedy
and injustice - calling to mind Drew Michael’s notion of depression as a condition where you see
the world as it is - where do you turn? For Ceschi, a seasoned indie rap and folk-punk veteran,
artistic expression has always kept the gears turning. And Factor has been along for the ride for
quite some time now, intuiting Ceschi’s heart through dense, bright productions, and coaxing it
out of him when it’s buried just beneath the surface.
Familiar Ceschi themes of death, depression, and despair are at war with the type of blistering
hope and joy that Herman Hesse spoke of inSteppenwolf, the improbable moments of tranquility
puncturing the sea of suffering. Ceschi encapsulates this sentiment in concise turns of phrase on
“Middle Earth”, rapping, “For the minutes we have on this planet we’re seeking love, and that’s
more than enough. Call it what you want. Call it God. Call it your freedom. That connection
between living beings is a powerful thing, and that’s real to us.”
Sad, Fat Luck came together between 2015-2018, conceptualized partly on the road and realized
fully in New Haven and Saskatoon studios. Its title comes from a joke photo Ceschi sent to Factor
of himself shirtless in a penthouse Jacuzzi above Times Square that was kindly secured for
Ceschi under questionable circumstances by a hacktivist friend during a particularly unstable
stretch for the musician. Astronautalis and Sammus provided guest verses on the album, while
multi-instrumentalists such as Danny T. Levin, Jane Boxall, and Child Actor helped flesh out the
“Sans Soleil”, a late addition to the record, stands as its emotional core. “This has been an
awfully costly trip,” Ceschi relays on the chorus, hinting at what he’s endured in a lengthy battle
with depression and processing loss. The outro features a voice memo from the late producer
Sixo, a close friend of Ceschi’s and integral part of the Fake Four family, who died in a freak
motocross race incident in 2018. Sans Soleil is also the title of a Sad, Fat Luckcompanion album
born out of the Saskatoon sessions set to drop in July 2019.
Ceschi founded a label roughly 10 years ago, at a time when beloved indie labels like Def Jux were
folding in response to music becoming “free.” He wanted an outlet for him and his friends, and
the long road ahead was never viewed as untenable. He grit his teeth, signed artists, made music,
booked tours, and continued moving forward amongst shifting terrains. All roads of his past
decade have led to this album, and a vocalist couldn’t ask for a better co-pilot than Factor. Sad,
Fat Luck is suffering as grist for the mill, and the skeletal framework of what that mill can produce
when manned by an unflinching sense of hope.
Nostrum Grocers is the new collaborative group between Milo and Elucid, releasing their debut self-titled album on Ruby Yacht. Conceptualizing the album in 2015, Elucid flew out from New York to Milwaukee, hanging out with Rory Ferreira, ignoble poet, as the two cooked, discussed life and conducted initial studio work. The first batch of recordings pulled from this meet-up were promising contributions, solidifying the future progression of the Nostrum Grocers project.
Two years would pass before Nostrum Grocers would step in the studio again, recording the bulk of their debut over a two day stretch at Brooklyn based Greenhouse Studios. This was in September of 2017, one month after Ferreira released the critically acclaimed album Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! and touring the world activated. In creating their debut, Nostrum Grocers leaned towards improvisations and instinct, penning the lyrics and capturing the music in moment to moment waves. The interval between penning the lyrics and the studio sessions holds a special place with Elucid and as he explains, "All of my lyrics were written during the last months of my wife's pregnancy and recorded a month after my son was born. There was such intense optimism, clarity and genuine excitement during this period for me/us that I hope it translates to the listener."
With the initial engineering side completed with Willie Green and Cedric Wilson at his Greenhouse Studios, the record was mixed by Elucid and mastered at the Cosmic Zoo by Daddy Kev. The entirety of the Nostrum Grocers debut was produced by Elucid and Ferreira, with artwork contributions from renowned painter Kennady Bob. Between their initial meet up and the release of Nostrum Grocers, Ferreira would become a father, relocate to Portland, Maine, create the record shop / creative space Soulfolks, and take flight with Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! and the latest Scallops Hotel album Sovereign Nose of (Y)our Arrogant Face. Elucid would also make rapid growth in various pockets of life during this three year stretch, also becoming a father, touring the east coast with Ferreira during February of 2017, expanding on the Billy Woods collaborative project Armand Hammer, and launching the solo albums Save Yourself, Valley of Grace, and Shit Don't Rhyme No More.
Nostrum Grocers' debut album is an accumulation of their respective paths as Black liberation technicians and gave the two an opportunity to explore a new world that deviates from the oppressive ones currently in place.