Blockhead & Little People
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Blockhead & Eliot Lipp
Blockhead grew up in downtown New York City. The son of an artist, early on he found his passion was for music. 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. 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 been kept pretty busy. Blockhead produced 9 tracks on Aesop Rock's critically acclaimed album 'Labor Days'. Additionally, he produced half the tracks on Aesop's follow up EP, 'Daylight'. Blockhead has also been working with other indie giants such as Slug of Atmosphere, Murs, Mike Ladd and SA Smash. He also found time to complete a break beat album entitled 'Blockhead's Broke Beats', with 10 hard hitting instrumental tracks, which was released on Mush Records, the US home of cLOUDDEAD.
And just to prove that he ain't all about art-rap, Blockhead produced 2 tracks on the newly crowned Skribble Jam Battle Champ, MacLethal's full-length album. Oh, and the guy does comedy, too. He's a member of the Party Fun Action Committee who's hip-hop/comedy debut album was recently released on the legendary Def Jux. And what was the other thing? Oh yeah, exquisite, emotional instrumental hip hop on the one and only Ninja Tune...
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.