Black Moon Is Releasing A New Album This Summer. Evil Dee Describes The Sound.

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When heads think of Black Moon, many immediately trudge back to their heralded 1993 debut Enta Da Stage. Beyond its textured sampling and aggressive lyrics, the Nervous Records LP helped detail an East Coast equivalent to Gangsta Rap. While there where no lowriders, or bandanas in Buckshot Shorty, 5FT, and Evil Dee’s Brooklyn, it was a place of do-or-die principles, hard realities, and danger lurking around any corner or in any train car. The Hip-Hop-rooted album also was the front-lines for a Boot Camp Clik charge that is still going strong as recently as this year’s The All by Smif-N-Wessun.

Subsequent Black Moon albums did receive generally positive reviews though, including 4 mics in The Source magazine for 1999’s Duck Down follow-up War Zone. Black Moon’s third and latest album as a group was their 2003 effort Total Eclipse. While the trio has performed together in recent years, some Heads assumed the Moon was out of sight, with Buckshot pursuing an extensive collaborative career with 9th Wonder and co-running a top independent Rap label. For Evil Dee, he has done Beatminerz production and albums, in addition to a busy DJ career.

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As it turns out, the Black Moon is still in the Hip-Hop sky. Sixteen years after their last LP, Black Moon is slated to return with a fourth album, and it’s coming sooner than heads might expect. DJ Evil Dee recently sat down with The Library With Tim Einenkel and in part 2 of the interview, he announces that his group is gearing up to release their new project in June or July of this year. Prior to that though, he describes his contemporary music-making process and says he’s adapted with technology for the better.

“At the end of the day, I embrace technology because I want to grow and be one of those dudes. Even though I use technology, my stuff still sounds the same [as it did in the 1990s],” Evil Dee says, when asked about the equipment he uses to produce at around the 20:00-mark. “You shouldn’t rely on a piece of equipment, you should rely on your mind ’cause your mind is a creative process that makes what’s going on. Everybody tells me, ‘Yo you need to go back to that [Emu Systems] SP-1200 sound.’ I would love to, but here’s the thing: they don’t fix SP-1200s like they used to. I have two [original machines] left, and I’m not trying to kill those two, and be out of an SP-1200. I get it; people love that old sound. And with this new album, [Black Moon is] giving you that old sound. We took it back a little bit, but we also recorded on ProTools ’cause after you do something for a while you get used to it.”

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On the subject of Black Moon’s new album, Evil Dee says that fans will experience numerous “frequencies” within the sound that will change depending on how one is experiencing the project. “I like the creating part because I could sit back and be like, ‘Yo, let me experiment with this, let me experiment with that,” Dee describes at the 27:30 mark. “This album, I’m experimenting with frequencies – highs, mids, lows, subs – and what I’m doing, every Black Moon record that’s on this album has different frequencies so when you’re listening in different systems, you’re going to hear different things. The subs, you don’t hear at all—you just feel them.” Evil Dee adds that the same album will sound drastically different in earphones versus the car versus the club. He beams with excitement while speaking with Tim Einenkel.

Back in October 2016, the trio announced that they were working on a new album and even shared a video of them in the studio, via Duck Down Music. While their last official LP was released in 2003, Evil Dee officially remixed a Buckshot & 9th Wonder LP, Alter The Chemistry.

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In Part 1 of DJ Evil Dee’s interview Tim Einenkel, he discussed the rise and fall of Rawkus Records as well as the first Soundbombing mixtape, a tape he hosted and mixed in 1997 that led the way for the creation of the Indie label.

Photograph by Photo Rob.