Sly, Sly Johnson, Sly The Mic Buddah : since the Saïan Supa Crew up until his solo career, the human beat machine keeps on increasing his numerous identities.
From Hip Hop to Soul, then from Soul to Beatmaking: from flow to singing, then from singing to production, Sly Johnson never really changed universe. He has just changed the direction of his musical compass in order to navigate with more flow.
Today, it’s immersed in the mechanics with processors and printed circuits that we find him, under the alias of TAGi, producer-beatmaker who, for the occasion, has joined the services of Steven Beatberg. It’s together, in artistic autarchy with the only presence of softwares, samplers and sequencers, that they have built their pieces in the light of their computer screens, rhythmizing the days by inserting snares or grindings of plugs taken from their sound database.
If records are, most of the time, Hip Hop’s nourishing materials, TAGi et Steven have however not used any samples. Their favourite recordings were not materials to exploit, but an aesthetic from which to inspire, compose, and search atmospheres and melodies, search his arrangements. After three EP dominated by instrumentals, the duo finally chose to realise their dream: to craft a multi-voice album where customized production for each guest would guide the creative process. To put themselves at the exclusive service of artists they particularly love, all different but connected by an uncompromising resistance to the commercial wind blowing on Hip Hop. For each one of them, they have built a title, keeping in mind the precise idea to put to light he or her that will vocally dress the bars.
Rapper Big Pooh, the former member of the Little Brother group (With Phonte & 9th Wonder), the contemporary soul of Lisa Spada, but also the rapist #madeinfrance Pumpkin (worthy descendant of MC Solaar, Fabe …), multi-faceted Georgia Anne Muldrow, the MC Finale, the new rising wave of artists of the Hip-Hop scene in Detroit. Tiemoko from Paris, Saga an MC who follows the pure tradition of the New York Hip-Hop, the very smooth-jazzy Elodie Rama and Dilouya, the producer of the previous record of Sly (The Mic Buddah), are of this casting where men and women share the roles and where TAGi, as soon as the mic presents itself to him, becomes again Sly Johnson for some refrains, choruses or solo rereading of the sublime “Retrograde” of James Blake.
Guided by Hip Hop since the 90’s until today, worked in great detail, YOUARESURROUNDED highlights vintage keyboards on granular rhythms, injecting a lascivious Soul, P-funk, electro futuristic or melancholic in black and white touches on 13 tracks that are as atmospheric as they are emotional.
The substance, the essence, the soul of the Hip-Hop.