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Next tuesday (Nov 6th? tuesday for sure) us Ottawaians have the pleasure to see a fabulous musical mind in Greyboy- Greyboy has worked with Karl Densen, Marc Antoine and Harold Todd to name a few and his debut album Freestylin' probably has the best gooves to any Jazz/hip-hop album i've heard. The cost of this show is $10 there is another DJ and band that go on before Greyboy and I understand there is also a smooze party at 8:00? It's at Babylon and again I HIGHLY recommend this show........

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More on the Greyboy story.............

Ubiquity Records' longest-running artist presents his third album, Mastered The Art. With a slick collection of soundtrack-inspired instrumentals and fat hip-hop tracks producer and DJ Greyboy is back, bang-up-to-date with sounds that will please his long-time fans and turn a lot of new heads.

Mastered The Art is less jazz-based and slightly more experimental than the previous two Greyboy albums, Freestylin' and Land of The Lost. It's still the kind of laid-back affair you might expect from a Southern Californian beat-head, but with the Greyboy twist. There is a heavy Italian feel to the instrumentals--as acoustic guitars and strings hug the fat beats and catchy bass lines. In fact this heavy dose of Italiana led us to ask high flying Italian producer Nicola Conte to remix the title track--a big bossa remix featured on limited 10" and as a bonus cut on the album. Chase-scene suspense tracks like "Logan's Run" and "Instantly" or the mysterious sound of "Marrakech" give Mastered The Art a soundtrack-like quality. These are nicely balanced by bouncing hip-hop party tracks like "Hold it Down" and "Ghetto Boogie".

Andreas Stevens, aka Greyboy, born 1969, and residing in San Diego, has gone full circle. He was the first artist to sign to Ubiquity, and his first full-length album is still the label's all-time best seller. Not bad for a record that cost less than $4000 to make, and sold on an advertising budget of $0! He was a man in the right place at the right time. While the acid jazz phenomenon was brewing in Europe in the early 1990s, Greyboy became the first American producer to mix beats with jazz. His chunky beat-making sensibilities earned him praise from the European crowd, and his tracks were heard by crowds checking out DJs like UK-based Gilles Peterson, Marcus Wyatt (LA), and DJ Smash (NYC). "When I first started making beats, I was making hip-hop. Since I couldn't find MC's to work with, I decided to try the jazz thing and lace my tracks with live instruments instead. That's where Karl Denson and the Greyboy Allstars came into the picture", explains Greyboy.

Michael McFadin, founder of Ubiquity records recalls the story of how Greyboy came to sign for Ubiquity, "It's been nearly a decade since my wife Jody and I received our first phone call from Andreas Stevens [Greyboy] at our record store, The Groove Merchant. He was searching for breaks and rare grooves that he couldn't seem to find down in San Diego. Back then he had some notoriety as a DJ in Southern California and he had recorded an underground house 12" that had sold 5000+ copies. He had grown up on hip-hop but had caught the bug for collectible rare groove. We started getting weekly calls, and he started getting weekly shipments. This was about the time we had started our label and Grey mentioned that he thought he could produce music for the label and started sending rough mixes. With some feedback from us, he began searching for live musicians and incorporating them into his music. Enter Karl Denson and Marc Antoine (both of whom have gone on to have their own successful careers). "Unwind Your Mind" was the first completed track; and, more than any other cut, it carried the sales of the Home Cookin' compilation."

Once hailed as a leader of the American acid jazz sound, Stevens went into hiding as a producer as the scene took a turn for the worse. He started a hip-hop label called P-Jays with world famous skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. "I have done soundtracks for skateboard flicks and have been friends with a lot of people in the industry, because it's mostly centered around San Diego;" explains Stevens, "and for some reason skateboarders are notorious for liking hip-hop and jazz type beats."

After two P-Jays compilations, many 12" releases, and working with artists like AG (of Showbiz and AG), Stevens decided it was time to re-light the Greyboy fire and set to work on Mastered The Art. Maturing as a producer and longing to push the Greyboy sound forward, Stevens sketched outlines of tracks. "I only use samples from vinyl to create my tracks, and for the last few years I have been using a lot of easy listening and obscure instrumentals for textures that have a worldly sound, as opposed to the predominantly jazz sounds that I had on my older records."

Stevens teamed up with CuBop vibraphonist Dave Pike, Greyboy Allstars alumnus Elgin Park, and MC Mainflo from Mood to bring his ideas to life. "I think each song has its moments, and I really owe that to my collaborations with Elgin Park and Main Flo. Dave Pike is one of the coolest artists that I have ever worked with, and Elgin is just out of his mind. He has so many good ideas and knows how to play so many different instruments," says Stevens.

"I would say that my approach was the same--to make tracks that I like and expand on them with live instruments--only this time I had MC's to work with as well. My production skills have grown, and I wanted to show that--including more scratching than I have done on any of my other releases," he adds.

Stevens' favorite producers include James Brown, Q-Bert, DJ Premier, Mobb Deep, and the Beatnuts; and while Mastered The Art dives into new territory for him, his influences remain the same: "any recording from the late '60s to the late '70s that has that fat sound...you know, the kind you can't really reproduce!"

An average day for Stevens means waking up at 7:30am (he can't sleep!) and either making beats, trying to find records for inspiration, or a new piece of furniture for his house. "I bought a house that was designed in 1960 by a modern architect and soon after discovered the world of mid-century modern design; now it is my main thing next to music," he says. For the furniture freaks reading this, his prize possessions are a coffee table designed by Alexander Girard and swag leg desk and kangaroo chair by George Nelson. He also drives a metallic gold 1970 Ford Torino GT (pictured on the cover of the album), with sound "powered" by an 8-track collection. "Right now I have Henry Mancini cop show themes loaded; but I have about 50 selections that I choose from, including all 3 Cymande releases, Grant Green Final Comedown, and a bunch of other funky ones."

Stevens is an avid DJ and will be supporting this album with dates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and New York on an initial tour in the weeks following release of the album. Dates will follow soon.

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