Azrael & Inkspill are Mur-Diddly-Urdlers! - The write-up

album out on October 31st! / photo by Jamie Sands
This is the culmination of 3 years of working on a rap album. Never before have I spent this long on a project and I don't plan to again either but I am thoroughly happy with how it turned out. Here's a rundown of how it came together.

Inkspill & I wrote a track at the Trafalgar Yacht Club (aka his house) roughly 3 years ago. He didn't really have a recording set-up but it had to be recorded there on the spot because of my writing style, otherwise it would be quickly forgotten. Only thing we could do about that was rap into the built in mic on his iMac so that's what we did. Horrible quality, of course, but it would suffice until memorizing them to take elsewhere to record properly - or so we planned. Homie/producer/TYC resident mikedecline hooked us up with some banging beats and we got to work.
I had just released the album "Pocket Watch" with my ILL-Legitimate brethren Sythe which was very live and jazzy. Wanting to balance that out with some edginess and aggressiveness for my next works, I lobbied for the rougher sounding beats. We agreed on one. That's when we wrote "Ginettes On The Couch", the first song on "Mur-Diddly-Urdlers". We ended up getting the rest of the albums beats from Phonographique owner/operator Ryan Stinson, Metawon and Dirty Sample (some of Calgary's finest) & Sythe.
We didn't have a theme to begin with, we just were writing tracks. Most had the same aggressive flavour as the first one. Somewhere along the lines it became apparent we were both huge fans of the Simpsons. Not so nerdy that we could spout off every film Troy McClure has ever appeared in, but good enough to lay down an obscure quote here and there. So we did what any self-loving Simpsons-fanatic rapper would do - incorporate that into the project somehow. That is how the brainchild was born.  
Fast forward a bit now.
We had about 16 dope songs recorded crappily and needed somewhere to lay them down properly. We decided to go to our homie Cliff Herman of the label Chamberlain Drive, who Inkspill had worked with in the past, and lace them at his spot in North Van. I don't know why we thought we could get them all done in one session but that didn't happen. In fact, when we eventually did have them all recorded we didn't like the way they ended up sounding. Maybe we were married to how we spat the takes in the initial recordings. Maybe we were rushing to get all the takes done in the session. Whatever the reason, we had to go at it again.
This time, we decided to retake the takes closer to our homes with Miami Device guitarist Brandon Hoffman who had a spot, Gladgnome, in East Van. We had several sessions there but again, for whatever reason, didn't get the desired sound. It was frustrating. I think I was overthinking things. It was getting expensive to keep recording and at this point I felt exhausted and had grown somewhat tired of the songs because of listening to them too much. I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately I'm not always the easiest person to work with. I can be pretty stubborn with my ways and, long story short, Inkspill and I stopped talking for about a year. The project was in limbo. We had an albums worth of songs and even some great album artwork but it looked like it wasn't ever going to come to fruition. We both lost interest.
art by Ephekz / photo by Jamie Sands
Fast forward again to 2012.
I reconnected with Inkspill and we talked about the album and how it still could be given life. It was just too good to be given up on so easily. We just needed to be able to record these songs without racing against the clock. Atmosphere was so key with both of us. Lo and behold, it just so happened Inkspill had acquired a bunch of recording equipment and was already recording at his place - the Trafalgar Yacht Club. It's funny and fitting that we ended up doing our final takes at the same spot we originally did them at. Having our time to go through them leisurely was exactly what we needed. These songs were starting to sound how we intended them. Fuckin' dope. We added a few things, took a few things away, got some great guests to collab with and ended up with a stellar 13-track, loosely Simpsons-themed killer album.
Now that it's done it feels weird. But it only feels that way because it's now off my plate. Next couple of projects I plan to get into are "Azrael Raps Good Vol. 1" a solo album with Vancouver hip-hop/electronic producer Dale Evans, a new EP "kHz" with Inkspill, and an EP with my Australian brother P-Butta. And I don't plan on taking 3 years to work on those.
Bigg upps & thanks to all for the luv and support, I'm out!

- A double squiggle Y aka Rich English

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