It was a dark time. I had disappeared for many years and I was finally back, but things were different. The world had grown strange. The corruption, the greed, and the deceit was everywhere now. You could see it on the faces of the news anchors on TV. You could hear it in the empty rapping and plastic music on the radio. You could feel it in the streets. It was inescapable. And for me, it was unbearable.
On the music front, hundreds of thousands of kids now had the same plugin synths, and played the same midi melodies, over the same downloaded drum kits. Locked to the grid lines, with the same sterile sound. They all had the same rapper friend who rapped the same struggle rhymes. Hundreds of thousands of them the same. The way I grew up, you had to be original to get respect, but things were different now.
I couldn’t take the way the world was. I had to cut it off and shut it out. I went deeper underground. No Tv. No radio. No propaganda. No humans. Just my underground lab full of old instruments and tape machines. Full of flaws. Full of soul.
I stayed down there for days on end banging out my pain on broken piano keys. I took my aggression out on an old drum set. I beat those drum heads like I was beating a man to death. I swung heavy off the grid with blood sweat and tears pouring out through breakbeats. I played chords on 40 year old organs so dirty, rich, and raw that you almost feel the history screaming out through the scratchy vibrato. I recorded it all on an old analog tape machine, and then flipped everything into original beats.
I was exploring the unknown, and extracting the truth. I never thought anyone would hear the music, and I didn’t care.
One person I still spoke to was my old friend Greg (Blitzo.Glyphics) who I consider a brother. Blitz and I have been friends since I was 12. Some of you may remember hearing him on the second verse of Something Wicked This Way Comes, a song off of my debut album.
I reached out to Blitzo and knew he had been writing rhymes. Something hit me and I decided to go ahead and send him all of the sample free beats I had been working on. I told him he could do whatever he wanted with them. He was in a similar position as me. His worldview had darkened as mine had… even more than mine had. He rarely left his lab. The world had become too much. The corruption, the oppression, the deception… far too much. But he had been writing and channeling this view into rhymes. I was eager to see what he’d do with these weird new tape beats I sent him, and had a feeling it would be unlike anything I’d ever heard.
Before long, Blitz started recording track after track on these dark and grimy beats. Each verse was more ominous and cryptic than the last. Whenever we spoke, I could tell his worldview was even further shadowed. I heard it in his voice and felt it in his verses. He also had started feeling worse physically. Something malicious and inexplicable was happening, and it seemed to be taking over and pouring out into these new songs. I was worried about my old friend, but I loved how raw, strange, and real all of the recordings were turning out.
Blitz gradually began feeling worse and worse both emotionally and physically. As our conversations grew more cynical, the new songs perfectly reflected our mindset at the time. The music kept coming, until one day it was clear that we had a legitimate project already near completion. I was thrilled to have something so unique on our hands, but was completely unprepared for what would come next.
My brother Blitz woke up with terrible pains in his body, and he could barely breath. After reluctantly being taken to a local clinic, they looked at a drop of his blood under a microscope. The doctor was shocked by what she saw and told Blitz he had to go to the hospital immediately or he could die. His blood was almost as thick as bone marrow. His breathing was worsening, his lungs were filling with fluid, and he was rushed to the ER.
They immediately put him into a medically induced coma. After exhausting all conventional methods in an attempt to stabilize him, the doctors decided to place Blitz inside a massive rotating machine called a Rotoprone. As soon as I heard about everything I jumped in my car and drove 9 hours to see him. He was unconscious for the next 2 weeks, rotating in the machine while they desperately tried to discover what this perplexing affliction was.
It appeared Blitz had an extremely rare form of blood cancer, but with every test it failed to be specifically identified. They even sent samples to the best labs at Harvard, but were still unable to confirm a diagnosis.
As I watched my old friend slowly rotating in that machine, fighting for his life, things appeared absolutely grim… but I knew he would pull through. The future was waiting, and we had, for us, an unanticipatedly authentic and reflective album for the people to hear.
After weeks of rotating in the machine, Blitz was stabilized and the doctors decided it was time to bring him out of his coma. When he came to, he was out of his mind. Screaming, hallucinating, biting, spitting, thrashing… completely gone. This disturbing behavior lasted for hours. Everyone feared the worst until our old friend and brother Jonathan Anaya (Chi-rho) talked to him and somehow miraculously brought him back to reality. After some additional weeks in the hospital, and gradually learning to walk again, we were all thankful that Blitz was able to return home… emaciated and weak, but alive, and hopeful.
Looking back now, it almost appears to all be connected… the verses, the conversations, the ominous cloud surrounding us, and the entire medical event. Blitz is doing much better now, thanks to a group of doctors very interested in his case. Having discovered an effective medication, his mysterious condition is currently under control. Although he’s actually facing open heart surgery soon, he will pull through like he always does, eager to keep pursuing his love of music.
I’m proud to say that this album is a true original, and we’re both excited for everyone to hear this production we’ve concocted. Once it’s released, I hope you enjoy it and can feel the realness resonating throughout. The mixing process is nearly finished, and the final master will be completed this year. It’s been a remarkably strange journey, all of it captured within these beats and rhymes, delivering you a personal glimpse into these… Dark Matters. – Benefit
The first song & video from the upcoming “Dark Matters” album:
Blitzo.Glyphics – Violent Climate (feat. Benefit) Official Video – 4K