Video Premiere/Q+A: Purple Brain

July 02, 2009

Andre Bumrocks and Jason Evans of Hey Convict! linked up to create a mix as Purple Brain. It's an hour-long collection of out-there jams from all over the world, united by the incredibly obvious debt each song owes to tripping the fuck out. We've listened to this mix probably 50 times in the last couple weeks, and each listen reveals some interstellar groove we hadn't noticed. To find out more about how this happens, we hit Andre up to talk about it and some other stuff. Buy the mix here, which we strongly recommend you do because, besides being fans of physical media, we are also fans of getting a CD, record and poster for like 12 bucks. For completists, a few of the limited crocheted purple brains are still available in select boutiques. After the jump, read the interview and watch the video for the mix directed by Brian Close featuring some of the music and—what else—purple brains.

The Purple Brain mix seems so different from most mixes that come out these days. You guys made a physical product and are really pushing it as if it were an album. You’ve even got a really nice physical product in the purple brain crochet.
We’re just trying to package them nicely, and I think loving records, loving music [helps that]. I hear you about mixes because they are everywhere, and we put a lot of time and effort into this but it was worth going the extra step. I think it was just a real aesthetic [we were going for] It comes from a particular time.

What time is that?
The early '70s. There was uprising and revolution and crossover and just weird shit. I mean, there was African sounding stuff by French dudes and other stuff done by some German guy—that whole idea of fusion. There’s also a lot of conceptual art in that time period.

I didn’t recognize a lot of stuff on this mix, but some of the stuff I did recognize made perfect sense. You have Jimi Hendrix on there, I never think of listening to Hendrix because he has become so ubiquitous to me. I feel like I am always listening to Jimi Hendrix. But on this mix it totally made sense with this spaced-out weirdo vibe you have going on.

Yeah. I don’t want to retro-fy it. It was just art happening. A crazy bunch of freaks doing different stuff—but the feeling is the same. The feeling of doing the same stuff in different ways.

There’s nothing on this mix that sounds outdated or out of place. I found everything on there to be really influential to what is going on in music right now.
I find that surprising too. Grizzly Bear or Animal Collective and a lot of freaky folk stuff—I feel like its really happening right now. People just mixing music unlike a few years ago where you had to be part of a scene or a sound…we just wanted to recreate that as much as possible. I feel like now everything is so wide open. People are just trying everything, and trying stuff that wouldn’t have been necessarily cool a few years ago.

Do you think it’s happening for the same reason as the last time around? Where people get fed up with parameters, some of which might be self-imposed…

I think culturally people are projecting—a few year ago people wouldn’t have been so open minded, but now it’s more about personal expression. It’s not necessarily about scenes and genres anymore, its about what you can make.

I’m listening to this mix and I’m trying to figure out how you craft something like this, its just so spacey.

Believe me it took awhile. It was a lot of records and we didn’t have anything to go by, there are no other mixes that did what we did. I think we are a little out there on our end, it took a bit of time to figure out what it was going to be.

How long did it take?
It took about a year, start to finish

Before you were making this mix were you coming up with song lists? Did you have an idea of what you wanted?
A little bit. It was just playing a lot of random records. A lot of beer and playing each other records and figuring out what works.

Posted: July 02, 2009
Video Premiere/Q+A: Purple Brain