Jel & Odd Nosdam, founding members of Anticon, have been very busy lately. They took a few minutes to sit down with me and talk about their current and upcoming projects. Enjoy the Nosdam enhanced interview as you read the text below.
You guys just put out the Kenny Dennis EP with Serengeti. Can you tell me a little about Serengeti and his alter-ego Kenny Dennis?
Jel: Serengeti, Mr. Dave Cohn from Chicago, he got worldwide recognition off of his Dennehy song…Dennehy right?
Odd Nosdam: Yeah. That was the first song of his in that character, the Kenny Dennis character, that made a lot of noise on the Internet. That was actually the first stuff that we heard of his.
Jel: We were sparked on Kenny Dennis before we even heard the Serengeti stuff that was more him and not in the character.
Odd Nosdam: We met him about three years ago, and we spent the last two and a half years or so just recording lots of music with him. At this point we have two albums, also the Kenny Dennis EP…
Jel: It’s been very productive…it’s just fun because he’s doing the character. We take making music with him a little more lighthearted and we want to make it fun…
Odd Nosdam: Yeah, if you want to know about Kenny Dennis, just get on the Internet. We’ve been really fortunate to have really well written reviews on the Kenny Dennis EP that explain the back story.
You said you have two albums with him, have they been released yet?
Odd Nosdam: There are two albums. The first one: C.A.R…. The second one is called C.A.B.
C.A.R. comes out June 26th.
Jeff you just put out a new record called Greenball 3.5, and that is part of a sequence of Greenball records. Why is this 3.5 and not 4?
Jeff: 3.5 because it’s just a taste of what you would get from an actual Greenball.
Where did the name Greenball come from? Why has that become your franchise?
Jel: Same thing with Jel. It’s just made up dumb shit. It’s not that thought out actually.
This record comes with a poster of an SP1200. Is that what you made the record on?
Jel: Exactly…MPC actually. All the Greenball stuff…the first one was all SP1200. It’s just old beats that I’ve revamped or whatever.
Odd Nosdam: Jel also has an album called 10 Seconds…
Jel: Yeah and that was all SP1200 as well
Odd Nosdam: It was dedicated to the SP1200.
And 10 seconds is the maximum sample rate you can have on an SP1200?
You two have collaborated a lot over the years. When you guys work together is there a clear division of labor?
Jel: Yeah. We’ve worked on that more.
Odd Nosdam: We do most of the work at my place so I do most of the mixing and I have a lot of short cuts and tricks and things that I can do…
Jel: and I’ll sit down and tweak shit and then Dave will clean it up. We both equally go back and forth with sequencing and weird other shit with the songs, like, you know, “that didn’t sound right” so then we fix it.
Odd Nosdam: When Jel is working on his solo stuff I’ll just kind of hang out and listen to what he’s doing. Sometimes he’ll go for hours (lol)…I just try to listen with a critical ear like “OK, is what’s happening right now…should I go in there and maybe try to steer him in a different direction?” Sometimes I’ll just come in and say “man, that sounds great” or just “keep going with it”. Then he’ll take a break and I’ll go in there and refine stuff or just listen and do rough mixing of what’s there to get a better idea of what it’s sounding like.
How did the two of you meet?
Jel: It was in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Odd Nosdam: 1998. Scribble Jam. It was through Doseone.
Jel: and Yoni.
Odd Nosdam: Mr. Dibbs
Jel: We’d go down there and everybody that was sparked on each other musically, we all found like “hey, we’re all like minded!” That’s kind of where all the Anticon stuff first sparked…
Odd Nosdam: The first time I met him he had his SP1200 and a crate of records. I was pretty blown away by what he was able to do with that machine because at that time I had a Dr. Sample 202 which doesn’t have a sequencer on it so I was sequencing by ear on tape. Then when I met Jel I was just like, holy shit! I can’t believe that you can actually create sequences where you have multiple samples and chopped up drums that are all riding together. So that was a big eye opener for me.
Jel: Crazy. That was probably four years of working on that machine at that point because I got it in ’94.
Odd Nosdam: We’ve done so much shit together it’s ridiculous. We’ve toured together. We DJ together all the time at the Missouri Lounge every Wednesday night…
Jel: 10 ta 2
Odd Nosdam: we do remixes together…
In addition to the Kenny Dennis EP and the two upcoming Serengeti records, Odd Nosdam and Jel have remixed the classic Kenny tune “Dennehy” which will be released on the forthcoming Kenny Dennis 7″. Jel is planning to release another solo album sometime next year which will be the follow up to 2006’s Soft Money. This July he will be opening for Sleigh Bells on their summer tour.
Jel opening for Sleigh Bells:
07-02 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
07-03 Boston, MA – House of Blues
07-05 Montreal, Quebec – Corona
07-07 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
07-09 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
07-10 Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
07-12 Kansas City, MO – Beaumont Club
07-16 Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
07-17 Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater
07-18 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls