Splitface And June 16th: Fresh Start, New Planet

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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Calm After the Storm"
  • Artist: Splitface and June 16th
  • CD: Raydeeohh
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
Splitface and June 16th 300

St. Louis-area underground hip-hop producers Splitface and June 16th abandon Earth in "Calm After the Storm." Jami Ford hide caption

toggle caption Jami Ford

Raydeeohh, the debut album from St. Louis-area underground hip-hop producers Splitface and June 16th, imagines that its heroes have destroyed Earth (because radio here is too corporate) and become DJs at a station on another planet (one presumably not owned by Clear Channel). To find appropriate samples for the album's ambient/industrial sounds, they spent countless hours digging through June 16th's massive record collection, stored in his studio in the middle of a Mascoutah, Ill., cornfield.

"Calm After the Storm" hits one of the album's more optimistic notes. Rapper Alleyes Manifest speaks to his life changes and aspirations, of "walking into the horizon / waiting for the day to come." Splitface and June 16th tried sample after sample before deciding on the song's eerily mellow vibe and mandolin-sounding hook. Splitface took drums from other records and ran them through a reel-to-reel machine and back out into his sampler, and then compressed them to give them oomph. Another St. Louis producer, Helias, contributes scratches from an old record of bird sounds at the beginning — and some vaguely menacing bird-of-prey "sweeps" at the end. Life on another planet may be lonely and dangerous, but at least the radio is decent.

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