The new Bend hip-hop crew, consisting of producer/DJ Adam Bomb, mixmaster DJ Barisone, Sorski, and four or five MCs - including KP, Sandman, and Fish-have been hard at work for a while now, right under our little newsprint-blackened noses.
Their first homespun CD, Driftwood Insomnia, has already made a splash at a local record store or two, with copies reportedly flying off the shelves at a rate to exceed most major-label releases. That disc, irresistibly superfly and sparkly as it is, only features the work of KP and A-Bomb.
Person People (or "Person Peeps" as they're sure to be commonly referred to by familiars) released another disc, Oregonize..., at the Grove last Saturday. As it revealed the mystery of what all the Peep sound like in the studio, their performance gave the crowd a taste of their potential onstage.
You couldn't blame anybody for the anticipatory hype that surrounded the show. Any real-live, new hip-hop group has the makings of a very good thing for Bend. If you haven't noticed, the city figures as a relatively dry spot in the wide, wonderful world of hip-hop music production - even as the culture is alive and well among the citizens. It didn't hurt, either, that well-known slam poets, KP and Sandman (aka Jason Graham), as well as familiar console-jockey Barisone, were involved...
As it turned out, the hype for the show was certainly well founded. A-Bomb and Barisone's work at the back of the stage was tight n' spicy, featuring deft scratches and clever mizes (Darth Vader's theme...always a nice touch). The show was explosive -a solid hour-and-a-half or so of propulsive beats and copious rhymes.
These cats have serious potential to become a Bend legend - let's hope they have the ambition to match, so we can enjoy them for a while.
And enjoy them we have.
Person People, Eleven Eyes
9pm, Saturday, February 28. Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $7. All ages.
On this 12-track hip-hop rampage Person People seem to be reaching toward not only the expectations the massive ensemble has for itself, but also what Bend expects from one of its most dynamic live acts. What results is a record anchored in classic Person People lyrical strength, but peppered with influences as diverse as the musical landscape in which the band formed. Now with a live band in the studio and on the stage, Person People finds a new level on this disc, most notably on the title track, a romping sing-a-long heavy on piano and positive lyrics that charges to an ending featuring a chorus of children's voices. The record also includes some tunes PP Heads have heard live over the past couple years, including the hometown ode "Oregonize" as well as "Smoke," one of the tracks that features Moon Mountain Ramblers' Jenny Harada on violin. On "Pink Fur Derby," another stage-tested number, Person People show how in a town like Bend they've managed to help sustain a vibrant hip-hop scene - the song is rap music, of course, but it's highly accessible for any music fan. The same could be said for heARTbeats and Person People as a whole - it's hip-hop music for people who might not necessarily be hip-hop fans, but appreciate good music. - M.B.