April 27, 2004

Emerson students start records label
By Canyon Cody
Published in The Heights

In terms of resume building, Emerson sophomore Molly Casey definitely has one of the most eye-catching extracurricular activities: president of a student-run music label, Emerson Records.

"The record label is run entirely by students, but nothing was really happening with it for the past few years. This year we really decided to do something," said Casey in an interview with The Heights.

In addition to their academic responsibilities, Casey and the rest of the students on the staff of Emerson Records have turned the inactive record label into a thriving young organization that recently signed its first band, Audible Mainframe. The label plans to release the band's first record next month.

"We don't really know what to expect in terms of sales because there's no precedent at Emerson Records for what we're doing. We're not getting paid or anything, so this is supposed to be a learning experience for us and it definitely has been. We're all really excited to hear the album once they finish mixing and mastering it," said Casey.

To promote the band's debut album and raise money for charity, Emerson Records brought old school hip-hop pioneer Jeru the Damaja to the Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center in South Boston last Saturday.

The unusual venue wasn't an ideal location in terms of accessibility and acoustics, but Jeru and especially Audible Mainframe gave an inspired show for the small crowd of dedicated hip-hop fans.

In addition to the headliners, Emerson records brought the Deck Deamons, an amazing DJ quartet which includes DJ JayCeeOh, and the Floor Lords, who have been break dancing in Boston since 1981. From their youngest member (13) to the oldest (37), the Floor Lords left the audience in awe with their dance moves and their unique custom b-boy and b-girl sneaker from Saucony.

The graffiti of a local crew called Hi Cost Low Art complemented the music and the break dancing perfectly, making the entire experience perfect for true hip-hop fans.

Jeru the Damaga has been synonymous with quality old school hip-hop since his classic 1994 debut The Sun Rises in the East. Jeru's separation from Gang Star following his beef with Guru has apparently prevented him from performing all of his DJ Premier-produced hits

Despite a good set from Jeru, the star of the show was Audible Mainframe. The eight-person hip-hop band comprises guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, saxophone, with a DJ and emcee.

Their energetic live show and eclectic combination of rap, funk, and rock gives Audible Mainframe a contagious energy spilling into the crowd.

The band's politically progressive lyrics, musical virtuosity, and kinetic stage presence puts Audible Mainframe in good company with bands like The Roots and Ozomatli.

Audible Mainframe will be playing a live acoustic set on WAAF (107.3) on May 2 to promote its record release party at the Middle East Upstairs on Wednesday, May 5. Its debut album Framework will be available for $5, and local emcee Jake the Snake will perform.

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