Posts Tagged ‘MuskaBeatz’

‘Appreciate Your Muskas’

May 22, 2021

“There’ll never be another Muska,” the old man said again, louder this time. 

His tone made it sound like some prewritten remembrance posted too early by some errant algorithm, it wasn’t, and the man understood this. He cleared his throat. “Not like he’s gone, I mean. You know?” 

The kids looked away. Neither really had looked at him in the first place, only half acknowledging his advance on the park’s chain-link perimeter, then hooking in his fingers, scanning back and forth and bobbing his head if some trick looked close. One stepped onto his board and began heelflipping.

He said a few times he used to skate and there was no reason not to believe him. Squinting you could imagine a chin under the salt-and-pepper beard, the gray wisps black under the lightly sweat-ringed hat, embroidered with a throwback baseball team logo. Probably there was a tattoo somewhere.

“He’s not gone, obviously.” The sun was low and the old man didn’t look at the two kids as he blinked. “He’s still out there obviously, and shit, he’s still got it. You saw this right?” He fumbled with a phone, pushing his fingers across it this way and that, murmuring about crooked grinds and parking lots and inspirational quotes, the ones that left him quietly embarrassed when he thought of them and they felt weighty and meaningful. 

One of the kids glanced at the screen the man held out, nodded and looked away again. The other heelflipped. 

“I’m talking more about appreciating. You know. When he was doing all that stuff, in his prime, ‘The Muska’ and Shorty’s, we all thought he was corny.” The phone jammed back between denim folds and the fingers hooked once more into the fence. “He was, for sure, in a way. You know, the rap album, his boombox all the time, and then he wore these scarves… you know, he would’ve been great with no gimmicks, is what I’m saying. I mean, look at the TSA video. T-shirt and jeans, pretty much. You know?”

There was a lengthy pause and the man decided to endure it some, swigging from his iced tea, a tall can. 

“We were all up on a high horse about it kind of, and basically missed out on appreciating him in his prime, his prime, is what I mean. You know?” He didn’t look at the kids. “Should’ve really embraced it like, this dude is going crazy right now. Kind of hard to explain. People took stuff super serious then, sort of.” 

The one kid nodded again, still looking away from the man. 

“It’s like, appreciate what’s in front of you. This dude, then, he was a legend in the making. With somebody like Reynolds, or Rowley, you know, that was easy, it was clear, there wasn’t all the rock star stuff, but man, you know? Muska was gnarly. We knew it, you know, we watched the videos and everything, I just mean, we didn’t really appreciate what he was doing, at the time. And in a way you kind of miss out. Or we did.”

Two long blares of a minivan horn, and his fingers released the chain link. It shook and the man straightened. 

“So you know, think about it. Who are your Muskas? KB? Nyjah? Anyway.” He reached for his phone but took his hand back out of his pocket and half turned away. “Make sure you see them, appreciate them. You know? That’s all I mean.” 

The horn blared again and the man was gone. The kids took out their phones, running their thumbs from bottom to top, over and over.

20 Years of Ty Evans’ Musical Supervision Genius, Which Also Has Included MuskaBeatz

December 17, 2017

Ty Evans has a sprawling new skate Film and this week sat for a similarly sprawling interview with the Nine Club, which helicoptered among his many career high points as well as satellite dish fetishization vehicle ‘Transmission 7.’ In it, Ty Evans discussed at some length his enduring and roundly criticized love for ‘electro’ and ‘drum-and-bass’ music, an unfortunate fondness that brought him closer to the Muska yet banished permanently some otherwise sterling video parts to the mute button or remix treatment.

Across a towering catalog spanning more than two decades, many of Ty Evans’ musical missteps are immediately apparent: the teeth-aching tweeness of ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,’ for instance, or an out-of-tune indie rock band jangling their way through a Schoolboy Q number. Also, Moby. But these barrel-swimmers obscure rarer and more precious fish, such as the mysterious coelacanth, which are Ty Evans’ sporadic yet undeniable feats of music-supervision genius, deserving recognition as we gird for another techno-slathered opus.

‘Genesis’ – Stereolab, ‘Three-Dee Melodie’ (Richard Angelides)
After learning the ropes of basic video construction making Planet Earth’s ‘Silver,’ Ty Evans stepped out on Rhythm’s excellent ‘Genesis,’ turning up to the Chemical Brothers’ block-rockin’ beats and introducing an MTV-esque hyperactive editing style. But he also indulged a partiality toward atmopheric indie rock that played well off Richard Angelides’ spindly tech, for a sort of soothing/reassuring stoke that stands up two decades on.

‘The Reason’ – Fugazi, ‘Smallpox Champion’ (Matt Mumford)
Fugazi stands alongside Dinosaur Jr, the Rolling Stones, Public Enemy and Gang Starr as a skate video staple, and 1999’s TWS entry exposed a rapidly growing skate video audience to ‘Smallpox Champion’ for Matt Mumford’s El Toro-taming curtains-closer. At a time when Ty Evans’ deepening technophilia already was testing the patience of VCR owners worlwide, he was not prepared to abandon a standby that had earlier soundtracked Arto Saari’s ‘Feedback’ part and several in ‘Silver.’

‘Modus Operandi’ – MuskaBeatz, ‘Master B’ (Brian Anderson)
Ty Evans’ resume shows an affinity for nurturing and promoting young up-and-comers through his Films, a generosity of spirit that also extended to electrical techno music. In addition to Atiba’s credits-scoring bleepers of the early aughts, Ty Evans also prominently featured several MuskaBeatz productions, a bold move that helped to document a singular and surely weird era in skating that, despite revivalists’ best efforts, never will be replicated.

‘Yeah Right’ – David Bowie, ‘Fame’ (Chocolate montage)
With Ty Evans behind the lenses and handrails much in front of them, Girl’s ‘Yeah Right’ may as well have come from a different planet than the soulful schoolyard lines of ‘Mouse’ and ‘Paco,’ but David Bowie’s lightly psychadelic funk stroller would’ve slotted in seamlessly alongside Herbie Hancock, Cymande and Bob James.

‘Hot Chocolate’ – Andre Nickatina, ‘Ayo for Yayo’ (Mike York)
As Alien Workshop has produced Dinosaur Jr pro models, and Zorlac Metallica ones prior to the Gulf War, so should Crailtap have bestowed a pro model on the onetime Dre Dog. Here, Ty Evans nods to both Mike York’s Bay heritage as well as Andre Nickatina’s prior inclusion in a Chocolate vid, while further setting the stage for some other inspiring audio songs about selling cocaine in future videos.

‘Fully Flared’ – Mannie Fresh, ‘Real Big’ (French Connection)
Lakai’s landmark 2007 full-length is generally and correctly regarded as the peak of the Crailtap/Ty Evans partnership, and song-for-song is probably the strongest in terms of musical accompaniments earning his blessing. This urgent, shouty Mannie Fresh anthem, a sort of primal materialistic scream from within a sumptuously appointed mansion, stands as the best song in any Ty Evans-helmed Film to date; paired off Lucas Puig’s luxury-brand tech, it makes a strong argument for the greatest song in any video ever. Hearing it gives one the sense something important is happening, and the repeated, blaring synthesizer line at the end is one instance where Ty Evans’ careerlong overindulgence in slow-motion makes perfect sense.

‘Fully Flared’ – Tear Da Club Up Thugs, ‘Triple 6 Clubhouse’ (Mike Carroll)
On this week’s ‘The Bunt,’ Alex Olson recalled — with some disappointment as a fellow techno devotee — Ty Evans’ rap fixation during this period, including a taste for Three 6 Mafia’s classic flip on the chipmunk soul era, ‘Stay Fly.’ Mike Carroll’s Lakai section, which remains a career top three, wisely avoids such an on-the-nose pick and breaks for the more menacing ‘Triple 6 Clubhouse.’ Built around an erudite theme about killing people, the song includes enough cinematic transition to appeal to Ty Evans’ dramatic leanings, and the hardheadedness required to get viewers through the mewly Band of Horses sounds to come.

‘Pretty Sweet’ – Beastie Boys, ‘Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun’ (Alex Olson/Mike Carroll/Brian Anderson)
This combo Girl/Chocolate Film was pitched partly as a transitional feature focused on Crailtap’s newer generation, such as the Trunk Boyz, with many veterans relegated to shared parts. Orienting one of those around Alex Olson was sensible, since he comes off as sort of an old soul, making it worthwhile to throw back via the Beastie Boys, who soundtracked a seminal MC part in ‘Questionable’ and got money with Spike Jonez on several nonconsecutive occasions throughout the 1990s.