General Ripper

While he may be shipping off to Cali soon to make some sweet, sweet sounds with Lychld, General Ripper is still a proud Maryland native in my book, and is pulling together some tracks with beats your eardrums have never witnessed before. His “Does vol. 1”, as well the upcoming volumes 2 and 3 lay out a soundscape that’s pushing various styles and genres together – Ripper says “Doses is my latest series of mixes. Put on some headphones and turn of the lights. It's a multi-genre series with a focus on experimental/abstract hip-hop/beat/hyperstep/ambient/psychedelic type stuff. Lots of really dense/dank beats and an assortment of moods… I'm not sure there are any others in my genre, because I don't really work within the confines of genre labels. I do what I want, when I want, and how I want.”

You can download vol. 1 now, and 2 and 3 will be available later this year. Before we get into the XXQ’s, I know some of you are thinking that the name General Ripper sounds really familiar… here’s the story on how the name fits in with our latest feature: “The name General Ripper comes from the movie “Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)”. From the first time I watched it as an adolescent I identified with General Ripper and his clearly insane self-appointed mission to prevent communists from sapping and impurifying his precious natural bodily fluids via an insidious fluoridation conspiracy, by means of all out nuclear assault on Russia. To me ‘fluoride’ has become a metaphor for all things dull, banal, stupid, artistically reprehensible, anti-creative, insulting, mindless, self important, contrary to the evolution of the species, etc. Instead of bombing Russia, I combat fluoride with full frontal assaults on conventional mindsets and backward notions, carried out by a wide variety of musical and visual artistic endeavors. I am General Ripper, and I will destroy fluoride at all costs.” Boom. There it is. While you can move to some Ripper’s beats now, you can also catch him scoring some films, so keep an eye out. Keep reading now for all the answers to the XXQ’s. 

XXQs: General Ripper

PensEyeView.com (PEV):  How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

General Ripper (RA): My sound is experimental and fresh, bizarre and unapologetic, ranging from super-chic and danceable to brain melting weirdness, depending on my mood. I'm not sure there are any others in my genre, because I don't really work within the confines of genre labels. I do what I want, when I want, and how I want. One never quite knows what to expect from me, it's something different each time, that goes for original tunes as well as mixes. Find me on Facebook to stay up to date.

PEV: Hailing from Maryland but soon relocating to California, what kind of music were you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?

GR: As a kid I was really into heavy metal. The first tape I ever bought with my own money was Metallica's black album when I was in 5th grade. From there I got really into stuff like White Zombie, Pantera, Sepultura, Nine Inch Nails, Slayer, etc... And then in my later teenage years I started listening to heavier stuff, a lot of Death and Black Metal; Morbid Angel, Ulver, Emperor, Broken Hope, Mayhem, Lucifugum (Ukraine), stuff like that. In my high school years I developed an appreciation for hip-hop that re-surfaced in my early 20s and paved the way to my love for electronic music. Really though I have an appreciation for all kinds of different music from all over the world. Bhangra for instance, love the stuff, can't get enough. My biggest influences have been Omar Rodriguez Lopez & The Mars Volta, Justice, Boys Noize, Mr. Oizo, Flying Lotus, Erol Alkan, Breakbot, 2 Many DJs, Bombaman, Venetian Snares and Merzbow.

PEV: Obviously, General Ripper is not your real name, so tell us where you got it from and how you chose this.

GR: The name General Ripper comes from the movie Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb). From the first time I watched it as an adolescent I identified with General Ripper and his clearly insane self-appointed mission to prevent communists from sapping and impurifying his precious natural bodily fluids via an insidious fluoridation conspiracy, by means of all out nuclear assault on Russia.

To me "fluoride" has become a metaphor for all things dull, banal, stupid, artistically reprehensible, anti-creative, insulting, mindless, self important, contrary to the evolution of the species, etc. Instead of bombing Russia, I combat fluoride with full frontal assaults on conventional mindsets and backward notions, carried out by a wide variety of musical and visual artistic endeavors. I am General Ripper, and I will destroy fluoride at all costs.

PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?

GR: It was when I played one of my earlier mixes for my brother-in-conquest, Scott R. Tooley (R.I.P.). We were listening to it in my car on Market Street in downtown Frederick, windows down, sub-woofers blasting. When Justice's track "Genesis" dropped after being led in by a Ravi Shankar tune, Scott looked at me and said, "I think you've found your calling." Been at it ever since.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live General Ripper show?

GR: Lots of bleeps and bloops and pounding bass and booty shakin' rhythms and melodies. I have one goal with my live sets, and that is to make people sweat and get all worked up into a frenzy so that maybe they'll all get naked and we can really get this party started.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

GR: I think sexy thoughts.

PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out and making the transition to professional musician?

GR: I started making and mixing music on a whim. One day I just randomly went out and bought a cheap music production program called Magix Music Studio 12 and started messing around with it, making these absolutely absurd and terrible songs and mixes, until one day things just started clicking and actual music came out. I made my entire first album ever "Demonstrating my Nintendo Ability" in Magix in the span of 2 weeks. I just locked myself inside and started getting weird with it. Eventually I moved on to using Traktor Pro with an external usb midi controller to mix on. Anyway I've always loved music, it's pretty much defined my existence, so it's great to be a participant in it, instead of just an observer. It felt like a pretty natural next step.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

GR:  I'd say it all just comes from my endlessly babbling sub-conscious.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Doses vol. 1”. What can fans expect from this work? What made you choose this title for the album?

GR: It won't be hard to hear why I called it that. It becomes immediately apparent within the first few seconds. Doses is my latest series of mixes. Put on some headphones and turn of the lights. It's a multi-genre series with a focus on experimental/abstract hip-hop/beat/hyperstep/ambient/psychedelic type stuff. Lots of really dense/dank beats and an assortment of moods. It's meant to be something totally different than what one normally hears from DJs in the MD/VA/DC area, which is mainly a lot of dnb, dubstep, maybe some fidget here and there and stuff like that in the underground, and pretty much nothing but top 40 in the clubs.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with those genres, I just get tired of hearing the same things from a million different DJs (don't get riled up fellas, I ain't hatin', y'all do what you do very well and there are plenty of very talented and original DJs in this area). So I decided to see if maybe I could incite a paradigm shift and inspire some people to change up their styles, for the benefit of music lovers and night clubs everywhere. I feel like lately there's massive crossover potential for what used to be very underground genres, Britney Spears dubstep for example.

If DJs as a collective push the boundaries of their craft then maybe we can cultivate a deeper appreciation among our audiences for what we do and the songs that we play, and pop culture will follow suit. Doses vol. 1 is currently available to stream/download on my soundcloud page (http://www.soundcloud.com/GeneralRipper).

Doses Volumes 2 & 3 are both recorded, but won't be officially released until a few months from now. But just for you penseyeview readers, here are download links for both volumes 2 and 3, as well as a download link for all three volumes as one big 2hr10min long mp3! Tracklists for all three volumes are below.

Doses vol. 2 download link:http://www.megaupload.com/?d=712MWA6B

Doses vol. 3 download link:http://www.megaupload.com/?d=X935P8RF

DOSES (whole, vols 1, 2 & 3):http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4G5BAKZ8

Tracklists:

Doses vol. 1:

1. Lvchld - 421 (backward)

2. Bilal - Levels (Flying Lotus remix)

3. Louis Bordeaux - 777

4. Juj - Mbira Spirit

5. Mophono ft. Flying Lotus - Cut Form Crunch

6. Shigeto - And We Gonna (Samiyam Chopsticks remix)

7. Dimlite - The Way Blood Travels

8. Intelligent Manners - I Won't

9. Jacque Polynice - Obama O's (Mike Slott remix)

10. Kreng - Het Wordt Ouder

11. Flying Lotus - And the World Laughs with You

12. Daedelus - Playing Parties (Madlib remix)

13. Nosaj Thing - IOIO

14. TOKiMONSTA - Moving Forward

15. Salva - Wake Ups

16. Mexicans With Guns ft. Freddie Gibbs and Bun B - Highway to Hell (7" version)

17. Bombaman - Rear End

18. Bombaman - Look Behind You

19. Borgore - Ice Cream

20. Skrillex - Cat Rats

21. FLYamSAM - The Offbeat

22. Kreng - Slaapliedje

Doses vol. 2:

1. Asobi Seksu - Perfectly Crystal (Xiu Xiu remix)

2. Asobi Seksu - Perfectly Crystal (Mirrors' Un Autre Monde remix)

3. TOKiMONSTA, Lunice & Swede Art - Alpenglow

4. Flying Lotus - Camel (Nosaj Thing remix)

5. A-Trak ft. Cyhi Da Prynce - Ray Ban Vision (Luckybeard remix)

6. Baruka Som Sistema - Hangover (BaBaBa) [Zombies for Money remix]

7. Lunice - Freaky

8. Lunice - Out of Touch

9. Dimlite - Can't Get Used to Those

10. Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross - Blacks (Shlohmo remix)

11. General Ripper - Riley Tompkins

12. Shigeto - Embrace the Cold

13. Baths - Maximalist

14. Shigeto - Baker's Blunt Basics

15. Dan Deacon - Woof Woof (Hudson Mohawke remix)

16. Shugo Tokumaru - Rum Hee

17. Swarms - Flikr of ur Eyes

18. Nosaj Thing - Coat of Arms

19. Shigeto - Look at all the Smiling Faces (Take remix)

20. Hudson Mohawke - Overnight

Doses vol. 3:

1. Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble - Pelotera

2. Evany - Marvin in Marvin out

3. Take - Horizontal Figuration (TOKiMONSTA remix)

4. Nosaj Thing - Us

5. Lukid - The Now (Hudson Mohawke remix)

6. Flying Lotus - Beginner's Falafel

7. Flying Lotus - Sleepy Dinosaur

8. Flying Lotus - Parisian Goldfish

9. Gucci Mane ft. Swizz Beats - Gucci Time (Sinden remix) [General Ripper edit]

10. Lvchld - Goodnight

11. Take - Begin End Begin (Take remix)

12. TOKiMONSTA - Almost Free

13. TOKiMONSTA - Aching Nodes

14. Mexicans with Guns - Jaguar

15. Rustie - Zig zag

16. Bombaman - Harem Scarem

17. Starkey - Gutter Music

18. Gucci Mane - Brand New (Rustie remix)

19. Sahy Uhns - O.E. for Two

20. Lawrence Grey & killqvc - tommytime

21. John Nahwooks - Mad Murderous

PEV: Tell us about the emotion that feeling brought to your album?

GR: I'm not sure how one would classify Doses vol. 1's emotional content. I mean, it's there, I made sure of it, but I'll have to leave what it makes you feel up to the listener.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about General Ripper?

GR: I really really really like Spinach. Or wait...maybe that's not so surprising.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

GR: I don't think there's ever been any point in my life where I knew or accepted that any one thing was going to be a career for me.

PEV: What one word best describes General Ripper?

GR: Ppppttthhhhhhbbbbbttttttttttt!

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

GR: Best part - the whores; Worst part - the whores. Actually I haven't performed on the road much, just a couple stray dates with my homie Lvchld (http://www.facebook.com/lvchld,http://soundcloud.com/lvchld) in NYC in 2010.  Most of my performances have occurred within a 75 mile radius, in Frederick, Boonsboro, Baltimore, DC, VA, etc.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

GR: Europe!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

GR: My friends and family are amazing and 100% supportive of all of my hair-brained plots and schemes. As for my hometown, it's good to know that I have the support of people and places like The Lodge, the people at FredRock, The Blue Elephant Art Gallery and the Dragonfly Artist Co-op (here's lookin' at you Chris and Deb ;-). They're the bee's knees! Shout out to all my Bmore DIY rock bros too, Eat People, Magic Missle, Marathon Girl, R&R, Heffa Peppa Rosetta Setta etc. They recently released a killer limited edition compilation cassette tape. I gave them a track for it. You can grab a copy of the whole thing here:http://boysrecords.blogspot.com/. Gnarly.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

GR: Eating spinach and being a scoundrel mainly, sometimes I paint too. I'm reputed to live a very sexy lifestyle.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

GR:  Keep your eyes on DJ Tanner and DJ Two Teks aka Chocolate Bronson. They've been tearing up/taking over the scene in these parts. Check 'em out and see if they're spinning somewhere near you;http://www.facebook.com/iamdjtanner,http://www.facebook.com/pages/DJ-TWO-TEKS/114123951935311. And I can't forget my bros in the Nem Live Productions crew; Nem, Laughing Kota, Audio Assault, Yagee,  Khemikal Kid, and err'body else. They're doing their thing over there, check their soundcloud for new tracks regularly;http://soundcloud.com/nemlive

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?

GR: Hookin' it, or maybe if I had actually paid attention in school I'd be a mad scientist or something, grafting animal parts onto things that they shouldn't be grafted onto and creating miniature black holes and stuff.

PEV: So, what is next for General Ripper?

GR: I recently did an all original score for a short film submission by Connectivity Group Productions (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Connectivity-Group-Productions/111361108898191) to the DC 48 Hour Film Festival, titled "Listen" and really enjoyed the whole experience, so I think I'd like to branch out more into conceptual film scoring. I also recently remixed an ep for Prog/Math/Jam bros Time Columns (http://www.facebook.com/timecolumns) you can download it in its entirety for free here: http://timecolumns.bandcamp.com/album/sunsetinthesea-remix-ep. More experimental remixes are foreseeable. More immediately, I'm moving to LA in early August with the sole intention focusing all of my energy on making and performing some seriously celestial music with Lvchld. Space, the final frontier…

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