Seattle MC/Producer J Battle (of Gran Rapids) hath dropped a beat tape called Nun Chucks. It’s out on his own label, Team Werk, in association with Paul Marie Clothing. Battle has self-diagnosed audio ADHD, and for us that’s a beautiful thing. Nun Chucks scrapes at the hip-hops, electro, trap, EDM, and complextro. The compositions take heavy but nimble city steps, striated with arrow-tip notches, and swipe with eyes.
Why is it called Nun Chucks? I see what you did there with the nun and the Chucks.
Battle: During the making of it, I was in China Town with a friend who recently passed away (RIP Gabe Sayan), and I decided that I would buy a pair because my parents never let me have nun chucks when I was younger. I taught myself how to use them pretty friggin well waiting for tracks to render [laughs]. I started making beats around the age of 13. After seeing the movie Blade with Wesley Snipes, and hearing jungle drum and bass for the first time, I realized electronic music was for me.
You’ve been flying lately, on planes to Vegas. And you have a fear of flying?
I have an extreme fear of flying. And have been flying to see my mother in Las Vegas due to a recent divorce. I’m attached to my songs, and whenever I fly, I play the track "Wind and Ice" that’s on the album on repeat the entire time I’m in the air. When I hear it, I’m strangely ok with dying... in a plane crash… brutally. I decided to put it last on the album.
How long did Nun Chucks take to put together?
About six months.
How do you go about making beats?
I usually make beats for myself after I've done studio work for the day, around midnight. I work till 7am, then sleep till 3pm. I use Ableton Live 8 and Cubase 6.5, and usually start out by making four different drum patterns, a hook pattern, a verse pattern, a bridge pattern, and a build up pattern then add corresponding melodies. Then I mangle loops with my MIDI FIGHTER and focus hard on sound design. I rarely sample but when I do I try to keep it sort of hidden.
And you don’t drink or smoke.
Yeah. Don’t drink or smoke, so I’m always completely sober. No caffeine, either, so I don’t have a crazy smoking ritual. But I do have to clean my studio spotless before I’m able to make anything. I mean SPOTLESS. Which is partially why it takes so long for me to put out my own stuff [laughs].