Bringing the Black Market Pharmacy Sound
This is the third Q&A set for the first Neon Sessions event happening this Friday night at The SPACE, 2516 Florence Street, in Dallas, TX. Neon Sessions is a bi-monthly event aimed at incubating local, homegrown creativity in the electronic music scene. The bass music collective of Black Market Pharmacy is the brain child of Eric W. (Psykel) Randy B. (Sour D) and Adam J. (Ahab). They shared a bill with Flying Lotus and Thievery Corporation in May 2012 and were recently one of the featured acts at Silent Disco Dallas. Eric took some time to talk with me about how the group got together.
JW: So are all you guys Dallas, TX natives?
EW: Randy and Adam are D-Town natives (for the most part, I think there was a little traveling at young ages for Randy, but that’s what he really claims his roots). I, on the other hand, am from Austin. I moved here about five years ago.
JW: Your bio mentions that you’re a trio of bass music producers, but how did you become a trio?
EW: [I'd] had been DJ’ing for several years and had some success. I wanted to go further by take a leap into producing, so I studied music theory in college. Randy had always had a desire to run a production business so went to college for music business. I met Randy at Collin College in Plano where I got an associates in Music Theory with a focus on Electro Acoustic Engineering, and Randy got a degree in Audio Engineering and Music Business. Randy will be finishing up his bachelors degree soon and I now have my graduate degree at Texas State San Marcos in Computer Programing. Adam is currently a student at UNT for Physics.
After Randy and I met, we formed Panacea, LLC as a production and artist promotion company. After a number of successful shows with various artists, we met Adam who was and is a talented producer/DJ in his own right. During this time, Randy and I also formed a live performance group called Bitter Robot and brought a new dimension to their performances with the introduction of custom equipment and original music, however it always had felt like something was missing. When you switch to performing electronic music live it creates a lot of possibilities, and opens the door to creative things you can’t do as a solo DJ. Adam was that missing link, that extra pair of hands that was needed to take the idea to the next level, so BMP was formed.
JW: Describe what you feel each member brings to the collective BMP sound.
EW: We all have a distinct skill set and sound that makes up that “pharmacy” sound. Eric has a heavy sample bass/hip hop influence, Randy has a deep dub influence, and Adam brings the grunge with his rock guitarist background. If you listen to a BMP set, we go everywhere genre wise. In one performance you may here trap style hip hop, dark dub, glitch hop, hardcore brostep and electro house. We also perform differently then any other group. All of equipment is either built by us specifically for performing, or is hacked and customized to fit our needs. Our software that facilitates our performing was designed and programmed by myself (Eric is a programmer by day). This allows us to make no two performances or mixes the same.
JW: You think Dallas is becoming a better situation for electronic musicians/sound artists? What could make it better?
EW: We feel Dallas is still finding it’s voice a little when it comes to electronic musicians. Mind you, Dallas has and has had for a long time excellent respect for the music in general and great DJ’s, but production is really starting to find a home here. There are some great artists in Dallas right now that are really taking traction, and we love that cause we feel like we are on the forefront of something big locally. However, With this comes some pains. It’s tougher to get people to come out for you unless you are opening for a big name DJ, and even then it’s a battle to really grab their respect and attention for a extended period of time so you can ensure they remember you because of the shear pressure of the bigger acts.
One thing that I personally loved about Austin is that it has always had a deep rooted love for it’s local musicians, not matter what the genre of music. That translated well over to EDM there, and a love for local DJ’s, producers, and artists really drove a great culture down there that is alive and well today. I would say that this would be one of the hardest points for us here in Dallas, but we love the challenge too, don’t get me wrong. It’s what pushes us to have a wild and crazy live show that is fresh and interactive with our audience.
Experience more from Black Market Pharmacy on June 22, 2012 at the Neon Sessions event, being held at The SPACE, 2516 Florence Street in Dallas, Texas. Also performing will be fellow Dallas talents Taylor Effin Cleveland, Neo-Safari, and special guests from Austin, Wave Hands Like Clouds. It’s $5 entry and BYOB. Performances start at 9pm. You can RSVP on Facebook and thanks in advance for your support.