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UTintrvw#19: Ryan Olcott / FoodTeam

Download the hour long Podcast interview HERE! UTintrvw#19: Ryan Olcott

Ryan Olcott came through the loft for the last interview I conducted @ the Carlton before moving out in March 2012.  The mastermind behind FoodTeam / Mystery Palace / 12 Rods spoke on growing up in a musical family, his relationship with popular music, the many facets of his career in engineering sound, and his direct experiences taming the glitchy, tone-deaf beast known as circuit-bending.  If you are not aware of circuit-bending as an art form, I suggest watching a few parts of FoodTeam’s in-studio performance before listening to the interview.    

Download the episode HERE or search “Unique Techniques” on iTunes and subscribe for updates, interviews, videos, and more.


UTvid#19: FoodTeam Improv

Ryan Olcott / FoodTeam is one of my favorite in-studio performances yet.  Those Yamahas are custom-built, one-of-a-kind monsters that Ryan has slowly tamed over the past 8 or so years.


UT9.6.12: pcp / uprock / tha mammoth / quintessential homegrown crew / josh grose jump off a cliff @ Cause 9.6.12 Hosted by Zac HB

Sawadee krup.  I’ve been in Thailand for two months, and it’s about damn time to come home and shows MPLS what I’ve been up to.  The show is FREE and it would mean the world to to see any and all of your faces.  I will be playing all new songs, a mix between acoustic and hip-hop, as well as some improvisational live looping / freestyle.  I’m beyond excited to share what I’ve been cultivating.  

I’ll be supported by some extremely talented acts, Twin Cities veterans and Minneapolis newcomers alike:

Up Rock.  Abstract Pack Vets.    Brock (Dream Crusher / BitCrush / Nyteowl) told me they do live looping, too.  Can’t wait to see what they come up with, I listened to this today and I smiled the whole time:  http://up-rock.bandcamp.com/album/up-rock-the-ep

I’ve known Josh Grose since we were 12 years old and I hate to love him like a brother.  I don’t think we’ve ever gotten in a fist fight, but it might happen at the show if we both drink whiskey.  We drank some absinthe and got weird with a few tunes he wrote this past winter, check it out:  http://soundcloud.com/joshuagrose

Tha Mammoth (i.ONE / FRESH crew) has been dubbed King Mammoth by Terrell Woods, but he’s too modest to take the title.  I’m gonna go ahead and say it, I don’t know one emcee in the country who can step to Mammoth on the lucid freestyle.  He just released a new solo mixtape he put together and I don’t know yet another emcee who can make me laugh while simultaneously causing me to analyze my thought process like Nate Velleux:  http://thamanthamyth.bandcamp.com

The Quintessential Homegrown have serious crew dynamics, and that’s because they are actually just a crew of dudes who hang out all the time.  I rarely see one out in public solo, there’s almost always two of them.  I met Joe Finnegan (AKA DJ Dubsmoke) going to school at UMN and he’s been down since day one.

The very talented Zac HB is hosting.  He’s been working with kids all summer up in bumfark woodsville, MN and is probably coming to a city near you in the near future.  He just dropped a new video and it’s awesome:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGwheF2LDgQ 

Long story short, I’ve been through a lot in the past year and a half.  Specifics don’t matter, but resilience of the spirit does, and I’m proud to say what I’ll be playing at this show represents me :  good, bad, and the ugly.  Here’s the last freestyle set we did in June before I left:  https://vimeo.com/46171505  

In addition to solo sets by all of these artists, there will be a live band improvisation session with some VERY talented musicians to close the night, in which each artist performing throughout the night  will play at least some small part in.      

Who’s in the band?  You’ll have to come jump with us to find out.  



I’ve been in Thailand nearly a month, which means I need to make a Visa run across the border to re-up my ability to stay in the country.  I’ll be in Laos in a few hours, floating on the Mekong River, towards Loang Prabang, where there is a Thai Consulate, and I can get a 30 day Visa for 60 bucks.

This trip has changed my life.  If you have any bone in your body telling you that the life you are leading is false, that you know there is more to your days than punching a clock, that you are not being appreciated in the way you need to be, that the harder you work the less you seem to be getting out of it, you are right.  

It is, there is, you aren’t, and you are.   

Here’s a photo of my last night in Thailand for the time being.  This is the Mekong River, and you are looking at Laos.  Moon looks pretty.  She’s headed your way, Twin Cities.  Keep your eyes peeled.  

See ya when I see ya.


UTsw#01: Guante — Smalltalk (Spoken-Word)

Unique Techniques filmed an entire Spoken Word and an entire Hip-Hop set at Bryant-Lake Bowl in MPLS for Guante, and this is the first video release from it.  I will be sharing these videos as he releases them.  To me, this poem is about the plight of an artist and what a measly $10 can do in terms of support and an experience.  Enjoy!


UTlive#01: i.ONE + Impeccable Timing = 30 Minute Freestyle, Triple Rock Social Club, MPLS, MN 6.14.12

I posted on my personal Facebook that if I were to get 100 likes on a status about releasing this video, I would do so.  I never planned on releasing this publicly, but I’m in Phuket, so… Phuket!  

UTlive#01: i.ONE + Impeccable Timing 30 Minute Freestyle from Unique Techniques on Vimeo.

Heads up, the footage is black until after the first minute, it kicks in almost immediately when Mammoth starts rapping, and there are a couple points where it stops to change clips, but, at least aurally, the entire set is there.  It would mean a lot to all of us if you would give it your full attention, even if only for a few minutes.  

 This is 100% improvised, off the cuff, nothing here is pre-meditated, composed, written, scripted, etc… take that for whatever it means to you.      

Tha Mammoth is a freestyle monster, no doubt.  Pete is a saxophone whiz.  Brock makes me smile every time I see him painfully stroking his keys.  Ryan Anhorn, well, I don’t even need to say anything about him, just watch him get down on that bass (which, by the way, is the instrument he is third best at).  Jared is a metronome.  I’m usually way too heavy all the time, but I think I had the best zinger in the set (…polar bears trapped in a zoo, they commit suicide and it’s all because of YOU!)

Lastly, big shouts to Will Schoen for holding it down as a primary and second shooter at Unique Techniques, be on the look out for new projects from him in due time.  He has always jumped at any opportunity to shoot for me, and I know his work ethic will pay off.    


20 plays


Darion Bell

Happy Friday!

I’ve been teaching hip-hop classes at the Neighborhood House on the Westside of Saint Paul since 2007.  In that time, I’ve seen some awesome talent come through my room, and this song is no exception.  

The last day of class before leaving for Thailand, a few students of mine compiled this track, and I was blown away.  When I hear my students making real, heart-felt material, it makes me feel like what I do makes a difference.

Vocals by Darion Bell
Production by Young Ansane
Mixed & Mastered by PCP 

1 Notes


My internet peoples!  First off, sixteen seconds of an elephant I met yesterday.  No big.  

It’s been a few months.  I’m sure at least one or two of you have been wondering, “Why hasn’t Unique Techniques released anything lately?”  I could write a book about what I’ve been working on, but, really, who cares?  There’s so much media being created every day, I’m sure the few of you who have been loyal to the interviews and videos I’ve uploaded since August 2011 have filled the void with GIFs of kittens, summer living, and instagramming food porn.  

I’ve been in Phuket, Thailand for less than a week and I’ve already surprised myself several times.  I’ve never traveled internationally before, and my oldest brother told me I would be blown away at just what I could muster up and DO.  It took me nearly 30 hours to get here.  Sleeplessness.  Fear.  Excitement.  Smiles.  Glares.  Quizzical wonderment.  Subtle head nods.  Bows.  Mantras…  

Dogma is a monster.  I’ve never thought of myself as a rigid person, but, since I’ve been here, I’ve quickly realized that I’ve lived my life as dogmatically as the religious zealots and Amuricuh-defending nationalists I shudder to be compared to.  

Last night, at dinner, a gentleman from Tennessee came over to our table and asked if he could sit with us, and we all said, “Of course!”  He was probably in his 50s and had a sweet southern accent that made me feel warm.  As we got to chatting, he said something I couldn’t put into words any better:  "Americans are lovely people, but they’re so into their beliefs that they’re afraid to live their lives."  I realized I’m as guilty of that as the crazies I claim to be nothing like.  

The night before I left, I saw so many friends come out to wish me well, from all walks of my life.  Friends I’ve known for years and friends I’ve just made in the last month.  Friends who, if each wrote a paragraph about who I am, could honestly tell you more about myself than I could ever hope to.  I was standing with two of my MPP brothers near the grill, and there was a slab of ribs simmering.  Josh ate a small piece (for science), cut a chunk off for Phil, and there was a bite-sized piece left.  So I looked them both in the eye and said, “this is for you two, because I love you.” and I ate it.  That was the first dead flesh I had purposefully consumed in nearly 10 years, and (sorry to disappoint, Jackie) it was disgusting.  My first reaction was “sinew”, my second was “leather” and my third was “oily”.  But it also tasted like freedom.  Not a July 4th-hands-down-the-pants-chinese-made-flag-waving-swill-drinking-sadly-falsified-reflection-of-invisible-chained-freedom, REAL freedom.  From the person I’ve clung to in fear of… what?  Who?  Who have I been so afraid of becoming?

Who are YOU afraid of becoming?  Why?  I’d like to know.  Please, do share.  Send me a gmail or tweet @pcpmeltsfaces.  I’d love to hear from you.  Yes, you.  YOU!

I’m going to sign off with a picture I took yesterday.  I’ve always been anti-flag, because of what they have always represented to me.  Not this one.  Not today.  


Much love to my Twin Cities and beyond, from across the world and then some.  


UTvid#18: Truth Maze

MPLS hip-hop enigma Truth Maze stopped through the Unique Tecniques Studio in February 2012 and instead of doing a traditional song, I asked him to kick a beatbox with some old school flavor. As always, Truth did not disappoint.


UTintrvw#18: Truth Maze

Download the hour long Podcast interview HERE! UTintrvw#18: Truth Maze

Truth Maze was on one of, if not the first, hip-hop releases to come out of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene in 1986 with the Immortal Rap Masters (I.R.M. Crew).  He stresses the importance of air and fire in music, and also shares the origin of his namesake.  Join us as we discuss the state of the music, a trip to Ghana, and the cycles we call life.          

Download the episode HERE or search “Unique Techniques” on iTunes and subscribe for weekly updates, interviews, videos, and more.

2 Notes

UTintrvw#17: Ill Chemistry

Download the 15 minute Podcast interview HERE! UTintrvw#17: Ill Chemistry

Since I’ve already spoken separately with both Carnage the Executioner (UTintrvw#01) and Desdamona (UTintrvw#13), I was interested to see how their Ill Chemistry might shape our conversation.  Join us while we eat candy and talk about their new record.  

Download the episode HERE or search “Unique Techniques” on iTunes and subscribe for weekly updates, interviews, videos, and more.


UTvid#17: Ill Chemistry

Carnage The Executioner + Desdamona do what they do best: rap from scratch.


Sector 7G — Removal (ALBUM LEAK)

Here’s a “brand brand new new” song leak from Sector 7G entitled, “Removal”, off their upcoming release,Perfect Tomorrow. This past weekend, Schank ripped through an entire album of vocal takes in about 3 hours. I’m looking forward to seeing how fast we hammer out his next project.

Give it a listen HERE.

3 Notes

UTintrvw#16: Ecid

Download the 50 minute Podcast interview HERE! UTintrvw#16: Ecid

Jason McKenzie AKA Ecid built Fill In The Breaks from the ground up. The release of his newest record, Werewolf Hologram, marks a milestone in the Minneapolis emcee’s career. Join us as we discuss his life during the album, his creative process, and a just plain bizarre coincidence involving the earthquake in Japan. If you aren’t familiar with this DIY hip-hop label from the Twin Cities, head over to their website and check out releases from Ecid, Carnage the Executioner, Sector 7G, Jordan Miche, and many more.  

Download the episode HERE or search “Unique Techniques” on iTunes and subscribe for weekly updates, interviews, videos, and more.


UTvid#16: Ecid

Join Ecid as he runs through “Men Kill Men”, off his brand new record “Werewolf Hologram”, at the Fill in The Breaks studio in Northeast Minneapolis.  He’s been toying around with Ableton for some time now, and I’m looking forward to see how he incorporates it into his next record.