Alchemist Hopes to Launch Label in 2013, Preps Israeli Music-Inspired LP
Veteran hip-hop producer and Eminem tour DJ Alan " Alchemist" Maman has had a busy 2012. The Los Angeles native has helmed projects for Odd Future's Domo Genesis ("No Idols"), Action Bronson (" Rare Chandeliers") and his group Gangrene ("Vodka & Ayahuasca"). He also released the critically lauded solo album "Russian Roulette" (Decon), instrumental LP "Rapper's Best Friend 2" and free mixtape "Yacht Rock." And he has two more already in the can -- "Step Brothers," with Evidence, and an untitled LP with Boldy James -- that he hopes to release by year's end. With plans to launch a label in 2013, Maman, who's worked with everyone from Rick Ross to Mobb Deep to Dilated Peoples, doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
1. You were exceptionally productive this year. Why?
I don't know what the hell it was. Just more freedom to swim, less dealing with labels and radio and promotion. I feel like the rate that we work, it's hard to have a system at this moment that can channel it all out. I branched out to a lot of different people and companies and did a lot of things for different people this year just to see if I could do it myself, to churn out material, because I've got my studio and friends that are all excellent musicians. There are so many records I still didn't get out this year that we worked on.
2. You've started to do more full-length collaborations with one particular artist. What do you enjoy about that?
There are stages to go through as an artist. At this moment, that's where it's the most comfortable, it's the most fun, and it just so happens that people that are my friends are pretty much-hate to be arrogant-but they're excellent. The environment I have over here at the studio is dope, in Los Angeles, in a hideaway. It just made for a good environment for a lot of creative people to come through.
3. "Russian Roulette" drew heavily from the sound and culture of Russia. Have you considered pegging another project to a particular culture?
Yeah. I have an instrumental project that's coming out with all Israeli records from when I went to Israel. It's all instrumentals. It's not like "Russian Roulette." I'm not sure exactly how I'll do it, but it's more beats chopped up. I make the type of shit I like to listen to. That's pretty much the guideline.
4. Do you feel like you're in a lane now where you're more open to experimentation?
For sure. I feel like I play hooky from school sometimes with what I'm doing because it's like, maybe I wouldn't have done this at one point. But I don't give a fuck because I know what I'm doing is coming from my gut and I'm going to make a style of my own. At the end of the day-and at the beginning of the day as well-I'm definitely trying to take more chances. It's just music. You either like it or you don't. If you get too much into the technique of it, sometimes you get lost.
5. You're constantly name-checked as a great producer. Do you get the recognition that you deserve?
It's a matter of perspective, but I guess that unless we're at the top of the mountain, and there's only a handful of people there, then we should always feel like we're a little slept on. That's probably what keeps us going. Maybe sometimes it might get a little slept on, but that's why I try to make a mess and make a big fucking scene and drop a whole bunch of projects.
6. You have many projects in the works. What's your goal for 2013?
This year was a run for me to see how it would work as far as me doing projects with artists and seeing how far we can push it. So next year my goal for the whole time is to have one outlet, one system. A direct connect to people who fuck with this. It's in the process of being built. There's going to be a new studio and everything. I've spread a bunch of projects out [in 2013] until my system is in place so I can deliver directly and become a brand you can trust.