Time Machine

Imagine living with your workmates at a stay-at-home job.

Imagine living with your workmates at a stay-at-home job. For some, it'd be a nightmare, but for hip-hop trio Time Machine, such conditions are vital to its craft. MCs Biscuit and JetSetJay, plus Mekalek, lay down tracks, record other artists, host house parties and run their own label Glow-in-the-Dark out of their house in Los Angeles. "It's a full-time deal. All work, all play," says Biscuit, who began collaborating with JetSetJay and Mekalek in Washington, D.C., during college.

Prior to setting up Glow-in-the-Dark, Time Machine released the single "Reststop Sweetheart" via indie Landspeed. But when it came time to go with second single "Personal Ads," the act felt "it wasn't being treated as a priority" and that "if we wanted to do it right, we had to do it ourselves."

Since then, Time Machine has crafted two albums and a few singles, released on its own. The first LP, 2004's "Slow Your Roll," was a batch of bouncy jams and old-school beats, "to appeal to the purists and the partygoers." The group spent time targeting college radio DJs to make the college charts and scored regional press.

For the new "Life Is Expensive," released in late May, the group expanded its approach musically and business-wise. The album mixes in more complex lyrical content, from materialism to the passage of time. The group worked with British artist David Whittle for the stunning animated music video to single "An Unfortunate Twist" and hopes to shoot clips for several other tracks.

This versatility has allowed the crew to tour and share stages with larger and more diverse groups, like the Cool Kids, Giant Panda, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and People Under the Stairs.

According to Biscuit, Time Machine had successful tours in Australia and Japan, where it has licensed the record to Shogun and Miclife, respectively. The act is also featured as part of this month's "Freshman Five" on mtvU. But the group doesn't plan on going it alone much longer. It hopes to find the right manager, or "what we like to call a superdelegate, to throw punches for us in licensing and finding a like-minded label. We've achieved so much on our own, and we do believe in doing it right. But doing right doesn't necessarily mean you're supposed to stay D.I.Y. forever."

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