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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last Collector Standing: Safety Words Talks Video Game Music, Hip-Hop and Records an Exclusive MP3 For Us!

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

click to enlarge Safety Words: Ian Jones (left) Sean Price (right) - JON SCORFINA
  • Jon Scorfina
  • Safety Words: Ian Jones (left) Sean Price (right)

Safety Words consists of Sean Price (a.k.a. Dr. Phelonious) and Ian Jones (a.k.a. Parisian). The pair's Ghostfaced Pixels Mixtape has made quite a stir in the local music scene, with its mash up of Ghostface Killah's rhymes and eight-bit-Nintendo beats. Safety Words can be seen performing cuts from the album live on October 30 at Cranky Yellow as part of the St. Louis Secret Sound Society festival. As you might expect, both Jones and Price are also record collectors with vast, diverse collections. We met at the latter's house, although Jones brought over a few crates of records and we discussed DJ Shadow, Ethiopian jazz and a whole lot about 8-Bit music.

The conversation also spawned a Last Collector Standing first: I was asked to pick a favorite video game theme, and Safety Words would take on the challenge of creating an original track around that song. I picked the music from the first Dr. Wily stage in Mega Man 2 for the NES and, as promised, Safety Words delivered! Check out the RFT Last Collector Standing exclusive:

MP3: Safety Words, "Helmet Under Helmet"

Last Collector Standing: Why do you both still collect records in a time where you can download so much music for free? Sean Price: I started collecting records when I was a teenager because they were cheap. They were cheaper than CDs in a lot of cases. That's why I started. I guess I still do because if I like something I feel like I need to own it. At least put some money toward that thing I like rather than just downloading it. I still check stuff out on the internet. But if I really like something, I'm going to go look for it.

Ian, do you notice any real difference between records and CDs? Ian Jones: Not sound.

Price: A lot of people talk about [how] they sound different.

Jones: I always hear people say that if you pick up this 180-gram vinyl versus a CD you will notice a big difference, but I've honestly not noticed any difference whatsoever.

The reason I started buying records and continue to is because before I started producing, I would DJ...

[Sean's cat Chibi jumps on the table to interrupt the conversation]

Jones: Chibi, what up? [laughs]

click to enlarge Chibi the cat! - JON SCORFINA
  • Jon Scorfina
  • Chibi the cat!

Price: That derailed the conversation.

Jones: The thing that started me buying records over CDs was listening to DJ Shadow and his record Endtroducing...... I listened to that and was like, "Huh, all this is comprised of old records!" It's a hip-hop record, but I found out he used a bunch of old records. So I started buying records instead of buying CDs.

Price: Another thing is a lot of stuff isn't on CD or digital format. One of the reasons I do collect records was because you go somewhere, and they will have crates of [records] that are just mixed up. You may not know what it is. A big part of it is just the surprise element of finding something really cool that you've never heard of before, and is probably not likely to be released on a CD or digital format anytime soon.

People seem to care a lot less about CDs now.

When the last time you bought a CD? Jones: The last CD I remember getting was... Mulatu Astatke has this record Ethiopiques Volume 4 and it's this collection on Ethiopian jazz. That CD blew my mind. Actually, a lot of the music on that is in the movie Broken Flowers. That probably is my favorite record. Sean gave me that on CD because I couldn't find the vinyl.

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