|How did you get everyone
on the record?
|A lot of the cats had
heard my beats at the Goodlife or Project Blowed,
so it wasn't a problem getting them to record. Other
artists, like Aceaylone, actually asked to be on
the project after hearing some of it and wanting
to support it.
|Do you think that
the time will ever be right for a sequel?
|Right now I'm working
on a project that's somewhat similar to it for the
label Mush. It's definitely not a "Beneath
The Surface 2". But the feel of the project
will have that Beneath The Surface, underground
L.A. hip hop vibe. I am having about 6-7 vocal cuts
on it. Rappers I'm considering are Aceyalone, Busdriva,
Spoon (of Iodine), Buck 65, Sesquipedalien, H.I.M.N.L.
and possibly others.
Mush might also re-release Beneath The Surface too,
and we'll try to fit as many of the songs on it
as possible. So all the songs that were on the original
release and also those that were on the Celestial
|Do you feel reduced
to "Beneath The Surface" or is it flattering
that people hold it in such high regard?
|It's flattering. And
as said, I'm doing a slightly similar project for
Mush records right now. But I also hope people will
feel my less direct, more attention requiring projects
like "Distant Drummer", that take time
to understand but are as dope as "Beneath The
|What have you done
since that compilation?
|I have done too many
songs to name since to name em all. But some of
my favorite cuts are Scarub's "Savvy Traveler,"
Freestyle Fellowship's "Can You Find The Level
Of Difficulty In This", Spoon (of Idodine)
"Anti-Christ" and 2 Mex' "Percussion
Precaution." I have also produced a whole album
for Sach (from The Nonce) which we are shopping
right now. It is called "Sach 5th Ave.".
And I also was a part of a hip hop/ jazz/ electronica
project called "Influenced By Intensity"
which is out right now.
|Do you think that
there have been too few releases of you, just the
necessary and selected few, or just about how you
|All the songs I mentioned
were on other people's projects, because I was busy
preparing for "Distant Drummer." It took
me a while to do "Distant Drummer" because
I wanted to expand my style and do music that people
who are into jazz and electronica would appreciate,
as far as the melodies, original rhythms and concepts.
Now that that's finished, you'll be seeing a lot
more Omid releases on a faster basis, especially
on the underground hip hop vibe.
|You mentioned "Distant
Drummer" a couple of times. That's your new
album. What can you tell us about it?
is an ode to many different things that have inspired
me in the last couple years: the music of Sun Ra,
mainly it's equally organic and electronic sound
textures and mystic melodies; a science fiction
book called "Hyperion", and a lot of the
songs were inspired by it. The "Sad King"
was a character who was either really depressed
or really excited, hence the change of slow to fast
to slow to fast in the song. Rumi/ sufism/ meditation
inspired me for like "Shreem", which is
a yogic term. On that song I wanted to create a
meditative melody by just thumb piano and drums,
creating different melodies just by adjusting the
placing of the sounds every bar. So there's things
like that. It's a very different vibe from "Beneath
The Surface," which was all about just hip
hop. And the new album on Mush will probably be
a combination of the two.
|In what respect is
the album well rounded?
|On that project, I created
all the themes and concepts that I set out to do.
I knew I wanted to do some experimental music (what
became "Blue Android"), an appealing cut
("Ways Of The World"), a cut where I'm
playing a beautiful yet bumping bassline ("Healing
Bassics"), a song influenced by the ocean that
changes like it's currents ("Island Covenant"),
a social statement ("Ease In The Middle Piece"),
|You mention that
you've created several specific themes. So do you
have an idea and then try to go and do it, or is
it that you just play around and the project grows
out of trial and error?
|Both. Sometimes I have
a vibe or a style of beat in my head and I create
a drum pattern or find a sample to convey that.
Other times I go through random records and make
things fit together.
|Is there something
your trial has always come to an error? Something
you still try to make/compose, but haven't yet achieved?
|I'd like to make my
music a little more accessible to the mainstream
but still be innovative and new.
|Do you think that
you have a signature sound?
|Yes and no. I do all
tempos and vibes, simple and complex. But my little
brother can always recognize a beat of mine.
|Did something change
in the way you produced for this album?
|On "Distant Drummer"
I played a lot of the melodies out on the ASR. I
relied way less on sampling than on other projects.
I love working with good musicians and on the Mush
album I have a cello player.
|Do producers listen
to the music different?
|Yes! I listen for arrangement,
subtle sounds, changes that others might not catch,
the placement of sound, the dynamics of a song,
if the sounds came from a record/ cd/ live/ synth,
originality in samples, harmony. And the list goes
on and on. You can have a lot of fun concentrating
on different aspects of a song.
|What do you think
there is in your music, that a producer will hear?
|I think a producer will
hear that I took time to make sure each sound is
nice enough to stand by itself. When you have a
bunch of good sounds and melodies weaving in and
out that could have easily be looped but are doing
more, a producer will probably dig that. A producer
might also dig that I don't have a set formula.
One song will be abstract and experimental and another
will be simple. But even the simple beat has dimensions/
thought to it.
|What equipment do
|I use an ASR10, Yamaha
CS-1, and Pro Tools.
|You advertised on
message boards that you have beats for sale? Now,
as someone who holds your art in high respect, and
considering your achievements, it was rather surprising.
What do you have to say to this?
|Well, I work part time.
So that takes me away from quality creative time.
Anything that will help attain more quality time
with my music is a plus. I also enjoy working with
new people. But at the same time I'm real picky
and sensitive to what my close friends think about
the people I work with. So by selling beats, it
puts it into a stress-free, business vibe and I
don't have to be as picky, as long as the MC shows
potential. The small money I get goes into the bigger
projects that are my heart. Every musician gotta
eat, and I give thanks to be able to make money
having fun (i.e. making beats). A lot of my favorite
producers do produce for MC's where you can tell
it was just a paid gig. But in the bigger picture,
the deeper and more meaningful project end up standing
out and inspiring. Plus you never know who you might
meet or what type of track you might make for a
customer that you normally wouldn't make.
|So did anything came
about after you did these 'beats for sale' posting?
|A couple people bought
beats and I was able to save up to get my Pro-Tools
|You as a producer
stand alone, did you ever thought about joining
|When I collaborate with
someone on a project, we kinda become a group. Like
when I collaborated with DJ ESP and Unyousual to
make "Influenced by Intensity," we called
|You said you lived
in Iran. As you've been in the 'neighborhood' of
Iraq. Do you have an opinion on the current situation
and if yes, what's your opinion?
|It's a tough situation:
I don't like the dictatorship in Iraq but I don't
want innocent Iraqi's being hurt by a superpower
military attack either.
|If you are opinionated
about something, does it get frustrating that you
do instrumental music?
I think, can convey a message deeper because words
are too precise. Music is a deeper and truer language.
|Thanks a lot for
the interview, but before we go: what's coming up?
|A new album on Mush
with Mc's, "Sach 5th Ave" with Sach of
The Nonce/ Global Phlowtations doing all the vocals
and me doing all the beats. And a project for O.M.D.
album "Distant Drummer" is out
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