Thumbnail image for The Physics.png
Paulina Castro
Thig Natural, JustD'amato, and Monk Wordsmith

About half-way through listening to the Physics' upcoming EP, High Society , on Tuesday with the local

"/>

In the Studio with the Physics

Thumbnail image for The Physics.png
Paulina Castro
Thig Natural, JustD'amato, and Monk Wordsmith

About half-way through listening to the Physics' upcoming EP, High Society, on Tuesday with the local hip-hop quartet at their OK Hotel studio, I thought: The gray cloud cover may have partially returned to our fair city, but when it burns away again, I'll be putting this seven-song collection on repeat--it sounds like summer. Available for free via the group's website (www.thephysicsmusic.com) June 27, these lush soundscapes of blazing horns, funked-up drums, kaleidoscopic synths and Botox-tight rhymes are bright as sunshine and just as welcome. Sayeth the Physics: Rain, fuck you.

The studio is more like a bat cave than a beach, however. It's windowless and confined. The equipment--synthesizer, turntables, computer monitor, etc--is stuffed into a corner but still manages to dominate the space. If lyricist Thig Natural hadn't opened the door near the drum-set where his cousin and recent addition to the crew, Dyalect, was sitting, I never would've spotted the closet-sized vocals booth. I wondered: How did Thig and his brother, Monk Wordsmith, and their longtime pal and producer, JustD'amato, churn out such ebullient, expansive music in this place?

I didn't have the heart to ask that question. (I was also suffering from the after-shocks of a long weekend, so maybe the quarters weren't that cramped--maybe it was just the bad juju brought on by a debilitating hangover.) Fact is, whether we're talking '07's Future Talk (which was primarily the brainchild of Thig and JustD'amato, as Monk was still in Philly and Dyalect in Atlanta) or their upcoming EP, the Physics' art breaks free of any ties that bind, spatial or otherwise. Think J-Boogie's Dubtronic Science meets the Roots with a salting of something so specific to the Northwest that this transplant can't quite pinpoint it. It's just, I dunno, fresh.

Example: For the third and final verse on "Back Track," a moody joint about music-centric hopes and dreams, the drums vaporize and the vocals ride out on a melodic wave. You miss those drums instantly, and it really shouldn't work, yet whatever is swimming in the rest of the production's currents keep you happy. Indeed, the Physics are nothing if not a good-time gang. (Play "I Heart Beer" off Future Talk and try not to hit the bar with a smile.) Which doesn't mean they shy away from serious subjects. But it does mean that while others dwell in the downturn--of the economy, of their fucking souls--the Physics just keep keepin' on with something uniquely theirs and, by extension, Seattle's.

As Thig walked me out of the studio, he said the experience of having one of the first outsiders listen to the EP was a little nerve-wracking. Well, I swear on the sweet body of Christ, dude, you guys got nothing to worry about.

The Physics will host "The Summer Tape Party" with THEESatisfaction on June 27 at the Triple Crown.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow