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February 12, 2008

Grand Analog

Grand Analog

Introduce yourself Crews, affiliations, etc..

Hi. This be Odario Williams of Grand Analog. Reppin’ Peg City, Slo Coach Recordings, Urbnet and Mood Ruff.

You are the front man for the group Grand Analog. For those that don’t know could you shed some light on the others and their contributions to the group?

Grand Analog is partly a live concept. It’s also described as a project more so than a group. Members of this dirty little project are my brother Ofield as DJ, Wu Ataman as co-producer, DJ Catalist as co-producer, Damon Mitchell on guitar and both Joel Klavercamp and Warren Bray on bass.

How did the group get started and why was the name Grand Analog chosen?

Well… if you refer back to the liner notes of your old Mood Ruff CD’s it should read ‘look out for Odario’s solo project’. I have been plotting this for a few years. About 5 years ago I tried to start a rock band, but that failed simply because arranging rehearsals were impossible. 2 years later Mood Ruff’s ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ came out. It was then I worked up the courage to try some songs on my own. I’m deep rooted in old dub music recorded in run down studios on worn out analog tape. With these poor conditions the old reggae cats still made it happen, which became a sound of their own… so the name Grand Analog was a reflection of that.

Grand Analog

How would you describe the Grand Analog sound?

Dirty dirty – in that order. Dubby Love is another one that comes to mind.

What can people expect when seeing Grand Analog live besides being completely entertained and a dope party?

Expect to leave the technical material world for 30min and get primitive with the Analog. You are encouraged to be free and be yourself. I bring the sonic dirt from the prairies everywhere I go. One thing I love about the prairies is we are not ashamed to be silly and embarrass ourselves like big city folk. It must be small town comfort; we really know how to get down after a couple shots of tequila.

How is this experience different from your experience in Mood Ruff?

I’ve got no one backing me up on stage!!! HAHA… We were each other’s hype-man. Now there’s a lot more room on stage for me to dance with myself.

Will there ever be another Mood Ruff record?

If A Tribe Called Quest and the Fugees get their acts together and do us all good with the albums they promised the world… then I may get the inspiration to gather up the troops and make a Mood Ruff record. I think ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ is the album we always wanted to make. It was well received and it is what it is. I’m proud of it. I can move on.

“I would say the Peg city scene changed but hasn’t grown”

You were an instrumental part of Winnipeg hip hop. How has the scene changed/grown over the years?

No one communicates the same anymore. The sense of community matured into a city of grown men. The pride is still there, thankfully. But people hide behind Facebook and MySpace and don’t come out and play. It makes things worse for closet producers that make albums in their bedroom and never release them. I would say the Peg city scene changed but hasn’t grown. It’s a great mystery to me. Change is necessary though; it creates room for new ideas to slowly mature.

You have been making music and performing for a long time. Has your motivation/goals changed from when you started with Mood Ruff to your current group Grand Analog?

No. I have the same energy and hunger as I did with Mood Ruff. I love making music the same. I’m no different. I’m just smarter and better looking. My smile has improved and the curl in my fro is just perfect. I’m willing to be more honest with myself, which most Canadian rappers cannot do. In other words I don’t care what others think and mumble under their breaths. Life is good. I’m not in high school anymore – literally and metaphysically – and that’s a good thing.

Grand Analog

You have had many videos released and played on Much Music etc. How important are videos and how have they benefited you over the years?

Good question. The internet has changed the importance of music television. The people are now free to do and say what they want and post it up online and share it with their friends… this is where word of mouth comes in handy. If the project you made is interesting enough to the masses you can generate a decent buzz on your own terms. I think the music I make has a commercial viability to them worth spending resources toward videos. Mood Ruff was created on videos, it was all we had at the time. It showcased our sound and opened up the prairies for the whole nation to see. This was before the internet was huge, so it was more intense. If I make videos now it is less intense so I have to decide if making a video is something I can afford to do.

What is your favourite hip hop moment?

Putting on the Peg City Holla Festival and seeing a truck load of Saskatoon dudes show up at the front door wired from no sleep and ready to see a dope show. It lifted my spirits.

What is a typical day in the life of Odario like?

Thinking of the things I need to do more of. Girls, play basketball at the local community center, and write poetry. I could never get enough of those three things… they can consume my days and nights anytime.

What’s next?

I’ll continue to tour and spread the dirty dubby love. I’ve started writing for the new album titled ‘Metropolis Is Burning’. It will be out in the near future.

Any last words, stories, shoutouts etc?

I’m glad my new direction is being received well amongst the prairie cats. I was prepared to walk and dance alone. Even my pops thought I was crazy for cleaning up and starting over. Much love. Also look out for cool new projects from Nestor Wynrush, Len Bowen, and Voldis. Peace in the middle east.

For more info check out grandanalog.com

12 Responses

  1. grand analog is great!

    the performance at summer fling was awesome!

    i hope you guys make it back to saskatoon sometime again soon

  2. Len Bowen fka Skotch from Shadez.

    Voldis is a gifted emcee and singer/songwriter from one of my favorite Canadian groups “ABO”.
    Sidenote:The producer for the “ABO” album is releasing an album with John Smith in the near future. Beats bang on all those projects.

    Shouts to G.A for the indie award nomination and Poli Live but we done been over that already.

  3. Good album. Great live show. I really prefer Grand Analog over Mood Ruff. It’s so much more entertaining and interesting. I’m looking forward to the next album.


    (in no particular order)

    From ‘Druidry’ – Produced by McEnroe
    I love this beat. McEnroe at his jazzy loopy best. And who better to drop frek flows than Peg city’s poet laureate Gruf The Druid. I find myself referring back to this track when I get carried away with American hip hop. Like the entire album,his track is well crafted and a Canadian hidden treasure.

    From ‘Played Out’ (or Space EP) – Produced by Roddy Rod
    The Space EP was the beginning. The epitome of Peg city’s well known hip hop community. Farm Fresh were the first to buy samplers and make music out of everyday thoughts. It was amazing to see, provided Cubase and Protools were more futuristic than space itself at the time. This was creativity at it’s best.
    “…coincidence? I think not”. I will love this song forever.

    From ‘Guy, I’m From Here’ – Produced by Kutdown
    Ness nails the summer time West Indian community outings as
    a youth. The girl, the food, the music. This track is personal and perfect. The album was a great partnership with Ness and The Gumshoe Strut.”…why’d Radio Raheem have to die??”. I live vicariously through this song. Dreamy and reminiscent of my childhood.

    From ‘People In Your Neighborhood’ – Produced by Sunil Ishq
    Ismaila and Sunil were the Batman and Robin of Peg city.
    In fact the entire Frek Sho crew were superheroes equipped
    with their own magical powers. The flow on this track is
    ridiculous…utter madness. And the cuts by Grasshopper solidify
    this track as a classic. This is in my top 3 Peg city songs ever recorded. Cool and confident. Ismaila took us all to school on this track. Pure flow pure hip-hop.

    From ‘Thee Impossible’ – Produced by Chattabox
    Shadez are just that rude. The most underrated group in Peg city. These kings should have been a national treasure. Ironically they were misunderstood in their hometown. This track is Big Casino, Skotch and Eclipse raw and bad in their West Indian roots. My favourite Canadian group, Shadez are dirtier than anybody (check the track ‘Man Enough’). They probably have the most versatile guest appearances in the city, your project is that much better if a member of Shadez is on it.

    From ‘Blunderbus’ – Produced by McEnroe
    With plenty gems to choose from, like Climb Everything and Kinship Of the Down and Out, I decided on this album filler simply because it’s how I like Smitty and McEnroe best: jazzy and poetic. Recorded in 2000, Blunderbus was the coming out party for P&C’s prize fighter. I first heard this track on college radio, then immediately ran out and bought the disc. Something tells me his new project with Murdock will surpass everything he has done in recent years.

    From ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ – Produced by ICQRI
    Mood Ruff always had their own thing going on. An odd mix of
    being loners but always in your face at the same time. Rocketship once again put Peg city on the national map (eg. No Hooks, New Moon, Originate) by being voted CBC Radio3’s single of the year.
    I’m proud of this one. Mood Ruff clearly was comfortable in
    their own skin finally making their own music. This track garnered attention from man woman and child, and it was Peg city hip hop.

    From ‘Let’s Just Call You Quits’ – Produced by McEnroe
    The meeting of two incredible minds, Pip Skid & Gruf The Druid.
    The Law is from one of the best albums to come out of Peg city (any genre). Recorded in ’99 this album is still amazing. Focused and necessary. They spoke socially and realistically…and we listened. I saw FR perform this track live and bought the CD right after.

    ABO – “RAPPIN”
    From ‘4 Years’ – Produced by Murdock
    Abo is the coolest hip hop group in Peg city. They had style
    like no other. Rappin was their ode to Ultramagnetic MCs.
    And while many other jokers tried to emulate style, Abo did it
    with ease. Murdock and Flex (Voldis) had thinking patterns
    unmatched. 4 Years is a superb album. A hip hop gem. I listened to this song everyday for months finding new things I love about it. “…rappin for fishes,rappin for fans,rappin for socks”.

    From ‘Eclipse’ – Produced by Moon Shine Kru
    This track is wicked. Sick sick sick. Released in 2003 these guys
    were the Wu-Tang of Peg city; frustrated and hungry. They were
    fresh out the no-sample synth era of hip-hop and swarmed
    like killer bees. A grimy empowerment fronted by the production
    genius of K-Rupson. Mind gnawing beats and intensity that made most other stuff seem quiet and cute. They stomped their way to respect in Peg city’s hip hop community.



    Hey guys. Thanks for the interview. I thought I’d share an excerpt from an article I’m writing. Hope you enjoy, feel free to comment or share your own list. I will gladly send any of these tracks to you if you don’t have them already (since I still have them on my regular rotation). OneLove. Odario G.

  5. Yeah the Live show is amazing! I was a big Mood Ruff fan but you can’t really even compare the two. I have seen some really entertaining Mood Ruff shows over the years and how can you argue against a Canadian Hip Hop Classic like “No Hooks” The sounds and dynamics of the two are so much different. But I get what you are saying. I am also really looking forward to the new album!

  6. Yay! Got a track with Odario coming out (eventually)…gonna be pretty dope. Some fine ragga vibes on that one…
    BIG UPS!

  7. hahah! I miss winnipeg!

    i leave commentsl like a drunken nineteen year old french girl when i’m on too much diet coke.

    Ness! I sampled you for the upcoming shit.

    i had to 😛

  8. What you sample you hamhawk? It seems like we’ll never cross paths again Ira. How is Edmonton? You still there?

  9. i’m the best i rap for two years!


    Come to edmonton Wynrush!

    The edmonton boys always get left out…..

    we’re going to start taking it personal soon….. ;P