Junk Science

Artist / Band / Musician
Hip Hop / Rap / Indie
Embedded Music / Definitive Jux
"Old-school beats and clever rhymes…and a rewarding, wiser-than-their-years approach"
"A Miraculous Kind of Machine points a peculiar but powerful way forward for hip-hop."
"Brooklyn's freshest new MC/DJ duo adds the extra to ordinary."
"It's not too often that hip-hop so real can provide such an escape."
"Banging and boundary-pushing"
"If these cats remain in hip hop's underground, it isn't their fault."
"GNT was not only a success, but a move in the right direction."
JUNK SCIENCE is Baje One on the mic and DJ Snafu on the beats. Simple. These two young gentlemen met in high school in Brooklyn in the mid-nineties (when Baje One stole a handful of tapes from Snafu's backpack, including a cassette containing original beats that were "dope") and started making lots of "not-that-good-but-definitely-interesting" music together on half-days and weekends. Not that much happened between then and 2003-ish. At that point, they moved in together and started working on their debut album, Feeding Einstein, "an intelligent blend of DJ Snafu's dusty collages and Baje One's thoughtful commentary." -Spitkicker.com
In early 2005, they caught Scion's attention when they won the car company's NextUp Song Contest with their track "Roads," a victory by popular vote which earned them a marketing deal that included a fully funded and fly music video directed by ANDREW GURA (Madlib, MF DOOM, Nas etc.) The success of their video and the quality of their then-finished debut LP in turn grabbed the attention of DJ Ese, the man behind Brooklyn's EMBEDDED RECORDS, who released Feeding Einstein in November of 2005 to critical acclaim. Now they're famous. That was easy.
Their sophomore record, Gran'Dad's Nerve Tonic, came out in October 2007 on Definitive Jux through an exclusive license from Embedded. The album is pure Junk Science; a clever patchwork of tightly conceptual tracks woven together by the theme of the Tonic itself and the duo's signature, intentionally dusty, lo-fi sound. According to emcee Baje One, "It's not a record about alcohol or alcoholism per se, as much as the record itself is the drink that me and Snafu needed and couldn't find anywhere on the shelves." In promotion of the record, and in keeping with Junk Science and (Embedded CEO) DJ Ese's love of beer, the three teamed up with up-and-coming Brooklyn brewery Sixpoint Craft Ales to create a limited-release brew to coincide with the release of the album. The beer was available in a limited bottling and on tap in bars and restaurants around NYC. They also did cool stuff like go on a national tour with Del The Funky Homosapien and Devin The Dude, get featured on Myspace Music, and top CMJ's hip hop charts. They even had their crazy ass video for "Hey!" get featured on MTV even though the host of the show apparently hated it!
The duo are done with the work in completing what will be their 3rd album, A Miraculous Kind Of Machine, which will be out in May on Baje One's own label, MODERN SHARK!
"You can be on stage performing for 20 minutes straight… thousands of words are flying out of your mouth, and still you might not communicate a thing. And then you might stop, and sing a few simple 'la, la, la's' and all of a sudden you find that the audience is right there with you, and they understand exactly what you mean," says Baje One.
"This is about conducting experiments in communication. All of this stuff, it's just a series of experiments. Some are straight to the point, and some are more circum-navigational. Some might succeed and some might fail, but none of them exist in a vacuum. We've been waiting a while to put this record out, and now, finally, we'll get to see the results."
The experiments to which Baje is referring are the 16 tracks that comprise A Miraculous Kind Of Machine, the 3rd album from critically acclaimed NYC hip hop duo Junk Science. A.M.K.O.M. is Junk Science at their most mature: Despite their best efforts to the contrary, Baje One and producer Snafu seem to have grown up (a little) since the 2007 release of their concept album Gran'dad's Nerve Tonic (Definitive Jux / Embedded).
As Baje declares over the frenetic, distorted-bass-driven Fire Drill: "Junk is back with a new sound!" Indeed, A.M.K.O.M. does represent a new musical and philosophical direction for the group as they move further into left field on tracks like "Sailing" and "Steel Will", abandoning the straightforward for the poetic, the clear for the murky. But Snafu's signature warm, lo-fi soundscapes remain ever-present throughout the album, as do Baje's measured, thoughtful commentaries. A quick listen to the soft piano, thumping drums, and simple, beautiful message of Really, Man and there'll be no doubt that this is in fact a Junk Science record.
The synthesis of old and new really hits home on First Snow, where Snafu combines a floating 8-bit-inspired melody with a booming drum kit, giving Baje a space to contemplate what it means to live in his hometown: "What a strange thing, to be from someplace / Really man, you should try it some time / All my native New Yorkers wanna riot some time / For reasons too numerous to mention here but / I'm at the window, feel like a survivor… And it hits me so hard sometimes I gotta sit down / This town, a lotta kids drown…"
The record is due out May 25th, to be self-released on Baje's new label MODERN SHARK. "A lot of people have been asking us about Jux and about Embedded," says Baje. "We would have been proud to keep working with both of those labels. But things change. And yeah, we got a few offers from indies, but we have a circle of talented friends who are making great records, so it doesn't make sense for us to join someone else's team right now. We're starting our own team. Modern Shark"
A.M.K.O.M. features guest vocal appearances from Cool Calm Pete (Millins), Tone Tank (Words From The Boro Prez), Cavalier (Steel Will), Scott Thorough (Monty Flython), and Gene Stovall (Miraculous Machines).
Snafu made all the beats, except for No Matter Rap which was co-produced by J. Howells Werthman. Also, Monty Flython was co-produced by J. Howells Werthman and Scott Thorough.
The artwork for the record, which will be available digitally, and on a limited-edition, specially-packaged CD, was created by Alexis Negron.
And now, some FUN facts about Junk Science:
- Baje One and DJ Snafu are both members of Brooklyn's oft-celebrated crew: NUCLEAR FAMILY
- Baje and Snaf share the same birthday, March 15th, which is coincidentally also THE IDES OF MARCH, the date in 44 BC which marks the assasination of Julius Caesar. Perhaps one day Baje One will kill Snafu or vice versa. Only time will tell.
- Both members share a love for video games, craft beers, and intelligent stupidity.
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