Improv
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By: Cory Casciato
Published on February 25, 2009.

Improv shows himself to be something of a hip-hop auteur on Omotion, which he wrote, produced, recorded and mixed largely on his own. His skill as both a producer and rapper are obvious from the opening minutes. The disc opens with a sound-collage intro that morphs into a pleasantly pushy, hissing hi-hat rhythm before giving way to "Miss Hedonist," a soulful, catchy tune with a laid-back but engaging beat. It's the lead single, and wisely so, since it's easily the strongest track on a thoroughly solid album. Other standouts include the dark epic "Demons" and "Yollo," a driving, energetic track with some nice, sharply political rhymes. The surrounding material carries its weight, too — there's really nothing bad to be found here. - Denver Westword


By: Charlotte D Aberrant

“More dope tracks than a Heroin addict.” That pretty much sums up Omotion, the most recent release by Improv, a Cortez, Colorado native and Fort Collins’ Hip-Hop staple. The album itself could very well be a soundtrack to the crazy life of this CMBer. With single-worthy tracks like “Miss Hedonist” and “I Call Your Bluff,” and even more pleasure in store with “Down Girl” and “Yollo,” Improv has created a musical ticking time bomb. Improv effectively mixes simple instrumentals and harmonious hooks with old school Hip-Hop flavor, and delivers enough licks to make even a Tootsie Roll pop blush. - Colorado Music Buzz - March '09


by Nathan Harper

Producer, DJ, MC, and according to some, one of the gravitational centers around which the Colorado Hip-hop galaxy orbits, Improv lives and breathes music. When not releasing instrumental albums exhibiting his production prowess, he's either dropping records which he both produces and rhymes on, or scratching records with Phunny Pharm, hosting house parties; he even organizes public events with the purpose of uniting the local hip-hop community. Performing solo at Rock the Mic, Improv sees music as his greatest release; an outlet for all of his ideas. The multi-talented artist rallies behind the idea of using his endowments to reach others in a positive way. - Scene Magazine, July 2006


This Review is from our dope man on the street PICKLE. Here he reviews some work you can find on IMPROV'S WEBSITE. Go to IMPROV for more info on his music and links. Here is what PICKLE had to say:

Straight from the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado and hip-hop crew Blackbox, comes a very talented lyricist by the name of Improv. His lyrics and beats flow very well, reminiscent of an established sound that used to be heard all over the hip-hop world. This was a time well before the bling took over, when emcees put out albums that were a party. A time before angry rap took over and people took the fun out of the art. Now don't get me wrong, on the tracks that I was privileged to listen to Improv is not all about simple non-complex lyrics. His lyrics hit you hard and make you think about the situation that many live in today. I heard three tracks from the 2004 release Unknown Object. The tracks were “Lazy”, “Why I do This”, and “In The Rain”. On “Lazy” the emcee rhymes about people questioning his art, and wondering what he's going to do with the rest of his life. It is a faster paced beat and lyric pattern that sounds very good. Counter that with the slower more melodic “In The Rain”, which has a much slower rhyming pattern and deeper lyrics. Throughout the tracks that I listened to Improv appears to have found his sound. He should be a force to reckon with in the underground hip-hop world much like Atmosphere was 5 years ago. Hopefully, he stays around for a very long time.
- www.bsidebands.com


SPOTLIGHT story by Kyle Garratt
KyleGarratt@ColoradoMusicBuzz.com

Improv doesn’t know who coined the phrase, but he believes it – and believes it to be relevant to his life: “All that is necessary for the trumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Attributed to Edward Burke, the quote probably had little to do with Hip Hop when it was first uttered. Still, Improv relates it to Hip Hop music today and his role in it. “I feel like I have a responsibility as a perfectly capable artist. There is so much whack, whack influence in the world right now. How are you going to battle that?” Improv stressed. “The times are getting harder and rougher. If there was ever a time for people to speak up, open some eyes, and do some good in the world, it’s now. That responsibility will always be mine.”

The producer, emcee, and DJ is fulfilling that responsibility by putting together his fifth album, dropping spring 2008. It will be the first official release on his record label and promotions company One Neighborhood Entertainment, founded in January by Improv, Rex Vining (a.k.a. Fluxx), and Adam Kawamoto. Improv said the record is “highly focused on human emotion… a deeper, very real type of thing. It’s really going to portray the psychological aspect of the average person who goes through mad trouble, triumph, and heartbreak, which is everything I’ve experienced.”

The men from One Neighborhood Entertainment want and need this album to be successful so it can pave the way for their company. They will use the release and shows in Denver and surrounding area to spread Improv’s name – and thus the One Neighborhood name. They will look to book a tour around the time the album hits stores nationwide, but aren’t yet sure of its scope. “You need something that’s a good, solid, quality piece of material that you’re going to be able to hang your hat on for a while, and that’s the thing we’re hoping for with this album,” Vining said. “I just want Improv to do what he does, because I know he does it well.”

Improv is switching up his style with unique twists, such as waltz-inspired beats. “I’m tired of hearing the exact same Hip Hop songs,” Improv said. “You could classify it as experimental Hip Hop, but I’m still going to have the same, raw Improv tracks. It’s not cookie-cutter Hip Hop – it’s just whatever feels good.”
- Music Buzz Magazine, September 2007


By: Nathan Harper

There’s a dearth of unique voices in Colorado Hip-Hop. Usually when you hear a local rapper - the term itself a sometimes epithet - it only takes a few songs to realize who inspired them to pick up a mic; and how excited you can get about them is usually dependent on how little they copy their heroes.

Rapping out of Denver, Improv’s influences only come out after a few listens, and even then they range from Hieroglyphics to Jay-Z - the space between those two poles leaving plenty of room for originality. His flow is smooth, a tenor voice with a hint of bite from years of performing, and musical enough that no one would confuse him for the GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. When he rhymes, he simply spits life, never trying to come off as thuggin’ or swimming in cash, which isn’t to say he wouldn’t mind it. Wittiest line on the album: “I got more dope tracks than a heroin addict” from “A Beautiful Thing.”

An accomplished producer in his own right - Improv won the 2008 regional Scribble Jam for production - he understandably flows over his own beats for most of the record and it’s easy to hear why his work is sought out. Another plus is the presence of actual quality scratching, something you won’t hear on a Lupe Fiasco album. In its scope, Omotion embraces the best of all eras of Hip-Hop, not seeking to cash in on any trends but instead simply putting out a quality product.

www.scenemagazine.info
- Scene Magazine - Fort Collins, CO - Jan. 09


by: Charlotte D Aberrant

I fell in love twice the night that I first heard “Miss Hedonist” by Improv (featuring Elijah Pratt). It was a night filled with purple moonlight and the play was KTCL’s Hometown For The Holidays. I fell first for the smooth harmony and bittersweet ballad sung amongst the spirited rhymes, and secondly with the situation/circumstance that led me to the music that is Improv. I will never forget how I felt that night.



“It’s just a simple song ...” but the message rings clear: a sincere dedication to the art Improv is molding, and at the same time torn by his feelings for a woman. How many of you can relate? This is one of the ingredients of a truly meaningful song; a message to which the people can identify.



Although “Miss Hedonist” is already a radio hit off of his much-anticipated album, Omotion, my favorite track is “I Call Your Bluff.” This lyrical call-to-arms rings a message about the state of affairs in the world today (and also pokes fun at the Gangsta’ Rap genre as a whole). Other promising tracks include “Angel” and “Demons.” Overall, Omotion is a well-thought-out album.



Improv is a local Hip-Hop veteran at the age of 24. He was raised in Cortez, Colorado, which is a tiny town near Durango. He first expressed interest in music at the age of 14, which is when he received a guitar from his mother as a gift. His mother, a pianist, also lent him some lessons in the art of piano and keys. By 16 he was developing a taste and flair for Hip-Hop and began honing his style for emcee battles. His sound and flow is reminiscent of Talib Kweli and The Roots, although I heard touches of Outkast in some of the songs, as well.



Aside from being a “Top-Ten” contender in the abovementioned 93.3 KTCL’s Hometown For The Holidays, Improv has been actively working on national distribution and radio airplay. He has garnered fans across the Colorado map, building his foundation out of Fort Collins and slowly trickling into the Denver scene. January 20th was the official release date for Omotion. Go out and grab it at any Independent Records store or look for it on iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby, or Rhapsody.

www.coloradomusicbuzz.com - Colorado Music Buzz - Feb. 09


Discography

Improv (2003)
Nichecraft (2004, instrumental)
Unknown Object (2004)
Magnum (2005, instrumental)
Grace (2006)
Omotion (2009)

Photos

Bio

Producer, performer, and poet, Improv is on a relentless quest to capture the hearts and minds of music lovers everywhere with his universal message of love, compassion, and social awareness, and the uncommon ability to find value in struggle, pleasure in obstacles, and beauty amidst the mundane. With a combination of intricate, perceptive lyrics, crowd-moving stage performances, and masterfully crafted production he is well on his way.

As a producer, Improv has experienced enormous growth in recent years, producing for numerous Colorado artists including national artists AMB and The Littleague, a children’s hip-hop album featuring five cartoon kids on a mission to over achieve. In October of 2008 Improv represented Colorado at Scribble Jam in Cincinnati, Ohio after winning the 2008 Regional Scribble Jam Production Battle in Boulder, Colorado.

As a performer, Improv has been headlining shows throughout Colorado, sharing stages with national artists such as The Flobots, Dilated Peoples, Asher Roth, Pigeon John, and Zion I. He is continuously perfecting his live set, and constantly attempting to surpass each of his previous performances, which include two consecutive invitations to “Bohemian Nights at New West Fest” in Fort Collins and the chance to grace the stage at historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

As a poet, Improv has given us his greatest gift thus far with his latest release, and first official full-length album, Omotion. Omotion is an album that is at once personal and public, spiritual and existential, lyrical and raw. It is an album that simultaneously celebrates and challenges conventional thinking about life, love, Hip Hop culture, and music itself, leaving listeners in awe of the thought and craftsmanship that Improv undoubtedly put into it. From December 11th thru 17th 2008, “Miss Hedonist”, Improv’s second released single from Omotion, made it to regular rotation on major radio station 93.3 KTCL in the annual “Home Town For The Holidays” competition and has continued to garner significant attention.