Notebook Noise
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Notebook Noise

Bloomingdale, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Bloomingdale, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Alternative

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"URB next 1000"

Reviewed by Michelle Centeno

Originally dubbed "Knoise," Chicago open-mic poet Thaddeus James recorded his first demo back in 2004. Chicago Producer John Gray (member of Fluid Minds) and multi-instrumentalist Frank Clayton, creatively partnered with Thaddeus to create Notebook Noise . This year, they released an LP titled "Snares, Hooks and Rhyme Books." An earful of melodies, Notebook Noise is a concoction of jazz, funk, and hip hop. You can be guaranteed an intro to who Thaddeus is if you listen to his lyrics- he's got a kid and a family, he blows smoke, and he claims to remain conscious. Notebook Noise will soon be releasing their follow-up EP, "Debonair Wit," which will be featured as a free digital download on MySpace. Check out the track, "Butterfly Fxxx Wrap" from their first album. It features a funky little intro version of Tribe's "Can I kick it?" and if you were really wondering... Yes, you can!

- Urb.com/next1000


Discography

Debonair Wit (2009)
Snares, Hooks and Rhyme Books (2008)
Stain On My Brain (2005)

Photos

Bio

What exactly is the Box Track?

Would a stripper really sit on a woofer?

Just two of the questions answered by Thaddeus James in Debonair Wit - the second album release from Notebook Noise. The 2009 Debonair Wit project was a concept formed while the guys were finishing up production on the 2008 album Snares, Hooks and Rhyme Books. But by the time Snares was released the Wit Project foundations were laid, and would become the perfect follow up to an album that was already receiving a slew of steady buzz: one of URB magazine’s Next 1000, Michelle Centeno says “An earful of melodies, Notebook Noise is a concoction of jazz, funk, and hip hop… " while the classic ‘Chronic Snooper’ drew the following praise "There really isn't much I could suggest musically that could help this be any stronger than it already is." - Graig Streaman, Manager, A&R for TAXI. With new videos popping up all over the internet and new gigs racking up in the calendar, NN seems to have the world turning to take a good look and listen; from Chicago, all the way across the water to a new found following in the UK. DJ's are starting to spin NN, and with new remixes and club tracks on the EP the concrete is setting for the foundations of a great new Midwest hip-hop band.

The Notebook Noise core members: Johnasaurus Rex aka John Gray; and Thaddeus James aka Jeff Mroz got down to it on the Debonair Wit EP. Production was hands-on and as fast as lightening with John seeming to be in some other world to bring the songs to life. The basic idea would be thought of for about a minute, and then within a half hour the songs would be living, breathing, soul-seeking monsters; complete with bass-lines and synth breaks. It seemed that there was left over energy from ‘Snares’ still hovering in that smoky basement studio.

What starts the EP may, in fact, be the oddest addition of folklore and legend for the NN crew, as it’s based on The Simpsons. ‘Nuclear Dro’ and’ Super Nintendo Chalmers (Nuclear Dro-ish)’ are the alpha and omega of a seven track mini-album based on a drug caper involving characters from the cartoon. The album even features remixes by Chicago music producer Asa Phleps - a perfect fit as his moniker is based on the same cartoon that sparked the idea for the project. John’s Mother Brain Productions and its camp of assassins has also had a strong presence throughout and, most importantly - this album is a free download.

Notebook Noise also has a lock on its art. Graphic artist Joe Sampson visually heightened Snares, Hooks and Rhyme Books, and to imagine that album with any other artwork would rock the earth right off its axis. This time, Mother Brain basement-dweller and graphic artist Cherice Campbell took on the task of bringing Debonair Wit to life. The concept features NN in the studio office getting down to business, with Thaddeus pouring a drink at the bar and John with drink in hand at a piano – giving you a visual sense of what is ‘Debonair Wit’.