Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Artist Interview: Kalhex

Lurking in the catacombs of Paris is the incredibly talented Kalhex, a three part group that swears to bring back the old school way of crafting the genre that we all love while maintaining the up to date freshness of today's finest MC's. They were nice enough to lend Oh.Globe some of their time to talk about their movement and what one of France's finest hip-hop collectives has to offer. Check it.

Me: I hate to start this Q&A so bland, but tell us a little about ya'll. Where is your origin?

Kalhex: Kalhex is Parental (producer & DJ), Le Makizar & Lex (MC's & producers). We're from Paris, France. We formed the group in 2007 and release our first album in 2009, Kalhex. Last Year Lex put out his first instrumental solo 2xLP called Perfect Picture. We're now happy to present our new 12" vinyl single featuring Grap Luva & Rob-O (of InI).

Me: How is the French hip-hop scene? You guys are really the only act I know. Is it thriving?

Kalhex: Actually we don't really pay attention to French hip-hop scene. The saddest thing is that what we called Movement and Culture are now considered as old concepts or used in a fashion way. It's hard to find (like everywhere else) people who are just doing music with love and honesty so we don't recognize ourselves in the French scene.

Me: I read an old interview you guys did and the interviewee compared you guys to old 90’s French hip-hop. What can you tell us about how big French hip-hop was in the 90’s? Who
were your favorites during the period?

Kalhex: Of course there's a lot of 90's artists that inspired us such as IAM, Mc Solaar, les X-men, Oxmo Puccino (the whole Time BOMB posse). And of course we're also inspired by a lot of US hip-hop artists (Gangstarr, Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, Godfather Don,...) but we don't create our music in terms of nostalgia or "back in the days" state of mind. We're just trying to perpetuate the music we love. Step UP!

Me: You always preach (with good reason) about the use of samples and how it is fading away in hip-hop. Who, in your opinion, is doing the best job of keeping old school sampling alive today?:

Kalhex: It's not about new or old school. We think that Sampling is an art of producing, a difficult one because it's not just about 4 bars loop. It's really about how you make your own sound from existing stuff, how you'll search for records that sound like what you want to express. Sampling is not just about what you sample but how you use it and the whole path to follow until you got that beat. Sampling is about culture, and if you respect music, it really can help you to know the history through records, labels and artists. That's why we love producers that use it like Kev Brown, Pete Rock, or Fat Jon, because samples always refer to musical history.

Me: Lex's 2011 album Perfect Picture reached among my favorite instrumental albums of all time. Does he have plans to release another instrumental album this year?

Lex: Thanks! Perfect Picture was a long 2 years job. I wanted to use, as additional elements, a lot of familiar samples (Curtis Mayfield in "Searchin", Milt Jackson in "Press Rewind" or Average White Band - Person to Person in "The Awakening" to name a few) to let people know our influences and how it's still possible to make new material from something that was already sampled. We're still producing a lot (the 3 of us). We're now essentially working on Le Makizar solo album. Parental is about to release an EP with an Atlanta rapper called Pete Flux and I'm finishing what it could become a new instrumental LP...

Me:  What about a solo rap album?

Lex: Actually after our first album I wanted to release an instrumental one because I realized that
sometimes words are too much to express some feelings. Instrumental, I think, is a way to communicate
and make the listener travel more deeply. Plus, there's no language frontiers, Music is the language! That's also why we formed Kalhex with Le Makizar because we think that our voices and flows work well together.

Me: This might be a dumb question, but why does Akrom├ęgalie Records only consist of you guys?

Kalhex: We created our label in 2008 to release our first album. But Akrom├ęgalie Records in not just Kalhex, there's also Mc Grey and Msx (both features on Kalhex CD) and we're working on their solo releases probably availables next year.

Me: This has become kind of a staple for our interviews, but if someone ever asked you “Who the hell is Kalhex and why should I listen to them?”, what would you respond with?

Kalhex: We love music and really try to do it honestly. We want to bring quality (from cover to lyrics and of course beats) and share our passion with people through each record. Our new 12" is featuring Grap Luva & Rob-O from Legendary group InI. Could you tell us how many people love them and on how many records were they invited those last ten years?

Me: Well, thanks for your time. Anything you guys come out with has a home here at Oh.Globe. Good luck with your music.

Kalhex: Thanks for your interest and support fam! Stay tuned, a lot to come this year, the Saga Begins... PEACE!

Listen to Kalhex's new collaboration with Grap Luva, "Perspective(s)":

Listen to Kalhex's 2009 album Kalhex

Listen to Lex's 2011 debut Perfect Picture:


Post a Comment