EDAN with DAGHA, INSIDEAMIND and SOLIVA SPIT SOCIETY at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Sunday (August 27), doors 8:30 pm. $20. Also at Slinky Music (442 Queen West), Sunday (August 27), 4:30 pm. Free. Rating: NNNNN
Every artist or producer I interview always has at least 392 projects on the go.
But Boston-based DJ/beatmaker/MC Edan clams up like Tony Soprano under an interrogation lamp when I give him a chance to plug anything and everything in the "new shit" department. Apparently, Edan Portnoy's been working on absolutely nothing.
Is he hard at work on a follow-up to his breakthrough LP, Beauty And The Beat (Lewis Recordings, 2005), his second album, which was critically exalted by critics for its tight marriage of psychedelia and classic hiphop aesthetics?
"No," he replies from his place, still a bit groggy after waking up from a nap, after a recent one-off show in Finland.
All righty. Is he planning any interesting new mixtapes, like 2004's Sound Of The Funky Drummer, a collection of tracks constructed on the most sampled break in hiphop?
Does he have any plans to reconnect with Fiber, the funk/jazz/rap band he scratched alongside with musicians from Beantown's Berklee College of Music, around the turn of the millennium.
"Oh, is that what you heard?" he fires back.
These days, when he's not doing the occasional show, he's taking in Red Sox games ("Fenway's right around the corner from me"), listening to tapes of 80s New York hiphop radio shows and Turkish records ("They've got a pocket like funk records and they're talking about some heavy shit"), watching films and taking bike rides with his girlfriend.
"I don't know what else to say, man," he defends. "You just came at me like I should be having 10 things on the stove, but that's the way it is, you know what I mean? I mean, I have a couple little things in the works, but nothing that remarkable to speak of."
"But that's okay, you know what I'm sayin'? I think most people approach music these days with a schedule. They gotta do this and that and they gotta do everything out of fear over their career. I don't really think like that, so I'm good. You've got to make sure your approach is fresh whenever you do something, so I'm just making sure I'm in the right zone."
Eventually, however, Edan does reveal that he'll be visiting the UK headquarters of Lewis Recordings in October to prepare some older Edan material in the archives for release. He also recently did a remix for an Adult Swim-financed track by Vast Aire featuring MF Doom, and he's been talking with Mr. Lif about producing his next album.
He might seem a bit reticent here, but you'll have a personal chance to ask Edan everything you've ever wanted to know about him at Slinky Music on the afternoon before his show. He'll be there around 4:30 pm, ready to answer your questions and sign your records.