Since the early Black Rock Coalition days, Vernon Reid and DJ Logic have gotten together to make music "when no one was looking." Through collaborating on each other's projects, they got the idea to incorporate as the Yohimbe Brothers. Over the last ten years, they accumulated the material that wound up on their recent album, Front End Lifter. Yohimbe being a legendary organic sexual stimulant, the alter ego brothers purport to deliver a kind of sonic marital aid in a high testosterone blend of funky beats, heavy guitar riffing and psychedelic electro-collage. Just think, Vernon and Logic mixing it up with guests Prince Paul, Slick Rick, Living Color, among others and you're probably close. Clearly audible are the influences of Handsome Boy Modeling School, Material, Squarepusher and P-Funk, along with several other traces. I recently sat down with Vernon and Logic before a rehearsal for their Fall tour to get a handle on their assembly process.

"Welcome to the Freq Show," was one of the early Yohimbe Brothers tracks. That was my first totally successful jungle track," says Vernon. "That track, I'm really proud of. The whole Raymond Scott, cartoon thing was something I'd never really heard in drum 'n' bass, you know. I think of the extreme tempos and I start thinking of these like, wacky cartoon car chases, and Roadrunner. I grew up on Warner Bros. Cartoons. Actually, I had been turned on to jungle by Doug Wimbish, back in the '90s. Because of the whole Tackhead thing, Doug's been on the forefront of the electronic thing forever. I remember he stepped to me and he said, 'Yo, man, they got this music comin outta Bristol, YOU are gonna love this shit. They're calling it jungle.' And I remember going to Camden Lot and there was an outdoor store, where every week there was this cat that would play the latest jungle joints and people would literally gather around the store, and there was the latest by Peshay, boom, the latest by Goldie, boom. And people were like, 'Yo, I'll take two.' It was this incredible thing at that time. And through developments, people were coming along like Amon Tobin, and Metalheadz (Groove Rider, Goldie, etc.), Amity Trio, who I respect a great deal. And when Squarepusher came out, I said, 'Oh, See? See?'" [shakes his head] "Now, my first drum and bass beats were pitiful. But then I kind of figured it out. I started listening to 'Funky Drummer', again and again and I said, 'Oh! I get it,' you know? Because the basis of the whole thing is the 'Amen' break. It's so funny, we've heard it so often, you know, you roll your eyes, 'Oh that again.' But it's comforting in a way. You know you're hearing jungle when you hear the 'Amen' break. So I started listening to it from this deconstructionist point of view. I found that the things that I wanted to say with it, even though the influence of Squarepusher's in there, it's definitely got a different vibe." Logic's first reaction was to "bust out laughing. I was like, that's ill, that's out. [Vernon said he] was listening to Squarepusher and it had that vibe, but I was like, 'Wow, that's out — that's different.' It's definitely going to attract ears, people are going to be like, 'Whoa'."

Everything was recorded at the Dharmalab, which is the dining room of Reid's home, a Victorian house in Staten Island. "It's beautiful, because I live on a cul-de- sac, there's no through traffic. One thing that's great is my neighbors are situated in such a way I can play as loud as I want to, at any time, 'cause it [has] an earth basement, so it's really isolated. If you're playing really loud, you'll hear it from the street but I've never gotten a phone call. The thing that's cool about it is that everything sounds actual. Everything sounds very alive. The house is over a hundred years old." There's nothing permanent about the Dharmalab set up. Vernon keeps it modular in case different sessions require him to move things around. "No commercial facility could ever exist the way this thing does. The rooms aren't massive, but there are a lot of them. There's like a foyer where you walk in to the house which gets most of the work. I've recorded in my living room, off the foyer, in this office room, the basement, this little bathroom next to the Dharmalab. One space that we talked about recording is the attic. We were going to have to move everything. You need a video system [to monitor]. I'd have put like a camera system." Logic adds, "Yeah, trying to get the wires up there was just — That's where we were actually going to do the drums. We were trying to get the drums up there, but... " [throws up his hands] Vernon goes on, "It's recorded live, there's no soundproofing. Which is a dangerous thing cause you remember the birds," he says, turning to Logic, who tweets and laughs. "The birds seem to respond to singers. Or brass....

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