It’s an absolute honor to be able to introduce this tape to you all. Texas’ own Sam Rubik, alongside URNR.TV’s Nouveau Rich Records (NRRINC), presents Survival Tactics. A seven-track EP born out of Rubik’s evolution, a single song that I heard in Brooklyn at a studio with Rubik’s producer (Santiago Ortega), and an enormous amount of work from NRRINC. NRRINC spans both geographically and musically, including voices from Califronia to Texas, from ambient to soulful, to more hardcore rap. Under their common umbrella, NRRINC artists are able to trade a host of ideas, influences, and artistry to develop as emergent sound creators. But back to the music.
Early last December, I was rolling a blunt in a Brooklyn studio, listening to a bunch of new music with Santiago, unable to hear my own thoughts. He stopped the music, and said “You need to hear this new shit by Sam.” At that point, I’d only heard his earlier work with Beautiful Lou, and his tape Panther. ”This one’s called ‘good shot’ (gd shot)”, he said, grinning over at me. I heard the first 15 seconds and lost it. I fumbled the rest of the green as Santiago and I loudly agreed that it was time for a new Sam Rubik tape. Rubik obliged, and five months later, we’re presented with a Survival Tactics, whose sequence tracks one of the most complex characters ever developed.
Rubik was the Panther. But this is his new form. You’ll hear him on a disconcerting array of sounds and textures, demonstrating his presonal and musical progress. He uses a shingling orchestra to smoothly set an uplifting, concert hall-height in his intro. He follows with “gd shot”, which strangles the idea of “epic”. Thumping with trap-rhythmed snares and a sample chanting in disbelief at Rubik’s pause-free strength. Without overdoing a single note, Rubik throttles his listeners. On his next track (featuring Western Tink), Rubik explores the greatest heights of pitches, formatting himself to give in to the strength of a warped accordion. Trading places, both emcees examine their roles as sources of sound alongside synthetic instruments. Only they are organic on this work, conceptually standing out above the rest of the work. Following this, Rubik goes over Duck Rogers’ production for a highly-minimalist attempt (successful, at that) to handle a strumming drum set, distinctly contrasting the previous piece. He relies on the intensity in his vocal strength to inform the force of this track. On “rdy”, you’ll hear a hopeful Rubik who reveals some important aspects of his past, chronicling his passage from an immature, head-strong emergent artist, to a man who measures his progress by inches. After this, Rubik’s lo-fi tendencies follow, with a threateningly dark diatribe (accompanied by Ali Monk) into the depths of his resistant mentality. Closing out, he calls up 3Zone$ (of Bexxxar) to further explore the low-fidelity sounds of the South. ”I want it to be mastered to sound unmastered”, he said, of this piece. The track grumbles, belching a sound meant for VHS-filmed rainy nights.
In seven tracks, Rubik is able to explore his vast abilities under a controlled schizophrenia of sounds and textures; not only appealing to a wide range of listeners, but appealing to his own personal complexity. He’s an awe-inspiring artist who can maintain a modern reality in a reminiscent piece of music. He’s an epic-sound manager, formatting himself to raise up alongside hyped music. He’s the darkness that tramples his voice with Tink. He’s the minimalist, exploring the effects of tweaks in sounds to expose his inescapable anxiety. He’s rdy, rdy to take on his missteps, past and future, moving forward. He’s the angry boy threatening to fight back. He closes as a jazzy rainstorm, ending his piece with the strength of an artist ready to experiment with his personhood.
Rubik has had many projects : Life Without Commercials, Mind Music, Permanent Vacation, Rude Awakening, the Panther EP, and finally, Survival Tactics. Every piece up until now has been leading up to this most recent tape. Survival Tactics is by no means a retrospective. Survival Tactics is a line in the sand. After this, no one can deny that Sam Rubik is an artist ready to have an impact on both his and your expectations.
1. mny smiles (prod. Dijon Samo)
2. gd shot (prod. Mr. 808)
3. hrt u ft. Western Tink (prod. Lytesho!)
4. alne (prod. Duck Rogers)
5. rdy (prod. Lytesho!)
6. bfr i died ft. Ali Monk (prod. 3Zone$ of Bexxxar)
7. at nght (prod. 3Zone$ of Bexxxar)
SHOUTS TO JOHNNY STAT$ AKA STAT$ BOOGIE FOR THE ALBUM ART
-CUTT CZAR (HERONALD REAGAN)
FORMERLY KNOWN AS : FRANKLIN WEATHERFIELD AKA DENZEL SPLASHINGTON AKA PATOIS VUITTON AKA CHUCKDEGAULLE