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MP3 Mahogany Dust - Experience

Universal Music, mixture of all genres, styles and art.

13 MP3 Songs in this album (45:28) !
Related styles: URBAN/R&B: Soul, URBAN/R&B: Urban

Mahogany Dust: "Experience" Album Review
(And Interview...)
By Ayanna G., published Dec 15, 2008-AssociatedContent
Published Content: 761 Total Views: 1,564,947 Favorited By: 90 CPs

I am a proud music snob. As a result of my snobbery, I make no apologies for being a sporadic listener of mainstream radio. This is because for the most part, I find that underground (read: obscure) music (and music from the U.K.) is much more satisfying to my ear. My relentless quest for palatable music recently lead me to a local Atlanta duo called Mahogany Dust. A husband and wife team, the pair is most known for their acoustic spoken word performances. I am usually leery about "husband/wife" musical duos, as images of Ashford & Simpson or Peaches & Herb (not really married to each other) typically pop into my head. But DNA (the male half) and Gi-Twice (aka GiGi) have got something unique going on with their presentation. And in listening to a few tracks on their MySpace page, my interest was piqued. I purchased their most recent CD, Experience and was immediately hooked on their sound...

The "Experience"

Let the record show, that if you are a staunch fan of old-school hip hop, straight away you will be slapped with a bit of nostalgia. The "Intro" features GiGi''s creamy vocals urging listeners to get on the floor and dance, while DNA punctuates the rhythms with playful adlibs.

"Friday", the 3rd track on the CD is the essential "getting ready to party" song. This is the tune you listen to while primping for your night out. GiGi''s swingy lead puts one in the mindset of Erykah Badu (though I personally try to avoid comparisons), with a jazzy hook so infectious ("It''s Friday/ It''s Friday...") that it''s like static cling on your brain.

The creative pair delves into a little New Jack Swing for their single, "Do What You Want to Do." But somehow they have expertly eschewed the pitfall of sounding dated; clearly Mahogany Dust has acquired the knack for polishing up an older sound and turning it into something relevant.

The team''s willingness to experiment with interesting sound effects is also evidenced in tracks like, "Be Strong"—a personal testament to surviving life''s everyday hardships. The marriage of the electronic spacey effects with GiGi''s rich voice seems effortless. But it is DNA''s rapid-fire spoken word delivery that will move your finger toward the REWIND button. His lyrical style is like a virtual paper cut: you don''t realize just how deep it is until you feel the sting later.

Who Is Mahogany Dust?

From their reasonably visible presence on line, plenty of details can be obtained about this acoustic guitar-wielding duo. For example, wipe away all pre-conceived notions about the "miseducation" of underground artists: this team has degrees in Microbiology. But I was curious about the story behind these two, and was politely offered a brief interview upon request. This unassuming pair is quite warm and inviting. And they were very receptive to the idea of sharing a little of their personal and musical insight...

Me: I hate when people ask "who are your influences?" So I won''t ask you that. But I would like to know what you''re inspired by.

Gi-Twice: [giggles] We just have our own style. When people ask us that, we just say, "It''s us."

Me: I read that you left your day jobs in order to do music full-time. That''s pretty scary.

DNA: Yeah, it''s a hustle. But you just have to stay on your grind all the time. I will say that I hate feeling like I have to perform just to survive. But you just do what you have to do.

Me: That''s got to be hard, though.

DNA: It is, because we''re doing everything ourselves. The writing, the producing, the marketing...everything, even the CD duplication.

Me: But that is also a great way to keep others'' fingers out of the pot, right?

Gi-Twice: Exactly! It''s hard work. But in the end, you have control over everything that goes on. It''s a full time job.

Me: I noticed that there is more of a departure from the acoustic work on your first CD. Was that on purpose?

Gi-Twice: Yes. We still stay true to our acoustic roots. But we wanted something different for this album. There''s still some acoustic stuff on this one too. But the first album was more like our introduction to the music world. You know, kind of showing the world what we do. On this album, we wanted more production-based songs.

Me: I absolutely love the track "Be Strong." How did you get all those cool effects and sound bytes for that song, and the rest of the CD?

DNA: There are all sorts of free sounds that you can download online. You just have to know how to use them. I think it makes the album sound more authentic.
Me: Most definitely. I''m a big fan of electronica and trip-hop. There are a few tracks that kind of reminded me of that.

Gi-Twice: We just didn''t want to sound like everybody else...

Me: ...Which brings me to my next question... People on the underground scene, especially in Atlanta, are probably going to brand you as "Neo-Soul" artists. Some will do so just because of they way you guys look. Are you comfortable with that?

Gi-Twice: We don''t label ourselves at all. When people ask us what genre we''re in, we just say "it''s music." I think it would be pretty hard to put us in a box. We don''t look at our music that way.

Me: I will admit that I hate when artists are "pigeonholed" into a category based on one or two songs.

DNA: Yeah, pigeonholed. That''s the perfect word to describe that! [laughs] I guess it can''t be avoided. But we just do what we do.

Me: So what''s next for Mahogany Dust?

Gi-Twice: Record, record, record! We just can''t stop. And we won''t stop. Now that "Experience" is finished, the work has just started. Now we''ve got to get people to buy it!


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