Consisting of Grayskul’s Onry Ozzborn and producer Zavala, Dark Time Sunshine is a lesser-known gem in underground hip hop. The duo’s newest album, ANX, is a diverse offering with quite a few standout guests, including P.O.S, Aesop Rock, Busdriver, and more — one worth exploring.
Here’s the new video for “Take My Hand,” featuring Swamburger and Aesop (who spends most of it picking his nose).
David Humphries had only one goal in mind when he moved to Chicago from South Carolina: to start a record label. Specializing in instrumental hip hop, Fieldwerk Recordings was born in June of 2009 when Humphries (a.k.a. Crushcon7) produced his own tracks on the label. This connected him with other like-minded musicians with roots in Chicago, and now the modest label is celebrating its second anniversary.
Fieldwerk’s roster includes notable producers such as Joe Beats, Maker, Void Pedal, and Zavala, whose collaborative credits include Onry Ozzborn (Dark Time Sunshine/Grayskul), JFK (Grayskul), Qwel, and I Self Divine. Recently, the label has garnered attention in local publications such as the Chicago Reader, Centerstage Chicago, and even the Chicago Tribune, and the rest of the US is starting to catch up with what Fieldwerk has to offer. We spoke with Humphries to get the scoop on pending projects and the future of the label.
What was the impetus for launching Fieldwerk?
I’ve always been a beat-maker, and one of the things I’ve always wanted to do is start a record label. I moved [to Chicago on] January 1, 2003, and the whole time I was making beats. I worked on a project or two that never came out, and then eventually, I just to a point where I was ready to put some things out. I did a couple of songs and did a seven-inch, and that’s kind of how it started.
Several years before, I met Zavala, and we became really good friends and would go digging for records and stuff. Through Alex (Zavala), I met Void Pedal like a week later and started to build some really good relationships with those guys — good friendships. We’re all beat-makers, and we just kind of bounced ideas off of each other. At the time, Alex was working on a project with Sleep from Old Dominion, and Void Pedal was just workin’ on beats just like I was workin’ on beats, and we all just kind of came together. I was surrounded by a lot of talented guys. We’re all in it together; we’re a crew, and those guys motivate me a lot.
Since his last album Pigeon John and the Summertime Pool Party in 2006, posi emcee Pigeon John formed the hip-hop group Rootbeer with Flynn Adam. Now he has rejoined the Quannum crew, for whom he’ll showcase his production skills with his fifth solo album, Dragonslayer, out October 12, 2010.
The album, created with the talents of General Elektriks‘ Hervé Salters, is said to be a bit more personal than past releases, and it features, for the first time, John’s recorded instrumentation instead of samples. You can hear some of the new material in October as PJ tours with DJ Abilities (of Eyedea & Abilities) and Dark Time Sunshine.