“I just try to make the music that I want to hear at the time. I try to be original, because that’s something I really respect in other musicians.” Coming to you from Ann Arbor, MI, Luke Baewer has been making music under the moniker CrackZilla for the past four years. Yes, you read it right, and to some it may be a name that you let roll off your shoulders, however that would be a very underestimated judgment on your behalf. “It comes from this ‘joke rap’ hip hop group I was in called ‘Crack City,’ and then I never dropped it, but I really should have a long time ago . . . because it’s not relevant to my music anymore. However, it is relevant to my personality,” he explains. It’s never really about the name; the magic is in the music. What Baewer produces will have you stopping dead in your tracks, lingering outside the room of the protruding basslines, brain a mush waiting for a break between songs as you mutter, “What… is… this?”
Along with playing some synths, the majority of his work is sample-based, a vast hole consisting of chopping each sample and laying them out a bit, adding and trying out each effect; the endless tweaking, re-tweaking and re-sampling, all in an effort to have the samples come to light in a hardly recognizable form.
“I usually lay out a really basic drum beat as a blueprint. Starting a track is the hardest part for me, just getting an idea down. Sometimes I quantize everything, sometimes I play most of it live. But when I get my basic idea down, I just zone the fuck in! Don’t think too hard, and just go nuts with everything. It all just comes to me from there and it eventually turns into a song.”
His Soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/crackzilla/ is full of various sounds and tunes, each one with a genuine and individual flare that has you standing there bobbing your head even if you don’t want to. It’s captivating, the melodies, the tone, the bass, shift in tempos; what CrackZilla has been able to do with his music forces those warm and fuzzies up from all the recessive areas and as a listener you can’t help but say, “Oh shit.” It’s a sonic tour of what music could and should feel like. Never a mundane note held too long, nonsense that can sometimes bore you to death, it’s a fun breath of fresh air that seems to have expanded a bit on where electronic music can sit. He’s not an easy one to neatly put in a little box on the hillside.
January sees a release from CrackZilla, really a rerelease of the latest album from the man’s Is Dead EP. “It’s going to feature a couple new songs from myself as well as some remixes by some really talented producers. I’m making physical copies of the album with an entirely new sick design by my buddy/artist extroadinaire Gart Gartsman. Also planning on launching a site and making some merch, couple shirts, couple stickers.”
The rerelease drops independently on January 29th at http://crackzilla.bandcamp.com/. Listen below.
By Jamie Goyman