The Dioscuri - Louis Mackey & Dr. Quandary

Posted by Justin Boland on Jan 03, 2011 | 0 Comments

More new music from World Around Records: today Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary dropped an ambitious new album, The Dioscuri

“Fusing the lyricism of ancient epic poetry with surreal, guitar-heavy soundscapes, The Dioscuri is a psychedelic odyssey spanning two seemingly distant eras. Drawing upon late influences in late 60s rock music and images from Roman mythology, Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary spent two years perfecting the conceptual space for this unique hip-hop album. The result is complex, spaced-out and unlike anything else you’ll hear this year…”

Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary Talk Shop: Creation and Production

AH: Having kicked off 2011 with an album release, what are you focused on after this?

Dr. Quandary: Establishing a much stronger local presence. We’ll be putting together shows in Boston and throughout the Northeastern region while we continue work on our next round of projects, and reaching out to local media.

Louis Mackey: Whatever needs to be done to garner support. We’ve been talking about how we can eliminate most of what makes people hate rap shows.

Dr. Quandary: Yeah, trying to evoke some of the same influences for the live show as we did for the music. I’ve also decided to step up my graphic design game a notch, and I recently put together my first clip video.

AH: So why did this album take two years?

Louis Mackey: Three at least.

Dr. Quandary: It was closer to 4 years if you count the sort of proto-Dioscuri tracks, which we made before the concept had really taken root, but they floated around as orphans because they didn’t fit in with whatever projects we were working on at the time. Sometime after we made the title track we got the idea to roll with the psychedelic odyssey motif, so the later tracks are a little more in tune with that overall theme.

Louis Mackey: It was crazy, the Dioscuri trailer, in a weird way was sort of what I WAS envisioning at times. I remember after writing and recording the Dioscuri I had ideas of how ill it would be to do a mashup to one of the scenes in the sword and sandal flick, I think Jason and Argonauts, where Poseidon is literally “shaking” them “off their ship in the sea”. And then of course, theres the time I spent studying under one of my favorite professors in college, my classics professor. I actually have to give her the credit for my interest in anything Roman or Greek whatsoever. I was always interested in it, but she challanged me to take Latin and excited my admiration for the subject.

It’s also, in my opinion, an easy topical focal point. I ran with it for the titular track and Father Tiber took care of the rest. That swirling, droning bassline incited the impetus for the rest of the project.

AH: The Dioscuri sounds like a broadcast from another planet. What was your muse for the sound of this album?

Dr. Quandary: We drew a lot of our inspiration from bands like and Arzachel, Ramases and the 13th Floor Elevators, and in the end the goal was to recreate the vibe of those old records under the guise of a hip hop album. Since almost all of the songs were built on a solid chassis of psych rock tracks, we made a collective decision to emulate that in the mix. As a result you’ll hear a lot of dirty reverb and delay, which were hallmarks of the genre at the time. Pairing just the right balance of those effects with modern compression techniques yielded pretty powerful results.

Louis Mackey: Lyrically I drew a lot from Emerson, Virgil, the French Revolution, Catallus Gaius, Hercules with Steve Reeves, Tacitus, Archimedes, Henry David Thoreau, Waking Life, suicidal depression, my ex girlfriend, delusional puffery and Whiskey.

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Music by Justin Boland