Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gummy Soul: Walter Clark

So his real name is Josh, but he goes by Wally or Walter Clark. His counterparts in Gummy Soul use all three when speaking on the man who founded the collective. This producer/DJ/designer has crafted an aesthetic similar to classic 90s hip-hop when producers chopped samples from the most soulful of tunes. We asked Wally Clark to break down exactly what Gummy Soul is, how it started and where it is going. We also got some insight into his music making technique. Enjoy!

CONCRETE: What is Gummy Soul? How did it form?
Wally Clark: Gummy Soul started when I started making beats. I took the name Wally Clark from Wallabees (Clarks shoes) and kind of as a Ghost Face tribute. And I used to go by Wally and The Champs, that was my fake band, just as a producer. I came up with the name Gummy Soul as like my fake record label. It was all right when I first started. It was just confusing to people what Wally and The Champs was, because I would say I'm Walter Clark in Wally and The Champs. The with Gummy Soul everyone just responded to that name. It's just been whatever I needed it to be. When I had a soul show on WRVU it was called Gummy Soul. I made the website Gummy Soul. And I would try and introduce myself as Walter Clark, my original name, but I started saying Gummy Soul and everybody recognized that. Then when I got with Kurt (Stanley) he just immediately embraced the essence of what I was trying to do. We were thinking of a name for (our project), and he had kept shouting out "Gummy Soul" through the whole thing. So we were like, "Why don't we call the album Gummy Soul." So that became another thing called Gummy Soul. It's semi-confusing to people, but I like the fact that it's vague and not very hip-hopy. The name also reflects the production style that I do.

CONCRETE: How do you describe your production style? How do you approach making a beat?
Wally Clark: When I started making beats, just looking for records, I didn't have that much money. So I was looking for records that I liked to listen to also. And I love soul music. So I naturally gravitated to those samples. When I first started making beats, I thought I was going to make dark Wu-Tang beats. But it's just a style that has come out naturally. When I go in there I don't want to make dark, depressing shit. I want to make soulful, almost happy sounding beats. That's just what naturally always came. So when I pick things out, I usually take a song and I hear that it's got a good tone, and I chop the entire thing up into like a 100 different little chops. The I just start layering on top, and layering and layering.

CONCRETE: When you sample, are you sampling individual drum sounds and creating new patterns as well as other sounds like trumpets or flutes, all from the same track?
Wally Clark: I take the drums from, I have a stock of drum sounds. So I'll just build a kit after. I start to fuck with the sample, like I get a basic drum just kick and snare going for count. Instead of listening to a metronome is annoying. So I just do that. Then I lay something in, usually the sample has drums in it also. So I listen to that and get the groove there. Then I just add drums around it to compliment what is already in the sample.

CONCRETE: What projects have you released under Gummy Soul?
Wally Clark: I did the Kurtis Stanley and I joint project Gummy Soul. I basically just waited until I thought I was good enough to pursue it. I made beats for five years without even really telling anybody. I was hoping someone like (Kurt) would come along that I really clicked with. We did that. As a place holder while we worked on the next one we did The Stuyvesants Meet Gummy Soul. It's actually beats provided by a Brooklyn based duo called The Stuyvesants that I just happened to have the beat tape and Kurt liked it. I didn't do the production on that. We tried to make that clear in the lyrics, but people still think that I made it. He responded to it because it still has the same feel as I do. That was intended to be more like a mixtape thing. Aside from that we're working on new stuff. I'm producing when Amerigo rhymes. I produce for him. So he's an instrumentalist that makes stuff, but when he rhymes I produce for him.

CONCRETE: DId you produce the flood record (The Great Flood)?
Wally Clark: Uh huh. Yeah. Everything that Amerigo has released so far I've produced.

CONCRETE: Are those the only 2 MCs you produce for?
Wally Clark: Well now we have a song with Tre on it, from Sam & Tre. I've gotten with D-Goodz a couple of times and he's writing something to record real soon. We are now in a position to start looking to work with more people. I haven't pursued it to this point, because Kurt gets the job done, and we work so well together.

CONCRETE: Any last words or shout-outs?
Wally Clark: I'm just happy that people are feeling it, and I hope that Gummy Soul the music helps people to discover Soul Music. That's a main love of ours.

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