Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eclipse 427

Eclipse 427 aka Walter Taylor is a Bay Area based rapper and DJ. First of all, he was a member of the underground hip-hop group called Mixed Practice with 2 other members : Prop from East Palo Alto and Flex from Brooklyn. The group’s life span ran only from 1993 to 1996, but they recorded a tape called "Homegrown" in 1995.

Mixed Practice, Photo courtesy of Jeni Shakti Fujita

Cassette EP - 1995 - Self Released  


After the group broke up, Eclipse 427 became a major character in the Bay Area indie hip-hop explosion of the late 90s. Some of his releases from that era are really interesting, the first one is the "Eclipse-427" EP, self released on tape in 1996 :

Cass - 1996 - Not On Label 

From Subculture Magazine - 1995

01 - Unda Age (Intro)
02 - El Centro
04 - Low Tide (Enter-lude)
06 - Da Funk (Can Ya Smell It?)
08 - Chinese Food


In 1997, he came back with the "Power" EP released on his label Darcman Recordings, accompanied by a 12" single and a promo tape. 

EP - 1997 - Darcman Recordings 

12" - 1997 - Darcman Recordings

Promo Tape - 1997 - Darcman Recordings 

From The Vinyl Exchange - June 1997

By the way, you can check the Slanging Tapes 1997 video directed by Alex Robertson Dworet and Logan Weinsieder, in which you can see Eclipse 427 and his friend Karma (from Kemetic Suns) selling their records on the street corner. 

In 1999 , he teamed up with the fresno based MC Planet Asia and released the 'Bringin' It Back' 12" single on Blackberry Records.
The Original version was produced by Fanatik. The Remix version was produced by Kut Masta Kurt and contains a sample of 'The Dragon Arrived in Roma' performed by Joseph Koo from  "The Way of the Dragon" Soundtrack released in 1972.

12" - 1999 - Blackberry Records 

From Vibe Magazine - November 1999

These are the transcripts of an interview with Eclipse 427. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on May 16th, 2000.

MVRemix: What does your name represent or mean?
Eclipse 427: 4/27 is actually my birthday. I used to go by Eclipse, and then like uh...

MVRemix: Why Eclipse?
Eclipse 427: Because I was tall as fuck in Junior high school, haha. You know, so they just called me it. I was like 6'1, so...cats used to call me Eclipse, which was my old DJ name in like '89. Then all of a sudden all these other Eclipse's started poppin' up, now I was in a group, and when I'd left the group I added the 427 to symbolize my birth as a solo entity.

MVRemix: When and how did you get into Hip Hop?
Eclipse 427: I started listening to Hip Hop when it was pretty much all that was there. You know, from back in the 70's, when Sugar Hill was there and all the other groups. Now we didn't have cable, but my pops worked at the fire department, so he used to tape the Hip Hop videos for me and bring them home, so I used to watch them on the VCR and shit. So that's how I started learning and listening to Hip Hop. I always checked mixtapes, buy them at the swap meets. Then in like '83, everyone was breakin', so I was breakin'...but I became an active participant in '89 when I was 12 years old I started DJ'ing. That's where it started, in '89, I was spinnin' House Party's and school dance's all of that.

MVRemix: Do you still DJ now?
Eclipse 427: Yeah, I mean well actually, linking up with Asia actually got me back into DJ'ing a little bit more. He needed a stage DJ, so I started taking over that. And I got back into what I was used to doing. I spun records until like '95. '95 was when all the House Party's stopped bein' fun and started bein' on some other shit. So...'92, '93 I was into production, '94, '95, '96 I was rappin'. Through that I got into recording, basically I do all types of shit man.

MVRemix: You recently dropped a 12", yeah?
Eclipse 427: It's coming out. No, actually, yeah, it's out now. Haha. Yup.

MVRemix: So, what about an LP?
Eclipse 427: You know what ? I'm thinkin' about it. I'm thinkin' about working on one.

MVRemix: So at the moment it's just the 12"?
Eclipse 427: Now it's the 12". Those three cuts, now if I do an album, which I'm heavily considering now, all of that stuff will be on there. The way I am, I do so much other, recording, all that other shit. It's not really a necessity for me to. But it's something that's in me. I like to just write down what I'm thinking and put that shit out. The 12" that just came just happened. You know, Madlib came to the crib to do some shit with Asia, he played some beats that Asia didn't want, but I liked. So I took a tape, started writin' and I came up with both songs in a day. The other one is some shit that I already had. 'Business Deals,' that's Madlib, the second joint that's on there; 'What It Is,' that's Madlib, those were the two I did in a day. Then the other track 'You Ain't Gotta Remind Me' is a track I did about a year ago. I mean I have a bunch of songs at the crib, but I just haven't felt like putting that shit out yet. I'll do it when it's ready.

MVRemix: What do you feel you add to Hip Hop that no other mc does?
Eclipse 427: I don't come in the game just as an MC. I rhyme. I do my thing. Where I'm making my mark right now, is in management. I mean, I manage Planet Asia, I've been working with him for the last two years, so...basically from what most people have seen of him. I've been involved in that, and helping all of that go in the right direction. Right now, that's my major contribution.

MVRemix: You've done a dope job with it.
Eclipse 427: Thanks man, I mean, you know, he's a talent, he's a bonafied talent and I just approached this as a fan. I'm one of his biggest fans. I know everything about him and I'm a good sales person, so I sell him to the people that need to see him. That's basically how our relationship goes. Aside, well actually tying in with the management part of this, I'm trying to bring more organization because a lot of times, the managers aren't really involved in the music or don't know the artist, they put you on a system that they built with some rock and roll shit back in the day. A lot of the West Coast records that you hear, I had a hand in because I have a studio out in Oakland, everything from Rascalz albums, I did shit for Asia's first EP, shit for Foreign Legion, Lyrical Seeds, Mystik Journeymen, Living Legends... I used to be in that crew. I was in that crew when it first started. I mean MURS, Aesop, Grouch, Journeymen, I've done shit for all of those guys. I did shit with Tony Da Skitzo, Plato, Homeless Derelicts, the list goes on and on of cats that I've worked with. I mean as far as the West Coast underground is concerned, I was there in the bay, selling tapes on Telegraph Avenue and gettin' shit into stores, consigning...I helped out shit with all of that along with my folks, Hobo Junction, you know all of those cats. I was there doing my thing. So there's another contribution. I'm kind of one of the silent figures in the whole west coast movement.

MVRemix: You mixed three of the tracks on the Anticon Presents LP, are you doing any future work with them?
Eclipse 427: Um, well, actually I recorded that. I'd probably do something with Sole, I've known Sole for a while but we've never actually done a song together. I mean once I really get back into focusing on making a record, I'll probably get down with that guy.

MVRemix: Do you prefer working alone or with others?
Eclipse 427: Kind of both. Some of my best stuff comes from other influences, having people to bounce stuff off of. You know what I mean? Like, I used to be in a crew, but the problem with working in a crew is people don't always see eye to eye. There's always some kind of attitude. Every crew that I've been in, I've dealt with some sort of jealousy. From my own crew to crews that I've joined. Even today, I'm dealing with more people than I usually do and there's always some sort of issue. When I was solo, between the years of '94 and '97, a lot of tapes, 12"s and shit. It was cool, but I was kind of creating in a vacuum. I didn't really have anybody to bounce ideas off of. Get feedback from, so you know it's kind of hard. Whereas now, I have Asia, Skool Yard, and other cats that I continually vibe with or whatever so stuff comes out a little easier. I like interacting with people but I don't like the negativity and confusion. I recognize my place in the game and I'm not out to be some big star, like with my 12", cats are gonna be like "Man, I didn't even know that dude rapped..." So, I mean, I'll only do a song if Asia's like, yeah, lets do this cut. People know me from the joint I did with Asia, the 'Bringin' It Back' joint. I'm a background dude, but I like to make records too. I can make them at my house whenever I want to, so I do them, I put them together, if I feel like puttin' it out I will.

MVRemix: Whats your take on MP3s?

Eclipse 427: It's unfortunate that people are bootleggin' stuff and not payin' for it. I get the argument that it helps spread music and word of the artist out there, but also people that are buying illegal records, downloading MP3's etc. have got to realize that that's usually an artists sole from of income. Like record royalties and sales you don't get a lot of the royalties in the first goddamned place. So, you're not really ripping off the big company, you're ripping off the artist. I mean it takes a lot to make a record, and for your record to sell it's a blessing. But when people download it off of the Internet, it hurts the artist more than anybody; it doesn't really hurt the company. They're going to make their money one-way or the other or write it off, really only hurts the artist.

12" - 2000 - ABB Records 

In 2002 , Him and Planet Asia were back with a new single 'The Concept' produced by DJ Yohei on Freeway Records.

12" - 2002 - Freeway Records 

427 is still a DJ nowadays and work under the name of Walt Liquor  

1 comment:

  1. A part of what me know what made me know what truly hip hop is supposed to about is here. This made me love underground hip hop more passionately .Much love and mad respect to all of you guys.