Thursday, November 4, 2021

Brown Sirround - The Set Up / Dead! - 1998


12" - 1998 - Leftshoo Records

Here is a 12" released by Djinji Brown a.k.a Brown Sirround in 1998. Djinji Brown is originally from Lafayette Housing Projects, Bronx and was the son of jazz alto-saxophonist Marion Brown (RIP). He is also known for being the vocalist of the hardcore NYC group Absolution founded in early 1987. 

 2 songs are pressed on this wax, "The Set Up" featuring Snake & Kali on the A-side and "Dead!" feat Chadio & Parlay a.k.a Par.Cognito on the B-side. Both tracks were fully produced by Brown Sirround, and were originally recorded in 1997. The 12" came out on Leftshoo Records, a record label managed by Marlene Duperley.

Coming from the Hardcore music scene, how and when did you fall into hip-hop exactly ?

Brown Sirround : "It's actually the other way around. I came from Hip Hop and fell into the Hardcore scene in 1986. I was deeply immersed into NYHC but by 1990 I made my way back to Hip Hop."

What were your hip-hop influences at that time ?

Brown Sirround : "When I got back into Hip Hop it coincided with my new vocation of audio engineering. I was lucky enough to land an internship at Greene Street Recording in the Soho neighborhood of NYC.

Many great Hip Hop acts worked there but when I got there in the spring of 1991, it was when I met my two biggest influencers in production. Eric Sadler of The Bomb Squad and Pete Rock.

Djinji Brown & Pete Rock in the B Room at Greene Street Recording (late 1991/ early 1992) - Photo courtesy of Djinji Brown

Brown Sirround : "Ironically it was during my time in Hardcore and my friendship with a man named Jerry Williams that influenced me to go to audio engineering school, but I never engineered for any Hardcore groups." 

How did the connection happen between you and the artists featuring on the wax : Snake, Kali, Par.Cognito & Chadio ?

Brown Sirround : "Snake I met through my manager Marlene Duperley who was also featured in the hook. On the record her artist name was Kali. Marlene was the manager and owner of Leftshoo Records. She actually was the one responsible for the pressings and putting the record out. 

On the B side the tune "Dead" features two friends of mine from my building in the Bronx where I lived and grew up, Chadio of the Hip Hop group CRU who had an album out on Def Jam at the time and Par.Cognito who was an unaffiliated MC as far as being signed but very talented nonetheless. Par.Cognito actually lived on the same floor  as I did at the time.

Any studio stories ? 

Brown Sirround : " The song "The Set Up" was recorded in November of 1997 at D&D Recording in midtown. I booked the studio time at D&D and when they wanted to provide an engineer I told them I didn’t need one. All I needed was an assistant to show me around the room and I was good to go. After the people in the studio heard the beat coming out of the room and then the finished product, I soon landed a job there as a staff engineer. 

The song "Dead" was recorded in late March of 97. It was recorded one late night at Greene Street Studio in Soho where I worked previously and knew my around those rooms quite proficiently. This joint sounds like it was created in the Dead of the night in a dark alley with only one way in and one way out. "

Do you remember how many 12" were pressed in 1998 ? 

Brown Sirround : "I can't remember exactly how many we pressed, maybe 500 more or less, but I'm not exactly sure."

Why did you stop after that 12" ?

Brown Sirround : "I didn't stop producing after this single, but in the next coming years my production direction did shift. I was still at home in my studio making beats on the SP1200 and then on the MPC2000XL, but it wasn't until around 2000 that I started working with the label 7 Heads Entertainment. Most notably producing a few tracks for the group Unspoken Heard. Then in 2002 I dropped my first solo album mainly of instrumentals, it was called "Sirround Sound". The album was like a display of different beat styles I could create. In my mind they all had a similar thread which was my approach to the drum programming but I think the album went under the radar too because it was hard to classify into one genre."

Does an unreleased Brown Sirround album exist ?

Brown Sirround : "I have many unreleased tracks that could complete an album, but I haven't tried to put them out yet."

If you're looking for a copy of this 12" for your record collection, a few copies are available on Discogs !

Mad Props to Djinji Brown, thanks for your time fam.

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