[acid-jazz] Crut's 20th album available right now (HOME)

From: John Book (johnbook9_at_yahoo.com)
Date: 2003-09-10 23:42:27

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    For those who may be wondering what my new album is
    about this time, here we go. HOME wraps up a trilogy
    of albums that didn't begin that way.

    WITHOUT BREATH was the last album that I rapped on,
    and I was able to share my hopes, fears and dreams
    about coming back to Hawai'i. At the end of the CD,
    with a little help from Kono of Hawai'i Five-O, I
    basically said as much as I want to come home, I may
    end up feeling like a stranger in my own land.

    WEEK was my first all instrumental album, and in many
    ways a rebirth in my music. The album consisted of
    seven songs, each one describing a day of the week
    through sounds and samples. It also doubled as a
    letter to a friend, whom I tried to describe through
    the music. When I recorded WEEK, I was definitely at
    a high point in my life and various elements
    influenced and inspired me to create those songs. It
    helped me get a nomination for the Hawai'i Music


    HOME consists of 10 songs that I feel represents what
    home means to me. With these songs, I put myself back
    home and tried to create sounds that would resemble my
    emotions. I wanted to look forward to the day I
    returned to Hawai'i, to be able to start my life again
    and start new things. While I got into my fears and
    hopes with WITHOUT BREATH, the idea with HOME is that
    I look to the future and I am home. No fears, no
    major worries, but a sense that home is where the
    heart is and always will be. HOME is where I belong.
    I looked towards Hawai'i for inspiration in each of
    these songs.

    It took nine months for me to finish this CD, which is
    the longest I've ever taken to do anything. Compare
    that to 10 albums I recorded and released in two
    years, and yet it's been two years since I released my
    last album. After the release of WEEK, I went through
    a lot of personal things that took a lot of energy
    from me. I had lost my job of eight years, I had lost
    contact with someone who I felt was the best friend I
    ever had, and I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.
    It felt weird to know that here I was, someone who
    just created what I felt was my best work up to that
    point, and in a snap the good feelings I had just
    faded away.

    In 2002, I went through something that definitely felt
    depression. I was unsure of everything going on in my
    life, and I guess I felt that if there was anyway I
    could restart my life, I would. I did think
    negatively, and yet a few things kept me going:
    family, friendship, and Hawai'i. I think if I didn't
    have those things, I am not sure if I would be here
    today. I reached an all time low, and I used my music
    to get me out and up again. I often thought that if I
    did drink or do drugs, I'd probably be able to get
    myself out of the misery I was feeling. I was in a
    point in my life where I felt things were going good
    for once, and then everything fell apart. Inside I
    knew I would make it out, but as I was going through
    it, it felt like it would never end.

    I would listen to a lot of Indian classical music
    during this period, to ease my mind and help me get
    away from any depressing feelings. These sounds would
    become another influence in a number of the songs on
    the album, although it's not a festival of off-tune
    tablas and sarods. As I listen to the album now, I
    think I was trying to find inner peace. I can get
    metaphorical and say "it's me searching for light in
    the darkness", and in many ways that's true. By the
    end, I realized that there is definitely light at the
    end of the tunnel, and at the end of the tunnel one
    will always find a way back home.

    Since it was my 20th album as Crut, I wanted to be
    able to wrap it up in a cohesive manner. It's 20
    albums, what should I do? Hawai'i has always been a
    steady thread in all of my music. I think being on
    the mainland and seeing how Hawai'i is viewed as
    nothing more than a resort area, I wanted to show
    people a side of Hawai'i no one knows. I wanted to
    share my love of those islands in the middle of the
    Pacific Ocean, and in a way share a bit of me. When
    you listen to these songs, this is what it would be
    like if you entered my home.

    I probably shouldn't say this, but when I was feeling
    some lows, I did wonder for a brief time if I would
    make it out. I never said it, but had this been my
    last album, I wanted it to represent me as a person,
    as an artist, and to also represent the place that
    will always be in my heart. To make a long story
    short, it's a very personal album, almost like finding
    a diary and reading things you're not supposed to
    know. As I got close to finishing up the songs, I was
    beginning to feel more optimistic again and oddly
    enough that's how the album ends, on a positive note.

    Here are the songs on the album:

    A brief intro, warming people up for what's to come.
    I'm calling people, letting people know... I'm home

    Self-explanatory. This is the sound of my homecoming.
     Bring on the food, the party, the drinks, the music,
    the dancing, and the Tatitian women, it's time to

    3AM TACO
    As R. Kelly might say, after the party it's a round of
    tacos. If one has hunger pains, one has the option to
    go to the taco wagon down the street and grab a few.
    Add some Tapatio, and you're set. 3AM Taco
    represents, if anything, being able to go to a place
    to eat and have no one look at you. It's the comfort
    of being at home, in the wee hours of the morning, out
    on an open street, and having no fear.

    A recap of Hawaiian history in the last 50 years, in
    13 seconds.

    Hawai'i is the 50th State, and this is a celebration
    of the 50th
    State. The song moves along in a steady and funky 4/4
    beat signature before it switches to a time signature

    The sum of that is 50. Each signature lasts 12.5
    seconds. I did the time signature four times:


    That equals 50 seconds. The song ends at the 5:00
    mark. It's all about the Five-O. I have to thank
    Ravi Shankar for the influence on the time signature,
    which he had used for composition he did for the 50th
    anniversary of India's independence.

    Nu'uanu is the first area of Honolulu I grew up in.
    It is a valley, and it often rains there. I have a
    lot of fond memories of Nu'uanu, and even today when I
    go back home, I always return to Nu'uanu to see my old
    school, and the park that would be the place for many
    hours of fun. Today, Nu'uanu is a place that is still
    very quiet. When I was doing this song, it sounded
    very meditative, and that came from listening to a lot
    of Indian music. I wanted it to drone, and I wanted
    it to represent inner peace. Nu'uanu itself is about
    a mile or two away from downtown Honolulu, where
    things work at a rapid pace. I use a number of Indian
    samples on this to reflect inner peace.

    I also used the sound of Tibetan bells to make a
    point. If you have WITHOUT BREATH, I used Tibetan
    bells in "Everytime I Look Outside". Its use in that
    song was to try to place peace in a land that is often
    at war, with others and with itself. I used it to
    also say that if I don't make it back there soon, my
    time and my energy may run out.

    On WEEK, the Tibetan bells were used again in the
    to "manoa (sunday)", only this time the sound was
    reversed. In this, the bells represented going back
    to a time of innocence. In the song, the bells also
    symbolized church bells on a Sunday morning, the sound
    one might hear when they wake up. In that song, when
    that person woke up and looked outside, it was

    In "Nu'uanu Rain", the Tibetan bells return. I like
    the concept
    of "musical continuity", something that Pink Floyd and
    Frank Zappa put to good use in everything they did.
    This time, the bells represent inner peace, and once
    again the sound of the bells mixes in with the

    I used some flute solos within the sound of the bells.
     In Indian culture, the sound of the flute is believed
    to be the sound of Krishna playing. When Krishna
    plays, it signifies happiness and playfulness, in a
    childlike manner. Seeking innocence again.

    I am not religious, but I think "Nu'uanu Rain" is a
    very spiritual song. If there is a time in my life
    when I do fine inner peace, it may sound like this.

    One travels around the world to enjoy what this planet
    has to offer. A lot of running around, a lot of
    activities, but one discovers in the end, they still
    enjoy the comforts of the embrace of home. All of us
    come full circle. At 98 we all rotate.

    Musically, I wanted to travel around the world and I
    did that by
    using various worldy samples to show the travels.
    Throughout, a
    voice calls out. It's something that many Hawaiians
    say, that "no matter where I am, Hawai'i keeps calling
    me back to return." At the end, after traveling
    around the world and trying to discover what I am
    about, I realize that everything I ever wanted is in
    the same place where I began my journey. I find
    comfort again in the arms of an embrace, in the arms
    of the "ocean child".

    The song also doubles as a tribute to Yoko Ono, whose
    first name
    translates to "ocean child", a reference John Lennon
    makes reference to in The Beatles' "Julia". I have
    sampled Yoko in my work before, and I've always felt
    she is someone who doesn't get a lot of credit for her
    own work. She may forever be "the one who broke up
    The Beatles", which is complete bullshit. It also
    describes an embrace with Yoko Ono, which is my way of
    saying thank you to John Lennon for being one of my
    biggest musical and life influences. My love of the
    Beatles began in Honolulu, so by the time this song
    hits on the album, I am looking back at my life and
    everything that influenced the person I am today.

    Now that I am at the ocean, I am able to watch the sun
    before it
    comes up to greet the day. The sounds represent my
    dad, who was a huge jazz fan. When he died, his last
    wish was for to his ashes to be strewn at sea just
    like his father. This is in many ways a private talk
    with my dad, sitting on the rocks and sitting down in
    the darkness, an hour before sunrise.

    SING (JOY)
    This is a reference to a song I did on WITHOUT BREATH
    called "808 State", where I said "if happiness makes
    us sing in joy, then I'll sing". It is believed that
    singing brings people much joy. Now that I have made
    peace with myself, and peace with being at home, I can
    now sing in joy. My original intention was to have
    ended my album with this song, and it was created that
    way. The song is a summary of the album, and the
    spoken word bits also tell the story. It ends cold,
    and the listener is supposed to be happy, where we all
    live happily ever after. Life is good, right? As
    Frankie Beverly and Rob Base once said, whenever there
    is joy, there is pain. Like sunshine and...

    The rain returns. On WEEK, I had used rain as a
    metaphor for
    uncertainty, a hopeful emotional cleansing, and
    sadness. The rain that opens "Untitled" shows that
    those feelings have never went away, and despite the
    happiness I may show outside, there will always be a
    bit of sadness for things I can't undo or change.
    Within the rain I try to find a bit of sunshine, and
    unfortunately the dark clouds keep coming, pouring
    down rain to where it becomes a flood. At the end of
    the song, one tries to find sunshine behind the stormy
    clouds. It is the hope for light at the end of the
    dark tunnel, and that returning home will eventually
    remove the clouds.

    In other words, "in a place known for its beautiful
    sunshine, there will always be a storm or two to take
    it away". One must get through the storm in order to
    feel the warmth of the sun again, even when the sun
    seems so far away.

    If you wish to order a copy, or to hear a few
    RealAudio samples, click here:


    Mahalo nui to everyone who has waited this long for
    the new one, and much thank you for everyone who has
    shown support over the years.

    -John Book
     Pick up the SHAPES ONE comp on Tru-Thoughts Records,
       featuring an exclusive track by me, "eBay Trauma

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