09:music/bedroom beatmaker................................................................................................anand parmar2009
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Bedroom Beatmaker Series
By Adam Saake
July 2009
Anand Parmar is a producer. His distinctive sound of dirty hip-hop beats that slump and groove with the help of noisy shakers and electric bass lines have helped make him into one of Sacramento’s veteran beat makers. His creative approach to the construction of each beat is what sets him apart; opting for live instrumentation where most stay anchored inside the boundaries of whatever digital program is at their service. Parmar, or 'Crush Delight', navigates in and out of the confines of Pro Tools with ease and is always looking to add that human touch that is a necessity for crafting his sound.
His studio that is tucked off to the side of his dining room is littered with keyboards, mixers, guitars and even a trumpet that he promises me he’ll learn to play someday. What happens in this room is special. He can be locked in here for half a day at times, working out a keyboard lick or programming a drum beat; searching for that perfect snare. Ideas are carefully worked out, and at times, it’s a push and pull that might end in frustration at the end of the night that is usually resolved with a fresh set of ears in the morning. It is this exact process; his comprehension of what is required to make great music that makes him a great musician. The kind of musician who truly loves the craft.
Parmar’s live hip-hop group, Compadre, mixes acoustic drum beats with his produced tracks that often serve an equally important role in the structure of the songs. His instrumentation in the band is centered on the production value of his beats and samples that are fine-tuned in Pro Tools. The energy that explodes from select tracks of Parmar’s catalogue is equal to the raw noise of a metal band in a one-car garage. Pure bass gallops the kick and snare forward, ever increasing and changing with the addition of new sounds. It’s maximum energy with minimal construction and the result is a solid blanket of texture that is surprisingly achieved through the use of sound alone. This, mixed with a live band, is a recipe for a great live performance.
Vhcle caught up with Crush Delight to discuss what goes on inside the studio of a true bedroom beatmaker.
Vhcle: Where did the name Crush Delight come from?
Anand Parmar: My friend Jason, who is a G at branding, gave me a list of potential names. 'CrushDelight' was one of them. I aim at creating hard crushing music that is delightful to listen to.
V: How long have you been making music? Making hip-hop?
AP: 10 plus years.
V: Did you start out just Djing and then the production side followed, or did they always go hand in hand?
AP: I started out djing. Production is usually a natural and logical next step for most Djs. Djing helps set up a proper foundation for producing.
V: I know that J Dilla’s sound and the Detroit techno movement have been a big influence for you. What is it about these distinct sounds that attracted you to them and what do you take from them for your own compositions?
AP: There is a lot of history coming out of Detroit. Years of social economic struggle can be heard in the music, there is a “grit” to it. It's minimal and to the point. Detroit is the home of Motown, so soul is engrained in the music. I have been a fan of Detroit music from Juan Atkins to Darrik May to Jay Dilla. When I produce, I definitely try to incorporate those elements.
V: Your part of a live hip-hop group in Sacramento called Compadre. What is your role in the band? Do you find yourself communicating with the other musicians in a way that transcends DJing or beat making?
AP: Compadre is a 6-peice hiphop/soul/afrorock band in which I Dj. I add cuts, synth work and dub out vocals and instruments. Working in a band is different. As a dj/beatmaker it is a solo effort where you have full control, but in a band setting that control is gone. You have multiple ideas in the works, which can be crazily great but like any relationship, heads can bump.

Photo by Dominick Porras


Adam Saake is a full time arts and culture snob living in the beautiful city of Sacramento, CA.  Whether he's playing drums, writing articles or sharing his artwork he lives by one motto: Don't talk about it, be about it.  His strength comes from the amazing network of people he's met along the way and he's dying to meet you.http://www.myspace.com/djcrushdelighthttp://www.myspace.com/3rdworldsuperstarshttp://www.myspace.com/solcollectiveshapeimage_23_link_0shapeimage_23_link_1shapeimage_23_link_2
V: Has your studio always been at home? What are the advantages of that? Disadvantages?
AP: I have always made it a point, when looking for a place to live, to find a space for my studio. Early in the game, I had always rented houses instead of apartments for that reason. It is simply convenient. If you have an idea for a song you can quickly track it out. I really can't think of any disadvantages.
V: You live at home with your wife and two daughters, one of whom is just turning two. I’ve seen you splicing drum tracks with Krishna bouncing on your knee, talking up a storm. How has having children around constantly changed the way that not only how you make music, but when?
AP: Kids can be an inspiration and having little ones around definitely encourages the creative process. As far as finding the time to get busy, that’s a different story. Usually it's early in the AM or after 10PM when I can get in the lab and not trip.
V: You’ve had a close relationship with Latin American styles of music and being of East Indian descent, the rich music of that part of the world must have had an influence. How have you been able to work these influences into your music without being pigeonholed?
AP: I'm a fan of world music. I was born in Zambia (central Africa) - my parents moved there from India and my wife is Mexican. Also, I grew up in the 80's early 90's in Cali, so I like to incorporate all those elements into my beats. If you were to listen to my music over the years you will hear an array of styles. So, I think being pigeonholed is not an issue. I think that being pigeonholed is not always a bad thing anyway. If you do one thing and you are the best at it, people are going to want to mess with you because they know what they are going to get.
V: When you sit down to start a new track, what comes first?
AP: When starting a new track, the approach varies all the time. I like to challenge myself to not do the same thing over and over. Sometimes I will find a sample and start with that, then add drums last or will pick up my guitar and play to a “click track” then add everything else after that. Sometimes, I may start off programming a drum pattern and add other elements after that. Changing up the approach adds different dynamics from track to track.
V: There are a lot of live instruments that get used in the creation of your beats. How important is the live instrumentation? Live sampling?
AP: Working in a computer realm (Reason, Abilton, Logic etc), beats tend to get locked to that “grid”. I like to add live instrumentation to loosen stuff up a bit, and to add that human ‘swang.’ The two worlds really complement each other.
V: When you create a track, is there always an MC or a vocalist in mind or do the songs take on a life of their own at times?
AP: Some of the time songs take on a life of their own. I just try to get beats out of my system and if an artist feels one of them and has vision of where they would like it to go, that’s all the better. I work with troubled teens and part of their probation is that they can take my music production class. So, I'll shoot them a beat cd and have them write to any of the tracks. It is always cool to hear what they have come up with. I enjoy that part the most.
V: What’s been the biggest change since home studios have become so commonplace?
AP: There’s a lot more amazing music being produced, but there’s a lot more of the unoriginal being produced too.
V: What does the future hold for Crush Delight?
AP: As of late, it seem that all the projects I have been working on over the last couple years are starting to find their place. My wife and I have started a project called "Third World Hood Stars". Shout out to Dan Waker, my incredible engineer. Look out for some releases coming out this summer. Also, there will be releases featuring Awol One, Self Advocate, Dizzy Backer, Adam Saake, Ras Mathew and many more surprises. Just staying on that grind and the future will shine.