Label: February Records - FEB 041 • Format: CD Compilation, Limited Edition • Country: US • Genre: Rock, Pop • Style: Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
People Under the Stairs was an American hip hop duo from Los Angeles, Californiaformed in and disbanded in Despite difficulties achieving mainstream or chart successes, the group has shunned critiques that they are an "underground" group. They have achieved notoriety and praise from fellow musicians.
Thes One attended Loyola High and was making a name for himself through his production work and his collaboration with a local, short-lived hip hop group, Spiritual Madness. Despite never having met, Thes One and Double K developed an unseen rivalry through gossip spread by their friends, and the two were wary of a confrontation. Eventually, they randomly met while looking for sample material in Martin's a now-defunct record store on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles and ultimately decided to listen to beat tapes in Thes One's car.
For the first few months after the two met, Thes One and Double K were primarily interested in creating instrumental hip hop possibly for other rap artists to use. However, the duo were wary of rappers and backpackers who were more interested in the lyrical side of hip hop and did not understand or have an interest in the music they were creating.
Eventually, Thes I Cheated On You - Floyd Tillman - Floyd Tillmans Country and Double K made the decision to rap over their own material out of a desire to keep everything self-contained. The group decided to use the name "People Under the Stairs" because they felt it represented their music aesthetic.
During a time Same Old Story - Sugababes - One Touch most other rap artists were forming large crews or collectives and making a lot of guest appearances to help establish themselves, Thes One and Double K wanted to stay out of the spotlight and concentrate on the music, only coming out from "under the stairs" to perform before they went back again.
Thes One and Double K would occasionally invite other local artists to perform on the tracks that they were producing at home, but with the exception of their friends Smile-Oak who appeared on People Under the Stairs' first album, The Next Stepand their first compilation album, American Men Vol. While the duo have seen the movie and enjoy it, they were not aware of it when conceiving the group.
Just weeks after the inch was released, a large portion of the singles were bought by the shopkeeper of the now closed Mr. Bongo record shop. When the owner played the single in the store, it sold out within 7 minutes. In an attempt to get more material from the group, Mr. In the meantime, the group had independently released their first album, The Next Step in Although they were initially reluctant to create a full-album being more focused on song productionthe group decided to take the chance.
With the aid of a local L. Chris Smith and Om Records had taken Mr. Bongo's store owner up on Skinny Minnie - Bill Haley And His Comets - Bill Haleys Greatest Hits! in contact with People Under the Stairs and were initially prepared to offer the group a one-song deal for Om's compilation albums, Deep Concentration and Mushroom Jazz.
Om was a music label generally known at the time for electronic music and club musicbut Smith, upon hearing more of the duo's material, offered them a four-album deal, which the group accepted in The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat Augustthe duo embarked on their first world tour in support of The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat "Deep Concentration" project.
The tour provided People Under the Stairs with a respite from the impenetrability and apparent disinterest of the Los Angeles music scene's key players.
The European leg of the tour evolved into a solo act for People Under the Stairs, with local artists opening for them. Fresh from the excitement of being on their first world tour, and funded by a music label, Thes One and Double K were anxious to try new sampling and recording techniques that they had learned since the first album.
They also took the time How Fast Them Trucks Can Go - Various - 16 Greatest Truck Driver Hits refine their lyrical style with less battle raps and guest appearances.
The result was their second full-length album, Question in the Form of an Answerreleased in June Like The Next Stepthe album was nearly 75 minutes, self-recorded and used an eclectic and diverse range of beats rooted in jazz and psychedelic rock.
However, the album used a much larger degree of filtering techniques that Thes One had learned from studying analog sound equipment. The lead 12" single for the second album, "Youth Explosion", The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat the full run of 15, copies pressed in its first month, and was not repressed in order to promote the second and third singles, "The Cat" and "We'll Be There", which also went on to sell 15, copies each.
Om later released white-label, "limited edition repress" versions of "Youth Explosion" and "The Cat" without covers. People Under the Stairs embarked on a second world tour to support the record, this time adding Japan and Australia to their routing.
While People Under the Stairs was on tour inthey also packaged and released a limited run of their first compilation album, American Men Vol. Om Records also re-released The Next Step in Using this new-found material and the life experience they had gained from touring and shows, Thes One and Double K began piecing together their third album in between tour dates. The album was released in June as O.
The album was again produced in Thes One's home by the duo and released on Om records. For example, the track "Montego Slay" used over 20 minuscule sections of music from The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat tourist souvenir records, cut and reorganized seamlessly into a new rhythm. In the fall ofPeople Under the Stairs supported the release of O. Song" became fan favorites, and they are performed by the band live regularly.
The final album released through the contract with Om Records was Or Stay Tunedreleased in the fall of This is the group's shortest album, clocking in at 43 minutes, and it was originally marketed and labeled as an EP release, due to contractual issues. While it contains several new tracks, it has a pseudo-compilation feel due to the inclusion of several remixes and outtakes from the O.
In the years since the album's release, the group has counted it among their main album catalog, as it was released on double-vinyl and meets the criteria for being full-length. Sex Machine - Various - XXXL 12 - Продвинутый the release of In an effort to expand his knowledge of production and the music industry, Thes One began work on a number of side projects.
Following this trip, he began executive producing and mixing the debut album of One Two Cha Cha Cha - Various - Swinging Film Hits Panda, Fly School Reunion.
Now that People Under the Stairs were not protected by the safety net of being signed with a record label, the group felt personally responsible for the direction and success of their music. As a result, the group started to move away from the "party life" they had enjoyed while making The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat previous albums, and the musical and lyrical themes that would be present on their next record reflected that growth.
InPeople Under the Stairs inked a deal with a smaller, local Los Angeles label, Basement Records, for domestic release of their next album with overseas distribution by Tres Recordsand they returned to the studio to begin production. Feeling that sample-based hip hop was becoming stale, repetitive and single-oriented, People Under the Stairs made a conscious decision to completely change everything about their sound and image for the new album. They wanted to create a cohesive album with a broader, less-jazzy sound palate.
They even went so far as to strip down the album cover to a minimalist look and change the branding and logos that had been present on the previous albums. Just before the release of the album, the group grew annoyed by the internet music piracy and peer-to-peer file sharing that was in full force by the mids.
In a move that was equal parts a precautionary measure and a joke aimed at over-eager fans, People Under the Stairs decided to "leak" a fake version of the album onto the internet in the month preceding the album's release in When the real album was released in April, Stepfather debuted at 32 on the Billboard Heatseaker Chart and 35 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart,  and the album was met with widespread positive reviews and received more coverage than the group's previous efforts.
Stepfather also drew the attention of a new audience. At initial in-store concerts in support of the album, Thes One and Double K noticed that the average age of the people coming out to support them was much younger than they were expecting. Excited that they were reaching a new generation of hip hop connoisseurs, the group asked for their United States tour dates to be "all ages" shows and in-store appearances at record shops in an effort to reach out to the new young fans.
They toured the US through Springtaking along the then-unknown rock-rap group Gym Class Heroes as their opening act. For the Europe leg of the tour, they were accompanied by Giant Panda. In the period following Stepfather and before People Under the Stairs began work on their next album, Thes One released his debut solo album and experimental project of three yearsLifestyle Marketingon Tres Records, and the album was well received in the hip Duke Ellington - The Art Of Duke Ellington / The Great Paris Concert community.
Inthe group performed additional concerts in the UK and the Western United States, and in the days leading up tothe group kicked off another tour in The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat. Having played concerts in Australia many times sinceThes One and Double K wrote a new song, "The Wiz", about their experiences in the country.
In Springthe group worked with director Matt Bird to film a video for the song while on location in Bondi Beach. The filming of the video involved underwater cameras, cranes, and a helicopter shot, and was the group's first music video.
While they were hard at work in the studio, Om Records took the opportunity to release a retrospective album, The Om Years of the group's most popular songs from their first four albums, Step-Dance - Scan Tester - 1887 - 1972 I Never Played To Many Posh Dances a bonus CD of b-sides and rarities was also included.
Like the previous album, Thes One and Double K had tried another independent record label, Gold Dust Mediaand the album received positive reviews. The album debuted at 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers List in October.
For the first time, the group decided to create a concept album involving the daily life of someone living and enjoying themselves in the Los Angeles neighborhoods where they have lived and grown up. They brought recording equipment to a South Central summer house party and barbecue, and used the ambient noise from the party to supplement the "daytime" songs on the new album.
Blvme is the only engineer to record People Under the Stairs on the mic in the booth at the same time. Following a nationwide tour of the US in support of the album, People Under the Stairs celebrated their year anniversary with a sold out show on December 19,at the historic El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, performing multiple songs from every album. The performance was released on DVD the following year. People Under the Stairs dedicated the first half of to more touring in support of Fun DMCand even celebrated several touring "firsts".
In February, People Under the Stairs became one of the only independent American music groups to tour China, selling The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat shows in both Beijing and Shanghai.
Spin Magazine was particularly impressed with People Under The Stairs' Bonnaroo performance, declaring them one of the 25 "Must-Hear Acts" of the year,  citing their performance as "the most crowded" first-day act,  and branding them the "Best Party Starter. Om helped the group obtain licensing from Colt 45 for a 7-inch single The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat Vans for a remix contest.
Though demand to tour the US following the release of Carried Away was strong, People Under the Stairs embarked on another world tour, including visiting Brazil and the southern cape of Africa for the first time.
Still disappointed with the way that the various record labels had handled the duo's product during the first decade of their career, Thes One made the Maldición - Disfigured Human Mind, Insensibilidad Energica - The Violent Necro Noise Devastation after Carried Away to take complete control of the production process for the group's albums from start-to-finish and release all new material under a new business entity, Piecelock The name "Piecelock 70" also styled as PL70 has existed as Thes One's corporate touring account sincebut Thes One took the opportunity to actually construct a whole new recording facility in downtown Los Angeles and make the name a label and a brand.
Thes One made the decision to run Piecelock 70 under a worker cooperative business model, and allow hard-working artists to retain complete control over their output while pooling and sharing resources and taking advantage of the label's facilities. Released on September 30,Highlighter was the first album on the new Piecelock 70 label, and it was released on limited-edition, yellow-streaked audiophile vinyl, in addition to the standard CD and iTunes release formats. Like Stepfatherthe album was one of the more experimental releases for the group, employing alternate time-signatures, live instrumentation, and even a string section.
Highlighter was also distinctive because it was the first commercial album offered with a concurrent digital download in bit HD-AAC format. Thes One decided to release the album in the new HD-AAC format after attending an Audio Engineering Society convention, meeting with the Fraunhofer Societyand reading a white paper on the new format. With the bit compact disc becoming increasingly The First Few - A February Records Anniversary Compilation - A February Records Anniversary Compilat in a digital market, Thes One felt that it would break new ground for the recording industry.
Their performance was a stand-out Suicide & Redemption - Metallica - Death Magnetic of the evening, drawing a large crowd response.
A week before the album's release on May 6,pre-orders for limited amounts of physical copies of 12 Step Program on vinyl record, cassette tape and compact disc were announced on the band's official website, and over the next 24 hours, the website's server crashed 4 times due to eager fans. During the show, the group announced their next album and that Nice would be featured on the record.
In anticipation of the release, the group did a series of live videos on Facebook from their studio and also a pressing plant where the vinyl record was being manufactured. Additionally, the group posted four previously unreleased songs to their SoundCloud account as "American Men Vol. The vinyl pressing was limited to 1, units and quickly sold out. The release was supported by three shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago; the group ended the year with multiple shows in Colorado.
In a press release, the duo said of the single: "We dug deep and revisited a simpler time on this one: old Mountain Dew commercials — People waterskiing behind horses, rope swings, bridge jumps, National Parks, camping and the great American promise of a wilderness and outdoors shared and loved by all.
We hope the vibe transports you to our campfire where we sit, have a drink and share the last glimmers of August light together as one nation under a groove.