Carl Hancock Rux released Apothecary Rx
In contemporary hip-hop and R&B music, artists such as Cody Chestnut and The Roots have been dubbed as innovators who incorporate Black music styles into contemporary formats; artists who stand apart from the mainstream and deliver an original voice.
Artist: Carl Hancock Rux
Title: Apothecary Rx
Release date: 06/1/04
Label: Giant Step
Carl Hancock Rux
Buy at: Amazon
Carl Hancock Rux has also borrowed from various traditions in order to offer heartfelt and innovative art, tapping deep into his soul and psyche to bring forth works of art and beauty that are universal in their scope and startling in their intensity and originality.
Released on June 1st, Apothecary Rx is the sophomore CD from Rux, and his full-length debut on leading NYC independent label Giant Step Records. The CD encompasses gospel, hip hop, rock, and jazz, which sums up the breadth of Carl’s sonic inspirations and possibilities. Featured artists include Brazilian composer Vinicius Cantuaria; avant-garde jazz violinist Leroy Jenkins; keyboardist/songwriter Rob Hyman (The Hooters, Cyndi Lauper); Chocolate Genius, and Carl’s co-producer Stewart Lerman (Dar Williams, Black 47, Jules Shear).
Carl says, “I wanted to make music that reflected my eclectic musical tastes: soul, gospel, blues, rock, hip-hop etc. I wanted to write songs inspired by everyone from Serge Gainsbourg to Coldplay, King Pleasure to 50 Cent...I wanted the record to be textured, with live instrumentation as well as samples and digital sounds. This album is eclectic because Black music has always been eclectic, has always pushed the envelope of invention…”. He further compares the record to “going into a drug store with a million herbs and remedies and potions lining glass shelves--taking from it the ingredients that heal you and restore you to yourself”. With Apothercary Rx, Carl takes his inspirations to “anotha level” and inspires us to dream outside the lines. As Carl sees it, the album is about “admitting the state of the soul, requesting some assistance and moving on.”
That sense of transition leading to completion helped fuel songs such as the insistent, pre-Sept. 11th penned “Eleven More Days,” a funky rant that Rux describes as being about “the intangible sense of despair and the need to break free from a continuum of tragedy.” Life’s more ephemeral states of being and (un)consciousness make their presence felt in the fever dream that is "Protean Character," a mournful blue light basement doo-wop with horns and dreamy soprano back-up vocals, co-written with friend and neighbor Mark Anthony Thompson a/k/a Chocolate Genius. The song is an admission we may all relate to: On “Lamentations” (previously released on Giant Step Records) Rux the track, blends four-string bluegrass guitar licks with dance beats to play along with his manic preacher vocals.
Carl is also a great singer. “It was important to me to explore the many different sides of myself and my voice, the result of having sung spirituals with The Harlem Boys Choir, gospel with Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir and years spent at places like The Nuyorican Poets Cafe.” Those who have seen Carl perform live are well aware of his power as a vocalist, and his ability to deliver a song.
Carl Hancock Rux was born, raised and still lives in New York City. His first (unreleased) record brought him to the attention of Epic/Sony. His second album, Rux Revue, produced by The Dust Brothers and Tom Rothrock/Rob Schnapf (Beck, The Beastie Boys) was named one of the top ten alternative music CDs of 1999 by the New York Times. Carl is an award winning poet (Pagan Operetta won the Village Voice Literary Prize 1999), novelist (Asphalt is due out in 2004), playwright (the 2002 Obie winner “Talk”), and essayist. In addition to his headlining projects - which currently include a starring role in the forthcoming Robert Wilson/Bernice Johnson Reagon theatrical work “Temptation of St Anthony” - Carl has appeared on and written songs for albums by David Holmes, DJ Spooky & Matthew Shipp, and Reg E. Gaines.
Apothecary Rx Tracklisting
1. I Got a Name
4. Eleven More Days
5. Disrupted Dreams
6. Protean Character - Helga Davis
7. Shadow Interlude
8. Fanon - Stephanie McKay
10. Trouble of This World
11. Apothecary Song
12. Rx Suite Movement 1 (The in Side)
"Apothecary Rx " by Carl Hancock Rux - release date: 06/1/04..