Sep 14, 2013

Free Ceschi – Words by DJ Scientist

DJ Scientist has written a couple of words about his work together with Ceschi Ramos, who was sent to prison recently. Please support the Free Ceschi campaign and spread the news. (Full write up below.)

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Picture by Tim Mannle

On September 4th, my friend and long-time musical partner, one of the greatest musicians and lyricists I know, Ceschi Ramos had to go to prison. Most of you have already heard the news and may have supported the Free Ceschi campaign where his label Fake Four is offering great packages of their releases, an upcoming Ceschi digital EP, prison poems and a lot more. Many have shown support and the campaign is doing really well it seems. You can still support it here:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/free-ceschi-help-fake-four

However, I now want to share some background info about my work with Ceschi. This is how the trials have affected our way of making music and were the main reason that our second album, which we had planned for 2011 was never released, or basically how the creative and productive period from 2007 to 2010 had come to an end.

I mainly got to know Ceschi’s music through Noah23, who gave me a demo of his first album (“Fake Flowers”), while Noah and I were on tour together in early 2005. I immediately loved his way of rapping, singing as well as his very unique voice. If I remember correctly, I then contacted him through his website and, as he liked my beats, we had loosely been in touch via emails and myspace from then on.

A major step in our cooperation was when I asked Ceschi to come to Europe and join the first Equinox Tour in 2007, which was his first time to perform in France, Switzerland and many other countries. All those that have witnessed the shows from this first tour know that he blew everything away in terms of his incredible shows and energy on stage.

Since then – a great musical cooperation started – a cooperation which felt like a blessing to me because at that time I was kind of stuck with my own solo instrumental music and Ceschi made perfect sense to my beats. I did not really work with vocalists of rappers yet – Ceschi however, shared the same vision of Hip-Hop with me.

The first beat that I particularly made for Ceschi, but not the first one he recorded, became the track “Count On It”, later released on a 7inch single in 2008. That beat was made still before we met on the Equinox tour. After the tour, when he still had a free day before his flight would bring him back to the states, he stayed at my flat in Berlin and we sat down in front of my computer, listening to some unused older beats on my hard drive. One beat that we listened to immediately caught his attention, it then became the song “The One Man Band Broke Up” – and was the first song he actually recorded the vocals for in his home studio in New Heaven. When I received the acapella, I still remember being so hyped to hear his voice over my beat that I immediately started to work on various remixes of that track the same night – the best of these remixes was released on the eqx-025 project later. Anyway, that song was very important because it basically was the beginning of Ceschi’s story about a fictitious character, Julius the Bearded Saviour, the main figure on our first full length album in 2010 which had the same name. Before the album, we had also released another the singles, “Count On It / Bad Jokes”, “Same Old Love Song / Objects are Falling” (that featured 2Mex, Awol One, and Myka 9), as well as a very collectable postcard set.

I believe that the “The One Man Band Broke Up” LP was kind of like a turning point for Ceschi’s as well as my career – at least out of my perspective on the European market. Even though Ceschi already had two albums out at that time, he was still quite unknown. But when the album was released to the public you could really feel the attention that it brought.

The whole process of making that album, in particular the period from late 2007 until early 2010 when we finished the last tracks for it, was one of the most blessing periods of my musical career. It just felt good to be able to work on something together with someone with the same musical taste. I felt like this would go on for years and years, with a lot more music to come…

However, December 6th, 2010 when Ceschi was caught by the police, it changed everything of course. For the first few days, after I had seen the crazy stories on the news, I wasn’t even sure if Ceschi – most importantly a friend of mine – would ever be free again, if I would be able to ever meet or talk to him again. Even though he was out on bail soon after, things weren’t the same anymore. From then on, Ceschi went through the most difficult period of his life, and still does.

Unfortunately, we didn’t communicate as much as before anymore, Ceschi had to take care of keeping his label running, and basically had to tour even more than before to gain money for being able to pay his lawyers. His answers to my emails have always been short since then and although we spoke about continuing working on our music many times, we never really got back to it. Nevertheless, Ceschi recorded quite a lot of features around that time, worked on stuff together with Factor from Canada, but sadly we never found a proper way back to finishing our second album.

In 2011 we still released our last cooperation, the “Shorted Circuits EP” which was already scheduled before Ceschi was caught by the police, and which had mainly been recorded in 2009. The title track of that EP was dedicated to his grandmother, who had unfortunately passed away. I believe that this is one of the most personal songs in rap history. From then on, the work split and whilst also focussing on my own label, I was finishing some of my older instrumental works, which resulted in my releases “The Artless Cuckoo” as well as my unreleased album “For Better, For Worse” in 2012.

However, we never lost touch completely and have been emailing every now and then about the music. Ceschi recorded a few new things for the album while I was preparing a some beats – but everything felt really slow, compared to our earlier work together. Meanwhile, the vision of our album shifted and as we didn’t make that many new songs, we decided that our next full length would rather be a compilation of unreleased older and some new material, mixed with tracks from our previous singles. This album is 90% finished, including a final tracklist and name – only one more new song needed to be recorded, and for another song a second verse had to be made. Unfortunately, Ceschi could not finish writing the lyrics and record them before he went to jail, so I could finalize the music for it. Hence, this album will wait to be released once he is back from prison.

I have spoken to Ceschi via Skype a few weeks ago and I was happy that he seemed still optimistic about the future, looking forward to a lot of projects as soon as he would be free again. To me, he almost seemed relieved that the trials had come to an end – even with the bad outcome for him.

The purpose of why I am writing this is mainly to give fans an update about what has happened and how the legal things have affected our musical cooperation. Our second album will definitely be released one day and we also agreed to start a totally new and different project in the future. I hope that we will be able to make music again and a new creative period for us will arise when he is free. Here are some words from Ceschi’s last email to me: “I think I’ll be heavily inspired with this time in prison. I’ll be writing consistently and will be more focused than ever. It could lead to better music in the end.” So I think I should get back to making some beats for him.

Even though I am not directly affiliated with his label and I don’t have much contact with anyone else on Fake Four, I know how important the label is for Ceschi and how much it means to him. Therefore, please show support and grab a few goodies from their offers (see link on top or below)!

From my end, I also want to announce that, as the vinyl of “The One Man Band Broke Up” is basically sold out, we will repress a couple of more “to keep the legacy alive”. All his other releases on Equinox were limited editions and won’t be repressed – grab them while you still can!

Additionally, there is one unheard and exclusive Ceschi song that I produced which I will be able to share with you soon. It will be a free single from our new Ceschi & The Raincoatman bandcamp account which we had planned to create. I also want to share another track with you soon, but I still have to arrange that with other people who are involved.

Thanks for reading.

Links:
Free Ceschi Campaign
Ceschi on Facebook
Fake Four Inc.
DJ Scientist on Facebook


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