.......................................... Interview @ hiphopclub.biz
by Ben Grimm

If this is your first time hearing about Iowa City producer Tack-Fu, then you’re about to embark on musical euphoria. When you take a listen to his latest EP with Canadian producer Mr. Moods called “Mr. Moods Meets Tack-Fu: In Good Hands” you’ll understand what we’re talking about. Tack-Fu has been in the hip hop game for a minute, forming the record label “Tack-Fu Productions” in 1997. Years later he formed an production company called 85 decibel Monks and began licensing his music for television and film. Tack-Fu’s music has been featured on MTV and he is continuing build his empire with his own TV show.

HipHopClub had the opportunity to interview Tack-Fu. He fills us in on his new EP, his latest accomplishments and he’s not letting the incident with his hard drive keep him from doing big things!

HipHopClub: With your new project, how excited are you about “Mister Moods Meets Tack Fu – In Good Hands EP”?

Tack-Fu: I think the release is an excellent addition to the Dusted Wax Kingdom catalog. Heck, I was excited the day I was invited to be on the roster! This is just gravy on the potatoes.

HipHopClub: What can listeners expect to hear when they listen to the “In Good Hands EP”?

Tack-Fu: The project is a great example of what I would call “Nu-Jazz”. What you get is bass line riffs and drum patterns based on a early to mid-90’s hip-hop flavor with a 2010 twist. The jazz influences are straight out’a the Blue Note discography. I did all of the mix downs and sequencing so elements of each style is unmistakably represented, as the tracks keep moving along, they incorporate more and more of each other. Not enough Jazz for the jazz cats, too much jazz for the hip-hop headz. Both fans of each genre are a picky bunch. I understand that fact.

HipHopClub: How did you connect with Mr. Moods to work on the EP?

Tack-Fu: I was drifting along, depressed and out of inspiration… my hard drive crashed, so much work lost, I couldn’t take it. It was early 2009 and I was in a funk. Thank goodness Mr. Moods came across the 85 decibel Monk myspace.com music page. He dug the way I put together tracks with other producers, he referred me to this net label called “Dusted Wax Kingdom”. So I checked it out, downloaded all of the artists on the label I could get my hands on, I really dug Mr. Moods the most. He was dark and heavy…but I knew he would be a good fit with my style. I pitched him the idea of an EP, he bit, and I sent him 12 drum and bass lines from the vault. (stuff that was saved) Once the collaborations started to trickle in over the next few months…all of the inspiration came back. It was like…I was back on the grind…8 hour studio sessions to perfect the mix. Back in the zone!

HipHopClub: Was the internet label Dusted Wax Kingdom responsible for all of the mania with the release of the project?

Tack-Fu: Dusted Wax is responsible. The artists on the label gave me inspiration again. I had to contribute and give the label my best.

HipHopClub: What is your inspiration when it comes to creating music?

Tack-Fu: I listen to Jazz. Some classical, but driving around in my ride? It’s stuck on jazz mode. I get inspiration from other musicians and producers I collaborate with also. They come up with riffs, throw things against the wall to see if it works, then I go back to the lab with their contributions. I call it production juice.

HipHopClub: How are you accepted by the music in the Midwest as a musician being from Iowa?

Tack-Fu: I think the novelty has worn off. I’ve always said it’s not where you are, it’s where you’re at. It means your state of mind. I’m from Iowa City, that’s advantage Tack-Fu! I’m exposed to bit of everything. The Midwest is like a music filter. Besides, I’ve been doing this for quite some time and I’ve achieved a nice amount of success licensing my music for television and film.

HipHopClub: Are there any highlight collaborations within your career?

Tack-Fu: Without a doubt the collaboration with DJ Vadim. That was a slam dunk.

HipHopClub: Can you describe your experience of working with rapper Slug from Atmosphere?

Tack-Fu: I’ve never worked with Slug, but we’ve ran into each other quite a few times at hip-hop conferences, swinging through Iowa City on tour, you know… just being on the scene back in the early to mid-2000’s. There really was a movement going on. Anyway, I threw some ideas out there for a featured guest 16 bars on a track type thing, what do you expect? I’m a producer! But, none of it panned out. But hey, it’s nice to see the level of success the whole Rhyme Sayers crew has achieved. They earned every bit of it.

HipHopClub: You also have a hip hop music video TV show on cable called 85 dB TV. Can you tell us about that?

Tack-Fu: That was therapy for me. I was so down in the dumps about my hard drive crashing and losing all of my material, I didn’t even want to touch any music equipment or recording devices. I plunged head first into a video production. I always wanted to do some sort of “Yo MTV Raps” type thing, except put my twisted humor in the mix and represent the independent movement, the underground vibe. After 16 episodes, I got it all out of my system, and I’m back to music production and working at a public access station covering community events. I get to create all day in both formats!

HipHopClub: Is there anything else that you would like the HipHopClub readers to know?

Tack-Fu: My web site is located at: http://www.tackfu.com. I’m sure you’ll be entertained, or maybe you’ll learn something, who knows.