Memories Don’t Live Like People Do: Edan Returns With a PSA

Edan returns with filthy psych-rap on a new track off Memory Man's "Broadcast One."
By    March 16, 2015


While America and Nepal celebrate a new Jay Electronica track as though it were an abominable snowman sighting, Edan very quietly dropped his first new rap song in years. Clipped from Memory Man’s dirty psychedelic telecast, Broadcast One, the NYC-via-Boston psychedelic fast raps about our minds being corrupt, corporate greed, religious fanaticism, and lack of critical thought. He also probably hasn’t gotten into Broad City yet. It’s a “fuck the world” rant over a gorgeous acid-jangled put-some-flowers-in-your-handgun beat. And in typical Edan Portnoy fashion, it arrives with a song title that puns on a Schooly D classic.

It’s been a decade without a follow-up to Beauty and the Beat, and I imagine the number of people keeping up black-light vigils has dwindled. I spoke to Edan once in 2009 and he assured me that he continued to be hard at work on his third rap album. For the most part, public sightings have come in the form of New York DJ sets and sporadic frequently brilliant cratedigger mixes. For someone whose music seems permanently lodged in some free-floating interregnum in the crevices between decades, it’s obvious that time is both important and irrelevant. He could be the rap game Ariel Pink if he wanted, but instead, he seems content to create in the bunker.

One quote from my interview stands out, that seems to offer a window into his mindset:

“The beauty of making music is that it allows us to capture moments in a time capsule. It’s like a message in a bottle that you find 30 years later. Making a record is something that can hopefully travel across that metaphoric ocean and maybe re-affirm someone’s belief in humanity. That’s the thing — being able to thread the past with the future makes records and photos and the visual arts so amazing. With a Billie Holiday record, you can remove that obstacle of time. That’s what I’m trying for. I’m not trying to cash in. If the money comes, that’s wonderful, but it’s always about the art. That’s one way to separate yourself from people. There’s this undying wave of artists who can make an album or a mixtape in two weeks. You can separate yourself by putting out product quickly or you can put in more effort to make it superior. If I don’t achieve the latter, I feel like I’ve missed the mark.”

So we wait. On the positive side, this is a very good rap song. There are more good songs on the Memory Man album — including ones with true heroes of modernity, Kool Keith and Open Mike Eagle. You can stream it below.

Edan – Headphone Highlights by Waxramble.Radio on Mixcloud

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