Published Sep 01, 2005Its been about five years since Toronto-based MC Mathematik dropped his CD Ecology on the now defunct Beat Factory label. Since then that record has become an elusively rare but essential Canadian b-boy document and until now, Mathematik has maintained a rather low profile, evidently holed up in the lab. On first impression its like Mathematik hasnt been away. His rhymes explore much of the spiritually inclined milieu of his past material with his inimitably insistent delivery riding high atop sparse production. "If It Isnt is a perfect example, showcasing Math explaining his devotion to MCing over minimalist boom-bap, intermittently seasoned by keys and a playful reinterpretation of New Editions "If It Isnt Love. But Mathematik has also added a few new wrinkles to his formula. While he still performs his own scratches and gets production from his long-time associates Down to Erf, hes also brought in the likes of veteran Toronto beat merchants DJ Serious, Mr. Attic and Saukrates to provide sonic assistance and variance. Accordingly, Mathematik stretches past his usual comfort zone putting his own stamp on chipmunk soul ("The Righteous) double-time rhyme schemes ("Whos Wit Me) and hyper soundscapes ("Attack) while managing not to sacrifice his lyrical content. Its a testament to the growth of Mathematiks methodical and thought-provoking persona that he can flex these styles without losing his identity, one that more home-grown heads would do well to discover.
Has there been an evolution from the b-boy aesthetic of your first record? Its always gonna be about b-boying thats just what I am. Its always about what you saw on the first album. The breaking and the rhyming and the DJing, youre always gonna get those elements out of the tracks.
What has influenced the spiritual outlook of your lyrics? A lot of strong positive things have influenced me throughout my life. Reading the Bible, reading the Koran, listening to Brand Nubian, listening to Bobery turn for North Carolinas Confessor has been demanding: signed to the then-fledgling Earache label in 1990, the band released only one full-length album and an EP before breaking up in 94, though they were part of the infamous Gods Of Grind tour with Carcass, Entombed, and Cathedral. Their slant was highly technical doom/death metal completely unlike most bands past and present and the wailing vocals of front-man Scott Jeffreys simultaneously endeared them to fans and alienated them from further successes. They reunited in 2002 for a benefit show for guitarist Ivan Colon, and after his unfortunate pas (Urbnet)