For a producer/rapper with a penchant for science-fiction-based cartoons, it makes sense for Fat Jon the Ample Soul Physician to reference a classic Japanimation cartoon for the title of his full-length debut, due Feb. 5 from Los Angeles-based Mush Records.

The album's title, Wave Motion, pays homage to the multiple effects music has on the Cincinnati native. "In [the cartoon series] Star Blazers, there was a starship Yamato, and it had a wave-motion cannon," Jon says. "It was an indestructible weapon-and that's how I feel about music. It creates that type of ripple in your temporal space."

Though Jon describes Wave Motion as "American-made instrumental hip-hop," it's not his first instrumental endeavor. Jon, who is also a member of the rap outfit Five Deez, recorded an instrumental hip-hop album, Humanoid Erotica (Counterflow), under the guise of Maurice Galactica.

In addition to his recording career, Jon, along with Five Deez's Pace, owns Dimensia Records. "We started the label in order to release music we liked-without having to cater to somebody else. We also started the label to help others out. We know a lot of people who make music but don't always get the same opportunities that others get. So, we try to extend the helping hand with our connections."

Jon's industry relationships with fellow Mush artists DJ Osiris and Boom Bip led to his being signed to Mush. "They [DJ Osiris and Boom Bip] did a record for Mush called The Low End Sequence EP," Jon says. "I liked the record a lot, so they introduced me to Robert [Curcio, Mush Records co-owner]. At the time I was shopping my stuff around, letting people check out my beats."

According to Jon, he sent demos to Curcio, who was apparently impressed with the artist's work. "There was something about the sound of the music," Curcio explains. "The drums were well-programmed, and the samples were really classic-sounding." Curcio first signed Jon to an EP deal, which came as a surprise to the producer.

"I was just letting people hear what I could do," Jon notes. "The way that I've seen things work, [producers] don't just get these phat deals-they just get work. You get this opportunity to do a beat for somebody, and that leads to more work. I just wanted people to know I was out there. I never really expected a record deal."

The agreement resulted in two EP's, Dyslexic and Stasis, which provided material for Wave Motion. "They were originally just vinyl releases, but they had this similar vibe to them," Jon acknowledges. "Robert and I decided to combine them to create a full-length CD. Once we put them together and found a good sequence, everything fit"-even though the songs' titles take on different meanings.

"I made 'For Stress' for my man Stress, who I haven't seen in five years," says Jon, who is published by Ample Soul Music, BMI. "I don't even know if he is alive or not, but if he gets the record, that's for him. 'Feel the Void' is what hip-hop does for me. That beat means a lot to me because it was destroyed, and I had to re-create it piece by piece. I had to go to New York and find records that I couldn't find anywhere else."

Describing Jon's sound as predominately bass and drums, Curcio believes that Wave Motion will appeal to a wide variety of listeners.

"We look at other artists like Kid Loco who are in the same vein as Jon-and who cut across a lot of underground sub-genres," Curcio notes. "This album has an appeal that should cross multiple genres, from electronica to jazz."

For retailers, Mush's previous releases are reason enough to stock Wave Motion. "There are a lot of camps bringing together hip-hop and electronica, and I think Mush is leading the pack with releases like this," explains William Marshall, buyer for Berkeley, Calif.-based Amoeba Music. "It's the marriage of hi- and lo-fi sounds that make this album so interesting. It also has character, which a lot of sample-based music doesn't. [This album] is more about personality than obscure samples."


Mush Records