Guante (better known to those closest to him as Kyle Myhre) has made big splashes in the Twin Cities both as a slam poet and rapper. His new full-length disc of music is the concept album, An Unwelcome Guest, created in collaboration with Big Cats, a local producer who has served up beats for Sage Francis, Jolie Holland and Haley Bonar, among many others. 3-Minute Egg went to a rehearsal on the eve of the CD release show and spoke with Guante and Cats about their joint effort. [Courtesy of 3-Minute Egg]
Strange Famous Records + Tru Ruts
to offer exclusive pre-sales of ‘An Unwelcome Guest’
“Earnestness can go wrong in hip hop. On this album, it goes very right.” –Sage Francis
Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records’ release of “An Unwelcome Guest,” the hip hop concept album from Twin Cities duo Guante & Big Cats, will be available exclusively through Strange Famous Records until its official release on January 12th, 2010. The indie-rap powerhouse, home to Sage Francis, B.Dolan, Prolyphic (who guests on the album) and other forward-thinking artists, will sell the album through its web-store at www.strangefamous.com.
Following the pre-sales period, rising indie label, Tru Ruts, will make the album available in stores and other distribution outlets, however, ‘An Unwelcome Guest’ will continue to be available via digital download through Strange Famous Records.
“An Unwelcome Guest” tells the story of one man fleeing the zombie apocalypse. It may sound original, but isn’t. The post-apocalypse concept has been done to death. What is original, however, is the way the duo plays with perspective, pushes the boundaries of hip hop narrative and somehow makes a love story about zombies, superheroes, displacement, violence, struggle, and America work.
Big Cats’ beats could almost tell the story themselves—intensely cinematic, the production walks the line between crazy outer-space simmering funk and straight-up hip hop bangers. Guante, part of the championship 2009 National Poetry Slam St. Paul team, writes like a poet but doesn’t rap like one—the songs are hook-driven, dynamic and instantly quotable. Unapologetically political, unflinchingly descriptive and undeniably ambitious, the album is the duo’s first full-length collaboration.
Listeners who buy “An Unwelcome Guest” through the Strange Famous store will receive a signed copy of the album, a free instrumental CD, a limited-edition sticker and a booklet by Guante containing song lyrics, commentary and pictures.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR TWIN CITIES RESIDENTS:
Though the album’s official release (for record stores, ITunes and other retailers) will be in January, Twin Cities residents will have an exclusive opportunity to get it on Dec 12 at the Bedlam Theater during the special Twin Cities release party. Joined by No Bird Sing, Kristoff Krane and the Tribe, and backed by a live band featuring members of Dragons Power Up, Guante & Big Cats will play the album in its entirety and sell physical copies of the album for one night only (10pm, 18+, $7).
Kyle “Guante” Myhre made a splash last year with his album, “El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment,” a disc that got him named an Artist of the Year by City Pages and landed him on URB magazine’s “Next 1,000” list. In addition to organizing the local Hip Hop Against Homophobia series, he’s also a local and national slam-poetry champion for two years running. He has followed up all that with “An Unwelcome Guest,” his new album recorded with producer Big Cats, whose resume includes work with Sage Francis and Jolie Holland. It’s a concept album, telling the story of “one man moving from east to west in the wake of man-made disaster and his own personal tragedy. Also, there are zombies.” Guante and Big Cats play a CD-release show Saturday at the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis with support from No Bird Sing and Kristoff Krane.
Originally posted on Pioneer Press’ TwinCities.com by Ross Raihala on 10 December 2009.
Guante will be performing at one of the biggest hip hop festivals of the year – Soundset 09. Performing with Guante during his set are collaborators Big Cats!, See More Perspective + Chantz. The festival takes place at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN. Gates open at 11:00am. The list of artists is a who’s who of indie hip hop, with a strong showing of Twin Town talent: Atmosphere, The Pharcyde, MF Doom, Brother Ali, Freeway & Jake One, Sage Francis with B. Dolan, Immortal Technique, P.O.S, El P with Mr. Dibbs & TMQ, Eyedea & Abilities, Abstract Rude + Aceyalone & Myka 9 = Haiku D’Etat with DJ Drez, Prince Paul, Buck 65, Blueprint with DJ Rare Groove, DJ Numark, Heiruspecs, Cunninlynguists, Blue Scholars, Sims of Doomtree, One Be Lo, I Self Devine, Awol One, Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak = Hand Over Fist of Doomtree, Toki Wright, Grieves, Unknown Prophets, Lil Buddy Mclain, Just.Live, Kristoff Krane, El Guante, Plain Ole Bill, BK One, King Otto, and DJ Nikoless.
Pre-Sale tickets are sold out. VIP and After Party tickets are sold out. But General Admission tickets are still available here.
For more information about the festival, check out the Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/soundset
Twin Cities hip hop duo Guante & Big Cats! to release EP on May 9
Seven-track album foreshadows a late-2009 full-length
Above the Fold called El Guante & Big Cats! the Twin Cities’ best up-and-coming MC and producer, respectively. Their first release as a duo, a seven-track EP released through respected indie label Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records entitled “Start a Fire,” will attempt to live up to the hype.
Featuring the remix to Guante’s 2008 surprise hit “One of These Mornings” (as heard on 89.3 The Current), as well as the tattoo-lover’s anthem “Old English Letters,” superhero allegory “The Hero” and bittersweet love song “Dragons,” the EP showcases the depth of thought, gallows humor and political insight that made Guante one of City Pages’ “Artists of the Year,” URB Magazine’s “Next 1000,” an Independent Music Awards nominee and a CMJ Spotlight Artist for 2009.
Producer Big Cats!, fresh off of producing Sage Francis’ “Black Out on White Night,” as well as his own critically-acclaimed instrumental hip hop album “Sleep Tapes,” is in top form as well. His production is melancholy, multi-layered and cinematic; a definite stylistic departure from the standard TC hip hop sound.
“Start a Fire” is the prelude to “An Unwelcome Guest,” the duo’s full-length concept album due out in late 2009.
“People always talk about how over-saturated the Twin Cities hip hop scene is,” Guante says. “And if you’re just looking at numbers, sure; everybody’s cousin raps. But beyond that, there’s such a wide range of styles, and people really pushing at the boundaries of what hip hop is; it’s a very exciting time and place. I look at acts like Hyder Ali, Kristoff Krane, our band and a handful of other acts, and I see a community of artists who have a fundamentally different approach to making hip hop music: respect the foundation, but don’t be a slave to it. Push people, both musically and in terms of lyrical content.”
The release party for the EP will be Saturday, May 9 at the Nomad. Rapper Guante and producer Big Cats! will be joined for their set by a live band including members of local rock outfit Dragons Power Up; Big Cats! himself plays live MPC and bass guitar. Chastity Brown, The Tribe, Chantz and See More Perspective also open. See http://deadrunning.blogspot.com for additional information on the collaboration. To request interviews or additional images, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-288-9491.
Guante & Big Cats! “Start a Fire” EP Release Party
Saturday, May 9 at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis
Featuring Chastity Brown, the Tribe, Chantz and See More Perspective.
9pm | 21+ | $5.