Local rockers Dr. Dan and DJ Baqbeet make up a significant portion of the rock band Psychedelic Psychonauts, who just performed last week at their own toga party at Crack Fox (1114 Olive St. 63101). Dr. Dan is the bassist and lead vocalist and DJ Baqbeet handles the keyboard work. They have much to offer with the rest of the band, but this! This... Is not your typical rock EP.
The Sunrise EP has been carefully crafted from softer elements of music in its melodies and given a backbone similar to a hip hop beat, but not quite. It's more of a hip hop/electronica fusion of fast paced beats and live sounding drum sounds. In 'Redact', Dr. Dan asks his high school sweetheart to forgive him and ultimately to redact (redact - to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release) any statements he may have have written to her in his lowered emotional state after their break-up. The track also features some guitar playing from Dr. Dan's older brother. In 'Sunshine' there are some light vocals from Dr. Dan and a musical friend named Denali. This is a beautiful, upbeat song that makes one want to lay in a field of grass and let the mind wander, occasionally commenting on the shape of a cloud or two. The third track, 'Progressive Action' is produced by DJ Baqbeet from top to bottom. It's a fun track that bounces back and forth from "dancy" to relaxing, like having a dance party in your mind while getting a massage. The final track on the EP, 'Rhythm, Rhythm Rock' is a hip hop/electronica/rock styled song that reminds one of Beastie Boys, but with a new age twist. Dr. Dan provides the lyrics and flow while Baqbeet brings production and scratch samples from comic stand-up and other more obscure movie clips. This project is a great listen for any music lover!
Lyrically, Dr. Dan is esoteric for those without a large vocabulary. He makes you think about what he's saying as you're listening, forcing you to piece the puzzle together. He describes his writing style as "uncovering a fossil", an homage to a quote from Stephen King that he read in the past. Dan says that, when writing, he starts a verse with a few lines to explore his own mind and then determines what his brain is trying to say. At this point, his theme is set and the bones are then scattered and covered for the listener to dust off and assemble the creature being unearthed through his words.
Dr. Dan and DJ Baqbeet have been making music together for a little over two years now, and they don't plan on stopping any time soon. Dr. Dan is a military brat, having lived all over the world, including England and Germany. As we spoke, there was a sense of a worldly perspective when it came to life and especially to making music. He bought his first bass guitar at the age of 15 and took a few lessons, but never took it seriously until he and Baqbeet decided to form the Psychedelic Psychonauts. Baqbeet, having traveled to California to pursue acting and subsequently deciding music was his passion has moved back to St. Louis and started a great run of music recordings with his Psych Squared partner. Both of them bring something unique to the proverbial table, and as Dan says, they are musicians. "I never wanted to be a rapper," he says. "I just write poetry and it comes out in the form of rap songs or song lyrics". Both of them have much to work with in the depth department, being lifelong learners and also having loved and lost at an early age. At the young age of 23, Dr. Dan and DJ Baqbeet have a lot of life left and they intend to use them to make wonderful music, like this.