looCcaM is an experimental rap project from Buffalo, NY. Tim Collins is behind the concept, lyrics, mixing, and vocals for the project, while his brother Pat Collins does beat production. Tim is a poet, theorist and sometimes academic whose work appears in publications such as Eratio, BlazeVOX and The Journal of Popular Culture. Pat has released music under Definition and as part of the rap group 25 Metro. He has been an active member of Buffalo’s underground hip-hop scene for many years and appears as both producer and MC on many releases.
The main thrust of experimentation for the project is in the lyrics, which are inspired by rap luminaries such as MF Doom and Ghostface Killah and also by the avant-garde poetic traditions of futurism, Dada, surrealism, language poetry, sound poetry, and the beatniks. “It’s a combination that I’ve always felt was meant to be” Tim explains, “but that never came together naturally or without much effort and careful thinking.” He describes the rap style as a “wall of rhyme” with surreal, cubist imagery.
Musically, looCcaM is beholden to the power and energy of hardware. Pat has spent years mastering the MPC, and many tracks on the album celebrate a classic low-fi, sample-based boom-bap aesthetic while others seek out new territory by incorporating 808s, alien drum programming, and synth arrangements. The project refuses to compromise its aesthetic ends and makes zero concessions to banal commercialism. looCcaM’s debut album silence exile cunning will be released October 19, 2023. The album is unique in the history of rap music. While pushing poetic experimentation to the extreme, silence exile cunning equally pays homage to the legacy of hardcore underground rap.
Early releases received positive press and were noted in publications such as Dark Impala and Home Cooking Share.
The COVID-19 pandemic afforded the brothers the opportunity to completely scrap the project, re-imagine it, and start it over, having learned from previous mistakes. “At first, I wanted to incorporate more of an electronic element. The first demos were more in dance BPMs and a kind of low-fi punk rock/dubstep style with a lot of distortion on the vocals. Taking a step back made us both realize that the record needed to hark back to gritty NY rap vibes, then incorporate the experimentation in that general style. That’s essentially the form we’re working in both as aesthetic choice and as our de facto reality, being born and raised in the City of Buffalo. It’s our terroir. We grew up off Main St., riding the train in the middle of post-industrial fall-out. Grimy NY rap is etched in our soul.” While pushing aesthetic experimentation to the extreme, silence exile cunning equally pays homage to the legacy of hardcore underground rap.