SPEKULATION - bio
Spekulation arrived in the Pacific Northwest a dozen years ago, and immediately fell in with the local jazz scene. Enamored with crafting sample-heavy beats, he turned his mic on that world as a source of raw materials. Soon the artists with which he worked began backing Spekulation live, and his band now tops out at nineteen players.
In early 2014, Spekulation remixed the now-infamous “Bout That Action” Marshawn Lynch interview, and the track went viral; garnering 250,000 plays in the first week, and coverage on NFL Network and Fox Sports. Pitchfork devoted an article to the remix, writing, “No joke, this is probably the best song I’ve heard in 2014″. A few months later Spekulation released the single and video, "Home Of The Mighty", the Seattle anthem that earned him a place on the list of Seattle Magazine's top hip-hop artists.
Later that year, Spekulation scored a short dance film with bassist and frequent collaborator Nate Omdal which featured dancers Matthew Rushing (Alvin Ailey), Tyler Peck (New York City Ballet), Samantha Figgins (Complexions Contemporary Ballet), and legendary street dancer Marquese “Nonstop” Scott. The film, dubbed “daring and appealing” by The Washington Post, was lauded broadly by the press.
In 2016 Spekulation released his debut LP Nine to Fives & Afterlives, followed by The Crossover Event in 2018. The new record is “very much a direct sequel to the first Crossover Event record” says Spekulation. “The album itself is one single narrative, and each song is essentially a scene in that narrative.” In fact, he began the process by drafting a script for a movie, playing off the usual sequel tropes and story arcs of comics-based films – then wrote the record as a soundtrack to that movie. “Each song is its own discrete scene, and different characters have recurring melodic themes throughout those scenes (and recurring themes from first album too)” explains Spekulation.
To create the audio you hear on The Crossover Event Volume 2, Spekulation initially built the rhythmic foundation of the record as four and eight-bar loops. He then sent those primal blocks to a brace of instrumentalist friends, giving them free reign to sketch their melodic experiments overtop as they saw fit. “Everyone started with the same blank slate,” tells Spekulation, “and no one heard anyone else's parts before it was done.” Raw materials freshly in hand, he then re-sampled those performances to create the record.
"[Spekulation] works tirelessly to represent the city’s deep musical culture with his hip-hop records." - GhettoBlaster
""Oh Grow Up" has all the joyful bounce and animated sparkle of the best summer tune with the Watson splicing each element with the precision of a top surgeon." - Pop Matters
"I can imagine some poor assistant being yelled at by an A&R at Roc Nation, trying to find this guy on Twitter, vetting imitators and such and such. Seattle needed this after Macklemore." - Pitchfork
"In other words, this song is a slapper, a slumper, and lit as fuck, all in one." - VICE
"A revered figure on the Northwest hip-hop scene, and well-known to a vibrant cross-section of forward-thinking jazz and creative music fans" - Earshot
"an engrossing, beat-heavy work that features a justice league of players from the city’s jazz, psychedelic, and hip-hop scenes." - Seattle Weekly