Metrosonics Vol. 1 was created during the turbulent and devastating time period of January 1, 2001, to November 4th, 2008: the reign of G.W. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, and the neocon movement. Much of the content is a direct response to the repressive aspects of those years; an expletive-filled good riddance to this crew of thieves. I wrote what I felt. I didn't try to make a pop album or fill a marketing niche. I intended to create a concise album with a continuity of vision and sound. Musically, this is a "hip-hop" album, although that term holds a variety of meanings these days depending on your perspective. To some of the kids I teach, it means reckless bravado, misogyny, easy cash, sex, and violence. To many people in my generation, who don't know the history of the music or who have never loved the art, it connotes the same corrupted things or a bygone era. To those familiar with hip-hop, it means a culture that contains 5 essential elements-DJing, b-boying, graffiti, rhyming, and beat boxing-all aimed at building positivity and expressing the situation of one's community. To me, it is a music that is the ultimate alchemical cauldron. The only boundaries it has are those one applies to it. This album is my vision of hip-hop through the lens of all my musical experiences. It is a way for me to connect the various styles that have influenced and shaped me, beginning at age 12, as a professional musician for 17 years: blues, jazz, rock and roll, West African drumming, Shona mbira music, and more. Hip-hop was my first love and Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, UTFO, LL Cool J, BDP, and Slick Rick were my favorites. Metrosonics Vol. 1 is dedicated to New York City, a place I grew up in and love, a city where I learned how to survive. A concrete jungle where you saw the worst of suffering and the height of opulence. During the 80's and 90's New York breathed hip-hop. Graffiti, breaking, dj'ing and rapping represented a wild, dangerous and magnetic creativity that reflected the city itself. Times Square was full of all kinds of hustlers, ball-and-cap and three-card Monte games (where I got taken for 20 bucks at age 11), peep shows, b-boys, musicians, hoes and fake ID shops. For 10 bucks, at age 13, my friends and I could buy an ID that would get us into any club we wanted. I used to hang out at the Broadway Arcade, a dingy video-game parlor on Broadway around 50th Street with the best games and the seediest characters you could find. The Sheep Meadow in Central Park was a mini-Amsterdam where the cities young hippie culture flourished; you could hang out peacefully and do whatever you wanted in the confines of the Meadow and it was pretty much cool. The cops had bigger fish to fry. The New York I knew is gone. As an adult, I have seen the corporatization of the city and the emergence of an Orwellian police state. The music clubs I used to play in on St. Marks Place are long gone, replaced by restaurants and knick-knack shops. Even now, though, I see New York's poetry and it's hidden beauty; but the color and excitement of my New York lives in the music I write and play, not on the streets I walk. I dedicate this to; my mother; the kids I teach in my hip-hop production classes; the Earth we live in; my sister, sister in law, cousin Ben, my nieces and nephew and the rest of my family; Fab and all the people at Flux Studios where this album was recorded; Laura the design behind the band; Mike the web guru; Jurate for the photos; Evan for the edits; Scribe for the ideas; and the musicians who put their hearts into this album and on stage with me every time we rock. In alphabetical order: Alex, Bemshi, Derek, Frank, Ganessa, Gintas, Graham, Jen, Jeremiah, John, Nikki, Oja, Rich, Yakko 440 and the rest of the New York and international musical community with whom we continue to grow. Shout out to the extended family: Earthdriver, Baba Israel and the Subphonik Crew, Jean Grae, D-Max, Epik, Magic Mars, Neef 3000, 3 Bean Stew, Dujeous, Southpaw, Rabbi D, Hip-Hop Subway Series, Hustle Mode, Good Shepherd Services, St. Nicks Pub, nublu, Rockwood Music Hall, Wesleyan University, and Reel Recognize Real. This album is also for all the older cats and teachers who made and continue to make me the musician I am, Abraham Adzenyah, Rodney Jones, Michael Lorimer, Jay Hoggard, Eric Charry, Hae Kim, my fellow Tai-Chi/Nei-Kung practitioners with whom I train and spar, C.K. Chu, my teacher, and to my friend Ben Creese A.KA. First Degree who left us all much too soon. Peace and Respect, Paul 'Metrosonics' Josephs 1. Focused Fire Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Backround Vocals: Nikki Tillman 2.Concrete Fluid Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Backround Vocals: Bemshi and D-Max 3.Media Mistakes Hook written by Epick and Metrosonics Mixed by Axel Neihause at The Tight Spot Brooklyn, NY Backround Vocals: Bemshi 4. Shirts Off* Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Trumpets: Sam Hoyt 5.Wave Co-production by Epick Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Backround Vocals: Nikki Tillman 6.U.S.E.W* Mixed by Axel Neihause at Stray Dog Haus NYC 7. Castles Ruins Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Backround Vocals: Nikki Tillman and Bahia Phoenix 8. Red Ax** Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Vocals: Bemshi 9. Evil Axis Co-production by Epick Mixed by Fab at Flux Studios NYC Bonus Track: Upstream** Mixed by Axel Neihause at The TIght Spot Brooklyn, NY Backround Vocals: Bemshi All Songs Written and Produced by Metrosonics (P. Josephs) Co-Production Gintas Janusonis All songs recorded, produced, mixed and mastered in NYC or Brooklyn, NY. Mastered by Dave Kutch at the Mastering Palace NYC.