SSU Presents: Pigeon Hole – Bonfire

After years as members of the west coast hip hop collective Sweatshop Union, Pigeon Hole release their debut full-length record, Age Like Astronauts, this summer on URBNET Records. Their latest creation boasts innovative production from the mc/beatmaker team and a distinctive sound that borrows, bends, and shapes music without regard for genre.

“We made the record using Canadian psych samples, 60’s lounge-pop LP’s, baby drum kits, and homemade cassette tape synths,” says Marmalade, one half of Pigeon Hole. “Mostly we drew from the classic hip hop we listened to when we were young. I don’t know what you’d call it. Boombap-psych rap, maybe?”

Pigeon Hole consists of Sweatshop Union’s Dusty Melo and Marmalade. The two met in Nanaimo, B.C. Soon after, buzz got around of an exciting young rap group packing local venues.

“Listening to hip hop as a kid in small town Canada, circa ’92-’93, meant we idolized every aspect of the music. If there was a song on TV or ad in The Source magazine we were scheming on how to get our hands on it,” says Dusty Melo. “I was inspired by it all equally. It could’ve been Dre, or Muggs, or RZA. I was borrowing from anything I heard and liked. You can hear that in our music, how it shifts sounds from song to song.”

“We had a couple of underground releases under our belt that had done well in Vancouver where the hip hop scene was fresh,” Marmalade says. “People were excited with what B.C. had to offer.”

By 2001, they had formed the Sweatshop Union – a super group built of up and coming Vancouver hip hop artists. It didn’t take long for word to spread. The band was signed to Battle Axe Records that year, and EMI the following year. Using this platform, Pigeon Hole logged close to a thousand shows across every corner of the continent.

Their brag sheet reads like this:
· 4 albums and tens of thousands of records with Sweatshop Union sold worldwide
· Shared stages and toured with The Roots, Talib Kweli, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop, Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, Living Legends, Swollen Members, Ozomatli, and De La Soul
· Juno nominations, Much Music awards, CHR radio awards and more

Age Like Astronauts guest features Moka Only, D-Sisive, and Mos Eisley of Sweatshop Union and is available now on URBNET Records.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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