Fantastical hip hop supergroup Clouds In A Headlock released their debut LP, Breakfast in Phantasia, back in November along with the single, Phantasia:
Consisting of members of the worldwide ŌFFKILTR collective, by day the crew are teachers, ramen chefs and goat farmers who traverse cross-dimensional tides to find Phantasia…
• Rhymes: GT Lovecraft, Doctor Outer, Èph
• Beats: Daylight Robbery & Rhino (Runway 45)
• Sonic Tapestries: Ghost in the Machine
Psych elements abound in their work, and they cite Azymuth, Souls Of Mischief, Company Flow and Arthur Rimbaud as influences. Considering the title of the record, it seemed nonsensical to ask the group anything other than: who would be your ideal breakfast guest, and what would you eat?
Clouds in a Headlock’s Favourite 5 Breakfast Guests
• Guest: Jim Jarmusch
• Dish: Banana-oat Pancakes, bacon, maple syrup
Jim Jarmusch became one of my all-time favorite movie directors from the first time I saw the movie Ghost Dog in high school. My mom had put me onto Night on Earth and Down by Law as a kid, but Ghost Dog sealed the deal.
If I made movies, that’s the movie I wish I could have made.
His aesthetic sensitivity and ability to communicate it without high production value in a deeply poetic and emotive way is something that I always felt made his movies feel like they were imbued with the same spirit as the best of independent hip hop. He had RZA make his scores before Quentin Tarantino did. He used obscure Ethiopian jazz as a central anchoring thread in a Bill Murray road flick. The dialogue he wrote for Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni in Down by Law is straight brilliant.
If Jim came through for breakfast I’d probably make these wheat-free, sugar-free banana oat pancakes that I’ve been loving on a lazy Sunday at the crib vibe.
Crispy bacon for saltiness, and maple syrup because it always triggers memories.
• Guest: The Alchemist
• Dish: Menemen
The Alchemist has been a big inspiration in recent years. The early part of his career speaks for itself, producing for the likes of Cypress Hill, Mobb Deep, Dilated Peoples, the list goes on.
But it was the creative shift around 2017 that really caught my ear. He seemed to throw away his self imposed hip-hop rule book and started to experiment with a more stripped back production style that was more about the creative vision and less about trying to sound like a technically impressive producer.
This philosophy is something I take with me when producing for ClAH.
He also seems to have successfully removed himself from much of the traditional music industry ecosystem and set up an infrastructure that allows him to make what he wants, when he wants, while monetising it by connecting directly with his fan base.
Basically, he’s an inspirational guy who’s brain I’d like to pick in between some decent breakfast banter.
• Guest: Bob Power
• Dish: Bowl of Weetabix & coffee
Nerding out over a bowl of cereal with one of the greatest hip hop sound engineers, sounds like a good way to start the day.
Bob Power was the go to engineer for the native tongues crew, mixing albums for A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Jungle Brothers, De La Soul then later The Roots, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, the list goes on.
The stories he must have from the sessions for so many of my favourite albums, I’m not talking about the crazy stuff, I’d just want to know how he got the drums to sound so good on The Low End Theory!
• Guest: Alan Watts
• Dish: American Brunch
If I could choose any guest for breakfast, dead or alive, I’d have to choose the English writer, speaker and self-styled “philosophical entertainer” Alan Watts.
I began to listen to many lectures I dug up from Mr. Watts and instantly resonated with his interpreting and popularising Japanese, Chinese and Indian traditions of Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu philosophy.
There are a long list of topics I would wish to pick his mind about in discussions ranging from the self, the universe, psychotherapy, the ego, patterns, yugen, yuga, Zen, the present moment and the human mind.
The breakfast I choose would be pancakes, scrambled eggs, fruit, coffee, and a bottle of rosé.
• Guest: MF DOOM
• Dish: Dadar Gulung
Possibly the biggest influence on how I write and approach my craft is the supervillain DOOM.
His witty bars and broad pool of nerdy references as well as his unorthodox delivery and ability to bend language to his will is the benchmark that every writer should aspire to.
It’s especially impressive that even after countless listens there will still be more details to discover – hidden in plain sight. This is what makes his art timeless and why I would have loved to have breakfast with such a brilliant mind.
We would have eaten dadar gulung, which is a traditional south east Asian rolled crepe with pandan, coconut and palm sugar.
Many thanks to Clouds for taking the time to answer those – before you go reaching for the breakast burrito, go check out their album right now.