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Wax Meets Paste: DJ IV’s “Paper Maché Muscle” Takes It Back for the Sake of the Art


Much like mixing water and flour, DJ IV mixes hip-hop and soul to create something solid.

Ever hear people talk about how music sounded better on vinyl or cassette? I think it’s more accurate to say music was just better back then, regardless of the medium. What we’ve been missing as music-lovers is that grit, the rawness of sound that goes along with feeling out the textures of a song. Producers are over-processing songs for the sake of digital reception, and it’s a problem.

Enter DJ IV from Houston, TX.

His newest project, “Paper Maché Muscle,” is described as “a hazy, psychedelic mash-up of popular and obscure vocalists, paired with an eclectic blend of manic record chops.” As a lowkey legend in the music game, the CEO of Killem Collective, and a lover of quality music, DJ IV has combined the depth of texture we’re used to hearing in classic hits with the funkiness and vibiness of the new school of hip hop. If you’re a fan of Childish Gambino or Kendrick Lamar, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to appreciate this project. (Also, congrats on the impeccable music taste.)

DJ IV managed to solve a lot of the problems we have with musical predictability in this project. He says of today’s popular music, “A lot of times you’ll hear an album that sounds like one you’ve already heard because no one is paying attention to texture; they’re paying attention to loudness. A lot of the soul that was within music came from the textures everyone used because everyone had signature way of recording –  Sly recorded differently than Parliament Funkadelic, etc. It’s OK for things to be rough around the edges.”

My personal take on the project is that it is refreshing, vibey af, and that there is no one (and probably won’t be) anyone else out there doing it like this. DJ IV definitely chose the correct name when branding the project. The art of creating sounds is just as tedious and delicate and mixing together ingredients and perfectly sculpting a figure. The figure, in this case, happens to be a sound that we have gotten used to missing – the feeling embodied in music.

Pop in your virtual VHS and check out the video above for a trippy taste of what you can expect to hear in Paper Maché Muscle.

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Hope Carter
Hailing from "Screwston," Texas, Hope has been immersed in music since birth, first being exposed to Motown by her parents, then discovering her love for all genres as she trained as a dancer. Her unique set of life experiences growing up in Houston's Historic Third Ward as a lower middle class child, attending schools in more affluent neighborhoods, all the while attending an international church in which she was very involved, created her open-minded approach to music and art. Hope is very socially conscious, and prefers to take songs as a whole - both lyrically and sonically - before making her final judgment on their quality. As a dancer, she is inclined to be interested to anything she can move to, but her Dirty South roots give her room to appreciate a more laidback, chill (screwed) vibe. Her taste in music continues to change as she discovers new artists and as genres evolve.