May 26, 2010

Artist of the Day: Maker from Galapagos4

Hailing from a city just 40 miles outside of Chicago named Aurora –known mostly for its advances in streetlight technology and for being Ginger Lynn’s hometown– Marco Jacobo (aka Maker) has spent the past 12 years honing his production talent, releasing a barrage of albums/45s/remixes, and spending a lion’s share of his non-studio time on the road.

But despite all this, you may not have heard his name mentioned until recently. Emerging from the vital Chicago underground Hip-Hop community of the late 90s, his role as producer naturally kept him behind the scenes, tweaking levels and digging for ‘breaks,’ yet fans quickly began to associate hard, organic drums and deftly chopped/arranged dusty samples with ‘The Sound of Maker.’

After collaborating on a short series of underground releases with local artists, his beat-making prowess brought upon the attention of Chicago indie Hip-Hop record labels Birthwrite, and Galapagos4. Beginning with his critically acclaimed debut Honestly (Birthwrite, 2003. “the music leaves an indelible imprint” – and immediately segueing into his sophomore solo project Shooting The Breeze (Galapagos4, 2005), the mid-aught’s found Maker establishing a substantial following both within and outside of the Hip-Hop/Downtempo industries. Quality met quantity in a perfect balance as listeners were bombarded with various non-album projects like the limited press 7”s on Bully & Heardrums as well as the 7” series entitled The Maker Files (Shake It, 2007) featuring Maker, Joey Beats, and Scott Matelic.
Rewind to 2003. Soon after establishing himself as a Downtempo/Instrumental Hip-Hop powerhouse, Maker strived to incorporate live vocals and turntablism into his creations. The resulting endeavors include his long-running partnership with MC Qwel on the producer albums The Harvest (Galapagos4, 2004) and So Be It (Galapagos4, 2009) –these albums also double as the first & last releases in Qwel’s ‘Four Seasons’ series– as well as his lead producer role in the Hip Hop group Glue. Consisting of Adeem (two-time Scribble Jam Champion) and DJ DQ (Animal Crackers), Glue released a trio of full-lengths including Seconds AwaySunset Lodge (Shake It, 2005), & Catch As Catch Can (Fat Beats, 2007). (Ramona 2003),

These projects afforded Maker the opportunity to perform alongside such notable, internationally-known artists like Pharcyde, DeLaSoul, Masta Ace, Prince Paul, Little Brother, Mike Relm, Mos Def, MF Doom, Cage, Killah Priest, Mr. Dibbs, 2Mex, Sixtoo, Blockhead, Shapeshifters, and many others with tour routes spanning the US, Europe, and Japan. And specifically, Glue was a featured artist on MTV2 & and showcased on Van’s Warped Tour.

Maker’s creations have also been featured on songs by Sleep (Old Dominion), Josh Martinez (Camobear), Dessa (Doomtree), Psalm One, The Opus, and indie rock band Cassettes Won’t Listen. And more recently Maker’s production can be heard on the producer album entitled Graymaker, a collaboration with Grayskull (Rhymesayers, Old Dominion).

From a licensing perspective, Maker beats have found their way onto various TV shows, movies, programs etc… like theThis American Life’s radio broadcast, the motion picture Trick ‘r Treat (WB, 2009), MTV’s The Buried Life TV series, and many more.

But being a producer is only one result of Maker being a self-described ‘crate digger.’ After spending countless hours amongst piles and piles of dusty 45s, 12inch singles, and LPs, it became a natural evolution for Maker to begin DJing. In late 2006, he formed the DJ crew The Comeups Sound System along with industry peers DJ Intel (Platter Pirates, Dirty Social), DJ Pickel (Analog Addicts), & visual artist Jose Garibaldi (Little Brown Heart). A typical Comeups DJ set spans Funk, Soul, Hip-Hop, Disco, House, Latin, Downtempo, & Breaks, and Maker’s DJ residencies have found him performing alongside artists like Pete Rock, Afrika Bambaataa, Steinski, Chicken George, Andy Smith of Portishead, Greyboy, DJ Day, D-Styles, Z-Trip, Peanut Butter Wolf, & Chairman Mao at nearly every trendy, low-fi, and/or large scale concert venue from Chicago to the West Coast (Ground Lift Media).

You can listen to Maker's music at:

Released Albums:
Maker - Honestly
Maker - Shooting The Breeze

Maker. Ground Lift Media. Retrieved from

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