Detroit-based producer Taylor A.C. created a beat tape in a retirement home. That's really all that needs to be said. The caretaker and beatmaker answered a few questions about the process, his day-to-day life within a retirement home, and how he used a great deal of field recordings to sculpt this instrumental escape. 17-and-a-half minutes by a producer that falls into the world of imaginative producers like L'Orange, Blockhead, Wax Tailor, where it's more than just a beat: it's a near-cinematic experience. Sculpting scenes within music is no easy task, but Taylor A.C. crafts his own short film with Hyperreal. Listen to the project below as you read through the insightful Q+A.
You work in the same retirement home where your grandparents live?
So, yeah. I work with my grandparents during the weekdays. They were in a car accident when I was about five. They both ended up brain damaged, but it's only blatant with my grandma. I essentially get paid by an insurance company to make sure my grandpa has someone to talk to about books before tricking him into bathing. It wasn't what I planned on doing after college, but hey — you find meaning where you can.
What's a normal day like for you?
Typically I wake up somewhere inside. Usually my girlfriend's. Then I drink coffee, manage the mild panic attack, and then slip into the day. When I get to my grandparents', the TV will already be on. My grandpa will be snoring loudly while some game show rerun from the 70s plays. My grandma will be knitting already — because that's all she does.
I'll sweep through the typical checklist: changing out my grandpa's "leg bag," laying out the cocktail of pills he'll take that day, drinking more coffee, and changing out the socks that he tries to wear everyday. Then I open up my laptop and get to work. Sometimes I'll just read. Usually though it's beats. I play piano for my grandma a lot too. She loves it. She can't really say much but she always tells me it's "soothing." Work passes by quickly though. After that, man, it's just usual life shit. Hanging out in Detroit. Working on tracks, seeing friends, the occasional psychedelic experience in Dunkin Donuts.
Did you actually make music in the home, or simply capture field recordings? How long have you been working on this project?
The tape came together over the past year. I made a lot of it in the retirement home — all the chops for sure. A lot of the instruments I did in my basement. One joint I did with my close friend Nick (KidEquip) last year at his house. Most of the guts came from the home though.
What's the rest of the year looking like for you?
As far as the rest of the year, I'm just working on new music. Searching for the New. My girlfriend and I are taking a big road trip into the South West that I'm looking forward to. I'm planning on doing a lot of writing and field recording while we're out there. This beat tape was essentially dedicated to the external — this zeitgeist, or at least my subjective viewpoint of it. The next stuff is basically driving in the opposite direction. More personal, more songwriting. How long can you really analyze the disaffected consumer nihilism of our peers before trying to offer something in return?
Other than that I'll just be making music with my friends, talking shit about politics at the bar, trying to meet Jay Electronica, and continuing towards my dream of starting the Peyote Petting Zoo.
Any final words of wisdom, closing thoughts?
I am hardly qualified to mess up anyone else's life by offering words of wisdom. But I'll just say what I wished I could tell my students when I used to teach: Trust your instincts; kill the Buddha.