Anticon is pleased to announce a the signing of Bike For Three!, the cross-continental duo of Canadian indie-rap legend Richard Terfry (Buck 65) and Belgian electronicist Joëlle Phuong Minh Lê (Greetings From Tuskan).
Shrouded in strange magic, anchored by the heavy stuff of life, and lifted by mutual magnetism, their music is a bright combination of downtempo textures, smart pop, and exposed lyrical bones.
Over 15 years, Buck 65 has carved out a corner of hip-hop history by unraveling ornate, dust-caked yarns, both over beat-addled soundscapes (see the “Language Arts” LP series—Anticon released part three, Man Overboard, in 2001), and unadorned (he’s now the host of CBC’s “Radio 2 Drive” show).
For his last record, 2007’s Situation (released on Strange Famous), the man crafted an entire song-cycle around the narrative minutiae of 1957. Buck’s love for a good story is famous, and considering, he couldn’t have found a better partner for his latest work.
Joëlle was raised in Brussels by her Vietnamese mother (a painter and a chef). She was infatuated with the piano at her primary school, and took lessons when she wasn’t painting or tinkering with music boxes. She learned cello, pursued photography, then studied music theory in college, where she discovered that making art brought back her childhood memories in vivid detail. She has magic secrets—and perhaps a touch of clairvoyance—that she put to work in creating her 2006 LP debut, Lullabies For The Warriors (as Tuskan).
Bike For Three!’s constituent parts have never met in person, and they might not ever. She found him, and their story unfurls in real time along with their songs. Joëlle sends Buck music; Buck writes to the moods and movements she’s designed; Joëlle then nurtures each piece into an animate whole. Interestingly, Bf3! finds Buck eschewing traditional narrative forms in favor of an intimate stream of consciousness (offset by tight rhyme cadence) that mines the craggier depths of romance both real and imagined (which perfectly befit’s the duo’s working relationship).
Bf3!’s album debut will be called More Heart Than Brains, and it’s Buck 65’s first record to feature all electronic production. Of course, Tuskan has a few acoustic tricks up her sleeve—those music boxes from her youth, for instance—and an approach that seats her comfortably amongst such mercurial beat auteurs as Boom Bip, Modeselektor, Michna, and labelmate Alias. That Rich returns to Anticon a nearly decade later to release his most personal album yet is both an honor and the logical continuation of the label’s own story.