On “New York City,” the Cam’ron-featuring single from production duo The Knocks, New York sounds like a melting pot: a pitched-up hook, a piano loop, a kick drum beat that would be dancefloor-ready at a faster BPM.
“For us, we like to take a little bit of everything and fuse it into what we call the Knocks sound,” said JPatt, one-half of the duo. “I’m really into funk and disco, and we’re both really into pop, Ben [Knocks partner B-Roc] is into rock. We try to make something that would work in multiple situations.”
We, however, like to get a little more specific. So amNewYork caught up with JPatt before the group’s show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn to take us on a musical tour of the city’s five boroughs. What does New York sound like?
“I’d say that the sound of Manhattan, and part of our sound, and what makes Manhattan unique is that it’s pretty diverse, depending on where you go and what night you go out. If you go out five nights a week you might hear five different types of music. … Manhattan, there’s something for everybody.”
“Now I live in Brooklyn, and it’s a little more experimental. It’s the same [as Manhattan] — you can go places and find different stuff, but I’d say it’s probably more dance music-related venues happening. There are plenty of warehouses, more underground, kind of darker.”
“That’s where I’m from. I’ve never really partied in the Bronx, because I was a kid when I lived there, and people don’t really go there to ‘party.’ But I’ve tried … It’s not a tourist attraction — people who aren’t from there don’t really go there, there aren’t a lot of transplants. There’s less of a diverse situation there. The parties I threw there, we tried to bring dance music and they weren’t feeling it. It’s much more of a straight hip-hop spot.”
“It’s a little closer to Brooklyn. [House music legend] Danny Tenaglia has his loft space there, and he’s the keeper of a lot of after-hours parties there. I don’t really kick it in Queens — I went to St. John’s [University] for a year, and that’s been about it. I’d say it’s closer to Brooklyn [in sound] than the Bronx, but still less diverse than Brooklyn.”
“I’ve been to Staten Island twice ever. I don’t want to make any assumptions. But no one ever says, ‘Let’s take a trip to Staten Island.’”
If you go
The Knocks perform on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Baby’s All Right, 146 Broadway, Brooklyn, 718-599-5800, sold out.