Producer gets instrumental
Prolific artist gets help from friends
Factor raises his left wrist to show off a new tattoo. It’s the geometric design on the cover of his latest release Factor and the Chandeliers.
“My girl’s gonna kill me,” he said. “She hasn’t seen it yet.”
Graham Murawsky, a.k.a. Factor, dropped his first instrumental record Nov. 21, and the 23-minute EP has already garnered considerable online hype. The official release party takes place this weekend and features Gregory Pepper (of Common Grackle), Cam the Wiz, Chaps and surprise guests.
Factor is unequivocally one of the most prolific artists in this province. While Factor and the Chandeliers is his third solo record, he’s worked on more than 30 releases in the last decade. He began as a DJ in 1998 and founded his own label, Side Road Records, in 2001. His records are also released records on Fake Four Inc., an American-based indie label helmed by rapper Ceschi. Factor first worked with the Ceschi in 2008.
“We did the collaboration before his label started,” Factor said. “It turned out that he heard the Chandelier record and it ended up being the second Fake Four release.”
Name-dropping all the artists he’s worked with would very nearly take up all the space in this article, but some of the big ones include AWOL One, Aesop Rock, Buck 65, Xzibit, Kool Keith and Josh Martinez. He’s also worked with a number of Saskatchewan-based artists including Def 3, Gescha and Kay the Aquanaut.
Since August alone, Factor has released the first instalment in a series of digital-only Club Soda releases and another record with Paranoid Castle (with rapper Kirby Dominant) called Champagne Nightmares! This year he also toured Europe and the United States behind a project called Common Grackle, his genre-hopping endeavour with Guelph, Ont.-based musician Pepper.
Though Factor has toured and performed all over the world, his home is this city, where he grew up. He works in his east side Saskatoon basement, a large photo of a Saskatchewan lake on one wall, the sky on another. There’s a collection of synthesizers, a Fender amp, microphones and a pair of turntables.
“Saskatoon is the best. The diverse scene really allows people to make the kind of music and art they want to be making,” he said. “Music seems to be an up and down scene no matter where you live.”
The genesis for his latest release started when Factor began recruiting friends and session musicians to perform on his tracks. Burned out on the copyright issues surrounding samples, he decided to create a sample-free instrumental record with session musicians and field recordings.
Friends Enver Hampton, Levi Soulodre (both of Reform Party), Gregory Pepper, Timothy Gadzella on horns, Michael Dawson (of Library Voices), Curtis Moneo and Moka Only appear on the latest release.
Factor performs Saturday at Amigos.