Brock Berrigan was hatched in Astoria, Queens some two and a half decades ago… since then, Berrigan has lived a life of seclusion; drunkenly wandering from town to town digging through vinyl, watching cable television, and living off half empty packs of cigarettes and bottles of beer. Today, he makes his way the only way a creature of his design knows how; through Film Score or landing the occasional session gig for any of the several instruments in his well-rounded and highly valued repertoire. As of recently, Brock’s “Hip Hop” page was featured on SoundCloud’s “Artist of the Day” capturing a quickly growing listener base and demand for more music.
The Portable Cypher Vol. 1 is a collection of the year’s most highly requested (for use by rappers) Berrigan instrumentals, along with 4 new tracks for Cyphers all over the world. “It seems like every time I drop a new beat dozens of emails hit my inbox… ‘The Portable Cypher’ is an album I want to do every year, keep those cyphers going.” says Berrigan, in an obviously inebriated state (but with a refreshingly sincere attitude).
Well, one definitely needs not be a rapper; or even listen to Hip Hop to enjoy Mr. Berrigan’s newest edition of this diverse and ever-growing catalog-o-sound. Each beat on ‘The Portable Cypher’ seems to envelope the listener with an entirely new and inspiringly unique energy; until, before you know it, the album has ended and you can’t help but want more. Luckily for us, Berrigan has what he refers to as “a healthy addiction to creating music”… with over 55 tracks on SoundCloud and two other solo albums on Bandcamp: ‘2011 Beat Tape’ and ‘April’s Neck Brace,’ plus 3 new songs on ‘Brain Food,’ any listener has nearly one-hundred tracks to choose from.
What I enjoy most about listening to Brock Berrigan’s music, is the effect it has on my imagination. With so much humor and soul tucked into every detail, each song telling a story through sounds and styles ranging from classical baroque, to afro-jazz and obscure Japanese pop… his music manages to keep me thinking and having fun; which is a rare thing to find in the realm of modern Hip Hop production. ‘The Portable Cypher’ could very well be Berrigan’s ‘Moveable Feast,’ with each new volume acting as a chapter in his development within this modernized bohemian society of artists and next generation beatmakers. How this series of albums will progress and end I am obviously uncertain, but ‘Vol. 1’ seems off to a promising start, with Berrigan’s sound in every increasing demand, and ever improving techniques miles beyond the pack.