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Alias

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Biography

If he played with the antenna enough, young Brendon Whitney could pick up the late-night music television show Friday Night Videos all the way out in his rural, small-town hometown of Hollis, Maine. Watching Cosby kid Malcolm-Jamal Warner host the program and present a cross-section of hip-hop videos blew the 13-year-old's mind and put him on the path to becoming the underground producer and Anticon associate best known as Alias. A drum machine Christmas present from his parents introduced him to the world of beat-creating. He was well practiced when at age 17 he first met rapper Sole. Three years later, Sole and Alias were members of the Live Poets, which would morph into Deep Puddle Dynamics around 1998 with the addition of Slug and Doseone. More work with the members of the Anticon label's crew influenced Alias to move near the label's headquarters in East Oakland, California. Work with many of the label's acts followed along with his 2002 solo debut, The Other Side of the Looking Glass, which included Alias' beats and vocals. Both released in 2003, the EP Eyes Closed was all-instrumental while the full-length Muted was mostly instrumental. With each release, his music began to rely less on sampling and more on his own keyboard work. Remix work for others kept Alias behind the computer and drum machine, but he was also looking for more organic and interactive outlets. Since his younger brother Ehren had been growing as a musician in his own right, Alias flew him out to Oakland to work on a full-length. Credited to Alias & Ehren, Lillian was released in 2005. Three years later and influenced by a move back home, the warmer and welcoming album Resurgam appeared. The woozy Fever Dream followed in 2011. In 2014 the single "Ghost Cloudz" arrived, along with the album Pitch Black Prism. ~ David Jeffries
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