When I was first told about 11 11 earlier this year I was in a slight state of disbelief. Fellow MMIBTY contributor JD who is an avid fan of Guy Gerber and connoisseur of all things Underground was the one to inform me of this collaboration. Without hesitating I immediately searched for the only track available at the time which was “Tourist Trap”, one of the songs on the 11 11 album release. “Tourist Trap”, after hearing it was a Puff Daddy and Guy Gerber collaboration, was something a bit different. It wasn’t a club banger, but it wasn’t sunrise music either. The song is minimalistic with a slight edge – it contains the signature Diddy triangle hit and some eerie vocals that sound like Timbaland could have recorded them.
Once I became aware of this thing that was 11 11, I did some digging. As the story publicly goes, Diddy met Gerber in Ibiza years ago. Diddy has always had an interest in dancing and though he gained fame in the Hip Hop world, he admires a wide range of musical genres. Guy Gerber is an Israeli House legend who has gained popularity in the Underground over the years. Gerber became one of the preferred DJs that Diddy looked to in the House music world and eventually Diddy reached out to Gerber to invite him to New York City with the goal of recording music together. The result is a musical journey. As Diddy says in the Thump documentary below, the album isn’t “EDM” and the listener shouldn’t expect any epic drops. The album as a whole doesn’t fit into a club setting, but it’s perhaps better suited for sunsets on the beach, late nights in front of the fire, or a road trip across the country.
I always appreciate it when two artists from opposite sides of the tracks can come together and find a common ground they’re proud of. While it’s obvious Diddy crossed over to the world of Electronica more than Guy Gerber delved into the world of Hip Hop, there’s certainly elements of both artists’ sounds throughout the 11-track effort. I’m a fan of “Terminal K” as it gives me a party-in-the-desert feel, but it’s certainly not the only track to do this. “Lifted” is a track I could see someone like Fehrplay or Jeremy Olander playing. I’m glad there are vocals throughout the album to keep the listener interested. Personally speaking I see myself listening to this album many times over – not necessarily when I’m in the mood to party, but more to chill out and get lost in the music.
Our good friend Ken Hoge in Boston took a listen to the album and had a few thoughts of his own. Here’s what he had to say:
When first hearing about the collaboration between house music legend Guy Gerber and hip-hop mogul Puff Daddy I was both curious and confused. How did these two artists come together on this collaboration and what would the album sound like? After watching the Thump documentary on 11 11, I understood more on how they were going for a musical experience not targeting the mainstream crowd but satisfying their collective passion for music. Additionally Guy describes 11 11 as, “when two worlds collide and open a gate to another dimension.” But to really understand what they were going for you have to listen to the album.
The album itself ranges from a 105 bpm track with a guitar and synth heavy melodic track up to a 125 bpm dark after hours track and everything in between. Having been a longtime fan of Guy Gerber you can certainly hear his touches throughout the album with the very long melodic build ups and break downs such as in “Floating Messiah.” On the other hand “Tourist Trap” (duly noted), has a very interesting composition and I consider it a far out track. But tracks like “Lifted” and “Indian Summer” are dark and melodic and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them at Guy’s Black Rock City set at Burning Man while the sun rises over La Playa. Overall I really liked the album and recommend a start to finish listen to be able to understand the experience of 11 11.
Take a listen to the album below, watch the THUMP documentary, and enjoy the free download over at Beatport!