When the call comes to start work on a new Kanye West record, you'd expect that the voice of God would boom from a burning bush and the required collaborators would set to work on the biblical task with a Noah-like work rate. Pitchfork have managed to chat to the seven disciples that worked with West on Yeezus to discuss the creative process behind the project.

Mike Dean, Anthony Kilhoffer, Justin Vernon, Hudson Mohawke, Evian Christ, Travi$ Scott, and Noah Scott have all lent their skills to realise West's creative vision on Yeezus. What's worth noting is that the album was produced far quicker than previous releases, Dean and Kilhoffer explain:

Mike Dean: For Twisted Fantasy, I probably spent 180 days in the studio. For this album, I only spent 30 or 40.

Anthony Kilhoffer: It was probably the fastest record we ever made. And instead of doing 30 songs altogether, we only did 20. Still, we would explore all kinds of options: different tempos or drums, whether a song should be synth-based on real-instrument based. A lot of younger producers just get a beat, put a rap on it, and that’s the song. There's no dissecting, or recreating, or considering the relevance in contemporary music.

When getting down to the writing and producing, the gang explain that worked individually with West guiding them and then getting together to critique the work, Vernon puts it best:

Justin Vernon: Kanye's a world-famous star, but it's just like working on music with friends: You're trying to do the coolest shit. Just being around motherfuckers who have been doing this for a long time and are getting better-- like, there actually aren't that many of them in the world. There's no pedestrian fuckery on this album. People are working their asses off to make the best shit, and Kanye's leading the pack.

As well discussion the key tracks on the album, there's some detail into how West decided to go with the sound of the record:

Anthony Kilhoffer: We want to set ourselves apart from what is currently in rotation. A lot of times, Kanye sets parameters of sounds and styles that we can and can't use. For instance: You’ll find there’s no bass wobbles on this album. Dubstep is really big right now, but it’s not something we could use in our production styles. He’s always trying to not take the easy way out. So it's about achieving clubby, contemporary sounds while setting yourself apart from Skrillex or RedOne. We don’t want to follow, we want to lead.

The full article is up at Pitchfork and also explains the similarity between Vernon and Michael McDonald and how Hudson Mohawke nearly died during the making of the album.


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