Highland-based hip-hop artist Nate Treme, who makes beats for and raps in the duo Blood Punch (FB link) in addition to his work as a solo artist, recently posted a video on Instagram that had hip-hop fans in awe. Treme has repurposed a thrift store suitcase into what he calls his “Cosmic Suitcase,” a self-contained mobile beat-making and performance unit complete with an Akai MPC midi controller, a KAOSS pad live effects controller, a Korg Monotron and more.
Treme will perform live beats using the Cosmic Suitcase for the first time in public at Bear’s on Fairfield on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Doors open at 9 p.m. and Treme expects to perform shortly thereafter. Other MC’s with local roots, including Mikey Tyner and Eff!m, are also scheduled to perform. Admission is free. The show is 21 and up.
“I don’t like using my laptop live,” Treme told me when I asked about the origins of the Cosmic Suitcase. “This makes me look more like a mad scientist, which is what I was going for.”
The exterior of the Cosmic Suitcase is covered in images of space that Treme cut out of a coffee table book and the interior lining has been replaced with pages from an old Marvel comic. The bottom of the suitcase has a 1/4-inch plug for an audio cable, making it easy for Treme to pop open the suitcase and make beats at a moment’s notice.
A collection of Treme’s sounds, which are infused with the kind of creativity found in the work of Bay Area hip-hop producers like Ras G and Madlib, was recently released on the Jeunesse Cosmique label. Lots of Treme’s work can be streamed on his Soundcloud page.