Sounds of The Onyx
Released By: HBO / Giant Step / ABKCO Records / Sony Music Entertainment
HBO’s acclaimed drama series Boardwalk Empire® presents Sounds of The Onyx, a promo-only music project celebrating the show’s recently premiered fourth season and highlighting rare jazz recordings from the Prohibition Era, remixed by some of the best hip-hop/urban music producers of today. A joint collaboration between HBO, Giant Step, ABKCO Records and Sony Music Entertainment, the full project is now available for stream exclusively on SoundCloud, two weeks after the release of this season’s official soundtrack Boardwalk Empire Volume 2: Music From The HBO® Original Series (ABKCO Records). The title of the promo project reflects the home of season four’s musical showpieces, the Onyx Club – a new nightclub run by Chalky White that is featured prominently in the new season.
The remixes utilize vintage 1920s recordings, with the exception of Pete Rock who remixed one of the new tracks from the official soundtrack: a cover version of the classic composition “Sugarfoot Stomp” performed by Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, who serve as the Boardwalk Empire house band. Om’Mas Keith’s remix of “One Sweet Letter From You” by Ethel Waters was originally recorded in 1927 in New York and was never released by Columbia Records. This is the first time it is being issued officially. Keith, a jazz aficionado most recently praised for his production work on Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, states, “I made use of analog synthesizers, cutting edge digital technology and uneven bar structures to create an upbeat remix of an obscure, long-lost song.”
While the majority of the source tracks for this project are almost a century old, the spirit of musical fusion, lyrical signification and cultural revolution embodied in the original works truly form the roots of modern American music and DJ culture, from hip-hop to EDM. The featured remixers worked off of original recordings from legends Eva Taylor & Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, Ethel Waters, Lloyd Scott & His Orchestra, Jim Jackson and Charlie Johnson’s Paradise Ten Orchestra breathing new life into their songs for the gangsters, heroes, and club-denizens of today. The diverse roster of contemporary producers includes Pete Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Om’Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn, JayCeeOh & B-Sides and Tall Black Guy.
One of HBO’s breakthrough series, Boardwalk Empire chronicles the life and times of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City’s undisputed czar at a time when Prohibition proved to be a major catalyst in the rise of organized crime in America. Winner of 12 Emmy® Awards, the series from Executive Producers Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese launched its fourth season on Sunday, September 8th at 9 pm.