Juan Deuce and Falside get down to work as The Mechanics

Impossible to ignore
By CHRIS CONTI  |  January 31, 2012

The stars have aligned and the Rap Gods must be smiling down at Juan Deuce and Falside. Business is picking up in a big way for this gifted and charismatic tandem, as Strange Famous Records has jumped onboard as the exclusive distributor for the duo's debut EP, The Mechanics ($8.99 for an autographed copy and instant download via strangefamousrecords.com), which was released late last year to high acclaim. I'm all in, and couldn't agree more with the following seal of approval from SFR founder and hometown rhyme hero Sage Francis, who took the time to drop a line earlier this week. Juan Deuce has been added to the big B. Dolan show on February 11 at the PVD Social Club.

Baby-faced producer phenom Falside "the Beatsmith" concocts musty funk montages and stoner-friendly neck-throbbers for Providence lyricist Juan Deuce, who has been dropping quality mixtapes over the past few years (available for free download at juandeuce.com). I was officially hooked following his 2010 mix Juance Upon a Time; from the thumping cuts "Gone" and "Swagg Back" (with frequent collaborator and Fedd Hill associate JahPan) to the old-school memories recited on the summertime classic "Ninety 3," his potential jumped off the page. Falside linked up with the Poorly Drawn People collective a few years back and quickly gained notoriety behind his "seasonal beat tapes" as well as remix and production services with indie-ground rhymers El Da Sensei, Action Bronson, and C-Rayz Walz. Juan and Falside first struck last year with "Hard Luck," and the matchup with video producers Ricky Shabazz & the Boom Bap Boys has led to some memorable clips, including the video for "Guts," the first single off The Mechanics, with Juan and Fal woozily navigating through a night of fucked-up druggery. For a true taste of Juan Deuce's entertaining insanity, I implore you to look up his latest video exposé with Shabazz, a two-minute banger titled "Krill Pill" (produced by local turntablist DJ Mekalek). Deuce exudes charisma in droves and can leave the listener hanging on that punchline, sometimes shrouded in goofball charm. If the outstanding EP tracks "Hey DJ," "Kings," and the appropriately-titled "Frank and Dean" (that's the kind of perfect pairing we're talking about here) are any indication of what's to come from these two, we're in for something special when they wrap up their full-length debut, set for release later this year.

When Sage Francis signs off on your product, ears tend to perk up. I checked in with Sage for a line or two and he came through with a particularly ringing endorsement.

"I've been keeping tabs on Juan Deuce and Falside for a few years now . . . In the past year [Falside's] hustle has been impossible to ignore.

"Juan gave me his Help Juanted CD a couple years ago and I really liked it. The rhyming ability was evident, but it's the vocal charisma that caught my ear, an intangible quality that most emcees lack.

"People can slave over multi-syllabic rhyme schemes and concepts all they want, but if they can't deliver the words with charisma then it's all for naught. That said, being a great emcee doesn't necessarily make one a great songwriter, nor a great recording artist. However, when those elements begin to overlap, special things start to happen.

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