James Acaster Talks with NNAMDÏ and Quelle Chris on the Talkhouse Podcast

Black MIDI is a boy band?

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got the ringleader of the year’s weirdest experimental hip-hop album, who also happens to be a well known comedian, along with two guys who helped him make it: James Acaster along with NNAMDÏ and Quelle Chris.

Now Acaster isn’t a household name in the States just yet, but he’s definitely a known quantity in the UK, where he’s from. He’s a stand-up comedian, a TV presenter, and an author—he wrote a great memoir a few years back called Perfect Sound Whatever, which uses music as a starting point for telling his own story. Which sort of bring us to his musical project, which he calls Temps. Before his comedy career took off, Acaster was an aspiring musician, and he jumped back into that pursuit during the pandemic, creating a collective of over 40 contributors to make an album called Party Gator Purgatory. It’s a wild mix of experimental hip-hop with rock and jazz elements, and it’s chaotic in all the right ways.

For this conversation, we put Acaster together with two of the guests he brought on to help out with Party Gator. NNAMDÏ seemed like a natural choice for a multiple-personality record like this one, since he’s one of the most restlessly engaging musicians working right now. The Chicagoan’s latest album, Please Have a Seat, was his first for Secretly Canadian, and it’s a blistering mix of hip-hop, electronic music, trap, and lots more—all tied together by his voice and outlook. 

Also in this chat is Detroit’s Quelle Chris, who’s been making records as a rapper, producer, and writer for the past decade plus. His latest album, Deathfame, also came out last year, and it’s a smart, politically pointed collection of songs that showcases both his incredible flow and sense of humor—again, it makes perfect sense that Acaster would’ve called on him to bring something special to Party Gator. Let’s check out one of the album’s tracks that features all three of these guys; here’s “no, no.” 

In this fun and insightful conversation, these three guys talk about collaborating long-distance, how whoever’s mixing an album is incredibly important, whether or not one should order cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory, and how Macklemore ruined thrift stores. Allegedly. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to James Acaster, NNAMDÏ, and Quelle Chris for chatting. The record is credited to Temps, and it’s called Party Gator Purgatory. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite platform, and check out all the goodness at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature photos courtesy of the artists, edited by Keenan Kush.)

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