Bay Area emcee Kirby Dominant and Canadian producer Factor have both been at it for a decade plus, putting out consistent quality material on their respective fronts. In 2001, they found common ground, began recording together under the moniker Paranoid Castle and eventually released their
debut collaboration One Way Ticket on Side Road Records in 2004.
Kirby’s path to the fruits of the now was. By the age of 17 he had already been selling dope, locked up and shot. He was able to drastically shift gears and move forward at UC Berkeley, where he spent his financial aid checks on making an album. A string of successful releases on Rapitalism Records along with his Dominant Mammals collabo with Moka Only brought Kirby to the forefront of west coast indie rap and drew praise from the likes of URB Magazine and the San Francisco Guardian.
Factor has produced full-lengths for a who’s who of underground talent ranging from Awol One to Moka Only to Gregory Pepper in addition to his own lush, melodic solo endeavors. His larger-than-life palette incorporates bone-shattering drums spliced with meticulous samples and live instrumentation. From the virtual obscurity of Saskatoon to sought-after super-producer status, Factor’s travels have included working and touring alongside Kool Keith, Tha Liks, Sadat X, Aesop Rock and Buck 65.
2011 finds the duo of Kirby Dominant and Factor reunited as Paranoid Castle with their most focused collaboration to date. The years between the group’s releases gave them the opportunity to explore disparate musical avenues while still building chemistry as a crew with Kirby featuring on all of Factor’s solo projects. Champagne Nightmares, the duo’s debut on Fake Four, delicately careens between playful party anthems and introspective treatises on loss and being lost. While sections of the record find Kirby popping bottles and toasting to the good life, something in the way of Factor’s piercing aural brilliance brings out the vulnerable side of the NorCal rapper via bangers such as
“Orca” and “Some Place Else.”