Posts Tagged ‘Wiley’

Opium – freestyle

September 10, 2010

Our first foray into film.

Big look. Big up Opium!

Introducing…Malic

September 4, 2010

Sorting through my inbox recently I came across a Twitter notification that ‘k1malic’ had started following me. I clicked through to his profile page and although it said he was a Grime producer, I couldn’t for the life of me find any links. I asked if he could send me some links and right away he sent me some showreels; three in all which I nonchalantly downloaded. That was about 15 days ago. I have not stopped listening to them since.

Malic aka Kitt Bevan has only been producing for a matter of months but already he has honed his own sound. Like Z Dot, he utilises strings to great effect – albeit not as sparsely. Malic’s music evokes that Eski Beat sound whilst still sounding relevant and fresh. While many imitators merely sample ‘that’ Wiley snare for an Eski Beat effect, Malic has a much broader approach; layering polished orchestral strings, deadpan brasses and driving basslines on top of current drum patterns and tempos.

As Logan told me in one of many interviews, it’s always better to rework and edit existing Grime formulas than attempt to ‘widen’ the sound by incorporating nuances from other rap-based genres. In most instances, ‘widen’ is just copying what’s in vogue.

Listen to the below and see what I mean. These beats have an Eski texture to them without sounding like imitations. I tip Malic for big things over the next coming months, he has some projects on the way and I hope to hear him collaborate with some other artists, not just MC’s. His instrumentals are beefy enough to stand on their own. Big up Malic.

Malic – Dont Try It by Threefold_Media

Malic – Bally by Threefold_Media

Malic – Negative Actions by Threefold_Media

Kristian

Logan Sama’s May 2010 Round Up

June 10, 2010

Apologies for the late blog entry. As some of you will know I was booked to play San Francisco at the end of May, which kind of messed up my schedule. However I’m back now, well rested and ready to go!

Flyer

Starting with my trip, San Francisco was cool! In terms of the actual gigs – they went ok. Dubstep has been big for a while out there, but I was the first dedicated Grime DJ to have been booked. The gigs could have been a bit busier, but amongst those that were in attendance there were some really knowledgeable people who enjoyed the tunes and knew the records.

There were some Dubstep guys on the rota and so when they played it was very much a ‘let’s stand here and absorb the Dubstep’ atmosphere. In fact, whilst I was there, ‘The One’ said he noticed his audiences being turned off by the shrill, mid-range ‘Brostep’ that currently popular. Because ‘The One’ and his lot are so in touch with the music, they only book Dubstep acts like Joe Nice and Mala – DJ’s that still incorporate the ‘Dub’ element in their sets. However, when I went in, people were jumping up and down and showing real energy. Surprisingly, they went for the vocals as much as the beats. I think after hearing instrumentals all night they needed something different to vibe to!

I’ve got to big up the promoter ‘The One’ for bringing me out to San Fran. He DJ’s and produces Grime, often collaborating with others in the area. He actually did a remix of Wiley’s beat ‘5.27’ which I played on my show about a year and a half/two years ago. There are guys out there that have been doing Grime for a good 5-6 years, who know all the tunes and are up to date with releases…With the internet, anywhere you go in the world, fans that know the music will talk to you and know as much as anyone in the UK. It’s good to see.

In fact, whilst I was out there I was made aware of a couple of MC’s bringing the Bay Area style of rapping to Grime. One is called Skurge, a talented spitter that ‘The One’ is working with. Also, there is a production crew called ManVSMachine that are doing stuff over Terror Danjah beats etc. I know Tre Mission is big now and spits double time Grime tempos, but these guys bringing a slower, drawn-out style to the table.

Logan's Sweets

Music aside, I enjoyed the American food as subscribers to my Twitter feed will know! I always think of picking up my phone when I’m about to eat…so naturally I feel to broadcast my eats worldwide! I was only there for five days and I wanted to try everything so I went to the International House of Pancakes and had a stack, had a Philly cheese steak and a couple of burgers. It was ok for a week, but if I stayed out there any longer I would’ve probably had a coronary!

Back in the UK it’s been pleasing to see so many instrumental tracks/CD’s coming out. Fans can get their hands on a lot more beats that would’ve otherwise become obscurities. I think now that this is going, we need to keep momentum behind the E.P. and single release model that JME and myself have been using. There is no reason why producers, after getting good feedback for a track, can’t fling it up on iTunes so that it comes out a couple months after audiences have first heard it. Also, this open-source remix thing going on at the moment, spearheaded by Terror Danjah, Skepta, JME etc is very healthy for the scene and is a really good platform for established producers to show the levels. I’ll be showcasing more of the efforts on my show soon, do a little medley or something.

NHNT

Despite only catching a couple of the episodes, BBC2’s No Hats No Trainers has become a great vehicle for Grime culture. If the culture gets out there, then the sound will follow. Whilst I’m under no illusion that if we were to put out Next Hype tomorrow it would make top 10, the more people who are made familiar with Grime culture the more accepting they will be of the music. Then, there will be less need for these 4/4-electro crossover efforts. You have to remember that the guys responsible for picking the track listings for Radio 1 etc, are middle-aged, middle-class men who are out of touch and incapable of spotting trends. They only pick what is popular now.

Anything that makes Grime look a little more desirable to the masses is great in my book. They said they’d get me on there sometime soon, although I haven’t heard anything yet. The Street Fighter section with D Double was something that I’d have liked to have got in on…Seeing as I was one of the first to play the tune AND I spend most of my day playing Street Fighter!

The World Cup is about to start and whilst I hope England romp home to an astonishing victory (!), I also hope there won’t be any major incidents. Having lived out in South Africa for three years, I know how beautiful friendly and welcoming the country can be. Conversely, I also know how dangerous it is in certain parts. It has one of the highest murder rates in the world and poverty remains a massive issue. So if you are going, enjoy yourself, soak up the atmosphere but be vigilant – not just of crime but the weather. It’s Winter out there right now so it’s as warm as London in the Summer during the day but at night, temperatures plummet.

As for predictions, I haven’t seen any teams that are really playing on form but aside from Brazil, I reckon the Spaniards will do well.

Until next time peeps, Keep It Grimy!

Logan

Royal-T’s New Blog Launch on WTTF!

March 29, 2010

Welcome to the Fold are pleased to announce that as from today, Grime producer Royal-T will be contributing an exclusive monthly blog. Here, he will air to the world rarities, sketches, samples, remixes and other work from the Royal T archive.

We start with his remix of a classic. Ladies and Gents, I present to you…

Wiley – Ice Rink (Royal-T Remix)

Royal T – Ice Rink RMX by Threefold_Media

I made this after I had the original instrumental forever on repeat and became quite addicted to it! It was one of the first Grime tunes that I really, really liked – not just as a riddim but as a song in general. I liked how unorthadox it was, there was no percussion – just Wiley’s noise and space. Despite this it still kept a good rhythm and was just really cool.

To me, it cemented the fact that Grime was a new genre and didn’t have to conform to any industry standard. I used to listen to the 14 minute mix of all the vocal versions and I loved the drops on it. Scratchy’s version of Ice Rink was my favourite, although I liked Tinchy’s and Dizzee’s vocals too (the latter of which I sampled!)

So in terms of the remix, which I did a couple of years ago now, I just sampled all the different parts and brought it up to date. I made it sound Garage-y by using the subtractor bass, but kept the Grimy edge. Nothing crazy, just a bit of an update as I couldn’t take anything away from the original.

I like the novelty of the samples and the orchestral sounds – had it been my beat originaly, I probably would have used Tempz to vocal it! He could ride that halftime and make it punch – just like Next Hype!

If anything I wanted this remix to prove that Grime can stand on it’s own, have it’s own ideas and arrangements to sample from. The best bit about Grime is not knowing where to take it sometimes. So, here it is, raw and unmixed for you all!

Enjoy!

Royal-T

The original Ice Rink.

J Beatz Interview

March 13, 2010

J Beatz is a young up-and-coming Grime producer whose ‘Dutty’ riddim has been all over radio in the past few months. A favourite selection of Logan’s, Spooky’s and Butterz DJ’s, it was eventually vocalled by Big H and became one of the biggest tunes of 2009.

With a bag of work in tow, J Beatz gave us a quick interview to tell us what he’s got planned, and whether he and Big H will do another stomping collabo.

First and foremost, can you tell our readers who you are and what you do.

I’m J Beatz, Grime producer and DJ. I mainly make Grime, but I also do other types of music.

How long have you been producing for?

Since 2006 – so that makes it three or four years now!

What was the idea behind your new ‘1st Of The Month EP’?

I hadn’t released an EP or promo in almost a year. I dropped ‘Have a Butchers Vol. II’ around Christmas 2008 and to be honest I listen back to it now and I think it’s crap! Obviously the levels have gone much higher since then.

I had a plan to drop a promo CD with loads of my biggest beats mixed by a DJ, but so many DJ’s parred it. They never got around to doing it. So I scrapped that, and went ahead with a download EP just to keep my name bubblin’ until my vinyl and digital EP’s are out. I think producers should be putting in as much work as MC’s.

Your remix of Wiley’s ‘Bang’ is a personal highlight. Do you plan to do many more remixes this year?

I just do remixes when I’m bored. I’ll get an idea and I’ll just do it. I had loads of them lying around [doing nothing] so I put all of them onto one thing. It wasn’t a conscious decision to make a remix E.P. To answer the question, probably we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see what happens.

There’s Grime, Bassline and Funky on the EP. Do you like to keep your output varied or did you want to cater for different audiences?

There wasn’t a point where I thought ‘yeah I’ll tap into the funky or bassline crowd.’ Never that! These are tunes that I had lying around, a couple of which I thought were going to get released. The Migraine Skank remix I thought was going to set signed as the B-Side…That’s what Gracious K told me anyway, but it got taken away.

I just had to get them out there – [the migraine skank remix] got 43,000 views on You Tube ‘cos I released it when the original first surfaced.

I have funky on there ‘cos I rave to it. I make what I like!

You produced ‘Dutty’ which of course featured on Big H’s CD Street Crime UK. How do you feel the track was received by fans?

It was received very well! The thing with that beat was that I had forgotten about it! I originally sent it to 9 Milli Major, after I met him in the studio the year before. I sent him some beats and unknown to me he passed them to H. When I got a copy of Street Crime UK I was like ‘Oh my God!” it was a tune!

I started getting love and I now think it’s one of the best Grime tunes of 2009 – definitely my biggest vocal. The instrumental (Dutty) is actually coming out on No Hats No Hoods, on Digital and Vinyl. We are just waiting for the remixes to get done first.

Are their plans to work with Big H again?

Definitely man – I’m on ‘Fire & Smoke’ which should be out in a couple of months – I got two or three tunes on there. I keep meaning to send him more beats. I sent him some, but it turned out to be that fake Big H guy on twitter! That guy messaged me and said he wanted beats and that Logan wanted tunes. I sent them, only to see JME and Logan question the guy.

Then everyone clocked it was fake and I was pissed! He actually rang me at two o’clock in the morning, playing my beats down the phone, on a private number! He hasn’t leaked them yet, but if he does he can go ahead. It’s not going to stop the workrate!

On this blog, Logan said you were one to watch in 2010. How does it feel to have Logan co-signing you?

It’s bless man, Logan has been supporting ever since ‘Dutty’ came out. I used to send him tunes – they never got played but he still used to shout me out. One time when Lay-z was one he bigged me up – I was in bed listening going ‘rahh!’

What are your plans for this year – do you have any CD releases coming up?

Right now I just want to raise my profile, release the EP’s and free promo’s and try cement my name in the scene. I want to elevate as a producer and hopefully get some more remix and vocal work.

Why should people download this E.P?

If you’re waiting for the vinyl/digital EP’s to drop, then download the free EP’s in the meantime to keep your taste buds going.

Lastly, any Shouts?

Big up Magic, Logan Sama, Butterz, J Man, K, all the DJ’s and blogs supporting.

Download J Beatz ‘1st Of The Month EP here

Check his Myspace here

Kristian

GRIME 2010

February 14, 2010

Listen to these and see why the majors are once again paying Grime attention.


Maxsta & Swindle – Back to Grime


Skepta – 2 + 2


Wiley, Ghetts, Devlin & Shifty – 3,2,1 Go!


Ghetts – Artillery


Skepta – Bad Boy (D-Structo Remix]

LEVELS ARE UPPING! Grime is on the rise.

Kristian

Sinogrime

December 18, 2009

Snow pressed into pavements…Silhouetted trees Sugar-frosted railings and fences…Oil rainbows on slushy roads…People shuffling to work buried in scarves and thick coats…Commuter trains creaking toward the capital…Sinogrime in the headphones.

If ever there was a perfect time for listening to Sinogrime, then this morning was it. Now if you have never heard that term before, you’re not the only one. I wasn’t familiar with it until I read this excellent blog by Dan Hancox. In it, Dan defines Sinogrime as a subgenre consisting mainly of 2002-3 productions by key Grime players such as Jammer, Terror Danjah and Wiley. These well-known instrumentals had stark, plucked melodies, skittish drums and brash basslines, evocative of the Far East.

Just as RZA had sculpted the Wu Tang sound from Kung-Fu soundtrack samples, the aforementioned beat makers hacked away at Zen meditation CD’s and film scores in search for similarly cold, deadpan riddim. Not only did Sinogrime, as Hancox eloquently put it, refract the “millennial promise of a new superpower”, but more-importantly I think, it aligned a burgeoning British urban genre with Wu Tang’s already infamous sound and revolutionary ethos.

Wu Tang forever changed Hip Hop with their lo-fi ASR-10 drum kits and brutal, street-based lyricism that manifested the social and economic constraints they faced. Their music was a cold, emotionless threat that snatched attention from the West Coast and brought it back to New York City’s projects. In the New York City metropolis, G-Funk didn’t translate – it’s warm, bass-heavy sonics were made for Cadillac’s and parties, not the tinny headphones of a street-based Brooklynite or a boom box in the Bronx.

Arguably, a similar parallel can be drawn between Garage and Grime. Sinogrime, however fleeting as a subgenre, made a similar statement of intent. It said the bubbly raves were over. All that was left was the cold reality of Blair’s Britain. Framed within the communist bleakness of the Orient, the mournful brass melody of Jammer’s ‘Thug’ (the first beat on Kode9’s mix below) rings out like a funeral march – not only for those living in barren council estates across Bow and the like, but for Garage music itself. Broadcast over tinny pirate radio frequencies, beats like this were a kind of death toll to good times past.

Even though the Grime sound has since moved on, those same Sinogrime principles exist today. As we face another year of discontent, I suggest Grime music curb its flirtation with other genres and tap into these deadening sounds once again. Not only would it offer new, expressive and musical ideas from within, bolstering Grime’s own artistic nuances, the results would also prove fitting for Winter settings like those outside today.

Kode9’s Sinogrime mix for Dan Hancox & Lower End Spasm Blog here.

Kristian

Wiley’s New Style

October 28, 2009

Without trying to sound like rebore Wu Tang, Wiley has fathered many lyrical and musical styles. However, his recent commercial successes, whilst broadening his rapping vocabulary (or narrowing it, depending on how you look at it), have caused a bit of a dry spell on the production front.

But now, it looks like he’s back to his button-bashing best. Over the past couple of months, a few Wiley productions have surfaced that have really caught my attention. Showcasing frenetic drum patterns, little or no melody and sharp interjections of vocal snippets, they contain a hint of the old school, whilst also being totally current and banging.

They are:


Wiley feat. The England 10 – She Likes To

The drums on this kill it. With two kicks battling against skittish hihats and percussive ‘Yelps!’ this is sure to smash it in the clubs. It’s big, brash and dramatic.


Wiley & Shifty vs. Ghetts & Devlin – 1,2,3, GO

This is oestensibly a rap battle track, fully updated and pumped full of adreniline for 2009. The drums are similar to She Likes To but the repeated ‘1,2,3’ refrain adds a nice lead into each verse.

The third example is Fumin’s ‘Out Of The Game’ featuring Wiley, Ice Kid, Jookie Mundo and Diesle, but I couldn’t find a video for it 😛 Sick new style for the Godfather, proving there’s plenty of life in him yet.

Kristian.

Manga – The Adventures Of Manga Review

October 28, 2009

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Manga is a bit of a Grime anomaly; a high-pitched, skippy, bespeckled MC whose bars frequently reference style, garms and crepes, yet unlike most rarely stray into badman territory. As a Roll Deep member, his playful persona often seems at odds with the rest of the group – especially when ‘Skeng’ is the main topic topic of conversation (which it often is.) As such, he has faced stick and general ignorance from both MC’s and fans.

Nevertheless, the perpetually adidas-clad MC has persevered, embracing his differences for debut mixtape ‘The Adventures Of Manga’, released earlier this week. Comprised of a curt 10 tracks, the free download features guest spots from Lady Chann and long time sparring partner J2K, and production from Scratchy, Wiley and Bless Beats.

‘The Adventures of…’ starts as any debut Grime mixtape should – with a collection of snippets showing us Manga’s musical journey thus far. If nothing else, in an era of throwaway music, it reminds us why we should pay attention. Verses cut from ‘When I’m ‘Ere’, ‘Fully Involved’ and ‘Do Me Wrong’ set the right tone; a short, stark reminder of this MC’s calibre and his lyrical dexterity.

Indeed, on closing track ‘freestyle’, Manga showcases a colder, ruthless side that has rarely – if ever – been seen before. Addressing his musical demons and stereotypes, he proves that there is substance to back his bubbly delivery. Which begs the question, why include it as the last track? There it is a footnote, whereas if included earlier, it could have been a bold statement of intent.

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The imaginatively titled ‘Style’ featuring Roll deep affiliate J2K is undoubtedly the mixtapes’ highlight. Over a big bastard of a bassline and skittering drums, the pair talk with finesse about their favourite subject. Given their previous form this should sound tired, but they manage to keep it fresh and enjoyable and more importantly – Grimey.

In fact, from the Chemical Brothers-sounding ‘Me Nar Like You’ through to menacing Scratchy-produced ‘Rampage’, this mixtape showcases a rich tapestry of Grime textures within a dancier, more upbeat context. Yet, unlike many ‘GrimewiddabittaFunky’ mixtapes, this isn’t in any way a compromise. ‘Activity’, Danny Weed’s production of the year makes a welcome appearance, although one is left with the impression that the self-named Sir Matchalot could have hit the much-versioned beat a lot harder.

Unfortunately that is one of this mixtapes’ shortcomings. Whilst you can appreciate and enjoy Manga’s stylistic differences, you just wish he’d punch those lines home and add a little dynamism to his delivery. With such skippy, syllable-governed flows, it’s easy to lose track. The radio clips included on the tail-end of ‘Grime Activity’ hit harder than some of the tracks and if Manga is to become top three, he should recognise this and adapt.

This is a solid mixtape, full to the brim with style and should be a welcome addition to any Grime fan’s MP3 library. A great start for Manga, although he will have to shout louder if he is to step out of Roll Deep’s shadow.

Download here.

Kristian

P.S. – Check out Fullygrown’s interview with the man himself here.

P.P.S. Respect to Lady Chann, apologies for the mistake… check her MySpace here.

Martin Clark (Blackdown) Appreciation

October 2, 2009

Martin Clark is one of this country’s most underrated music journalists. He has written for The Guardian, Jockey Slut and Pitchfork Media, and has almost single-handedly intellectualised the Dubstep scene by writing in depth about its rhythms, production techniques and style patterns.

As half of Dubstep production outfit Dusk & Blackdown and resident DJ on underground staple Rinse FM, Clark has a unique and participatory insight into his subject matter. His blog, Blackdown Soundboy is packed with quality articles, interviews and insights from the Dubstep, Grime and Funky scenes – a ‘must favourite’ for any self-respecting fan of the aforementioned genres. Recent highlights include an extensive interview with the bastion of Funky, Marcus Nasty and an interesting piece on Funky re-fixes of garage classics.

Here though, is an abridged version of a candid interview he conducted with Wiley way back in 2003, which can be found in full here. It’s an absolute favourite of mine; frank, charming and to the point…Which is Clark all over.

Enjoy.

Wiley is the biggest MC in East London. In any bit of London for that matter. He’s the man who brought Dizzee Rascal and his Roll Deep Entourage through, who re-invented garage with a hip hop twist via his “Eskimo” and the “Ice Rink” riddims. The man who added the Orient and took away the beats with “devil mixes.” The man of many lyrical beefs. The man with the string-lead, glacial, riddim-not-track musical vision. On the release of “Ground Zero,” one of his very strongest riddims to date, Hyperdub caught up with Wiley …

Martin Clark: How did Eski Dance come about?

Wiley: One day I just wanted to do a rave innit? I thought of the name and went to Mix It Up promotions and did it with them. We had the first, the second, the third and it’s going well. We’re on our fifth one now. We just tried to get all the people in the scene under one roof.

M: And what is that scene?

W: Some people call it grime, grimey or whatever it’s called. But I call my sound “eski beat.” That’s what I call it and everyone else can call their sound whatever they want. So people who make similar music to me, it will go under that anyway.

M: So who else is on your wavelength?

W: Very few. Dizzee. Jammer, Kano from NASTY. TNT. There’s a couple of people who see the vision. There’s many more but they’re the ones I see on a regular basis. Danny Weed, Target, Louie White and Bigga too.

M: So is it a new UK form of hip hop?

W: Yeah it is but it hasn’t been called that yet. But it is very similar because everyone writes their beats, everyone writes their songs, it’s rapping but English. That’s the only difference. People are just talking about their lives.

The other side of it is the MCs. Some MCs are big but they can’t write songs. They haven’t made the conversion from MC to artist. That’s why some of them are still just MCs. Once you make the conversion and start writing about your feelings and all things like that you make it real for yourself. You gotta make the conversion.

M: Tell me about the sounds that you use…

W: Yeah I’ve got a few more plug-ins now. But I use whatever my ear catches innit. I flick through and then play whatever I want to play with it. I’ll play melodies. A lot of people don’t think I make my tunes but I’ve made everything. I have done tunes where I didn’t engineer but whatever happens I always play what I want in. That’s why I call myself a producer. I mix it all down and do it all myself right now. I’m just trying to press on and get further and further in my career.

M: Why do you use sounds that no one else would use?

W: Exactly, exactly: sounds people would think that’re weak, or that’s anything. But I just hear things. I play it and it just forms together innit. It’s like a gift you know that? When I sit down I don’t copy nothing, as such. I don’t try and base my music around anything. Ideas just come in my head and I play them.

M: There’s a big Oriental feeling to them…

W: I used to watch a lot of Kung Fu films. I just like the idea of the Oriental thing. I started that idea, then I stopped it and then went back to it. It just something I like. I like Chinese music. I like Greek music. I’ve been buying loads of kinds of music: Greek, Chinese, African. I just went to some place called Sterns? It sells world music and I bought loads of stuff there. I’ll take it back and sometimes I’ll sample it, sometimes loop it, or take parts and put them in different places. I do all different bits to try and get the finished thing.

M: That’s strange to hear you’re sampling because a lot of your tunes have sounded distinctive and related because the strings seem to come from a similar source or module…

W: I like orchestras innit. I listen to a lot of that. If I flick through a module and hear anything orchestral I might go in that direction. Though on another day I might go in another Oriental direction. I go in different directions every time I start.

M: So how did the idea for the two Ice Rink vocal 12″s come about?

W: What it was that I made that thing quickly and vocalled it myself. It’s going to be on my album – I’ve got a song on it. One day I decided to let other people do versions to get their names big. There’s loads of different ones – I only put out those two vinyl – but I’ve got all the best MCs on it. If it becomes a single for my album I’ll put them out. There’s a version by Flirta D, he’s done a good one. He’s been around for ages but he’s here now, noticed now.

I like him, he’s one of my favourites. Kano, he’s one of my favourites. Crazy Titch, his one didn’t come out. There will probably be two more parts before I bring out the CD. Plus I’ve got the “War.” I’ve got loads of mix CDs. Once called “Creeper Vol 1” coming out soon. Tinchy Stryder, he’s got one called “The Takeover”. Roll Deep Regular CD we’re doing. All three of them will be done very soon. On Creeper it’s little snippets of some tunes from my album and other stuff, freestyles. Tinchy’s is the same. Roll Deep’s is the whole Roll Deep Crew, everyone, working together to get the Roll Deep vibe going again.

M: That’s the funniest thing, because your 12″s are the biggest on road, but no one’s got them on dub…

W: They’re about. I’ve even got a back catalogue of stuff that never came out. or it came out and it wasn’t mixed down properly. But it’s gonna carry on, it’s not gonna stop.

M: How did the idea for the beatless “devil mixes” come about?

W: Nah it’s not “devil mix” you know? I called it that because it sounded evil to me innit. But I don’t call it “devil mix” anymore because when I started calling it that I started to get lots of bad luck, if you understand. I called it that because it sounded evil but really, why didn’t I call it “god mix” then? Because I don’t believe in the devil. The more and the more you say his name, believe it or not, he’ll come closer to you. And that is the truth, I swear I am not joking. “Bass mix” I call them now, cos it’s just bass. The devil mix brought me too much luck. I was selling the devil mix of Eskimo and they were selling so fast. I bought stuff with the money, bought a car and crashed it. So it just turned me off.

M: It’s an obvious thing to do – take the beats out of the tune – but in practice no one dares to do it. Why did you just go “fuck it?”

W: Cos I just did. I like bass innit. Obviously my dad used to be on a soundsystem, it used to be all about bass. You used to get parts of the tune that were all dubbed out. Just bass running and then the beat coming back in. So the ideas were all there but I decided to just take the beats out and just leave it and MC on it and it worked.

M: Who’s on the Eskimo vocal mix?

W: It’s being done now, but we did have one already but I’ve re-done it because it had some different people on it. I just wanted to keep it straight cos it had a bit here, and then another bit there.

M: Is like that the amazing “Eskimo (Chubby Dread vocal special)” with you, Dizzee and more?

W: Exactly. That was a special but people started to like that. I was going to do it like that but then I changed my mind, because it’s so old I didn’t want to do it. My single is going to be “What Do You Call It” which is on the “Igloo” rhythm. I done it ages ago, before “War.” It goes “what do you call it?/garage?/what do you call it?/urban? 2step?”

It’s explaining about how we started doing garage and then they started turning their back to us. Pushing us away, trying to say we’re ruining the scene and all that.

M: Who’s “they?”

W: A few people, they know who they are.

M: Media people or garage industry people?

W: A few people in the industry, the big people in garage, they were blaming the sound because they think it makes people fight or get shot. Whatever they thought, they tried to associate it with that. But we’ve had four Eskimo Dances and no one’s died or nothing. That proves it weren’t nothing to do with me. We’ve moved on and they can’t say it’s anything to do with me because all I do I MC and do the music. If someone’s got a feud with someone and they want to shoot them then that is going to happen with or without us.

M: So when you’re MCing, whatever lyrics you say, it makes no difference?

W: Erm not really. What I say – I can’t talk for everyone else, I say what I say – I don’t actually go out there and say “Oh yeah, hello, I’m going to shoot you with a gun… I’m this… I’m that.” That’s not really me. I just go up there and say lyrics. My lyrics aren’t really like that, so they can’t associate me with it.

M: What was Dizzee like when you first me him?

W: He was like just a little boy from the area. He was like energy, raring to go. He put something back into me that I never had in me at the time. I wasn’t converted to an artist, that’s one thing. And I was just an MC. Listening to him made me convert to an artist, it made me open up my mind that it’s not just about garage. It’s music, just make music. Before that I didn’t have it in me, but I got energy from him. When he was growing up listening to me it was vice versa.

Interview by Martin Clark on 23/10/03
This is the transcript of an interview for Jockey Slut magazine.

Kristian