Hello Buddy Peace how are you? You are a DJ, a shop owner, etc. Can you tell us what your typical day looks like?
Greetings. I’m pretty good thanks. Not too bad at all. I hope things are good out there too – thanks for the questions!
Most days for me are pretty much sets of routines – I’m kind of a creature of habit and routine which doesn’t always do me too many favours but it’s hard to change… Keeps me stable I guess. It’s not always a bad thing. I work at Banquet full time (I’m not the owner by the way! I’m two or three down the chain but I am something of a part owner if you know what I mean), as shop assistant and hip hop/beats buyer so that is most of my week right there. I get up early and get my walk on most days though, I need some solo time in the morning! It’s a perfect time of day, and I listen to a lot of music in that period. In my spare time I try and work on beats and mixes and various projects (with many loose ends at any given time) and generally try and get music done when I can. And without getting noise complaints from the man who lives in the room below me. It’s tough. I got my first written complaint a few weeks ago. Fun stuff! That’s what you get for living above people… But usually it’s just a lot of coffee, reading where possible, walking and as much music as I can fit in, whenever the time allows.
You performed at Hip Hop Kemp this summer. What was it like? How did you enjoy the festival?
It looked like a really well assembled, home grown style festival to me. It felt like there was so much for the Czech heads to enjoy and it was a gathering of many like-minded people, congregating for a common cause and with a very dope soundtrack. I didn’t see as much as I would have liked but what I did was brilliant. I really like the Czech hip hop I heard. And some of the other acts were really well chosen too – they all worked really well in the context. Playing with Waxfactor was great, as we don’t get so many chances to do so otherwise – we connect on so much and it was amazing to do that on the turntables in front of people! Like I said, it would have been great to spend more time there but it was fun all the same.
If someone missed your set, could you say what songs you played?
Well me and Wax play a lot of what we might call the ‚golden age‘ stuff – hip hop from the late 80’s and early 90’s, but then also stuff from right now as well as some hip hop which touches on the more electronic side of things. So you would have heard Atmosphere, MF Doom, LA Symphony, Task Force, DJ Vadim, Danny Breaks, Kool Keith and a little bit of Bully too of course – as standard! You know the science. We need to spread the heat. We cut a fair bit and had some fun with it. It was a really good session. I think we could have done more but Wax had a jumpy turntable which we discovered about a quarter way in, and I couldn’t hook up my effects unit because my adaptor didn’t work! But still, we came through I think.
At Hip Hop Kemp there were 20,000 people, I think, but maybe just 200-300 (more or less) knew about Bully Records, your tapes, etc. Isn´t it a little frustrating, that people are not interested in this level of hip hop?
Well yeah, sometimes it does get a touch frustrating! Of course. But I would never blame people for it – I mean the hip hop listening public can’t be into everything at any one time. And sometimes the more underground and perhaps less conventionally well known music is the kind that people will get full satisfaction and enjoyment from whenever they discover it – that’s the beauty of it, it’s kind of timeless. And when people do discover it and start to enjoy it, it is usually more special as it is, more often that not, something personal – you won’t hear Bully (or me!) on daytime radio. Well, I doubt it… It would be nice to hear Controller 7 or Sixtoo blazing the daytime stations though… It’s just a matter of time I’m sure. But as far as getting people to know this music, or introducing people, that’s part of the reason I will never stop what I am doing – if I can expose people to it and make some kind of connection to the less well known music and the stuff that they already know, and show that it is all out there waiting to be heard and that all these people ae out there making it, that’s amazing. But like I mentioned just now – you can’t be everywhere at once! These things take time.
How did you hook up with Marco Bully (who runs Bully Records) for your mix?
I saw his photo on Myspace and I thought "AYO!!!" and just sent him a really nice message. Ummm… Seriously though… In the past I sent some mixes out to folks – to people I like, and to people who had heard about my stuff and wanted to hear more. I remember sending some stuff to Sixtoo a while back and I believe that he played it to Marco… Marco played them in the record shop he worked in, as the legend has it. That’s pretty amazing for me, thinking about that. I sometimes wonder who’s out there, listening to my mixes and where. But I think I sent stuff to Marco too and he dug it! It was cool because when I got that first Bully 7" – the one with Sixtoo and Matth – it inspired to make a mix straight away (that was the ‚Mathface‘ one) and it fit in perfectly with what I was – and am – into. Anyway me and Marco have stayed in touch and he’s one of my best friends I’ve never met. He’s on some Mr T type travel steez though – he won’t fly on a plane. With any luck I’ll be hitting Canada soon though so maybe we’ll actually meet in person!
Do you personally know other artists from Bully Records like Sixtoo, Joey Beats, DJ Signify and others?
Two Bully artists immediately spring to mind – Controller 7 and Carlo. I’ve been friends with Tommy (Controller 7) for years now – it all started on the old, old Anticon message board (back when the internet was in black & white) and he was offering some shirts that he’d made. I sent him the dough with a cassette of mine and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He’s an amazing producer and he’s making some incredible music – he can flip it for emcees or just a straight up instrumentals. And he’s hella nice too, naturally. I met Carlo in person actually in 2005 and we went digging in London, and again we just stayed in touch. He’s also been an awesome influence on me and I hope that more people get to hear his stuff in time to come… He’s got some very ill material on the horizon, seriously… I’ve been in contact with Sixtoo, Joe Beats and ElekTro4 too for a little while. Everyone’s so friendly and straight up! I mean I didn’t expect some full on aggro badasses or anything (although Marco looks like he can handle his, no question) but it’s reassuring when the people making music you love can be so approachable and interesting. Sorry if that sounds all cute and creepy! It’s very refreshing, and positive. It would be a shame if everyone was all egotistical and not down for getting on with each other – that’s something that this sort of scene is very good at – just that honest and generally friendly style.
How popular is Bully Records in England? Do Brits appreciate your collaboration with this label?
Bully has always been making moves over here – it has elements in common, and past ties with, some of Anticon, Mush, and Lex’s artists (and many more labels too in that style of hip hop), and so a lot of people were quick to pick up on that element when they first started releasing material. I was really interested to see music being released from people like ElekTro4 and Moodswing9 too – I’d heard their music in the past and seen their names on various projects so it was really cool to know that they had a home with Bully. Over time, and with more stores picking up on Bully (I’m proud to say Banquet has been down since day one yo!), the interest levels have been steadily growing and also, with the label’s natural capacity for diversity, a far wider audience has been getting down with the program too. People who like, say, Silver Apples, now have a chance to own a rare album and look, it’s on Bully! That kind of thing. As far as my release on Bully – well for me it’s something that I still can’t really believe happened… I still think, did that really go on? It’s amazing. Being that it was on Bully Projects, and not fully available over here, I don’t think as many people know about it as they would with the rest of the catalogue, but I think people know what’s up now. And there’s info on it on the website and stuff too so it’s no secret! And I certainly haven’t been all that quiet about it…
You are working on a new mix with Carlo. Who is Carlo? Can you tell us more about this mix?
Haha, nice – the word is spreading already! That’s good. Carlo is, as I mentioned earlier on, a Bully recording artist who is not only an amazingly talented producer (and knows slightly too much about old, rare synthesizers), but is also a sicko when it comes to making mixes. We talked about starting something after I met him in London that day, and we agreed on a postal service mix (like one that me and the legendary ‚ZILLA‘ made around 2003), so Carlo started it up, sent me the section and then I started mine straight after. It was a pretty "whatever’s clever" style mix where we took it upon ourselves to push it in any number of ways, but it definitely seemed to keep on the right track and have many natural links and themes. We used all kinds of equipment including the samplers and turntables of course but also videos, finger cymbals, drums, and some freaky dialogue too. Gotta have the freaky dialogue. It’s finished now – we’re in the process of getting it made up now and it shouldn’t take long. Oh yeah, it’ll come with a 7" too that Carlo produced – some of that late night murky Canadian muddiness for the soul… It’s beautiful.
I also read about your upcoming album. Can you tell us more (guest appearances, release date, label…)?
I’d be glad to! Thanks for asking. I’ve got a fair bit going on with a lot of collaborations in the air – a lot of which I haven’t started working on yet which is my bad but I’ll get there! – but the album has been on the go for a year or so now. Possibly longer. It has a theme, a name, and some almost finished tracks so far but it’s been hard to fit in with everything else going on. It’d be good to have more time to work on it but it’s definitely on the way. I’ve been using quite a lot of different equipment on it – just different samplers and instruments here and there, and I’ve picked up a lot of different influences on the journey too. There are a lot of people I really want to work with on it, but being my first chance to get my own music out there I think I will see how this goes for myself and then unlock the door for all these collaborations I’ve been meaning to work on! I’ve started work on some already but there are so many that need to be started. I think this will be on the SRL (Suburb) label, which is an offshoot of the UK electronic label AI Records, who are more commonly known for their electronic music. SRL deals with similar styles but with some different slants on the genre, and I think it will allow me to explore my imagination as much as I would like to and allow for some very different material. I would absolutely love to make music for Lex and Bully though, I’d like to think that that can still happen in the future! A friend of mine has just started a label called ‚2600 Records‘ too, which I will hopefully get something finished for soon. It’s shaping up to be a very promising looking label so far – I think it has the potential to be something of a UK Bully… We’ll see!
Being Prince Po´s DJ has surely been one of the highlights in your musical career. What was it like djing for Prince Poetry? What is your favourite Po, Organized Konfusion, and Monch track?
You’re quite correct – that was some historical shit right there! It was definitely a time that I will never forget. He is a great guy – really straight up and level headed, and knows exactly what he’s talking about. I guess you reach a level of maturity as you get on in this business and it was a very educational and inspirational experience being around him. We played a few shows, one being the Roskilde show in Copenhagen, which was just ridiculous! We went for a litte wander around the festival which was pretty strange – lots of weird stuff going on but it was cool to see how the folks got down over there – and then we played later on, Dangermouse too. Po is a total pro – he handled business like a vet and while it was a test to keep up with him, we did good and the crowd was really into him. He knows just what he’s doing – I have so much respect for him. It’s hard to pin down a favourite Organized track as I’m sure anyone into them will agree with, but I had my first meeting with the two on ‚Who Stole My Last Piece Of Chicken?‘, which I had on this cassette soundtrack from years ago. That’s still a favourite… Aside from that, you have to love tracks like ‚Stress‘ anything off ‚Extinction Agenda‘ (‚Stray Bullet‘ is brilliant too), and I recently found the ‚Numbers‘ 12" too which is a killer track. They changed a lot for the future of hip hop and it’s really good to see that they are still making serious power moves. Pharoah Monch seems to be hitting the mainstream a little harder which is certainly not a bad thing, and Prince Po seems to be handing his on the more underground side. It’s cool, I just hope they might join forces one day once again… It could happen…
What do you think about other successful european groups on this level of indie hip hop like shadowanimals or subersiv* rec?
I used to be in contact with the Shadowanimals guys, on a really old message board that we used! I got a few CDs off them. I really like what they are doing – them and Stacs Of Stamina and crews like that, they have so much energy and a real thirst for the real, raw hip hop. It’s cool to see people making hip hop like that – it has a real bedroom feel to it, like people just making it for the love of it. I have nothing but respect for them, and the labels are putting in work too! I was so amazed by the Barcelona hip hop scene too – I never realised how much was going on there until I was introduced to it, and it blew me away… I remember coming home with so many ideas and so much inspiration. MCs like Tremendo, producers and DJs like DJ 2D2 and El Chavo, and groups like Jahbitat – they are making some beautiful music. It all connects so well with each other too, this kind of underground music – language barrier or not (if the raps are in a foreign language – if it isn’t instrumental, that is), the connection is clear and the music, love, and skill transcends all that perfectly. It’s encouraging to know that all this is going on all over the world – it’s just a shame to know that you’ll never get to hear it all! Oh yeah, I have to give it up for Japan too – Japanese hip hop is ill!
You have incredible knowledge of indie hip hop. Can you tell us 5 best and worst indie hip hop records from the last time?
Dammit! This never gets easier. Okay, here are some of the best in my opinion – and this is just my opinion! And it will probably change soon too! In fact I guarantee it! Actually thinking about it, I might switch up your request and just put GOOD stuff on there – I wouldn’t know what to put in there for the worst stuff… I tend to steer clear of the stuff I don’t like and forget it… So if you don’t mind – here’s a selection of some of my favourites (I hope this isn’t too long) :
* P BROTHERS : ‚Heavy Bronx‘ EP Volume 2
– Some of the rawest, most unforgiving hip hop made for years – straight out of Nottingham, UK too! This has an emcee called CAPPO on it, who just slays it.
* CONTROLLER 7 : ‚Egg‘ EP
– From Californian soul to rugged instrumental hip hop to powerful disco hip hop, this has it all! Some of Tommy’s finest… Bring on the album Tommy!
* DANNY BREAKS : ‚Dimension 3-D‘
I’ve been stuck on this for years now – Danny is an absolute killer producer, and me and my brother used to flip over his drum & bass stuff. His hip hop productions are banging and the basslines are utterly ridiculous – proper analogue synth business…
I hope this gets the attention it deserves – I know it will… I’m trying not to be biased but this is just excellent from start to finish, with a consistent theme and some top class production – Wax knocked it out the box with this.
* ZYGOTE : ‚Beats To Make You Frown‘
I have to mention Jazz T too, who makes beats with Zygote as Diversion Tactics.They are some of the illest beatmakers for a long time, with some proper hefty drums and savage 90’s style grooves – this album bangs but ‚The Peddler‘ track featuring HUG on this album is amazing – try and hear this if you can…
* ODDJOBS : ‚Absorbing Playtime‘ EP
These guys are from around the same area as Atmosphere. This is from around 2000 I think – it’s a favourite of mine, from when the more free thinking side of hip hop was coming around again. The production on this is so ahead of it’s time and the Jurassic 5-style emcee setup is just ace to behold.
* DJ SIGNIFY & GRANDMASTER CAZ 7"
This is one of my favourite lineups in recent times – Signify packs in the full on SP1200 grime for the legendary Caz to spit upon – this is so tough and the speed change at the end is perfection. Caz lets loose and lets the new cats know why he’s the Grandmaster… Such a dope 7"…
* LITTERTHUGZ : ‚T.A.B.L.A.M.F.C.B.‘
I go on about this all the time and it pretty much always features in my top lists, but it’s stayed with me through the years and there is rarely a time when it is not in my bag of records. The beats are pure crunchy headnod goodness and it’s perfect for tricks and playing with doubles of.
* THE JOE BEATS EXPERIMENT :’Indie Rock Blues‘
An absolutely spot on production – folky indie rock mixed with hip hop beats in Joe’s inimitable style turning it into a full on boom bap celebration of indie rock Americana. Joey nailed it on here!
You run a record shop called Banquet Records. Do you think that mp3s and file sharing hurt sales?
Haha, I only work there! I ‚help‘ run it, I just have to clear that up! I like to think that MP3s and file sharing can actually aid sales in some ways – they do in many cases, which is suprising to some people I think. But I think that’s my optimistic side… It is a shame that some people download stuff for free without giving anything back. Working in the shop has definitely made me see the negative side of that – where artists don’t get money for their craft. It directly affects the artists and it annoys me when people just take and don’t feel the need to give back. That’s not what it’s about. But like I said, a lot of people use downloading as something to assist their purchasing, and I’ve heard more often than not from people that they download stuff first and then buy it. I think the people who are really into their music and enjoy it for the right reasons will always want to own the finished article, as long as it is available. But sometimes you just cannot get records you want, if they are rare or long out of print, so sometimes the download is the only way! It’s a tough one. But for the most part I think it can work side by side, in harmony, with the actual physical element of buying and selling records.
Besides your new mix with Carlo and an album what else can we expect from you in the near future?
Well there’s the album which will hopefully see the light outside my bedroom sometime soon… I hope it’s still alive by the time I’ve finished with it, I really do! Anyway that should be dropping soon. I’ve been working on a mix for a few months which is very different to most of my past mixes – I’ll be making some more noise about that very soon! Still a way to go on that one but it shouldn’t be too long now. It’s certainly one of the most time consuming and detailed I’ve ever worked on. Apart from that, hopefully I’ll be able to get some of these collaborations up and running. I’m really looking forward to working on some of those. I’ll make noise about them when they are more in reach – but yeah, hopefully more of that! It’d be really dope to play some sampler sets too – just played one with Waxfactor and we both realised just how sick it can be. That would be very nice. It’s different to DJing (well obviously!) but in a more performance kind of way – you’re controlling the rhythms and it’s all down to you. It’s a really interesting way of playing, and it’s great to work on it outside of the home.
Fine, that´s all. I would like to thank you for your time. Hopefully we will see you in the Czech Republic soon. Would you like to add anything?
It’s been fantastic – thank you SO so much for the time and for inviting me to be a part of this, and for the ace questions. I’m not good at talking about myself so to get given the chance is really good and I really appreciate the chance! Thanks for the opportunity. You seem to have a really dope magazine/site and it’s really cool to have the chance to get down with that. If I could make a little shout about Banquet Records that would be great – come by and visit us in the shop or hit up the website (www.banquetrecords.com) – we handle business! I’m really trying to get this music finished so you will hear something very soon. Check the Myspace page every now and then – I’ll try and keep that updated. The mix with Carlo is on the way. Sorry for any over-wordiness. And spelling errors.
I’m here if you need me. Thank you sincerely and all due to respects to Lukas and all at Cream. Absolute props to the Czech Republic – and bigup to Tuco and his lady while I’m at it! Banquet gets my love, and stay alert for more updates! I’ll get some happening soon. I’ll be making noise soon enough. Enough noise for another potential complaint from downstairs.