Guest Edit #51: Screaming Soul
Greetings music likers we are Screaming Soul. It is an honour and a pleasure to be invited to Guest Edit this month's Hip-Hop section of I Like Music, particularly as we do indeed like music very much. Anyone who knows our music will tell you we have very eclectic tastes; the most significant of these can be seen in our playlist which includes artists like Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Capleton, Hollie Cook, Mala, Gza and Task Force. Many of the artists on the playlist are friends of ours who we often collaborate with (Adrian Sherwood, Gentle Mystics, DefDFires, Seanie T, etc.) and we've also included a couple of our favourite solo tracks from previous projects.
We have a number of shows lined up for the UK and Europe over the coming months but stay tuned to our website www.screamingsoul.co.uk for full the details. Our debut album Ghost in a Shell is out now on Emerging Species and the follow up Ghost inna Dub is out in November, featuring dub remixes from Mutant Hi-Fi of Prince Fatty and Adrian Sherwood of On-U Sound.
Artist: Roots Manuva Track: Motion 5000 Release: July 1999 Label: Big Dada
This was this first vinyl I ever bought and that was the first time I ever heard Roots Manuva. I'm not gonna lie, it changed my life forever. I'd been a Hip-Hop fan since I was about 11 years old, but hadn't ever been aware that there was any kind of UK scene, let alone heard anyone rapping in an English accent. Hearing this track opened my mind on thousands of different levels. Roots Manuva is so much more than a Rapper/MC/Producer, those titles go nowhere near describing the vast, unique talent this man has. His approach to music has consistently been ten steps ahead of the game throughout his career and his unorthodox use of language is second to none; fusing a broad vocabulary with cockney and patois slang, often making up his own words to create what sounds like a beautiful gibberish; but it is far from non-sensical.
Motion 5000 is one of Roots Manuva's earliest releases and is actually a remix of Motion, which he released independently on white label in the late '90s. After inking the contract with Ninja Tune I guess they decided to up the ante and breathe new life into an old classic by getting none other than MJ Cole to compose and arrange the string section for Motion 5000. For me this is one of the most important UK Hip-Hop/Urban songs ever made and has been a massive influence on my approach to making music.
Artist: Viktor Vaughn Album: Vaudeville Villain Release: September 2003 Label: Sound Ink
Viktor Vaughn is just one of numerous aliases used by the highly enigmatic and prolific rapper/producer MF DOOM. Of his various guises this is by far the darkest and most experimental; sonically it bridges the gap between underground electronic and sample-based Hip-Hop, while lyrically DOOM explores everything from pistol-toting grannies (Modern Day Mugging) and time-travelling shoot-outs with police (Lactose & Lecithin) to teen lust and underage schizophrenic girls (Let Me Watch).
For me this is lyrically one of the most ground-breaking Hip-Hop albums I've ever heard and features some of my favourite DOOM lines: “he only came to save the game like a memory card” (The Drop), “Cat with a dead mouse is how he catch a phrase in paws, plays with it, kill it then eat off it for days kid” (A Dead Mouse), “It's like a barbecue all swine cook out, to fuck up they plans like a blind man look out” (The Drop). DOOM's trademark deadpan delivery is accentuated by the extreme and quite psychedelic scenarios he is describing, bringing new comedic light to tired old rap cliches.
Production credits come courtesy of relatively unknown producers King Honey, Max Bill, and Heat Sensor, who I feel outshine the relatively lacklustre appearance of RJD2 on Saliva. I must have listened to this album 1000s of times and I'm still finding new elements and subtle references that blow my mind (“turn Jake to Bacos” - Open Mic Night Pt. 2). It is immersive, intelligent and intricately crafted; an absolute must for any true rap fan.
Artist: DefDFires Track: The Palace Label: Emerging Species
Watching this video is like being abducted; you are dragged into a building and led down brightly lit hallways into some sort of covert operations room, where DefDFires appear to have been holed up for months. The details and subtle references in the artistic direction of this video are overwhelming and most incredibly it's all filmed in one take - no edits! It feels like you are in some abstract episode of Louis Theroux, meeting a group of conspiracy theorists who haven't had their meds for a few weeks.
Musically The Palace is absolutely groundbreaking for it's genre: the production quality is easily on par with any mainstream urban act, but never has the mainstream heard the kind of lyrics DDF are coming with. Controversial to say the least, I'm sure these guys are going to ruffle a few feathers and given that their chosen target for this track is the British monarchy they get my wholehearted support. DefDFires are by far my favourite rap crew right now, their album Operation: Zombie Nation is earth-shatteringly brilliant and is out on Emerging Species in October 2011.
Screaming Soul Playlist
1. Screaming Soul - Ghost In A Shell
2. DefDFires - The Palace
3. Gentle Mystics - Mushroom 30000
4. Hollie Cook - Sugar Water (Look At My Face)
5. Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Everything Start From Scratch
6. Prince Fatty Featuring Horseman - Insane In The Brain
7. Capleton - Danger Zone
8. Sizzla - Solid As A Rock
9. Digital Mystikz - Mawo Dub
10. Thre Featuring Tzar - Star Time
11. DA-10 - Space Station
12. Sandman - Revolution
13. GZA/Genius - 4th Chamber
14. Task Force - House Of Flying Pens
15. Blak Twang Featuring Roots Manuva & Seanie T - Echo Chamber
16. Seanie T - Bullit Bullit (Sandman Remix)
17. Adrian Sherwood - Hari Up Hari
18. Ghetto Priest - Masters Of Deception
19. Screaming Soul - Bear Nang
20. Roots Manuva - Motion 5000
Interview #722: Screaming Soul Read the full interview here