Basically it all started
with Mark Rae owning the Fat City record shop in Manchester. He hooked up with
Steve Christian, and they set up Grand Central records. One of their aims was
to prove that UK Hip Hop producers could top any in the states, and they might
well be on the way to achieving this goal.
Grand Central Records / Fat City
They have built up a network, doing work across
the seas with big name US rappers
like Jeru the Damaja, YZ, Qball & CurtCazal, AG, Afu Ra. 1998 saw their
debut album "Northern Sulphuric Soul" released on their own label.
They are definitely on a more indie/dance related tip, the album being a mixture of
Hip Hop, Trip Hop, and Soul. There are some awesome hip hop tracks on it though.
Hip Hop heads should listen out for 'Anything U Want' (feat Q&C), 'Now I Lay
Me Down' (feat YZ), 'Bring The Drama' and 'Flip The Mic', which some have said
is Jeru the Damaja's best track. Another US MC collabo to peep is 'Play On'
(feat. Jungle Brothers).
Also signed to the Grand Central Records label
are Aim, which is basically Andy Turner. In 1999 he released 'Cold Water Music'
which is again a downtempo mix of Trip Hop
and Hip Hop. Some of the tracks on this LP to check for are 'The Force' and 'Ain't
Got Time To Waste'. There
are also some fairly decent Hip Hop tracks on 'Central Heating 1/2'. They are
compilations of the various other artists on Grand Central, who include
Gripper, Fingathing, Funky Fresh Few, Only Child.
Also very closely linked to Grand Central is the
Fat City label also coming out of the shop. The best way to get into that is to
listen to 'Heavy Loungin', a kinda compilation of their best stuff. Again there are
several of quasi Hip Hop tracks including 'Through These Veins' by Funky Fresh
Few and Afu Ra.
Based on info provided by fudge fingaz,
if you have anything else to add to the story get in touch here.
Visit Grand Central on
the web: www.grandcentralrecords.co.uk