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Ed209 - Interview :: Part 2
ED209 -  Supexstatic EP artwork close up
ED209 -  Supexstatic EP label
So can you talk us through your recording career so far? Is this Superexstatic EP your first release? How is it going?

- Superexstatic is the first, but not the last. More 12's are to follow and pt2, currently called 'Stillexstatic' is coming out in the new year.

Right, so talk us through each of the tracks on the 'Superexstatic' EP, both in terms of putting it together and the style and meaning of each track?

- The 12 is the result of 2 years worth of learning how to use the MPC, and starting to collect a different type of record, not just hip hop and (used) breaks, but crazy charity shop tunes and general nonsense.

209's Theme - this was the intro to set the levels! - hard and heavy, distorted vocals done through walkie talkies - choral samples! - low level scratching all the way through it to add to the noise and Capz and Eyez spitting short verses to get it hyped. Its driving music and part of the reason I keep getting speeding fines - this could be my favourite track on the 12 as it sets the tone in exactly the way I wanted.

Welcome to the C.I.T.Y. - To really hear this track you have to be in a car driving round a city on a warm night with your boys just chillin' - sounds like a cliché, but that's how it sounded best to me - it's the oldest beat on the 12 but I loved it - Eyez was feeling it from the moment he heard it so we reconstructed it to fit with lyrics he had about growing up and city life - it was the second or third of my beats that Eyez had rapped on and it just clicked first time and Eyez sounded heavy on it - I've tried to make myself sick of it, but failed. Its kind of melancholy with the piano and everything, but hope is always there! Ivory provided the C I T Y scratches at the end which replaced a spoken 'chant' of the letters - it was the cherry!

88 Burner - This was a call to arms against the B.S. commercial music verses the realness - as Eyez says 'how can J diss Nas, and Nelly diss KRS' - 88 is possibly my favourite year for hip hop, and if you don't know what a 'burner' is, school yourself! The PE samples reinforce the feeling of the track and its disrespect towards fake money-oriented MCs - 'Got no rap but you want to battle! It's like having a boat but you've got no paddle!' says it all. It was a chance for Eyez and Bomb to shine together and show their different styles - A-Bomb lit up the studio the day we did this - blown away! Looking forward to doing more stuff with him.

1000hp - "Smash you with a 1000 horse power!' This was a weird one as I had a different track for Capz for ages with a weird computer voice chorus - it was certainly different! But at the last minute Capz decided we wasn't feeling it - which I respected, and I just happened to have done a heavy beat earlier in the day, and when Capz heard it he went off! - by the time it got to the studio and made that chorus of Cappo samples and put racing cars and aeroplanes behind it all = chaos and mass confusion! - the best way to sum it up is in the words of Bill from Cargo "this beat hits harder than the force of a rampant Eddie Stobart truck!" - I laughed by arse off the first time I read that! - This is Cappo's year and I feel really proud to have worked with him - Buy 'Spaz the world!'!

There's another little beat on there called ' Moe Brandy' that is a simple little loop from an old Ivory & Paul S mix tape - I'd always loved the couple of seconds where the two tracks mix in - so I looped it up and it sounded bad - I don't care where it come from, it is sound BAD, it sounds BAD! There's also that skit called 'cpp' aka Cock Piss Partridge - Cappo was messing with walkie talkies in the studio and it started picking up some delivery driver talking to base! To me it sounds what you might hear in the back of a cab driven by Cappo in an alternate reality - he'd be the one who took you home after the gig, when you are out of your tree! You'd get the fear, no doubt!

Which MC do you feel comes off best, or what does each one bring to the record?

- Everyone represented lovely over the different beats on the 12 - like I said before, each beat was shaped to the MC - Eyez and Bomb came off amazing for their first time on wax - Cappo is the hardest working MC - they all put in work to make it happen - true professionals.

And there is the obvious P Brothers influence. It has to be great working with them, they get virtually universal acclaim…

- They are just these terrible crazy guys, you know! They burn trees and force the closure of public houses, the drums are always too loud, they talk nonsense, Paul S is always in KFC and all Ivory wants to do is make the computer say lines from Partridge in a crazy robot voice. I would never have done anything if Ivory hadn't done the trailblazing, brought an MPC and said, 'come round and play drums!' - that was a pivotal moment.

Did any of the artists you have collaborated with take a different approach, and who did you most enjoy working with and why?

- I'd never worked with MCs until I decided to do the 12 so everything changed when I had to start taking on board someone else's opinions and needs - everyone I worked with made a difference to how it came out in the end - and the final result was always better than I thought, or if I'd stayed too caught up in my 'own' vision - I just want to make music I want to listen to!

Have you played out as all yet? If so, is it mostly a DJ thing, or would you be looking to hook up the MPC or PC and try to re-create tracks on the fly?

- I've been Djing in Leicester on and off for the last 8 years - hip hop and breaks - we did a little launch for the 12 but that was wack due to the wrong venue, wrong crowd, bad promotion - people were asking for Liberty X!!! lessons learnt though!!! Eyez and bomb are keen to do more and there's another gig coming up in Novemeber, supporting the P Brothers at the launch of a new Hip Hop night in Leicester called 'HipHoperation' - should be a heavy night!

OK, we talked about the music, can you tell us about your design and illustration work? You did stuff for the Heavy Bronx Experience didn't you?

- Yeah, and Cappo's album which I am seriously proud of - that was another collabaration between Cappo, the P Brothers and me, the final one was like the 18th version - version no.1 was a million miles away - graphic designer is my work, but I don't get to do the design styles I like, so the P Brothers stuff is nice to do. Filmic kind of looks are a big influence in what I do for them. I trained as a designer and was really passionate for it in the past, but since doing music, that has taken over - with design you can work for ages on an idea that your client keeps making little changes to, then as soon as its out, its over - on to the next thing - forgotten about - with music, whether its picked up on at the time or not, its always there, you contribution is a part of bigger thing.

And there is the poster that you are giving away with the 12", where does Mr Jago fit into this?

- During the 80's and 90's Mr Jago and I kept each other sane - growing up in East Anglia is not that related to the 'Hip Hop lifestyle' so we collected the music between us and sorted each other with any new stuff and just went through all that teenage shit together! I love his work, and through being a designer I love packages and extra stuff, so I wanted to get a poster in with the 12 - I brought the sound track to 'The Deep' a while ago and that had an amazing poster in - its just that little extra something - a little extra thought.

What is your opinion on the recent war with Iraq? Do you feel the reasons for going to war were sufficiently proven? 

- Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one! And like my arsehole, its my own business!!

Does this make you at all political? I ask everyone about politics, because I think it is important that we have knowledge of what is going on. Do you have anything to say on that? Any issues you think people need to open their Eyes too?

ED209 and Kool Herc - I'm more interested in religion than politics, but they are both negative forces. Don't get me started on religion! Moral crutch for the masses.

If you could change something about society, what would it be and why?

- Change takes a long time to effect - the positive needs to start getting its own back on the negative or the Earth will just get fed up with us soon and say 'right you lot, OFF' and that will be it, or the aliens with come back and say 'our experiment in genetic breeding has gone badly wrong! Best clean up ZAAAAPPPP!! The future could be like Blade Runner 'A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies, the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure' - I can't say the thought of bringing my daughter up into things as they are is a pleasant thought, so its up to us to change it as best we can.

Our homegrown music rarely breaks the charts and many people purely check for US material. What are the reasons for this and how can the situation be remedied?

- People seem a bit to obsessed with perceived 'realness' - like it has to be from the US to be real - people in the UK can suffer, go through bad shit, have valid opinions or describe their lifestyle just as 'validly' as any artist from the US - so the issue of realness is about the reality of where you come from - your reality! - if you talk about real things you have witnessed then you are being true to yourself - UK music in general always struggles in the US - there don't really get 'us' - especially our sense of humour! - but there is maybe too much of a feeling in UK hip hop to be 'UK HIP HOP' - like JB and MJ said in their recent Grand Slam article - 'lets just make hip hop!'

Outside your crew who are the UK artists you listen to and admire? What is it about them you like?

- God, do I have to do on about Nottingham again? I liked the Microdisiacs 12 and the Funky Fresh Few stuff from Manchester - other than that I'm only just starting to hear what is happening in the UK in terms of people doing stuff now - I stopped buying hip hop a couple of years ago as there was so little happening that I was feeling - both UK and US - just a few shining lights here and there - which was part of the motivation to do something myself - the last mix of good UK stuff I hear was a DJ Craze CD of Undercover which was a couple of years ago now, so I'm a bit out of touch - I have a lot of respect for the London stuff and the work that gets put in, but with the type of music you hear on 1 Xtra, I just don't really relate to it.

Who or what are you other influences? What do you do when you are not doing Hip Hop stuff?

- I still do quite a bit of design stuff for various people - websites / flyers / poster / record sleeves etc - I'm interested in a lot of the stuff happening with illustration at the moment, 'cause its really hot. The stuff from the Scrawl Collective - people like Will Barras and Mr Jago are part of it - they basically travel the world and draw on whatever - walls, shop windows, footballs, shoes , people! whatever - beautiful stuff. Other than that, the most important thing is too spend time with my wife & play with my little girl. She's growing up crazy fast and I don't want to miss it. Shes really interested in the MPC and records an stuff but shes a bit too destructive at the minute!

Where can people hear your stuff?

- You can hear previews of the tracks on the site - or go buy the record! There's only 600 of pt 1 - strictly limited!

Where can people pick up your stuff?

- It got distributed through Cargo & Boombox so quite a few shops have it - you can get it direct from me through the website or off Disorda @ Suspect Packages.

How do you view the Internet? Do you think it is a useful promotional tool and a good way of getting out there and breaking the strangle hold the major labels have on the marketplace, or are there too many idiots too willing to spout a load of rubbish with no control over them?

ED209 eaten by Amsterdam Lizards - Those 'idiots' would be there with our without the internet - it gives them a platform to be heard - but its only other 'idiots' who are listening - there's no difference. Personally I love it - the idea that you can access information from ANYWHERE in the world - people loose sight of how mad that is! I heard someone compare eBay to a 24hr carboot sale the other day - which is pretty accurate! - theres good and bad in everything, but eBay has some seriously obsessed people on! Collectors who will buy stuff because they think they need it, not because they like it - people who collect sneakers in sizes they can't even wear! I've paid serious money for a record before - that was £100.00 for one record, but I wanted it and I'd wanted it for years! - then I brought the same record for £15 in Soho!!! But that's the way it goes! - The internet's impact on music is more debateable - getting music out to a massive audience is good, but unless the culture of 'buying' music is there - actually wanting to own music on vinyl - the original form - then there will be a problem 'cause the industry will suffer, and whether you see it as good or bad, the industry has to be there as a center for all the independent 'satellites' to orbit around it.

You have the www.superexstatic.com website. What can people expect when they arrive there and what plans do you have to expand or improve it?

- You can hear the tunes from Pt.1, get info on any live stuff we will be doing, find out what's coming next, find out what the people who have worked on the project - the site will grow as I do more stuff - I need to start selling some of my records on it as well, but that involves writing them all down, and that takes time.

OK. To wind this up, what is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?

- Work, my daughter, a holiday (YESSSSSSS!), keeping up the promotion and selling of my tune, beat-making and working on part 2 'Stillexstatic'. Looking forward to do some new stuff at the gig in November

What are your longer-term plans and objectives for you both as artists and as a record label?

- I've never been a long term person and I will explain why in a minute, so I don't look long term - I'd love to do an album at some point but there's some serious work to do before that. It won't happen until we're ready - I don't think theres an age limit to being able to keep having input - hip hop is primarily brought by young people, but the audience is loyal and will grow with the music.

What artists do you like and would most like to work with, not necessarily Hip Hop artists?

- Through learning the MPC I came up with some different sounding stuff - I hate the word but trip-hop for want of a better title - but right now I'm staying firmly with the genre that I was raised on - as I said, I like a lot of different music, but it all comes back to HOP HOP, so who knows what the future will bring - I'm hoping to work with some new Leicester and Nottingham MCs on the next 12 and let the sound evolve to match these people - I'm not one to let my own ego overrun the project.

Is there anything else you would like to mention?

- My philosophy - the best time of your life is now - if you think about it, that's one of the few truths in the world - the past is just memories and the future is yet to happen - so each moment is the best time of your life 'cause its ALL YOU HAVE! - that thought always makes me feel good.

Finally is there anyone else you would like to mention?

- My wife Julia and my daughter for a whole lot of love and support. The Murray and Chester families and all the dogs! The people I've worked with on Superexstatic - Eyez, A-Bomb, Cappo, the Mighty P Brothers, Mark Gamble, Bill @ Cargo, Disorda & Skeg and anyone who brought the record. 

Thank you for your time. 

Back to Part One

Ed209 Discography
Superexstatic Review
Visit Ed209 on the web: www.superexstatic.com

Intro Early Doors:
1979-1985
False Dawn:
1985-1990
Underground Years:
1990-1995
The Renaissance:
1995- 2000
The Future:
2000 & Beyond
Artists &
Discographies

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