In 2009, I got to interview one of my favorite Britcore groups called Killa Instinct. Britcore is a rap genre from the U.K. that often uses up-tempo funk breaks and incorporates lots of scratching. Killa Instinct had a big impact on the European hip hop scene in the early 90s and consisted of the rappers Bandog and Falasha as well as the DJs Geta and Snypa.
We talk about the hip hop scene around London in the 80s, Britcore receiving much greater attention outside of the U.K., challenges finding the right label and distribution, their collaborations like Monkey Sons, and much more.
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Easy now Dj Razor Cut. This is DJ Geta, Killa Instinct. keep it hardcore.Welcome to Souls of Hip Hop:
throwback edition. between 2004 and 2015, I interviewed many hip hop artists and recently discovered some of the recordings in my archive. We want to share a selection of our favorites and bring you these throwbacks in between our regular episodes. Enjoy. If you listened to our episode with DJ Renegade, you know that I'm a fan of Britcore, a rap genre from the UK that used up tempo brakes, funk samples, and lots of scratching. In 2009, I got to interview one of my favorite Britcore groups called Killa Instinct. Their style had a big impact on the European hip hop scene. And these guys are just so much fun to hang outwith. Here's the interview:
In 88, you started out as total fiasco, how did you get into the whole hip hop scene, growing up where we came from, I mean, hip hop was very small, not many people into it. But there was like a dedicated group of graffiti artists, and people that just enjoyed hip hop. So me and a couple of friends just started rapping, a couple of guys started DJing. And then we hooked up with another graffiti crew from another area, which is where I met Geta. Also Decoy image and double K, which and so then we kind of got to get the free member in a nice, so we got back got together free graffiti, really. And then discovered, you know, a few of us were rapping a couple of DJing and decided to give it a go ready to say, yeah, it gets try and do some tunes together. Yeah, we did some demos, took the tapes around to people. We met DJ son from hard noise at the time, played in the demo. And he really liked it. And he got us in touch with nicely Nigel up into cold storage studios up in Brixton, where we recorded a song called domino theory, which is the first thing that we ever did, but we never released it. And then we did see how they run method to the madness, and decided to put that out as a white label funded it all ourselves. So kind of Yeah, so the only way that we could get it out there. I mean, there was so little hip hop coming out, especially from our suburbs of London stuff. The only way to do it was to kind of print it up and try and get a name for yourself that way. So that's what we did. And then sighs whole fiasco was born from that, to the records around couldn't sell them, people weren't really into it. And then total fiasco kind of like just grew apart, really, we were from different areas. And it was quite hard to keep in contact all the time. And also a little bit. Yeah, let down really with the whole kind of a, we've recorded the record, we thought it was going to be really good. And that's the start of everything. And in the UK, the scene, especially for why hip hop from the suburbs, there was just no real market for especially we liked it quite fast, and quite a hectic sort of style, which is what we were really into. And the scene just wasn't as we imagined it really, we had no idea how hip hop was in Europe, from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and had no idea if this whole kind of britcar Senior was kind of developing, which to us it was kind of like it was becoming dead and buried. But overseas, it was kind of like bright and fast. So we finished whole fiasco and then a few of us split apart and mean get a stay together with sniper. And we reinvented ourselves as total fiasco. When you split apart the new group, you wanted to call Onslaught. Yeah, and you couldn't because overseas or in America, that was already a group that had a trademark that name. Yeah, heavy metal band scored Onslaught. It was actually Simon Harris that told us that we couldn't have it was a bit of a problem. Because we It was like two days or something before we were going to press I think it was like there was really small, small time limit or when we had to think of a new name like that. Yeah, but killer instinct is pretty bad. Anyway, it was one of the lyrics from the song was kicking him with a quick killer instinct. So it's kind of just racking our brains were really bad names as well. painkiller was the one that was kind of leading the way and so please, that kind of fizzled out. But the whole thing with Simon Harris was after total fiasco, we stayed in contact with DJ sun, and went back into the studio with no sleep, Nigel, and recorded Bambi murders as long slow. And yeah, it was only then shipped it around and got picked up straight away, we can use it for life. So that for us was really the kind of the start of everything because that that kind of Yak is actually out there properly, not releasing a white label, having someone actually put it in your shops, and actually felt that we're actually achieving something at that point, albeit not mass success or anything, but it felt that immediately was writing and pressing up was actually getting to people because people could buy it finally, or you were able to go on tour and see the other European countries as you mentioned before, you could realize that in Germany and Holland, Switzerland and so on, it was really catching on. Yeah, for for us. The breakthrough was really leaving musical life. We didn't really get on that, well, they, they weren't really into the kind of style of hip hop that we wanted to create, Simon Harris willing to take production credits and kind of read all our work. And it was, it was it was more, it just sounded like Simon Harris tune with some raps and scratches on, it just is totally different to what we did. So when we kind of refuse to kind of go down that route. I mean, we knew what we wanted to do musically. We kind of pursued that avenue. And it's just after on United Kingdom and nfas, there was no way we could continue working with them. Because to them, it was like we had to work with Simon Harris. And to us it was live with he's just not going to work. And so at that point, now we've been doing shows in London, we've met groups like gunshot, and through them, Lucas G, took us on. He was managing deliverance at the time, and also gunshot and said, you know, why don't we move away from us for life, he'll give us total freedom to write control with the music we do. And he would help try and get a record deal. And try and get us out there. And that is how we got in contact with gunshot really. And by chance, I think that the first tour that we did, blade and gunshot were meant to be going out together. But for some reason blade couldn't go. And so Lucas asked if we would go and support gunshot, which I've been doing really crappy gigs in the UK to a handful of people's like, do you want to go and send support for gunshot you're going to take it on the Patriot game store. So it's kind of like yeah, the release of gunshots album. And so and that was how we got out to Europe. And instead of signing up to label Lucas had his own European Ryan records under his crash management. And so we just released the next record whispers of hatred through Lucas. And yeah, actually go out to Europe. And I think that was when they kind of hit home, that what we were doing actually had a purpose. As much as we enjoyed the music we wrote, we were into to actually see people, crowds of people jumping up and down and playing. It was actually the first time they would actually seen any real positive feedback from what we've done. I think that's how it sort of like really hit home on it. Yeah, seeing people actually enjoying what it is that we've done. And we didn't have that before. So now that is definitely the first taste not success, but just kind of appreciation think of actually yeah, realizing that you're actually part of the scene that you never knew really existed. You knew of gunshot and you know, how we were very into their kind of style of music and liked everything they did in their performances, but then to go to Europe and actually see it firsthand and then actually received some of that adulation from people and people actually appreciate what you do. Yeah, it made it real, didn't it? Any kind of spurred us on to kind of pursue it further. So that was a huge influence. And II also performed that the European hardcore hip hop festival in Bern here. And I was at 93. Yeah, it was it was 93. Yeah, yeah. Got go vague memories of it. Back in the day, we used to smoke a lot of weed. Yeah, the whole kind of that whole time was quite hazy. And you also were able to perform in Hamburg at the exness jam. Yeah, you actually lived in Hamburg for a while then you Ben, I lived in Bremen, which is close to Hamburg. But a lot of my friends I was very close with ready, kill, shatter hands. Shoot you dead because I became very good friends of mine. So and also no remorse. So I mean, I stayed with it as part of the German hip hop punk band called surprise that we were touring a lot traveling around. And I was able to kind of live in Bremen, do the shows, and then kind of just travel over to Hamburg very regularly to see my friends and everything. So yeah, very, very good memories of that time. A lot of fun, very different to life in the UK. Get for you, in the early days were DJs like underground or supreme influences, where they either they definitely have all the early UK DJs were sort of like pioneering different techniques and sounds and scratches. And, you know, you just spent hours and hours and hours in your rooms trying to try to get these techniques locked down and finding out new ways of doing stuff. And it was really interesting, because every time you bought a new 12 or a new group come out there DJ would have a new style or something interesting to put down and so is Yeah, it was really good. And it was they were really influential. In my opinion, at least. The UK scene had much more diversity. You had like London passie with already this reggae, rap. And breakcore as a totally new thing emerging from the whole American scene. Where do you see your big hit in the UK? history? Yeah, I well. Yeah, I wouldn't I wouldn't say that. We were actually did have amino massively that successful in the UK. Is that fair? Yeah, no, completely. I mean, for us the whole the whole scene was over in Europe. I mean, which is why it's a big current day, we've never really pursued chase in the music scene in the UK. Because the side of hip hop, I mean, from the record sounds that everyone was into in Europe. The scene never really happened in the UK. I mean, we used to do some tours with ska punk hip hop angle King prawn. And it was great, but it was never in the same league as what we're doing in Europe. I mean, in the UK, you're lucky to play 250 to 100 people, whereas we could have played, you know, we played in the martela, two, four or five times that so it for US, the UK was never seen as a market around 9293. You'll see very few bands, like gunshot like ourselves, like to tow committee doing anything, because they're really if you couldn't get out to Europe, you weren't going to get the response that you wanted. It wasn't quite, it wasn't by choice. No, no, no, I think it is, you know, I think it was just a case of that's how it was, you know, I think, you know, the UK hip hop scene. It wasn't big enough to accommodate I don't think, and that britcar sound that we were doing. And it's just seemed to sort of, you know, hit a big a big a nerve with people over in Europe than it did in England. How was it in Scotland growing up? Was there. Big hip hop scene? Yeah, well, I used to be a breakdancer and then early 80s. and a half pot was like 14. So but that team, since then up to know. And how did you meet the whole London scene? The London scene. People don't trend the UK just cannot doesn't really have any networks. No mobile phones, no. Internet was just through the music. You know, maybe that the same Kingdom here pigeon, pigeon carriers, maybe we did this same kind of music. This style of scratching style or rapping? Obviously, can never conflicted. But there's some, you know, amalgamated and one sound. And then when people in Europe started taking interest in it, we actually met more overseas, maybe the first time we meet somebody. And you have new project plans for interplanetary bust? Or can you tell us about that? Well, for announced this is an EP by specialty tour. And the best part, there's five songs on it. And four of those are scratch based. And one of them's featured in band dog, and remarkable is called the lab. And this was going to be an LP title may change, they may keep it the same. And so I took maybe three years to do this, just to get those songs correct and incorrect. And amongst working on other projects, as well. So I'm quite happy with time, those like are very demos are definitely sales on it. Neither was a deaf, it was more like dotnet core. So watch the body's more humorous. You've got to put humor into the music COBOL go mad, you know. So stay up scratch track called to wire any DJs. Like when it's convenient for someone on CD at the moment, there's like cup, scratch noise at the start or two, which is pretty good to scratch off. This is off a cartoon record. So hopefully when that comes out, you know, lots of people will be scratching it. And where do you think we can buy it? How are you going to distribute it? And that's the thing, as Chris was saying, although we get so much respect and love from people, and Europe, and the UK is sitting on your your laurels and thinking, you know, Boston, your brain to think about the best way to do it without any money. If somebody put money up to finance. It's an easier thing. But maybe grave attack may be distributed, reputed and then dropping the name of folks speaking to them. Possibly when it's on vinyl, I'll make sure that gets more sore than it does on anywhere else. Germany, Switzerland, France. You had a album, a HBL. That was shelved by a move. Right? Yeah, I mean, we did an album titled all hell breaks loose, which we did. We did every album that we finally released 12 songs from the recordings that we did. So but yeah, just musical differences. And yeah, just generally. Cut to the chase. The main reason? Yeah, yeah, they went bust. Yeah. Yeah, so it's nothing to do with us. Honestly, but yeah, they were. Yeah, there was Yeah, yeah, they ceased to be so the album had to wait to release So because they still own rights to it after paying for the recording and whatnot. So yeah, as time went on, we never thought it was actually going to going to come out. But again, I was contacted by DJ Halo from the criminal minds. And he was interested to put the record out so selected 12 tracks from the records, originally is a double album and just put it out there ready to say it so people get hold of him. A lot of people have been asking about what happened to the album. So that gave people finally a chance to get get hold of some of the songs from it. And what new material are you working on right now? What for kilvington we've just got a new 12 inch which you can buy through various shops in Switzerland in Zurich at the moment which today we just go around all the record shops putting some in there we've just been to six pack with DJ nails and he's taken some copies so if anyone in Zurich wants to get hold of it yeah go down to six pack or various other shops we're going to go to today we're going to be selling online inhuman monster and dead man walking for killer instincts. Dead Man Walking features monkey songs, which is the other band that I'm involved with with remark. Yeah, I mean, the tracks featuring crash slaughter on scratching we've got get a scratch on it as well features various musicians who are part of the monkey sons band. So yes, we've got the monkey sons new record out as well. Which is water off monkeys back and fire chaser. Kind of war of monkeys back straight up kind of a band hip hop track kind of ska rock hip hop we've cut song from crash the end the beside is fire chaser also cuts we've crash and yeah, which is a more kind of straight up hardcore kind of tune but very fast in your face sort of arms gonna fall off by one day so fast. So yeah, yeah, if anyone is coming down tonight we'll see we'll see smells without any artifacts and crashed without any knowledge. That's the current stuff at the moment is for me personally killer instincts and monkey sons. But remark also working with monkey stones and sublime wizardry, which is marks other remarks other project with Merlin from Hamburg, which Martin to tell you about now. Yeah, tonight some exclusive. It's like the first kind of live performance of myself and Merlin in Hamburg and it should be quite entertaining some of the seven songs from the new EP see how that goes down live. And hopefully in the future like I'm going to get a little tour together with killer instinct. Question myself and possibly, April May. Hopefully Fingers crossed. If you want to see the You Can Get off my MySpace plans for an interplanetary blast at the moment or you can get and gatos shop. Yeah. What's his pressure in Hamburg? Yeah, which is chanson strawser. They've got an online store as well. Vinyl solution vinyl ism solutions. CD serves getting the money and I can get the records tiny Masada video one I think my space of a monkey sans the monkey sounds are old. That's a hilarious video. How did you come up with that idea? I kind of progressed it was just like a song where we just wanted to have a laugh with things. And I'm not taking myself too seriously because britcar can be you know, quite anger fueled and stuff and just quite nice to relax them and have a laugh and. And that song came together really quickly. found that producing was a decoy. Yeah, the old MC from Tom fiasco now makes short films as a film producer. Yeah, he's worldwide being shown in most cinemas across. Doing short films really, really good. And we spoke to him and asked if he'd be interested in doing a video. And he said he had an idea. And he basically he came up the whole concept of the video, his girlfriend's dad, video, just various people they know. And so we didn't have to do anything. We just gave him the music. And then he came back this video. So yeah. Watch the videos. Just give it somebody invented that, you know? Yeah. it's sometimes hard to say the slides. Sometimes we'll concentrate on music. I mean, the people that are actually film, film creators have got better ideas rather than what's visually. We don't tell on a film producer. Like there's no point in telling somebody that he said music. Obviously, you can have ideas and concepts. It's like the Marx Brothers, a filmmaker. He's working on a new funky songs video for the monsters back. And then he came down and they asked him that and he says, Come in with some brilliant ideas. We're just kind of bouncing back off him and just chipping into it. But primarily, it's all down to the producer to the guy that directs the video. So yeah, let that guys get on with it. Step back get a euro so part of crew Kota hooking sling? No, not well, yes. No. Well, we started off doing is at the same but we changed it because there was another guy also called his boss doing so we're doing it now is ribs and IGA and it's it's kind of you know just I don't know just looking at different production styles and that bits breaks and dubstep and stuff like that just to sort of like you know, just to learn new styles and new techniques and productions. Just to keep me interested, basically, we've actually just taken over a record label, guerrilla tactics, and that's going to be putting out all sorts of stuff really. But again, it's going to be sort of more of the bass heavy music, basically. But we'll be looking to sort of like get, you know, MCs along and just sort of just experiment basically to try new stuff out, you know, different sounds and different techniques to see what goes the whole record scene to me it's always very violence oriented, like hijacks horns of Jericho album cover, or just in general, what is your fascination about violence? I think as a stranger, I'm really because for us, I was always into college. I loved concept hip hop. I'm not into people bragging and telling me how good they are. It's just become boring. And like, kind of growing up. I loved horror films. So for me a lot of my influence from writing music, producing and doing lyrics and stuff and working with geta. Well, you know, we both had a love for horror films, they just felt natural to kind of write them out of that and music that, yeah, I can't believe them, you know, the soundtracks of? Yeah, it just, it led itself the kind of suspense strings and horns and, and then we've kind of like fast, fast beats and stuff. That's the sound that we liked the whole brick core scene. I think he's perceived very differently by most people, because they will take lyrics literally. Or they'll say imagery, and take that as kind of like a threatening kind of thing. Whereas for me personally, the whole It was never seen as a threatening thing is horrible is always concept. To me. It's like, every horror film doesn't mean everyone wants to go out and kill everyone. But but it's entertaining. For me music is entertaining and horror, I love to be loved. So that's, that's, that's what I'd write about. So I think for some people kind of take listen to it, and then take things literally, quite an aggressive sound. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the message behind it was aggressive. Or, you know, I think it's more sort of implied. It's not actually we weren't actually violent. Like, as just a passionate thing as people see. And as a man, it is something that, you know, he comes over you and it's not men, he certainly can attack it in from the system. And he certainly combat eyes and sound and emotions mixed up. And what comes out comes out really doesn't, yes, it's a vessel for venting, isn't it? It's kind of like a vessel for venting. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, everyone, everyone gets pissed off. And I think it's better for us to release this through music, and to turn around and just smack someone you don't know. I mean, there's a lot of idiots out there that are into fighting and stuff for us. We could release any kind of aggression and passion for music, which is brilliant. Because the rest of time people meet you and they're like, you've really kind of calm and peaceful guys isn't Yeah, I mean, we can get up on stage and get every kind of bit of anger out of us for our music and then come offstage and be sat around chatting and being pals with everybody's cool. So we're halfway Yeah, it worked worked for us. Do you have any last words that you want to mention any promotion you want to do for any new project? mainly for me would be to promote the killer instinct, single inhuman monster Dead Man Walking, and the monkey sons single water of monkeys back in fire chaser? Yeah, this is what we're pushing at the moment. And there's few other things that we've got in projects going on. But I mean, it's all too early to kind of write this close information. Cuz it's some of the things you start off never kind of materialized. So I think for remark and Merlin is to promote sublime wizardry. And yeah, if anyone wants to get in contact with this from my space, we've got pages for monkey sons 100 monkeys, which is now monkey sons killer in the crash lords. Fan dog. remark remarkable one. So anything any people are looking to get out of our material, if they can't get it from shops or whatever, just get in contact by my space and we can sort anything out. There may be like, to the tune committee, reunion as well. on the couch plus silver bullets LP is coming out. I'm doing cuts on that, and any future developments as well but before that, and there'll be for myself, possibly placed wouldn't apply to the boss same title maybe not. spook sighs and then obviously working class and get our one Caroline's Thanks, Mark. keep buying that because me as well naked a record company, which is what we're setting up at the moment which is releasing a lot of our material. So yeah, just to kind of get the name out there for free naked eight records. And thanks Razor for doing the interview. Thank you. Thanks for the time. Our theme music was beatboxed y Denis the Menace and p oduced by Zede. A big shout out to the brothers from Switzerland. The background music was produced by Taki Brano. A big hank you to our brosky from rovidence. Our podcast asically runs on coffee. to keep our show running you can support by buying us a coffee through the link in our show notes. I am Candy. I am DJ Razo And this is Souls of Hip H