A flyer a day…NINJA TUNE Kungfusion @ 333 Old Street London 01/10/98

ninja_tune_kungfusion_front_333_oct

nina_tune_kungfusion_333_oct

Another Ninja Tune club night flyer from the shoe box. I think I attended this. Remember Roots Manuva anyway. Got some photos somewhere…Did you attend? If so leave a comment below.

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Re post: Archive: flyers from Blech @ The Powerhaus, April 1998

Here is a re-post of a page from almost a year ago.

I stumbled over DJ Food’s website the other week after I came across a link on some Ghost Box records he purchased. (Hopefully he got them from Greedbag) Anyway as I trawled back through his posts I found links to the Soundcloud mixes he had done for Warps 20th anniversary.

I thought this would be a nice opportunity to re-post the flyers from those Powerhaus nights.

Anyway to the music. Here is part 1 (below) and you should follow the rest and DJ Food here.

Blech - April

3 examples of the flyers for Warp’s club night Blech. There are a few more which I’ll put up the next few months.  Great design from the Designers Republic.
Blech - April

Blech - April

Did you ever attend a night at Blech? If so please leave any memories in a comment.

Archive: Kid Koala interview November 1999

Interview: Kid Koala
Date: November 1999
Location: South Bank, London
Words / interview: Des Berry

2010 : Setting the scene:

This was the second big one after DJ Vadim back in June of the same year. Me and Dan arrived at the old Ninja Tunes HQ down there on Clink Street, Southwark, London for what we hoped would be a quick interview. It turned out to be a whole day event which took in a visit to a games arcade and a late lunch on the south bank. I remember being pretty exhausted and a bit pissed off after this one. Anyway back to ’99!

Well the original plan for this piece was to go shopping with Kid Koala, buy the parts to build a fruit turntable, go back to Ollie ‘Herbaliser’ Teeba’s flat and build the thing. So armed with 101 fruity questions we met at Ninja Tune only to be told that watermelons are out of season and Ollie Teeba has not done the hoovering for a while. Quickly a new location is needed. Someone suggests Hamleys, the toyshop, but the idea of re-creating WW2 wit the tourists over some Pokemons was not to our liking. So we settled for blasting some aliens and zombies over at the Namco arcade under the shadow of the millennium wheel, on London’s south bank.

Kid Koala & Des Berry battle it out, November 1999

Kid Koala loves his arcade games. As the afternoon went on his advance for the album was plundered as we battled it out on ‘House Of The Dead’ and numerous other simulators and shoot em ups. After a humiliating go on one of those disco dancing games, followed by some disses from some locals we retired to the safety of a late lunch to discuss this ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome’.

‘Its like watching an episode of The Muppets if they had all just bought turntables and then did a huge routine’. This is how Canadian Eric San, aka Kid Koala, describes his eagerly awaited LP on Ninja Tune. ‘You can’t bop your head to it, you can’t dance to it, its hard to blend another beat into it and the scratching is really off beat. It’s all hand cut and theres no perfect timing. People are going to think I was drunk when I made it.’

Kid Koala is a turntabalist with a difference. Alongside DJ’s like the Scratch Piklz and The Executioners, Kid Koala is up there with the precision scratchers. But where others use well worn breaks, samples and vocals, Koala takes it to a different level mixing obscure breaks next to funny and funky material. ‘My target market is women over 40’, he laughs. ‘I create it on 3 turntables, building layers onto an 8 track recorder. The beats are 2 copies of something, back spun or beat juggled together. Its similar to the way the ‘Scratchyhappyland’ mix tape was put together. Theres no samplers or drum machines used’.

Its this style that grabbed Ninjas attention back in 1996. Since then remixes have come for label mates Coldcut and Vadim as well as collaborations with Money Mark & Handsome Boy Modelling School. Are there any collaborations on the new LP?

‘In the middle of a Montreal winter its hard to get people to fly over or even come round and visit. But I might be doing a track in the future with Blurum and I’d love to work with Bjork or maybe Sporty Spice!’

‘The LP was recorded at my apartment in the ‘Record Room’. Its a total mess in there. I live with my girlfriend and I have to put all the records in there’. Asked what she thinks of his, he replies, ‘she likes it as long as I keep my headphones on.’

Those lucky enough to have witnessed him in action on the recent Coldcut tour will have seen what appears to be Kid Koala’s total disregard for his vinyl. Does he have a safety net behind the decks?

‘Sometimes I’ll lay my jacket down, but if I destroy the record its time to learn some new tricks! I’ve got a lot of vinyl, but all of it is too heavy for me. Even 80 in a box and I need wheels on it. Those 120 boxes! Man they are instant hernia if you try to pick them up.’

Most of the records he uses are the result of many an hour searching through bargain bins, charity shops and second hand stores.

‘I’m not a rampant collector though. If I go into a shop and see something on the wall that looks cool I’ll go how much is that? One weeks rent! No way, because by the time I’ve put the needle on it, queued it up, I’ll have burnt the groove right out of it.’

Kid Koala article in Breakin Point magazine

With all the high profile DJ supports for the likes of Coldcut and the Beasties Boys has Kid Koala ever had the benefits of female groupies and their flying underwear?

‘No’ laughing, ‘I mainly get women over 40 coming to the gigs. No underwear gets thrown, but sometimes I get rocks. I prefer it softer like the toilet roll that got thrown at the Beasties concert. But hey thats really handy because it can support an unsteady deck.’

Alongside his own work Kid Koala can also be found teaming up with Montreal friends ‘Bullfrog’ for the occasional release.

‘Its punk country disco’ he laughs, ‘no its me and a rhythm section. Its got a heavy turntable slant but its kinda rootsy.’

With teenage DJs like A-trax coming its an example of how the popular sport of the DJ is reaching a wider and younger audience. Everybody wants to be a DJ, (‘everybody wants to be an MC’) buying a set of decks in order to reach the next DMC final. ‘Guys like A-Trax are super disciplined. I can call him up and I don’t need to ask what he’s doing. I can hear the clicking in the background. You can go into music stores and see grandparents with slipmatts and headphones they are buying for the kids. Theres gonna be some crazy styles coming up. Who knows these kids maybe pan flute prodigies and they’ll drop that in the mix! When I started I was a student and I had a paper round. That was how I got my first decks. I delivered a lot of papers. I couldn’t afford Technics, but a friend got some, he had a bigger paper round. Then he got bored so I borrowed them off him. Indefinitely.’

If t he hands get tired in the future, Kid Koala can always turn to his art skills. ‘I’m getting old. I gotta warm up before I go on. I wear mittens. But thats what this whole carpel tunnel syndrome is all about. It’s an anti-social thing we do. No sleep, no daylight and no food. But we can’t no do it. I’m always drawing when I’m not scratching.’

Alongside the asteroids type game, ‘Vinoids’ (where you have to battle it out against flying vinyl) the LP also comes with a 30 – page comic drawn by the Kid himself. Its a romantic tragedy concerning a DJ who battles against Club Nuphonia and the Nufons (no fun) ‘the type of people who go out to a club and have no fun. They are a nightmare crowd.’

The LP has track names like ‘Fender Bender’, ‘Drunk Trumpet’, ‘Temple of Gloom’ and ‘Music For Morning People’ a song about neighbours. Its something that anyone who lives in a block of flats can relate to (couple shagging, crap music from above and those early risers) ‘The song is about my old neighbour. I moved out. In fact we both did at the same time. I needn’t have if I’d known. The guy was into opera and his girlfriend used to sing along.’

Finally with the waiter chasing the bill, we get to use one our fruit questions. What are your favourite fruit? ‘Probably mangos, kiwis are nice. Things like oranges are the pop fruit, the Celine Dion of the fruit world.’

Originally published in Breakin’ Point 01.02 March / April 2000


Listen:

Kid Koala – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Archive: Kungfusion @ 333, circa 1998




Three photos from Ninja Tune’s ‘Kungfusion’ night at London’s ‘333’ on Old Street. Roots Manuva doing a live performance with what looks like Mr Scruff and Ollie Herbaliser (?) on turntables.

I think the idea was that we would review this night. Whether we did I cannot remember. Dan took some photos though…

Listen:

Various Artists – Funkungfusion

Archive: Ninja Tune flyers circa 1999/2000

Ninja Tune flyers:  live shows / club nights / promo

Ninja Tune - No Skool flyer
Solid Steel flyerXen flyerXen

Archive: DJ Vadim – interview June 1999

Interview: DJ Vadim
Date: June 1999
Location: DJ Vadim’s old front room, Tolworth, Surrey
Words / interview: Des Berry
Photos: Dan King

DJ Vadim Life From The Other Side
2009:  Setting the scene:

DJ Vadim has recently released his new album ‘U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun’ on BBE. A great album that mixes up various styles ranging from electronic, funk & Soul, reggae, dubstep and of course hip-hop.

Ten years ago as The Consultants, myself and Dan King interviewed DJ Vadim at his home in Tolworth, just outside of Kingston Upon Thames, down there in Surrey. Writing for Breakin’ Point magazine it was the only the second or third interview assignment we had done and this was probably the first big name we had chatted to.

The press officer on his then label, Ninja Tune, had said he would be a difficult person to interview so we were a little nervous as we turned off Tolworth Broadway into his street. After an embarassing start when I forgot to turn on the tape recorder, we all soon relaxed and Vadim turned out to be a great host. Even inviting us to stay around after we were all done.

Here is what ended up in the magazine…

Forget what anyone else might say, the Surrey area is becoming home to the current hip hop & breakbeat scene. Hard to believe I know, but down in Hersham theres Kingsize Records, and up on the outskirts, Twickenham side The Herbaliser have their base. But residing under the shadow of the Tolworth Tower, DJ Vadim is the mighty son of Surbiton.

Vadim, born in Russia, has lived in the area since he was three. With original ambitions to be “the next Boris Becker” an injury left him to concentrate solely on the sampler & his love of hip-hop. In 1995 Vadim released the 2 EPs “Abstract Hallucinogenic Gases” & “Headz Ain’t Ready”. After little response from labels & with encouragement from neighbour & K’Boro partner Mark B, he set up his own, “Jazz Fudge”. After a few thousand copies where sold, Ninja Tune stepped in to sign up the Russian percussion.

Subsequent releases like the album, “USSR Repertoire” have lead the world to understand the Vadim sound. But on the eve of his second LP, “USSR: Life From The Other Side” moods & tempos are changing.

DJ Vadim

DJ Vadim in his bedroom studio, Tolworth, 1999

A sleepy eyed Vadim greets us on an early Monday morning. The weekend his seen a Friday gig in Brighton, followed the next night in Leeds. Tonight its back off to Ipswich, for one the final few dates of the Swollen Members tour. But not before Vadim has got the van valetted, “theres not enough hours in the day” he yawns. Running two labels, Jazz Fudge & K’Boro (with Mark B), producing his own work & that of others as well as a DJ, rapper Blades description of Vadim on the new LP is very true.

“Yeah that was a good one from Blade. He rapped that down the phone to me,” Vadim laughs. “I’m involved in so many things, that theres often not enough time to do all of it.

Vadim also has a reputation as a massive record collector & his worldwide touring helps in searching out those rare untouched breaks.

“I am a big hip-hop fanatic. The first hip hop tune I got was Marley Marl, The Control Vol 1 back in ’88. Myself & Mark B go around Europe, America, Australia & the Far East just to buy records. I do try to get all the styles, check everything out, and get the videos & the freestyle tapes. I listen to everything, all types, from drum & bass, hip-hop, right through to techno, reggae & psychedelic. Also a lot of spoken word records, novelty & children’s. I try to put it all together & that’s what I did on the LP. A lot of variety & soundscapes.

DJ Vadim June 1999

Variety is what you get on the new LP. With many humorous skits to keep you entertained between tracks it’s the amount of rappers & artists that guest on the LP that makes it one of the best hip hop LPs of ’99. Performers like Company Flow, Scratch Perverts, Blade, Skinny Man & Moshunman to name a few. So how come with people like Vadim representing the best in original hip hop why is the UK still behind in the hip hop stakes?

“You go to places like France and artists like Assassin are selling over a million units. They are selling more than A Tribe Called Quest, but outside of France no one has heard of them. It’s the same in Sweeden, Japan & Germany with groups there hitting the charts & selling 50-60,000 copies in the process. All these countries have got their own home grown talent that are doing well. Looking at England who is doing well here in terms of single & LP sales, no one, especially not from the underground.”

The lack of support for the UK hip hop scene is something close to Vadims heart & its something he wants to see re-addressed.

“We sold 5-6,000 copies of Blades “Will Survive” & I think we did really well, but we should have sold about 20,000 copies. The distributors & shops over here don’t support it as much as they would American product. Successful rappers from the states get support from the area they are from. Acts like Too Short, Master P & Mobb Deep rap about life in these areas & in turn people by it because they can relate to it. We need people in England to talk about life in London like Elephant & Castle, Brixton, Willesden, Tottenham as well as places like Toxteth & the St.Pauls area of Bristol. Those in the core hip hop scene can maybe relate to the US sound, but for the scene to grow over here its gotta be closer to home, which is what people like Black Twang, Blade & Lewis Parker are doing.”

Even though the UK hip hop scene over here is not denting the charts or selling in the thousands it still getting respect for its innovation.

“I think its actually stunned a few people that in England & Europe are leading the way musically as opposed to America. Theres a lot of places that are actually advancing the art & even though they won’t admit it the Americans are influenced by Europe & Japan. Its funny you’ve got people like Company Flow doing instrumentals & its left people having to eat their own words. Anyone from the UK is described as making trip hop stuff but in the US its legitimate hip hop. DJ Spinna is always talking about the UK & Stash’s favourite places are London & Tokyo. People in this country have got the skills, more so than other places. We’ve got some really skilled lyricists & producers. The b-boy scene is good, UK Rocksteady Crew, Second To None, Born To Rock are getting props worldwide. We’ve got some wicked graf writers. That’s all cool. The best graf writers are in Europe.”

But as Vadim knows only to well we live in an American culture, with the US influence having an effect on everything. The lyrics for “Your Revolution” a track on the new LP can be seen as having a go at the whole US hip hop stereotype.

“Sarah Jones is a poet & she wrote the words. She was on about all the male macho things in hip hop. I’ve actually got some of those records she mentions, but I understand you’ve gotta be careful what you put in your lyrics.”

Asked on what he’ll be doing come New Years eve for the millennium, Vadim replys ‘sleeping’. With the next few months work load its no surprise. Keeping release schedules happy for three labels is a hard task. With Jazz Fudge concentrating on ‘good music, not necessarily hip hop’ (The Isolationist, Swollen Members, Mark B), K’Boro concentrates on the straight ahead hip hop with releases from the likes of the Scratch Perverts & Task Force. Ninja Tunes is solely for the DJ Vadim projects.

DJ Vadim June 1999

DJ Vadim scratching it up on the family turntable

‘The new LP is coming out, then thats to be followed by ‘USSR: The Instrumentals’ which is basically the instrumentals of the rap tracks on the new one plus six new tunes. After that I’m releasing a track with Esoteric & Virtuoso from Boston & I’ve also got a track on a Culture Of Peace compilation, which was a funny request. Its a worthy cause but other artists on there are like Barbara Streisand, Springsteen & George Michael. I asked why me me? I only sell thousands of records not millions of records, but they were really into The Isolationist & I’m putting a together a track for it.’

It doesn’t end there. In October a four month tour starts, taking in the UK, Europe & the States. ‘We’ve got Mr Thing & myself on the decks, Kela Killa beatboxing & Blue Rum rapping & freestyling. This is about the fourth time I’ve done the States. The reaction is always good. Now that I’m doing more vocal hip hop tracks it will be interesting to see how it goes down. ‘Friction’ got picked up by a few NYC radio stations. Previously Ninja has had the electronica feel to it in the states. The Herbaliser’s The Blend did well in the states, but they are seen more of a jazz band over there.

The hard work affect is something Vadim gets from his Russian roots. The eastern European feel is evident in the titles & artwork of his current & previous work. ‘It’s not the communist idea that I attach to the LP’s but the other images of Russia. The old political artwork featuring the man in the field, the mines & the ironworks. It’s about working, the family, community & construction. I like the idea of having to work had to attain something. Too often these days its money rather than hard work that buys success. For example in my lifetime of hip hop things have changed. Years ago you had to steal sprays to be a graffiti writer, there were no videos, magazines, battle tool LP’s on how to be a DJ. You had to improvise. Now its more accessible. Along with cheap samplers & best of funk compilations more people are making music, which is good but in turn its making it all more disposable.’

With USSR: Life From The Other Side. Vadim is going to set a new mark in UK hip hop that others will have a hard time following. Its all for the better if the scene is going to survive into 2000 & beyond. The USA maybe the last superpower in the world, but now they have a new fear from the east.

Breakin' Point magazine DJ Vadim 1999

Originally published in Breakin’ Point Issue 13 Sept / Oct 1999

DJ Vadim - U Can't Lurn Imaginashun

2009 : DJ Vadim's new album is out now on BBE

Links:

DJ Vadim
Discogs

Make us a brew…Mr Scruff tea!

Mr Scruff teabags

Currently enjoying a tasty brew care of Mr Scruff and his great range of organic and freetrade tea bags.  The boxes feature the usual doodles and drawings of the Ninja Tunes star and theres a great metal caddy available aswell. Click the image above for more information.

January 2011 – this post continues to be the most viewed page on the Consultthis Music blog. If anyone would like to leave a comment as to why this maybe or how you came to be on this page then that would be great!

There are also some other posts on this blog that might be of interest so feel free to look around! Thanks.

Listen:

Buy Mr Scruff music and similar on my store at Discogs.com

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January 2011