Urban Industry have long been admirers of Brighton based song-maker, crate digger, awesome DJ and all round super genuine guy DJ Format, from the Bomb Hip-Hop comps right up to more recent releases such as the anthemic 'We Know Something You Don't Know" and the albums 'Music For The Mature B-Boy', 'If You Can't Join 'Em Beat 'Em' and 2012's 'Statement Of Intent'. Along with side projects and the demand for his ever pleasing DJ sets, Format is a busy man. Yet he has found time to create 'The Foremost' with Phill Most Chill: another classic LP which is, judging by the sampler video circulating around the internet, going to make a lot of people dance their asses off! He also was kind enough to answer some questions I put to him.
1. First up, or should I say Foremost, this is an Album made chiefly between yourself and Phill Most Chill. How did that collaboration happen?
Phill Most Chill featured on 'Live At The Place To Be' on my last album (alongside Sureshot La Rock) and the chemistry was perfect so we decided we should make some more music together. Phill is someone I've listened to and admired for years so it was a honour for me to even get an opportunity to work with him!
2. It was only last year that Statement of Intent came out and The Foremost seems to have come out of nowhere ready to roll, had you been working on it for a while or was it more spontaneous?
A couple of the beats on The Foremost were things I'd made a while ago but it was mostly brand new stuff that came together very fast because Phill & I were so inspired working with each other. I was sending him raw, basic beats and he was sending me back recorded vocals within a few days..it was crazy! I would then get inspired to make more beats immediately so it was a perfect situation where the ideas & inspiration was flowing so well that we just didn't stop until we had a whole album finished. Sometimes I couldn't keep up with the rate that Phill was writing new songs. I was still trying to put the finishing touches on a certain song and Phill would email me with a whole new song he's written to a rough beat I'd sent him. It was a very different experience for me because I usually take AGES perfecting songs and probably spend too much time over-thinking every little detail. Phill's raw approach made me change my approach and I can't believe how fast the album came together.
3. On the fantastic sampler video there seems to be an emphasis on 'fast rap', was that a conscious decision?
Well, Phill Most is famous for his 'fast rap' skills so there was no question of us making several uptempo bangers. The challenge was to make sure we made other types of songs so that the album had a good balance to it. Nobody wants to hear 10 fast rap songs in a row, it's just too much. We discussed various ideas and agreed that we needed to have slower songs like 'Angry Birds' and 'Diggin' For A Livin', as well as songs like 'Take A Stand' which is still fast, but has a deeper subject matter than just typical brag-raps.
4. You usually have some special remixes of your tracks up your sleeve for singles, any planned?
I do have a remix of 'Angry Birds' planned but I haven't had time to start it yet. I'm not sure if we'll do a 12" or a 7", I guess we'll see what happens once the time consuming promo stuff has calmed down a bit, then I can sit down in the studio and see what takes shape.
5. Lastly, apart from the tracks Phill has laced, what are DJ Format's Top 5 Fast Rap Tracks?!
FM: My current top 5 fast rap songs (off the top of my head and in no particular order) are:
1. Freshco & Miz ~ We Don't Play
2. Dashy D & Cue Tips ~ Control
3. Unique ~ Axe Maniac
4. Big Daddy Kane ~ Wrath Of Kane
5. Lord Finesse ~ Funky On The Fast Tip
You can pre-order The Foremost from Suspect Packages and Kudos Records among others.
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