The Stereo MC’s, who mysteriously have not put out an album for some seven years, were always at the forefront of what is now DJ culture. They were one of the first live acts to fully embrace the DJ and as their alter egos, Ultimatum, they had released plenty of remixes and even Breakbeat albums very early on in their career. It was and still is something that is part of their spirit – but as the Stereo MC’s they concentrated on their own unique sound.
So in the midst of recording their new record, they were invited by Studio K7 to join the prestigious DJ Kicks series. It seemed an interesting interlude, another part of the journey.
Taking this opportunity as an open book, the feeling was to create a snapshot of where they were at the time, create a musical feeling as a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts and incorporate individual tracks that added to an overall mood and energy.
The tracks are varied in genre and style but create a personal atmosphere.
"To me," Rob explains, "all the music that’s on there, although it’s pretty diverse and comes from a lot of different generations, is all linked by a basic quality. Which is something that’s raw and, I guess, funky, to a degree – in the way that even something without a drum beat can be funky."
So inside the covers of the CD are overlooked or forgotten gems like Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s ‘Road To The Riches’ or ‘Poppa Large’ from the Ultramagnetic MCs, newer classics from the Associates or the Stereos’ Brixton neighbours, 57th Dynasty.
That’s why, you’ll find obscure nuggets like the Mike Theodore Orchestra’s ‘Moon Trek’, ‘Oil’s Slight Of Hand, and between them, there’s also ‘Rhino’ parts 1, 2 and 3 – a new track(s) from the Stereos themselves
Ultimately, though, the Stereo MC’s want to keep it simple, to get back to the heart of what motivates, excites and energises them as musicians, fans and record-buyers. "We’d never done it before because we don’t really consider being DJ’s as the main thing we do, but it’s something we enjoy. These records are a part of our record collection, and that was the mood we were in that day. And that’s how it is with music."
"It’s really a live turntable mix, and that’s how we wanted to keep it," says Rob. "It’s still got rough edges – you can hear in places where the mixing’s slightly out, and we didn’t want it to be totally on the button and shit like that, we wanted it to be rougher, to keep the mix kinda live. It says Stereo MC’s – DJ Kicks and that’s what it is. "