Arriving at the 10th Anniversary of the first record I ever made or was involved in seems like a good enough reason to post something about it. ‘Lyric Superbrand’ was / is a compilation of tracks by artists who performed regularly at the Substance club nights in Birmingham during the late 90s, mostly hip hop with some soul and instrumental jazz based bits thrown in too. The album was released in mid-2001 on the Different Drummer label, some time home to artists including Rocker’s Hi Fi and Richard Dorfmeister. All but one or two of the tracks were recorded specifically for the release and whilst production values vary a bit and some of it argaubly sounds a little dated, there are still a decent number of tracks on here I’m happy to sit and listen to now.
Some tracks went on to see release elsewhere with Laing’s ‘Do What You Like’ becoming the opening track on Boombox’s ‘Bangers and Mash’ compilation and ‘It’s The Who?’, a track by Mad Flow and I, appearing on Mr Thing’s mixtape for Breakin’ Point Magazine for their highest selling issue. Several tracks from the album received airplay on Radio 1’s One World Show.
The album was reviewed in the majority of the DJ / music magazines of the time and in the vast majority of cases was well received:
“consistently high quality” 4/5 (MUZIK)
“a solid series of jazz inflected cuts” (MINISTRY)
“a highly creative project” (STRAIGHT NO CHASER)
“concious, abstract, jazzy, different and a joy to hear … if you like music, you’ll love this” (BIG SMOKE)
“real live sounding instrumentation that will fill any enclosed space with jazz club presence” (BREAKIN POINT)
“one of the best of the bunch … shows a lot of talent” 4/5 (BIG DADDY)
“a mix of philosophical rap and simple crafted beatery” (INTERNATIONAL DJ)
Available on heavy weight double vinyl or CD, the packaging was put together by Ninety who was doing design and illustration for a lot of high profile hip hop releases at the time including Lewis Parker’s ‘It’s All Happening Now’ LP and the Virgin / Wordplay generic sleeve used for releases by the likes of Slum Village.
Anyway, to mark the occasion and as part of my effort to get all my older releases up online somewhere, I’ve put a selection of tracks from the album up on Bandcamp for you to listen or download: