London's Foreign Beggars started out in 2002 as a hip hop crew but recently they've diversified their sound into drum & bass, dubstep, grime and electro with collaborations with the likes of Alix Perez, Noisia, Flux Pavilion and Chasing Shadows.
They've just released Beggattron Remixed, a collection of remixes based on their 2009 album United Colours of Beggattron. It takes what they were trying to do with that release, broaden their sound, and goes a little bit further and deeper. We spoke to them to get the latest...
How did Beggattron Remixed come about?
With The United Colours of Beggattron album we wanted to make a statement about us moving in a different direction so we were using a lot more swung / off kilter production, mostly from Ghosttown. It also started out being a kind of international project, featuring artists from all over the world like Ben Sharpa (SA) and Guilty Simpson. We had a couple of grime style tracks like Get A Bit More and No Holds Barred. It was pretty much a newer sound than we'd had for the previous two albums.
The remix album goes a little deeper than that, pulling together producers from all corners and fulling pushing our sound into the dance music arena. It also features some really great up-and-coming producers whose music we really love, guys we wanted to collaborate with. We hit 'em up, told them about the project and thankfully most of them were really happy to get involved. We're really grateful to have efforts from Dabrye, Bar 9, Noisia, Excision, Blue Daisy, Om Unit, Gifted And Blessed, Goth Trad. Pretty much everyone came through! We also had some bits with SBTRKT, Onra and even Rustie but unfortunately they didn't get finished in time to make the final cut.
Your schedule is pretty busy, did you meet any of the remixers on this project through playing out?
We've known a few of the guys for a while, like Noisia and Om Unit but some we did meet on our journeys, others we found through cold calling! Blue Daisy, I'd heard about and became a big fan of, Machine Drum was another I hit up and was really down to work with us. Goth Trad, Bar 9 and a few others we met on the road. I just think right now more and more artists are down to do cross genre collaboration efforts nowadays. It seems the music industry is really open right now.
Were you aware of the power remixes can bring to a project? For example, a fan of Blue Daisy may not have heard a Beggars track but they could hear the remix and take an interest in your own work...
Yeah, something like that. To me the new future beat genre championed by the likes of Flying Lotus and such is pretty much the future of hip hop production, with a lot of guys taking inspiration from what Dilla was doing. We're connected in that we all have a hip hop background, but what those guys are doing is next level. We wanted to bring it all together and in doing so, keep exposing music listeners to dope new music they may never have heard of.
What do you make of the UK scene right now? It's pretty exciting...
There's so much going on right now in the UK. We have a bunch of sick new producers and MCs of all different types of genres bringing some real heat right now. Grime cats are charting top ten regularly now which is amazing for MCs in the UK 'cause it exposes people to what we've been doing for years. The UK is crazy exciting for music right now. I think a lot of people are looking to us as a country for the dope stuff, particularly production-wise.
What are you up to in the future?
We're working on a full album release with Noisia. We just shot a crazy video with them thats gonna drop sometime this month. I'm not saying what tune it is, but trust me it's murkage! We're also working on an album with Alix Perez under the name Par Excellence which I think will turn a lot of heads.
We've got an EP dropping with Kid Kanevil and we're releasing a bunch of EPs next year through Never Say Die Records, including some sick remixes of our older joints and a few new crazy collabs, one of which is with Lazer Sword who are sick as hell.
Words: Sam Moir
Photography: Noor BFB
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