Following a triumphant return last year with ‘Preludes’ (SFDB019) by the elusive wordsmith NOMAD, SFDB return with a huge fanfare. ‘Where’s the World Gone?’ is the second full length album from SECONDSON & XENO‘s PLAGUE.
Anyone with a mere inkling of UK Hip Hop history will be well aware of both artists, XENO famously cut his teeth as one half of DFXO, the other half, DEFISIS (also an SFDB and Big Dada recording artist) sadly passed away earlier in 2018, so this album is being released dedicated to his memory.
SECONDSON first rose to mantle of the top UK Hip Hop producers in 1999, with his much loved and much missed FLEAPIT project. Following their implosion, SECONDSON went on to thump his AKAI MPC2000XL pads on tracks with JEHST, TASK FORCE, LEWIS PARKER, HUMURAK D GRITTY and SWAY, resulting in a slew of single and album of the month awards from most of the British music press at the time. Oh yeah, there was even chart success with the GOLDIE LOOKIN’ CHAIN.
Let’s fast forward a little to 2004. PLAGUE recorded their debut album with both XENO & SECONDSON promising each other, whatever happened, that the record would only see the light of day 10 years later in 2014. They did this to see if they felt it stood the test of time. It was received with much praise and press and radio attention globally.
Again, let’s speed the tape up to present day 2018, 4 years after their 14 year old debut, PLAGUE return with the massive ‘Where’s the World Gone?’ An album showcasing some of SECONDSON’s famed vintage analogue synthesizer collection. He says “when XENO first heard the production I was doing with MAINE (a synth artist from Paris), he got on the phone and was like “that’s what we need man, that’s the sound,” and combining synths with Hip Hop was always something we discussed for the debut album, but I didn’t have the studio and instrument collection I have now. It felt right.”
Regarding the prevalent inspiration behind the record, musically,
SECONDSON says that “we always originally intended PLAGUE to be a project that fused analogue synths with drum breaks, but the first album we did, was all vinyl based, so digging is what gave that whole album its feel. This time, we had to go back to what we feel we didn’t acknowledge first time around.”
XENO on the other hand claims “2016 was the inspiration. The shifting political landscape and everything leading up to it. I had 3 raps I'd written in 2010, which were still relevant, and I was continually expressing my thoughts about the world in rap/poetry. Catching up with SECONDSON and listening to his musical output convinced me the time was right for recording them.”
When asked how the lyrics on this new album differs to the first PLAGUE album, XENO says that “the content is less self-serving. Our previous outing was more like an introduction, like ‘this is PLAGUE.’ This time is more about portraying a view of society and the world; our social ills, religious intolerance, prejudice and war.”
Fusing vintage analogue synths with pounding drums sliced from freshly dug breaks. Coupled with a flow that’s been almost 30 years in evolution, ‘Where’s the World Gone?’ is a poignant reminder that these two UK Hip Hop stalwarts are firing on all cylinders with the same fierce energy and clinical attention to detail. Not even breaking a sweat when looking to contribute something refreshing and new to the UK Hip Hop palette.
released August 27, 2018
Vocals by Xeno
Produced by Secondson
Cuts by DJ Jaffa
Recorded at Bywyd Studios & The Sail Loft, Winter 2017- Spring 2018
Engineered by Leone Vuetivavalagi and Thomas V Westgård
Mixed and Mastered by Leon West
Photography by Leon West