SFDB Records make a triumphant return to the physical realm of vinyl with the debut EP by illustrious lyricist NOMAD. The UK Hip Hop imprint was like a who’s who of the scene in the early 2000’s, with label force SECONDSON one of the most in demand producers in the country.
When asked about the seeming absence of the label, SECONDSON said ‘although folk may have though we did a Low Life and disappeared off the face of the planet, we didn’t. I wanted to work on starting two brand new vinyl labels (Coppertree Records and 3 Syllables Records) and collaborated with some incredible artists and even my hero DANIEL JOHNSTON. We did two albums.’ SECONDSON was also quick to add that in 2014 he dropped a previously unreleased album with XENO (which was actually recorded in 2004) called PLAGUE. The year later, SFDB dropped the legendary LEWIS PARKER’s ‘Our Man in Havana’ also. So not gone, not forgotten, just chipping away.
So here we are, completely out of the blue, with ‘Preludes’ by NOMAD. With brothers Daniel and Mark Richardson behind the boards, the beats they’ve produced are pure SFDB. SECONDSON says of the duo that ‘they are literally ingrained into the label, we always had great relations and correspondence in the heyday of SFDB and always planned to release music by them, their ability on the MPC and more importantly, in the crates is unsurpassed, I’m honoured to have them involved.’
NOMAD by name, NOMAD by nature, literally. The brothers speak highly of this mysterious MC that used to frequent regular jams back in their hometown of Hull (the capital of culture don’t you know?). ‘We used to see this guy get up at jams and just tear it up, he was incredible, full of one liners and sharp come backs, we always thought he could have been a good contender for SFDB because we knew HUMURAK D GRITTY was a big punchline MC’ says Mark, ‘but this NOMAD kid, no one knew him and even now, I couldn’t tell you where he lives. We literally have his email address, we don’t even have his number’ claims other brother Daniel, ‘when we first put the idea to SFDB, the intrigue alone sold the project to them.’
Upon first hearing their demos, SFDB responded with their utmost enthusiasm ‘a real return to the crate digging ethos that I still believe Hip Hop actually should be’ says SECONDSON, ‘these pair slave over breaks with such focus and ability, they reminded me of how I could spend a day just obsessing over a hi hat, I just had to get them on board.’
Now the clincher, when Daniel and Mark were initially able to tie the NOMAD down, get him into their studio, the demos sent down to SFDB had a reaction that they never expected. ‘I know this guy!’ SECONDSON came back with, ‘I’ve heard him at jams here in Cardiff and seen him do the same in Birmingham, he absolutely kills it, I never had any idea he was the same NOMAD you guys were referring to.’
Sounds far fetched? An MC touring the country, tearing up jams and freestyles to cut his teeth? Surely that’s what they all do right? If not, his competitors should be wary, as the NOMAD has no fear and lines galore, a real hark back to the days of an MC stepping up onto a stage to earn his respect and in this case, a record deal.
Now 5 tunes of flowing, heavy psychedelic Hip Hop is a great way to announce yourself. The Richardson’s production techniques included dragging in old distortion pedals, vintage phasers and even an old Leslie speaker into the studio to create the effects used on the vocals. And the music? They came armed with only an MPC, a sole Technics 1200 and a fat flight case full of some of the rarest breaks out there. Proof they know what they’re doing. All sampled off vinyl, and with a solitary microphone.
Real Hip Hop.
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