In this polit­ic­ally charged time, FOR­EIGN BEG­GARS call for a ‘MAT­RI­ARCHY’ with their final album. After announ­cing they are to split, the album (pro­duced by Seemore Beats) sees the sem­in­al electronic/rap crew revis­it a more hip hop-driv­en sound, hark­ing back to the sounds and inspir­a­tion of their early days. We catch up with them to find out more.

Why the title ‘Mat­ri­archy’?

Mat­ri­archy rep­res­ents an energy/ paradigm shift that we feel the world needs mov­ing away from the pat­ri­archy and the com­bat­ive tox­ic mas­culin­ity that has shaped soci­ety for gen­er­a­tions. We wor­ship greed, fin­an­cial suc­cess, plagued with viol­ence and lack empathy which are at the core of many of the world’s ills. The fem­in­ine energy also rep­res­ents the nur­tur­ing of the self both phys­ic­ally and men­tally and is a step in the dir­ec­tion of nature that so many of us are now com­pletely dis­con­nec­ted from.

Who designed the cov­er?

Incred­ible Kur­d­ish — Brit­ish artist called Tishk Bar­z­anji

The album fea­tures many guest stars and reads like a whos who of UK music, was this a con­scious decision in light of your split and this album being the finale?

Not neces­sar­ily, there are quite a few rap­pers on there that have been inspir­a­tion­al and close con­tem­por­ar­ies in the scene that we hadn’t worked with before who we’ve always wanted to and the time was right. Mys­Diggi we’ve known for 20 years and I’ve always looked up to as a rap­per and per­son, Blak Twang is one of the first rap­pers to really break ground for UK rap Music and was the hard­est in the coun­try when he was most act­ive, noth­ing short of legendary status. To have a track with him and one of the new­er pion­eers Jeh­st was a total life achieve­ment situ­ation for me. Sim­il­ar to the God DRS, and both Jam­mer and Flowdan. The album was a much more soul­ful affair so lso gave us the oppor­tun­ity to work with a lot of oth­er incred­ible artists such as Green­tea Peng, ADMT, Ham­dan al Abri from Dubai, Liam Bailey & Bess Cav­endish that we oth­er­wise may not have been able to col­lab with, and lest we for­get the beau­ti­ful force of nature that is Mav­er­ick Sabre.

Who are Seemore Beats?

Seamore beats are actu­ally a power pro­duc­tion duo made up of Ed Thomas who’s writ­ten for Stom­rzy, Jorja Smth, Chase and status to name a few & Toby Dav­ies, Bass and pro­du­cer for Gentleman’s Dub Club, also known as Land­lord & Planas, one of the found­ing mem­bers of Rank­ing Records.

The Lead single Young Kings & Queensfea­tur­ing Mav­er­ick Sabreand ‘Mali Hayes’, is the track anti aus­ter­ity?

The track has anti-aus­ter­ity under­tones, I think everything we say and do is anti-aus­ter­ity and about the empower­ment of people. I think you’d actu­ally have to be a delu­sion­al, indoc­trin­ated or unin­formed per­son to think aus­ter­ity has any place in soci­ety. We actu­ally chose to focus on the uplift­ing and empower­ment of the youth and future gen­er­a­tions to live their dreams and believe in their self-worth.

The video was shot around Manchester by ‘Tar­nish Vis­ion, who is Tar­nish Vis­ion?

Tar­nish Vis­ion are a pro­duc­tion Duo con­sist­ing of Big Ben & DRS.

Mat­ri­archy marks more Hip Hop driv­en sound, hark­ing back to the sounds and inspir­a­tion of your early days, why a move away from the dub­step and DnB which argu­ably became your trade­mark?

Essen­tially, we nev­er moved away from Hip Hop, we released a few dub­step songs, maybe 10 that broke ground and got really massive but have always been a rap got. Take a listen to our last album 2 2 Karma and you will see that. The Upris­ing album that we released on Mau5trap had a more dis­tinct elec­tron­ic edge, but you will see that it’s a rap album as well so I’d refute that state­ment.

Some tracks on the album still show a Dance music influ­ence, when cre­at­ing the tracks, did you have dance­floors in mind?

No not at all, I had ori­gin­ally wanted to call the album Morn­ing Music [The rebirth] as I actu­ally wanted to make an album to enjoy and listen to in the morn­ing as opposed to dark and night time like much of our out­put from the last 10 years.

 For­get Dem fea­tures Jam­merand ‘Flowdan, is a very power­ful cut on the album, in fact it reminds me ofPalm of my handfrom 2012, could you tell me about the pro­duc­tion of this track? The rave horns are a nice touch.

Thank you, that’s a really inter­est­ing choice, I’d say it’s much more remin­is­cent of Dengft Alix P & Flowdan. This track was actu­ally pro­duced about 56 years ago and has been on my hard drive since. We just wanted to drop one naughty banger on the album and this one was per­fect.

 ‘3 AM’ fea­tur­ing Bess Cav­endish, is a soul­ful med­it­a­tion on mod­ern life how did this track come about?

Once again, just hav­ing these incred­ible beats inspired us. E’s verse is more on that flex, but my verse is really about a cer­tain place you reach in addic­tion and a call for help if any­thing, but remains pos­it­ive and I do find light at the end of the tun­nel.

Glowfea­tures Green­tea Pengand is a mel­low­er affair, tell us more about this col­lab­or­a­tion…

Green­tea Peng is one of the most inter­est­ing pure, unaf­fected and beau­ti­ful artists to come out of the UK in the last God knows how long. She is an uncom­prom­ising force of nature who is about to embark on the most beau­ti­ful career and does it com­pletely on her own terms. She is also a really humble and strong per­son who inspires me with everything she does.

 ‘I read that Ori­fice Vul­gat­ron and ‘Dag’ met whilst play­ing in Grunge and Met­al bands, what are the links between these genres and Hip Hop?

Music is Music fam­ily, in the 90’s pop music was Wu Tang, Pearl Jam, Pantera, Mobb Deep, portishead, Nir­vana, Snoop Dogg, The Prodigy. We were lucky, the com­mon thread in these are all move­ments that come out of oppres­sion ener­get­ic, rebel­li­ous and empower­ing. We were young teen­agers in a very con­ser­vat­ive envir­on­ment and these things were our saviors.

 Know The Vibefea­tures ‘Jeh­st’ and ‘Blak Twang’ what was it like hav­ing two legendary fig­ures of UK Hip Hop on one track?

This is an abso­lute dream come true for me. Both Abso­lute dons and mas­ters of their craft from dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions that shaped For­eign Beg­gars, this was noth­ing short of an Hon­our.

Who are ‘Nerm’ and ‘D‑code’ from ‘Shiva Sound­sys­tem’?

Nerm is a legend in the dnb & Asi­an Under­ground move­ments that I met rav­ing in 1999200. He star­ted Shiva sound­sys­tem which was a group, label and a liv­ing breath­ing under­ground music move­ment that brought hun­dreds and hun­dreds of Asi­an and oth­er kids togeth­er and showed there was a place for the altern­at­ive Asi­an in both Asi­an & gen­er­al under­ground cul­ture.

Will your label Den­ted Recordsbe con­tinu­ing?

Sadly Not, Den­ted records was a labour of love and pas­sion and we decided to wind down oper­a­tions after the great dis­tri­bu­tion crash in 2008.

What can we expect from you guys as solo artists in the future?

We have a lot of awe­some stuff in the bag and all will be revealed very soon, please keep your eyes on the fol­low­ing pro­files.

@pav.4n @elliott_yorke @vulgatron @nonamesfbs

Through­out your jour­ney as For­eign Beg­gars, are there any artists you have come across that you think more people need to be listen­ing to?

100% Potent Funk Records, Kuedo, Pengshui, Sonnyjim, Juga­naut, Jam­mz to name a few

Could you each pick one track by any artist that has been very import­ant to you?

Mud Fam­ily — Itchy Town

‘Mat­riachy’ is out now with vinyl cop­ies also avail­able online. Listen here.

Fol­low For­eign Beg­gars: Ins­tagram | Face­book | Twit­ter | You­Tube

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DJ Isuru is a music journ­al­ist and broad­caster on SOAS Radio. He also runs the Mishti Dance event series fea­tur­ing the best in Asi­an Under­ground.


DJ Isuru is a music journalist and broadcaster on SOAS Radio. He also runs the Mishti Dance event series featuring the best in Asian Underground.