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, the next party will be on Feb­ru­ary 18th at Rich Mix.


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, the next party will be on February 18th at Rich Mix.