The three blokes that are Reptile talk about releasing an EP for free on the internet, what they've got planned, their inspirations and production and graffiti.
How many group members are involved and what's the role of each?
There's 3 of us, Joseph who produces and arranges the music and plays it live via laptop loveliness and various other electronic machinery, Juice 126, one of the MCs and myself Remi/Rough the other MC. But Juice and myself also co-produce along with Joseph.
What made you decide to release your EP for free via the internet?
Well we've released a few things via Jazz Fudge Recordings but they have a bit of a waiting list for releases at the minute so we thought these songs were better out there than not, also it's a great way to generate new awareness and find new cohorts. It's not so much that it's free, it's more about the fact that few people have had the chance to hear our stuff to date.
What was the thinking behind the EP title Liquid Play Things?
The track Liquid Playthings is actually pretty old now and even though we remixed and re-mastered it for the EP, it was the first track we recorded together as Reptiles so it has a true significance to us, which follows through into the name of our website. But the name of the EP is actually "Year of the Monkey". As this year is Year of the Monkey and a lot has happened to us as a band this year, it just seemed to make sense to us to call it that!
Do you think this is the future of hip-hop? Internet promoted products which are free?
Not too sure if it's the future, but right now, any band or artist site you visit has the odd freebie MP3 which I feel is important as so many listeners are keeping musicians in jobs, (just about), that why shouldn't they get something back? We will always give free music away, whether it's instrumentals, demos or whatever.
Talk us through some of the tracks on the EP. What were your intentions, inspirations?
Musically we're making sound scapes, we're really trying to achieve a certain feel to our songs, because of that we've been compared to Massive Attack once or twice. The emotive element is always a precursor in our song writing. 'Liquid Playthings' was our mission statement. We start as we mean to go on. It is also a reflection of pre and post millennium tension, which we've all been affected by one way or another. Lavender Mist is all about the art of GRAFFITI as both Juice and myself are old school graf heads and the track references a lot of what we grew up on and people we grew up with, some of which are pretty famous now. 'Creat-or' is my ode to the boys and girls with unadulterated GOD COMPLEXES. My internal affair with cynicism. I am a huge cynic. My sole intention was to name fools without actually naming them. Everyone will recognise someone they either know personally or impersonally and see exactly the type of people I am talking about…
LEECHES! 'Who are we what are we' is about nostalgia and personalities. We tried to invoke a feeling of old and new wave, lyrically. Dreams, aspirations, regrets, basic foods of life that people need in their daily diet of living! 'God Save' is a moment in time with a friend – Creature. A really talented MC from Queens New York. He was on tour with Mike Ladd and the Majesticons and wanted to record a song with us, so we got him down to our studio and he basically set the tone and standard for the song. We wanted that song to be angry and energised. It was a snapshot of three angry young men.
Who handles the production of your music?
It's all in-house, although we have had Tony Nwachukwu from Attica Blues helping us out a little with regards to mixing and mastering etc… Joseph, Juice and myself work on various aspects of songs together and try and keep the same momentum running throughout, which is difficult sometimes. But we all lead on different tracks with regard production.
Where about in the UK are you based and what domestic acts are you feeling?
Joseph and myself are in South London and Juice is from Birmingham although he is moving down here in the next few weeks, which will be a blessing for getting stuff done. As for acts I am feeling: Buck 65, Roots Manuva, New Flesh, Rob Sonic's new LP is amazing, people need to hear that shit! And I really want to track down Mau the rapper from an old group called Earthling. I really want to get him on a Reptiles jam, so Mau if you're out there….
What's coming up in the pipeline? Are you going to release anything on vinyl or CD? Are you signed to a label?
We have a 7" single entitled "Electric Lovesong" still available to buy from www.jazzfudge.com and a new single due out very soon again with Jazz Fudge, featuring New York poet/rapper – Mike Ladd. We also have a new song we have recorded with the lovely Yarah Bravo, from DJ Vadim's Russian Percussion and this incredible Californian MC called Africa Sam, which we hope to release soon.
We recently played the Sonar Festival in Barcelona and we got so much interest from people, but I don't want to jinx anything by going any further. All I'll say is keep checking the website for news…
Anything else you want to mention? Shout out's etc.
Just thanks to everyone who's been backing Reptiles since day one. Liquidplaythings.com