|Tapes are home to early demos from Jehst, Cappo, Mystro and Ricochet|
Okay so I am going to start this post with a statement of fact. Sometimes such statements can be controversial sometimes they can provoke intense debate and counter opinion - especially with regards to the UK Hip Hop scene and people's place within it. This statement is not like that. This statement is a statement that is simply an indisputable FACT. Here goes: Over the last 15 years no one man has contributed more to the UK hip hop scene than Disorda.
I will stop there - it's not yet time to go into details on this man, that story is for another time. Right now its time for a little focus on just one of his countless contributions to the scene - a contribution that many fans of some prominent UK names may not be aware of but should be grateful for nonetheless. This particular contribution goes by the name of Mind the Gap Volumes 1 and 2 - both of which are a compilation of demos that were given to Disorda by unsigned UK artists in the late 90s.
As you would expect from a cassette tape full of demos the sound quality ain't great, but fortunately this doesn't detract from the listening experience - in fact, in some ways it enhances it. Hearing the poorly mastered vocals, muffled base and hiss of the cassette is all part and parcel of what the project was... bedroom demos from hopeful amateur hip hoppers. For some of the artists a song on the tape was just the start of a career that would see the release of many more records, for others getting their track on Mind the Gap was the high point of their love affair with the music.
What made you do the Mind the Gap tapes?
Basically the same reason I'm still running Suspect Packages today, no-one was pushing the UK's Hip Hop scene and the artists who struggle to get heard. I had loads of demo tapes from artists and most of them we're worthy of being heard by the outside world, so I decided to do a compilation of all the best ones.
How were they different to the UK Hustlerz tapes?
They were all relatively unheard artists, people no-one really knew. And most of them had never had anthing out, it was all off tapes and dats, so no-one was hearing them. This was waaaaay before shit like myspace and youtube. So it was my way of getting these artists heard. I had the product and an outlet, so I used it. I got a good response to the UK Hustlerz tapes so thought i'd try it out, it was all material i'd been sent, and basically i used my own knowledge of what sounded good and what didn't, that was it really.
There are a number of artists featured that went on to become more prominent in the UK scene – Jehst, Ricochet, Hoodz Underground, Cappo and Mystro all stand out – had these guys had much out before this or was this tape literally their first experience of gaining national exposure?
I had demos from them all so yeah, I guess on a national and international level it was the first time some of them had been heard. A few had already, or were just about to release some vinyl though from what I remember, Chris Smoov & Prestige, Uncanny, Hearts Of Darkness, 3PM...
What are your favourite memories of compiling these tapes?
Collecting the finished copies, it took a lot of hard work and time to get it all together, it was a totally self funded grass roots d.i.y. business, and in some ways it still is! But getting the finished tapes and opening up the boxes seeing hundreds of them all together was a good sight, especially after all the graft that had gone into compiling it all and sorting all the artwork, liasing with the artists etc.
Ricochet 'Screwface Assassin', still got his original demo tape, it's dope! Uncanny's 2 tracks, and also Jehst & Cappo's I remember as being pretty solid. That's four, sorry.... I'm also pretty fond of my track '2.20' on Vol.2 as it's got some good memories, the subject matter, recording it, etc...
How many did you sell?
You know what I can't remember how many I pressed at all, possibly 1000? Still got a few left, not many though.
The following tracks aren't downloadable but seeing as you can still get your hands on an original of both these tapes from the man Disorda himself for a measley four quid you shouldn't be too pissed. Hit him up on the contacts below to get one of the last of his copies. In the mean time - whilst your searching for a tape player to play them on - here's a few of those tunes.
|Mind the Gap Volume One cover - (click to enlarge)|
Jehst: Focal Point Memoirs (1998 Pre-Premonitions Demo)
Ricochet (Universal Soldiers): Screwface Assassin (1998 Demo)
|Mind the Gap Volume Two cover - (click to enlarge)|
Disorda and Patterson - 2.20
Cappo: Emcee's Emcee (1999 Demo)
Genuine Article (Mystro) - Straight Spittin'
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