On Sunday 24th July 8-9 PM GMT, Frission will be broadcasting an exclusive mix by the one & only IG Culture. We took our chance to ask IG some questions about past, present & future projects as he warms up to hit Dimensions festival with Team Co-op 2016, readies new brrukwurx material with Alex Phountzi, and a mighty Domu v Volcov team up on his own Reptown imprint.
Check out IG’s new website!
Can you tell us what sparked your musical imagination? How you started making music and where your talent may have sprung from?
I was always into music, listened to everything and anything, reggae, gospel, pop, funk, guess when I was young and I heard tunes I liked I would try and do alternative versions of the lyrics, or
I would try to imitate the voice of my favourite Dancehall DJ’s to fool my sister, she always knew I wasn’t Ranking Toyan but she played along with the deception.
Making beats as a kid came naturally, no one told me to do pause mixes with my cassette deck, it just felt normal to loop up the best bits of records I liked, didn’t really know what I was doing it just felt good to hear the same bits over and over again.
I was an MC in two of the ‘youth man sounds’ from my area, that’s probably when people realised I had some ability as a ‘mic MC.’
What were 5 influential records from your youth?
Whatupski ‘Was Dog A Doughnut’
Toyan ‘How The West Was Won’
Lone Ranger ‘M16’
Leroy Skillet and Lawanda ‘Back Door Daddy’
Eric B & Rakim “Eric B Is President’
Can you wax lyrical about some of the projects/collectives/bands you were involved with in the early 90’s? I was listening to the almighty ‘Road To Freedom’ the other day and totally forgot you were rapping on that! That was a fantastic UK sound.
Yea I went to school with those guys involved, we raved together as well, I used to go digging with Femi Fem from that group, in a record shop named POPBEAT in Camden that’s where we 1st bought funk 45’s. He always knew I could MC from my dancehall days, and he also was into what I was trying to do with Dodge City which was the 1st group I was involved with.
You had a huge track in the UK with Ronny Jordan in 1992 which was released through Island. How did you secure major label ‘support’ so early in your career? How do you feel about the concept of the label now, what is your preferred way to release your music?
I said had a deal within a year of making beats, right place at the right time I guess…being on a Label def gets your stuff reaching people who you may not reach on your own, but its good to have the freedom to release what you want, when you want.
You’ve worked with a diverse array of amazing names over the years – J88, Theo, Digital Underground, Gang Starr, 4Hero, Bembe Segue to name just a few. Got any juicy or just plain good time stories about some of the people you’ve worked with or remixed?
Yeah it’s been a blast over the years working with these people, off the back of a Naughty by Nature remix we ended up on a tour of the UK supporting them, to be honest I never really got to really enjoy the whole early experience as some bands do, with their first outings, too stressed out at the time maybe.
You’re perhaps best known for your New Sector Movement projects, how did that come about?
New Sector Movements was one of the monikers I used when working with Mike Slocombe of Goya music, now this is when I really started to enjoy making music, wasn’t really trying to get signed to labels, in fact I wanted nothing looking remotely like a record deal, just wanted to do my own thing, but what we collectively were doing, started ringing bells as it do, and that’s how the whole New Sector Movements on Virgin Records thing came about.
During that time, some of the bands, labels, distribution around that so-called ‘Broken Beat’ scene produced some of the most underrated and visionary/influential music to come out of the UK, what’s your take on it?
Well, speaking only for myself, I’d say that I wasn’t really trying to be a visionary or anything, it was normal for me to like many music styles, and even more normal to mix it all up, I guess once you put it out there, it don’t make much sense to a lot of people, in hindsight I guess some of that music was nuts.
Can you tell us about that time with NSM, Goya, People, Main Squeeze, Bugz, Neon Phusion, 4Hero etc and some of your influences when making some of those mighty tunes?
Well after all those names were in place and it became full-time ‘broken beat’ manufacturing, I guess people stopped doing other music forms for a while and jumped onto that flex and the quality got better and better. Once Goya music was releasing everything I gave them, that gave me carte blanche to do pretty much anything, so it got more and more deep, I was always able to learn some shit and incorporate it into my music. When we were doing the Co-op club, that whole broken beat idea became standardized.
Tell us about 3 of your personal favourite releases?
I liked a remix i did for Talking Loud called ‘Castles In The Air’ I need a copy of that!
‘Soulful Shanghai’ came out on Kindred Spirits, I loved the concept of that record, had good fun making it.
‘Together’ J88, that basically was a Slum Village record that I remixed, so simple but so twisted, good record.
If you could only save 5 LPS from record collection doom, what would you grab?
Leroy Burgess ‘Logg’
Any Roy Ayers album
Toyan ‘How The West Was Won’
I heard a rumour you were going to make some music with Mo Kolours, did that ever happen? You’ve recently been touring with that crew, are there things in the pipeline? (If so that’s very exciting!)
We did a few sessions, but we ended up long talking and outsmarting each other with lyrics, we still good mates even though no music materialised, I just DJ’d with them a few weeks back, so Mo Kolours if you’re reading – the world is waiting for ‘Mo Kulture’…
If you didn’t just answer it above, what happening at the mo for you IG?
I occasionally do Coop Parties and will be doing one @ Dimensions festival in Croatia featuring Alex Phountzi, K15, Henry Wu, Mark Force, Alex Nut and myself.
NameBrandSound is a project I do with Alex Phountzi (Bugs In The Attic) we merged footwork with rare groove Dancehall and jazz and we call it brukwurx, we have released on Ninja Tune and our own labels, we also do a night at the Bussey Building, we also going to be spinning a Outlook and Dimensions Festival.
We have a release just been signed to Ross Allen’s brand new label, not sure but the label may be named Nuff Foundation, which is pure coincidence since the name of my mix is The Foundation Mix.
I’ve also been releasing juke footwork brrukwurx stuff on my Reptown label, and secretly pushing the juke monster TS Repman into unchartered territory.
I will wear that moniker to drop another Loop Masters sample pack for the youth dem!
‘IG Culture’s Foundation mix will be airing:
Sunday 24th July 8-9PM UK1 – 1st show UK schedule
Thursday 28th July 10PM US1 (UK 6am) – US schedule LA time
Fri 29th July 11PM JP1 (UK 2pm) – JP show Tokyo time
Huge thanks to the legend that is IG for taking the time to bless us with his words and music.