I’ve always thought there’s a touch of Just William (as opposed to Action’s ‘Kids Rule OK’ – showing my age here heh) about these Perth lads. Nothing particularly burly (as some have said) or threatening at all, but more like opening the back door and finding two scruffy urchins standing on your step covered in mud with big grins on their faces, looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards; they tell you they’ve made something for you and from behind their backs they bring out…a mud pie! (or a 12″ even!) Cheeky chappies, always getting up to mischief, that sort of thing.
Their output gets filed as techno, but a lot of it plainly isn’t by a long shot. With the amount of mucky breakbeats and broken beats they toss around on each release it’s almost, dare I say it, often more breakcore-ish (in its freestylishness) if not a nod even to the days of Jungle Tekno? (check out last year’s ‘An Outrageous Fate Type’ and ‘DJ Ultra Greatsword’ EPs and make up your own minds).
There’s also an almost couldn’t-care-less, smeared-out, bleary veneer to their productions which also feeds this particular image of mine, not entirely pleasantly sometimes either. A bit like the stale fart fug coming from a teenage playstation/wank pit den; you just want to open all the windows and let some fresh air in. It’s as if they have their outputs set permanently through some low-pass filter? or maybe they’re just up all night and bombed off their heads on strong weed?
But that’s their style I guess – bass murk and rumblings a plenty and a kind of artful, semi-chaotic, looseness rather than the crisp, often sterile, punch and sheen of other genres/producers – and it definitely sets them apart from the rest of the techno massive.
It’s a no brainer really but ‘Fallout’ is the obvious stand out banger for me with its old school break/rave hoover and air raid sirens.
Stoked to be the proud owner of one of these first official prints from one of the kings of the London graffiti scene (although it feels like something of an oxymoron to have actually paid for a ‘print’, to have it framed and now have it hanging on my wall. All a bit art gallery and coming in from the cold? But that’s my problem for forking out the money like the middle class twat I am, not his).
Anyone living in London in the early 90s could surely not have missed his name and tag even if only filtered peripherally. He was simply part of the landscape, literally everywhere and absolutely destroyed the underground, particularly the Hammersmith & City line!
No two ways about it, Fume and his crew were seriously hardcore and lived and breathed paint well into the late 90s. There still doesn’t seem to be too much out there on him – to his credit! but I dug up this archived Bomb Alert Magazine interview with 2Kold that gives a snapshot of the kind of lifestyle they were all leading and it all sounds pretty full on and out there ‘on the perimeter’. Amped and angry and totally dedicated to their results. “It’s no use painting the odd wall with pretty colours. You’ve got to smash every depot. It’s a war and no-one can control us”. Seems there was a lot of quite violent rivalry and hate later on which makes it all sound even murkier. See the 1997 Big Issue feature.
This got me reminiscing about that certain period of London sub/culture. Fuck, there was a lot of hardcore business going on then! from the graffiti, the music, the raves, Spiral Tribe, right through to Damien Hirst’s shark & Marc Quinn’s ‘Self’ in the hi-art world, you name it. Peel & Kershaw on the airwaves. And still no www! Pre-Starbucks, pre-Pret a fuckin’ Manger, pre-Sainsbury’s local virus, pre-fixies (except Buffalo Bill maybe heh?), pre-flat fuckin’ whites, smokey boozers, Mutoid Waste squat still down Portobello Road (props to Tom Vogue’s exhaustive ‘Getting it Straight in Notting Hill Gate: A West London Psychogeography Report’ for making my mind run back in that particular hood).
My internal tape rewind is unspooling now like one of Krapp’s Last Tapes! But that’s why I bought the print and have it on my wall – every time I sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and look at it I think of all of the above and more. Dem days.