's i o n 5 Philip Dorward catches Rob from the Stereo MC“s in the act of l amusinghimself. Beep. beep. beep. 'llello.’
‘You got Rob here.’
Bleep. l)root. droot. ‘l’hree melons on the win g line—payout.
‘Sorry about the background noise. but I'm iii the middle ol' tltis really weird amusement arcade. lull ol’old ladies and one~armed bandits.‘
Ill were wise. l would qui/ Rob— loundet‘ member and lyrical maniac ol the Stereo .‘y‘l(”s — as to the liner topical points ol‘Sega. Nintendo and ; epileptic l'its. As I atn less than wise. I'll just get dow n to the basics ot three years. as many albums and two hit singles in the lite ol'. . . the Stereo M("s‘.
‘At least we are trying to do something, attempting to get across to people that you don’t have to conform, you don’t have to be
a total wankerall yourlite.’
l'he immaculate conception of 1%") swil'tly gay c birth to the album iii—45178 ( rated by Nil/2‘ as one ol'the top l.l’s ol 1%“). 'l'he golden child dey eloped into the excited teenager behind Sit/it'rrtultn'ul. their second long player. co-written and co-produced by A l'rik‘a Baby Bam ollhe .lungle Brothers. .S'u/n'mumm/spawned the group's lirst British 'l'op ﬁll hit. ‘1 .ost In Music". bttt more important w as the Stateside release ol 'lileyate Your Mind‘ which became the lirst British rap single to hit the Billboard 4H. Alter successltilly tottring the [S with l lappy .‘ylondays. they got down to work on their third album. ('mmectetl. Rob remembers it well.
‘When we started. w e wanted to make sure we were a step ahead l‘rom where we had already been. A lot ol Sit/termtltn'u/ reyolyed around breakbeats; we started ( mint-cred the same way. bttt as we took it l'urther. we lost a lot ol the beats arid replaced it with our own music. putting tnore
» thought in the way the rap should work in harmony '
with the yibe. Btit. then again. I suppose we just
sort of walked into it. really.‘ i
, Accidental birth ( ‘mtnecled may be. btit it's no
‘ bastard. This is a rich. lull. musical dance sound which is equally approachable sitting down or l'unking up. The Stereos haye matured to become
Britain‘s foremost rap outlit by aligning
themsely’es with the atmosphere of linnio
lyiorricone. creating a relaxed group l'eeling akin to Sly Stone and dey'cloping the tnost conscious
lyrics this side ol' the North Atlantic diyide. 'l'hesc guys are credible. they are also uttique iii a dance market that has become distressingly stagnant amidst record company hype and lormula remixing. Not one to be optimistic. Rob spouts lorth the street knowledge.
‘\\'hat's lacking in a lot ol'stull' is original sparks. i think hall the problem stems l‘rom the lact the record business has become cyen tnore greedy. What originally was the inspiration for the dance scene w as a record being ltot underground; white labels that would l'usc and then jtist suddenly explode to become a successl‘ul commercial record.
‘But l really don’t understand record companies. ldon't know why they don‘t nurture the musical talent that they signed the band lot‘ in the lirst place. instead they spend tilHlllll haying the people remix the record. It dclies logic. because at any one tttttc thetes always a hattdlul ol‘ hot remixcrs who are being used continuously . and all dance records end up sounding the satire. 'l'hc scene is sounding bland and character less because Atk R men are just getting hold ol tracks and tryittg to use their otmtipotent powers or whatcy er they think they possess to luck around with people's music.’
l’robe Rob lurthcr and he'll entltuse met a w hole host ot rap—related subjects: he’ll tell you that ‘linglish‘ rap needs to littd its ow it direction and that no ntattcr how ntuch you get 'stullcd in a record deal‘. always get the yiny I out to conyey the
MCs get down to Ground Level
message ol peace. Most important ol'all. he‘ll tell you that l‘or any body to listen to the message the music ltas to hay e a certain grooye. 'l‘hanklully. howeycr. Rob realises that unless you're Michael Jackson you can ncy er heal the world single-handed.
'I don't think that music's gonna change the world. by any means. It‘s not going to get loadsol people to be nice to each other and say . “Yeah I‘m rich. so I’m gonna giye away some ol my money 'cos I don't need it.” but I think that il you cart actually put across the message to people that they should be tnore human towards each other. then a spirit can be dcycloped. At least we are trying to do something. attempting to to get across to people that you don't hayc to cottlornt. you don't lime to be a total wanker all your lite. But. then. what do I know '.’ l'y e got a really pessimistic yicw that it the world don't change tltctt something bad‘s gonna happen.
'1 don‘t know . man. you just do w hat you feel. \Ve l‘eel things and pttt them into our tttusic because we want to put oyer this uniy crsal kind ol thing which anyone can get into. By the way. he just run out ol change lor the phottc.‘
Beep. beep. beep.
Bleep. Drool. til'UUl. ll ltlee \i( Us Hit the liyeltne. somebody pay tip.
I/tt' Stereo .\l( “s /)/t1\‘ //1(' lllllllt'l. (i/ttxgott' on [1((' ‘1. Niel/View mtg/e. '(immtr/l ('l c/I /\ rt/t'tm‘r/on .110)! 1‘.
The List 3‘).lanuary ll l‘cbrttary l‘N327