So I got in the Darpacoptor and hummed up to his eyeline. Eye as big as Enceladus. Step down, gingerly traverse his metal sockets hopping mile-high rivets in my jet boots , always the immortal strength of mortal weakness singing through the retinal lakes I swim through, flaws so deep in the iridium irises they shoot back supersized light beams concave. This is hard: when you interview a real superhero, for that is what Kashmere is, you’re aware of something buzzing under the words, some elemental filament of resistance you can’t get to, glowing like kryptonite inside, the secret identity he can’t reveal. That planet-wide steel-trap swings open and an abyssal rumble issues forth: “I’m in my own world. I have unique views and approaches to making music and its hard to find common ground with people. Even though hip-hop is my heart, I still don’t feel like I'm 'part' of it. I see myself as an observer. And that’s real.”
OK, to even be privy to this transmission you must mainline manganese light and heat straight to your synapses through the wonder that is Galaktus, Kashmere’s simply staggering latest LP on the awesome Boot Records (seek the catalogue, buy and hoard), let it trephinate freshly deformed Schwarzschild radii in yr skull, pull you into it’s universe just as Kash godself was forged in such light-year-wide, light speed derangement.
“BOOOOOOOM. I’d seriously get lost in albums. I was totally lost in the first tribe Called Quest lp and the first De La Soul lp. I was definitely drawn into their worlds deeply. It was wondrous. All the different types of sounds, the skits, the way they laid down vocals. It was almost like they were rapping in riddles! Shit was really dope from there it was on!! Too many groups to mention, LONS, EPMD (as a group and separately), London Posse there's too much to mention. Rap radio like Kiss 100's Maz LX and Dave VJ, Choice FM's DJ 279 and of course Capital Radio & Westwood had a profound effect on me growing up I tell ya. Incredible times. So coming from there I have to get in a zone when making music. I cant do it any other way and I really want people to get in a zone when listening. That’s what its all about. Working with Boot, with Jazz T & Zygote for Galactic I guess was just natural as we were working together anyway. Working with them is cool apart from the armoured sentinel in the lab. It basically lasers your brain (with safety parameters off!) if you aint laying shit down properly. I was fucking up alot as I was nervous. This is why I now have automatic limbs.”
Crucial tie between comic books & hip-hop: both are art forms ideal for people who consider themselves outsiders, homes for people with too many thoughts to just join the 9-5. If either comic books or hip-hop were looking for twin art forms that can host ideas & stories & people that wouldn’t fit anywhere else they should look no further than each other. What say you oh strider of the 28 Xiu?
“Well all you have to do is look at Galactus to see where the allure is hahaha.. I mean, he’s omnipotent and he’s fucking massive!!!! His power is actually off the scale! So basically the Galaktus lp isn’t really a recreation as such, I used the Galactus imagery to convey power. We wanted to do a sci-fi based project that wasn’t masturbation but at the same time was powerful sonically. I purposely didn’t fill it up to the brim with comic book jargon as I was experimenting, using the Galaktus thing as a semi-loose theme floating around. I wanted to suggest things more than exactly describe scenes out of a comic book. This is an alternate Galactus thats more concerned with getting’ busy than anything else.”
"One thing that doesn’t switch off for me is thinking about music. I’m in a constant day dream thinking about beats, vibes, sometimes lyrics, sounds, rhythms. just dreaming about it while awake."
That mix of high-concept cosmology and street-level ruggedness runs throughout the sound and verbiage of ‘Galaktus’, Kash as likely to lace Tribe Called Quest lines in with the sci-fi imagery, just as Zygote & Jazz T mix dungeonesque noise & mayhem in with Show & AG-style avant-funk and straight up fuzzy stompbeats. It’s fearsome music but always a pure rubbery phat pleasure to submit to.
“I didn’t want complicated rhyme styles either” affirms Kash, and this he relates through the medium of a binary shockwave that takes me by surprise, I skitter downwards, bearing-jointed knuckles scratching ineffectively at his visage as I plummet into the yonder. “I wanted the music to be the main thing because a) I think that’s missing and b) the beats Boot crafted where immense. Thinking that if I ever revisit this I will go more hard on the god adventures! Strictly for the heads! This time around I just wanted to make some hard hittin’ shit with these ideas floating around, you know what I mean? Hip-hop and the comic book world lend well to each other. Both highly creative platforms and both at their best highly inspirational. Also there’s a nerd quality to both, you know? Diggers will know what I mean - the collecting aspect y’know? Like comics, hip-hop can be a place for people that think differently can chill and discover themselves reflected. It’s got dope written all over it! Plus its so versatile!”
Still plunging through the dust plumes, past the torso, escape impossible, hope absconding as quickly as I freefall, barely conscious enough to register that for Kash hip-hop starts the moment he wakes and doesn’t necessarily end when he sleeps either.
“I’m definitely in my own world. I couldn’t imagine not absorbing the world through a musical filter. Life to me sounds like a soundtrack in itself so much interesting sounds textures and rhythms. With Galaktus I sat with the beats for a while, came into the lab in the morning, chill for a while, chat breeze, smoke trees, watch TV and listening to tunes. Then I'd hear a nice break and be like 'ahh that one'. he'd then start flippin the beat and id write while they flips. Kinda like I’m a critic and he’s a pancake maker. The creative process is not 100% controllable for me though. it fires of at random a lot. I know a lot of people are very deliberate with their music they know what they want and they go in and do that whereas I more vibe it out.”
Five seconds of life left oh quasar-devouring monstro-MC Kash are you worried about the future of rap or confident that innovative hip-hop will always cycle back and return?
“For me I try not to involve my mind in anything other than music and the city. London city looks dope to me man. So it's like all the brainwashing from the corporate music industry doesn’t effect me. at times I've been caught up in what they’re up to but really... fuck that shit... its poison. its different now because interesting music doesn’t seem to cross over like it used to but I guess we were in analogue times. now were fully in the digital realm it cant be the same again! only different! which to me is exciting cos we don’t know what’s going to happen.” [here I die. Onwards transmission recorded by automatic spectrotranscriber] “I’m enjoying artists like Dim Lite, Dorian Concept, S.Marharba - I think that movement is really exciting. I just wish I was hearing these guys collab with cool rappers, not posing idiots. I think some cool music can come from that."
My coptor, my jetboots, my suit, all atomised, my flesh dispersed beyond Chandrasekar oh Galaktus oh Galaktus . .
|“Alot has happened in hip-hop and its never gonna be the same. I think if we have another golden era its going to be on some different shit. "|
"Its then going to be all about who sees and appreciates it, I’ve noticed a trend with a lot of people that are into hip-hop. The trend is to worship ignorance. Like ignorance is cool somehow. Dumbing down. That’s why the afrocentric/concious era was dope cos it was about learning, experimenting AND having fun on different levels. In those times U wanted to know stuff and hip-hop encouraged that. Hip-hop seemingly encourages something else now but we must remember... that aint hip-hop bringing this madness its the corporations that have sold people this crap over and over till they actually believe its the only way to go. people don’t even realise they are being brainwashed! they (corporations) want people on an ignorant tip so they can continue to peddle their dodgy goods. ”
Only one thing to report. Galaktus IS GOD. Man down. End transmission.