Who: Styles of Beyond with DJ Skratch Bastid and Mat the Alien
When: Tuesday, March 23
Video may have killed the radio star but radio launched the career of So-Cal hip-hoppers Styles of Beyond.
Styles MCs Tak and Ryu met in college in the mid-90s and found they had a creative compatibility when backed up by beats by Taks friend DJ Cheapshot. After recording a few demos together the boys were introduced to the creators of the Los Angeles-based nationally syndicated radio program the Wake Up Show through Taks older brother, an accomplished hip-hop producer.
"It was probably the biggest hip-hop (radio) show of all time. Back then the whos who of rap would come through," remembers Ryu.
"It looked like a compound for some religious cult, just a house in the middle of Hollywood built into a studio with barbed wire fences around it... Wed just line up in the hallway and go in one by one and just freestyle on the mic and wed start getting recognition that way because people in New York were hearing us simultaneously. Wed go up there with demos and theyd play our demos right off the tapes."
The exposure the high-energy duo got from Wake Up led to the 1999 recording of debut album 2000 Fold , which sold over 60,000 copies independently and earned Beyond the attention of renowned production team The Dust Brothers.
But when the Brothers label folded and tough contract negotiations rendered Styles of Beyond unable to take their talents elsewhere, Ryu says the stress took its toil and he and Tak had a mutual parting of ways.
The months that followed saw Ryu touring the country MC-ing in front of mammoth crowds for live house music creators The Crystal Method. It was a good life, he says, and it almost rendered Styles of Beyond to the "whatever happened to?" files, until one day, Ryu says he decided to give his old partner in rhyme a call.
It didnt take long before the two joined Cheapshot back in the studio.
Almost every critical mention of 2000 Fold is accompanied by anticipation for what was to come from Beyonds talented team. It took four years, but the boys finally answered with last years Megadef album, released on the DJs own Spytech Records.
The follow up, says Ryu, was just a natural progression, a result of the creative energy that came from being reunited, and a bit of a wake up call. Rather than slide back into relative obscurity, the duo is already hard at work on their next album, which he says has been tentatively named Bangers and Mash (neither are into British cuisine, they just like the sounds of that).
But theyre taking a break to tour through Canada, starting in the West.
Jungle and Breaks night takes a break this week so the Whistler hip-hop nation can check out Ryu, Tak and Cheapshots Styles on Tuesday at Garfinkels. Halifax DJ Skratch Bastid and local favourite Mat the Alien start the night off right.
Tickets are $10, available in advance from The Electric Daisy Internet Cafe, The Circle and Blue Balls Boutique.
For more information go to www.mountainpromotions.net.