SHK asks UK duo 808Ink about the release of their new video Full English, the concept of Dreality and messing with conventional hip hop.

808 ink cover art

IS AN ARTISTIC PIECE A CONCEPT ALBUM, A ‘STAND ALONE PROJECT’ OR IS THIS WHERE YOU GUYS ARE HEADED CREATIVELY FROM NOW ON? 

808Charmer: I think it’s an amalgamation of all three. I get bored quite quickly, so creatively as the producer I tend to progress and play with different ideas but an Artistic piece was, and is a great foundation to build on but I have more tricks up my sleeve regarding the sound.

Mumblez Black Ink: This album is its own world. I like eerie, scenic music that is more fiction based, but I’m bored of it at the moment. It’s too easy. My appreciation for style of music will always be there, especially for the stuff that has been executed correctly, so there’s chance it’ll be revisited.  

YOU GUYS TEAMED UP WITH ARTIST AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR PUR ANUBI$ TO PRODUCE THE VIDEO FOR FULL ENGLISH MAKING 808INK”…A MULTI-INSTRUMENTAL AND VISUAL COLLECTIVE”. TELL US HOW THIS CAME ABOUT? AND WHAT BEING A MULTI-INTRUMENTAL AND VISUAL COLLECTIVE ACTUALLY  MEANS?

C: I met pure Anubis through Mumblez, and he has been an asset to the team. He grasped the vision behind the sound very well making everything organic, however the art and music are two separate things.

M: I don’t call it a collective. There’s 808INK and then there is Black.Anubi$ (Bk.A$). 808INK is 808Charmer and myself Mumblez Black Ink. We have been making music together for about three years now, just before the album was thought up, me and Anubi$ had just gained recognition on Tumblr with the art work for Black.Anubi$ which is basically a never ending collection or more like a universe that we’re building. While I was in the writing stage of the album, I kept looking through at the art and was making new pieces for the collection; I like to link sound with imagery that I think it best matches.  

I kept getting the idea to link the album with the art some how. It wasn’t until we made Vacuum love that I was sure of it. I sent a text Anubi$ like “Aye faaam. Fam! I’ve got the soundtrack to the art work mayng”. From there Bk.A$ made four original art pieces for the cover and two alternative ones making six in total which is where we first made the merge between visual and sound.   I’ve always created visual loops for me and Charmer’s releases [since] 2012, so it was a no brainer as to who was going to handle the videos for the album. Me and Anubi$ went away studied the basics of cameras, shot techniques, blah, blah, blah, then just ‘finessed the ting’ around December.  

WHERE DOES THE NEED TO EXPLORE ‘DREALITY’ OR THIS IDEA OF A DREAM STATE COME FROM?

M: The concept of Dreality came from a conversation I had with Anubi$. I was telling him how people say to me; “how come you so chilled when this is shit and that is depressing?”   This is when they are usually referring to the reality of life and all that good stuff. I explained to him what I told these people. I live in my head for the majority of the time so things just don’t bother me. I tell myself I’m the main character, everyone else i.e. pedestrians, bus drivers, shop keepers, they’re all there for me and my story. They’re the extras.

Now in reality that is all just far from truth, but to me in my mind, my body is in reality and my mind is constantly existing within my head/my dream meaning I’m between both as I am very aware of the two different things. Dreality. Boom!  

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WOMAN’S BACK AND SHOULDERS? OR ANY OF THE OTHER IMAGES IN THE VIDEO?

M: I won’t lie, it is as simple as this. We wanted to just build from off of the effectiveness of the cover i.e. see if we could make it move. The image for the cover was taken from a fashion photography book and was shot by Mario Sorrenti, then we ‘glitched’ it.  

YOU CALL THE MUSIC’ ALTERNATIVE’ HIP HOP, AN ADJECTIVE THAT MANY MODERN ARTISTS TEND TO SHY AWAY FROM IN DESCRIBING THEIR MUSIC. WHAT MAKES IT ALTERNATIVE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHAT IS IT ALTERNATIVE TO?

C: an Artistic piece is described as alternative as everything was done in an unconventional manner, that’s from the mix to production, Art work, lyrics etc. it’s alternative to music that’s played on the radio or on television and is alternative to even music solely on the internet. Before releasing it, I was 100% convinced that there’s nothing on earth that sounds like it and that had a lot to do with the process of making it and the time frame we were in in our lives making it alternative.

M: When I hear hip-hop I think of Dilla, Wonder, boom bap etc.. Then you have the southern trap, slow pitched 140/120 tempo hip-hop. So when I start to hear the foundation of those more “traditionl” styles but with sounds that have been experimented/tampered with I just see it as alternative. Correct me if I’m wrong.  

DOES HIP-HOP NEED THIS KIND OF TREATMENT? HAS IT BECOME TOO FORMULATED OR TOO RIGID A TEMPLATE? WHY ARE YOU GUYS MESSING WITH IT?

C: Yea it has become rigid partially,  that’s due to everyone copying an idea that initially started off as quite ground braking to it becoming a set rinsed out formula (I guess that’s life though) However there are a lot of like minded artists out there similar to us who are always finding ways to brake the mould, both on an established and underground level. Artistic piece was more or less a statement encouraging diversity and experimentation and we took time to execute it in the best way

M: I like a healthy variety as a writer. I more wow’d when I think I know what a rapper is going to deliver then it’s waaay further from what I had in mind. Like the 95 ’til Infinity delivery. Shiiit that hit me shteel.  

WHEN YOU CHOOSE YOUR SAMPLES ARE THEY FROM ARTISTS YOU LIKE AND LISTEN TO OR DO THEY SIMPLY SERVE THE BEAT IN THE MUSIC? I NOTICE THE ARCTIC MONKEYS WERE REFERENCED IN THE SAMPLE CREDITS. ARE WE ROCK AND ROLL FANS AT 808INK?

M: I’ll leave that to Charmer.

C: Yes I definitely am. I liked linkin park as a kid, and got more familiar with American rock bands like Good Charlotte and papa roach. As I got older I started to research more UK rock bands as my music teachers use to talk about bands like oasis and black sabbath a lot. Eventually I stumbled across Arctic Monkeys through my sisters music collection when I found the track “brainstorm” on her computer. From then I became quite a fan, not a die hard fan but a strong admirer of the group…I’m getting to the die hard stage though lol

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO LISTEN TO AN ARTISTIC PIECE?

M: When ever, it is a cycle of different moods. But the most effective is on your way work on a bus in some torrential downpour.

C: I think it’s that type of music that can be bumped at any point in life, season, or time. And I’m not just saying that. It got spun during the summer of it’s release and it’s still being discovered and played now, nearly coming up to a year.

TELL US SOMETHING WE SHOULD ALL…

SEE: 

C: You should see the full English video and keep an eye out on the videos coming up

M: the three video pieces for an Artistic piece. Tasteful  

HEAR:

 C: As for hearing, just keep listening to the album as well as the soundcloud

M: the New NEW shit that we will develop. Yes!  

&

KNOW:

C: And know that there’s a lot more in store and this wasn’t a one off. LOL.

M: that Mumblez Black Ink. has a release that will be… Flex!  

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