Interview with No Identity Records
[Conducted in March 2005]
They have released two 12"s with mashups featuring the Beastie Boys. They even proclaimed their love of the Beastie Boys in the title of their last record. We have a chat with the mysterious 'No Identity Records'
ID-001 and ID-002 are mashups featuring a mixture of artists (The Cure, Ol Dirty Bastard, The Wiseguys, Busta Rhymes) while the other releases (ID-003 and ID-004) are both full of Beastie Boys remixes. Was there any reason to go into complete Beastie releases?
We really do love the Beastie Boys. There are so many Beastie acapellas available, so we've got loads of great Beastie remixes & edits up our sleeves. Last year I did a limited mailout of CDRs featuring some of our newest stuff to radio & club DJs & the best feedback was for the 3 tracks that went on to feature on the "We Love The Beastie Boys" EP. At this time we have no plans to release any more Beasties remixes.
Why was ID-003 released as a single sided 12"?
As soon as our Gringo gave us this track, we wanted to get it out quickly. It's such a simple idea, but really well executed. Anybody who hadn't already heard Peggy Lee's superb Big Band version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" really needed to.
With the new 12", why is one side 33rpm and the other 45rpm?
I prefer our records to be cut at 45rpm. Sound quality is better & the record can be cut louder. But there wasn't room to fit the 2 "B-side" tracks on at 45rpm. It's as simple as that.
What made you select two older Beastie tracks for the b-side of ID-004?
ID-004 wasn't even a project when the component mash-ups were created. ID-004 was an opportunity to do a round-up of our best Beastie remixes, and to keep the DJs that were pestering us for those particular tracks happy. What pleases me is that different DJs have different favourites on that EP; it's a fusion of lots of different funky flavours.
How many copies of each record were pressed?
ID-001 x 500. All the rest are limited to 1000 copies. Demand is much higher than that. That's the way we like it. If you miss out on the vinyl you can always visit the website & get mp3s there. (Update coming soon, honest!)
There is a very trippy internet clip for your "Cure Vs ODB" track, are there any plans on making a clip for one of the Beastie Boys mixes?
That clip caused quite a stir on the internet, making the front page of b3ta.com and being linked to from websites all around the world. The video came as an afterthought from my uber-geek friend Nacho, who likes scaring & bemusing people by the power of Flash. That's really me behind the decks, and the rest of the cast are my bestest friends. There's also a clip for the Max Sedgley/Busta Rhymes mix too, at: http://www.snakemountain.co.uk/delgazeebo2.htm
Nacho's services are very much in demand at the moment; she has expressed an interest in doing a video for another one of our releases but it all depends upon how busy she is.
Recently a friend and I were have discussions/arguments over bootlegs. What's your opinion on the definition of a Bootleg?
To me the term "bootleg" used to mean tapes & CDs of unofficial recordings; live shows, out-takes and the like. Now I think the term applies to any sample-heavy release where the original artists aren't seeing a slice of the pie and/or haven't granted permission.
How do you see their role in the music scene?
The market is becoming increasingly saturated & there's a lot of rubbish out there. Anyone with a computer can download some software & have a go at remixing something. So we do our utmost to keep the quality control as high as possible.
Can you tell us a bit about Gringo Starr, Justin Credible, DJ Stealth, the Fort Knox Five and the Ancient Astronauts?
Gringo Starr is already famous under another name. Well lots of other names actually; he's released stuff under several different aliases. But we can't ID him cos his current "proper" label might get upset. Justin Credible, our latest recruit, can't be ID'd either for similar contractual reasons. I don't know DJ Stealth, we just used some of his beats from a track called "Live from NYC". The Fort Knox Five are based in Washington & are doing a great line in new school funk. The first thing I heard of theirs was the Ancient Astronauts remix of "Blowin Up The Barrio"; JC threw "Triple Trouble" at it, FK5 & the Ancient Astronauts were both down with it & the rest is history. If you like it as much as we do then please investigate further:
http://www.fortknoxrecordings.com (Home of the FK5 & others)
http://www.planschmie.de/switch/# (Home of the Ancient Astronauts & others)
Is anyone else involved in these releases?
It's good to be able to get top DJs to road-test our material on CDR, they are an integral part of our decision-making process when it comes to our release schedule. That aside, it's mostly me & the producers taking care of business.
What can we expect on future No Identity releases?
Quality Hip Hop flavoured party edits squarely aimed at the dancefloor. ID-005 - "The Very Worst of Gringo Starr" has just dropped in Japan & America is is out in the UK 11th April 2005. It features UltraMagnetic MCs, Beyonce, Alan Hawshaw, De La Soul, Breakestra, Pharoah Monch & Bart Simpson, all sliced into 4 tracks guaranteed to rock any party. Lots of fun for all the family. Gringo has also just dropped a simply superb remix of Nas - "Made You Look" on us & this one is truly on the money; turning the OG head-nod track into something of a dancefloor monster. There's a wealth of other remixes & mash-ups finished & ready to go but once again we'll be road-testing these off CDR with our favourite DJs first to see what goes down best before deciding which tracks get priority for release.