It’s been two weeks since MC Nuklear dropped his debut EP Sanity Trip and it’s still causing mayhem!
Nuklear has been making a name for himself around the Drum and Bass scene with his dark and heavy lyrical content. From having a number of heavy collaborations with the likes of Audio, Teddy Killerz, Mindscape, Prolix, Mob Tactics, L33 and many more. And with releases on long standing labels such as EatBrain, RAM, Viper and more. Nuklear has now decided enough is enough, he needs his own EP!
And two weeks ago today is when it graced our ears. Bringing us 5 naughty tracks with production from Teddy Killerz, State of Mind, Mindscape, Pythius, Kritix and The Clamps.
I’m sure you’ve already heard the tracks, so lets not go in to a review – but instead, speak to the man himself about his stunning debut EP and find out more behind it.
Congratulations on finally debuting your own EP! It’s been a long time coming, why is it only now we get to grace our ears on your lyrical madness in a fine EP?
Yeah, it’s been on the cards for a while now ever since i released my first Hip Hop LP “Snakes & Blaggers” back in 2012. But since then I’ve been pretty busy working with a lot of Drum & Bass producers for their own creations, which has been really great as I’ve learnt a lot about recording my own vocals and a lot more about the industry. Last year I said to myself I’ve got to put some time aside for one my own projects again. And now here we are with Sanity Trip.
I knew Eatbrain had to be the home for my first Drum & Bass EP as they have supported me a lot in the passed and iv worked with a lot of their artists and featured on a lot of their releases over the years. I spoke with the label owner and headmaster Jade about it and asked if i could do a more MC originated EP for the label. Even though a large amount of Eatbrains fan base are not massively into the whole MC thing, Jade trusted me to do something a bit different on the label and said go for it.
How has the overall support been? I’ve seen quite a lot of people raving about it!
The support has been absolutely incredible. Some of my idols I grew up listening to have been hammering the tracks out on the circuit and given me some great feedback on their favourite tracks off the EP. DJ Craze, Ed Rush, Dillinja, Black Sun Empire, Crissy Chris, Drumsound & Bassline Smith to shamelessly name drop a few. Rene Lavice also played a few of the tracks on BBC Radio 1 as well.
I also got the news that Pendulum dropped the Whiplash track on the main stage at Let It Roll was a bit of a “pinch me” moment for sure. Overall I would never have imagined that the support for the EP would have been so good that’s for sure.
You’ve got some major names on the EP from the production class. How did these come about?
Yeah this was a big line up in terms of producers. I’ve worked with most of them in the passed and when I asked if they would be up for getting involved in my own EP they were all down for it even though they all have so many other projects their working on, which I’m very grateful for. I’ve not actually worked with Pythius and Mindscape before but they were still very keen to get involved and create some madness for the mixture.
I always wonder with MC EP’s, how does the production of the tracks come about? Did you get sent the tracks and added your vocals to them or did you boss them about to get these tracks to YOUR remarkable standard?
Well with mostly all of the passed features I’ve worked on, they would send me over the track first and see if I had any vocals already that suited the track or if I could come up with something fitting for it. With my EP I decided to send a few of the vocals off to the producers first to see what they could come up with. It’s a bit of a different approach doing it this way. There were even a few other producers involved with the EP previously that came up with a few different ideas but they weren’t flowing as much. Granted, still very good in terms of production but just not quite right for the vibe we were going for for an MC EP. With those tracks that didn’t work out as we had planned, we just decided to put a pin in it and work some more on the track in the future with a different approach.
The good thing about this project is all the producers have been really good with chucking new ideas in and working on the track together. Even though I claim to be no producer, I gave a lot of my input and ideas towards the tracks. My thoughts on the sounds in certain bits and also with the vocals. They where all really cool about me getting involved with my stupid ideas as well so that was cool. It’s the best way to work though.
Talk me through the EP, what’s the story behind it?
I decided to give the EP this title as it nearly drove me to insanity putting the whole thing together, aha. A lot of people probably wouldn’t think it, as I’m just an MC and not on the producing side of things. But it’s been a real struggle at times trying to get this thing to where i wanted it to be in terms of the overall sound. Like i said previously, all of the producers and people involved in this have been absolutely outstanding, but it’s been a tough one trying to get so many big names on one EP all flowing like clockwork. My countless requests and asking to change bits of the tracks here and there, basically driving a lot of the artists involved to insanity as well at times. What you have to remember is these guys are all on a lot of deadlines and time limits for their own projects and other peoples as well. So you have to be patient and appreciate that everything cant be done when you want it or need it to be. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. There where a lot of other things that went wrong along the journey as well. I think i even recorded the vocals to “Side Tracked” about 6 times as well.
Your track ‘Badder’ with Teddy Killerz on the production definitely needs a restraining order against it – what was the influence behind this track for the lyrics?
“Badder” was actually some vocals I had wrote a while ago. I sent them to Teddy Killerz a while back and they really liked them and said they would use them for something special at the right time. When I asked TK if they would be down for doing a track for the EP they said yes. We did a few different tracks with some other vocals of mine and they came out pretty cool, but it wasn’t quite right for Eatbrain.
I then asked TK if we should give the “Badder” vocals a try. They agreed and then sent me back that monstrosity.
Teddy Killerz work rate is just ridiculous as well. Every time I’ve sent them something they seem to come back right away with some nastiness and the vocals are always mixed down so well. I think they may have an underground sweat shop full of slave teddy bears working tirelessly in poor conditions making their tracks for them.
We can’t miss out on your tremendous flow on title track ‘Sanity Trip’. A very different track on the EP compared to the others, a slight Hip Hop flow to it if I may say. Any thoughts of going down the UK Hip Hop root, or do you just plan to stay as a D&B MC?
Most defiantly. I started off on UK Hip Hop before I really got into the D&B scene years back. It’s really more of a passion of mine as a rapper to work with Hip Hop as i like to tell stories with the music. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my D&B and really like to see how far i can take the lyrics over 175 BPM but for me I just feel like i have a little bit more freedom on Hip Hop as a lyricist.
The title track “Sanity Trip” was actually started about 2 years ago with my good friend Kritix. Every time i have an idea for something or some lyrics that need a certain sound on a track, Alex creates something spot on and just knows exactly what I’m waffling on about. We put some ideas together for the Sanity track, then i wrote and laid down some of the vocals, but we left it alone for a good year after as we both knew we wanted to use it for something special and the sound on it could be improved. We came back to the project later on and we decided to get someone to collaborate with it [DRUM ROLL] The Clamps! We sent him the stems and then a couple of days later he sent back some heavy head bopping drums and some extra twisted nastiness. BINGO!
Being the title track on a Drum & Bass label as well as it being a different genre and BPM was really quite risky. Also having full on rapid lyrics all the way through when the main audience of the label are not crazy about MCing. But i just said to myself this is what I’m really all about, and this is what i can do on the beat so I’m going to play it a little bit risky here and go for it. But it seems to have gone down pretty well and i didn’t take to much stick for it. I think i may have just got away with that one by the skin of my teeth
Now you’ve released your debut EP, you can’t stop here. What’s next?
As it goes, I had another feature track released 2 weeks after my EP was dropped. A naughty little banger with Tantrum Desire called “Step To The Sound” taken from his “Blue Moon” EP on Technique Recordings. Iv also got a load more bits coming up but that’s all top secret! “enit bwwuv!!!”
Any cheeky shout outs or appreciation you’d want to show from your debut EP?
Yeah I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been supporting and showing love for the EP. It really doesn’t go unnoticed. And huge respect out to my team and everyone who got involved with “Sanity Trip”. Kritix, The Clamps, Mindscape, Pythius, State Of Mind & Teddy Killerz. Lets face it, these guys really made the EP what it is. They are like the superglue holding it all together and Im just the piece of old chewing gum stuck underneath the table.
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Thirsty for more? Then check out Kritix & Nuklear’s Podcast for EATBRAIN below!