British Intelligence make heavy rock, metal, punk, industrial, hip hop and breaks influenced music with rap vocals and scratch djing. A 6-piece live band, they push the proverbial genre boundaries fusing guitars with dysfunctional hip hop and dance beats and often-polemical rap to create a 100 db wall-of-sound. Think Nine Inch Nails meets Rage against the Machine and has The Prodigy’s mutant spawn adopted by Public Enemy.
The sound of today is anything goes and British Intelligence have this in spades, the cumulative effect of 6 lads from the south-east with a shared musical heritage of acid house, rave, rock and hip hop. B. I. have a sound that isn’t quite definable, a post-ecstasy culture collision of dance floor energy, rock and rap, a fusion of US and UK influences, UK politics, extremely loud, and yet strangely likeable by everyone.
Established breaks and house producer Steve Lavers already had Essential New Tunes, a world-wide house hit and scores of releases and remixes under his belt when he decided to pick up the guitar again at a time when live music was about to retake the crown. Rapper Jay Aldridge who had come out of the dnb rave scene in the 90s joined Steve in the North London studio 4 years ago, fresh back from some years living in Toronto where he’d developed his particular flow, and spit lyrics about clubbing, growing up on a London council estate, and the state of the UK today. Fast forward a couple of years, add in king-size bass and beats from Essex-based Tim Jackson and Steve Wilson, Lavers’ guitar and studio production wizardry, Leon backing up his brother Jay on vocals, and hip hop flavour from danny bounce and you have the complete incendiary live experience of British Intelligence.
This past year has been all about little steps and big changes: from the gig circuit in Essex and London and promoting their own showcase ‘Box-850’ nights in Chelmsford’s live scene, fine-tuning an album of material and debut single ‘Street Fight’, and putting out the mixtape picked up on by Living Colour’s Vernon Reid they’ve since gone on to get themselves a music award nomination, support from BBC Essex and been selected for the BBC Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds Festival 2009.
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