Ahead of Holdin’ Court on Nov 27th, we caught up with IMS to throw a few questions their way:
First off, please can you introduce yourselves, tell people who don’t know who you are, where you’re from and what you do?
We are 2 Beat Makers/Producers named Ben 81 & Neil Cage who go under
the name of: The Sensational Beat Group: Ill Move Sporadic aka I.M.S.
We’re from West London, but now are split between South East London and
Bristol. Our main studio is in South East London. We are expanding
though. We do beats. Hip Hop music. No classical musical samples.
How long have you been working under the name IMS and what were you doing before you decided to form?
Neil: Ive been involved in music since I can remember, started Ill Move sporadic in 06 with Ben as a means to put some grit and dirt back into Hip Hop music in the UK, and to expand shit in a way that ain’t been done before. Before we created IMS we were in quite a large crew but it was a case of too many chefs spoil the broff, so we scrapped that and started Ill Move Sporadic.
Ben: Yeah, previous to IMS we were working with a lot of people who had very
different ideas about beats. If you’ve got a certain direction you want to go in musically you can’t have too many people all trying to put there 2 pence worth in. We never make beats with other people its just annoying…I.M.S are control freaks.
Ben 81, Please tell us about your radio show on sensei fm? How did that come about and what direction are you looking to take that in?
Ben: That’s something ive just started doing. Comes out every 18th of the month or near enough. Check it out here http://www.sensei.fm/shows.php?dj=137 I want to use it as a platform to promote good artists, play good music.
Just music that I like really. It is Hip Hop led but I play anything cool. Stuff that I would dig for really. I think Radio is the best, I grew up listening to Radio its how i got to hear Nas, Wu, Black Twang, Roots Manuva etc for the first time. Neither of us had older siblings so we had to find it our selves and Radio is how you first find a way in. The Show is going to continue to expand! with features, interviews guests Djs and MCs. Also in the future a cookery section because food is my thing too.
Who are you both listening to at the moment?
Ben: I’ve been listening to The Stooges, Sean Price, Sleaford Mod, Sal Soul
Records, Roc Marciano, The Bladerunner Score/soundtrack. Also my friend
Urban Dale. you need to check him out.
Neil: Been listening to The Gaturs a lot, fat track called Swivel Your Hips
they got going on, might drop it on Bens show next month, Sleaford Mods
also, Redlight is huge, Etta Jones is ill as fuck…my girls been banging out Gregory Issac (RIP), anit no escaping that!
What was the last show either of you went too?
Neil: The last show I went to we played at with Menza – Goldmine - live on
Sensi FM, dropped a few promo joints off his album Alpha Coda that we’ve
been producing. The next gig we are playing is on 27th November at Holdin’ Court, come check that for some rawness.
Ben: Wu Tang Brixton was the last memorable one i went to. Good to see all
those classics played live. Looking forward to Pete Rock and CL in December.
Also the New Ear Wax night at Hive Bar in Brixton is looking like it will be good.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Neil: Personally my main inspiration is my own negativity, rage, ideals,
which I channel into the beats. But for me it ain’t always just about the music, its also whats behind the scenes that is gonna define you as an artist to the outside world, so i take inspiration from people who put music out in a way that appeals to me too. Other than that being locked in the lab with Ben 81, Gus Pony and a shit load of beers is pretty inspirational.
Ben: Whether its musically or the way they go about there business people
are inspiring in different ways. I like totally stripped down production and raps. I took alot of original inspiration from people like RZA and Havoc and Pete Rock. But you dont want to be trying to recreate that sound. The majority of people doing beats seem to be trying to make something that has already been done.
As IMS, You seem to be creating a finely tuned, unique and crisp sound
with your beats. How is it created? Can you perhaps talk us through a
Neil: For us the process always starts with digging, whether that’s a record or whatever. From there I don’t like to say. We’ve created our own style, our own sound… Basically, anyone can make a beat but to have your own sound takes time, and once you’ve perfected your technique you ain’t really gonna share it with anyone. its just straight up production you know, samples, chop, go in, mix, vocal, master.
Ben: Yeah the Process always starts with digging crates. then we get in the studio. Its Hip Hop so there is an element of competitiveness, that’s what makes our stuff what it is, we are always looking for the dope sounds. Its a democracy in the lab. If your samples are dope they are getting used, if there not so dope they dont. no egos. We always try to bring the best stuff to the studio.
Neil: Yeah! There is no space or time for moaning.
Who are you working with currently and what collaborations / material have you planned for the near future?
Neil: We got various projects going on, Oliver Sudden EP, Ddubble EP, Gus
Pony - Crumbs 2, next instalment of the Magnetic Mixtape, mostly we’re
concentrating on an album we’ve been working on with Joey Menza - ALPHA
CODA - out in Jan 2011.
Ben: Yeah I.M.S & Joey Menza -ALPHA CODA is the one to drop next. Every
track is horrible. Disorda has been supporting that on his Radio show
and Sidewalk Magazine also featured a few of Joeys tracks on their Big
After Alpah Coda is the Oliver Sudden joint,that’s about 3 quarters done, and
its going to be seriously ill! If you’ve ever been to one of Oliver’s shows you know the score. Also a film project coming out soon with Dubble.
How do you feel the Internet has aided you in putting your work out there? Overall, compared to when you first got in to Hip-Hop do you see it as a benefit? are there many drawbacks?
Neil: It’s helped us no end, but we were putting out tracks before it blew
up, so to us it’s just an extra PR thing. Speaking on drawbacks, I think
it has taken just as much away from music as it has put in; record
shops closing, everyone is a producer syndrome.
Ben: It helps you reach people internationally, nationally, the draw backs
are that people make beats from youtube digging. Its also full of people
loving themselves which is weak.
Where can people find more of your work, keep up to date with your movements once they’ve finished reading this?
Ben: You can follw our Tumblr Blog - http://illmovesporadic.tumblr.com
Neil: Or you can listen to all our releases at Bandcamp, some free downloads there too- www.bandcamp.illmovesporadic.com or tune into the Ben 81 show on Sensei!
Any shout outs?
Neil: Yeah, hold tight Florence, Royzar, my boy Sol, Fabia, Peak Practice, Gus, and all crews supporting the Ill Moves. Ben: Blueberry, Gus Pony, Menza, Osudz, dubble,Thomas Murphy, Rock Face The Weed Inspector, Basher, Disorda Also cant forget Mr Black of ablackcanvass for the super dope artwork and Lense Man for the photography. also email us firstname.lastname@example.org fo any other info tracks submitted for radio show etc.
You can listen right now to Ben 81’s Sensei.Fm radio show podcast archive here: http://www.sensei.fm/player/player.php?show=830