Pedigree is a Curate project that started a few years back. A curation born from curiosity and a long term promise. A promise conceived whilst in conversation with Andrew Forrester, also known simply as Imagery. A teacher. A wordsmith. A poet, A rapper. A hip-hop connoisseur.
We met Imagery on a rooftop one Septembers evening in the middle of London at a small event we did in collaboration with our good friend Jenny Theolin. Together we discussed hip-hop and huddled together listened to a selection of his tracks with our hand cupped around the smart phone speaker. Imagery’s lyricism is not your standard for UK Hip-Hop, Imagery uses his wordplay and through driven rhymes to paint vivid canvases of authentic hip-hop completely contrasting the popular UK Grime scene. Orchestral and sample driven tracks the evoke similar vibes as the likes of American hip-hop artist like Jedi Mind Tricks and Japanese producers such as the late Nujabes.
To Flyotw, Imagery was the radiant artist in the myriad of black and white. Imagery struck Flyotw as an independent artist that we should focus our eyes towards. We mentioned how Flyotw would like to put him with a live band, and when we find the right one, we would be in touch.
Scroll a year or so forward - Flyotw meet 4-piece electronic ensemble Meraqi in a small recording space in North London named Fat Tank Studios. There we shot a short live session for their debut record Vistas. Meraqi use live instruments to create electronic music which when in the studio with these guys, these added elements add weight and diversity to the music. Meraqi's music virtually moves and transforms into cinematic arrangements conjuring bold colourful visuals, verses are complemented by cataclysmic choruses surging with electricity and liveliness, stimulating serotonin laced sound waves across the studio walls that nest deeply within the listener.
After an audible treat, we discussed ideas about working together on some projects and that we had one particular project in mind that Flyotw would specifically like them to become involved with. Collected around the CD player, a selection of Imagery's tracks were played from his EP 'The New Age'. Heads bobbed, discussions arose and the ideas developed. It was less than 10-minutes into the listening session, Meraqi were back in the studio replicating the sounds they heard with their own distinct style. A month passed and we introduced Imagery to Meraqi.
We arrived at our destination. The fusion of two artistic spheres is dawning, the speculation of ideas circulates amongst the groups. A chilled air lingers over this London landscape, a distinct sharpness is drawn within each breath. silhouetted street lamps tower above casting their cheerless tungsten hue across the contours of the city suburb. Rain peppers the expanse, numbing the skin upon touch, as the downpour eases beads of liquid collect together before running down the metallic bodies of the cars parked at the side of Victorian terrace houses. Collectively we enter Fat Tank Studios.
A warm welcome from both parties… the kettle boiled and there was a humbled discussion over a Yorkshire brew, some celery and the Greek condiment hummus. The newly formed ensemble moved to the studio and begun their explorations in sound. As the first sessions came together it was a simple engagement, Meraqi played and Imagery caught the flavour of the feature and began to introduce the lyrical content. There were six initial ideas from this unadulterated fusion of artistry, one of which developed into the a refined track. A track with no name.
Standard, for each take, Flyotw were up to our usual tricks of picking a theme and naming each take after something within that theme. With Snowpoet it was cheeses, and the theme for this project was old school WWE/WWF wrestlers. This take in particular was blessed with the clapper board title of 'Triple H’ also known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
Whilst reminiscing about our well-spent youth watching WWE and WWF we laughed about Triple H’s finishing move, ‘Pedigree’ and just like that, the record was knighted in remembrance of a violently awkward, flesh to flesh, wrestling move. That one your older sibling would try out on you because you were small and weak? Hanging upside down with his arms locked around your stomach, the site of the hard ground moving away from you as he lifted, a brief pause at the peak of the manoeuvre, like the apex of a rollercoaster just before the drop and then the floor moving alarmingly fast towards your face and your dearest sibling screaming “PEDAAAaaAAGREeEEE!!!”. That one. We do hope you’ll hear the connection between song title and composition. Read more Flyotw projects on Edition.
Watch The Making of Pedigree here Watch the Live session of Pedigree here
Find Imagery in these places / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud Find Meraqi in these places / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / Website
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