The Sindecut were one of a small group of pioneering Hip Hop artists from London in the United Kingdom who’s music was released on vinyl as early as 1987. In fact The Sindecut‘s first release (according to discogs) entitled Sindecut’s kickin yeah! is also to my knowledge the first Hip Hop record with a connection to the City of Milton Keynes, England in that it was co-produced by Buckinghamshire native and DJ Evil Eddie Richards. The Sindecut‘s early releases on Baad Records consisted of rapper Crazy Noddy on vocals and DJ Fingers on turntables and according to the credits on the vinyl were recorded in a garage in Milton Keynes by Eddie Richards.
The Sindecut “Sindecut EP” – Baad, 1988.
By 1990 The Sindecut were one of a handful of Hip Hop crews from the UK to sign to a major record label and during this period the line up of the crew increased to incorporate rapper Lyne Lyn, producer DJ Don’t Ramp and vocalists Spikey Tee and Louise Francis. In this two part article Break to the beat are going to look at The Sindecut‘s contributions to UK Music including their Hip Hop roots, their connection to Milton Keynes and how they became one of a handful of British Hip Hop pioneers to secure a recording contract with major label Virgin records.
The Sindecut – Early 1990s.
To kick off we going to travel back to the year 1987 which based on the evidence we have gathered was significant because of two things:
- The first was the release of The Sindecut‘s debut track entitled Sindecuts kickin’ yeah! on Milton Keynes based record label Baad Records.
- The second was The Sindecut‘s appearance on the BBC/Tim Westwood 1987 documentary Bad meaning good.
The Sindecut “Sindecuts kickin’ yeah!” – Baad, 1987.
The Sindecut “Bad meaning Good” – BBC documentary, 1987.
Baad Records was set up and run by pioneering House DJ and Buckinghamshire native Evil Eddie Richards who himself is a very influential and established DJ and artist. The Sindecut‘s recording Sindecuts kickin’ yeah! appeared as the title track on a compilation EP released by Baad records in 1987. Also featured on the EP were tracks by Mister-E, Rio Rhythm Band, and Noiz Inc. The Sindecut‘s recording however is the only Hip Hop track on the EP.
The Sindecut‘s debut release which was early in terms of UK Hip Hop records, coupled with the Bad meaning good documentary that aired on National TV, propelled The Sindecut and their unique form of home grown Hip Hop to listeners across the country and beyond. Bad meaning good documented parts of the UK Hip Hop scene in London during one of it’s early periods when UK Hip Hop artists had starting to develop a homegrown style and sound.
In 1988 a follow up 5 track EP recorded by The Sindecut with Eddie Richards was also released on Baad Records. The track listing for the release is as follows:
- Can’t get enough (of who)
- Capital Radio Session, Dec ’87,
- I Ain’t Stoppin’
- Sindecuts Kickin’ #2
- Can’t Get Enough (Dubapella)
According to the credits this EP was also recorded in a garage in Milton Keynes.
The Sindecut like several other early UK Hip Hop artists were partly influenced by sound system culture and were fusing Reggae and Dance-hall rhythms with US Hip Hop culture to create a unique British Hip Hop experience. Can’t get enough (of who) is a great example of this and of the connection that UK Hip Hop music and culture shares with Reggae and Dance-hall music and culture. The below youtube playlist contains all the vocal tracks from The Sindecut‘s EP on Baad Records:
The Sindecut “Sindecut EP” – Baad, 1988.
During The Sindecut‘s time with Baad Records they also performed at, at least one event local to Milton Keynes that was held in the area of Bletchley. The event called “Juice” was held at the Rayzels nightclub and was organised and run by Eddie Richards.
“Juice” event flyer – Rayzels club, Bletchley, Late 1980s.
I did a bit of research on the web and the below quote is taken from an Eddie Richards interview that references the birth of the Rave scene which evolved out of the UK Hip Hop and Dance music scenes of the late 1980’s. In this interview Eddie Richards also mentions the Milton Keynes club scene during this period:
“I went to a club in Bletchley one time, and they said my socks were the wrong colour so I couldn’t come in. That was the attitude of club owners and door staff. So when the rave scene started, it was power to the people. Clubs were empty. No one was coming to them, they were all going out to the raves. You could do what you wanted. It was much better than going to clubs where you had to dress in a suit or tie and there were always fights.
I loved the fact the rave scene turned it upside down, because then the club owners had to go to the rave promoters and say, “Will you please put on a night to get our clubs busy again”. I did it myself. In fact, I eventually took over the club that had refused me entry, Rayzels in Bletchley.”
(Eddie Richards Interview, www.djhistory.com, 2011).
By 1990 The Sindecut had moved from independent label Baad Records and signed a new deal with Virgin Records where they recorded and released their debut and only album to date entitled “Changing the scenery”.
The line up of The Sindecut had increased by this point and founding members DJ Fingers and MC Crazy Noddy were joined by rapper Lyne Lyn, producer DJ Don’t Ramp and vocalists Spikey Tee and Louise Francis.
Changing the scenery built on the Hip Hop foundations of the earlier releases and the result is an album unique to the British urban music experience of the time reminiscent of other UK artists such as Soul 2 Soul and Massive Attack. Fused in The Sindecut‘s sound are elements of such as Soul, Reggae, Dance, Jazz, Funk, and Latin but they are all blended in a unique Hip Hop style.
Below is a playlist of the Changing the scenery album. The last 2 tracks of the playlist entitled Passtime & Wizdom were only available on the cassette and CD releases of the album:
The Sindecut “Changing the scenery” album playlist – Virgin, 1990.
During the period when The Sindecut were signed to Virgin Records they also performed live on several TV shows. The below video contains some live footage of The Sindecut performing one of their singles Tell me why? accompanied on this occasion by a live band on UK TV show The Word:
The Sindecut “Tell my why?” Live performance – The Word TV series, Channel 4, 1990.
The second set of live footage is from an event called Dance Dayz that was held at the Brixton Academy in 1990. The event was also filmed and aired on TV. The Sindecut were one of several Hip Hop artists from the UK to perform at the event:
The Sindecut “Live the life (Live)” – “Dance Dayz” music event, Brixton academy, 1990.
Apart from the album Changing the scenery there were also a large selection of 12″ Singles released by The Sindecut. Many of these contained exclusive extended and remixed versions of several of the album tracks. There were also several new recordings that were exclusive to the singles.
In Part two of the article we are going to explore the singles that The Sindecut released while with Virgin records as well as take a look a the final releases to date after leaving the label in the early 1990’s.
Click here to read: The Sindecut (Part two)
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