In 2003, a new musical phenomenon erupted on the underground. A series of 12"s landed in record shops all over the U.K with this new sound being described as Pirate Soul, producing stylish soulful reworks of some of the most prominent and unknown Hip Hop and R&B artists from the States.
The newly started Blackbeard
(alongside fellow soul producers Yam Who?) would champion this style reinventing such records as Common's `Come Close 2 Me' taking it to a heavy eleven minutes of spiritual soul. Radio 1's Gilles Peterson
got his hands on a copy introducing it his Worldwide Radio 1 audience. From here on in Blackbeard
's brand of soul had well and truly landed and within several months there would be an abundance of reworks & re-edits hitting the underground record shops. Vinyl retailers and soul enthusiasts could not get enough of them, making their cuts some of best selling twelves of 2004, many listeners believing Blackbeard
to be a Stateside production outfit. Blackbeard
is taking soul music to another dimension with reworks such as Nas' `Heaven' and Talib Kweli's `Get By'. It was only time before record company A&Rs would search hoping for a shot of the Blackbeard
injection! Independent record labels were soon hot to trot, names like Max Sedgley's Euro 2004 football theme tune `Happy' gave way to having the Blackbeard
rework touch opening the door for other labels to get a slice of this tasty production cake. Recent major-label remixes include the heavenly mix of Jill Scott's "Golden" and "Down Here in Hell With You" by Atlanta based auteur and performer Van Hunt.
Still confused, the general public and record companies have assumed that Blackbeard
is the same production team as Yam Who? The musical similarities are close & they join in unison with their monthly club night Uptown Safari at London's Notting Hill Arts Club, though both production crews create in different studios. Blackbeard
is an anonymous music project featuring like-minded musicians- producers and DJs who have previous record company & record release experience .The collective have worked with some of the biggest pioneering artists within music thus giving Blackbeard
a highly influential soulful sound.
The future sees Blackbeard
continuing with remixes and the debut of their original material on the in-house Uptown Safari imprint. The label will kick-start with a single featuring the vocal talents of a U.S, London-based rapper Bobby Boyd (The Coming). The first e.p will be released this summer Uptown Safari records.
You can catch Blackbeard
DJing at the monthly Uptown Safari residency at London's Notting Hill Arts Club on the fourth Saturday of every month as well as at various nights across the country and throughout europe.