Mista Dexter Interview

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%image_alt%Ok so a couple of months ago we relaunched the site with a repress of our first ever interview with the Brotherhood from 1999 and coincided that with a catchup with one of the trio Spyce. That interview created a fair bit of cynicism amongst readers and people dubious of Spyces recollection of events. Never to be seen as one-sided we bring to you now a similar Q&A affair with Dexter to bring clarity or muddy the waters further but more importantly to let us know what he’s but up to since the Brotherhood disbanded…

Our 1999 interview was just after the Dungeon Town EP had been released. you didn’t really mention any future plans but everyone was expecting the 2nd album to drop and we hear it was fully recorded but never released. What’s your take on that album, how the recording went, where it is now, how did Panic get released on the 2002 lost tracks compilation and will the full abum ever see the light of day or is it best left forgotten?

Our second album was recorded whilst we were still signed to Virgin and MCA Publishing and before the Dungeon town E.P. It was and will remain in a studio demo stage. As it was recorded in different studio’s the individual tracks lacked continuity in sound. I did speak to Shylock a while ago about re-mastering it again and as i have all the samples and programs did get as far as putting most back together for a re-vocal but i lost interest. A good friend of mine did offer his all dancing all singing studio for us to work in but we were over by then.

I think the album was a real winner as far as our production and writing ability goes.

I had produced years before The Brotherhood so I knew my way around a studio but Shylock’s ability to learn and create on the other side of the booth was flawless. Shyloc’s production was amazing. He just came out with some fantastic concepts and ideas and could execute them with no problem. We put a lot into it. We had separated from Underdog by that time which really was the beginning of the end for us on a major label. But we still produced a very good piece of work. I wish we had finished it back then. It represented us at that time and i think that if Shyloc and myself had started working closely together on a third album it would have opened a lot of doors for us. I looked at music differently to him and it shows with a diverse and exciting feel on that album. If I had the chance to do a third i think it would have been our best work. I think The Brotherhood was still developing and personally i could see The Brotherhood being seen as an outfit that had longevity in the music industry. One of the tracks was called Panic or Paniky.And the reason it is on the album you refer to is that we all signed it off to be. Someone from Germany got in touch with Shyloc and we all ok’d it. Job done.

What’s your fondest memory of the Brotherhood days? and what is the best show that you can recall performing at?

Fondest memory from The Brotherhood days was the period between being introduced to Shyloc (then Lorenzo) and Dj Diablo (Banana Klan) by Pogo in his House…Meeting Marts our then Manager, being signed to Virgin Records, making both albums and touring. That was the best time.

As for the best show. To me they were all good. Apart from two bad ones.

when was the last time you saw/spoke to any of shylock, spyce and trevor jackson

I spoke to Shyloc about an hour ago to find out the details for Panic and general how are the kids sort of thing.

Spoke to Spyce about a year ago. He called me to find out about a video i put up on you tube.

And Trevor in the flesh two days after my father died a couple of years ago.
But we do talk on face book. If i message him he messages me and so on…lol

it was in ’99 that we started seeing your name appearing on Five releases doing the scratches. What was your actual involvement with this, was it just the scratches as i’m sure i read that you were doing production for them as well? How did the whole Five connection happen, just through being signed to Virgin or through somewhere else?

Ahh my Days in Windmill Lane Ireland. Loved every minute of it.

That all came about by an introduction by A guy i worked with called Julian Gallagher. He was a friend of my boy Lee and had a studio set up in Saffron Hill Farringdon. The Round House studio. He wanted to do music with beats and that’s what I did. We did a few pop projects together. Two Brotherhood Tracks and then he went off to work with Richard Biff Stannard who was based in Ireland. Shyloc left The Brotherhood. It went very quiet until I met Biff in London at Mayfair Studios. He wanted scratching on a Pepsi Ad for 5 so Julian got me involved. I was then asked to write and produce with Mel B for her Album. That was in Whitfield Street Studios London and later Ireland. Then I was asked to join the team again in Ireland to Co Produce and Co write The 5 album Invincible.Coming from a small studio hip hop background i was taught a lot about production from people who made records for the radio and for millions to buy.

During my time on that Album I worked with Queen.All the scratching on the we will rock you track was Brian putting his legendary guitar through my mixer and playing Notes which I cut out with the fader. Musically to me Hip Hop is not what you have to wear or how you talk or act…its taking something that already has its foundations and manipulating it to suit how you want to use it.How you feel it. When Brian May shakes your hand and says that’s the most fun ive had in years …”you’re the man Dexter”…for that minute you’re the fuckin man. Hip Hop and i taught Brian May something new he could do with his guitar that day. Who else can say that. The album went on to sell about 4 million world wide. Had a number one and top 5 hits. Won a brit and is available on Amazon for £1.99.I thank Yaw..!!!

the last trace of you on discogs.com is performing scratches on a Spek single in 2001, what have we missed since then? Did the Boompcious project ever get off the ground? How about the TV show accompanying music you were producing?

Spek ??? Not me mate. (ed. discogs fail)

On the music front im treating it more as a hobby than a job now. Worked out of Town House for a bit. Had a studio on Bermondsey for a while. Worked out of home and then decided I wanted to do something different.

As for Boompcious we did what we wanted to. Which was make music for us. That was a good time. I still drop the odd tune down to them. But I don’t stick around to hear what goes on it. I like it that way. I am working on new D2 the K music at the moment. We have unfinished business together. Kann is the most talented individual and a real joy to work with. We have not been in a studio yet but we are working. The last track we did was in 1989. I have done some Tv work for American tv and few other bits.

it looks like you’re involved in developing something called C Hear Fx now, which is something to do with technological music for children. Do you want to tell us exactly it is, what progress you’re making on it and what your hopes for the future are

It’s a program I have put together for children and its doing well.

%image_alt%when was the last time you DJ’d? Would you like to do it more and if so what’s the stopper?

I didn’t really play out as a Dj.I found it very boring.I played for rappers and in live bands. That was and always will be my thing.

Last time I cut up was a few times on the X factor uk.

What was your take on the Virgin/Underdog situation now with more than 10 years of hindsight? do you feel bitter from The Brotherhood ending when it did or do you think it had just ran its natural cause?

At the time I was upset with Virgin for not giving us a second run. But I can see why it happened. When we split with Trevor which was our choice really we underestimated how important he was to our deal. And that was I think seen as a bad move by Virgin.

I don’t think about it really it doesn’t effect my life or outlook on it or the music Industry.

how up on the music scene are you nowadays, particularly uk hiphop? how have you seen the emergence of grime and the domination of digital outlets?

I get sent a lot on you tube. I’m still BBOY at heart .I always said that the generation after us will be the one to make a noise. I would say

because of the tech available to so many like the net. The net has provided a voice for the unwanted and with studios shrinking into a back pack anyone can be seen and heard.Im happy that the Uk charts is not saturated with over bloated U.S egos anymore. We are playing the game and it our thing.

Grime was to me a representation of how the street was feeling. And as I was not trying to pretend im from the street I could only wonder at it.It was a natural progression from a British generation that believes musically in its self .Taking the essence of Hip Hop and making it their own.I was asked to produce some tracks but I didn’t live it .So I declined. Its not mine to mess with.Pop is an open market.

As for Dubstep.That shit is the bollocks.That’s closer to the way I look at music than anything else I have heard. Love it. I would absolutely love to work with the artists around now. We could really educate each other.

All I can give for what it worth are my wishes for those artists. Keep going.

what is the main piece of business advice you can impart on our readership based on your experiences, whether working with a crew, a producer, a major label or something else?

My advice. As for making music. Be in control of your art. When you walk into a studio being a rapper or producer, beat programmer writer, engineer what ever your kick is know your job inside out. Be on point. Plan your session and utilize the time. Don’t get bogged down with the latest plug ins and tech.Your talent and ideas make it come together. But to me the most important thing was enjoy it. When I stopped loving what I did I walked away.

As a business tip. Surround yourself with people who are on your path and level. Don’t wish anyone bad feelings however much you may want to and keep talking to your label,producers,manager,Publisher’s and accountants to make your sure your always in their minds. Always be flexible and approachable. Don’t limit yourself to just one form of producer to work with.When we were active there was no money in Uk Hip Hop unless you were Tim W.But now there is.Make your money work for you and your’s.

%image_alt%anything else you’d like to tell us, projects you’d like to plug, artists you want to bring to our attention or just generally any shout outs?

When I was working in Ireland my ambition was to make connections in the industry and open a studio to the speck I had become used to working in with Biff and Jules.From that I wanted to open the doors to anyone who would never have had the chance or afford to work in a studio like that.My idea was to flood the net and markets with uk Hip hop so the radio and Tv could not escape it.When I hear Uk voices are on the radio rapping.I feel that indirectly my dream may still be out there I would like to wish anyone who’s still true to the art,themselves and active in Hip Hop my best.

To the people that still ask me when am I going to drop something well i run my own business outside of Music but I still beat up the Mpc.And when the times right the material im working on now be it with singers or Mc’s will be out there but im in no hurry.It will be hip hop but as I translate it.Im comfortable in my honesty with what and who I am.

When a group or partnership goes sour there’s always going to be some blame and bitterness and differing points of view and wishes about paths that were taken or weren’t so I’d just like to say thanks for both Dexter and Spyce for giving me the time for the interviews, they could have easily not bothered and got on with their lives so respect. We didn’t create this site to promote or stir up beef, we do it because we are passionate about the music that the artists we write about create or created.

Many thanks to Dexter for the words you’ve read, and i’ll take this moment to close up the Brotherhood thing on this site until such times as a reuniting (in whatever form) and future recordings (we can always wish)…

3 COMMENTS

  1. A Dark Horse Mr Dexter never really gets the full props he deserved, one of the earliest UK Hip Hop producer and Artist, Member & producer of the celebrated Brotherhood and performing, co producing and writer for of Fives Invincible Album which charted no 4.

    One of the first real Hip Hop producers back in the mid to late 80s recording D 2 the K tunes in 86/7 Real Beat, Hard but Live & Ease up your mind with Mc Kann (Later Bugg Khann of Made in Two Minutes fame) and a Featuring disc with one of Mc Mellows first recordings released on Hardcore one album. The 89 releases masking the fact that the tunes were recorded in 86/7 were a short insight into what could have been a massive influence on the early UK hip hop scene.

    Its a shame that their tunes like Dangerous Renegade (Tarquin Bains lol!) which never saw a pressing and will probably not see the light of day as that is by far a scorching tune .

    Brotherhood , well all that has been said has been said but its a shame that the second Album never got out for people to hear. If it did the rounds today it would no doubt create calls for the band to be back together but i think too much water has passed under that bridge.

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