We’ve been waiting more than a decade for a new album from the “full” line-up of Urban Tribe; it looks like that wait is finally over.
The Detroit collective – comprising leader Sherard ‘DJ Stingray’ Ingram (pictured) and his old muckers Carl Craig, Kenny Dixon, Jr. and Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir – first appeared back in 1996 with the 12″ ‘Eastward’, showcasing a low-slung yet cerebral, effortlessly grooving sound that drew on techno, house, funk, electro and hip-hop. This intoxicating hybrid found its fullest expression on The Collapse of Modern Culture, the group’s kaleidoscopic and somewhat legendary debut LP. Released via James Lavelle’s then rather on-it Mo’Wax label, it’s now virtually impossible to find at an affordable price; a reissue is long overdue (Rush Hour, are you listening?).
Since then, the Urban Tribe project has remained very much active, but principally as a solo outlet for Ingram. Releases have ranged from the shuffling, sun-dappled beatdown of the classic Planet E single ‘Covert Action’ (2002) to the pacey, post-Drexciyan electro of the Authorized Clinical Trials and Acceptable Side Effects LPs (both on Rephlex, 2006 and 2007 respectively) and recent TRUST 12″s.
This year Ingram is set to release not one but two new LPs as Urban Tribe, each recorded with different collaborators.
The first, entitled Program 1-12, is to be released in July through Kenny Dixon’s Mahogani Music imprint, and like The Collapse of Modern Culture it calls upon the talents of Shake, KDJ and Carl Craig.
The second, as yet untitled full-length is a collaboration with Heinrich Mueller AKA Gerald Donald, former Drexciya member and the main man behind Dopplereffekt, Arpanet and Glass Domain among others. Details of this record are scarce at this point, but it’s believed that Nina Kraviz (Underground Quality) is also involved in some capacity.
FACT recently caught up with Ingram to find out a little more about Program 1-12, and to ask why it’s taken so long for him to get back in the studio with Shake, C2 and Moody…
How and where was Program 1-12 recorded?
“In Detroit, the majority of it at KDJ’s lab. Some segments were done separately and then assembled there as well. ”
What roles do you, Shake, Carl Craig and KDJ play in the production and recording of the album?
“We all contribute in different ways depending upon how developed the idea for a particular track is. From synth lines to edits or mastering up to entire tracks. ”
What does Urban Tribe represent in 2010?
“In 2010 Urban Tribe represents maturity and craftsmanship. A collage of experiences and sonic philosophies fused into one project. I think it also represents originality: whether you like the project or not, I’m sure most would agree that it doesn’t fit into a typical ‘techno/dance music’ mould.”
Why such a long gap between The Collapse of Modern Culture and Program 1-12?
“Well there are also the two releases on Rephlex and two EPs in between on Trust. But if you mean Urban Tribe with Shake, Carl and Ken, well hey, those guys are super busy! [laughs] So I’m blessed to get us together for a release these days.”
What can we expect from the forthcoming album with Heinrich Mueller?
“I’m very excited about this project! As with Shake, Carl and Ken, Mr Mueller is very active and prolific so for him to take time out to lend his skill set is momentous for me. ”
Who’s responsible for, and what’s the concept behind, the cover art of Program 1-12?
“I will say that one of us was responsible for it with nods of approval from the rest. The concept? Detroit!”
Anything else we should know at this stage?
“Yes, I would like to thank those who support and listen to Urban Tribe and please believe there is more to come! Feel free to contact me with feedback! Also there is a new Urban Tribe EP entitled Loyal Opposition on Planet E records, with a guest appearance from a very talented young woman Mariska Neerman out of Belgium.”