My Music DNA : DJ Format & Abdominal 

DJ Format and Abdominal just can’t stay away from touring the UK! After another incredibly successful tour earlier this year, the infamous hip hop duo head out once again to showcase their very first full-length album together, ‘Still Hungry’. Their tour reaches South Wales on November 16 when the duo play Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach.

Andy Howells finds out what tunes have inspired the pair over the years in the first of a new series of features for Entertainment South Wales.

The first song that made an impact on you

ABDOMINAL (ABS): ”Peter Piper” by Run-DMC. Don’t remember where exactly I heard it first, but I was 12 years old, and this is the song that single-handedly got me hooked on hip-hop.

DJ FORMAT (DJF): I.O.U by Freeze was the first record that I remember giving me goose bumps as a 9 or 10 year old.  

The first single /download you bought

ABS: I’m from the ‘full album era’, and was never a DJ, so never really bought singles to be honest.

DJF: I used to buy cheap 7″ singles from ASDA (or whatever it was called back then in the ’80s) and I remember buying ‘I Know You Got Soul’ by Eric B & Rakim and also ‘Going Back to Cali’ by LL Cool J around the same time in about ’87. I would have preferred to buy albums at that time but couldn’t afford to, so I had to settle for the 50p 7″ singles instead. 

The first album you owned

ABS: Embarrassing, but first album (on cassette no less), was Duran Duran’s “Rio”. I was 8 years old and distinctly remember having saved up my allowance for weeks in order to be able to finally purchase this masterpiece!

DJF: I seem to remember ‘Complete Madness’ (essentially Madness’ greatest hits) album I owned on vinyl. I think that was for Christmas in 1983 when I would have been 10 years old. I was SO into Madness for a while, they were the first group I really obsessed over.

Your constant go to track

ABS: This is always fluctuating for me (which maybe contradicts the question!), but lately I’ve been playing the track “Moonshine Freeze” by This Is the Kit a lot.

DJF: Almost anything by James Brown from between 1968-1975. He made so many great records during that time, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics!

Your constant go-to album

ABS: “Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys. Good travel music, for when I want to slip on headphones and escape into my thoughts while staring out of a plane or train window.

DJF: One album I always go back to again & again is ‘The Prisoner’ by Herbie Hancock. It was recorded in about 1969 just before Herbie started getting funky and it’s just beautiful jazz from beginning to end, truly one of my favourite albums.

Your latest music discovery

ABS: The aforementioned This Is the Kit (have been playing their album “Moonshine Freeze” quite a bit of late).  

DJF: I’m constantly discovering music that’s new to me but it’s nearly always records from the late ’60s & early ’70s. I do occasionally discover new artists who I really enjoy but my ears are more tuned in to old music because I’ve been searching for old dusty samples since the early ’90s. 

Your own track that best defines you as an artist?

ABS: Impossible for me to narrow it down to just one (they’re all like my children to me)! Songs from different times reflect where I was at during that period of my life. And even songs all from the same period reflect different moods and different experiences happening during that same time in my life. That said, if you’re looking for one song to serve as a sort of summary of my/our music, and what’s been happening in my life of late, then “Still Hungry”, the title track from my latest album with DJ Format, could probably serve as a good starting point.

DJF: Yeah, I agree with Abs, it’s too difficult to choose a single song to define you as an artist. In some ways you could say that ‘Ugly Brothers’ best defines me because it’s fun and self-deprecating, but I’m also serious about my music so that contradicts the silliness of a song like that. Maybe Abs is right, ‘Still Hungry’ seems like a good fit right now because aside from anything else, I’m very much still hungry to make more music. 

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