Music critic,Rock n Roll Author, Producer, Kris Needs (Mojo, Q, Record Collector) writes…
Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog, George Clinton’s Atomic Dog or Snoop’s Dogg Pound; since the advent of modern music, the canine has come to represent natural funk, the street-sniffing punk and man’s best friend. If every dog has its day, Years Of The Canine are taking the doggie tradition into the future, unleashing a slavering mongrel of hiphop sensibility, rock ’n’ roll energy and dirty punk attitude.
After core members, vocalist Dynamax and multi-instrumentalist/producer Dom Beken hit it off during last year’s sessions for High Frequency Bandwidth’s Hell Fire And Brimstone album, a jaunt around the block steadily developed into a snowballing mission; like-minded mavericks evolved from sniffing the ground to throwing in their own inimitable contributions. The result is Years Of The Canine: Under Dog Nation Volume 1: an often jaw-dropping, volcanic melting pot in which radioactive nuggets such as rock, hiphop, punk, jazz and sheer racket melt and bubble, spewing up huge wedges of lyrical lava, panoramic sweep and wall-of-sound bombast.
Born and raised in the South Bronx, Dynamax was chosen by the hip hop fathers kool herc and afrika bambaataa to lead the culture in Europe (the man himself can be heard on ‘Automated Survey‘) and was inducted by Afrika Islam into Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate as the hot prodigy, [co-family member Donald D also appears on ‘The Fun House Adventure‘]. Dynamax is a proper manifestation of the punk-funk hiphop coalition started in the late 70s South Bronx, a hair-trigger rhymer with built-in, sweet soul melodic instinct. [Dynamax was also recently chosen by the US Embassy to represent American music in Africa as their cultural ambassador, and has now toured twelve African nations]but in total he has toured 28 countries with Europe and north america included. Other artists who have requested Dynamax’s vocal acrobatics on their records or electric presence on stage include Luc Besson, Chuck D, Giles Peterson, Dead Prez and Dr Dre’s Truth Hurts. Along with Bam and Donald, Dynamax has also invited P-Funk veteran Michael ‘Clip’ Payne.
Most recently, Dom Beken has been working in cahoots with legendary ambient house pioneer Dr Alex Paterson, aka The Orb, carving the spectacular extra-terrestrial soulscapes on the acclaimed HFB debut album, which attracted the creators of Playstation sensation PixelJunk Shooter. Their resulting soundtrack was nominated last year for a BAFTA.
Dom has been an in-demand producer, writer and programmer for years, working with names including Placebo, Just Jack, The Orb, KLF, Rick Wright (Pink Floyd) and assorted successful pop acts. He has also scored major Bollywood movies, TV series, many advertisements and short films and As Years Of The Canine took shape, Dom brought in his own associates, including Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt thumbing it up in time-honoured fashion on ’Wars In Love’, and Malicious Damage mates Headcount [whose last album was produced by late Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven] on the hard rocking ‘No Evil’, grunged-up ’Resurrected Angel’ and ‘Long Ride’.
Dom and Dynamax are co-driven on the apocalyptic ’Lose Your Mind’ by veteran producer, writer and Bomb Squad fan Kris Needs, plucking a few gems from his 30,000 strong record collection for inspiration one of several links which characterise the album.
On ’Look Out, Dom and D are joined by highly-sought session soul singer and music critic Kay Elizabeth, fresh from attracting praise for her debut album.
It has to be said though, despite the beautiful collaborations running riot in these huge, barking testicles, the last two tracks created by just Dom and Dynamax unveil a frightening peak and future potential - even their masterpiece so far. ‘Different Kind Of Animal’ kicks up under a sultry and lowdown funk groove, uncannily capturing an insanely catchy New York sound which anyone who has traversed the Big Apple’s streets at four in the morning will understand.
‘Under Dog Nation’ is a raw, impassioned description of Dynamax’s life, growing up in a South Bronx housing project but settling in Chicago just as the acid house revolution was about to kick off. Here he describes his childhood, the harsh rules of school and South Bronx adolescence [‘It is what it is’]. This ain’t no fakery: he experienced life on ‘the wild west side’ and grew through the shoot-outs to rap and sing about it, albeit drawn out by Dom’s relentlessly atmospheric production, eschewing the panto usually associated with such ventures. This is music going where few have dared to tread, now charted in velvet-shelled paws and wrestled from a reluctant heart committed to letting rip. It’s called raw talent and sympathetic musical telepathy: the sort which shows the Devil doesn’t always have the best tunes.
In these recession-ravaged times, austerity shouldn’t also be applied to music; Years Of The Canine cock a mighty leg and let fly in a sparkling, golden shower of molten rhymes, ribcage-rattling turbo-grooves and heady surrealism harking back to both the P and the primal. The bark is beautiful and the bite delightful. A genuine moderrn masterpiece has arrived.
How did you hear about us?
I was lucky to get spotted from Vanessa from poze staff
What is your profession (singer, rapper, songwriter, poet, dancer, model, music fan, etc.)?
Vocalist with a style that is mixed of singing and Rhyming my partner Dom Beken is Multi- instrumentalist and Master Engineer
How many members are in your band?
Core Members are two ,with extened full cast we are 12 in total.
What is your style of music?
AfroPunk HipHop/ALTERNATIVE Rock
Who are your influences in the music industry?
funkadelic, pink floyd ,Body Count , Public Enemy , Nirvana .