As The Prodigy’s resident genius Liam Howlett celebrates his 47th birthday, 909originals casts its mind back to a time BEFORE the formation of the seminal rave act (and indeed before rave altogether), when a young Essex lad with a pair of turntables joined a rap crew called Cut 2 Kill.
With members hailing from Chelmsford, Witham and Braintree, Cut 2 Kill were comprised of DJ 4Tune, MC Vision, M.A.One, MC T and DJ Fame, aka Liam Howlett.
In what would prove to be a worthwhile career move, Howlett left the group in 1989 to form The Prodigy (that DJ Fame moniker seems perfectly suited in retrospect), but not before recording a series of demos with his compatriots.
This effort saw the group signed to Tam Tam Records, which had previously released tracks from acts including Sir Mix-A-Lot, Silver Bullet and Caspar Pound’s A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd collective.
Most of the demos Howlett played a part in never saw the light of day, except for one, Listen to the Basstone, which was released in early 1990, featuring both a rap and instrumental version, as well as a B-Side, Talkin Facts.
Listen To The Basstone has aged remarkably well, boasting shades of Ultramagnetic MCs (one of Howlett’s key musical influences), a proto-acid baseline, and some epic scratching by Howlett and colleague DJ 4Tune.
It was the first record that the group (and, by proxy, Howlett) would release, and also would turn out to be Cut 2 Kill’s penultimate contribution to the world of music, with just one more single – Jus’ Coolin – following a year later.
Notably, Chaz Stevens, who produced both Cut 2 Kill singles, would go on to also produce Charly, the breakthrough single from Howlett’s next venture.
Happy birthday Liam, and remember, it’s never too late for a Cut 2 Kill revival..!