Collaborations between musicians may not be a totally new idea, but when the heavy-weight skills of two of Europe's premiere acts collide like this, you just have to take a step back and plug yourself in.
Made up of the incisive award-winning production skills of Noisia and the skilful swagger of UK rap crew Foreign Beggars, I AM LEGION's much anticipated self-titled, 16 track, debut album has now been unleashed through Division Recordings / Par Excellence (OWSLA in the US). Keep your eyes well and truly peeled for the new The music video for new single 'Choosing For You' was premiered to rapturous response on Rolling Stone and it was directed by Tony Truand who has previously been responsible for highly viewed music videos for Noisia, Foreign Beggars and Skrillex.
Led by the debut single 'Make Those Move' (that was streamed over 330,000 times in just 3 weeks), this unified front takes Hip Hop and Bass to a seriously new level. Noisia's high profile studios in Groningen, Holland were put to the test over many strategic hours to complete the final cut since 2008. As Noisia explain:
"The album was made during countless sessions (no more than 40 full studio days max) over the last five years. Many passes of production and scrutiny reached every track, alongside a plethora of feedback spread sheets and whiteboard summaries. We never set a deadline for ourselves; the whole idea of a full album only took shape later in the process when we realized how much material we had generated and how cool it could be to put it out as one big thing."
It's a special bond between the two crews who have previous history. Noisia and Foreign Beggars first realised their joint potential after collaborating on the 2009 track 'Contact' that was released on the 'United Colours of Beggatron' album by Foreign Beggars' label Dented Records. This tune blew up dance floors worldwide and set a precedent for where I Am Legion is today. Its 8.5 million plays on YouTube opened up a worldwide fan base wanting more, and leaving the artists realising that they can do it alone. Working on further material post-Contact and its otherworldly cousin tunes 'Shellshock and 'Soul Purge', both crews decided to fully release themselves from trying to format anything to fit in with industry expectations or norms at all.
"This freed us further from trying to fit into any genre or writing for mainstream radio play purposes etc. We (Noisia & Foreign Beggars) come from two different places and there is a mutual curiosity and admiration that makes us want to make the coolest shit we can. The style and approach to this album has given the lyrics more breathing space and room for exploration, hence it resulting in something more of a rap album with an electronic edge, as opposed to "Dance Music" with raps on it."
Foreign Beggars & Noisia have collaborated in the live spectrum before with high octane effects but doing a full album as a show is new territory so the dates in Sept / Oct are sure to bring something different:
"We want it to be an experience, to be dramatic and almost theatrical, and for people to walk away and feel they've really been included in the process of this album, to have been inducted into the hivemind so to speak. Our respective live shows are already better than everybody else's. You do the math..."
I AM LEGION nods to rap's erstwhile forays into electronica, absorbing elements of its present whilst laying out a reassuringly disturbed vision of what's to come. Miss this collaboration at your own peril.
I AM LEGION is Orifice Vulgatron, Nik Roos, Metropolis, Thijs de Vlieger, and Martijn van Sonderen.
See I AM LEGION live at the following shows.
26.09.2013 - Electric, London, UK
27.09.2013 - Bedlam @ O2, Bournemouth, UK
28.09.2013 - UKF @ Motion Bristol, UK
01.10.2013 - Rockhal, Luxembourg
03.10.2013 - Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
04.10.2013 - Transbordeur, Lyon, France
05.10.2013 - Bootshaus, Cologne, Germany
07.10.2013 - Forty Kleparz, Krakow, Poland
08.10.2013 - Basen, Warsaw, Poland
10.10.2013 - Roxy, Prague, Czech Rep
11.10.2013 - Arena, Vienna, Austria
12.10.2013 - Corvinteto, Budapest, Hungary
13.10.2013 - Cvetlicarna, Ljubljana, Slovenia
15.10.2013 - Magazzini Generali, Milan, Italy
17.10.2013 - Cabaret Sauvage, Paris, France
18.10.2013 - AB, Brussels, Belgium
19.10.2013 - ADE @ Melkweg, Amsterdam, Holland
20.10.2013 - De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Holland
Listen to 'I Am Legion' [Noisia x Foreign Beggars] here: