SO WHEN was the last time you travelled from Basingstoke to Bradford (via London and Leeds) and back in the same day? You haven't and more to the point you didn't think it was humanly possible, right? Well that's probably why I got landed with the arduous trek. After some five hours of crosscountry touring and a pack of BR roast chicken sandwiches I reached the fair city of Bradford, in the heart of Yorkshire. I was met by Edzy from the band and then introduced to a fellow journalist who'd been a little tardy for his interview, and together we headed for the Unique 3 HQ.Eventually I had the full collection of four, yes four. As Edzy says, "We've never been that good with numbers." Unique 3 are Deadly D (Delroy), Cuts (lan), JMP (Patrick) and Edzy (Adrian). Sitting comfortably (God knows I'd been on my butt all day so it seemed, and it'd taken its toll) I coaxed my dictaphone in to operation mode and we were away. So how did you guys find eachother seemed appropriate for starters. "We met through school and D.J'ing basically," claims Edzy and continues, "All four of us have DJ backgrounds,so we had something in common immediately. We later recorded a single, The Theme and had it pressed up." D Takes over "We had 500 White Label copies pressed, which we paid for ourselves. At first there wasn't much of a demand because people didn't know what we were about, then things began to pick up and we had to get some more done."
At the time the lads had set up their own label, Chill Records for the release and it was distributed around the north (Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and of course Bradford). "We brought it down to some shops in London thought they wouldn't have it, they called it washing machine music," laughs JMP. So how did you clinch the deal with Virgin/Ten Records? 'They heard 'The Theme' being played one day in Manchester's Hacienda and wanted to know who the hell it was. After chasing up a few record shops they traced us, one of the shops had our number. We didn't sign straight away. To be honest there were a few other labels involved before we signed to Ten," Edzy replies. Unique 3's next move was to release Theme on their new found major record label, though it wasn't an entirely successful venture, as D points out. "By the time Theme was released it was actually over a year old so it wasn't at all fresh, but it got our name around the country."
For those of you who missed out on Theme you'll find a remixed version (Theme III) on the bands forthcoming debut album. Theme was one of the first 'bleep' records and the 'bleep' factor has remained.
The guys are quick to dismiss any sort of categorisation of their music insisting that they shouldn't be pigeon-holed, although admitting that their music is simply a form of north-ern hip hop, their own special brand. The follow up single was a double A-sided Musical Melody/Weight For The Bass, which in addition to receiving massive acclaim on the club charts, also made the successful crossover onto the Gallup National chart Peaking at number 29 the single earned them a TOTP's appearance and their first video. "With 'Musical Melody' it all happened so very quickly. We heard we went top thirty and the next thing we knew we were in the BBC studios waiting to go on the show" reflects D.
Cutz joins in the conversation, "We didn't quite know what to expect, it was one of those situations you cannot plan for, it just happens and you go with it."
Having missed out on this celluloid masterpiece first time round I managed to cajole the band into giving me a premier of their first video outing. As we watch, the guys find it hard to restrain their laughter, JMP in particular finds it a constant source of mirth.
Taking control of the situation in a bid to restore some sanity to the proceedings I pushed for further information on the new album. Edzy had the answers, "It's going to be called Jus' Unique. The vinyl format will have ten cuts, the cassette twelve and the CD thirteen. It was produced 6y all four of us here in the house where we have our own eighteen track studio (18 tracks, well that is certainly unique). Theme, Musical Melody and Weight Of The Bass are all on the album and of course our new single Rhythm Takes Control." The new single is proving to be a club monster. Available on 12" promo only it is topping the playlists of DJ's up and down the country.
Rhythm Takes Control is quite indicative of the album content, awash with bleeps and beats, it is enhanced by the vocals of a rather anonymous Karin. The album track listing alternates the songs between instrumental and rap. It's a fairly varied effort with the likes of Pattern 12 offering techno-trance (now that's a new one), whereas Reality leans towards reggae with ragga style vocals. The Unique possee don't have any particular faves in the music scene as D says, "Because we DJ we listen to everything that is happening and more, but actually living in Bradford means that we don't have to really conform. We can set our own pace."
"Because we're not part of a, scene like London we have no distractions, therefore we can get on with the important things like recording the music." adds Edzy.
What direction do you see dance music taking now? Do you think it's dying or still moving? Edzy comments, "I think it has reached a point where it is reaching out in so many directions that anyone who dares to be different will be successful. Everyone seems to be borrowing from someone else these" days. I've heard numerous samples from Theme being used, we just look upon it as flattery. I guess there's not much you can do about it at the end of the day." JMP chips in, "Personally I think that the dance thing is at its peak now, though for how long it will remain I don't know."
With the album due for release sometime in November the band are looking to go out live to promote their product. "We're presently working on a live set, but it's hard to say exactly what it will consist of," Edzy says in a surreptitious manner.
Probing for further information proves to be fruitless, so a quick change of subject is in order. I ask about the nightlife in Bradford City, bearing in mind that they run their own club nights. "I think we're the nightlife," jokes JMP. "It's quite a select thing really in that there are specific clubs you go to, you know the usual clubs, nothing that different," adds D.
Have you any other projects on the go? "We're starting our own label, well in actual fact we're just taking Chill one step further. It'll be a local thing basically, with the recording of Jus' Unique the label has been on hold, but it will become a very important part of our lives for the future. Something we can parallel to our own recording career," concludes Edzy.
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