DJ Yoda will release his new album 'Breakfast Of Champions' on April 27 2015 through Kartel/Believe Digital. Curated and produced by DJ Yoda, the album features an eleven-strong collective of UK MCs and musicians, including Rex Domino and Mouse Outfit members Sparkz & Truthos Mufasa. The release will be trailed by a new single 'The Baddest' (now streaming here), ahead of an audio-visual headline tour in March, kicking off at Manchester's Band On The Wall on March 13 and London's The Forum on March 14.
Duncan Beiny, aka DJ Yoda, is no ordinary scratch DJ - and fittingly, this year's realisation of his Breakfast of Champions project is far from being a predictable move. Energised by the wealth of starry collaborators (including Action Bronson, Boy George & Roots Manuva) for his acclaimed second artist album, 2012's 'Chop Suey', Yoda elected for his next project to look in the opposite direction - towards upcoming artists of the UK scene, assembling the Breakfast of Champions cast from a Who's Who of hip-hop's next wave.
The genesis of this collective spans back to a residency slot offered to Yoda by Manchester's Band on The Wall venue, an invitation which manifested itself in an open call from the DJ to emerging MCs, musicians and animators to join a live band personally curated by Yoda. Several hundred meticulously vetted YouTube submissions later, Yoda's line-up was completed, with the group appearing at Band on The Wall for a live debut which sold out upfront, minus any promotional muscle. It was a trick the band later replicated in London when their Jazz Cafe headline likewise sold-out nigh on a month upfront.
This summer, Yoda teased Breakfast of Champions by trailing early track 'Open Your Eye'- flanked by the beatboxing services of Shlomo and a Jewish reggae verse from Rex Domino, it serves as a microcosm for the lightness of touch and force-of-nature personalities which drive this record as an entirety. No sooner has the clipped, jazz piano loop of 'Day To Night' (itself Yoda's nod to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest & DJ Premier) ceded to the smooth, rapid flow of Rex and Sparkz, than Breakfast of Champions has identified itself as a record which takes joy both in its own construction and the classic eras it evokes.
References to the 'Golden Era' of hip-hop make easy bedfellows alongside wholly more current flights of fancy - the Asian-hued 'Better Day' samples a Vietnamese folk song Yoda stumbled across whilst DJing in Hanoi, meanwhile 'Super Cereal Syrup' is a vehicle for a stream-of-conscious skit from the chameleon-esque Truthos. Lead single 'The Baddest' sees Yoda steering perhaps his closest to his contemporaries, though its Trap Music double-time hi-hat is skewed with bursts of semitonal brass and the harmonica work of Kitty Daisy and Lewis' Kitty Durham.
For those in search of the whip-smart humour and lightness of touch from the DJ who originally made his name with the How To Cut and Paste series, the 'Party Yoda' sensibility remains in rude health throughout Breakfast of Champions. 'Pebble Beach'- "the nuttiest track I think I've ever worked on" he concedes - assimilates elements as improbable as 50s Doo Wop, Jersey Club Music and Grime, all bookended by a high-speed piano loop bordering on the deranged. And yet, it all works. On one of the record's rare MC-less outings, '2468' finds Yoda's 8-bit computer game-sampling beats vying in contention with an Oh Brother Where Art Thou referencing chain-gang chant. The fact that it's all eventually rounded-out with the refrain welded - with equal improbability and ease - to a bluegrass hoedown, is testament to Yoda's continued sampling nous.
Always breaking new ground, Yoda made history last year with the first ever audio-visual mix for BBC Radio 6 Music - making waves around the globe, it secured him both a Sony Radio Academy Award nomination & a 6 Mix residency which has seen him become part of 6Music's distinguished DJ team alongside Andrew Weatherall and Erol Alkan. Alloying hands-in-the-air clubbing with a night at the movies, Yoda's AV shows cut the best movie & YouTube moments with 80's electro and contemporary hip-hop. One of the first DJs to turn his hand to re-scoring classic films with the now-cult DJ Yoda Goes to the Movies series, he was this year commissioned by the BFI to reprise his trailblazing ways as part of the BFI's Sonic Cinema event with DJ Yoda Goes to the Sci-Fi Movies.