Written by Shane Ryan
Wednesday, 05 February 2014
Dynametrix started of as Funky Force in 1985 with just two members Ace Shazamme (Shane Ryan) and Master Best (Best Igbenyemi - also known as The Phantom) they were regular visitors when Tim Westwood used to play at Wormwood Scrubs in West London in the UK and during that period sometimes rocked the mic (The Art of MCing), they could also be seen at the Notting Hill Carnival in the early 90s and playing small clubs and town halls on sound systems long before their first deal.
Ace Shazamme was also a pirate radio / party DJ who could be found at the then infamous Spin Offs in West London spinning and buying tunes with Ritchie Rich (who went on to record "Don't Be Flash"). The first single by Funky Force was "Its My Mic" (1987) produced by Ace Shazamme and using the talents of the pirate radio crew they were then involved with. Due to constant arguments with the label over sample clearance the track turned out to be a mediocre offering at best if not cliché.
The group continued nevertheless to work with the label on an album which was finished but never saw the light of day, the group also thought they had found their big break by being signed to MCA Records later that year but the project was shelved leading to further frustration. Following this, the next full release turned out to be a double a side featuring DJ Powercut on the Vinyl Solutions record label started by Brian Mitchell (also known as Darkman), the flip side was a Cash Crew offering (Microphone Maniac). The Force as they were known by now were unhappy with the way the were treated by the label and the type of music that was required and left but some of the music they produced there later turned up on tracks with other artists.
By 1990 Dynametrix had been formed and picked up new members DJ Knives, The Grand Wizard Mo Zee (Zahid Anwar) and Genius Pee (Paul Spooner) who tragically took his own life in 2002. After building a reputation as a freestyle crew they entered a 1991 Kiss FM competition where they battled other MCs live on stage until one was left.
The lead rapper The Phantom defeated U Bee Nice (of the F9s) in battle and the crew were later offered a contract at Kold Sweat records. Kold Sweat had begun to make a name for themselves as West London's answer to Music of Life (another promient UK Hip Hop label) releasing the first single "Keep The Crowd Dancing" in 1991. Following the track's entry into the UK Hip Hop chart a week after its release the group started work on an EP (Dis Ones 4 U) in addition to several guest appearances on on other compositions including a hidden track on the then new album of their label mates Katch 22 (Rogues Gallery).
"Dis Ones For You" became the only colaboration involving all five members that was ever released as Genius Pee and DJ Knives left during this time due to personal commitments. The EP also features the only track every released with all original members ever released ironically named "Class Dismissed". At this point the remaining group members began production on what was to become their best known work "A Measure Of Force". This album contained a mixture of sounds and styles that were uncommon in the UK at the time and mixed elements of the faster "britcore" approach then developing in the UK with as funkier sound with more of a US set of production values. This set the album apart from many of the other groups to come out of Kold Sweat during that era with the exception of Krispy 3 who manifested funk and reggae influences heavily in their production.
Two members of the band feature in a number of other UK and US projects including solo efforts. Ace Shazamme later dropped the "Ace" monicker and can be seen on production credits of other artists including DJ Premier's GangStarr, US rapper Scientifik who tragically passed away in late 1996 and UK artist Funky DL.
By: Shane Ryan
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