Golf and Glaze had buzzed off making Double Glazing for KL5 2390 and although the record credits suggest Golf had an additonal production role, the content and ideas were at least 50/50. Golf had made, under the Chubby Grooves name, several mixtapes that sold around the UK in the mid 90s and had just come off the back of a 7 year non stop DJ career findin himself working 4/5 nights a week during that time. He was all about spinnin as a lifestyle and like Glaze collected vinyl passionately. Golf had also been selling wax on Ebay under the name Bruceforsight since 2001 and was using the funds to keep afloat after the change from Fat City Records to starting Chopped Herring, where he had taken a significant cut in DJ work in order to create a new identity (and eliminate remnants of the old).
Golf and Glaze had been toying with the idea of making some sort of platform for the records they had been diggin for years and a few very short mixes were hanging around on cassettes and dats from around the Double Glazing time. It was from these several 5 minute mixes that Three Sinister Syllables was born. For the next 2 years Three Sinister Syllables would take over their lives!! Glaze moved his studio into Golf's rented house in Old Trafford in Manchester and they would work everyday for 2 years until it was done. Golf n Glaze dropped out of society for this whole period and were tuning into what soon became apparent as being their magnum opus. Everything was siphoned into the mix; their time, their record collections, their passion all to the detriment of their own, personal lives.
It had become their raison d'être. Golf had realised a gap in the mixtape culture, which was essentially an homage to the sample sources from the kind of independent Hip Hop tracks popular on the underground scene during the mid to late 90s. He also envisioned a mixtape that was so dense in content that it went beyond the traditional mixtape concept and seemed more like an 'actual' album. At the core of Three Sinister Syllables was a complete non-emotional disregard for music rights ownership. Every medium and audio source was considered; records, video tape, cassettes, tv , answer machine messages were all utilised without any fear of prosection. Golf was bringing what he understood of the collage movement in art to music, that, any source was permissable.
Golf and Glaze were working very closely through this period which would eventually lead to a parting of ways soon after the project was concluded in 2004. They had put everything into the work and sometimes a little too much. Such creative intimacy led to many rows and on occasion fights. When Golf is asked about that time he will always mention the term 'blood,sweat and tears' cause that's how it went down. As soon as it was completed and Danny Grapes (aka Chopps Derby/Sqaurehead) had designed the legendary artwork, Golf set about promoting the album around the world, focusing mainly on the States and in particular NYC. He had made a few contacts through the Daydream 7.5" and began to hit up known underground Hip Hop artists with the cd. The response was very promising. Some of the scenes dopest artists, journalists and mini moguls began proclaiming Three Sinister Syllables as being one of the greatest mixes to date. Golf got together some quotes from the likes of Bobbito (owner of Fondle Em Records), Egon (Stones Throw), Necro and J-zone and with the package complete began physical distribution through a small Manchester based distribution company called Baked Goods.
Three Sinsiter Syllables was an instant hit throughout the world while still mantaining an underground presence. Not only were rap fanatics feeling the music but the cover became quite a talking point as well. A reflection of the musical content, the words Three Sinister Syllables were spelled out using classic Hip Hop typefaces leading fans to dissect and discover the original sources. Many threads appeared on Hip Hop forums as cats displayed their Hip Hop knowledge and treated what was essentially just a cover as new game to play. However, the real game was always the music and depth of sample knowledge displayed.
We are pleased to announce that Chopped Herring Records is soon to blow the lid on all the sources used, so keep peepin! It is still considered 5 years later as being miles ahead of the game and the likes of Steinski and Coldcut have lauded it as a significant progression of the scarcely visited medium. MF Grimm, owner of Day by Day in the States was at one point looking to pick up the cd for the US market but negotiations broke down quite early on, but we won't get into details (one glove to Grimm).
Perhaps the most interesting homage to Three Sinister Syllables came in 2005 when Redman on Def Jam Records sampled a part of the mix for his single Gillahouse Check. His producer while on a trip to the UK had heard Syllables played in a record store in Soho and had picked up a copy to bring back with him to NYC. Redman fell in love with the mix and called up Herring HQ to give props and discuss the techniques used. Following that a sample clearance company called up attempting to clear the sample. Chopped Herring and Redman's management came to an agreement and we sold Def Jam the clearance info and Redman shouts out Herring owner Rob Lipitch (Chubby/Golf/Bruce) on the credits. He also attempts to legally copy the cut n paste cover concept for his own album, but falls some way short of the original!!
Watch the Redman video below,recognise the sample? The beat and all the music was lifted directly off 3SS, not to mention the intro to this video which is a large chunk of Herring: