One of Edinburgh’s longest-running alt.hip-hop crews, Eaters are Laughing Gear, Dopeamean Jim, Quiet Man and Tuck Pendleton. Since 2009, Black lantern have been releasing legacy editions of Eaters albums, remastered and polished for a new generation of listeners. The Black Lantern re-release of their classic album Shouting At the Wind received over 10,000 downloads on Free Music Archive.
Laughing Gear describes the band’s genesis: ”In my opinion, to make good rap music, hip hop music, it has to be fresh. When the whole music had it’s roots in competition it had to be about being better through improvement, through pushing the boundary, through evolution. All my understanding of hip hop comes from records and interviews as I was never in New York during the early eighties, so it may have been nonsense. Regardless, that is what I believe hip hop is about and that is what Eaters are about.
“I’ve been rapping with Sly (Quiet Man) since 1990 after a mutual friend suggested we start a hip hop group. We went under several names only really got to a stage when we were happy to perform and put out a record when we formed a group called The Pesky Varmints and put out a 12” called Super Human Coliseum (‘97 I think). Then the group broke up and we formed Eaters.
“Since then we recruited Chris (Tuck Pendleton) and Jim (Dopamean), based on shared appreciation of the music, friendship and the fact that we didn’t bother with the politics. Three of us produce with very different styles. Two rap and one writes essays. One beatboxes. One breaks. And between us we try to do something different for each release. A lot of the time we can’t keep up with our own ideas.
Aside from the music we also try to be as self contained as possible. We record on our equipment, master the records, put together the artwork, organising the pressings, manage the publicity (badly which is why most folk have never heard of us).”
Optimum was the band’s electro outing. Laughing Gear describes the album: “A trip into the retro future, Optimum is new early 80s electro released in 2006. Quiet Man and Laughing Gear take up the mantles of Death Scorpion and Captain Moonshooter for a love letter to Planet Rock, Newcleus and the Street Sounds albums.
“With beats to get down to and verses echoing the all or nothing mentality of hip hop pre ’87, this album is serious music with old school flows.
Newly remastered to add more oomph to the beats and to polish some of the compositions. Another example of a band unconstrained by the consideration of what’s expected.”
Optimum is a free download from Black Lantern Music. Physical copies of this and other albums by Eaters are available NOW from www.eatersmusic.co.uk.