Papa Chuk – The Texas Roughneck Demo Sessions 1992 [LP]
So I get a message from Chris @ Dust n Dope Recordings, a mainly cd-oriented label, which is a collabo project between three collectors; Chris from Canada, Laurence from Australia and Neil from Scotland. I know all 3 cats from the scene and cause they have supported the label over the years, in particular Neil who cops pretty much everything I’ve dropped. So, Chris was like, “Bob we did a couple vinyl releases but we’re gonna just do cd from now on, interested in a dope project?” I was like “When am I not interested in a dope project?”, so Laurence sent over the files. My response was “Oh shiiiiii, heavy!!!” And that’s how this one began.
Heads will know Chuk from his 1994 album “The Badlands”. This material here from 1992 was the demo album that got him the deal at Pendulum Recs, home to Lord of the Underground, Digable Planets and Boogiemonsters, among others. Following signing, the A&Rs over at Pendulum wanted him to record all new tracks with the in house production unit and these amazing joints were left by the wayside. But only for, uhmmm, nearly 30 years!! And now we are proud to say that the whole album is droppin on vinyl on Herring. Of course the CD will be brought to you by Dust & Dope Recordings very very soon. Big up to everyone involved in this project which was in every sense a collaboration piece. Hold tight yo, this one here is a killer!!!!
See below a short interview with producer Ashton “DJ Cassanova” Irons:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in The Bronx and Brooklyn NY. Later on I moved to Newark NJ and after some college I went into the Air Force and ended up in Austin Texas
What are your earliest recollections of the culture back then?
I grew up around my older cousins. They were around Grandmaster Flash and everything that was going on in
Did you start out as a DJ?
I started DJ’ing at about 11 years old and by the time my cousins caught me using their equipment, I was better
than they were.
When did you get into production and what gear did you have?
I bought my first drum machine a Roland 606 Drumatic around 85-86 but it was just me recreating beats
and using it when I was DJ’ing. My first real piece of gear was a EMU SP1200 sampling drum machine, that’s
when I jumped into the production game. Later on I got a ASR 10 keyboard and a MPC 60II. While DJ’ing I
got to the point where I wanted to learn how to make the music that I was playing. I am self taught no one
showed me or taught me how to use the gear or how to be a producer. I learned by trial and error.
How did you know Papa Chuk and how did this project come together?
I met Chuk and his friend Quince One when I was Dj’ing a party, this was after I moved to Texas. They asked
if they could get on the mic. They sounded good and from there I became their DJ. The name of the group
was Serious and Papa Chuk’s rap name was Chucky Chill. Chuk and I would just come up with songs to do at
How did the deal come about?
I was going to London with a group named Poi Dog Pondering who I did some production
and scratching for to do some recording and to mix their album. The main producer owned West Side
recording studios in London. While I was there I met a few people and let them hear the songs that
Chuk and I were working on. I left them a copy of the tape and about a month after I got back from
the UK, I got a call that Pendulum records in NY wanted to sign Chuk.
And why weren’t these recordings released at the time?
Pendulum didn’t want to clear some samples and the A&R on the project was friends with the other producers
and pushed Chuck to work with them. I still got paid for what I did and it never affected our friendship.
I had other groups that I was working with……
A1 Coming To Getcha
A2 The Roughneck (Sax Mix)
A3 I.A.B (Remix)
A4 Shotgun Goes
A5 Is It Because I’m Black
B1 I Turned You On
B2 Large as a Titan
B3 Shock ‘Em
B4 Funky Science
B5 Show Some ID
B6 I.A.B. (Original)
All tracks produced by Ashton (DJ Cassanova) Irons for Upperhand Productions.
350 COPIES ONLY
The first 120 copies on Smoky Clear Vinyl
The remaining 230 copies on trad Black Wax
Large full colour sticker cover