On Ninja Tune
Art school dropout ZILLA (government name Dylan Richards) began working on his own brand of super-evolved mixes towards the latter end of the nineties, as a reaction to the glut of uninspiring mix compilations that had begun to flood the industry. The first salvo against conformity was 'A Friendly Game of Chess', a self-funded, hand-sprayed, highly under-the-counter mix project with Lex Records DJ and friend Buddy Peace. The highly stylised conceptual expression of work that combined a rich fusion of textures together with strong themes and motifs began to ignite more than their own imaginations, selling out in just 48 hours and earning high praise on a global scale.
'A Friendly Game Of Chess' was swiftly followed by solo mixtape strike 'One Foot In The Fire, One Fist In The Air' which earned numerous comparisions to Coldcut's '70 Minutes Of Madness'. Comprised of almost 100 tracks from Autechre to Britney Spears, interviews and spoken word interludes, the CD sold out in a day, attracted attention from all corners and ended up in many a 'Best of 2004' list. Among those with their ears to the ground were Trash supremo Erol Alkan, notorious London promoters Wheels Instead of Hooves and the heads of both Ninja Tune and Warp Records.
After 2 appearances on the legendary Solid Steel radio show, gaining the honour of being the first unsigned act to play at Strictly Kev & DK's Solid Steel clubnight, 4 sets with Buddy Peace at Dedbeat 04 in the course of one weekend and a number of European dates, Warp Records stepped in and invited Buddy Peace & ZILLA to compile a retrospective of the label. Released late September 2004 as part of the 'WARP VISION: The Videos' DVD, the mix, entitled 'Watch And Repeat Play', was a startlingly original tour de force, as over 70 minutes the two DJs re-worked and re-wired the label's back catalogue, twisting the already twisted into a sonic maelstrom.
The Warp Vision Audio Visual / Resfest Tour followed, with appearances alongside artists such as Plaid, Chris Cunningham, Seiji, Mike Paradinas and Funkstorung, as well as invitations to play at the Glade Festival, Trash, The Warp Summer Ball and The Poke Xmas Rave. It was these shows and the experience of playing live that inspired ZILLA's latest mix 'Grinted Teeth & Brawlsville'. A year in the making, it was a more uptempo and aggressive, yet challenging body of work that managed to find the link between the party starting crunk of Lil' Jon and the dancefloor destroying sonics of Aphex Twin.
Once again the great and the good were suitably impressed, with praise coming from the likes of Kid 606, Knifehandchop and, again, Erol Alkan. The success of 'Grinted Teeth...' and ZILLA's growing reputation led to Domino Records inviting him to remix the final single from Test Icicles, 'Biggest Mistake', a remix which has been rapturously received by everyone from Laurent Garnier to Lo Recordings' Jon Tye, who went on to release ZILLA's remix of The Chap's 'Premier At Last'. This was quickly followed by ZILLA and Autechre remixes of Unique 3's 'The Theme' on Fat! Records.
2006 saw ZILLA going back the lab and perfecting his twisted new sound, an industrial take on dancehall, dubstep & drum n bass. Demos and material started to leak out, and with tunes receiving massive support from Amon Tobin and Kid 606, ZILLA was invited to record material for Kid 606's Shockout label, Rag & Bone Records, Combat Records and Uncharted Audio, and put together remixes for Black Grass and New Flesh.
2008 was a year of true 'Cannibal Carnage', due to massive radio support in the form of BBC Radio 1's Scorn vs. King Cannibal Soundclash Special and 'Arigami Style' receiving HEAVY rotation on Mary Anne Hobb's Experimental show. Collaborations with Bong-Ra, remixes for The Qemists, Ghislain Poirier, Scorn, Ebola and appearances at numerous festivals all squeezed around the recording schedule for King Cannibal's debut LP 'Let The Night Roar'.