Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interview & Review: Chemo aka. Telemachus - The Stomach of the Mountain

If you are a frequent visitor to this blog you know about Chemo aka. Telemachus from London who sat down to answer some questions about his new album, his recent release and his upcoming projects. Interview & Review after the jump....


   please tell us something about yourself (short bio maybe). how did you start with producing and what gear are and were you using?

My name is David Webb. I am from London, Britain. I am known as Chemo ( for my Hip-Hop production work and sound engineering. I have another name under which I work which is ‘Telemachus’ ( Telemachus is a withered old hermit, who hates the modern world and simply likes making strange instrumental epics and gardening.

where do you get all the samples from? movies or records or do you play instruments yourself?

I use a combination of sampled sound and played instruments. Everything is thrown into the melting pot. I have certain rules about sampling, such as that I will not sample a song that I like listening to, because my act of sampling means that I cannot then listen to the wonderful original without hearing my shit version. This may be a strange way of thinking, as essentially sampling is stealing, but it helps me to sleep at night. 

"The Stomach of the Mountain" came out on sept 26th. how did you choose the tracks for this album? is there a theme or a certain mood that you thought about?

This album is a compilation of my favourite work as Chemo over the last 4 years. As such, there is no theme or concept to the album, it is simply a collection of really good tracks.

As you mentioned "The latter part of the album perhaps represents a slight shift away from the purist Hip Hop that Chemo is reputed for". why did you change the approach?

I make a lot of different music, and with this album I am only trying to represent the best of my recent work, so if that means crossing genre’s then so be it!

what about people like El Crisis or Jareth? how did the collaboration come about? is it part of the different approach?

I have been working with both these artists for many years, they are both incredibly talented. In fact I formed a band a year ago with El Crisis called ‘El Crisis & Thunder’ ( which I would tentatively describe as Afro-Space-Folk and it is certainly a different sound to most of my other work. 

Chemo ft. Jareth - The Cause and the Cure: 

  how did the feature with Roc Marciano happen? why is the track not on the album? and will we hear more of you two working together?

Roc Marciano is my favourite Hip-Hop artist of the past 5+ years. The track was done specifically for my own solo album (non-compilation) under the name ‘Telemachus’. That album is also complete and looks et to be released on my good friend Jehst’s YNR label ( . I would say the Telemachus project is more instrumental trip-hop in style, but it is my finest, and most complete project in my opinion.
Telemachus ft. Roc Marciano - Scarecrows:

what are the next projects you are working on? who would you like to work with in the future? maybe a collaboration album with tragedy? how did he like the remix you did?

I am halfway through 3 concept albums under the name Telemachus, details of which I cannot reveal, as they are too damn amazing... I am also halfway through an album with my band, El Crisis and Thunder. I also have a project finished with the incredibly gifted and charismatic ‘Dubbledge’ and many other forthcoming projects for other people as Chemo. I would love to someday work with a brilliant folk artist like Joanna Newsom. Someone, please make it happen!

     what`s with all the german that pops up when we communicate? where does it come from?

I studied German at school and have been to Germany many times. I love Germany and one day would love to be invited to perform / DJ. I also speak fluent French, and a little Spanish and Arabic.
Also, ich danke Ihnen für dieses Interview lesen, und ich wünsche Ihnen alles Gute!

The Stomach of the Mountain is available to buy here:
For more information about Chemo’s record label ‘Kilamanjaro Music’ go here:
For a full discography of Chemo’s work, go here:
Globalfaction - Vigorous Denial:

"The Stomach of the Mountain" Review by Hessit:

"If you tune into the „Stomach of the Mountain“ you'll realise immediately that the title for Chemo's album, which has been  formed from his finest productions 2007 to 2011, couldn't have been chosen more suitably. In the first third of the album, the Mountain burps out heavy basslines and crunchy deep kicks. The productions are pretty straight, far-out from fancy frequency-filter-play-along and off-beat timing and as said: always with an impressive bass, which is an important value of recognition to Chemo's beats in general. It could get a bit straining if the oppressive atmosphere from the
first two songs ('Paintbrush' & 'I Cried') would dominate a 16-song-album, but latest with 'Back to The Drawing Board' from Jehst's latest album, Chemo doesn't leave any doubts about him not knowing how to make a neck go crack. The path of strictly rap-beats is left quite soon with 'The System' which features The Speakers Corner Quartet - a Hip-Hop instrumental live band. But neither here are any tacky future-jazz-experimental-beat-whatever try-outs, it's just well composed, not overloaded Hip-Hop instrumental music with analogue instruments. In the album's second part the Hip-Hop and Rap genre opens up more often and Chemo also proofs to have the right touch on using synths without being too experimental when it comes to ergonomic hearing. 'Man of  the Run' ft. El Crisis is near to Dub already or 'The Cause and the Cure' even allows Jareth to sing. Summed up the album provides a very good overview about Chemo's quite straight but striking productions of the last four years. The songs either impress by detailed drum programming ('Bounce With Me'), heavy atmosphere ('Paintbrush') or electronically coined excursions ('Move your Shoulder'). Even though many beats drift apart from the 'mothership' Hip-Hop, they never appear like made up or even kitchy. Seems like Chemo found a way to produce versatile instrumentals and easily mix genres while he still is able to transmit his distinctive sound. A highlight: 'Itchy Itchy' feat. Dubbledge. A drifty beat with humble layers and a subtle flipped choir sample (?) plus the unique voice of Dubbledge.

Telemachus * Chemo appearances on R.O.L. Beat Tape series:

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