Bristol-born and London-based multi-instrumentalist rapper, activist, producer and spoken word artist Dizraeli is back with autobiographical new album: ‘The Unmaster’ and a tour that will bring him to Leeds.
Formerly of sextet Dizraeli & The Small Gods, Dizraeli goes it alone for his second solo LP and his first release in over a decade with a fierce hybrid of hip-hop, grime and West African percussion, with synths by Danalogue.
Tracks from it will be aired along with his more familiar material when Dizraeli appears in Leeds at the Hyde Park Book Club on Thursday, April 23.
The album was recorded and completed over a period of two years, during which Dizraeli experienced a mental meltdown, and funded thanks to a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
The artist recently opened up about his personal struggle in interviews with Metro’ s podcast ‘Mentally Yours’ and The Book of Man . Partly inspired by the Zen Buddhist idea of ‘Beginner’s Mind’ , ‘ The Unmaster’ is also a reference to Dizraeli’s own journey through masculinity.
The album speaks of madness and collapse, struggle and redemption with searing honesty, surreal humour and a soundtrack unlike anything you have heard.
Entirely written, arranged and produced by Dizraeli, ‘The Unmaster’ features heavy synth work by Danalogue from critically acclaimed electronic-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming , as well as additional production from Dental Records’ Nathan Feddo , and Strangelove’s producer Chango .
Dizraeli mixed the album with MPG Awards’ ‘Breakthrough Producer Of The Year’ Dilip Harris – who has worked with artists including King Krule , Mount Kimbie and Sia . Whilst Young Fathers and Sampha collaborator Fabrice Bourgelle ’s striking pictures package the album and its singles, perfectly depicting Dizraeli’s emotions and state of mind.
Dizraeli built many of the instruments himself, capturing field recordings around London - the Gamelan sounding instrument in the album opening track ‘I’m A Wave’ was created from the sound of Hackney bus brakes, the drums on ‘Madness’ come from vocal noises and saucepans - whilst the percussion and chanting on ‘My Mama’ were inspired by the ceremonial music Dizraeli witnessed while studying percussion in Senegal.
Talking about the themes behind the album, Dizraeli explained, “beginner’s mind is a mind in a state of renewal and curiosity, for which all experience is new experience, and the idea of obtaining perfection is abandoned. The idea of the Unmaster is also about letting go of the dominant notions of masculinity from our culture, learning to find my place among, rather than above my fellow beings.”
Having composed the soundtrack for the E4 drama ‘Tripped’ and won the BBC Poetry Slam Championship , Dizraeli is known for his work with spoken word artists Kate Tempest and Scroobius Pip . His music has seen support from the likes of The Skinny , Evening Standard , Songlines and Pop Matters , with plays across all BBC Radio stations. He is also a rising radio presenter, hosting his own monthly show on Soho Radio , and recently travelling to Mongolia to present a BBC World Service documentary on the hip-hop pioneers of Ulaanbaatar .
Having proven himself to be a tour de force on the live circuit and fresh from performing the new album with the 47-piece Wilderness Orchestra at Wilderness Festival, in 2019 Dizraeli played at some of the best UK summer festivals. He played a sold-out album launch at Thekla in his hometown Bristol last September, before an eight-date headline UK tour in December to packed venues around the country.