Stand Tall
The Sindecut & Ijeoma

Released: 20 Apr 2023

Label: Tru Thoughts

Pioneering British Hip-Hop crew The Sindecut (featuring founding member DJ Fingers) and New York-based Geordie, singer-songwriter Ijeoma sign to Tru Thoughts and share an infectious slice of breakbeat street soul in the form of “Stand Tall”.

London hip-hop collective The Sindecut are credited as one of the pioneers of the UK hip-hop scene, releasing the acclaimed ‘Changing The Scenery’ album in 1990 on Virgin Records (which was sampled by The Prodigy in “We Are The Ruffest” from the remix album of their classic ‘The Prodigy Experience’). The Sindecut were one of the first UK hip-hop groups to sign to a major label – fusing their sound with soul and reggae.

Originally forming in Hoxton, London, back in 2005, DJ Fingers (The Sindecut) and Ijeoma met performing on separate nights at Troy Bar, East London. Introduced by a friend and both on the same page artistically, “to make music we called vocal-based hip-hop with an edge”, their first musical output “Stand Tall” followed only a couple of hours after meeting. Naturally created in the basement of a bar on Goodge Street, home to an outfit called “The Reference Library” whom DJ Fingers had been doing underground parties with, “Stand Tall” is characterised by Fingers’ signature drum clatter and Ijeoma’s oozing, jazzy vocals.

“Stand Tall” is a song that speaks for itself: “…don’t fade away, live your life, have your say”. Originally released independently and pressed up on a limited run of vinyl, the track is now available digitally for the first time, on Tru Thoughts. The release contains two versions of “Stand Tall, an original tailored for the soul-heads, and a club mix that harks back to the duo’s hip-hop roots. DJ Fingers adds: “from the perspective of a DJ cutting up two copies of a record and a vocalist singing over it, I’m basically making what I ultimately want to hear”.

The Sindecut spent their early days performing at the Swiss Cottage Community Centre, before releasing an eponymous debut single in 1986. Other members congregated around the nucleus of rapper Crazy Noddy and DJ Fingers, including Lyne Lyn (rapper), DJ Don’t Ramp (producer), Mix Man G, Mad P and, later, Spike Tee and Louise Francis. Various members travelled to America in 1987/8 to get a contract with B-Boy Records, but lost out on the chance when label boss Bill Kamarra was sent to prison.