Re-posted. Originally from 06.

Despite my starting out with Son Of Noise, this crew here was actually the first I’d heard of. Gunshot put out their first 12″ in 1990 called “Battle Creek Brawl”. Its incredibly rough sound by DJ White Child Rix and the fiery delivery by Alkaline, Mercury and Q-Roc was like nothing I’d heard before. I’ve read that it was their music, together with Hijack’s, that coined the idea and sound of “Britcore”. They certainly did for me. At the time I didn’t even know where and how to get hold of the singles that they were releasing, so I was stuck with a few hissy radio recordings (and the good thing was: with the crackling and the distortion they sounded even better!) A few years later, while Vinyl Solution was still their home label, French label Independance issued the group’s first singles as one Compilation. Instead of the cover for the compilation which I haven’t found, here are covers of the three 12″es included.

Battle Creek Brawl (1990)

Clear From Present Danger / Interception Squad (1991)

Crime Story / No Sell Out (1991)

Compilation Tracklist:

01 Clear From Present Danger (4:47)
02 Interception Squad (4:04)
03 No Sell Out (5:18)
04 Crime Story (4:49)
05 Battle Creek Brawl (4 Minute Warning) (4:42)
06 Battle Creek Brawl (Apocalypse Bass) (4:37)
07 Clear From Present Danger (Instrumental) (4:46)
08 Interception Squad (Instrumental) (4:03)
09 Battle Creek Brawl (Instrumental) (4:42)
10 No Sell Out (Instrumental) (5:18)
11 Crime Strory (Instrumental) (4:49)
12 Battle Creek Brawl (Apocapella) (3:21)

Gunshot – Compilation (1994)

And, from the same year, here’s another collection of singles, aptly titled The Singles. Some of the tracks are the same, but others are not. (Thanks, Wasteland Drifter.)

01 – Clear From Present Danger
02 – Children Of A Dying Breed
03 – No Sell Out
04 – Killing Season
05 – Social Psychotics
06 – Nobody Move
07 – Crime Story
08 – Interception Squad
09 – Mind Of A Razor (Remix)
10 – Battle Creek Brawl
11 – Children Of A Dying Breed (Burial Mix)
12 – Killing Season (Murder Kiss Remix)
13 – Colour Code
14 – Gunshots History (The 94 Lick)

Gunshot – The Singles (1994)

In 1993, Q-Roc had left the crew by then, they released their first album called Patriot Games. White Child Rix’ production had become more sophisticated with more multi-layered tracks and a very effective use of vocal samples to add some catchiness. The flows had slowed down a tad bit so they could actually perform their tracks live on stage and the whole thing made for an amazing album full of bangers.
[anecdote] I remember one time in school camp, when I was in charge of preparing breakfast and waking up the other kids… I laid the tables and then popped in 25 Gun Salute turned on full blast in a tiny chalet up in the mountains… Talking about an early start… When you hear it, you’ll know how much they hated my guts for the rest of that day. Well worth it, though. [/anecdote]

1 Manhunt (1:29)
2 25 Gun Salute (3:01)
3 Gunshot History (3:49)
4 Reign Of Terror (2:58)
5 World War 3 (4:19)
6 Radio ? (2:10)
7 Day Of The Jackals (3:42)
8 Underworld Crime Soldiers (0:59)
9 Bombing In Five Minutes (3:08)
10 Patriot Games (4:25)
11 Mind Of A Razor (4:02)
12 The Cholo (0:25)
13 Year 2000 (4:38)
14 Bullets Entering Chest (5:10)

Gunshot – Patriot Games (1994)

By 1997, they had finally put together another album called Twilight’s Last Gleaming. So the murky theme was continued. Content-wise, they’d relaxed a bit with their guns, battle, soldiers and blood theme and turned a bit more introspective. I seem to remember that the album was received with a somewhat lukewarm applause. And that may well have marked the moment where Gunshot was beyond their peak for their audience. I’d still contend that the album is slept-on and that it’s actually very solid and listenable. On this one, Barry Blue made a guest appearance before he’d join the group as a steady member on the next album.

01 Twilight
02 Maths And Stats
03 Millenium
04 Mask Of Phantasm
05 G. S. Vibe
06 Ghetto Heartbeat
07 Roots And Reality
08 Die Hard
09 True Fist
10 Gunshot Forever
11 The Silkmaker
12 Return Of The Gunshot
13 Kingpin
14 Untouchable ft. Barry Blue
15 Inner Space
16 Postcards From The Edge

Gunshot – Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1997)

In the year 2000, the crew dropped their latest and last album so far with International Rescue. Personally, I was a bit disappointed by it. While the production was solid and sometimes quite good, the MCs were lacking some of the drive and dopeness they displayed on Patriot Games. Some of the verses grate on my nerves, others I find just a bit forgettable, but that’s probably just me. Yet I’m afraid the only reason why this album didn’t disappear completely off the radar was the English Patient posse track with illustrous guests such as Blade, Task Force, Huntkillbury Finn, Icepick and MC Mello.

1. The Saga Continues… (Intro) (1:00)
2. International Rescue (3:54)
3. Shanghai Badbwoy (5:26)
4. Rinse Out (3:55)
5. Construct Destruct – Demo ’91 (Skit) (0:38)
6. Pain (5:22)
7. Scream 3 (5:03)
8. Hail Mary (4:45)
9. Minus 10 ft. Huntkillbury Finn (4:11)
10. Bo Bo Bo! – Demo ’90 (Skit) (0:36)
11. Everyday (3:35)
12. Pressure (5:19)
13. The Long Goodbye (4:11)
14. Badman Walkin’ (4:50)
15. The English Patient ft. Blade, Task Force, Lord Barry Blue,
Huntkillbury Finn, Icepick & MC Mello (5:02)
16. Whilst My Guitar Weeps (Outro) (0:35)
17. Shanghai Badbwoy (Remix) (4:40)
18. Weep Again (Encore) (1:16)

Gunshot – International Rescue (2000)

It’s quite safe to say that Gunshot will not release another album under that same name. (Is it?) Even their website gunshotuk.com was taken down.

To get back to the English Patient track with its analogy playing on UK Hip-Hop as the sick patient that needs treatment, it’s rather ironic that Gunshot as one of the pioneer crews that lament the state of UK rap didn’t quite survive into the 21st century while there’s now a host of MCs and DJs out there on the islands that seem to be doing increasingly better. Gunshot certainly broke down a few doors, but it was the generation following them that got a foot in. Well, except for old farts like Rodney P or Blade, perhaps…

MC Mercury’s Space
DJ White Child Rix’ Space
Barry Blue’s Space
Gunshot Discog
Gunshot on Wikipedia

Next up: Hijack

Peace, 9@home