Last updated: 14 September 2009

Metabeats is a scene-leading Barry-raised hip-hop producer (and occasional rapper) drawing from an eclectic sonic palette.

Photo by Alex at Southpaw Vision

Of all the artistic talent to graduate from Cardiff label, collective and thick-as-thieves crew Associated Minds, none have created such far-reaching ripples as those sent out by the release of Metabeats' debut album Metaphysical.

Metabeats, aka Che Ahmed, initially took an array of influences from his father's varied record collection and his brother, a jungle DJ, with hip-hop only part of his musical interests as a teenaged DJ and rhymer. UK garage diverted his attention, leading to a DJing slot in Ibiza aged 16, though hip-hop soon took over once he laid ears on distinctive US producers such as The Alchemist, Pete Rock and Gang Starr legend DJ Premier. Later, the output of since deceased beat-crafter J Dilla began to wield significant sway in Ahmed's work, particularly as Dilla was additionally a part-time rapper.

Announcing his arrival on the scene with Metaphysical in 2007, the record was an accomplished producer set that benefited from Ahmed's knack for head-nodding beats among futuristic subtleties. The guest-list roped in something approaching a who's who of South Wales hip-hop MCs: Dead Residents architect Junior Disprol, fellow Barry boys Quiet Poison, Optimas Prime, Joe Blow, plus AM pals Ralph Rip Shit, Ruffstylz and Mudmowth. Scouring outside his back yard as well, American MC Beleaf also featured, as well as Ahmed's own verbal contributions under the alter ego Pergyl, which he claims translates roughly to 'danger' in Welsh.

Having beavered away on the follow-up to Metaphysical since summer 2008, around 15 tracks have already been laid down, with guests including razor-tongued Watford wordsmith Dubbledge and Ralph Rip Shit. The project is still some way from completion, however, so in the meantime Ahmed has busied himself working on a collaborative mini-LP with Mudmowth, entitled Sledgehammer Kisses, and instrumental hip-hop/future soul release Sonic Portraits. Fruit Salad, the first track to emerge from the latter record, scored radio play ahead of its full release.

Fresh product is also imminent from Ahmed's hometown crew Squid Ninjaz. He contributes both production and rhymes to upcoming album Revenge Of The Blowfish.

An enthusiastic sneakers collector, Metabeats is far from Ahmed's only musical guise, reflecting cross-genre interests founded in his formative years. Two duos are his primary extracurricular concerns, joining Cardiff drum & bass, electronica and dubstep producer Don Leisure in Darkhouse, and becoming the former half of club music champs Chesus & Rodski.

Key works

  • Metaphysical cover

    Metaphysical (2007)

    The well-received debut album on Associated Minds, featuring a lengthy list of guest mouthpieces

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