Y Diwygiad

Y Diwygiad

Y Diwygiad

Last updated: 14 September 2009

Y Diwygiad are a forward-thinking crew flying the flag for multilingual, experimental electronica-splattered hip-hop.

Translating to 'The Reformation', the core of North/South Wales-spanning collective Y Diwygiad first met at the National Eisteddfod, during an impromptu freestyling session.

Chiefly comprising beatboxer, rapper and producer Ed Holden (aka Mr Phormula) and poetically inclined vocalist/flautist Nei Karadog (aka Nine Tonne), the pair began collaborating after the dissolution of Holden's former outfit Pep Le Pew. Both are also veterans of various other projects, including eccentric A Clockwork Orange-loving indie-rockers Genod Droog, as well as active solo artists.

The duo, originally from Anglesey and Pontypridd, are now swelled to a five-piece for live shows by additional personnel Lews Tewns (saxophone/vocals) and DJ Dek Masha Slicerman - respectively associate and member of celebrated Swansea hip-hoppers The Headcase Ladz - plus drummer Alex Moller.

Continuing the pioneering work of Welsh acts Llwybr Llaethog and Tystion, hip-hop is the common thread running through their multilingual music. Rapping in Welsh, English, French, Spanish, and less common Brittany dialect Breton over beats that encompass electronica, ragga and drum'n'bass, they are staunch Welsh language champions. Mother tongue elitism isn't on the agenda, however. Holden previously explained: "We mix languages to prove music's the language, not the way it's being spoken".

The first evidence of that attitude arrived on their self-titled debut EP in 2006. Featuring contributions from Llwybr Llaethog and Geraint Jarman, it scored considerable national press praise.

Progress slowed slightly while Holden recorded a collaborative Mr Phormula album with Lews Tewns. After supporting US electronic whiz Daedelus at a live show in Cardiff, though, Y Diwygiad's horizons were expanded further. Already a fervent fan of the principality, the Los Angeles producer was impressed enough to invite the band to California in July 2008 for studio and live work, a trip documented by S4C's Bandit.

Resulting Daedelus collaborations featured on the first Y Diwygiad full-length, Hymn 808, unleashed locally in November 2008, with a full release the following March. Again drawing glowing reviews, other guests included Cofi Bach a Tew Shady and Lews Tewns.

Returning to Y Diwygiad's formative roots, HTV News broadcast them performing Welsh language freestyles at the Eisteddfod 2009. Altogether more highbrow was a live after-show party set for ex-Velvet Underground creative force John Cale's audio-visual installation at the Venice Biennale 2009 art extravaganza.

Boasting a new North Wales studio base, Y Diwygiad's next LP is mooted for a summer 2010 release.

Key works

  • Hymn 808 cover

    Hymn 808 (2008)

    The debut album, released by Dockrad, featuring Los Angeles cult name Daedelus

Artist search

Browse the BBC Wales Music database.

BBC Music

Tim Westwood

Hip hop, RnB and dancehall

All the latest hip hop news and reviews from BBC Music.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.