Pretty mysterious indeed. I don't remember exactly how I stumble on those guys, but chances are by buying randomly their first EP through accesshiphop -in a time when I bought anything that seemed vaguely new and exciting on there.
During the time of that first release era I did the only existing interview (in my knowledge anyways) of one of their member, producer Ruggedryhump. It was in 2003 and that was for the now-defunct french site WestCoastIndies (big up Jeantu, big up Aka, etc.).
The interview is not exactly of a great help if you want to reveal the whole Mystery thing: not sure who they really are, where they really from (many hints point toward California though, lots of La2thebay connections), what they look like... Hell giving the pile of cryptic talks they might as well be an obscure Circus side-project for what I know.
They made the Manwerk EP in 2002, the Timewerk 7'' in 2004, a couple of less interesting side-releases and that was pretty much it.
Members/collaborators can be spotted on the Infidelity Project compilation also.
I'm not even sure those records have ever been ripped.. Anyways here's a rip of my EP and 7'' as well as some part of the 2003 interview... My cousin & I used 'Manbelowunderground' and 'Isillsmokydead' for a Chocaholics mix-cd and they're by far my 2 favourite cuts from them.
Break'n The Man (Ill Smoky Vs. Phonesoldier)
Littlebitoftimeleft... (Ill Smoky Vs. Phonesoldier)
Werking Stiffs ft. Inaudible Jon
Brain-Power ft. Ill Smoky
Lo2TheMax ft. Awol One & Xololanxinxo
Skit ft. An Alien Hooker W/ A Robot Leg & Die
Tears Of An Ant
RUGGEDRYHUMP - 2003 INTERVIEW FOR WCI
Hi... Who's behind Mystery School? Can you
introduce each member and point everyone's discography?
I am the ruggedryhump. I am a 3rd degree mystery scholar. The Mystery School was founded by Ill Smoky in an unknown time. Here are the current students and projects:
iLL Smoky - 7th degree - Physical Wack CD
Don Brilliante - 5th degree
Chance Brilliante - 5th degree
Hieronymous Kine - 3rd degree - Manwerk E.P 12"
Inaudible - 3rd degree - Manwerk E.P 12"
Ikadry - 3rd degree - Production Tools - 12" and CD
Royal Bloodsman - 3rd degree - Heaven and Hell CD
The Ruggedryhump - 3rd degree - Manwerk EP 12"
- Smokers Breaks 12"
- Rat vs Squirrel 12"
- Fresh ScratchRecord 12"
How do you met each other and decide to do Mystery School? Who's the director of that School?
The Mystery school was brought together by the brothers Don and Chance Brilliante under direction from Ill Smoky. There are 7 known degrees (or levels) of the Mystery School. The higher degree you are, the more information you are given about the origins and teachings of the Mystery school.
You release that Manwerk ep and it seems to have a concept behind this... What the little speech back of the record meant? Where do you get the name 'Manwerk'?
ManWerk was the first in a series of Werk releases. Man refers to ManKind, Humans (men and women) werking together for a common goal. There is too much seperation in the world. We need to put in more werk together instead of against eachother. Real werk, ideas and people cannot be seperated, even in U.S.A. the land of rocket ships.
What are your influences musically and lyrically? Maybe i'm wrong but itfeels sometimes close to the Shapeshifters ...
It changes all the time, but right now I cant stop listening to Dub, King Tubby, Agustus Pablo, it's as organic as music gets. My all timers are people who had abnormal styles like: Alan Lomax, Roland Kirk, Wesley Willis, KraftWerk, Johnny Cash, Jello Biafra, guys like that break the traditional rules, thats what I like. I am a long time listener of the Shape Shifterz, I respect and appreciate all that I've heard from that crew.
Can you tell us more about Subvert Underground Press?
Subvert approached the Mystery School and agreed to put out a series of
projects, they give us full creative control. We have them to thank for the oppurtunity to manufacture the music we have made. Most of the Mystery school projects can be found at their website www.subvertundergroundpress.com
What's the future projects for Mystery School? Any solo albums?
We have recently put out a series of dj Battle/production tool records:
Rat vs. Squirrel; Smokers Breaks; Ikadry feat. Xololanxinxo (OMD), Tommy V, Hieronymous Kine, Inaudible and more...
And coming soon the new ILL Smoky CD - World War 69 feat. remix by DJ Swamp.