In May 2000, UK garage duo Oxide & Neutrino topped the UK singles chart with their hit ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’, marking the huge breakthrough of the genre at that time.
Around the turn of the century, UK garage artists such as Artful Dodger, MJ Cole and numerous others were riding high in the UK charts with Oxide & Neutrino up among the frontrunners.
After spending time away from the immediate spotlight, the duo, comprising of DJ Oxide & MC Neutrino, are finally set to release some new material.
”Me and Oxide have been in the studio for the last few months with Harvey (So Solid Crew) and it’s been going well,” said Neutrino. ”There’s a few bits coming out probably around early July.”
”In terms of sound it will be similar to what we had on Execute (the duo’s Platinum-selling 2001 album). Obviously it’s not 2000/2001 anymore though so the sound won’t be exactly how it was then.”
Members of fellow chart-toppers So Solid Crew, Oxide & Neutrino had further top ten success as a duo with ‘No Good 4 Me’ and ‘Up Middle Finger’.
Their last major release ‘Dem Girlz’ reached number 10 in the singles chart in October 2002 with the 2007 track ‘What R U’ their most recent material.
In recent years their loyal fanbase has remained, regularly supporting them as they gig around the country at various venues.
29-year-old Neutrino, real name Mark Osei-Tutu, believes they are well on track to not only maintaining their older fans but also to reaching new audiences.
”The best way to get new fans in is through the social networking sites. We still do gigging every Friday and Saturday across the country which brings new fans as well.”
Their number one hit ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’ famously samples the Guy Ritchie film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels’, as well as the BBC programme Casualty.
”The idea to use the ‘Lock, Stock..’ sample was Oxide’s. He was watching the film once and that part came up and he just thought it was hilarious and wanted to use it.”
”We’re proud of reaching number one, I still don’t think what we achieved has sunk in yet. People come up to me and tell me how we helped start the UK urban music scene.”
”I think it will be a lot more years before we can sit down and think ‘wow’ at what we managed to do.”
Neutrino now has a far more muscular physique to the one seen in the duo’s early videos, this is down to spending the last few years playing rugby.
”It’s my fourth season now playing for a team called London Cornish. I play every Saturday and my position is back row.”
”I used to play football a bit, years ago, but after playing rugby and seeing the way they fall down in football, it’s embarrassing! But my team is Liverpool.”
Neutrino has remained friends and continued working with Oxide (Alex Rivers), 28, over the years, as well as most of the members of So Solid Crew.
”We (himself and Oxide) always stuck together even when we weren’t in music. We were still going through ideas, as well as gigging.”
”I still see a lot of So Solid, like Lisa (Maffia) and Romeo. Obviously Harvey’s working with me on this new project too.”
Describing his main regret from the last decade as the fact that Oxide & Neutrino and So Solid Crew never got the chance to properly tour, Neutrino is looking forward to putting new music out again.
”I just want to put fresh air back into the music scene, there’s a lot of stuff out there sounding the same. UK stuff now doesn’t have the same street appeal as it used to.”
”We were straight from the street and into the mainstream without any alterations, hopefully we can bring that vibe we had before.”