Richmond based DJs F1ng3rs and Santa Kilmagik, also known as Jeremy Belcher and Steve Owen of
Richmond based DJs F1ng3rs and Santa Kilmagik, also known as Jeremy Belcher and Steve Owen of the Richmond Electronic Collective, recently put out the first of a series of Star Wars-based, hip-hop style remix albums.
The first release under the moniker Kenobi Style, “Mandalorian Mixtape,” came out on Sound Cloud Nov. 18, to coincide with the release of “Star Wars Battlefront,” a new video game (which, unlike this mixtape, left fans wanting more).
With this release, the long time collaborators and beat makers combined their mutual love of the original Star Wars trilogy from the 70’s and 80’s and sample based hip-hop music to make something truly original.
“Jeremy does a lot of videogame and pop culture remixes… and that inspired me to be like, what if we did a project where we only sampled material from one source and called it a whole new thing?” said Owen. “It was kind of obvious to me if I was gonna do that, it’d have to be Star Wars because that’s my favorite…”
With this release, the duo combined their two styles—Belcher’s tendency toward 8-bit digital sounds with elements of hype and dance beats and Owen’s propensity toward lo-fi, soul based grooves—to make a balanced, yet dense electronic album on par with any sample based records out right now.
As solid as Mandalorian Mixtape is, according to the duo, the release is just the teaser to the first in a three-part saga of their own, one for each of the original movies. The album, A New Dope, obviously a riff on A New Hope, will feature only sounds and songs from the original Star Wars film.
The release of that record will coincide with yet another important date in the realm of Star Wars: Dec. 18, the day that Star Wars Episode VI: The Force Awakens hits theaters.
Belcher said of the timing, “We thought it would be a good way to celebrate the new movie and honor the whole franchise… so hopefully we can not get swallowed up in all the hype and people will still pay attention to it.”
Besides plans for a private listening party to coincide with the release of A New Dope, the duo mentioned plans for releasing The Empire Strikes Blab and Return of the Lo-Fi in the coming year.
“Episode Six we’re leaving open where we might be pulling from video games and random interviews with George Lucas, to mix it up and make that stand out a bit more,” said Owen.
The duo also seems open to doing a similar project based on the soundtrack of the “The Force Awakens,” and hinted at maybe doing something based on the soundtrack of Star Trek: Next Generation’s “texturally awesome, 80’s analog synthesizers.”
Regardless of what comes next, the duo seems pretty stoked for the upcoming releases, not just of their music, but for the new Star Wars film as well.
Owen said of the upcoming movie, “I got so excited when I saw that trailer and saw the [Millennium] Falcon for the first time. It just does something to you, you know?”
Belcher agreed, “It’s been 33 years since Return of the Jedi. I’m real excited, especially about the art direction with this one. It’s got that darker tone to it, and J.J. Abrams does good work, so I’m definitely excited for that.”