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More about the Honky deluxe reissue...

“Genius” – NME on the original edition.

ZTT Records presents a remastered and expanded edition of one of UK rap’s most acclaimed debut albums. Originally released in 1994, The Ego Has Landed was hailed as “wonderful” by NME and “The kind of dippy kaleidoscopic jeunesse that De La Soul would kill for” by Peter Paphides. This 2006 Deluxe Edition adds 10 extra tracks comprising rare remixes and B-sides.

Honky were a daisy-age antidote to the darker side of rap and hip-hop that emerged with Portishead, Massive Attack and trip-hop. Their early days were spent sleeping under the same roof – literally – as Oasis, whose management they shared. In fact Liam Gallagher watched in the wings of Honky’s debut live TV appearance on The Word.

The band revolved around two central members, instrumentalist and producer Matt Ellis and rapper and vocalist Kye Wright - “like Jay Kaye with the chip removed from his shoulder,” as the NME once described him. Their breakthrough single, K.K.K. (Boom Boom Tra La La La) was an original cross between urban poetry and beats & breaks, like the Black Eyed Peas but ten years early.

The Ego Has Landed is the closest UK rap came to Fugees-style rhyming and wordplay before it dissolved into trip-hop, as dance music stepped aside for the mod-rock revival, spouting out The Streets at the other end. Ten years on and Honky are getting reassessed by the likes of DJ Riko who slapped The Whistler right between Air and The Lovin' Spoonful for a recent Superchunk session on X-FM.

This Deluxe Edition contains a bonus CD of rare material - ten tracks in all, bookended by the Funky Junkie and Extended Mixes of Love Thy Neighbour. The rare 7” Edit and Old Fat F……! versions of The Whistler also feature, alongside one-off tracks like Private Idaho, Chains and the complete Honky Doodle Day EP.

A 14-page booklet including a history of the band, based on new interviews with Matt Ellis, and a discography, rounds out the set.

On sale now in the Zang Tumb Shop.

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