IOMix015 // Shark In A Bathtub

D.Ham and Gordon Apps bring out the influences which feed into their new weirdo avant hip-hop project tumbling out of the Bristol underground.

“If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t read The Source any more and miss crews like the JVC Force,” said Buck 65 on his 2001 track ‘You Know The Science’. It’s a nerdy backpacker hip-hop shout-out to true-skool values which came out on the incredible Man Overboard album, a pinnacle of golden era Anticon. For those unfamiliar, Anticon is a Californian label which emerged in the mid-late 90s from a particularly imaginative crew of rappers and producers who artfully subverted the hip-hop form with abstraction, flamboyance and poetic weirdness. Buck’s bars are a love letter to hip-hop as a force for innovation in the face of all-too predictable co-option by mass production and industry, and to this day we’re lucky there are heads out there who feel the same.

Gordon Apps and D.Ham put the Anticon crew front and centre of their influences and framing for Shark In A Bathtub a low-key link-up from the ever-fertile folds of the Avon Terror Corps. Suspicious Package champions an experimental swerve on proper hip-hop. It’s quite unlike anything the pair have dabbled in before, with Apps usually found wreaking out cyberpunk nightmares with Kelan in Bad Tracking and Ham moonlighting on collab tracks with other Bristol wayfarers like Yokel, BKV Industrial and the sort of folk supping Guinness and lurking shiftily around Mickey Zoggs.

Quite simply, Suspicious Package is a killer tape which comes with a strong recommend for anyone who loves misfit rap inversions with teeth. Being the nosy folk we are here at IO, we wanted to know where the pair were coming from so they knocked heads down the Noodio to throw down this blend of formative influences which arrive in two distinct halves. Slip into something more comfortable, get thyself blunted literally or metaphorically, read the Q+A and check the IDs below and enjoy the ride — teenagers of the 00s, we’re looking at you.

“To hip-hop as a religion, you know the science.”

IOMix015 // Shark In A Bathtub

Thanks a lot for recording this mix. It plays out like a mixtape from the early 00s – was that the intention?

D + G – Wouldn’t say it was conscious, but in bringing both of our influences to the mix, doing a bit of a sonic collage, we feel we gave a good taste; a chance to see the kind of creatures that populate our bathysphere.

Shark In A Bathtub is a swerve from your previous ventures – what led to embarking on this particular project?

G – All these aliases are facets of me – chances to explore this different parts of my personality. I spend a lot of time in imagined worlds, and I like to think that these various artistic releases are a bit like tuning a radio in to the various worlds and what’s popping off over there currently. Hip-hop has always been a genre close to my heart. Now felt like a good time to speak up with it.

What’s the worst combination of bad music and bad TV you can think of, and what effect would it have on the audience?

D – An overloaded tabloid, set to a tinny soundtrack, with a high treble wavelength. Things just get acidic quick. No middle, just tops, so fuckers get frantic. 

What exactly is Cunishment?

D – Detrimental cunning to the point of smothering, and unleashing it on an unsuspecting population of citizens, sonically. 

If you could have had one MC feature on Suspicious Package, who would it have been?

G – Sole or Doseone. Anticon are a big influence on this project.

And your dream remixer?

Good question! I don’t want to jinx anything moving forwards so …

If you had to take a bath with one aquatic creature, which would it be?

D + G – Def not a manowar!

Given Gordon’s past experience with Bad Tracking, is there any danger of D.Ham ripping his kit off and intimately interfacing with technology? Or do you have any other concepts planned for live shows?

haha nah that’s its own beast. We’ll circle back about live stuff, but watch this space!


  1. Chris Morris – Suicide With An Escape Clause
  2. Jimmy Dean – Shark In A Bathtub
  3. AIM – Cold Water Music
  4. Björk – Where Is The Line?
  5. Boards Of Canada – Music Is Math
  6. Four Tet – Smile Around The Face
  7. DNTEL – Dumb Luck
  8. CocoRosie – RIP Bum Face
  9. Wagon Christ – Saddic Gladdic
  10. Prefuse73 – Choking You
  11. Blak Twang – So Rotton
  12. The Cinematic Orchestra ft. Roots Manuva – All Things To All Men
  13. Madteo ft. Sensational – Anastrophy
  14. Madhouse – Two
  15. Parliament – Chocolate City
  16. Nona Hendryx – Transformation
  17. Big Daddy Kane – Something Funky
  18. Ultramagnetic MCs – Funky
  19. The Jungle Brothers – Bragging And Boasting
  20. Charlie Christian – Swing To Bop
  21. Steinski & Mass Media – We’ll Be Right Back (The Hard Sell)