Is Tropical on Wu Tang Clan and their influence

Posted on 10 January 2012
By Pierce King
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Purple Revolver caught up with Is Tropical to get the low-down on how the Wu Tang has influenced their sound.

Gary from the London trio said: “If we could collaborate with anyone it would be Wu Tang. Namely the GZA, because we’re really good at playing out-of-tune pianos too. And we used to be obsessed with the Wu when we were kids.

“We realised a while ago that all of us had bought Wu-tang’s first album when we were kids. No idea how at the age of 12/13 we’d even heard of them, let alone bought their album, but there was something around the image and gang attitude that united kids.

“As a teenager everyone tries to latch onto something, and a cool as fuck gang from New York seemed like the most appealing prospect at the time.

“It was either that, or getting a perm and trying to be like Ryan Giggs. I incidentally did both. Every single track on 36 Chambers was killer.

“The consistency and mysterious nature they held has been a massive influence on IS TROPICAL. We don’t sound anything like them, but we wanted to create an album full of good songs where people struggled to choose a favourite.

“The production on Wu records is always kind of ropey in the best possible way. The samples that come in and out have a lot of white noise in the background, and on the vocal takes you can hear lots of breathing and other background noises.

“It’s almost a punk approach, where the mistakes and imperfections are the nicest bit. We tried to keep lots of these elements in when making our record and didn’t want to polish the interesting bits from the demos.

“Although there are lots of layers in our tracks, simple structures and infectious loops are vital and this is something that Wu do with incredible power.”

Random 5 Wu tracks

Gza – Liquid swords: Shadowboxing
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers): Tearz
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers): Shame on a Nigga
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit’
ODB: Shimmy Shimmy Ya (instant classic)

This article is an excerpt from the 1993 Future Throwback issue of Über zine – out now.
Also Is Tropical’s debut album is out now on Kitsuné/Cooperative Music – check them out at