Monkey Mafia's brand of big-beat "Brit-hop-amyl-house" is similar in respects to that of the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, and artists associated with the Skint and Wall of Sound labels. The production arm of Essex-born DJ Jon Carter's many club-related activities, the project began in 1995, following a string of tracks for Wall of Sound under the name Artery and coinciding with his residency at Heavenly's influential anything-goes weekly, the Sunday Social. Carter's musical past actually reaches quite a bit farther back than London's post-acid house big-beat scene; he was the member of a number of pub-rock and psychedelic cover bands while studying philosophy in Southampton. As such, his influences run a far wider berth than usual suspects such as Kraftwerk, Public Enemy, and Double D & Steinski, including obscure old-school hip-hop and electro,'60s rock and soul, and his longest-running obsessions, dancehall and reggae.
Carter moved to London around 1993, learning engineering and production working in the studios of (oddly) hardcore and jungle labels such as Trouble on Vinyl and No U-Turn. He passed a demo of ragga-tinged midtempo breakbeat tracks he assembled in his spare time to Wall of Sound's Mark Jones, who released a few of them before losing Carter to deConstruction in 1995. Carter's debut for the label, "Blow the Whole Joint Up," appeared that same year. An instant hit among the capital's flourishing acid-hop scene, the track earned Carter remix work for the Prodigy and Saint Etienne, as well as a steady stream of DJ gigs (the latter of which tended to limit his release schedule). A pair of EPs managed to trickle out however, including 1996's "Work Mi Body" and 1997's "Lion in the Hall." The long-awaited full-length Shoot the Boss appeared in late 1998. ~ Sean Cooper