Genres: Urban
Decades: 2000s


Richard Kylea Cowie, 19 January 1979, London, England. Wiley Kat refers to his abstracted, mutant music as ‘eski beat’, and maintains that his sound often owes more to rapid-fire computer games than the UK garage that spawned it. Since 2001, the former member of the influential Pay As U Go cartel and Roll Deep Crew-aligned producer/MC has churned out a slew of weird tracks thematically linked by a penchant for the cold, the winter, and the glacial. Track titles such as ‘Igloo’, ‘Frostbite’, ‘Freeze’ and his benchmark ‘Ice Rink’, in addition to ‘Eskimo Dance’, Wiley’s similarly themed MC-led raves in and around London, have made his state of mind and music-making aesthetic explicit: ‘I wasn’t making sad songs but I was cold inside’, he claimed in XLR8R magazine.

Often recording a track a day, Wiley deliberately flooded the market with white labels bearing his...

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