This pioneering Auckland hip-hop outfit comprising MC Ollie Green, DJ Rob Salmon and MC/beat maker Zane Lowe began life as Leaders of Style, and contributed tracks to 1992 compilations for Deepgrooves and Flying Nun. After changing their name to avoid confusion with the fashion industry, they went on to release four singles and an album (37 Degrees Lattitude). Lowe’s next musical venture was Breaks Co-Op, en route to international radio fame; Salmon became a DJ in New York; and Green relocated to Australia.
On their second single, future BBC radio star Zane Lowe and his 90s hip-hop crew proclaim themselves to be an expression of their "headphones and kerbstones", as they dedicate themselves to "knocking down the doors of the hip-hop frauds". Director Craig Jackson provides an appropriately urban setting in which the crew voice their declaration. As his footage alternates between monochrome and colour, deserted cityscapes (including the old Auckland Railway Station) combine with drifting, jazzy notes to make for a aptly impressionistic scoring of the streets.
An early example of Kiwi rap music, 'No Flint No Flame' was recorded for the first time while Urban Disturbance were still known as Leaders of Style. Lead by MC, beat maker, and future international radio star Zane Lowe, the crew are backed on this remake by firebreathers, who often come terrifyingly close to DJ Rob Salmon. In 2015 Lowe was part of the writing and producing team nominated for Best Album at the Grammy Awards (for Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour) — a far cry from the Pasifika Streets he raps about here, 23 years earlier.