Llwybr Llaethog (MilkyWay) were founded in the north Welsh town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales in 1985 by John Griffiths and Kevs Ford. The two teens had spent the seventies growing up in the town's decaying industrial surroundings and were heavily influenced by reggae and the punk scenes that were sweeping the UK. After several abortive attempts to start bands, the turning point came in 1984 when John Griffiths was holidaying in New York and was impressed by a group of youths he saw at a nightclub breakdancing and the sounds of DJ Red Alert.
After returning to Wales, Griffiths fixed on the idea of marrying hip hop and far left politics with his native Welsh language. Llwybr Llaethog's debut release was an EP for the Welsh record label Anhrefn in 1986, entitled Dull Di Drais, which combined leftist political messages with what would become the band's trademark sound of turntable scratching, audio sampling hip-hop, and cut-and-paste production.
To date they have released six singles and eleven albums, the most recent in September 2013, Dub Cymraeg/Welsh Dub and have collaborated with many Welsh artists including Super Furry Animals, Datblygu and Sian James.
In 2009 Llwybr Llaethog were the subject of an exhibition at The National Museum of Wales. In 2012 they were awarded the prize for outstanding contribution to Welsh popular music at the BBC Radio Cymru Rock and Pop Awards.
The duo cut four sessions for John Peel, the first in 1987. After the second in 1989, twelve years would elapse before they were invited back to Maida Vale in June 2001. Peel must have had a bit of a guilty conscience about the lengthy gap in sessions, and they would be invited back for a fourth session with Tystion before the year was out which was performed live to air session in front of a small studio audience. The John Peel Wiki compiled a top twenty of artists with longest gaps between sessions: Llwybr Llaethog scraped in at No. 20!
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For all the latest news in the Llwybr Llaethog universe, check out their website.
The duo's third Peel session from July 21 is available @ Vibracobra.