The Mix

The Mix – 03/08/06

Welcome to the August edition of The Mix. I trust you all have your air conditioning on, or even one of those little fans blowing in your face. I haven’t had a summer like this since I was at school, its roasting out there! Obviously not too hot for some of Britain’s top artists to be writing, producing & releasing some of their best work yet.

This month we have a whole library’s worth of singles and albums to have a look through for your enjoyment, so sit back and twist one up, double drop, knock one out, crack one open…..what ever it is you do, and enjoy.

DR SYNTAX – Subcultures
(Dented Records/Beer & Rap Records)

Dented Records have teamed up with a new label called Beer & Rap Records to bring you something that should have been organised a long time ago, and here it is! The long awaited debut release from Dr. SyntaxSub-Cultures“.

Dr. Syntax is already well known from collaborations with the Foreign Beggars and Menagerie. He puts in a nice twist to tunes and somehow manages to improve already brilliant songs. Well, he’s back with a strong dose of outstanding solo ability, easily living up to the sky-scraping standards of his past appearances.

This track is upbeat with light hearted but intelligent lyrics, making fun of some of the different cultures and “Sub-cultures” you’re likely to stumble across in and around your local area. I know I’ve met a few of the groups brought up in this track. Ok so they’re stereotypes, but we all know people that hang around in local pubs that don’t like the look of newcomers, people that have mullets, dress in crap clothes and wear sun glasses at night and people that argue about who’s the best hip hop artist (don’t we? all of you in the music from the corner yahoo groups!).

The two other tracks on this cd “Animal Hides” (sounding much more like the good old Menagerie) and “Pack Mentality” (straight from the sound of the Foreign Beggars) are both produced by Ido. Koaste also makes and appearance on this cd. On the info I’ve been sent with this cd it says he’s a newcomer but he’s been around for quite a while that I know of, you can hear some of Dr. Syntax, Koaste’s and loads of other tunes here.

Sub-Cultures is the first 12″ from Dr Syntax’s debut album, “Self-Taught” coming up later this year…I’ll be sure to be reviewing that!

BLACK GRASS – A Hundred Days In One
(Catskills Records)

We looked at the single “Don’t Leave Me This Way” last month and this month we are going to take a look at the album “A Hundred Days in One” as a whole. What an album it is! One of Brighton’s finest Black Grass (AKA Mex) has really taken decent music to the next level here. This is a really eclectic album with so many different genres of music crammed into one cd, it left me well impressed. This was not what I was expecting after hearing the 12″ release last month.

It brings us music from the styles of funk, jazz, soul, uplifting party beats and somehow sticks to a hip hop related genre. In some ways it reminded me of the eloquently expressed Herbaliser but with an edgy feel to it. It’s a bit more quirky, a little more tangy and a tiny touch more pop (but in a good way). This is one to play for the people that are not so attuned, to the stuff our readers love to listen to, when they come round to chill.

Rising UK star Micall Parknsun features on the track “Down & Dirty” with fellow UK star Jehst making an astonishing appearance over a military style beat on “Lines of Defence“. Brilliant head nodder! This one is released on 29th August 2006. Keep on looking for this one.
Look out for Mex playing this years’ Bestival in September and also the final set at Fat Tuesday at The Big Chill this Month.

NNEKA – The Uncomfortable Truth
(Four Music/Yo Mamma’s Recordings)

This one’s a little different. It’s for all of you that feel the need to chill out and take time out to listen to the likes of Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill etc etc… I really like this one. Nneka has released the single “The Uncomfortable Truth” taken from her debut album “Victim of Truth” on Four Music / Yo Mamma’s Recordings, and it is truly inspiring. This tune has worldwide hit written all over it. It is the sort of tune I would easily expect to hear at the number one slot in the charts. I mean the decent charts, not the shit we’re exposed to on Sunday afternoon radio stations. Released on 21st August, written by Nneka and produced by DJ Farhot, this is a tune that could and should take over the airwaves.

The second track on this CD “Stand Strong” is sung live and if im honest, you would never know that this track had not been tweaked and improved in a studio if it didn’t say “live version” next to it. It is sung with great power and full on emotion, more so than the cover suggests it might. Nneka draws influence and inspiration from artists such as Bob Marley, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep and Lauren Hill and you can tell. It feels like there’s a bit of every artist involved in the making of these couple of tunes, I can’t wait for the full album!

(Kool Kat Records)

The Recluse Crew are a group of people bursting out of Helsinki; they are a collaboration project between the production team Recluse Recordings and MC’s from Dirty Smarts and LLC. Dragging in the stateside talents of Synoptic Pressure, who have apparently been displaying some amazing shows in Minneapolis, the end result is a rather impressive display of original talent.

“The Art of Raw Sound” is a 17 track LP that, to me, sounds more like East American hip hop than it does Scandinavian. This isn’t a bad thing, but when I first saw the CD I thought it might take me on a journey through Europe with some different styles, you know, like MC Solaar or Saian Supa Crew. It’s not quite like that but yes, I do like this album. There’s no pretence, no posing and it is decent rap music!

DR. OCTAGON – The Return of Dr. Octagon
(Casual Records)

Dr. Octagon is better known as Kool Keith, original member of the New York new school pioneers the Ultramagnetic MC’s. I hope everyone knows who they are. If not, you should, please look them up.

This is the official sequel to Dr. Octagon featuring Kool Keith, One Watt Sun, DJ Dexter and Princess Superstar. The Return of Dr. Octagon is the follow-up to Kool Keith’s 1996 critically acclaimed Dr. Oncagonecoloyst, a psychedelic hip-hop album about a deadly, sexually expressive and doped-up doctor.

Return of Dr. Octagon is deeper, darker and more spaced out than the original album. This time around Keith’s groundbreaking mic skills and schizophrenic imagination compliment the mystifying production and heavy bass lines. Dr. Octagon has reinvented himself covering a broad lyrical range that includes everything from socially conscious lecturing and advising to intergalactic Martian legends.

Great tunes such as the main single “Aliens” as well as other top tracks manage to twist and turn way before each corner. Production trio One Wat Son have the ability to bring out the madness in Keith’s lyrics, and his unhinged nature. Some tracks to listen out for on this wonderful album are “Ants” in which DJ Dexter (formally of the Avalanches) steps in for the Egyptian scratch flavour and “Trees“. The latter being a soon to be classic dance floor filler at any half decent club or bar. It seems that any of those rumours you hear about this album being an unofficial release is absolute turd! So don’t worry about it. Who listens to gossip anyway, you bunch of old women!



Right then, for the end of my section this month I’ve decided to big up a clothes company that I have stumbled across during the past few months. I think I first saw it in Big Smoke magazine and decided to have a look at the website because I liked the photography on the advertisement.

This company is Siino (see no)! I’ve bought a few things from there now and I have a thing about promoting things that are on the up. If you like your clothing to be smart, well designed and so not everyone you walk past is wearing it, you’ve come to the right place. I know it’s difficult to buy things online because of the way things might look, sizes etc but with this company the photos depict the clothing really well and if you are large in size, you buy large. If you are medium in size, guess what….you buy medium.

There are some top notch things on sale from this company so have a look at the website .You can also buy Siino stuff from here too. Here are a couple of pictures of the kinds of things you can buy there. I bought the t-shirt in the top picture but in white (half print and half stitching). It looks pretty damn cool when you’re out and about.

As you can see there’s some cool stitching on these two tops, apparently designed from a collection of other pictures all strategically placed to form another picture, or in some cases a big fat S (for Siino). There’s a lot more to it but to find out you’ll have to contact or call 01926 332040.

And there you have it! That’s my rant for this month I hope you enjoy the tracks I’ve pointed out to you. If you can’t get hold of them quite yet, just hold on to your hats and you’ll soon be able to. The best things come to those who wait…apparently!

Now, over to Abjekt with his array of weird and wonderful collection of singles & albums.

Don’t forget to mail me at

Cheers people

Kris Drew

The Jektmosphere

Big ups to Kris for his reviews, I can definitely vouch for the Dr Octagon album, crazy shit, I love it. So this month was a particularly big one for me and I have a bunch of stuff for you guys to check out. I’m off to the Scribble Jam festival this month, the premier underground hip hop festival with MC/DJ/Beatbox/Breaking battles, live performances and graffiti expos, so whilst I’m gone checking the likes of Pigeon John, Jel, Brother Ali, Murs and Glue, you can track down these badboys and listen to what I recommend to tide you over til next time.

(Milkcrate Records/All City Music)

We’re kicking off with some party jams people. Milkcrate’s Aaron LaCrate and Hollertronix’s Lowbudget have teamed up to combine some funky-arse B-More House with hip hop and smeared it with a nice big dollop of bass. This is the sort of music you wanna be hearing when you’re getting down in a sweaty nightclub at 3am and it’s just the thing I need to wake me up in the morning.

With guest appearances from Big Dada’s MC Spank Rock and his running buddy Amanda Blank, you know that the rapping’s going to be top rate when it’s played out over the beats. And when you have a woman promising you a “pussy made of Gold”, you know you aren’t gonna go far wrong with this record. Baltimore’s clubs are banging and this CD proves it.

DARC MIND – Symptomatic Of A Greater Ill

First things’s first – Darc Mind’s album doesn’t sound like an Anticon release. It’s not experimental, it’s not inane noise that has nothing to do with hip hop and you don’t have an MC trying to fit a whole verse into one sentence. This is a record which would fit on any typical hip hop label’s roster and is the sort of release that a lot of heads would happily slip onto their system.

The album, written between 1995 and 1997, could be argued to be ahead of its time. But to me its more of a mix between early 90s rap and the emergence of underground shit from the late 90s and early 2000s. Its dark and broody in some places [especially in Rhyme Zone] and stripped down in others [Covert Op] and even reminds me of Public Enemy on BMoc. If you liked the early rap stuff and want a little twist on it, this may well be the record for you.

JURASSIC 5 – Feedback

I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge fan of J5, but at least you know that Cut Chemist is always going to deliver some good head-nod beats. At least, you did know that you could count on that with J5 records, but now he has left, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Unfortunately what came out of my speakers wasn’t anything worth listening to.

There is an argument, which I agree with, that J5’s output has gotten progressively weaker with each release and Feedback seems to support that point of view. Brown Girl for example, sounds like something the Pussycat Dolls would release into the charts, Work It Out, which inexplicably features Dave Matthews, just doesn’t hit the spot in any way and Turn It Out has some weak distorted beat which just sounds like they’ve not really bothered.

The only saving grace for the album is Canto De Ossanha, an instrumental which saves us from the poor rapping experienced throughout the album before it as Cuban and latino vibes fill the air over strumming guitars. But overall, this is one I’d steer well clear of.

(Whatever The Weather)

This is a mixtape which features a host of randomly collected artists and when I read the tracklist and saw the likes of Sage Francis and DJ Vadim sitting alongside the likes of Carpetface and Eat More Cake, I wondered how it would stick together, if at all. But as soon as the CD had finished I was happy to hear that it was seamlessly put together and provided a great mix of styles.

From the instrumental opening Which Way The Wind Blows by Natureboy which features soft horns and some nice percussion through the strings of Prolyphic and Suspect‘s Highs And Lows to the incredibly bassy fast paced action of Zej‘s Bob In Dob, you know that every track will provide and new twist and turn, and that’s what’s so refreshing about this compilation. From big names to small names, they all give something different and yet it doesn’t feel forced. Definitely one to check out.

RISHI RICH – The Project
(Two Point Nine)

Again, I’ll start with an admission – I’m not too hot on the Indian style vibes that started breaking into mainstream rap and allowed the likes of Jay Sean and Juggy D to get more exposure. It’s just not my thing, and I find it really taxing to have to sit listening to wailing voices in the background in most of the tracks. So whilst I’m sure that those who do feel that kind of vibe will love this new Rishi Rich album, it just doesn’t click for me.

The one track I don’t mind so much is Let’s Start Talking which has a nice grimey bassline on the beat and features the talents of one of the Grime world’s top MCs J2K and the awesome female rapper Baby Blue. But once again the vocal samples in the background just take the edge of what would be a good grime track and let it down a little. If you do like the Indian style beats then this is the CD for you, if not, then it’s best to leave it to those who do.

PLAID & BOB JAROC – Greedy Baby

Plaid aka Ed Handley and Andy Turner have returned to the fore with this new release on the legendary Warp label, Greedy Baby. The album was written directly for surround sound systems and perhaps would have sounded even more mighty and impressive had it been playing on one, rather than my PC speakers, but nevertheless it’s certainly an impressive build up of eclectic beats and tuneful melodies. Some parts provide the soundtrack to lazy Sunday afternoons whilst other tracks set off an eerie and mysterious vibe that keeps you guessing.

You don’t just get a CD with this release, you get a DVD to accompany it and it completes what was already such an interest album. Each track on the CD is featured on the DVD with the brilliant work of Bob Jaroc. He provides the visual backdrop to the sonic soundscapes put down by Plaid and gives each track its own life with characters as well as just music. This isn’t just an album, this is an experience in sound and art and you’ll do well to check it out.

(Basement Records)

Thes One and Double K are back again and this album is as good as any they’ve put out there in the past. You know with PUTS you’re going to get some nice chilled rapping over a selection of quality beats and as always, they don’t disappoint. Kicking off with Step In you’re thrown straight into a summer’s day and then immediately they switch the styles into a stripped down track Pass The 40 with some ill scratching up on the chorus.

Whether they throw in a full pumping beat or the jazzy styles like in Flex Off, whether they sample a vocal into the fabric of the track [More Than You Know] or bang in with some great percussion [Tuxedo Rap], they do it with style and a flow that seems as though they feel more natural rapping than talking. Musically and lyrically PUTS have come up with a sure fire smile-inducing album and if you were a fan before you’ll love it, if you weren’t a fan before, you will be after hearing this. And with the album coming complete with a DVD, you can’t really go wrong. Quality stuff.

(Hip Hop IS Music)

Braille‘s new label Hip Hop IS Music has already promised big things, you only have to look at their roster, and yet as if this wasn’t enough, the label has put out a mix CD to showcase the talents of some of the roster to show just how great this label will be. The CD kicks off with the strumming title track, featuring Braille himself with Kaboose and Sivion, horns and vocal samples backing the rapping with ease.

Theory Hazit‘s track, My Favorite Hip Hop Joint, throws down a nice jazzy sung chorus over stunted melodies and is followed by Surreal bringing in Moment In Time, which is an ode to how he makes hip hop for the fans, putting his soul on the canvas for anyone listening. Fresh Nostaliga by Sojourn pumps out the funky guitars straight outta Shaft and Big Rec‘s Unleashed shows the more heavy hitting side of the label’s potential.

With beats by the likes of Ohmega Watts, Tony Stone and Muneshine, plus a few of Braille’s mates getting in on the action like Mars Ill, this is as good a compilation CD as you’re going to find. Hip Hop definitely IS music and this CD will prove that to you.

SIVION – Spring Of The Songbird
(Hip Hop IS Music)

Sivion, member of the DeepSpace5 collective which houses Mars Ill and Listener, comes with his solo outing on Braille’s aforementioned Hip Hop IS Music label and Spring Of The Songbird is a nice summery vibed album. With a healthy dose of singing going through the album, its not your average boom bap affair but Sivion brings it off well with solid rapping and a nice knack for storytellings.

Production from DeepSpace5’s Beat Rabbi, Ohmega Watts, Tony Stone and DJ Idull gives him a varied palette with which to rap over and he mixes it up from chilled out beats to more powerful and heavier tracks. Who Am I sounds like a DeepSpace5 track with fellow members Freddie Bruno and Playdough guesting and Going Through It features the new boss Braille on guest vocals.

But it’s the Tony Stone produced Walk With Me that kills the entire record. The beat has some amazing drums and the sung chorus and introduction of the live Saxophone in the background just give it the depth that allows it to stand above the rest of the album, which is no mean feat. Hip Hop IS Music looks good on paper but sounds even better on the stereo.

This month’s art comes from the ever talented Jon Burgerman. Miss Sixty commissioned him to use his brilliant style on their hotel in East Italy. Jon started drawing on one side of the room and then just carried on til he was all the way over the other side. Imagine staying at a hotel with this all around you. I wouldn’t leave the room if this was mine, I’d be too busy looking at every little character on there. It’s awesome, as is all of his work, so make sure you visit his site and check out everything on there. Click here for a view of the entire room.

Ok people, that’s your lot from me this time around. I’m off to Minneapolis and Ohio and will hopefully be grabbing some new hip hop whilst I’m over there. Make sure you enjoy the rest of the sun if it sticks around and I’ll be back soon with more recommendations. Whilst you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my beautiful voice over at the Hip Hop Radio Show. And, as ever, I would love to be sent CDs to review, so hit me up at the address below.



The Mix

The Mix – 14/07/06

Well, it’s a month later and a shit load has happened: I went to New York and saw a few gangster rappers selling their cd’s on the street (of which I bought two), then I went to Barcelona for the Sonar festival (which was insane, I would recommend it to anyone), & then England were doing so well in the footy and lost on penalties…..again! (Which was total shit). So a lot of ups and downs for me this month.

There’s not loads of cd’s to look at this month but I’ve found or been sent a couple of little beauties for us to take a look at. First up is:

Fist Of Jah
(Dented Records)

This is Dubbledge’s debut mixtape and it is red hot! This selection of impressive tracks is scrupulously blended together and the result is spot on. Fist of Jah features some of the best UK artists in the business. With Dr Syntax, Skrein, Genesis Elijah, Wordsmith, Foreign Beggars and Micall Parknsun featuring on various tracks how could you possibly go wrong? This cd is pretty damn raw to say the least. Nice to hear some tunes that make you feel like you could actually be in the room while the tunes are recorded. There is some exceptionally tight production coming from Dag Nabbit, Jabba the Kut, Ghosttown and Shlomo (who you should all know by now).

A couple of tracks you should keep your eye out for are “track 2 Perfect Beatbox feat. Shlomo” and the “So Hip-Hop (remix) feat. Genesis Elijah” Top tracks from top people!

Black Grass
Don’t Leave Me This Way
(Catskills Records)

Brighton’s Black Grass, otherwise known as Mex is back with his hard hittin’ new single, “Don’t Leave Me This Way“, taken from the up and coming “A Hundred Days In One“. Dominique Noiret and Mex were brought together by accident. Mex wrote the music while waiting for a session player to show when the words to the unforgettable 1970’s disco tune (yes, you guessed it) “Don’t Leave Me This Way” jumped into his head and Mex realized that this could work well. A collaboration was born after Mex saw Dominique Noiret, on the front of a magazine, in her Noir Alt Country band and persuaded her to get involved. This is the end result!

This single also features slayer mixes by J Star and “Down & Dirty” with UK emcee extraordinaire, Micall Parknsun behind the microphone. Actually I do prefer this track as it is a bit more my style. If you like the tunes I have covered in the past then this track is for you. A bit more rugged, fuck it. A bit more Hip-Hop.

Bare radio
The One Hour Show

What can I say? An online radio show that plays amazing tracks fused together with some pleasing mixing. I would definitely play most of the tracks out when im on the ones and twos in some club or bar. All of the archived shows will soon be available for download, just keep checking the websites above. If you go into the media section of the bare-records site you can download loads of unreleased tracks, some tracks that have already been released and a couple of videos that are worth watching, quite impressive really. I was sent their first show on cd when I bought some tunes from suspect-packages & I was impressed. These people will definitely be going somewhere, I’ve been hearing more and more about them recently. Keep your ears peeled.

This weeks sites and sounds: – Lots of stuff on here – Different kinds of info on this one – American style hip hop clothing – some good videos and tunes on here

Well I know that’s not many tunes for you to drool over but they are top tracks so keep yourselves up to date by getting hold of them if you can. In the meantime, take it easy and don’t work too hard.

The Jektmosphere

Welcome to July and thankfully the beautiful hot weather is upon us and though I’m sitting here writing this as the heaviest rain I’ve seen in years is pounding against my window, I’m still going to keep my smiley face on. I’ve got a nice eclectic mix for this month and it should have something for everyone.

Gilles Peterson
Back In Brazil
(Ether Records)

Gilles Peterson is this generation’s John Peel. Let’s face it, there isn’t a style of music, that Gilles doesn’t know about or hasn’t championed to the point of exposure. On this Back To Brazil compilation, he serves up a double disc dosage of tunes from the South American country that will strike a note with anyone and everyone somewhere along the way. On the first CD, entitled Das Velhas, he throws in some mellow jazzy sounding stuff, perfect for warm late nights in the summer, kicking back and just chilling with this in the background. It’s not really my cup of tea, but playing it over my stereo when we had guests over seemed to grab their attention, so clearly there’s something there.

It was the second disc, Novas, that was more up my street. This disc had more of a modern feel to it, with some proper vibes on there that are just perfect for this time of year. My particular favourite is Rappin Hood’s Ze Brasilerio which is a nice traditional guitar sample thrown over a nice sharp beat, it gets that body moving without a doubt. Another track you can’t afford to skip past is Zero DB’s A Pomba Girou featuring the talents of Heidi Vogel – It’s typically bassy and fast paced drums that you would expect to hear at Carnivale. Even the ska-tinged Calma Mamma by Echo Soundsystem is a lovely track to kick things off with, and stays true to the old skool meaning of ska, as if you were being transported straight back to the 1950s and 1960s. And with the likes of Bugz In The Attic in there, you know you can’t go wrong.

Export 02
(Finger Lickin’)

A-Skillz is a name I’d heard mentioned around but wasn’t sure where. It turns out the talented 24 year old has been behind the decks for the likes of Madonna and I have a soft spot for the queen of pop so he’s already gone up in my estimation without even having heard him! In fact, he beat Basement Jaxx and Scratch Perverts on Annie Mac’s mini-mix of the year for Radio 1, so he’s clearly got something. And this record certainly doesn’t let him down. A booming opening to Export 02 which features funky guitars, heavy cutting and some samples from the likes of the Jungle Brothers shows he ain’t messing around.

He continues this brilliant combination up throughout the album and that’s one of the reasons why I liked it so much. Often you’d expect to hear some bangers and then have to skip over the lull in the middle, but there isn’t one on this record. His use of drums are brilliant, whether they’re the main attraction or hiding behind the rappers, they always keep that rhythm hyped and moving along. If you’re into funky shit, then this album is for you. It seems like this is the sort of record you could take to a b-boy jam, press play and then just let it rip for the duration of the dancing. A banger.

Dr Octagon
Aliens [Single]
(Casual Records)

Kool Keith has had untold amounts of guises but arguably the most popular one of them all is Dr Octagon, and finally he’s brought that alter-ego back after a gap of 10 years. Trust me when I say this return single doesn’t disappoint. Starting off with a plodding fuzzy beat interspersed with short sharp bursts vibing in the background from various intstruments, the track floats around with a Portishead-esque Mysterons sound and finally gathers speed with off-key pianos as the Doc tells us all about the threat of Aliens.

The innovative sounding scratching which plugs gaps left by the stop-start of the brass samples gives him yet another sound to rap over before the track ends before you know it. This is one that you might need to play a few times but by the end of the day you’ll have that melody throwing itself around your brain making you believe it’s never been 10 years since Dr Octagon was last here. To paraphrase the great man in the track, you’ll love this records: “Two cans of that’s right”.

New Flesh
Wherever We Go [Single]
(Big Dada)

Big Dada have done it again, they just keep on bringing out great tune after great tune and New Flesh’s new single is no exception. The sub-bass on this track is absolutely amazing, and truly reminiscent of Roots Manuva, who was so impressed by this track that he walked out of Big Dada’s offices carrying a CD-R of it to put on a compilation. But its not just the bass that resonates around the ears, it’s the differences in delivery by the rappers. You’ve got a Carribbean sounding emcee, you’ve got a harder rapping style and a more laid back homely sounding emcee opening the track up.

The violins and acoustic guitars which form the basis of the melody never once sound out of place and the deeply sung chorus finishes the track off as one of the most complete sounding singles I’ve heard from these shores in a long while. Make sure you check this group out and cop this single and the album that it’s from, Universally Dirty.

Gnarls Barkley
Smiley Faces [Single]

There’s no point in me discussing how massive Gnarls Barkley have become because let’s face it, after Crazy, we all know. But what I can tell you is that if you haven’t got the album and you want more proof that Dangermouse and Cee-Lo can pen a danceable fun track, then Smiley Faces is the one for you.

Choirs chiming in the background, a simple but headnod-inspiring drum beat and a bassline with such an infectious tune you won’t realise until five hours later when you’re still humming it make this new single from St Elsewhere even better than the first. Go on, do yourselves a favour, pick this up. And put on a smiling face for crying out loud!

So there’s the music for this time around, hope there’s something in there you like. As for the art, we’ve got something by an artist called Mark Jenkins, who does embedding art amongst other things. Check out this photo of his fake person with their head supposedly going through the wall, absolutely genius, and something that doesn’t get tiring to look at. If you want to see some reactions by the general public to this, then throw your cursor over this link and check it out:

That’s your lot from me this month. But please do keep emailing me, because I want more and more new music and if you feel I should listen to yours, then hit me up with an email here: because I can honestly never get enough hip hop music. Or if you have art you want featured, then again, email me at that address and I’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Until next time, go and get a tan. Peace,


The Mix

Mix Special – Urban Games

Clapham Common
30.06.06 – 02.07.06

What struck me immediately was that this year’s Urban Games was nowhere near as packed as it has been for the past few years and it was a strange sight to see hardly anyone milling around. Even from the start when we went to watch some of the skaters practise runs, walking past the BMX and the vert ramp, there weren’t many people watching and it felt as though we’d turned up a few hours too early.

What must be commended though is the music put on, especially on the Friday. Even though the crowd was quite sparse, Sway‘s demeanour always endears him to his audience and because there weren’t as many people as you’d expect, it gave Mr DaSafo the chance to have a chat with people at the front, asking who was going to buy his album and picking out the people who said they were going to illegally download it. He was even so much at ease that he told the crowd he was due to do a song with DJ Yoda but that he hadn’t learnt the words just yet so he was going to have to pass. But throughout his set, the people that were watching were enjoying themselves and the sound was very good for a small stage.

After Sway, the crowd were treated to a brilliant set by the ever innovative DJ Yoda. Not many people can stand there and mix in Johnny Cash with Motown and Crunk but Yoda did it without breaking a sweat, something of a feat considering just how hot and sticky it was in South London over the weekend. Whether he was knocking out the oldies or mixing up new stuff, Yoda always makes you get your hand to your mouth in admiration and sitting in the shade listening to him was a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

The UK b-boys were out in full effect on the Friday and despite the lack of crowd, the energy levels were high, the music was bumping [maybe Wireless can learn a thing or two from here about how to make the music sound loud] and everyone involved seemed to having a load of fun. Whilst Derby’s Trinity won the UK event, big props need to be given out to Flow Mavericks and Ghetto Lowlifes.

The next day was just as hot and a little fuller and though many people’s minds were on the football [which you could gather by the number of people gathered round a tiny TV set] it seemed as though everyone was having a blast. Skate novice though I am, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the vert comp, especially Terence Bougdour who was absolutely killing it during the time I was watching and who I couldn’t believe didn’t win!

The breaking was the highlight of the day again for me though, with the international crews getting involved. From our position sitting right by the stage, we were able to see just how technically sound every single member of each crew was and it was amazing to be as close to the action as we were. The style of every battler was amazing, and I was particularly taken by one member of the Japanese crew in his proper old skool 80s steez including fat pink laces. But it was Denmark’s Natural Effects who took the title and their moves proved that no-one could challenge that decision. Big mention also to Mouse and Blanca for grabbing the 2 on 2 crown, absolutely wicked.

It was a great weekend for the breakdancing, with the UK representing to the fullest, and the music was absolutely banging, which made for a wicked atmosphere, loads of smiles and some definitively ill moves. If the event was as packed for all 3 days as it had been for the past few years, it would have been a phenomenal success. As it was, the lack of people meant that it felt like a little bit of an anti-climax.

[Photos by Jen Saul]

The Mix

The Mix – 01/06/06

Hello peeps, who knows what I might write today, I’m feeling a bit delicate from last night. That’s means; with my mind on autopilot, I could easily dazzle you with my raw talent produced without preparation, or I could bore you to death with some random pissed-up drizzle.

I tell you what, why don’t you send me some emails to let me know how you think it went after you’ve perused through the new releases. There are some beauties here too; a couple of which I believe will be on this month’s Crossfire radio Hip Hop show, so you can listen to them there.

I think we should start with…

Dr Rubberfunk
Riding With The Ratman (Single)
(Gps Recordings)

This cheeky little number is released on 12th June so keep your ears peeled! Here, the Dr has offered an appointment that we just can’t miss. Just for turning up you get handed to you, a prescription of undiluted, pure funk bedlam. Quickly following the recently released “Watch the Tables Turn“, this 7” and download only release has already been generating some whispers in the next mans ear. Whispers that have turned to mumbling, mumbling that has turned to……. & so on. You get the picture.

Riding with Ratman & Theme for a Latter-Day Lothario” are a nice plateful of proper funky shit. Both tracks are taken from the forthcoming Dr Rubberfunk album ‘My Life At 33’ and both will be available as downloads from your favourite sites; iTunes, Beathut, Karmadownload, Beatport etc etc … In fact, I get as much satisfaction out of this rather agreeable CD as when I used to get double chips at school, eat half in the queue, and pay for 1 portion. I got caught in the end though. But the beauty of it is, with these first rate tunes you can’t get into trouble.

Dr Rubberfunk’s debut album “The First Cut“, released in 2003, was admired from afar and saw him remix the likes of the Stereo MC’s, Skalpel, Bobby Hebb and the Dutch Rhythm Combo who were all very impressed with the Dr’s vibe, as am I. Yes, im feelin this one and im quite sure you will be too.

You can check out whats going on with Dr Rubberfunk at

Abstract Mindstate f. Common
Nostalgia (Single)
(4 The Soul Reciprocity)

Abstract Mindstate are a male/female rap duo Ice Gre and Ebony Poetress the Hellcat. These two have released quite a lot of tunes: five 12″ vinyl singles, one seven track EP, a full debut album, an unreleased album and two heavy mixtapes. Here we get a three track single that oozes originality, has some quite tight rhymes, nice bit of production and some very hard hitting beats.

Nostalgia” is something that is destined to hit the spot of anyone out there loving the American side of hip hop. Fans of Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Kanye West are going to love this slice of Chicago funky stuff. Featuring the legendary Common, this track floats along on a sweet, uplifting groove. A great track for B-boys and girls everywhere. You can buy it at

Verb-T & Harry Love
Bring It Back To Basics
(Silent Soundz)

Well, here we are! Two of my favourite artists brought together for a whole album! Ever since Verb-T did “Backhand Slap Talk” on Lowlife I was hooked. Verb. T from West London – first worked with Harry Love on the “Showbitchness” single from Low Life’s “Food” compilation and has featured on more recent releases from the Breakin’ Bread and Medication labels. And Harry Love is just a precision craftsman. I first knew of him when he was working on the Kung Fu nights. I think that’s me being a bit slow on the uptake there, but that’s what you get for living so far north. You have to find everything out yourself, no one tells you nuffin.

Anyway, “Bring It Back To Basics” takes you on some good highs and lows & can be quirky with intelligent lyrics or demonstrate some wizardry with rhymes. There are some decent guests on this album too, with Karizma, Yungun, Jehst, Kyza to name a few we’re sorted aren’t we! A track I have decided to point out is “4:30 am“. This track gives a real feeling that it is half four in the morning, I assume this track was written in the early hours of the morning. If you’re feeling chilled this masterpiece helps you to sink into that comfy seat even further. Well it’s track 6, have a listen. Buy it from if you like.

Sophie Johnson-Hill
A New Dawn
(Dealmaker Records)

Now, I’ve had this one for quite some time now but I had some mates round to have a blast on the old ones and twos, and as always people were using records I never use and pulling out little diamonds. This was one of those, and I’ve done a bit of research so I know my stuff as well.

A New Dawn” is not your run of the mill conventional hip hop track, I get the feeling it’s running along side next to it. The lyrics in “A New Dawn” are not for the faint hearted. Speaking out profoundly against some of the predetermined ways in which success in the music industry is selected, and how the media destroys an already saturated market with re-branded acts and artists they already know will sell. Take a look at the Black Eyed Peas or Big Brothers, and if anyone has seen or heard that tune by Daz Sampson then I hope you washed your ears out afterwards. How is that shit even allowed? I thought the media had gate keepers for offensive and inappropriate content. White, male, middle-aged, middle-class selective listening.

This music is right at the other end of the scale. Sophie Johnson-Hill worked through the streets of Nottingham along side Karizma and Out Da Ville, bringing with her some true soul and a completely different outlook and attitude.

I’m in to this approach, Even if I wasn’t so keen on the track (which I am) I would probably still buy it because of the basic philosophy of it…..Making music is for peoples enjoyment, not to make a shed load of cash. Ok, making cash is nice too. Yep, go & buy it at

This weeks sites and sounds: – Just waiting for the hip hop basement show to go on the site. I’ve heard it already top tracks crawling all over it – Making sweet beats – It’s my page! There are some good tunes and a tiny bit about me. – I bought a sweet t shirt from here

Yet another bit of amazing artwork:

Nice one! Ill see you in a bit.
Kris Drew

The Jektmosphere.

Another month, another mix. And this month, Crossfire HQ has been sponsored by Twix bars, so I’m writing this with chocolate round my face and a gut with a stack of empty wrappers on top. I could try and make a rapper/wrapper joke there, but I’m not nearly clever enough so instead I’ll just get on with the reviews as I have a fair few to get through this time round.

Big ups to Kris for recommending the Verb T / Harry Love album, that shit is absolute fire and anyone with a set of ears needs to grab a copy of it, belting stuff.

Underworld Epics
(Low Life Records)

We all know just how great Jehst is as a rapper. His EPs and album have sat firmly at the top of my favourites pile for ages as he constantly delivers well thought out and perfectly delivered rhymes. But now Jehst has decided that his rapping needs to take a back seat, especially since his last EP Nuke Proof Suit came out not too long ago, and on this record, it’s all about showcasing his beats with numerous rappers coming in to give the vocals their personal touch.

The opening track, and lead single from the album, Dunya, features Jehst’s lowlife labelmate Micall Parknsun which sees the Working Class Dad hit it with a heavy flow as the eastern-tinged strings layer themselves over some pounding drums. Verb T turns up on Tempa Tempa which is one of the best tracks on the whole CD, his laid back delivery fitting the chilled out bassy beat laid out for him. Following that we have a new beat for the Money In The Bank remix by Asaviour featuring Kyza and Yungun. Now, I love the original beat, but I can’t help but love the new version too, a party beat with dance-inducing horns chirping.

With appearances by Kashmere, Supa T, Rodney P [on a belting remix of The Future], more Kyza and Asaviour, you know that the lyrical content and prowess of the rappers over the beats are never going to slip below the high level that Verb T brought to the plate. But the standout track on the second half of the album is Sir Smurf Lil’s vocals on Listen. The soft drums and soul sampled track fits perfectly with his delivery and cements Jehst’s place as a world class producer. Totally on point.

Killa Jewel
The Official Misstape Vol 1
(Triple Five Soul Sponsored)

This Canadian DJ has put together a brilliantly compiled mixtape here which kicks off with a bouncy scratch-fest of an intro before launching itself into tracks from the likes of DITC, Gangstarr, Non Phixion, Zion I, A Tribe Called Quest and many more. What’s impressive about this mixtape is that not only does it host a plethora of big tracks, it slides seamlessly from one to the next, the major ingredient of a mixtape.

Killa Jewel has proved she has a great ear for a tune and whether she’s mixing or scratching, you can tell she knows exactly what she’s after and the result is a podium finisher of a CD. The stand out tracks she uses for me are Scritti Politti’s Tinseltown To The Boogiedown, Freaky Flow by Special Ed, Eternia’s Spring Fever [which features a nice mix of cut up samples from Jewel] and the banging in-your-face delivery of Non Phixion’s It’s Us.

Native Guns
Barrel Men
(Self Released)

I came across these guys due to one of the tracks on this album being produced by Blue Scholars/Common Market producer/DJ Sabzi and I’m delighted that I did. This album is one that you wanna put on your stereo when you’re burning your food on the BBQ in the sun and pump the beats out loud as hell to piss the neighbours off. From the staccato bleeping beat of Champion, you’re banging that head and pumping your fist as MCs Kiwi and Bambu narrate their stories over the jumping beat.

But the production on the album switches up numerous times showing their ability to rap over differing types of hip hop. The lacy strings on Hammer allows the rappers to spit faster as they ride over the looping harp sounds whilst the soul sampled Treason gives them the chance to plod over the soft shoe shuffling music. When Typical Cats’ Denizen Kane appears on Slave Thinking, I knew I was gonna dig it, as I’m a big fan of his, but Native Guns step up to the plate and throw down the gauntlet to their guest star.

By the time 1995 comes on, the Sabzi produced joint, the latino flavour spills through as Kiwi and Bambu rap about how they came across hip hop, writing bars with their mum’s hello kitty stationary and listening to NWA beats. You’ll get to the end track, the bumping Get Down and you’ll immediately want to reload the album and listen again. This is hot.

Marvin The Martian
Hoods And Badges EP

Going solo from his WhyLout? Crew, Brixton’s Marvin The Martian has gained notoriety lately for pioneering the “grindie” scene. But ignore all that bollocks, and just sit back and enjoy this slice of grime. The track which was labelled “grindie” is Stay Off The Kane, which samples Art Brut, and its just that, a grime song with a sample. So if you don’t want to hear what you think NME will be sucking off, don’t worry, this is still a belting track.

Before that, the lead off track I Don’t Go [Alone] is a catchy little number which sees Marvin rapping frankly about how his life is going, humble and very interesting as a high pitched sample winds behind him. His delivery isn’t as raw as the grime MCs I’m used to hearing but that’s to his credit as he sounds a lot more polished, in the vein of Kano. The second track on the 3 track EP samples a motorbike. You heard me, a motorbike. It’s a fantastic track as the bass pumps the shit out of your speakers which takes you on a ride around Brixton. As a local to that manor, I can’t help but like it and, having heard his mixtape, I reckon Marv is gonna be the next big crossover name to watch out for.

Slum Village
Fan-Tas-Tic Vol 1
(Scenario Records)

The untimely death of super-producer J-Dilla earlier this year hit the hip hop community hard. His influence spread throughout the hip hop world and his laid back beats inspired many great groups, including The Pharcyde who said at their last London show that if it wasn’t for Jay Dee, they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing right now. High praise indeed.

All proceeds of the record Fan-Tas-Tic Vol 1 will go to the fund established by Jay Dee’s mother during his illness and it is an album that all Slum Village and Jay Dee fans will love. The typically smooth beats surround the vocals with that evening vibe that was always their sound, and provides the backdrop to the 24 tracks [which includes some remixes].

Kick back and chill, this one goes out to James Yancey. RIP.

Order Of Operations
(Scenario Records)

Lushlife got big from his West Sounds mash up, following in the footsteps of DangerMouse’s Grey Album, when he mixed Kanye West with the Beach Boys. Now, in my eyes mixing something as beautiful as the Beach Boys with something as shit as Kanye West is a travesty and he needed to really bring his game to change my opinion of him when he released his album proper.

To be honest, this album doesn’t appeal to me a great deal, but that said, it does have things which would definitely get people interested. It’s a jazzy hip hop album with chilled out beats, piano samples and some laid back summery vibes on there. The title track is a nice standout point on the album, with an off kilter electronic sample and some smokey sounding drums and The Day The Universe Changed is a nice switch up with fuzzy busy beats bounding around a faster delivery.

So that’s the music for this month and so I move onto the art section of my update. This month we’re getting stickers by a very talented guy called Gav Strange, who heads up Xynthetic, a company that designs custom made skateboards amongst other things. The stickers are something of a hobby for Gav but they are fun little monsters and all seem to have their own characteristics, giving them a life of their own when he sticks them around. Make sure you check out his site here and have a butcher’s at his doodles, much fun to be had there.

Ok people, that’s your lot. As ever, if you want to get in touch or want me to hear your music to feature it in another Mix update, then feel free to email me from the address at the bottom of the page. I love getting emails and you wouldn’t want me to get sad now would you? Until next time, peace.


The Mix

The Mix – 08/05/06

We’re back, it’s that time again and Kris Drew and Abjekt are here to deliver you the latest in Hip Hop from around the world.

Today has started off to be a good day. The sun is shining and I won twenty quid on a scratch card. Although that’s not very much, I never buy them so that’s a right little treat for me. I can buy a new couple of records for nothing. Now this month I’d like to introduce you to Red Bull Music Academy if you don’t already know about it, this might be something right up your street. The Red Bull Music Academy brings together DJ’s and music producers from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds to exchange their ideas about music and their knowledge of how life in the music industry works.

It’s basically a two week course in which you can cover all major aspects of DJ culture, including music history, technology and production, business and skills. They invite a variety of accomplished international guests – from industry movers and shakers to pirate radio station operators, from turntablists to sonic theorists. It’s all pretty damn cool really. If this sounds like something for you click on this link:

Now there are some crazy questions on the application form and it does take a good few hours to fill in, but if you really want something you should put in a little effort. You’ve got until 3rd June 2006. Get on it!

On with the tunes:


Now this is Us3′s fifth album, I first heard of them about a year ago. “Schizophonic” retains the quality I originally listened to when that first CD was passed to me. Developing on the groups enormous 50-date/14 country European tour last year, this album is an energetic, wild and up-tempo affair returning to the task of fitting pieces of live jazz and hip hop beats together.

Akil Dasan provides us with the raps and rhymes throughout the CD. He describes himself as an African-Judaic of multiple ethnicities and cultures, referring to Stevie Wonder, The Roots, D’Angelo, & Mos Def as main influences.

Schizophonic” bound from the Brazillian samba school sampling “Kick This”, to the lyrical hip hop sarcasm of “Huff & Puff”, through the 60’s soul-jazz vibe of “Girls U Like”, to the furious jazz drums & monk-like piano of “Get Busy”. This album could easily attract people from all walks of life, so if you like tunes with a difference go and get this one when you can. It is released on 5th June; keep up to date by looking at This way you’ll be able to check out some of their past albums and be ready to buy the new one as soon as it’s released.

Swift It Major
“Road Work Mix CD”

The UK stands wobbly kneed under Swift It Major’s pressure! With production from Maguyver (KJB Records) and Chino (FMP). This mix-tape is being circulated within the industry, but it has brought out to prep you rowdy lot for the soon to come video of “13 Years On“. Swift is 25 years of age coming from North West London, training and meditating now for a good 2 years and has finally perfected his own style which now is ready to be shared with the rest of the world.

Swift It Major AKA Rob Swift has been rhyming seriously for a few years now. Once a member of the SBK sound, swift developed his sharp style of rhyming by dabbling in Garage bars with fellow MCs Ruma Doobz, AMT and QT2Hype. Breidgen Paradise (former 57th Dynasty) birthed TGSMP and out of the blue decided to put Swift It Major on the track “UP2US“. Major’s second stab at the verse earned him the chance to feature on other tracks and eventually became a permanent member of the TGSMP camp. You can find out much more at There are 4 tracks on there for you to listen to and make your own judgments.

Spida Lee
“Verbal Assassin” [Single]
[Rubicon Records]

Straight out of Huddersfield comes an emerging new talent, Spida Lee, ready to deliver a mighty onslaught of kick ass beats and rhymes with his brand spanking new single, “Verbal Assassin” taken from his forthcoming debut album on Rubicon beat. This tune is a hard hitting Northern hip hop track, with a strong UK emphasis. The catchy chorus and crisp production by the beat butcher, along with a sinister circular synth refrain, underpins Spida Lee’s debut single.

Building up popular support in the north of England and supporting acts such as Skinnyman (who makes a cameo appearance on his new video) the progress made by Spida Lee from Huddersfield to national release is proof of his ability. Having featured in Invincible magazine and rewind magazine, the Rubicon Beat label and it’s artists are increasingly raising their profile. You can check out the label’s website – It’s a pretty funky website with good images and decent snippets of music from some of the labels artists.

Departure Lounge Volume 1
[Dealmaker Records]

It’s been a long road, but its here at last! Here it is straight outta Nottingham. Over 18 months in the making, The Departure Lounge represents the sounds of the underground, floating through jazz, funk and electro beats, but all the while coming at you with a conscious Hip-Hop undertone. The album is a 14 track compilation CD with input from the likes of Karizma, Sophie Johnson-Hill and Lost Project. How could you possibly go wrong!!??

The style’s aimed at more of a live based soundscape and works in juxtaposition with the UK Duty Paid series of releases, showing the more chilled, laid back side to the labels identity. The Departure Lounge also represents Dealmaker Records as a whole, and provides a benchmark of where they’re at now as a label as well as reflect where they’ve come from. This album was released on the 24th April so it’s quite a newby and there are some great tracks on this bad boy.

This month’s sites and sounds: This is the best Myspace profile I have seen yet. Full of videos and tunes you can listen to, perfect if you’re bored at work. – Ok not strictly hip hop but there are some elements in there. Just good music all around, a brilliant label. – Some funky shit on some of his albums – Basic site but there’s some good tunes on there if you have a good look.

Right that’s it for me this time we’ll be back with another installment of great music very soon. Until then…

Kris Drew

The Jektmosphere

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years… well, months. Whatever, the Mix is back and this time round I have a nice mixture of things for you all to check out. UK stuff, reggae laced hip hop, chill out stuff, the lot. First off I wanna big up my interviews with Akala and Ugly Duckling, which you should check out if you haven’t already. They’re all great guys and a podcast of the UD interview will be up on the site very shortly. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new hip hop radio show!

The new Atmosphere video, for the single Say Hey There, was premiered recently and it is a belting video for an awesome track. With appearances from producer Ant and Ohio native Blueprint, you can’t really go wrong. It has a bunch of semi-naked women in it too, so pimp it by clicking right here.

Ok, on with the show:

Its Not A Rumour
[Illastate] /

From the moment the crunching intro of Stand Up kicks in, you know this is going to be a UK hip hop album that’s a little bit different. Akala is a bright new star who isn’t scared to mix things up a bit and he does it right from the off on his debut album. Guitar licks provide a fair slice of the output on this release and he raps with ease and precision over them all with clever and socially aware lyrical content.

But it’s not all social commentary on the album, Akala still has time to rinse lines like “I’m off the scale like Hampstead house prices” and other gems, as he tackles all sorts of issues and throws in some nice bragadocia for good measure. The stand out songs on the album might be obvious choices, but they are quality and I can’t help but big them up.

The Edge has a catchy guitar hook with a nice bouncy beat and the sublime vocals of Niara, Bullshit the brilliant single that got him the recognition he deserved with its forthright views and piano samples, Shakespeare with his fuzzing beat and sharp almost grime-like snare claps and This Is London, where he raps over a sample of London Calling. It’s not what you’d expect to hear on a hip hop album, but its to his credit that it doesn’t sound out of place at all. A wicked release.

The Borrowed Ladder

For a while now, Asaviour has been known as Jehst’s hype man, a good presence on stage but no-one really knew if he could transfer it onto a long player. His Savoir Faire EP was hot, but it only had a few tracks on it, so the mystery continued. Well let that question be answered with this release, because it’s a banger of epic proportions. The lead single, So Northern, which he produced himself and which features Braintax on the chorus is a chunky beat which its impossible not to bop to, as he shouts out his up north crew.

Jehst produced Bangers N Mash is another class joint as the low piano notes and busy throbbing beat gives the perfect canvas on which to let Asaviour loose. His distinctive voice blasts out brilliant dialogue with carefree abandon as he trades it with Micall Parknsun. My favourite track is another heavy track, Findaz Keepaz, which features Jehst as the two throw it back and forth over the dirtiest of beats and not once does Asaviour come across as the lesser MC.

He can mix it up as well though, as he raps over more chilled beats like the Evil Ed produced Field of Dreams, Ghost’s beat on Borrowed Ladder and Gameface which Asaviour laced himself. He’s even good enough to include a remix of Money In The Bank with Kyza and Yungun guesting. I knew Asaviour was good, but this is the biggest surprise hit of the year so far for me, he’s showed he’s not just a hype man, he’s part of the elite and he’s done it in style.

Alias & Tarsier
Brookland Oaklyn
[Anticon] /

Alias has always been one of the most progressive and musical members of the Anticon clan, and his teaming up with vocalist Rona Rapadas [Tarsier] has taken him to yet another level of musicality. But whilst other Anticon members [Jel aside] move further and further leftfield at the expense of melody, Alias’ floating atmospherics always draw the listener in for Tariser’s beautifully vocals move you into a twilight state of mind.

In fact, Tarsier’s vocals are sometimes reminiscent of Bjork’s, when the Icelandic phenomenon was being less brazen and more sombre. Her perfectly soothing singing is juxtaposed with Alias’ fast paced delivery on Last Nail and is a prime example of how their differing styles blend so well over whichever beat Alias has cooked up.

Even the nasal vocals of Dose One, which usually force me to skip a track [or entire album] can’t take away from the staccato canvas painted by Alias on Luck And Fear and the mood changes up for the end of the album with the final couple of tracks, Picking The Same Lock and Ligaya chilling out a little and moving to the more orthodox hip hop stylings that Alias brought us on his solo work. You want to kick back on a Sunday evening and let it all wash over you? Stick this on your stereo.

Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines [Single]
[Ninja Tune]

The people over at Ninja Tune have done it again and released a belting single courtesy of ZeroDB with a little vocal help from Pase Rock [of Five Deez fame] on the flip side’s Know What I’m Saying. Rocking the shuffling drums and tinkling pianos, the double bass kicks its way over brass samples as the undeniably booty-shaking fuzz gets to work.

The A side is a more jazzy affair but also has shuffling drums, some nice cymbal work and a head splitting bassline. The vocals ask “Are you swinging? Are you swaying?” and after 30 seconds of this track, if the answer is no, you must be deaf. If this is anything to go by, the album will be awesome.

Killa Kela
Secrets [Single]

So we all know Killa Kela is nuts when he’s kicking his beatbox antics on the mic, but can he cut it on the singing tip well enough to be taken seriously as a singer? Secrets, his new single, gives us a positive answer. The strings pluck and wind themselves around his high voice and compliment it perfectly. The chorus is one of those choruses that you’ll be singing whilst making yourself a cuppa a few hours later.

Kela’s singing voice isn’t what you might expect if you’ve only heard his beatbox but it doesn’t sound out of place at all and he even finds time to rinse out a little human turntablism just to bring in his more famous talent. The single features remixes from Wiley and Adam Freeland which bring in a bit of grime and more dance club feel to the track. Good stuff indeed.

Youth [Single]

Matisyahu is getting a load of press at the moment, being unique in his background and music. A Hasidic Jew, he’s moulded his own form of reggae, bringing in elements of hip hop to get his spiritual message across. Now, I’ve never been a fan of reggae, but Matisyahu has that something extra about him, and this single, taken from the album with the same name is a perfect example.

Rolling drums and a really uplifting melody with liquid guitars, the singer sends out a message to the youth of the world that they can make a difference if they grasp what’s in front of them and be pro-active. A great message and a brilliant song, this one is going to be on fire in the next few months.

Right, as always before I leave I’m gonna pimp some street art your way. This is something that was done in New Zealand where a shadow of a tree was painted next to a lampost to raise awareness of the environment, done by the Auckland Regional Council. Nice to see the council actually promoting and using street art as opposed to the usual close-mindedness we get from painting over graffiti and stickers.

That’s it from me for the time being, I hope you dig what you’re heard from this page, and remember to always drop me an email if there’s something you particularly like or want more info on. I’m happy to help out any way I can. If you want to send me anything, then hit me up also and we can sort something out. The address to get in touch with me is so get typing!



The Mix

The Mix – 03/04/06

Fisrt things first, if you have not had a go on our Hip Hip Radio Show then click the image below as you could be listening to this as you read The Mix.

Also, look out for an exclusive podcast interview this month with Long Beach party trio Ugly Duckling.

It’s that time again, because there are so many singles and albums being released at the moment we thought we should blast out another episode of the Mix to keep you lot up to date with what’s hot and what’s not.

Myself, I’ve gone for the tunes that are a little harder to find. I thought I would outline some tunes that may have just passed you by if you weren’t looking in the right places. But yes, we do have some treats for you and im sure you’ll agree, there are some hidden gems out there.

Drop me a line if you know of some tunes that you think deserve a mention and we’ll make sure they stay in the Crossfire archives so people can find out more whenever they wish. Yep, it’s me Kris Drew going for it once more and letting you know what you’re missing. Get in!

Relik and Whitey
What Makes Us
(RelikandWhitey Productions)

Now this sweet little track comes to us from Whitey (matey on the rhymes) and Relik (the producer) on an album that is soon to hit the shelves of any decent, self respecting music establishment in your area.

Their recently completed album “Lost In Sentences” has brought us a track.

You can download this tune or just stream it from just to give you a sneak preview of what’s to come.

10 Shott
Ghetto Brick Road
(Wolftown Recordings)

I’ve picked out this album mainly because of one particular track. Well, actually it’s a track that’s in two separate parts on the album. “Guy inside the ghetto – part one and part two“. As some of you may know I’m well into my story telling tunes (a bit of thought never hurt anyone) and this tune is just that. As you might guess its about a guy inside a ghetto.

Good story this one, Matey starts off well, or at least looks as if he is. But issues in his head start the change the way he lives and things start to go wrong. Then things just go completely wrong. There are some damn good flows in these two tracks and some good use of description so you can picture the scene going on in your head. Proper visual shit.

This album has got a different sound to it to most conventional hip hop albums. It has a rugged, raw sound to it. No commercial shiznit on this album. It’s got fat beats that just make you feel dirty after hearing ’em and some top rhymes throughout. No high pitched woman singing the hook on fast forward, which im sure we’re all bored of by now.

Good album, Get it from
If you want to know more about this mail me at I’ve got some extra info if you want it.

Foreign Beggars ft Ohno & Dubbledge
Slow Broiled Ilk

Yep they’re back with another killer “Slow Broiled Ilk” is a heavy, dance floor rockin’ tune that makes you nod your head until you’ve neck ache. Hard hittin’ rhymes and a pretty catchy hook that links the verses seamlessly together make the tune an all round remarkable and notable one. Sweet as. As usual the b-sides to this release are also spot on; you always get your money’s worth with the Beggars.

Dented Records have themselves one of the best hip hop groups (for want of a better way to put it) in Britain. Immense quality comes from each track, they move with the times and display insane skills with each release. Catch up with them if you haven’t already. You can get this single from these two places, and here they are: ,

Baby J f. Laurissa
Shade One
Baby J Enterprises

This single is from the recently released Baby J Presents…..F.T.P album. Which I have to say is full of treats for the people out there that like to hear decent collaborations with British artists. “Let Them Know” is one of those feel good, bouncy summer tracks. Ok it’s not summer yet but it’s still good to have blastin’ out of your car on a sunny day. There’s some good, in-depth production happening here!

This is a track about getting back into the hip hop game and realising or remembering how sweet this scene really is. This track gave me a good sense of thinking hard about what we do. After doing this kind of thing for years you can easily forget how good something is, but taking a step back and looking properly can really sort you out. There’s some proper head nodding when this track gets played out in our local bars. You’ll just love this track if you’re in a good mood.

You can get hold of this from and Get with it crew, you’ll think this is a top tune.

This week’s sites and sounds: – MC Tempo – Delarge – you should all know this one, if not, check it out – The home of Mark B

A touch of paint I saw somewhere near the Sonar festival last year:

Peace! Take it easy until next time…

Kris Drew

The Jektmosphere

Finally, spring is here! Alright, so that only means we’ve swapped freezing cold temperatures for rain, but that’s a step closer to sun and the summer right? No? Well then I guess I should stop talking about the weather and get on with my recommendations for this edition of The Mix.

Before the recommendations begin I just want to throw in a little link for everyone to follow which takes you to the new Asaviour video for “So Northern” which features Braintax on the chorus and a host of well known faces in the video. Asaviour’s album is out on Lowlife right now and if this song is anything to go by, it’s going to be an absolute banger. You can find the video here. Big ups to for putting it up.

Spank Rock
(Big Dada)

The first album I’m gonna recommend this week is the debut album from Baltimore’s Spank Rock who have already started making waves through funky live shows and brilliant single Sweet Talk. This album beings as it means to go on with Backyard Betty, a track about an “ass-shaking competition champ”, which booms out a huge bass line and electro mayhem as MC Spank Rock’s high pitched vocals dissect the beat with a nice mixture of fun and filth.

Another single taken from the album was Rick Rubin which has another big bass line but this time brings rapid staccato drums which are layered with a brilliantly body rocking fuzz and some pure old school percussion sounds. XXXchange‘s beats and MC Spank Rock’s vocals once again mix in brilliantly.

But it is Sweet Talk that really takes over the album. From the opening “Tap that ass” repeating over until the short strums of a guitar filter in, you know you’re going to be dancing in no time. This song is as funky as James Brown’s unwashed thong and delivers just what the frontman promises when he says he’ll “fuck you up like a percocet”. This is a brilliant debut album and if you want to get down to pure funk and unadulterated filthy beats, then make sure you check this lot out. /

Sound Mirrors
(Ninja Tune)

Coldcut are back, and basically they return with a hell of an album. This is another one of those albums which has such a variation, that you could worry that it would end up just being too jumbled, but to their ultimate credit, they’ve managed to bring an album that is diverse but seamless. The ever listenable Roots Manuva turns up on True Skool which features hand claps, a taste of the East with tablas and Indian style singing in the backdrop collected together with a a bumping bassline.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes is on some Massive Attack style tip with a beautiful soundscape of strings and a majestically sweeping backdrop as Robert Owens’ smooth voice weaves in and out of the beat through the verse and floats over the chorus. This track is definitely one you need to listen to a few times just so you can pick out all the details and really get a feel for how brilliantly it has been constructed.

Finally, Island Earth is another example of the variety on the album. A deep thumping bassline bumps underneath Mpho Skeef’s vocals which show how a lovely voice needn’t be wasted on tuneless RnB as a piano chimes in and the Coldcut boys cut and paste a late night warehouse dance vibe into the mix. On top of all this, the packaging the CD comes in is absolutely wicked, and you should get the CD for that, even before being blown away by the music. /

Sharkey’s Machine

Washington producer and DJ Sharkey brings about a good album with this release which boasts a plethora of big name guest spots and it is the second track on the album which features the first of these as Cannibal Ox appear on Fuzz. Never has there been a more apt title for a song as the fuzzy sound dribbles in before unleashing a beast of a beat which provides Vast Aire’s mouth-half-full delivery with a banging backdrop to rap over.

Jean Grae’s guest spot on the album comes in the form of Summer In The City [Lovin’ It] which is a homage to New York over the bounciest of beats. The horns and ska-style sampled drums compliment Grae’s rapping, which seems as fun loving as the title would suggest. Skank, bop or headnod, it doesn’t matter, this track makes you move and that’s why it’s absolutely top notch.

A Typical Day In Sunny Washington, DC is the third track which really grabbed my attention as the understated washboard scratch percussion is accompanied by happy brass melodies and booty shaking beat for The Graykid to sing about sitting in the hotspot and making me wish I wasn’t looking out of the window at another dreary grey afternoon. /

Common Market
Common Market
(Sciontific Records)

Seattle’s Common Market are MC Ra Scion and producer/DJ Sabzi, who is also the beatmaker for feel good hip hop group Blue Scholars. He doesn’t let up from the happy sounding music on this project either and that’s the main reason why this album is well worth picking up.

From the very first track, Re Fresh, the horns and vocal choir sample filter in and Ra Scion’s high pitched voice brings a flawless old school style sound helps the track set the scene for the rest of the album. Immediately bringing a smile to your face, this song not only delivers brilliant music but heartfelt and thought provoking lyrics, it’s no wonder KRS-1 has taken time out to big up this group.

G?Dang Diggy brings in that ol’ dusty sounding snare with more horns and more vocal backup and arguably the catchiest chorus on the entire album [which is no mean feat, believe me]. The line “some of you emcees would make better actors” sums up the mainstream rap game in one simple sentence and it’s this ability to get a message across in such a fluent yet easy way that makes Scion’s wordplay stand out.

My Pathology is the track I’ve bumped the most on this album though, because I just can’t get enough of the bluesy guitar riff that opens the track and then strums its way throughout the entire song, as the chilled snare snaps mark out the time for Scion’s verbals. I’m really impressed that even when Scion has something really close to his heart to say, he does it in a way that never even borders on angry or rough and that compliments the beats really well. A great album this one. /

Dr Rubberfunk
Watch The Tables Turn (Single)
GPS Recordings

A nice jazzy number this one with the vocal talents of Sara J from Dr Rubberfunk which is the first single of his upcoming second album. The producer, who has done a bunch of remixes for the likes of Skalpel and the Stereo MCs brings in the kick and the snare with funky results as the 70s style guitar floats around, as if Huggy Bear was about to come in a knock heads.

Some nice remixes of the track on the single too, with the Beat-A-Pella version heightening the drums and doing away with the guitar and the melody from the original. The beatbox backdrop which drops in every now and then over the ride cymbals is certainly a nice touch and delivers an equal, if not better, result than the 12″ version.

Gotan Project
Diferente (Single)
XL Recordings

So finally for the music this time round we have an Argentine, a Frenchman and a native of Switzerland on the beats. Now, this might not strictly speaking be hip hop, but as soon as I heard it I loved it and vowed to put it in the Mix to share with you guys. It has a very South American flavour to it in terms of vocals and the melody but it’s the beat that undercuts it that gives it that fully rounded feel.

Pianos and strings work together brilliantly over the sublime vocals of Cristina Vilallonga and bring about the typical feel of the old tango songs from Argentina, but also introduce a further modern element and really give you the urge to get up and dance around your room. /

Instead of having a photo or graf this week, I’m going to big up the talents of Mike Kjolhaug, a wicked artist who is influenced by underground hip hop artists such as Slug and Eyedea. His pretty unique flavour of art brings little demons, angels, goblins and all sorts to the forefront with wicked colour and mischievous mannerisms.

To the left you can see a little sample of his work, a piece of work I’m particularly fond of and you can check out the rest of his stuff over at his website, which is: with the online store to buy stuff found at which includes a run of clothing featuring his designs also, something you all need to check out. Inventive and fun, this guy is doing it fresher than most. Wicked stuff.

Well, that’s it for me for this time round, I’m going to carry on bumping hip hop, annoying the neighbours with the noise levels and generally being nuisance to anyone who doesn’t like hip hop. As ever, if you have anything to send me I’d be delighted to get it and if you have comments on what I’ve written then please do get in touch.

Until next time, get those heads nodding.



The Mix

The Mix – 14/03/06

Welcome, once again, to the Mix. Spring is just around the corner, though still very cold up here in the north but the sun does keep making an appearance on most days…… Always good to kick off with a little rant about the weather! It’s been a good month for new releases, must be people biting the bullet and getting back into work after the festive season. There’s a big bad bunch of British 12″s, Lp’s, 7″s and CD’s surrounding me in my office at the minute; some are superb! They will be praised and promoted by many im sure of it. Some are absolute turd and just won’t get a mention from anyone if my keen UK ear serves me correctly. Well, on with some of the superb ones.

The Butterfly Effect


First up is someone I have been hearing about a lot lately. We have already visited the singles released from this album late last year. But since the Album has just been released I thought it was well worth a visit. I am fond of almost any music coming out of Notts, even the craziest drum and bass I’ve heard in years. There are a lot of grafters putting their life and soul into this shit which gives the music a solid authenticity. C-Mone demonstrates her hard work with the release of a top quality album with a collection of mind-blowing skills, some down to earth hard hitting home truths and a generous helping of C-Mones’ upbringing – which cleverly lets you take a step into her life, and life in and around Nottingham. Some of which I can largely relate to, having lived there for a good part of my life. Probably the best part up to now. The Album features some of the best guests I could think of to invite. These include; Pariz 1, Cappo, Matic, Smiley, Cizzi Grim Pijin & Midnyte, with production by Nick Stez, Marga Boyz, DJ Fever, P Brothers, and Smiley’s Ill-Mannered Productions. What a line up!

The few tracks I’ve picked from this album are in order of preference “The Magnificent 7” is a great track with some heavy beats. You can just hear P Brothers all over this one. Some hot beats here. Check each verse as different artists explode into action displaying some mad skills and timing. The next track on the CD is “Inside Out” and it is a beauty. Some nice flows in this one and I just think that accent lashes out ruthless words like the crack of a whip! And of course track 5 “Second After Second” as I’ve already said is a very intelligent track on my review of the single.
Check this mutha out at or you can have a listen at any of these sites.

MC Elemental vs Digital Midgets

Next up is a freebee for all you peeps that are skint, and its well worth the download I promise you. This is another one from MC Elemental down in Brighton. He is working on three different albums at the moment a solo, a new menagerie and a project with the Lo Fi All-stars. This one is a massive mix (an hour or so long) with Digital Midgets remixes, Menagerie, Dr Syntax, Monkey Sons and a few others. It’s a crazy mix up of all sorts of funky, electrical, mashed beats and rhymes, kind of an Aphex Twin blast at a hip hop CD. Those of you that went out and bought the Menagerie album “Wild Kingdom” will recognise some lyrics from that over some much more experimental beats. Yep, I like it and I reckon that you will. Check this lot out, they’ve got a good sense of humour, something we all need in these hard times or whatever. No guns, six fours with chromes, nines and clips, or any of that bullshhhhh…
These are the instructions I was given to get hold of this little treasure.

Get on this:
1) Wait 45 seconds
2) Close advertising pop-up that covers the download tab
3) Download
4) Jump around to top tunes :) … or something like that.

Kids In Tracksuits
Get Your Kit On

(Dealmaker Records)

Here we have it! The new Kids in Tracksuits limited 7″ EP “Get your KIT on“. This selection of three tracks is very innovative, much different to your usual mix tape style of cutting beats, throwing in some samples and scratching over the top. From listening to the 3 tracks you can hear the time and effort that has gone into putting this 7” together. There has been plenty of planning and organising the order of each cut, sample and the wild scratching that blends in with each tune. Definitely worth the buy.

There are 3 tracks on the EP 1) Uprock Theme, 2) Rock and Roll, 3) Get Your KIT on. My personal favourite is Rock and Roll, just listen to the scratching rip shit out of the old skool beats.
I haven’t seen Kids in Tracksuits live yet but im sure it will be a real treat when I finally get there. Have a look at to find out more.

If you’re about any of these venues you should come check a Kids live show —

Nottingham – 17th March @ The Rescue Rooms
London – 20th March @ 93 Feet East
Nottingham – 24th March @ The Social
Nottingham – 21st April @ The Rescue Rooms
Sheffield – 22nd April @ The Plug

This week’s sites and sounds:

And yet another bit of work I saw on my travels:

That’s that for me, I’ve had a crazy week this week. Ill see you lot soon. Take it easy.

Kris Drew

The Jektmosphere

Welcome back to another update from Tyrannosaurus Jekt. Once again I’m here to bring you the best of the stuff I’ve heard since I last updated and recommend you some tasty morsels that I’m sure will go down well with whatever intoxicating beverage you’re currently supping on. Right, on with the show:

Gnarls Barkley
St Elsewhere Sampler

(Downtown Recordings)

Biggest buzz and hype of 2006 has to go, without a doubt, to the new Danger Mouse project Gnarls Barkley, where he teams up with Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo who blew it up on the Danger Doom track Benzi-Box. Usually much hyped groups can only disappoint after all the expectation placed on their shoulders, but Gnarls is an exception, bringing out some awesome tracks that will have even the most miserable of grouches breaking out into dance.

The first single, Crazy, is being whored all over the radio with good reason, with the plodding drums being sung over by Cee-Lo, who you can imagine beaming in the studio as he belts out his vocals. Go Go Gadget Gospel, a track which can be heard over on their myspace page, has a superb rolling piano loop running up and down alongside one of the most catchy brass sections I’ve heard before hitting the ears with a choir’s backing. It lifts you up, spins you round and drops you in a cassock so you can be clapping and praising everyone along to the music.

Gone Daddy Gone has a nice 80s feel to it, with staccato electro beats and a fuzzy guitar loop in the chorus. Cee-Lo’s high voice plays well alongside the Blondie-esque vibe and shows yet another side to Danger Mouse’s brilliant production. Even when the mood turns to a rainy night vibe, and Cee-Lo sings about “naughty necrophilia” you still sway with the beat and appreciate just how well the two sides of the group work together. You even get the luxury of hearing a dirty bluesy guitar number being sampled underneath some fuzzy drums which breaks into a faster rhythm for the chorus, again perfectly complimenting Cee-Lo’s sung parts.

Danger Mouse was first known for his mash up of The Beatles, but now his production is so strong and fun that all HE needs is love. And after hearing this album, trust me, you’ll be aching to give him yours. /

Soft Money


This is something you won’t see very often – Abjekt bigging up a release from Anticon. Whilst the West Coast label has moved further and further away from hip hop, Jeffrey Logan, whose production credits can be found on the seminal hip hop album Lucy Ford [by Atmosphere], has dragged the Ant-fronted label back into the sphere of the genre. His previous work had been excellent, but this new album takes him to an entirely higher level and proves why he is the shining light of the label.

All Day Breakfast brings in flavour from the East, with a dreamy melody that evokes images of a sunset on an island off India, with busy drums rattling around an almost chanting use of instruments. All Around brings in a fuzzy atmosphere which supplants military drums underneath a spoken sample before rolling in with a distorted underscore as the spoken sample turns into a head turning singing part.

Jel always keeps his listeners on their toes and from the scratching and staccato rapping in Trashin to beautifully late night feel of Know You Don’t, there is always a switch up which will surprise you, which will leave you guessing but which will ultimately have you nodding your head in approval, knowing full well that Jel has plenty more tricks up his sleeve, but that each trick will be worth the wait.

The more orthodox hip hop tracks, such as WMD, don’t feel out of place amongst his instrumentals as he is able to work his complex techniques around the raps without compromising the sound he has built up throughout the course of the album.

Jel uses everything on this album. Dark beats, happy beats, twanging guitar samples [Sweet Cream In It is arguably the track of the album] and even sped up samples which sound exactly as the song title Chipmunk Technique would have you imagine bring a full and complete touch to Soft Money. You want it? Jel’s got it. This feels like its going to be up there with the best instrumental albums I’ve heard, it really is that good. /

The Joe Beats Experiment
Indie Rock Blues


Joe Beats, most famous for his brilliant production with the Sage Francis fronted Non Prophets [on their excellent album Hope], has done something I didn’t think anyone would do. He’s gotten me to listen to Indie. And not the Indie you find in the NME, but the stuff that you have to dig around to find. The album is described on his own site as “Danceable melancholia for the depressed” and that is as apt a description as I’ve ever read. From the opening track, M Ward’s Sad, Sad Song, you know that this isn’t going to be a party record, but at the same time, Joe is able to manipulate the song so that you still find yourself moving your head in time with the beat.

The best track on the album for me, and one that I always put on repeat is his remix of The Black Heart Procession’s When We Reach The Hill. The guitar sample is a hook which pulls you in and the floating vocals trap you inside the song and, whilst this makes for a great track anyway, it’s the drums and percussion which make the song stand out. It gives the entire piece an uplifting feel and if I didn’t know this was a remix of another song, I’d have believe it to be a straight up underground hip hop record.

Whilst I haven’t listened to many of the originals of the tracks that Joey uses on this album, I am assuming that they do sound very different to the articles that appear on this cd. But regardless, the drums on every single song show such a brilliant variety and depth that you appreciate the arrangement and production on this album hugely, whether or not you’ve heard the original. Not once do the drums feel out of place around the vocals or melody they are coupled with.

As Songs:Ohia’s Coxcomb Red plays out to wrap up Indie Rock Blues, one thing has become obvious – This is a great album. The litmus test for me, which Joe Beats passes with ease, is that this album could stand alone as a hip hop album. That he is able to chop up these songs and splice them with the kind of beats I’d want on an album anyway, shows just how diverse and talented he is. Humble as Beats is, he must know he’s produced a diamond here. I’m a hip hop fan who loves it. My friend is a fan of the likes of M Ward, Andrew Bird and June Of 44 and she loves it. Buy this record as soon as you can. It’ll bring introduce you to whichever side of the path you weren’t into before. Amazing.

Kill The Vultures
Kill The Vultures

(Jib Door)

Last update I spoke about a much loved group of mine named Oddjobs, and their split, when I reviewed the awesome Power Struggle album. Well this time around, it’s the turn of the other group from the split, Kill The Vultures, which take centre stage. With Anatomy on the beats, a gloomy production surrounds the whole album, giving the listener an uneasy feel, as if a post-Armageddon world with things around the corner were lying in wait. The vibrating guitar sample in Beasts Of Burden jumps from out of nowhere as the MCs, Crescent Moon, Advizer and Nomi break out their booming vocals, accompanied by percussion which doesn’t keep the beat but more holds it at knifepoint.

This album isn’t going to be for people who want to just throw something on whilst they’re getting ready to go out. And that’s what makes it such an enthralling listen. There are so many things going on in Anatomy’s production, but they all run alongside each other without muddling the track. Deep basses, unorthodox drums and the rapping of three MCs who have a world weary sound. Any rose tinted glasses that may have been worn are well and truly smashed underfoot by the Minnesota crew.

7-8-9 is the track which stands out most for me on this release. The distorted guitars strum behind a hugely powerful drum beat which runs around throbbing samples and insists you pay attention as the jangle of bells continues throughout. There is so much to listen to, before you even start listening to the brilliantly lo-fi delivery of the rappers, and that is a testament to the group. You don’t want to finish listening to this CD until you’ve heard every last little part of the music. If Oddjobs got cornered into an alley, beaten up and spat on, you’d get the sound of Kill The Vultures. Awesome. /

Alias & Tarsier
Dr C


Next up is a 7″ from Anticon producer Alias and Tarsier of Healamonster & Tarsier fame. The typically floating and softly spoken melody underlayed with busy Alias beats are the best canvas to showcase the art of Tarsier, with dreamy vocals draped over the beat. It starts off slowly, gaining impetus throughout before delivering a sure fire late night winner. Alias’ beats can always be counted on for atmospherics, but the coupling of his production with the talents of Tarsier brings out the best of both.

Check out this single at and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

The Ledge

(ZLink Entertainment)

Desdamona has managed to combine both spoken word and hip hop, alongside steel drummed rhythms, courtesy of legendary duo Sly and Robbie in this release. From the intro I Wanted 2 B An MC you hear where Desdamona’s brilliance lies, in her lyrics, as she takes you on a ride through a world made up of hip hop greats, moving us from Digable Planets and seeing a little Redman and some Beastie Boys.

What is also impressive is that she sounds completely at home amongst all the differing beats she has on the album. Laid back We Will Always B suits her best of all, allowing her sultry tone to move around the soft cymbals and and the understated beat. And Planet Remix showcases the production, with pianos, chopped strings and shaking percussion as she states “if you drop beats like I flip words…we could change worlds” and one the basis of this album, no-one would doubt her. She should certainly not be labelled as “poet” or “spoken word artist” because she has a broad style and it is that that makes The Ledge definitely one to check out. /

Kill That Noise


From the opening few moments of the second track on this album, the Big Jess [of Unknown Prophets fame] produced Higher Ground, you know you’ll be able to bop your head to this album. The rolling piano sample lacing the back of the track gives a perfect platform for Capaciti to let his people know he just trying to reach the higher ground.

The following track, 1 2 3, breaks in the kind of beat that brings up images of twisted carnivals and is reminiscent of Grayskul, and allows Capaciti to rap with confident ability and he shows his truth worth on Messin With My Mind which has one of the best beats on the album, the strings pulling his vocals all over and the fast paced drums adding an extra dimension to his output.

This album might not be the most outstanding collection of music you’ve ever heard, but if you dig booming drums and the sort of hip hop you’d imagine Stephen King would listen to, then you should give this a spin.

Have Mic, Will Travel

(New Bias)

Next up is a double album from versatile MC Carpetface. The British rapper, beatboxer and producer has managed to put out 38 tracks which he’s made over the past 3 years and shows his versitility as he switches from the Stereo MCs sounding Positive Formula which skips along with a beat and female back vocals to the jazzy Bug In The System which sounds like its drawn its influence from the old Digable Planets style double bassline.

The best track on the album is the fast paced and vibrating Better Do Right which floats around swerving piano samples as Carpetface plays cat and mouse with the beat, throwing out limited vocals in all the right places. It’s only when you hear “I saw the gimp” that you realise that even in his musical element, the MC likes to spring a surprise or two into his collection. Eclectic and clearly taking from all corners of the musical spectrum, this is one who like a brainsplurge on record.

Just a quick little shout out to a mixtape that’s out in March called Broken Tracks And Dirty Music from a colourful character called Johnny Crump. Basically, this guy mixes up all sorts of crazy shit, knocking out Metallica in the middle of a choir singing. If he can do that and get away with it, you know it’s worth a listen. You can check him out at

Have a little shot of a couple of stickers put up in LA by an artist named Zato One. Simple and yet really effective, cool as you like. In fact, if you see any stickers or graf that you really like, feel free to send the pictures in to me at the address at the bottom of the page. I always love seeing new art.

As always, I’d love to get emails from you readers, if there’s shit you’ve heard on the back of reading this stuff, let me know. If you’re an artist and want to send me your stuff, then please hit me up, I can’t get enough of new hip hop music. The address to write to is: and I am sitting here ready and waiting, so don’t let me be a sad bastard, refreshing my email to find an empty inbox.

Until next time you wonderful lot. Peace.


The Mix

The Mix – 16/02/06

Now peeps! Trust me to see the sun blazing through my window this morning and put on my new T shirt. It’s fucking freezing out there, don’t do it. It’s not time yet. Luckily, I only had to hop into my nice and warm car and hop out into my office, and I did that at light speed.

Onwards with some stuff about music I think. I have a few little treats for you to go and find in your local decent music shop. If you have a Selecta disc, get your arse in there. Most of the time they’ve got it and if they haven’t they’ll get you it. I don’t know if it’s just the one I go to but you do have to put up with the mardiest staff on the planet, but the end result is what we’re looking for….New Tunes!

Actually now I’ve said that don’t bother, go to they sort you out there.

Skitz – Homegrown Vol 2
[Silent Soundz]

Here, we’ve got a decent follow up to volume 1. If you people out there liked the last Homegrown compilation you will just love this one. This rough and rugged CD brings us some of the UK’s best underground hip hop, some names we have become partial to and others that, at least, I don’t know. I’m always up for promoting new talent if they shine in some way.

If I’m honest, the better tracks on this CD are from the more known artists such as Taskforce, LIFE (from Phi life Cypher) and Nextmen with MC Dynamite. Trust me when I say these tracks are big and fat. For all you muppets with a queasy stomach, you better stay away, these tunes will crush you up and snort you like a line of coke.

Tracks to look out for on this CD are from the artists I mentioned a minute ago: Big Smoke from Taskforce, Bad Minds from LIFE, Spin it Round from Nextmen and MC Dynamite. I use the instrumental of this track to do little scratch interludes in my sets when I play out at Fatwax I just had to plug that!

I always play the CD im reviewing while I write about it. I have to say track 17 on Homegrown 2 The Problem” from Deep Rooted is a top track. Deep, dark, dirty and very well thought out. This is definitely one to go out and buy. The more I listen to it the more I want to put it on again. This CD is unquestionably a grower in many ways. The website is at

Next up is something I’ve been waiting for, for some time.

Task Force – Music From The Corner Vol 4
[Lowlife Records]

Now I know this lot aren’t bothered about pr or radio play so ill keep this one short and sweet.

It came out on the 16th Jan 06 and has been swept off the shelves at a rapid rate ever since. For those of you that don’t know Taskforce, they are an acquired taste and I have liked that taste for a good while now. Very socially aware, quick to the point, some good political issues highlighted. Creativity beyond belief.

If you don’t own any of the Taskforce albums I suggest you start at the beginning with Volume one.
At the Moment, my MFTC 4 is stuck on a track 4 repeat the name of the track is Muftuk. You can hear a snippet of it at Chester P, Farma G & Louis Slipperz killin it from start to end. Grimy shit. This CD is out on Lowlife take a look. I also noticed on this site that there will be a free Louis Slipperz (Taskforces’ DJ) CD given away every time an Asaviour album is bought. Sweet as.

Gym Class Heroes – The Papercut Chronicles
[Fueled By Ramen]

Now I didn’t know much about these until I was sent this CD a few weeks ago. What a CD it is! From the Label Fueled By Ramen the Gym Class Heroes made an instant impact on me. I think the fact that I knew that the music was made from live instrumentals, no loops or samples, made it a real winner for me. I have noticed that you can sometimes find this CD in the rock or punk sections of loads of shops. So, when you do go out and buy it make sure you look in the right places. Or, fuck it, just ask the shop assistant to find it for you. That’s much easier.

This 4 piece sort of indie / hip hop crew from New York provide us with some clear cut live instrumentals with some top rhymes that correspond skilfully throughout the whole CD. The track that was pointed out to me was Papercuts. This is a great track that you can listen to and download at There are a few others there that you can either listen to or download at your discretion. I’m finding that a lot of good artists are making profiles on Myspace so if you are looking for some decent new stuff have a look there. The Boomerang Theory is another track that you can download. This is a good tune to which you can sit in your comfy chair at home and indulge in a bit of whichever substance you like most. There’s not much better than having a top chilled out tune playing with the things you like most. Yes, Buy it. Its well worth the cash. You can also check their web site at

That’s that for now. I am having to pick the best CDs from a bunch of good CDs and that is a tough thing to do. Hopefully I can get some of the others out to you soon.

The lucky winner of last months competition see go to the Midlands heat of the UK Beatbox Championships @ Rescue rooms in Nottingham was Adam Boston. Well done geeza! Might see you there.

This weeks sites and sounds: – Just loads of decent artists – A bit different, definitely worth the look – Loads of graff

Here’s another bit of work I saw on my travels:

See you soon party people. Smell ya later!

The Jektmosphere

Slouching around your room with lemsip isn’t the best way to spend the entire week, especially when there is bugger all on the hundreds of Sky channels, so what I needed was a healthy dose of hip hop. Luckily for me, I was able to pull out some great stuff this week which helped my recovery from a sniffling pyjama wearing loser to the lovable rogue that writes this column.

The first stage of recovery was from a piece of news that I picked up – The new album from Soul Position [RJD2/Blueprint], entitled Things Go Better With RJ And Al has apparently been given a March 31st release date. Their follow up to the awesome 8 Million Stories will certainly be one to watch out for in the coming months, and I really can’t wait.

Power Struggle – Arson At The Petting Factory
[New Disorder Records]

So, onto this update’s recommendations. First of all we have an album by Power Struggle called Arson At The Petting Factory. The two members, Nomi and Deetalx, were both members of Abjekt favourites Oddjobs, and their new project, following the split of Oddjobs, is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a very long time.

From the title track, you can tell what you’re going to be getting, meandering drums, lo-fi hooks and deep penetrating vocals. Following on from the first track, they move through tracks Kill Winter and Letters (From Prince Street) which bring up images of snow covered streets, where you’re sat inside watching the cold outside as the lights go down on the day, the guitar licks throughout the latter push forward past Nomi’s delivery with brilliant results.

After the sombre The Bad Side Of Town, you get to the stand out tracks on the album for me,Hurt Healer and Keep It Going Now. Hurt Healer is one of those tracks you want on late and night, with the lights off, so you can full appreciate its atmospherics with Deetalx’s understated backdrop giving his MC the chance to deliver his heartfelt lyrics. The latter of the two tracks brings back another guitar loop vibrating in perfect timing with the drums, making me wish you had so much more hip hop like this.

This One is a cacophony of sound which only goes to prove that Power Struggle can knock out tracks of varying types, which is all credit to them. Oddjobs will be missed by me, that’s for sure, but if this is what comes from the split, then I am happy in the knowledge the world still has Nomi and Deetalx’s increasingly adept ability around. /

Witness – Ever Since
Next up comes an EP from Witness, an MC and producer from Philadelphia. Ever Since is an 8 track slice of brilliance on a number of levels and delivers a multitude of sounds and emotions, transcending a lot of what I’ve heard lately. As an MC, Witness can rip it fast or take it slow and smooth, all with a great flow that never sounds off point.

The introduction sets the tone with some great brass samples over a bubbling bass line and some dancing drums which get the head moving and the feet tapping. His diversity is then shown as the jazzy number Sylvia Plathsaunters in over a lonesome sax sample and whispering female vocals which he dissects with low tones.

But for me, it is the next 3 songs which really cement this EP in the “great” bracket. Soap Box Stance is a politically charged track which looks at the hypocrisy of the world we live in, with lines such as “they’re spitting on children that I’ve seen pictures of gandhi kissing / while giving tsunami victims dollars between armani fittings“, over sublime Spanish guitars. The backing for Two Ste is another sure fire winner, with snapping snares bouncing over pianos and strings, whilst All Peace is more of a purist’s hip hop song, with turntablism taking centre stage during some points. The fader is definitely fresh, as the sample says, and it showcases the spectrum of Witness’ ability on the mic.

My favourite track on the CD though is Prophets Of The Present. The liquid guitars take you onto a build up of haunting choral samples and staccato cymbal hits with the fluent vocals gliding through the beat with consummate ease. It’s a beautiful beat and the vocals give it that extra lift. Awesome.

Witness added 2 new songs on the end of the CD for me, and it’s clear that on his next release, Ever More, he’s going to get bigger and better, because both tracks were superb, especially Fishnet. Besides, anyone that samples Napoleon Dynamite’s wish for bow-hunting and computer hacking skills must be a winner. Order this CD now! /

Crazy Low Budget – Crazy Low Budget
[self released]
Two other CDs which found their way to me were The Orbital Effect by Ernie Rhodes and Crazy Low Budget’s album. CLB’s album is a good release from the outfit coming out of New York, especially the third track on the CD, Dust Clouds, where the simple yet effective bassline lifting itself up and down the scale embosses itself on the memory. Another track which gets the foot tapping and the head nodding is Continental Draft, which has the MCs rapping over a nice jazz club guitar with lyrics maligning the state of how people are treated and the situation he finds himself in, living in a basement.

The Bus Driver has a great feel good vibe to it, with an keyboard breaking out summer shit which moves you from the dismal cold February evenings to the sunny June days where you can hang in your shorts til way into the night. They may be working on the low budget they named themselves after, but they have some choice tracks on this album, and should be checked out on their myspace for a sample of what they have to offer.

Ernie Rhodes – The Orbital Effect
[Dialogue Elevaters/Modern Day]
In the last mix I said that based on the tracks I’d heard on Ernie Rhode’s myspace page, his album would be worth checking out. And whilst I don’t like to blow my own trumpet [oh who am I kidding?] I was spot on. The album has some great production from Last Word, especially on Undercurrent where 2 attention catching samples weave their way over the start, the first a high pitched sung sample and the second a worrying voice clip of someone in desperate need of help and company. This track has the added bonus of the beautiful voice of Doomtree’s Dessa working the chorus and is, for me, the stand out track on the album.

Ernie’s rhyming never needs to be in your face, or overbearing, because his smooth flow seems to be able to mould itself around the many differing beats, from the Jackson 5 style fun of The Works [Get Movin’] to the darker Solid. It’s one of those albums where you feel like having a listen and by the end of the album you realise just why you want to keep listening to it and give it your full attention rather than just have it on in the background. If you felt the tracks on his myspace, believe me, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. This album is quality and should be picked up by all who like hip hop with good solid beats and a smooth MC. /

Dilated Peoples – 20/20

The Dilated trio are back with a new album after a little while out and they come pounding back with a solid album full of chunky beats and more crossover potential, like their previous album. First single Back Again, the standout track of the album, throws up a heavy headnod beat with Beat Junkie Babu spinning a nice sample behind the dual fronted vocals celebrating their return. You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run flows on a nice late-night summer tip, with some smooth vocal samples cutting in around the verses to throw up a nice catchy chorus.

This equation is used once more in Kindness For Weakness where gospel laced samples open up around a downplayed drum beat and once against showcases some nice cuts from DJ Babu, who is always a pleasure to listen to when he’s on point. They switch up the styles with the guest appearance of Capleton whose raga infused voice barks loudly over a stuttering beat which could easily make it as a dancefloor filler. The closing tracks, One And Only, a Babu joint which steals the show with his mixing and scratching and 20/20 which features some brass samples which hark back to the old skool type Dilated material, finish the album nicely. This might not be one for the true old fans but they have definitely opened themselves up to a broader market with this release. /

Now have a photo of a stencil of the great Poirot, taken in Montpelier in Bristol by Jen Saul, who is an awesome photographer. You can get in touch with her here and should definitely check out some of her other stuff on her myspace.

Finally, how’s about a little bit of road turntablism to spark you into life? What the hell am I talking about? Click right here and see!

So there you have it people, a few things for you to check out, and if you do check it out, and like it, let the artists know! They’re all great people who love hearing good reactions to their work, so make their day and give them a shout bigging them up. As always, if you like what you’ve read and wanna hit me up, or if you wanna get in touch about sending me your stuff, then please email me at .

Til next time, keep it easy.

Jektasaurus Rex.

The Mix

The Mix – 24/01/06

We are back, the beginning of a new year!

I hope you managed to sort out all your New Year resolutions and I thought this time in The Mix we should take a look at brand new tunes for 2006. It is a mission of mine to enlighten a few of you out there. I do try.

I did think about doing an “all time favourites” edition of The Mix, so if people missed any (what I think are) classics, they could get in tune. But I realised that there were some high-quality new tunes being released that I just had to get ’em out there.

Don’t forget to drop me an email at if you want your tune reviewing, if you do want my all time favourites, if you want to put a picture of your graf on the site, or even if you want to give me some shit. All feedback is welcomed.


Another reason to mail me is because I have some free tickets to give away for the 2006 UK Beatbox Championships – Midlands heat! Check this out:

Hosted 8 Mile Style by:
Judged by:
SHLOMO (Björk collaborator)
Plus Full Live Sets From:
DJ Support From:
Prizes from mic(ism) and THTC
For info on entry see

All you have to do is answer the following question:

“Who won the UK Beatbox Championships in 2005?”

The first 2 people to email the answer to me get a free pair of tickets to this wicked line up!

Right then let’s get on with it, take a look at this years’ new bangers:

Ghost feat. Verb T & Asaviour – The Payoff

Ok, this is new-ish but I just had to review this track solely because I loved the track Flip it with DPF on the Ghost stories EP. And guess what! You’ve even got a tangy remix of this quality tune on The Payoff. But I’m not here to go on & on about that tune, I’m here to check out the title track.

Taken from the album Seldom Seen Often Heard (out in March 2006) Asaviour and Verb T put down their unique flows over the top of some pleasing and agreeable sounds. The Payoff takes a nice and easy approach to providing us with some real funky stuff. This is one of those feel good tunes that makes you feel light on your feet and like you’ve got a spring in your step. It’s a shame it’s not summer, I can imagine sticking it on a little system at the park, sat chillin with my buddies, drinking some brew.

It’s all about getting the payoff from working hard to get things sorted. In this case, making decent money in the hip hop game. This could fit to anyone that tries hard to get the money in, or wants to sort things with their life. This is the third 12″ to come from Ghost and each one gets better and better. I am a firm believer that the LP soon to be released will do more than just break bread. Make sure you check his LP debut as soon as it’s released. This track is definitely a good all-rounder. Proper musicforheads.

Verb T & Harry Love – Delusion

This single is coming to our local specialist shops on, or around, the 6th of February. I’m sure you will all be over the moon to hear that it is another assassin of a track. With Verb T & Harry Love bringing together a destructive munitions store of serious rhythm and rhymes, how could you possibly go wrong? This is a relatively dark tune with an unstable state of mind and a vision depicting loss of ability to see reality. Good for listening in your car to get your swerve on or playing out at clubs and bars. I stuck this track in my set just after New Year and it went down a storm. Yep, I’m in to this one. What a good way to bring us into the new year of 2006 from Harry Love & Verb-T.

This is the first single to be taken from the highly anticipated album Bring it Back (To Basic) and it is aimed up to be the superlative single yet. Delusion has been released on the Silent Soundz record label. If you want to know more, take a look at

The second track Make it Hott (please) is a decent track too but it rings a bell so much that I just sit thinking where I know that track from. It must be Kruder and Dorfmeister or definitely something from that German K7 label. Boozoo Bajou maybe? I just can’t put my finger on it. I hope someone out there can tell me once it has been released. Keep it in mind peeps.

I’m sure this will be available from as soon as it is released. Keep your undelusional eye open for this one. It’s hot!

MC Elemental – Lazarus Emporium

Ok here he is again…. I’m not so sure this track is even going to be released. The picture is taken from Koaste’s (Menagerie, of sorts) gallery. There is a better picture to be had but I can’t get it off the site so you will have to have a look see yourselves. This track is for those of you that love the story telling tunes, and what a story! Starting off with a very quiet “Hello Dave” this tune made me smile instantly. The imagination that has gone into the writing of this tune impresses me more every time I hear it. It takes me back to being a youngster; there are some light hearted fantasy fairy-tale bits and pieces in there with a trace of magic.

A shop that sells a paper with the last words you will speak and 1000 action figures that are all secretly alive can’t fail to make an impression on anyone that enters. Go on! Have a browse inside Papa Lazarus rarest of shops.

You can take a free sample of it at I guarantee, if you like the story telling side of lyricism, you’ll like this.

That’s my part done for the moment, just time left for you to have a look at the links I’ve put in this weeks reviews, and to have a look at the nice bit of artwork I’ve put in. Until next time…

This weeks’ sites and sounds: (Top tunes from top people) (This is Deckwrecka, Skitz and 23 Skidoo’s home) (Label down in Brighton, lots happening here)

A bit of Graf I saw on my travels:

Send me some tracks, sites or graf if you want me to have look at them and give them a mention.
Only 50 weeks left until the next New Year party! In the meantime, have a good one.

Kris Drew. Done and dusted.

The Jektmosphere

Well, welcome to 2006 everyone, I hope you all had a wicked Christmas and New Year and we have plenty to look forward to this year as far as hip hop goes. As usual, I’ll be looking over at the American underground and letting you know what’s hot in and around the small hidden pockets of hip hop.

Before I begin, I have to just back up Kris on that Verb T and Harry Love release. Harry’s beats are exquisite on that CD and compliment Verb’s distinctive vocals showing why they have been such a formidable team for the past few years and why their upcoming release will be a must have for everyone out there. Double thumbs up from both Mixers.

First up for me this time round then, is a very talented MC coming out of Texas named Cerebral Vortex. He’s got a few things in the pipeline at the moment, including a project with Kool Akiem, former DJ and producer of the brilliant Micranots, which sounds very exciting, and I can’t wait for that to drop. On top of this his crew, FTC, have a release coming out very soon with a DVD featuring all 12 members, something everyone should have a look at!

I’m linking you to CV’s myspace page so you can sample his work, and I’m sure you’ll feel it. Lead off track My Tosis is the sort of track you’d expect if you were standing in a corn field and a spaceship came out of the sky and ripped the decks in front of you. The bouncing bass lines will have the head nodding and the chorus, a catchy sung vibe, will have you furiously clicking for the reload button as soon as its over.

The other two tracks, Fuck The Space Cops and The Getup, are both bangers, following on from the first track. Fuck The Space Cops has another great bassline, but rolls in a little more mellow that the previous number, but with content such as “titty bars on Mars”, you can’t help but smile as you chill out. The Getup rounds off the trio with a fantastic light snare and a winding melody bumping behind CV’s mesmeric flow.

The photograph was taken by Christian Gamboa, a very talented photographer working out of Texas, who should definitely be checked out. Her myspace is at and if you have any words of praise or want to talk to her about taking photos for you, then she can be contacted at:

Next we have a Minnesotan MC who goes by the name of Ernie Rhodes and who is another shining example of why Minnesota really is the place to be for quality American hip hop. The Midwest are taking it over right now, and Ernie’s opening track, Renaissance Man, has the smoothest beat which is backed up by some nice strings which play out as Ernie’s flow bounces over each line before he switches it up to show his word play and alliteration.

Girl Trouble, a song about regret and being left empty after having given everything to a lady he thought special, is something we can all relate to and the softly spoken delivery over lengthened cymbal hits and the occasional floating sample really set this one out well. Never Really Gone begins with a nice healthy dose of chirpy samples and a folk-like lick which is augmented with a bass line that strolls around Ernie’s good natured delivery and thought provoking lyrics. A track where the beat compliments the MC and vice versa, and my favourite of the three.

His album was out not that long ago, and if these tracks are anything to go by, The Orbital Effect is certain to be well worth checking out.

The last recommendation you’re getting from me is another Rhymesayers release. For those of you who know me, or who have read my top 5 of 2005, you’ll know I’m a whore for Rhymesayers Entertainment, but if they keep putting out stuff as good as what I’m about to talk about, then I’m totally justified. The album in question is Audition by P.O.S. His debut, Ipecac Neat was an absolutely immense record, with incredible production, not scared to use cellos and other various strings with P.O.S spilling his guts out into his lyrical content, sometimes living up to his pseudonym of Pissed Off Stef, whilst at other times showing his emotionally touching side.

This carries on in Audition, where he shows off more of his punk side, bringing in Greg Attonito of the Bouncing Souls for a guest spot. The production is more varied and this lends itself well to showing what a versatile MC P.O.S is, going from the brass led party stomping Stand Up [Let’s Get Murdered] to the acoustic The Kill In Me which features the female vocals of Maggie from the group Digitata to the stripped down introspective P.O.S Is Ruining My Life.

Overall it is an extremely strong start to 2006 for the Twin Cities label and they can expect P.O.S’ stature to grow stronger and stronger with this album. For more information and for previews of a couple of tracks, head on over to :

Finally then I just want to stick up a little bit of graf that someone left on the now-defunct Safeways near where I live. They put this up and it was painted over, only for the artist to make a better job of it. It’s since been painted over again and once more has been re-sprayed to provide the only bit of colour in Streatham. It keeps being painted over but at least it was something to look at on the way to the station for the few days it was there, even if it isn’t the Monet of the graf world:

So that’s it from me for this time round, I hope you have enjoyed the music you’ve heard from my recommendations, and I shall return in the not too distant future with more diamonds I’ve uncovered for your listening pleasure. If you want to get in touch with me about anything I’ve written, if you want to send me anything or if you want to ask me out on a date for hot steamy love, then hit me up at:

Until then, peace to you all.


The Mix

The Mix – 23/12/05

Here we are again, the third instalment of The Mix! I hope you’ve all got your winter woollies on and it’s not too cold for everyone out there. This week we’ve got some proper stompin’ albums for you to put on your Christmas list to Santa. Let’s cross our fingers and wish that he brings us everything we ask for this year.

Apparently, Santa used to wear a green suit until a famous brand of cola got hold of his outfit and died it red just so it matched the colour of their cans. Corporate Bastards!

Anyway, I’m not even sure that’s true so I’ll get on with what I’m supposed to be doing.

Public Enemy – New Whirl Odor

Now, these people need no introduction. Public Enemy have released a brand new CD & DVD combo to bless our two most receptive senses: Sight and sound. The intro track of the CD tells us the history of Public Enemy’s impact on the world in a nutshell, and it is explained perfectly. “PE made the world listen. They articulated the frustrations and anger of the black community, more importantly they changed the perception of what hip hop could be. Chuck D said they were like the CNN of the black community, and no one broadcasts louder…than Public Enemy!”.

There’s something about PE that makes them always sound like they are live on stage. Perhaps it’s the amount of energy they put into their work. Maybe it’s the thunderous, big banging beats their rhymes are smashed on top of. Or, it could just be sheer experience and knowledge of how to rock a crowd (even if there isn’t one). As usual, here are a couple of tracks from the CD that blew my woollen socks off.

Well I think the two best tracks are at either end of the CD. This works for me, it starts in the same way that it ends. The CD title track “New Whirl Odor” has a sniff of the older style of PE. This is a heavy one, stompin’ its way into your ears right the way through. It reminds me of my younger days stamping my feet and throwing off some big moves to Ice Cube’s When Will They Shoot” (if you remember it). I think this is the reason I’m into this track. Anyway, this is one of the best tunes on the CD if for no other reason than to remind me of some cool times. I’m sure “New Whirl Odor” will have the same effect on loads of you out there.

The next track I want to mention is “Superman’s Black in the Building“. This is another PE track that sounds like it would be top quality to see live. Loads of power, loads of energy, loads of shouting, this one’ll grab your attention for sure. Come on we all need a little cathartic release, Public Enemy are perfect for a bit of catharsis.

The Blacknificent Seven – U Wot

Next up is some of the best collaborating I’ve seen or heard for a long time. We had a real treat when “‘Ere Comes Da Black” came out with a similar collab. But here, Dark Horizon has brought us an even bigger and badder follow up. “U Wot” featuring the likes of Seanie T, Roots Manuva, Rodney P, Karl Hinds and Robert Emanuelle is twelve inches worth of pure indulgence.

The kind of luxury you can’t put down until you’ve had too much, and you just need to sit and contemplate when you can handle another sitting. The trick with this track is to put it on your ipod, ones and two’s, CD player or car stereo, and put it on fucking loud.

Listen to the quick flows integrate and entwine between the characteristic sounds of Dark Horizons’ unorthodox concoction. With a line up like this how could you go wrong? Each verse manages to kick some ass with a different artist giving some positive input on an altogether wicked track. Don’t miss this one peeps! Once again, it is available at I’m dedicated to this one. Big up to the Dark Horizon Crew!

Foreign Beggars – Let Go

Once again, the Foreign Beggars have produced another absolute diamond. Or should I say parallelogram because of its perfect coordination between every artist on the track and its slant towards being pretty fuckin’ messy. This lot have got a knack of making everything sound right even though they’re all over the place and can send your head into a muddled up unorganised stack of clutter. I do mean that in a good way.

Let go” is a top quality tune with some, ever increasingly, wicked rhymes on top. This track features Wildchild who, to be honest, I don’t know much about but it does make an agreeable change to the stuff I’m predominantly listening to at the minute. This track feels like it’s designed to build you up all of the way through, as if its building speed; Reminiscent of a locomotive finding the right pace and sticking with it. Yep another corker you should go and buy straight away.

OK. Not so much to write about this track today but that doesn’t mean it’s not exceptional. I could have written this review with two words…spot on!

C-Mone – Second After Second

Ok, I’ll share one more top tune with you. This one was released just a few weeks ago on the 24th November. This is real tough Nottingham street hip-hop brought to you by a person who makes up 25% of the forever ready and dangerous Outdaville (one of my personal favourite crews). She has collaborated with Estelle, appeared on The Streets second album and won best female emcee 2005 at the UK hip-hop awards.

My interpretation of “Second after Second” is that it displays a proletariat, working class and (I don’t want to label C-Mone with a political stance) left wing, dare I say it, approach. Here we can look back at history and what our society has been built on and still stands on today. Fuck it. We need to have a go at the capitalistic bourgeoisie taking control of us puppets and facilitating the poor to remain poor and the rich get richer. That’s the way (I believe) our society is built. Hopefully this kind of track is the kind to prompt us into thinking about these important issues. This is some intelligent, spirited hip-hop music and can be seen as a cloudless vision that C-Mone is on her way to making big waves in the hip-hop scene.

This track is produced by the Marga Boyz, who consist of Pidgeon and Outdaville’s Nick Stez and Lee Ramsay. All the vitamins and minerals a growing hip-hop head needs. You can see a clip of the video here & you can download a copy of this tune from for just £1.78.

This week’s sights and sounds:

There’s some top tracks from Dr Syntax to listen to here (Remember the Menagerie from the other reviews?)

(More Menagerie action!) Free tunes!

A bit of top stencil artwork from Barcelona down below:

Send me some tracks, sites or graf if you want me to have look at them and give them a mention. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the lot of ya, i’m going to leave you with Abjekt’s tunes of 2005.

Kris Drew. Out.

Abjekt’s Top 5 Albums Of 2005

It’s been the best year for hip hop since I really got into it in the late 90s, and my ears have been blessed with amazing albums from all over the world, so picking 5 was incredibly hard, but have a peek at my list and if you don’t know the artists, why not check them out?

Atmosphere – You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having
Rhymesayers Entertainment

After 2 years away, Atmosphere brought out their follow up to the Epitaph licensed Seven’s Travels and blew it out of the water. Ant’s beats flew all over the place, from old boom bap to God Loves Ugly era-Atmosphere to country-sampling goodness and they were topped off by Slug’s impenetrable story telling. The usual bitterness from the Twin Cities emcee was present but party songs were in the mix too. An absolute stormer of an album.

Sims – Lights Out Paris
Doomtree Records

Minnesotan emcee and Doomtree member Sims’ debut album is a collection of tracks that showcase not only his brilliant lyricism and flawless delivery, but also the immense production coming out of the Doomtree camp of late. Not to be overshadowed by the better known POS, Sims gets political, hype, traumatic and emotional in this little known but incredibly enjoyable release. /

Kano – Home Sweet Home
679 Recordings

Yep, it’s grime. No, it’s crossover. No, it’s hip hop. Whatever you want to call Kano’s album, make sure you call it good. The former Chelsea trainee rode crunching guitar beats, even sampling Black Sabbath, samba rhythms and softer romantic flavours on this album. He is able to be confident in his talent whilst remaining modest and his variety is certainly something that sets him above the rest of the field.

Gorillaz – Demon Days

Everyone knows about the Gorillaz, and as a staunch Damon fanboy I was always going to enjoy this, but it really surpassed my expectations. Danger Mouse’s beats brought a much more rounded feel to the plate than Dan The Automator’s did on the first effort. A plethora of great guest vocalists from MF Doom to Dennis Hopper to Shaun Ryder meant there is something for everyone and everything for this someone. Awesome.

Felt 2 – A Tribute To Lisa Bonet
Rhymesayers Entertainment

Slug and Def Jux’s Murs made a return as the Felt duo this year and this time brought the undeniable production qualities of Ant into the equation. This is, simply put, a summer album. The beats are all feel good, smile inducing head nodders, and with Slug and Murs chatting about how they check out girls, fuck girls, go and party in Vegas and then slam doors in faces, this is an album that just reminds me of how good life can be. Fuck the English weather!

I wish you all a hip hop happy xmas and a wicked new year. See you over in 2006!

Peace – Jektadon