The Mix

The Mix – 26/10/05

Welcome back!

After a long wait to get the updated site running we are finally starting to flow. There are a shit load of tunes that I’ve been sent during the past months and they definitely need a mention in the next few instalments of the Mix. My reviews for this week are looking at a large assortment of different types of hip-hop ranging from multi-lingual rhymes from London, Paris and Guadeloupe to top tracks from some of Nottingham and Birmingham‘s finest artists whilst Abjekt lays down his current Top 5 Buzz Joints of the month also on this page.

A large part of what I want to do is to let the world know about some of the new up and coming artists, you know, give the decent ones a break and a bit of exposure. It’s always nice to hear what new track Task Force, Braintax, Rodney P etc have released (or re-released) but today I’m not in the mood for that. Today is a day for the peeps that have to try a little harder to be heard. Believe me, there are some good tunes out there waiting to be picked up.

Try a few of these on for size:

I’chelmee – Spreading the Vibe

I’chelmee is presented to us by Social Misfit entertainment; you can find some of their stuff for sale on line at (where you can find loads of decent uk 12″s, albums, DVD’s and magazines). Spreading the vibe is a very different debut album where the tracks exceed the usual musical and lyrical boundaries. The album is dropped in French, Creole and English by the multi-linguist I’chelmee. Throughout this album we can be served with a delightful concoction of original and diverse blends of musical ingredients. From agreeable melodious tunes reminiscent of Caribbean calypso for starters, to heavy beat-banging African drums for desert.

Now, if you didn’t pay attention in your foreign language lessons that’s not too much of a problem because there are some pretty fat rhythmical tunes on this CD. I learnt Spanish so I’m screwed. But for those that are into the likes of MC Solar or Sian Supa Crew this one is definitely for you.

The track I would like to point out to everyone is “Met Sa Wo“. Its one of those tunes that fits perfectly with cruising in your car on a hot summers day with your seat tilted a little, bitch in the front, bitches in the back, and you’ve got yo swerve on. Or have I been watching too much shit on TV. Anyway, it does have that sound that makes you feel a touch of coolness, or extra cool if you’re the type that thinks you’re already there. Take some time to have a listen to this stuff. Have a little variety in your tastes. A little diversity doesn’t hurt anyone. Check it out at You can also download this album from for £7.99.

Lost Project – Next Level Concept

With the emancipation of this 9 track album we can all take a largely anticipated and eagerly awaited breath out in a sigh of relief. Dealmaker records, from the Midlands, have released a proper little gem here. Lost Project, comprising of members; MC Killah, Poorly Fluent and DJ Frenic come true with that real rugged, home-grown sound that (I think) most of us are looking for.

From skipping through the tracks when I first received the CD the track that initially stuck its neck out was no. 7; “All about the Gods” somehow uses synth sounds that produce a chilled ghostly feel while at the same time it gets my head noddin’ all the way through. And that’s not because I was falling asleep, it’s because I am feeling the tune I should say.

Another track I want to mention is “Mutual Feelings” because it caught me one day walking to work with my ipod on. Again, we’ve got that eerie sound that I like to hear but it’s the quick, keep you on your toes, lyrics that set this one off. Switching between MC’s for different verses and fast lyrical intelligence and witty jives for the shitty MC’s that we all love to hate, really keeps the flow going.

There are so many reasons why this album caught my attention; DJ Frenic whips this shit up with some sweet tasting scratching from start to finish, the whole album has a darkish sinister feel to it and George Bush is given a good portion of shit to swallow! (nice idea there lads). There’s a lot to this one… Grab it when you can. And guess what!! It’s only a fiver for this little beast at the labels’ website so hurry up and get your pay pal accounts sorted. There are a couple of tracks off the album for you to listen to before you buy it.

DPF The Inpatient (Still Flossin’ EP)

Right then! DPF lives in Norwich, which is also the home of Alan Partridge. Now, for those of you that don’t know any of DPF’s work, he is always impressing with his supa-tight flows and has featured on loads of releases by top notch producers such as; Rob Life, Styly Cee (aka MC Pitman) and Tom Caruana.

I have specifically picked one tune from DPF’s follow up of his “Mental Floss” EP in 2003, “Still Flossin‘”. That tune (as it says above) is “The Inpatient“. In this track DPF has written very cheeky and extremely clever lyrics based on being a patient at a mental home, a sort of sequel to “The Outpatient” from the last EP. His dark, comical humour and lyrical dexterity rip the fuck out of this track and can make you laugh, get to almost know his character and…..if you feel like it…. have a little groove along the way. This is a great track for both your home and for playing out at bars. I played this one at my last doo and it went down a right treat. Apart from with the wankers that asked if I had any house music!! But anyway, what a track! On a boring note, as I am someone with a degree in psychology, you would be surprised how much relevant stuff there is in there and how true and to the point the lyrics really are.

And no! There’s nothing about the pedestrianisation of Norwich in there. (For those of you that get it). Check out for more info.

Menagerie – Wild Kingdom

This last album was sent to me, along with a couple of other CD’s and a few posters, just for buying a few records from suspect packages and what a treat it is. I’ve never heard of this lot before but maybe I should have done. This debut 21 track CD is full of diamonds in the rough, with light hearted and amusing little skits including a wonderful interview about a very “distracted” mans‘ favourite pets. This crew is made up of two producers, one DJ and three MC’s. Again, Tom Caruana raises his head and blesses us with his presence and some well picked samples. Dr Syntax also shows us how to avoid those syntax errors. This CD is perfect for people that love to listen to those up beat Herbaliser tracks, Jurassic 5 or DJ Format albums.

As I have been doing, I shall pick a couple of tunes that you shouldn’t miss. The first one I’ve picked is one that I missed for a while because the tune doesn’t kick in right away, and that is “Whitey Express“. This is such a feel good tune because of its bouncy/slightly Hawaiian music although at the same time it’s about the person rhyming feeling pretty grimy. Every time I put this track on I get the feeling of havin’ a bit of fun, maybe going to the fair with my mates. Don’t know, there’s something great about this one. The second track I’ve picked is “Lazy Bones” Another feel good track about something completely opposite….Laziness! We can all associate with feeling rugged at half 2 in the afternoon, dragging ourselves up and ignoring our phones until we can be bothered to have a conversation with anyone. Well, at least I can. Oh the days!

Well some how this track makes you feel good about all of those things and helps you to realise it’s all in the name of fun the night/week before. This ones’ for the people that like a little smoke on occasions, it will definitely bring a smirk to your face. You can buy both the album and a 12″ EP from As you will soon tell, you can buy almost everything to do with uk hip hop from this site.

Abjekt’s Current Buzz Joints

Bigg Jus
Poor People’s Day
Mush Records

Former Company Flow MC Jus kicks back into action with this release, a murky swamp of an album. Through crunching piano samples, orchestral sweeps and pounding downtrodden drums, Jus steps out of El-P’s shadow beating the mic up with his anti-political rhetoric and well thought out opinions on the poor state of the globe today. Definitely one for the intellectual heads out there.

I Don’t Want To / Loneliness Costs

All The Chats

English MC Example might not be a familiar name to a lot of you guys, but he soon will be. This double A sided single starts off with a Muddy Waters’ sampled beat which tells the story of Ex picking up a girl, trying to get rid of her at Pizza Express and finally succeeding in getting two meals all to himself. The flip side loops the well known “One Is The Loneliest Number” track where Example shows off his versatility as he jumps over a beat chronicling a man’s decline into drugs after being dumped.

Scatter Brain
Hip Hop Is Music

This is an internet only release from Portland’s own Braille, a member of the head nodding crew Lightheaded [alongside Othello and Ohmega Watts]. A Christian MC, Braille throws his spiritual weight over summery vibes, stepping across boundaries and leaving the listener feel like they are floating on a cloud, instead of freezing in the middle of winter. Great cadence, nice beats and uplifting lyrics make this a sure fire winner.

Listener & EQ
Ozark Empire
Deepspace5 Records

Deepspace5 MC and Sage Francis sound-a-like proves his worth on the follow up to 2003’s “Whispermoon”. EQ cuts the tracks with twangy blues guitars, harmonicas and crackling vocal samples. What makes this record stand above a lot of what is floating around right now though are the drums. From the pounding bass drums to the ear-popping snares, this album’s percussion will pick you up, slap you in the face and then nick your wallet. An absolute belter.

POS Is Ruining My Life
Rhymesayers /

Pissed Off Stef, Promise Of Stress or just plain P.O.S., it doesn’t matter because after a minute of this, the first single from his upcoming second album “Audition”, you’ll be kicking back trying to figure out just when modern hip hop got so punk rock. The MC used to be in a punk band before taking the rapping route, but he is back to his roots with a guitar led sample, earth trembling bass and sung chorus. His angry, pushed out delivery gives the track a dark rush-hour feel and proves the brilliance of his debut album “Ipecac Neat” was no fluke.

So there it is again, the second instalment of “The Mix“. I hope you found something you like, or think you might like. That is my aim anyway, to try and help people along in their quest to find MORE music! As I said in the last instalment, every time I update The Mix I will be droppin’ some links to some decent websites that I’ve stumbled upon. I will also be sharing some of the best graffiti I’ve seen on my travels. Here is the pick of the month.


David Earl Dixon aka Dist.One has some of the best art out there right now and he is also making waves with his work related directly to his up and coming UK skateboard company The Harmony. Look out for his art show at the 88b Gallery space below the CIDE skateshop that kicks off on the 14th December. Click here for the info on this exhibition.

This is the local hip hop set up near me. This is for the people closer to the midlands. Getting better all of the time!

This is for the some of the best hip hop diversity around.

If you want to send me any tunes to review or graffiti you want some credit for, drop me an email and I’ll pass on my address for you to send stuff to.

Peace. I’ll see you all in a fortnight.

Kris Drew

The Mix

The Mix – 19/10/05

Well…. Here it is! A brand new edition of The Mix! Cut, slurred, chirped, juggled, transformed and even crabbed especially for you and the launch of Crossfire’s’ spruced up website.

As this is my first article I believe that I should introduce myself to the devoted readers of Crossfire reviews. My name is Kris Drew and it looks like I will be your Hip Hop guide from now on. Now, I may be new to Crossfire but I’m definitely not new to the hip hop game. I’ve been listening to this amazing stuff since the age of five. Not that I knew what anyone was talking about at that age, I just liked the vibe. I have moved myself on from the likes of Ice-T, King T and the Sugar Hill Gang, to artists a little closer to home such as: Roots Manuva, Foreign Beggars and Genesis Elijah. What? You haven’t heard of him yet!! You soon will. This, in fact, brings me on to my first album review…..

Warning – Crossfire’s Most Wanted!

Genesis Elijah’s – Deh Pon Road

This is not actually an album, it is a great new (well not so new now ) compilation from a great team named Broken Souls Productions. This is an albums’ worth of tunes created between 2001 and when it was released in July 2005. With major promotions from and collaborations from Klashnekoff, Skinnyman, Wordsmith, Skriblah and Kyza. Deh Pon Road had a great head start before it was even released. With each track as raw and in-depth as the next, this compilation is bound to blow your back doors off their hinges! Track 2 is the only track not to completely impress, but that’s me being choosy. Skip that one and you’re off. The best tunes to look out for are: “Jah Bless” (this has already been released on 12″ featuring Klashnekoff), “Road Rage” featuring Ahmos and “Gun Talk” featuring Wordsmith, Skriblah, Kyza & Klashnekoff. This album has been out a while now but I don’t think enough people own it. I’ve been asking around and people know of a few tracks but don’t actually have a copy. Deh Pon Road is definitely Kris Drew’s album of the fortnight. Make sure you go out and buy it and add a top class CD to your collection. “So hip hop” is the new single off Deh Pon Road, the video is doing its rounds at the moment. Check their website out to watch it.

Keeping that in mind, I suppose it’s time to take a look at a newly released 12″ single….

Wordsmith’s – The Analyst

From the fine tradition of a raw story teller comes a new blud, although you can tell he’s not new to the art. This is a great new up-beat track from Wordsmith’s new album – “The Roadman Showcase”. The eerie sound of violins sets the mood for the track with Wordsmith’s low tone spittin’ some dope rhymes over the top. The A-side has pretty heavy jazz beats that fit nicely with the darkened vibes. This is a fast one DJ’s! So get out your fast tracks for any decent mixes in and out of it. Tom Caruana produced all tracks on the album this 7″ is taken from. He is, as ever, impressive and creative on every track. I’m hearing about this geeza more & more as the days go on. Top beats! What impressed me most was that the B-side to this 7″ record was just as impressive as the A-side. “Trading Bars” is also on the album from Nottingham’s Son label. This track has a little more than a tinge of reggae flavour to it and features Genesis Elijah, as do many of the tracks on the “Roadman Showcase”. (A full review of Roadman Showcase coming soon).

I have been sent so many top tunes and albums during the past few months, I just couldn’t resist covering as many of them as possible. My CD player and decks have been running constantly so I don’t miss one decent rhyme. This next album review is not what I would call new anymore, but it has given me a new passion for a different style of hip-hop all together…….

Foreign Beggars – Asylum Speakers

This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. With brilliantly produced music using bits of samples, acoustic instruments and some of Dag Nabbits’ home-grown tracks, “Asylum Speakers” shows the diversity and difference in all the styles and beats. From tracks like “Hold On” ft DVS and Skinnyman, to “Where did the sun go” ft the man with the big smile Tommy Evans, this album is all over the different genres like a rash. The crew are from all different walks of life and this shows. Producer Dag Nabbit gains his influences from classical music, a touch of rock and the obvious drum & bass, trip hop and electronica. Orifice Vulgatron is additionally known as MC drop in and around the drum & bass scene. Doing a shit load of gigs with the likes of Andy C, DJ Craze, Grooverider, Fabio (all of the big names) in Dubai must have a great influence on his music. Basically, if you like a bit of spice in your hip hop and are a bit bored of struggling to fight against oppression and societies ills, have a taste of this fucker. It’ll blow ya head off. I know it’s not a new album but for those who haven’t heard of it, you’ll love it I’m tellin’ ya. P.S Look out for some new tracks coming from the Foreign Beggars. Last time I heard they were coming out in September. Well….that’s about now. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher next to your CD player this shit will be on fire!

Swampfoot: Seen To Be Believed

I first heard of Swampfoot when they came to my home town to do a gig. After standing and listening to three 16 or 17 year olds do a blurred and muffled shouting set, I couldn’t wait for them to come on. When they did I was both highly inebriated and very impressed. In my drunken stupor I approached them and said I would like to play their tracks out and write a review on any tune they wished me to write one on. Lucky for me they didn’t think I was crazy. They sent me a few tunes and I have to say they sent me the tune that stood out from the set during the whole night. “Seen to be believed” is an incredibly funky tune. With a kind of quirky reggae/blues guitar rift carrying the rhythm all the way through this up beat dance floor banger. There’s some nice scratching to start the tune off quickly and Bang! A type of hard hittin’ lyrics so full of confidence it’s the type of track that makes you pull your head up, push your chest out and handle yours. But it does this without aggression, there’s a nice tone to it that somehow makes you feel good. Even the non hip hop lovers got into this one and filled the dance floor. This track is my writers’ choice. It can be streamed as many times as you like. So get on it and check out their website. The link is at the bottom of the page. There’s loads of tracks to listen to, videos to download (some funny shit) and pictures to see. Swampfoot, Genesis Elijah and Wordsmith are confirmed to perform at Longuistics @ PoNaNa in Lincoln on Friday October 21st. £5 Entry, what a bargain. Get your arses there if your Midlands/Northern territory, or if you just love hip hop. Get a train!

Faz’s Buzz Records

Def Tex – ‘Freaks’ EP

Country folk can hip hop too you know! As evidence of this fact I introduce Def Tex, Norfolk’s finest hip hop crew, as this new ep demonstrates. Go on check out the tracks if you don’t believe me!

Jumbonics – ‘Super-Baxophone’

Pioneers of the Scratch nights in London Rob Mac and Matt Smooth have teamed up to form Jumbonics. Their new album ‘Super-Baxophone’ is a down tempo treat for serious after hours chilling. The album has all the right ingredients from hip hop to jazz with a touch of funk. If your looking for something to kick back to we recommend you buy this.

Part 2 – ‘Live from The Breadline’

‘Live From The Breadline’ serves up a hearty slice of dub infused hip hop from Part 2, the man behind New Flesh. A punchy bass line is prominent throughout this record and the vocal collaborations are superb, ‘Will It Ever’ which features the vocals of Sandra Melody is quite possibly one of this summers standout tracks and could be heard booming out of Sound Systems across the Notting hill Carnival! Have a listen for yourself…

NMS – ‘Imperial Letters Of Protection’

Bigg Jus formerly of well respected hip hop outfit Company Flow teamed up with avant-rap legend Orko Elohiem a couple of years ago, and this their second album as NMS is a refined vision of the two pioneering artists. This is an album heavy on abstract noise and anti war rhetoric, which can be fairly heavy going but is intriguingly innovative. If your looking to stray from the mainstream check this beast out!

So there we have it, the first instalment of “The Mix”. Now it’s fully restored, refreshed, re-invigorated and rejuvenated for all eyes to see.

Every time I update The Mix I will be droppin’ some links to decent websites around the globe. I will also be sharing some of the best graffiti I’ve seen on my travels.

Check out this weeks’:

If you want to send me any tunes to review or graffiti you want some credit for, drop me an email at and I’ll pass on my address for you to send me stuff to.

Links of the week

Supporting UK Hip Hop

All sorts going on at this site.

Peace. I’ll see you all in a fortnight.
Kris Drew