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
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!
Don’t Leave Me This Way
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.
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:
www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/hiphop – Lots of stuff on here
www.britishhiphop.co.uk – Different kinds of info on this one
www.hiphopwardrobe.co.uk – American style hip hop clothing
www.ukhip-hop.com – 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.
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.
Back In Brazil
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.
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.
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”.
Wherever We Go [Single]
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.
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SBR8XmE4PA
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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,