Thursday, 31 July 2008

Kontext – Falling To Weightlessness / Aeromonarchs Attacks / Plumes / Blinkende Stjerne 2x12” EP

This is a fantasitic EP spread over 2 12” on Immerse Records and their little moto is, ‘breakbeat and sub culture’ this sums up the sound quite nicely. The first 12” is a high tempo yet laid back dubstep beauty but with the most minimal influenced sound I have heard yet. The drum sounds, bloops and crackles are right out of the minimal techno cannon of sounds. This is mixed with some deep bass and tech driven sounds to make an irresistible dubstep/minimal crossover. Aeromonarchs Attacks showcases this sound brilliantly on the AA side of 12” 1. As does it’s flip side Falling To Weightlessness with huge bass ringing through it and a kind of 2-step minimal sound to the drums.

The second 12” of the two is an even more laid back affair with slowed down tempo’s to about 90 bpm so around half that of dubstep and lots less than minimal, into ambient dubtronica territory here. Plumes starts with some epic tech dub sounds and builds with some clicky bongo loops and a kick drum in 4x4. Blinkende Stjerne has a fantastic sounding bass sound that moves up and down in a hypnotic fashion while the beats boogie along like some kind of minimal monster and even whips out a four to the floor kick.

Each 12” is brilliant and brings a nice sound to the table the first will get some huge spins in dubstep sets and the second will get played in minimal sections or maybe even pitched to fit dubstep. MinimalDubTekronica…

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Dananananaykroyd, That Fucking Tank, Pulled Apart By Horses & Cow Town @ Brudnell Social Club, Leeds, 29th July 2008

Back to the Brudnell for another brilliant gig this line up looks like a good’un. The doors opened a little later than expected so some drinks in the ye olde men’s section where in order, before slinking into the main hall. I love this room it looks like something from Phoenix Nights but with better entertainment, I’m just a little disappointed they don’t have a mirror ball…

Cow Town are a local Leeds band who are on Chinchilla Tone I hadn’t seen them before but was looking forward to it as I had heard good things and I love that little label. They play some kind of rocking spazz jazz but in the best way possible with funky ass synths, disjointed guitars and some beastly drumming. They reminded me of Fulborn Teversham but with a guitar and less sax. Enjoyed their set ever so much.

Pulled Apart By Horses are another local Leeds band I have heard a lot about and only seen at the very back of a crowed room where the sound was far to bad to appreciate at Nasty Fest earlier in the year. This time the swine’s where right in front of me and very excitable. They are bringing Grunge back with style my mate said they were a bit Screamo too so we decided to call them Sgrunge. Much riffage and hard ass rockin’ later everyone was into it pretty much and they had some infectious energy.

That Fucking Tank are a drum’n’bass outfit… well in that they are just a drummer and a bassist. They sound a bit like a post-rock battles with more straight forward and rocking tunes, or Death From Above gone post-rock. When they get into a groove the tunes where damn nice and danceable, when they were smashing out disjointed stuff I don’t think they quite pulled it off. They had some ace ideas and got a lot of people into it and grooving. Again pretty damn enjoyable band.

Dananananaykroyd are the headliners for tonight I have been gagging to see these guys ever since I heard about them a while back. Sissy Hits is an ace EP and they now have a record coming out by the end of the year, which should be nice and special. The live experience is an energy filled lightning bolt of joy filled noise with joking around with the audience and running about to join them. They had a few technical difficulties as they bust a string on the first tune but they got a guy from the audience to be a guitar tech for them for the evening. When they banged there way into One After One one guy in the audience tried to make a one-man moshpit and got well over excited. He ended up getting punched in the face by some one and a fight almost proper kicking off. After Dananan… calmed down that little incident and everyone backed off the bad vibes soon dissipated. The lead singer I think the dudes called Kyle? Was near me at the time of the fight in the crowd and we exchanged looks of confusion. They continued with some high energy beastly tunes with their awesome two drummer set-up they got the heat going so much so that. Duncan AKA ‘Land Wolf’ apparently got his top off which made the ladies swoon I can tell you right now it was pure sex. Each tune was a cracker and probably one of the most energetic and fun bands I have seen since The Mae Shi. The stuff I hadn’t heard before sounded brilliant, which gives me high hopes for an album. A bit of ramshackle audience participation with people coming up to play drums and guitar for a bit in the middle of a tune was a laugh. This was followed by more stonking tunes and then we had to go home…

Brilliant gig with many inspired bands. I think Dana went off into town for an after party later. There were flyers around saying as much any way. I would go see these bands again they rocked it all night long.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Tellison, Tubelord & Ghosts in the Intercom @ The Junction, York, 28th July 2008

It’s a Monday night not much going down round my way, so why not go see a little Tubelord I say. I enjoy their melodic, pop, indie, rock, spazz tunes quite a lot. I had only heard Tellison by name pretty much, but that name suggested metal to me, but a quick look on the myspace soon told me I was wrong. They make some pure power pop indie rock that is both catch and has some inventive flourishes. Ghosts in the Intercom are some local kids as far as I can tell, they might be onto something if they keep tryin’.

Ghosts in the Intercom start proceedings with some kind of hardrock, indie stop start musical journey. I can’t remember a single tune of theirs but the sound has potential and if they practice and get some wicked tunes, they could be a good band.

Tubelord are who I came for and they didn’t disappoint and even had some new tunes since I last saw them. I might be wrong here but I think they had a different bass player this time round and he looked a lot more comfortable and danced like a bastard. I enjoy Tubelord’s moves the lead singer, guitar dude, moves like an indie rock sex flamingo, grinding and on one leg, while smacking out the spazzed out riffs and I mean that in the best way possible of course.

Tellison surprised me and not only because I thought the name meant they were a metal band. They were solid and had plenty of wicked tunes, all be it in a kind of generic indie power pop kind of way, but still done well and with some inventive flourishes that brought them out of the pack a little. All the music was new to me and I couldn’t really hear the lyrics so have no idea what they are about or indeed what many of the tunes are even called, but they had some followers singing along. It was their first time playing York and they seemed to enjoy it and so did the crowd, not that the crowd was huge or anything it was a Monday night in a venue f’ing miles away from the centre of town. Good gig.

Monday, 28 July 2008

High Places – 03/07-09/07

I have chatted about High Places before on this here blog, I discovered them as they were supporting one of my favourite bands Deerhunter not very long ago and I went to check them both out and had an ace time. This is a collecting of songs that have been released previously on the odd 7” and all that good stuff. I completely forgot to pick this CD up at the merch stand, but I have it now and I’m a little excited to hear the new album they have ready, so in the mean time here is the rubbish titled 03/07-09/07.

I would describe their sound as sweet sweet tropical shoegaze. Percussion done in a live and sexy way on digital devices and god knows what else topped off with the sweet female vocals, that my sister has said makes her want to squeeze the singer as it’s pretty cute. Its mesmerizing and beautiful music that will echo around your head with it’s warm tones and tropical jangle. This isn’t just head music, oh no, this makes my feet move to the groove. High Places are like a light and very accessible indie version of Muslimgauze or maybe even Shackleton, especially in the drum department with bongos and loops reminiscent of Africa and all round the world.

Head Spins opens the compilation and its one of the best tunes here I really love it, the thing I notice about the CD compared to the live performance I saw is that I can actually pick out lyrics. Sandy Feat is the sound of skipping around a beach in the sun beams with the sea lapping at your toes. They are just two of my favourites on 03/07-09/07, hell just call it self titled after the group. Each tune brings a nice sunny edged swirling shoegazing little nugget of joy to my ears, there isn’t a bad track.

High Places make so of the loveliest music I have heard recently and as a little collection of odds and sods they have released before this is brilliant, it’s a very nice teaser for the forth-coming album as well.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Bug – London Zoo

London Zoo is the sound of the dirty under belly of the big smoke, with roots in dancehall, dubstep grime and techno The Bug brings a menacing modern soundscape to the table. This album is relentless and in your face, uncompromising and heavy as hell. Pretty much all the tunes bar one have some collaborative force involved with them the list is pretty impressive: Tippa Irie, Ricky Ranking, Killa P, Flow Dan, Aya, Warrior Queen, Spaceape and Roger Robinson. They bring some raga dancehall vocals to the proceedings. London Zoo is the hot, muggy, sinister atmosphere of our capital city.

Ninja Tunes have dropped a big one with London Zoo, The Bug mixes all the sounds and influences into a brilliant cohesive record. It comes off as some kind of new style dancehall with the deep dubbed out grime attitude of some dubstep. The musical backdrops to the very vocal heavy tracks suit the lyrical content very well indeed. Deep, heavy, claustrophobic and paranoid sounds are laid under tales of city struggles. London is described as a Zoo in the title and The Bug has a beastly primal energy to his music, and reflects the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the modern underbelly of the city. I can easily imagine this being pumped out of pirate radio stations all over London, the tower blocks shaking with the bass and clatter. This is the heavy, ‘I will take no shit’ cousin of Burial’s laid-back UK crackle drenched 2-step vision of the city.

The apocalypse sounds like it’s on the way, and we are in the middle of the war a hot dirty war in the jungle, of the twisted urban landscape, not to mention a dose of paranoia and terrorism. The lyrics deal with this subject on a few occasions. The opening track I’m not to sure about I have heard someone compare it to the Macarena and I know what they mean, it’s a hard ass version for sure but still has that cheesy edge. Skeng with Killa P and Flow Dan is a wicked tune with deep and dirty dancehall dub vibes and a nice 808 bell for good measure. Too Much Pain is a spooky little number with soulful dancehall vocals, an irresistible and dark track. Jah War is another beauty with that ace dancehall zoom zoom sample I love about that kind of music. Fuckaz with Spaceape is some deep dub poetry with a growling bassline. Freak Freak is the only instrumental on London Zoo and it’s a beauty with massive bass and even a little bit of Burial crackle (tm) thrown in for good measure. Warning is a beast with Flow Dan on the mic and huge clattering drums. Poison Dart is one of the best tunes here Warrior Queen brings it to the table in style, the Skream remix can be found bellow too. The final tune brings a little smidgen of light relief, sort of, with a slowed down soulful dancehall dub number. The Bug has made a brilliant album.

The Bug Space

Kode 9 album preview mini mix

The Bug Feat. Warrior Queen – Poison Dart (Skream Remix)

The Bug Feat. Ricky Ranking - Flying

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst

This is his solo album with The Mystic Valley Band; demos have been kicking around for quite a while online. I even reviewed some on this here blog. I’m a sucker for a bit of Bright Eyes I mean Conor Oberst, he ticks all my emo boxes. This record is super striped back and mostly sounds like Conor and his guitar, lo-fi back to the roots music all the way. As always his voice is very distinctive and emotional, with sweet hooks and melodies. Nothing that different from a lot of Bright Eyes stuff that has come before it to be honest, but then again he is well loved and doesn’t need to push the envelope much. After listening quite a few times I’m finding it hard to get that excited about this release, I’m more of a fan of his sonic tomfoolery like on Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and even Cassadaga. I’m not really a fan when he takes his sound to the more country end of the spectrum.

The lyrical content is pretty much the same as it has always been, love, emotions, death, loss and all that stuff. He is so good at telling a story with clever word play and it’s a joy to listen to as ever. I’m not the best at getting into more lyrical music but I will try my best for you. Cape Canaveral is one of my favourite tracks here and it seems to deal with cosmic goings on and maybe some kind of farther figure. The line, ‘You told me victory is sweet, even deep in the cheap seats’ sticks with me for some reason. I can’t get into the next tune at all; it’s a country by numbers bore-fest. Get Well Cards has a nice chorus about a postman delivering letters. Lenders In The Temple has a wicked little guitar melody and Conor at his best song writing. The lyric about the rain washing the cars clean for just a moment strikes me as a nice one. Danny Callahan is another more up beat catchy tune in the mould of so many other tunes by Oberst. I Don’t Want To Die (In The Hospital) is a boogie woogie number that sounds a little like some of the newer Arcade Fire stuff. Eagle On A Pole is a fragile acoustic number; these are by far the ones Conor Oberst does best on this record. NYC Gone, Gone is a stomping drunken sing along number, with fizzing electric guitars and it’s over in a second. Moab is another sweet one kind of up beat, he seems to have left a little melancholy behind lately, nice tune mind. ‘The is nothing that the road cannot heal, when I go down to Moab to get my canteen fild, there is nothing that the road cannot heal’ is a wicked line. Valle Mistico (Ruben’s Song) is just some random horn blowing action and a snippet of the blower sayin’ cool. Souled Out!!! Is a good tune with a slow vibe not unlike the opening tune. Milk Thistle is a melancholic and beautiful slice of acoustic fragility that Conor is such a master at, it really tugs at your heart strings.

Conor produced this him self and The Mystic Valley Band are tight and rootsy, yet nothing special, I think I miss Mogis and Walcott a little bit to be honest. Good on Conor for going out and trying out stuff under his own name with some different musicians, he has pulled it off rather well. The straight up no nonsense mostly acoustic and Conor style has to be admired by Bright Eye’s fans. I don’t think it will get him a massive new audience but it will keep a lot of the old ones very happy indeed. Thank you Conor Oberst you warm my heart.

Stream the whole album here.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Skream – Hedd Banger / Percression 12” (Tectonic)

I first came across the tune Percression on Appleblim’s amazing Dubstep Allstars Vol.06 this year; I’m still caning that CD most weeks. Percression is a deep and bouncy techno infused dub influenced stepper. I can’t get enough of its slightly acid tweaked baseline and funky as hell broken techno beats. It’s a direction I haven’t heard very much of from Skream who kind of made his name as one of the original dubstep superstars with Midnight Request Line and loads of other stuff, which is more on the wobbly dance floor bangers. He brings it deep and dirty for Tectonic on this 12”, both sides are pure filth, it’s sick. Percression hits all the right buttons for me, I can’t get enough of the techno influenced stuff at the moment. The bass plays off the dubbed out echoes of the claps perfectly and will light up the floor. As will the sharp crisp kick drum patterns, they punch like a mule, if they had arms I guess they kick hey…

I will flip it to the Hedd Banger side now, I got excited about the flip there for a moment. I hadn’t heard this one before; it’s more of a slow and low half stepper with a dirty as hell growling bass synth line. A hook with a female vocal saying, ’I’m a suppa fly, a suppa duppa fly’ is wicked. The bass is deep as hell, but then you expect nothing less from Skream and Tectonic. There is an evil and spooky vibe to Hedd Banger with its gruff bass and ghostly tingles. Eerie bongos fade in and out to add a little grove here and there I love that. The snare drum clatter is tight as hell for full on ear shattering dance floor business. Both sides are going to get it done for sure. Well done Skream this 12” is huge and I’m always impressed by Tectonic and their output.

This is in the shops on 11th August 2008.

Skream Space

Tectonic Space

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Generation Bass Vs. Dubstep Warz

The original Dubstep Warz was way back in 2006 on Radio 1 by Marry Anne Hobbs and it went down as a bit of a legendary shindig apparently. I never heard it at the time but in this day and age you can find it easy enough. So for Generation Bass Marry Anne has got the original members of Dubstep Warz together to curate and choose some artists of their own to represent the scene. It goes a little something like this:

Mala’s choice: Silkie and Quest

Skream’s choice: Kulture

Kode 9’s choice: Joker

Vex’d’s choice: Starkey

Hatcha’s choice: Chef

Loefah’s choice: Oneman

Distance’s choice: Cyrus

“I have been given the opportunity to do a very special one-off show at the BBC's Maida Vale studios, which we'll broadcast on Radio 1, Tuesday night/Wednesday morning on August 19th/20th. We will also be filming the whole thing for YouTube.” Marry Anne Hobbs

I’m most excited about Silkie, Kulture & Joker who just zinged me on dubstepforum about my needles, cheeky: and Starkey sounds wicked too. All of it is going to be awesome to be honest, you can be sure to hear a showcase of the dubstep sound. I was hopping to have Appleblim, Martyn, 2562 or Peverlist in there somewhere but I guess it just isn’t happening. Catch up on the Dubstep Warz from way back bellow:

Dubstep Warz Download


D1 - Untitled (white)Mala (Digital Mystikz)

Digital Mystikz - ‘10 Dread Commandments VIP’ (white)
Digital Mystikz - ‘Haunted’ (white)
Digital Mystikz - ‘Left Leg Out’ (white)
Skream - ‘Request Line’ Mala remix (white)
Digital Mystikz - ‘All Of A Sudden’ (white)
Digital Mystikz - ‘Anti-War Dub’ (white)

Skream - ‘Midnight Request Line’ (Tempa)
Skream - ‘Tapped’ (Tempa)
Sunship and Warrior Queen - ‘Almighty Father’ Skream remix (white)
Skream - ‘Glamma’ (Tempa)
Skream - ‘Deep Concentration’ (Tempa)
Skream - ‘Rottan’ (Tempa)
Digital Mystikz - ‘Ancient Memories’ Skream remix (white)
Horsepower - ‘Egypt’ (Skream remix) (white)
Skream - ‘Music 2 Make Us Stagga’ (white)

Kode 9 and Space Ape
Benny Ill, Kode9 & the Culprit - ‘Fat Larry Skank’ Kode 9 remix (white)
Kode 9 and Space Ape - ‘9 Samurai’ (Hyperdub)
Kode 9 and Space Ape - ‘Backward’ (Hyperdub)
Kode 9 and Space Ape - ‘Kingston Dub’ (Hyperdub)
Burial and Space Ape - ‘Space Ape’ (White)

Vex’d - ‘Saturn’ (white)
Vex’d - ‘3rd Choice’ (white)
Vex’d - ‘Wavescape Remix’ (white)
Vex’d - ‘Killing Floor’ (white)

Hatcha and Crazy D
Benga - Untitled (white)
Benga - Untitled (white)
Coki - Untitled (white)
Coki - Untitled (white)
Coki - Untitled (white)
Skream - ‘Request Line’ Remix (white)
Benga - Untitled (white)
Benga - Untitled (white)
Benga - Untitled (white)
Digital Mystikz - ‘Ancient Memories’ Skream remix (white)

Loefah and Sgt. Pokes
Loefah - ‘Mud’ (white)
Loefah - ‘Ruffage’ (white)
Loefah - ‘Sukkah’ (white)
Loefah - ‘System’ (white)
Loefah - ‘Root’ (DMZ)

Distance - ‘My Demons’ (white)
Distance - ‘Fallen’ (white)
Distance - ‘Tuning’ (white)
Distance - ‘Cella’ (white)
Distance - ‘Cyclops’ (white)
Distance - ‘Night Vision’ (white)
Distance - ‘Traffic’ (white)

DJ Pinch - ‘Qawwali’ (white)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Mercury Music Prize 2008

Adele, 19
British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial, Untrue
Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle, Shine
The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age of the Understatement
Laura Marling, Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon, Stainless Style
Portico Quartet, Knee Deep in the North Sea
Radiohead, In Rainbows
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, The Bairns
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

It’s really hard to tell what the hell the Mercury Music Prize is for. You look at the list every year and see a few good albums and think to yourself, oh wow this might be celebrating quality music? Then you look again and it’s full of that years over hyped chart fodder that sure has been picked up by loads and loads of people but seems to be their just to get publicity for the awards. What are they doing with the Mercury? They try to come off looking like it’s all for the music and nothing else, but I don’t buy it…

Is it a cunning marketing plan by the industry and journalists? Get loads more hype and sales going, so they have something to write about? I don’t know. Last year I was happy when Klaxons won I enjoyed the album a lot that year. I haven’t gone back to it since though, it just doesn’t stand the test of time. It smacks of hype and the in thing, which is what the prize gives the impression it’s not about.

Plus there always seems to be token acts to try and prop up the list to give it a little credibility. They look like tokens anyway, I’m sure a lot of them are excellent albums and I’m not denying that. This year for example if you take out Burial, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset and Portico Quartet you have a really average run of the mill, middle of the road list. That could be on any Q magazine or Sunday supplement music article.

Maybe the Mercury Music Prize just isn’t for me anymore, it seems to be looking to sell more records to people who don’t follow music very much. It’s probably not aimed at the geeks who spaff off on a blog everyday about music they love and look out for.

If I had to choose a top three it looks pretty easy Laura Marling has made a pretty little album that is a joy to listen to and it’s nice it’s getting recognition as I think it has probably been over looked since it came out at the beginning of the year. I know I haven’t listened to it in a long time. Radiohead seem to get nominated every year, I mean even Thome York’s side project did, and they pretty much always look like a good shout to be on the list. The thing is with Radiohead they have a lot of fans and make really good records but I struggle to love them. But hey they look good again on this list. The winner for me though is Burial…

Burial’s Untrue is a beautiful record that I am very attached to and have been ever since it got released at the end of last year. I went and picked it up on the day of release and haven’t stopped playing it since. Burial would be a worthy winner that is making some truly brilliant underground music that looks back at the past UK underground urban dance scene and brings it back to life as a new and spooky beast.

There are so many records that could have made this list a hell of a lot more interesting, just off the top of my head: Youthmovies, Johnny Foreigner, M.I.A., Trim, The Bug, Mystery Jets, Down I Go, Portishead, Fuck Buttons, hell even bands I’m not keen on Wild Beasts, who I think are terrible would be a nice little addition, Foals could have made it they are going own a storm with the kids, or was it their turn last year with the Nu-Rave theme? Spiritualized, who in my opinion made a rubbish album that sounded like Embrace are more worthy than some on the list. I can’t be arsed to go on anymore. So yeah, what the hell is this prize?…
Is the Mercury Retrograde? (I hate my self now for that Bloc Party joke)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Zomby Vs. M.I.A.

Zomby has made some of my favourite dubstep on the last couple of releases I have grabben. The Rustie mix of his Spliff Dub is huge, which you can find on Hyperdub. His 12” for Ramp Recordings Strange Fruit and Liquid Dancehall is another massive tune. Liquid Dancehall is a low-slung dirty dance floor bomb that reminds me of a war zone for some reason. Strange Fruit is a beast with its 8-bit arpeggio synth line and grinding beats.

What can you say about M.I.A. she has taken dancy pop music by the scruff of the neck and dragged it round the world to pick up loads of flava’s then dropping it off at a party. Paper Planes is my favourite track by her I think just for the irresistible loop and gun noises.

So when I saw these remixes up for free on
dubstepforum I jumped at the chance to grab them and thought I would share them with you lot too. The post said:

‘Since Zomby is such a lovely chap, he is giving away 320's of his M.I.A. remixes for free.. Enjoy!’ Ramp Recordings.

Zomby Vs. M.I.A. Tropical Mixes:

Zomby – Paper Jigglin’
Zomby – Eski Flu (M.I.A. Vs. Zomby)


Zomby Space

Monday, 21 July 2008

Dot Rotten – R.I.P. Young Dot

Dot Rotten has killed off Young Dot and taken on a new alias for his new mixtape this is top quality Grime all the way. But first what about this Young Dot? Well he dropped a free mix tape under that name a while ago and it was an absolute beast, download that for free at the link bellow…

Y.D.O.T. This is Just the Beginning

Now come back and get ready for the death of Young Dot and the brand new Dot Rotten mixtape. Dot is a producer and MC who makes some big beats and started doing that, as he couldn’t get beats off producers to rhyme on. I think he made a good move as he has some beauty’s here and is prolific as hell and has loads of volumes of instrumentals for other MC’s to buy and do their thing on.

My favourite tracks bookend this release I’m Not One Of Them has a wobbly loop mixed with some rhythmic vocal samples before kicking off into some heavy grime beats with a slight American influence to it. Dot Rotten’s flow is wicked and he try’s to separate him self from the average crowd of grime MC’s in the lyrics. I’m A Professional is a sick sick track with doubled up vocal tracks to make a mad effect, with an ace double beat behind it, and some synthetic orchestral stuff to notch up the atmosphere. The sung hook is excellent and makes this track a cracker.

Is It War is a beef track about generally taking people down just the way these Grime heads like it. The beat is a good one mind with low-slung horns and stuttering vocal samples. MC’s Don’t Bother Me is a catchy number and Dot spits bars about not being bothered about the scene and doing his own thing. It has some real emotion to the track. Each tune has something top quality about it, be it the beat, hooks or bars, Dot Rotten just brings it. Under the Grime swaggering and posturing about beefs and being the best, there is a deeper emotional heart that often comes out in the backing track with its spooky atmospherics. The lyrics often touch on wanting to better your self and struggling with it all. This Year is a lo-fi minimal beat beast with some solid bars and hooks, ‘Calm down!’ it’s a bit like a proper underground UK version of Lil’ Wayne’s A Milli, but about getting cash rather than having a fuck load. This brings me onto the next tune I’m A Leader, which echo’s Weezy F with its auto tuned vocal hook and synth melodies. Pain And Strife is a bonus track and has some wicked bars, but the beat is a little weak compared to the rest of the tape, I guess it’s a demo or something. It’s got some heartfelt lyrics mind and for that I salute him. Picking a stand out track is hard as hell here Dot Rotten is solid.

Two instrumental bangers feature on this mixtape Grime And Bass is a beast with a real heavy swagger to it. It makes me want to duck for cover, as it sounds like a fucking war is happening its that heavy. Bazooka is some next level stuff that dropped a while back now so I gather. Low-slung horns and what sounds like a drill loop up then drop into some wicked vocal samples that remind me of old skool house tunes, ‘duh, doo’ ripped up reversed and made into a groove is irresistible. Dot Rotten has skills as a producer and MC.

Rest In Piece Young Dot but long live Dot Rotten…

Buy Dot Rotten – R.I.P. Young Dot

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Martyn Vs. TRG

Martyn and TRG go head to head on Marry Anne Hobbs Experimental show on Radio 1 and it went off big time. Both artists are hot as hell and making some serious beats, Martyn is doing some kind of tech-house influenced deep soul wrenching dubstep tip it moves your mind like no other stepping right now in my opinion. TRG is making some dance floor bombs with a slight 2-step shuffle and a massive techno influence. Both mixes are tight as hell and amazing check out the track list bellow, not only do we get exclusive tunes from Martyn’s ace 3024 label and some more 2562 but awesome remixes from one of my favourite artists Flying Lotus. Martyn’s heart beat mix of RobertaFlack is special as is FlyLo’s mix of Natural Selection. Off the hook, and that’s just Martyn’s set. TRG drops and exclusive tune he made especially for the show and brings it big style for the rest. Get it on the download and heavy roation right now…

1. Flying Lotus feat Lil Wayne - Robo Tussin
2. Birdy Nam Nam - Boulogne Express
3. Cotti - Public Enemy Dub
4. Balansky aka Cooh - ?
5. Jaques Lauder - Reject (techno re-work)
6. Mr Beatnik feat Ahu - I Know All The Bitches(Billion mix)Altered Vibes
7. Nadja - Alien In My Own Skin (Vex-D mix) - Lo Dubs
8. MLZ - newanaloguecentury - Modern Love
9. Can - Future days (Carl Craig blade runner mix)
10. Martyn - Vancouver - 3024
11. Martyn - Hear Me 3024 12. 2562 - Old Town
13. Pangaea - Router
14. Martyn - Twenty Four - 3024
15. Flying Lotus - Roberta Flack (Martyn heart beat mix) - Warp
16. Martyn - Vancouver (2562 off dub mix) - 3024
17. Martyn - Natural selection (acapella) - 3024
18. Martyn - Natural selection (Flying Lotus conference clense mix)
19. TRG - The Flex (radio 1 exclusive)
20. TRG - Ghetto Romance - Subway
21. TRG – 2084 (aka Please)
22. TRG - On Tour
23. DLX - Matter Of Fact (Breakage Relatively Speaking mix)
24. Tayo - Marh Of The Soundbwoyz (TRG mix) - Cool and Deadly
25. TRG - Everything We Stand For - Cool and Deadly
26. TRG - Surreal (5 AM mix)
27. TRG - They Know (Berlin Wall VIP)
28. TRG - Put You Down (Dirty Sonix mix)
29. Vaccine - In Vivo
30. Darkstar - Lilly Liver (Starkey mix) - Offshore
31. Matty G - West Coast Rocks (Glitch Mob mix)
32. Brotherhood - Dub By The River - Phonobox
P.S. 2562 & Peverelist went head to head and the was awsome too.
P.P.S. I will be dropping another dubstep mix in the near future.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Project Twisted Mayhem

This is the new exclusive up and coming event, and I don’t say the word event lightly, that I am involved with as DJ and general ideas man with Ron the brains behind the project and super human DJ Pauly P who writes Balearic Skirmish. We want to get a night of the ground where we can spin tunes and get bands involved to make a night of pure musical mayhem. We are genre spanners and like to spin pretty much anything from old skool house, italo, funk and hip-hop with a splashing of funk’n’breaks to the more beastly end of the dance spectrum with techno, electro, minimal and dubstep… if I accidentally go to the dark side, hell I will even drop some ‘indie’, jazz and rock if the mood takes me.

Right now we are just getting it off the ground, venues are being found, interest is being gauged, facebook groups are being made. And this is where I ask you lovely people for some help…

Join our Project Twisted Mayhem group boost our numbers download our mix, yeah that’s right we have a promo mix but more about that in a little while. Join the group and see what we are up to, which in turn will get us some kudos in helping push the idea to venues and all that good stuff.

We want to party and take you with us.

This mix is a promo for the night and it’s a stone cold cracker by Pauly P my partner in crime on the one’s and two’s. He has whipped out an eclectic one for this mix, now don’t let The Ting Tings put you off, or in-fact MGMT I know you indie pose like to throw abuse but hell he mashes them up real good into this session. The Dueling Bongos track is a version of the Deliverance squeal piggy banjo battle on you guessed it percussion only it’s phat. He funks up and loops some sweet Flava and the mix really gets the Asses moving with some deep and sexy house, italo, and electro groves. The dude is blessed on the decks, it’s a journey from now on with hit after hit. The hypnotic dance off with only relent by the time you get the dream pop of Air France locked in the mix and by then it’s to damn late you are hooked, Cindy comes round with her cosmic pop and the funk ridden wind down is in effect. If this mix doesn’t move you hell I’m not sure what will. Download it now and join our group.

Expect more goodies no doubt in the near future I mean I haven’t even done a promo mix yet but you can expect a deep and dark vibe from that when I get it cooking, but then if you are reading my blog you might already know my style. Check it after the drop…

Pauly P – Project Twisted Mayhem Promo Mix

Juno Reactor – Nitrogen
Incredible Bongo Band - Dueling Bongos
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Fire
MGMT - Electric Feel (James Rutledge Remix)
The Ting Tings - Great DJ (Calvin Harris Remix)
Salt n Pepa – Push it beats
Soulwax - Another Excuse (DFA Funktown Remix)
Public Enemy vocal samples
Faze Action - Stratus Energy (Special Disco Mix)
Elitechnique – We shall control
Magnus International – K
Added Bongos
Gesaffelstein- Death Fagh
Hail Social- No Paradise (Weird Tapes Edit)
Baciotti - Black Jack (Serge Santiago Edit)
The Diaphanoids – Escape From Martius 42
Air France – Karibien
Cindy Lauper - Lay Me Down
Holger Zilske - wrecker 06 (Undo Remix)
Dr. Lektroluv - Metal Disco (Legowelt Vs. Orgue Electronique Mix)
Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom - Rise (DFA remix)
Howard Wales – Golden Flyer

Join us! It’s just the beginning…

Friday, 18 July 2008

My Left Retina – Fever Ate My Fist EP

This is an EP full of electro tinged dark garage, dubstep with some evil bass and moody soundscapes. There is a slight hip-hop swing to some of the tracks and he apparently use to make some tasty hip-hop beats and rap before moving onto the bassy end of the dance spectrum.

Fever Ate My Fist kicks off with Chocolate Lime Dub and I have to agree with another blog on this, it’s a brilliant name for a track, the sound reflects this with it’s smooth taste, sharp beats and well the dub is self explanatory. Some crackle and warm mood drenched synths give way to the fat electronic beats and samples that sound like the inside of a robot, a groovy little fucker mind non of this robot without a soul business. The baseline has a deep and acidic quality to it. Phat tune.

The title track is up next Fever Ate My Fist and I love the opening loop made up of clicks and breathy sharp samples that flows into some heavy slow industrial beatscapes and sci-fi synthetic sweeps. It’s a nice combination of electronic dubstep, warp style IDM and even a little bit of rock styling as the guitar loops come in.

Gordon Bombay is a slow dirty number that starts with whips and Harvey being told there is a disco on today but he won’t be going, gutted for him. It sounds like the rest of us are invited mind as the slow funky digital groves make us move as the base carries us into deeper territories. This is a nice cross between hip-hop instrumental and base music.

November has a huge bass pulse and slow menacing beats that could soundtrack an evil invasion by some sluggish alien robot race that just know they don’t need to move quickly as they are going to kick all our asses anyway. Evil yet a little bit beautiful too in its own way.

Last Kiss (Neck Tied) brings the sweetness to the EP a bright atmospheric hip-hop instrumental with glitches and groves a plenty. A nice bit of light relief from the badass heavy evil stuff. Once in a while even robots get off with each other.

Self Tongue again brings the freaky spooky stuff to your ears, the into actually spooked me a little bit I’m glad I’m listening during the day right now. The synth line pulses like a laser a deep base laser at that. And a really smooth baseline kicks in about half way through and it is sure to get you moving.

Bronchitis is the final track to Fever Ate My Fist EP and it coughs all over you with samples of far away illness. The base has an ace dub deepness and slow half stepping tempo. Some more guitar sampling antics come on top of this, showing My Left Retina’s roots. This final track is a bit of an epic one clocking in at a tasty 8 minuets. A real dark moody stepper that draws you into its deep hypnotic world. It reminds me of something Coldcut would play in their brilliant Journeys by a DJ mix.

My Left Retina make some wicked dark, moody base ridden tunes and Fever Ate My Fist EP is a nice little nugget of a showcase. Check out the links bellow for more details and all that good stuff.

My Left Retina Myspace

My Left Retina Dot Co Dot UK

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Samiyam – Rap Beats Vol.1

This is the self-released album from LA’s Samiyam and it comes with a unique hand made and doodled cover art for Sam him self. Mine is some porn with two girls that have been penned over in green on the mouths and nose, one has a moustache now and still looks hot… Then flip to the inside and you can see it’s cut out from a porn mag and he has highlighted the bit that says and I quote, ”Anal Cocksucking Whores 29” and put in a helpful pointer for me that says, ‘It’s the best 28 was shit’ so nice one Samiyam for that tip. Oh you can’t see any rude bits to titillate you he has drawn on those and will leave the music to float your boat…

Off kilter instrumental hip-hop beats are the name of the game on Rap Beats Vol.1 not unlike his LA scene buddy Flying Lotus he even makes beats with him under the name FLYamSAM you can find an example of this on a Ghostlyswim free compilation I posted about a while back now. He has also just released an EP on ace dubstep label Hyperdub but I will write about that in the not to distant future, back to the album anyhow.

Rap Beats Vol.1 is thirty odd minuets of pure wonky bass driven hip-hop, it’s mishmash as you can imagine, a bit cut’n’paste in places but overall a great listen. The ideas he has going are ace samples are freaked around with to make woozy grooves and slanted beats. The funk keeps coming and he never misses a beat. This will get your head nodding if you are a fan of FlyLo, slightly left of centre hip-hop or pretty much any bass and groove based music like funk, electro or dubstep. His style reminds me of some Mr Oizo with the heavy bass and quirky beats. Samiyam uses his electro influences more organically than Oizo though, there is a real deep warmth to Rap Beats Vol.1.

He is up their with Flying Lotus in making this kind of hip-hop right now I can’t get enough of both of them. FlyLo brings a more organic underwater vibe to his productions and Samiyam goes for a slightly more digital sound. Rap Beats Vol.1 comes highly recommended by me it’s addictive. Check out a couple of free downloads


Wednesday, 16 July 2008

This Town Needs Guns – Animals (Exclusive Album Track Free Download)

Oxfords This Town Needs guns have been one of my favourite bands for a little while now ever since I saw them supporting Forward, Russia! With Rolo Tomassi, hell that was a good line up for a gig, any way they make some wicked indie pop in the vain of Owls, Maps and Atlases, and all that good stuff.

They have a new album dropping in October called Animals and I have been sent by the fantastic label Big Scary Monsters an exclusive album track that isn’t even on their myspace, for me to put up for all you lovely people to download and listen with your ears and everything. Oh yeah a single is coming in September and my sources say it’s as catchy as hell, the album is going to rule.

Baboon is the tracks name and it’s nothing short of wonderful. Links bellow and a video for a track from their previous EP, and one of my favourite tunes of theirs 26 Is Dancier Than 4.

The Cool Kids – That’s Stupid

This is the super free new mixtape from hyped up by the hipsters, old school loving, minimalist, 808 bashing duo The Cool Kids. The blog says play it in your car, don’t skip it as its only 25 minuets and tell your friends, so here you go people Check it for your self by clicking the link bellow.

The Cool Kids – That’s Stupid

Cool Kids Dot Com


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Durrty Goodz – Axiom EP

I’m lagging behind with Grime I’m still listening to Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner so I thought it was about time I dug up some more up to date stuff. It looks like I failed at doing that too, as this Durrty Goodz EP came out some time last year but it is by far the best slice of Grime I have heard recently, its off the wall.

The production is sick to say the least one of my favourite Dubstep producers Peverelis does a track here I love his stuff on Dubstep Allstars Vol.06 and his recent 12” especially the tune Junction. Durrty Goodz flow on all these proper high-end beats is brilliant, he can do it fast and with a bite like no other MC I have heard recently. I think it’s the beats that raise this above other Grime releases for me. DVA’s beast Keep Up that starts the EP is a hell of an opener with its stepping bassline and a fuck load of energy. Coki’s beat on Take the Scene Back is fat I keep spinning that one. The Youngers has some well pitch shifted vocal work that reminds me of Dizzee and Lil’ Wayne to some extent. The usual Grime subject are covered about their ends, and taking the scene back, but its done with such flair and style over those sick beats it really shines through. JJ’s beat of Licence to Skill is wicked the bass is huge and the flow frantic, with a hint of bond theme as the hook, which is either good fun or annoying I’m not sure. Boi Dem is another stand out track that bassline by Bass Clef is huge I have to check out more of his productions. Title track Axiom really made my ears prick up the super fast speedy flow is out of sight, Durrty then slows it down and kicks off again, it makes you want to rewind right away. Switching Songs II has a 2-step vibe to it and is a nice different more soulful angle to the EP, time for a quick bubble I reckon. He gives us a bit of a Grime history lesson with a tight flow too with some of Wiley’s and Dizzee’s beats thrown in their for good measure, amongst other old school Grime anthems I don’t know of no doubt, I love the packman blips. Give Me The Music Feat. NY is a spacey future Grime groove of the highest order and closes the EP in style, or the secret track at the end does anyway.

Durrty Goodz is wicked Axiom is the best Grime release I have heard in a while I look forward to seeking out more sick beats and flows soon.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Flying Lotus Vs. Lil’ Wayne

I have a lot of love for FlyLo, as you may know if you read my blog regular (yep that’s you mum). I have also been playing Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III a hell of a lot since it dropped recently, it’s my biggest surprise of the year so far I thought I would hate it but it turns out he is brilliant in his own lil’ way. Pitchfork have stuck up a FlyLo meets Weezy F Baby mash-up which is done by Flying Lotus him self I think any way. It uses some fresh beats and a nice slice of one of the stand out Tha Carter III cuts A Milli. FlyLo makes it into a quirky off kilter wonky hip hop freak beat with the sense of humour of Wayne and deep underwater vibe of his own productions, it works damn well. Check it out for your self right now by clicking on the link bellow.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Joker – Holly Brook Park / 80s 12”

This is the new 12” from Joker who seems to be smashing it right now form what I can gather, it’s dropping on his new Bristol imprint called Kapsize in mid to late July, so soon if not now. The A-Side Holly Brook Park is an electro tinged dubstep beast with a slow kind of hiphop vibe to it. Holly Brook Park is so damn catchy I keep getting it stuck in my head; the synth hook is deadly and will smash the dance floor. It’s in the same vain as his last banger Gully Brook Lane, it could even be the extended mid section to that very track. I could see this tune crossing over to the Grime crowd someone spittin’ on it would work a treat. Hell some dirty south syrup drinking freaks could rock this tune too.

The flip 80s is a subtler affair and I maybe prefer it just. Retro 8-bit twinkles and synths make a sweet little tune that starts off like some long lost computer game soundtrack nugget before dropping some powerful bass and mournful melodies. The skitting electro percussion is in full effect here it reminds me of that booming old skool electro sound you get on Street Sound compilations. This 12” is a beast A-side and flip will move the floor in different ways. Check out his myspace bellow and there is a mini mix he did for Skream’s radio show that looks fat.


Joker Mix for Skream’s Rinse show

Saturday, 12 July 2008


I’m the proud owner of the new Worriedaboutsatan demo CD-R sent over by the band them selves. They are an ambient, electronic act that have a brilliant minimal techno edge and some post-rock sensibilities from Leeds. These influences all melt into each other in a hypnotic and beautiful way. The minimal styling is really shining through with this new stuff, as are the glitchy sounds and some huge bass sounds. On the new demo there are no vocals or guitar just yet and when there is they will no doubt be sparse minimal and add to the atmosphere wonderfully.

Of the three tracks the one I like most is maybe Evil Dogs. It opens with some sweeping reverberating pads not unlike something Burial would use on his mellower tracks. Then the glitch ridden electronic drums and clicks come in, followed by a big bass kick and other minimal moments of bliss. The bassline is huge and actual blows air at me from my speakers; I can smell them getting warm with every pulse. This all melts into some ambient textures and bass pulses in which a vocal sample echoes through before the kick drops in again. Excellent stuff.

Next we have the brilliantly titled Pissing About but you know that’s just the working name as that’s no doubt what they were up to when making it. The tune sounds anything but a piss about mind. I deep and bleepy synth opens the track with clicks and some ace tweaking with the reverb that is used so well in minimal. A sample of what sound like a female voice adds a bright edge to it. Pissing Around isn’t as dark as Evil Dogs but we still get all the ace fat kicks and bass. Worriedaboutsatan are hypnotic.

Arrivals samples what sounds like some kind of freaky train station conversation before having some subtle and beautiful atmospheric string pads float through. The cut up glitchy vocals are really cool and add a spooky element to the track. Skitting percussion loops build with subtle reverb as the vocals tweak. The bass then kicks in with a low hum and a kick melts out of the deep growl, and slowly groves away. More hypnotic and atmospheric minimalism: deep stuff. All the tracks are un-mixed, un-mastered and they sound damn good, studio finished version will be Phat.

Worriedaboutsatan are a wicked band make sure to check out the stuff they already have out, plus they are touring quite a bit too. Find the myspace link bellow for more details.


Friday, 11 July 2008

Jimi The Exploder Presents: DubTek

Mixed by me James Balf, in one take live using vinyl only @ my house on 10/07/2008.

Track List:
Zomby – Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix) [Hyperdub]
Pinch – Fighting Talk [Soul Jazz Records]
Radioactive Man – Nobbys Berwick Express [Control Tower]
Ikonika – Please [Hyperdub]
2562 – Kameleon [Tectonic]
Martyn – Suburbia [Apple Pips]
Peverlist – Junktion [Tectonic]
Pinch – Chamber Dub [Soul Jazz Records]
TRG – Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM Remix) [Hessle Audio]
Martyn – Natural Selection [3024]
Dusk – Focus [Baked Goods]
DJ Ronaldo AKA The Aztec Mystic – Jaguar (mayday mix by Derrick May) [430 West & UR]
Martyn – Vancover [3024]
Bass Kitten + Single Cell Orchestra – Down With Digital [Pretension]
2562 – Morvern [Tectonic]
Pill Hearin – 146 Ways [Electrix Records]
2562 – Moog Dud [Tectonic]
Ramadanman – Blimey [Hessle Audio]

Download Link Bellow

This is almost my first Dubstep mix, I did another one and it’s floating about somewhere but it’s a little lame. So this is the new and improved DubTek mix by me. I have only just begun collecting Dubstep so my selection is a little limited as you can probably tell with the amount of repeated artists throughout. This doesn’t mean there is any filler mind, hell no. I tried to spice things up a little by throwing in some curveballs in the form of electro and Detroit techno as I felt they fit pretty nice next to the techy elements of the Dubstep records.

I love all the tracks so I will give you a quick talk through:

I open with Rustie’s remix of Zomby’s Spliff Dub its just a cracking tune with a wonky dub vibe to it, those 8-bit blips kill me every time. Pinch is up next and this track is on the B-Side of a single I love the low down dirty sound; it compliments the first track well. The Radioactive Man tune is a freaky electro stomper usually its at a break neck BPM but I pitched it down about 18% with my super human decks to make it fit, I just love a curve ball some times. Ikonika brings the stepping back with style and a catchy electro dub hook I have had in my head for quite some time now.

2562’s Kameleon is my favourite track from the brilliant Aerial album and I thought I would throw it in early to give you a banger to get the juices flowing. Martyn’s ace Suburbia is up next, its still a huge tune but it brings the vibe down a little in to deeper tech driven dub territory ready to build again. Junktion by Peverlist is another of my favourite tracks in this mix the big fat bass drum kicks are to die for it has a beautiful spaced out dub feel to it as well. Chamber Dub is the A-side to the other Pinch tune I played earlier and it’s a cracker. The bass of this tune and the last work well off each other and let me get deep in the mid section.

I whip out the anthem by TRG next Martyn’s mix of Broken Heart is one of the best Dubstep tunes around in my opinion. It reminds me of some deep tech house I love it so very much. How the hell can you come out of that beast of a tune without sounding lame? Well another Martyn track should do it hey, and that’s what I do with the new tune on his 3024 label. It has a techy dubstep vibe to it again and is an absolutely massive tune. Dusk’s Focus comes out of this nicely with a soulful dubstep mixed with Detroit techno sound, the 808 cowbells and all that god stuff make this track for me. Now for my next curve ball I throw in some Underground Resistance Detroit Techno with the mad organ and stepping rhythm mix of classic anthem Jaguar by Derrick May. I have had this track and loved it for so very long, I didn’t even need to pitch it up for it to fit the Dubstep tempo, its already that quick.

The flip of the last Martyn 12” is up next its a lot deeper and dubbyer than the A-Side and spaces out the mix nicely after that techno track before it. This is only I minor rest bite for you though as I decide to bring some electro beats in for the next tune. Bass Kitten + Single Cell Orchestra’s Down By Digital has been a favourite of mine for quite some time and I think it fits quite nice into this set. I dub it up again with 2562 after this and take another beast from his album; the techno dub vibe to this is brilliant I can’t get enough of it. I mix into Pill Hearin next, again I have had this tune for ages and was never sure what to do with it as its so quick for an electro/techno tune, its even pitched down in this dubstep mix. 2562 mixes out of this in a Phil Keiran/2562 sandwich that I thought of right away after hearing Aerial the first time. This is the start of my mix warm down to get a good deep dub ending so Moog Dub mixed into Ramadanman’s Blimey is a beauty to end with. I can’t get enough of Blimey its such a mad tune and unlike a lot of dubstep I have heard. The tribal drums and epic space decend into a beautiful melancholic soundscape, which fades to black and draws DubTek to a close…

Download: Jimi The Exploder Presents: DubTek @

Barefiles link to come…

P.S. The picture is of King Tubby’s bass speaker.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Move D & Benjamin Burnn – Songs From The Beehive

This album is sublime each tune is pure epic minimal grooves that take in many different influences from as far away as ambient music to acid house. I have been holding off from reviewing it for a while as I have just been enjoying it too much. Every song is so hypnotic and builds for so long some times you don’t hear that techno four to the floor beat for a good five minuets into the tune. Loop after loop layers up and twists into a big epic patchwork not unlike some of the music GAS has done. Then the pumping drums come in and take it to new dance floor heights. This music can work just as well at home and in the clubs, with some clever mixing and tune selection. There are only seven tunes on Songs From The Beehive but each one clocks in at quite some length.

The first track Love The One You’re With has a beautiful ambient loop that plays throughout and the beat melts in and out of this while acidic synths make a groove for your feet and brain. There is something a little Aphex Twin about it but not quite it seems warmer and friendlier, there isn’t as much sadness either. Velvet Paws follows on from the opener with a cushion of fuzzy bleeps and sweeping pads. It’s a bit dubby this one the building rhythms echo around in a soup of reverb. When the beat really kicks in its quite electro sounding and the bass motif that accompanies it really gets in your head for that hypnotic feel. A late night or deep sunshine haze is very prominent on Songs From The Beehive, I can’t decide when would be best to play it, either in a sun set mix in Ibiza or really late at night. Honey is maybe the stand out track here it has a wicked deep echoy acid riff and a pumping drum beat. It’s the most balls out everyone to the floor techno acid stomper on the album to, why I haven’t got it on 12” yet is a mystery to me. The synth pads then melt into a beastly acid line in the mid section that will really get things going. Like A Restless Sea is one of the shorter tracks yet it is still damn atmospheric and epic sounding. An underwater vibe adds to the distant electronic growl to make it a very pretty tune indeed. Come In is another low down dubby number with a great bubbling synth section on top of hypnotic beats. Mothercorn is the penultimate track, deep spaced out sounds fill the air around you with this one, it’s pretty irresistible. Radar is the final tune and its an epic one clocking in at over twenty minuets worth of beautiful ambient loops it really has space to develop and breath. When the beat finally comes in some time after five minuets or so the tune really picks up and comes into its own.
Move D & Benjamin Burnn have created a really cracking album that is beautifully deep and hypnotic while banging all the right techno and minimal boxes all at once.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Air France – No Way Down EP

If your sick of the rain and you want some blessed out sun drenched Balearic dream pop Air France have just the right thing for you. No Way Down is a melting pot of ambient pop music that’s often instrumental and always beautiful in that summers day/evening haze kind of way. Its not dissimilar to the recent M83 album but with less epic shoegaze moments and more pop bliss. Parts of this EP remind me of Lemon Jelly, Studio and a mellow Cut Copy. Maybe the biggest influence I can pin point in their sound would have to be The Avalanches and their throw it all in the pot style of sample driven pop textures.

Air France throw in horns, strings, disco beats, bird sounds, and shimmers of all kinds or summer and tropical elements. Tropical seems to be the in thing right now with so many bands and groups displaying their technicolor dreams all over us like sticky pineapple juice. Disco seems to be a big influence and some of the songs have that happy piano, guitar sound that verges on the cheesy side but pulls it off in a way that doesn’t leave a sickly sweet taste in your mouth. It’s truly accessible and easy to listen to, you could put this record on at a family BBQ and everyone could enjoy it.

Every song here is a little beauty and thoroughly enjoyable I’m finding it hard to pick a stand out. Collapsing at Your Doorstep, which you can find via Pitchfork at the link bellow, is pretty indicative of the rest of the EP. Happy summer sounds, sampled female vocals talking about a dream and a mellow yet party vibe to it all. No Way Down the title track has some nice big beats that verge on hip-hop and sublime shimmers that I find quite irresistible. Windmill Wedding has a sad sounding piano motif that tugs at your heartstrings while a beautiful tropical soundscape appears around you, full of bird song and horses. Air France have made a little nugget of an EP with No Way Down, bring on the summer vibes…

Air France – Collapsing at Your Doorstep

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust!

This is the Sual/Reznor colab from last year but I didn’t have a blog then and its now getting a release in physical form as appose to the pay if you like download method Reznor has been doing so much recently. As you would expect from these two we get some hefty rocking beats with a funky digital edge. And then Saul flows on top with some style often going from sing styling to full on rap flows. The heavy drums fit so well with the more traditional hip-hop sounds like horns and loops, its pretty intense in places too. The Public Enemy sample from Welcome to the Terrordome is used on Tr(n)igger to great effect.

Reznor makes for an ace rap producer here the soundscapes are ace and at times Saul even sounds a little like Reznor in his delivery. Saul’s lyrics are tight and apparently adapted poetry from a book of his called The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings Of Hip Hop. I think the lyrics are about all sorts of subjects ranging from war to hurt and all that good stuff.

Its real smooth and soulful in parts with some wicked humour like the chant, ‘when I say Niggy, you say nothing’ followed by a silence or if there is a reply it’s shot down with a shut up. Fat synths and fat beats are all over this record from retro sounding sounds to full on future jams its all here. Vocal treatments made to spooky effect are done with excellent style on DNA. WTF! Is a bit of a lull in the album to be honest it’s a bit wishy washy for my liking, only a little filler will do though hey.

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! Takes obvious influence from Ziggy Star Dust the Bowie album in title and maybe even in aesthetical style, as he takes on a kind of persona of a future renegade or something here. Kind of like Parliament Funkadelic mixed with Bowie in a hiphop style, what more could you want.

Raw is a sexy low-slung pounding electro number with future soul vocals about sex and lovin’ it’s a minimal hiphop beauty. The beat manipulation carries on a treat with Skin Of A Drum that has some ace slow beats and freaked out sounds. It’s the flow that rips up this song though, Saul gets more intense and it’s a joy to behold.

You can hear Reznor’s production shining through on here if your familuar with Nine Inch Nails sound you can hear it in bucket loads with Niggy. As I have said sometimes you could mistake Saul as Reznor by the way he sings. This album doesn’t rock out as much as Nine Inch Nail does mind, he has embraced the hiphop beats and flavours with ease.

Trent Reznor and
Saul Williams make a brilliant team and if you are a fan of either then there is plenty for you on The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust! Grimy tunes with dirt and grit, mixed with wonderful wordplay with plenty of soul bombast and passion.

Monday, 7 July 2008

The Mighty Boosh Festival @ The Hop Farm, Kent, 5th July 2008

A day of comedy and music chosen by and headlined by The Mighty Boosh, that’s what we had in store and that’s what we got too. The weather was spot on for a day spent in a field, sunbeams aplenty. After finding the venue in record time with no cues, we wondered if anyone else was actually coming, but it soon filled up. The main stage was pretty damn big and covered in Boosh skulls and all that stuff. There where masses of food outlets and ‘Nabooteques’ selling merchandise. While wondering the site I walked past the fruity toned comedian Matt Berry that was pretty cool. The sound system was playing as we went in with non other than Midfield General the Skint records head honcho on the wheels of steel. He was playing funk and soul to a scant crowd as everyone came in. Polar Bear soon came on to open the proceedings as the first band of the day. They where brilliant as usual and had acquired a different sax payer since the last time I saw them. I’m not sure how many people knew their music but quite a few people got into it and where won over in the end. The odd bunch of lads and general nobs were talking through out the set, which was annoying yet expected unfortunately. Polar Bear played a set pretty much full of new tunes and they were all spot on, the album drops in two weeks apparently and will be well worth checking out. They were my favourite band of the day, but then I only saw Polar Bear, Robots In Disguise and The Mighty Boosh. The latter bringing a whole dose of fun to the proceedings and more than outshone my expectations as a headlining festival comedy music crossover band, but more on that later. RiD played to a sizable crowd that mostly featured screaming young girls and where pretty fun too. They played all their hits to a crowd of obvious fans, as Dee in the group is going out with Noel from the Boosh and features in many episodes.

Comedy was what I mainly went for and hell we got a whole truckload of that in The Velvet Onion comedy tent. This was a little small for my liking and I didn’t like that everyone was sitting down the whole time, it made it well hard to get in and out to see your favourite performer. These were the only gripes for the Onion though so it wasn’t all-bad.

Josie Long was the first excellent stand up I saw, she is so enthusiastic and had some clever stuff that went down really well, my favourite was the piece on spelling and grammar, and how she loves it when its done badly as its more expressive, that’s also my excuse for being crap at it. Oh the MC for the comedy tent was Greg Fleet a guy from OZ and he kept the tent rocking the whole time in-between sets with banter and bottles of water for anyone who had stayed there all day. Arj Barker from Flight of the Concords was on next and was brilliant. He did some great stuff and I also walked past him twice later that day, I wish I had said hello now.

David O’Doherty was excellent and played a little toy electronic piano, my favourite joke of his was a song about having slight super powers, you know nothing special, just stuff like being able to open jars and that. Matt Berry read some poetry, the one I remember best was called What If, Or? And mostly abused people. He then played an acoustic solo version of Darkplace super song One Track Lover with the rap done by crowd and the theme tune to Snuff Box. Mathew Holness did his first set of the day as folk singer extraordinaire; Merriman Weir. This involved brilliant character work with long patter and really long folk strumming followed by a punch line. He played a song so sad once a flock of seagulls flying over head, once decided to kill them selves in perfect formation.

The worst act in my eyes anyway was Paddy’s Fun Club it was freaking lame, 6th form comedy it was a bit embarrassing to be honest. I was more disappointed in Frankie Boyle who headlined the comedy tent as he was really hit and miss. Most of his material I had heard from TV repeats of Mock The Week, where he really shines, yet live I don’t think he had enough firepower. He was either fairly funny or just a bit offensive and boring. I was so looking forward to seeing him too. Anyway there was plenty more comedy to rave about such as the brilliant Robin Ince. He was fantastic; I have enjoyed him before and this time he was in even better form. I love his style of comedy, the curmudgeonly rant that steers through intellectual territory and then ends in a peach of a punch line that pretty much anyone can understand. He is great at a simile. I love the comparison of Americans foreign policy to the nursery rhyme the old woman that swallowed a fly.

Ross Noble was up next and he had the biggest crowd I had seen all day at the Velvet Onion. He never disappoints and really worked the tent like a Guinea Pig with attention deficit disorder that loves to make his arse descend upon the audience in a sexy pole dancer style. I’m not even sure if he managed to get out any written material he seemed to improvise the whole set and I wasn’t even sure if they would be able to get him off the stage, I have never seen him do less than 2 hours before. He gave everyone in the whole tent two free imaginary monkeys, one for us all to put on
ebay and one to keep. Nobel is a legend…

Mathew Holness then did his final set of the weekend as dream weaver Garth Merenghi. He only had a ten minuet slot unfortunately, which was a little disappointing, I’m not to down about it mind as I saw him do a much more elongated version of Grey Balls: The Legend Of Grey Balls at the Royal Albert Hall charity gig Noel Fielding hosted earlier in the year. Merenghi set out the rules, which involved not touching him, no stage invade or you will get punched, and a metal barrier may come between author and arsehole if he gets bored of you, apart from that he is happy to be reading for us all.?.?.?…?.

Apart form Farnkie Boyle who I have already mentioned headlined and disappointed, the only other person I saw in the Velvet Onion was Mark Watson. He was fantastic and really warmed to the crowd. He almost died mind, which would have put a real downer on the proceedings but he soon recovered from swallowing water down the wrong way. This was followed by the nicest heckle of all time of no don’t try and be funny wait a bit then carry on when your ready.

Back on the main stage AKA Monkey Hell I vaguely saw The Charlatans as I wandered about looking for food and drinking a pint of Otter. I missed Gary Numan unfortunately as I was enjoying Robin Ince and Ross Nobel so much and didn’t fancy leaving them behind. Nobel was formulating a plan to invade Numans performance with a singing mass getting gradually quicker to try get him to go mental and have to speed up to. But I digress. On with the main stage. Har Mar Superstar was his usual self and ended up stripping to his pants, I’m so glad I wasn’t paying attention to that as I ate my hot dog. Peaches DJ set was full of banging dirty electro clash as she wondered the stage sipping Champaign and wearing a golden cloak. She sang a little and plyed many tunes with dirty lyrics, not a bad worm up to the main event.

The crowed didn’t quite know what to expect from The Mighty Boosh as they were about to headline their very own festival. They didn’t disappoint as they made one hell of a musical comedy showcase. The Moon introduced the band in his own unique style, you know the one, a lunar retard. Then some electro perked up and a huge Pirate ship sailed onto stage with Vince Noir dressed in full Pirate gear and glitter bal suit as the crowed went mad for it. In traditional Boosh style Howard just got a rubber dingy and some paddles. The rendition of Future Sailor went down well, as did the whole set. The musicianship was damn good, the drummer and bass player brought in were wicked. Julian AKA Howard was pretty much the musical lynchpin on stage as he wacked out tunes on a Gitboard AKA Keytar during Electro Boy and hammered some serious riffage on his guitar throughout. Noel was a wonderful front man and worked the crowed in style, with plenty of banter, jokes and even giving out his water colours while dressed as Old Gregg. All the characters from The Boosh appeared through the performance, from Bob Fossil, to the Funk. Many of them where in-fact played by Rich Fulture who is like some kind of freaky comedy chameleon of some kind, the most deranged kind, the sexy man freak. The dude who plays Bolo who also has amazing pipes on him, played percussion and screamed a lot, all while playing many characters. The show flowed really well as they did skits and jokes between each tune that joined them together so well. Noel was Old Gregg one moment and the Hitcher the next, riding the back of a huge inflatable eel, which he fell off. Eels was done brilliantly they did a epic version of it that started off as some kind of Gypsy punk number, went through rave and even had a massive dub breakdown with huge basslines and echo drenched vocals. The punk tune about taking a shit on your mum was a high-energy number and was followed by Julian doing a jazz version once Noel had left which was wicked. He can play guitar brilliantly and loved being on a huge stage playing these songs. Only a little crimping featured in the set in the form of a medley, that involved the soup song and bouncy bouncy. Other highlights where Har Mar Superstar coming on for a dance off with Bob Fossil, Peaches telling Bolo he was doing her tune wrong and whipping out a verse of her own Fuck The Pain Away. Naboo riding a huge bird then turning his back on an audience member was pretty fun. There is literally too much to tell you about the performance they packed it full of so many nuggets. The end was damn special mind as they did the full on rock thing of using glitter cannons, fireworks and streamers as they rocked out to Nanageddon and Charlie. They play those two tune well heavy, they could be mistaken as a real band, I’m kidding they are more than worthy of being called a band. The Mighty Boosh obviously had a lot of fun and really pulled off there very own festival.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra

Somky country folk with a nice subtle orchestral element thrown in for good measure, that’s what Hinson is bringing to the table and I think I like it. It isn’t usually my thing the traditional county sounding smoky stuff but this album is very enjoyable indeed and a nice break from me playing strange bass heavy beats.

Every song is full of melody and Micah’s gravely tones over lightly, tenderly strum acoustic guitars and orchestral flourishes. His voice reminds me a little bit of Don Van Vliet’s of Captain Beefheart but only in tone not in style. Its all-pretty melancholy and doesn’t really stray from this mood throughout the record that doesn’t really detract from it though. I prefer it on his less epic numbers where it’s just him alone with sparse instruments complimenting his voice. Generally the orchestral moments or electric guitar pieces are well done and add more than they detract.

I’m not very good at getting on board with lyrical content I’m more of a sonic adventurer than a listen to every word and take the meaning on board kind of guy. So I may not be the best one to comment on the lyrical content as it all kind of washes over me right now. I have to take a lot of time listening to stuff before any kind of lyrical meaning strikes a chord with me. The tones he sings in compliment the sound of the tracks brilliantly though.

Overall Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra have made a beautiful heart warming record that echoes sounds of the past in a wonderful mellow smoky tone.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Kidcrash – Jokes

I was recently pointed in the direction of Kidcrash who are a kind of screamo, hardcore act from the US. They put all of their albums, splits and EP’s up for free download on their website to stop the record company they are with making money off them and not doing as the band wished in general. You can still donate some cash to them and buy their records too mind.

On with the music, as I mentioned before they are a kind of screamo, hardcore rock band but they are a slight math edge to them, the beats have a bit of a mad swing to them not unlike Meet Me In Saint Louis. The guitar sound is pretty sharp and angular with it too. There is obviously a bit of a scream to the vocals, hence the tag I guess, this adds some power and menace to the songs. Every song is urgent, full of fire and passion; it’s a real treat.

Each tune has an angry edge to it on Jokes but the melodies are really great and make Kidcrash so much more than just another screaming rock band. Kissed By A Roach From The Grave for example has a heart wrenchingly beautiful and tender outro, which soon descends into fiery furry again on the next song sure, but you got to love the contrast. Every track is damn strong so I wont pick a standout right now.

I recommend Kidcrash whole heartedly and I look forward to plunging headlong into the rest of the back catalogue.

Get yourself Jokes by Kidcrash and, well pretty much all their stuff


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Duke Spook – Dead Weight EP

Duke Spook is a dubstep producer from Sheffield and this is the first time I have come across him to be honest. And to quote Skream on the poster, ‘Fuckin deep’ and I aren’t going to argue with him on that account. Dead Weight is four tracks of deep atmospheric stepping with electronic soundscapes and heavy dubbed out bass. It’s not all doom though it’s got a rave edge to it that kicks some dance floor ass.

There is real emotional weight behind the ambient segments to each tune a world wary sadness perforates each tune. The sound of Urban decay maybe? That’s what your meant to write in dubstep reviews yeah? Track one Crosswaves sets off with some atmospheric loops not unlike dark drum’n’bass of ye olde times, and I believe Duke Spook was part of that at one point under a different name. The drums are crisp and punchy in an almost two-step fashion while the bass has a real down low throb to it. The tune really kicks off when the raving tones growl at you in the mid section. There is a techy feel to these tunes some where between Burial ambiance and Pinch’s DubTeking.

Duul’s Rage Against Jah is the second tune and is pretty damn evil sounding, with high growls of pure dirt over a slow drum that slams as a bass builds tension behind. The tune chills a little after this opening into a dub infused Ragga shuffle with a hint of Balearic guitar even thrown in for good measure. That beastly growl comes back mind and it’s going to take you some place dirty. Which of course is more rave action with a big rhythmic break featuring fat bass loops that sound not unlike the most evil cars known to human kind rushing past you on a dark motorway.

Brooklyn Bridge has a beat that skips and skits way more than the other tracks here. It’s a real deep, dark, moody number; one of my favourites for the drum beats alone. It has an organic feel to it that stands out nicely. It’s not a massive dance floor beast like say Crosswaves is but a real good dubstep listen all the same. Fade to black…

Futurepasts closes the EP and I can tell you right now there is no dead weight on, umm, the Dead Weight EP Duke Spook has made a cracker. This track has a breakbeat feel to it and a big bass that’s infused with some seriously nice loops that are pretty beautiful and counterbalance the evil sound of that bassline. There is an echo drenched sadness that I like to hear in dubstep in Duke Spooks work. Overall not spectacular but damn good all the same.

Duke Spook Space
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