A Tribe Called Hip Hop

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Joker – Digidesign

Heavy bass pumping beat, absolutely enourmous on the subs, with one of the most powerful ‘choruses’ of any dubstep beat to date. Joker’s become more of a mainstream electronic artist in recent months, being presented on the front cover of XLR8R (Accelerator) magazine for its December 2009 issue, whilst his tunes continue to be played throughout bars and clubs around the UK and worldwide.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | Dubstep, Electro | , , , , , | 1 Comment

L-Wiz – Girl From Codeine City

That sample! One of the most recognizable dubstep tunes since the genre began, made famous most notably by Caspa & Rusko’s Fabriclive 37 mixtape. One of the most atmospheric tunes that iv’e ever heard. The drum pattern’s so dark and grimey then multi-layered samples added on top, with an 80’s sounding saxophonist solo placed throughout. Rather than the constantly breaking drum patterns of more recent dubstep and break-hop styles, you get a more melodic beat with ‘Girl From Codeine City’. Volume up.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | Dubstep | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Jackson – Maria (You Were The Only One)

My personal favourite Michael Jackson tune, taken from his debut solo album when MJ was only 13 years old. Unbelievable to think that a 13 year old can sing about a girl (Maria) with so much passion and emotion, but as it proved to be, he was a special talent. Alot of attention in recent years has moved away from Michael’s musical talents, but as a younger man he reached the very height of the Motown movement before crossing over and dominating the pop charts for over 10 years. A great tune, sampled heavily, most notably in my recollection by Fat Joe, and well worth a listen if you’ve never heard of it.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | Jazz, Soul | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bestival 2010 – The Review

The Arcadia Stage

Woah. Simply ridiculous. At least 50 feet to the top of this giant metallic three-legged spider, with a rotating circular shaped dj booth towards its top, the Arcadia Stage is visually something a little special. But this freakish giant spider doesn’t only blow your mind with its booming sound-system, pumping tunes hot off the fingers of the worlds hottest dj’s, producers, and bands, it also breathes fire. Giant fire-balls flow from its top and two sides providing your eyes with something to feast on, whilst your ears will be ravished by drum shattering bass beats. But why stop there? catch the Arcadia Stage at the right time of the night, and you can expect to see an enormous lightning show with the three-legged beast producing frightening storms from its inner core. Fire, Lightning, and Sounds to match the visual spectacular, one not to miss.

Four Tet

Undoubtedly one of the world biggest and best producers and dj’s, initially known for his trip hop beats, now specialising in minimalistic breakbeat and electro tunes. Awesome to see him live, but a part of me thinks this kind of music isn’t always the best in a live performance with a massive crowd. The music’s so down tempo and chilled, and has so many levels to it, that among a huge audience it can be hard to really interpret what the dj, in this case Four Tet really wants to get accross to the crowd. But nonetheless a top set from a heroic dj and producer, and a man who I’m proud to have seen live.

Bruce Bane

How bloody cool is this guy. I’d never heard of him before Bestival 2010, and got a brilliant recommendation off a mate, telling me to go and check out his performance. It was the first thing i saw on the Friday morning, and any amount of partying up untill Sunday night couldn’t have forced the memories of Bane from me. A two-man show, but really a one-man performance with a guitarist occasionally adding to the mood and atmosphere, but believe me, Bane (Joe Bone) does all the work. More than just a one-man show, Joe transports you into a movie world, creating countless different characters, voices, sounds and faces all aiding to the story behind the man Bruce Bane – a hired-hand from the world of the old-school. Incredibly light-hearted where the audience can’t help but smile, interspersed with touches of absolute genius. He received rave reviews at The EdinburghFestival and I can’t see Joe Bone falling away any time soon, definitely a name for the future, and if you’ve never heard of him, one hundred percent check out his three-tiered act, they are about an hour-long a piece and each tells a different story from the world of Bruce Bane. Check out his facebook page here ; http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bane/104197804790

The Flaming Lips

To tell the truth i wasn’t the biggest Flaming Lips fans, but i hadn’t heard alot of their stuff. But i had heard they always put on an amazing psychedelic show, and they definately did that. The lead singer Wayne Coyne enters the show on a Zorbing ball, and rolls around on top of the crowd before getting down to track one, whilst the rest of the band enter the stage through the legs of a naked woman imaged on the screen of the main stage. The show was spectacular, right up there with the rest of the best visual sights at Bestival 2010 (of which there were many), and the music, despite not being my current cup of tea, enticed me enough to want to seek out more of their work. Here’s one tune i do remember them playing, and got the crowd fully involved.

Gil Scott Heron

More than just a musician, this guy is an absolute legend. It was an honour to finally see him live, as i had tickets to see him at The Royal Albert Hall a few months back, but the gig was cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano spewing ash and stopping planes from flying…bloody nature. But Gil was everything i had hoped for, his presence on stage is something special. As an ageing man, who could easily be mistaken for a tramp on a US Subway his voice disproves this endlessly. The tone he sings with captures so much pain from his past with a croaky, somewhat crackling edge to it. It’s the clear the man is a musical genius, without whom, music styles we know and love so much in the modern-day would be entirely different. Not to mention the political history of the icon. A hero, and a definite highlight of Bestival 2010. 

The xx

Hot on the press straight after winning the Mercury Music Award for 2010 The xx were a must see at Bestival 2010. Saying that, i pretty much missed all of it. They’ve encapsulated audiences since releasing their album ‘XX’ at the end of 2009 and have grown and grown in stature with each single released. Impossible to quantify into any one specific genre their crossover album entices respect from music lovers from all backgrounds. Their massive singles ‘Crystallised’, and ‘Islands’ are huge tunes…so check em out.

Submotion Orchestra

The brainchild of drummer Tommy Evans and without doubt the highlight of my festival, i’ve been a fan of these guys for some time now, and can’t wait to hear their album when they finish making it. I was lucky enough to be right at the front of the crowd for the gig and was stunned by the beauty of the music and voice of lead vocalist Ruby Wood. It was the perfect hangover cure set, chilled out live dubstep style beats, with jazzy, soulful overtones. If your yet to hear of these guys, please check em out, their a little bit special, (the best band i’ve heard for many years)so for that reason, here’s everything i can find of theirs at the moment.

Gentleman’s Dub Club

Tommy Evans, the drummer from Submotion Orchestra leads the way once more in the Ranking Records Leeds based Reggae/Ska crew. A proper jump up, and get rowdy band creating tunes that start off with melodic reggae vibes, that switch towards massive Ska beats towards the end of most songs. Such a good vibe, and a really tight band, another Ranking Records class act, definitely a record label to look out for in the future. http://www.rankingrecords.com/Home.html – Ranking Records home page.

 

The Prodigy

Sunday night main stage headliners, and pure energy releasing greatness, this Prodigy set will be something I’ll never forget. Just the aggressiveness and emotion behind the tracks makes you move, you can’t help but throw your head around manically with a constant smile on your face. It was (apparently) the last live performance from the guys for a while, and so as expected we got a huge array of the bands classic singles. What a way to end a festival!

pictures courtesy of David Goldsmith & Isabella Dupree Nelson

 

September 18, 2010 Posted by | Breakbeat, Downtempo, Dubstep, Electro, Hip Hop, Jazz, Reggae, Rock, Ska, Soul, Trip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Joy Orbison

Twenty-two-year-old Pete O’Grady from Croydon, who goes by the name Joy Orbison, is one of the hottest dance producers around. Yet he still works as a “dogsbody” in a mail room, saying he prefers music to be a relief from work, rather than work itself. O’Grady has been DJing since the age of 12 and his sound is a lovingly-crafted late-night evolution of house and UK garage, with soft bass, hypnotic home-made percussion and distant chopped-up vocals.

http://www.myspace.com/joyorbison

 At the age of 12 he took up DJing and eventually moved into production, beginning with Fruity Loops-crafted 8-bar grime loops before shifting into headier territory that combined his love of house, disco, and dubstep with the atmospheric fuzz of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Josef K, and The Beach Boys. His debut single “Hyph Mngo” has become the forward-thinking dubstep/2-step tune of 2009, and was followed by “BRKL CLLN” on O’Grady’s own Doldrums label, which he runs in tandem with partner Impey.

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Downtempo, Dubstep, Electro, Funk, Garage, House | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whooliganz – Put Your Handz Up

The Whooliganz were a 1990s hip hop music group consisting of Scott Caan and Alan Maman aka, Mad Skillz and Mudfoot. Caan and Maman met as teenagers in the wealthy neighborhood of Beverly Hills, California. The duo began performing throughout the Los Angeles area and gained widespread recognition. Maman’s childhood friend, Evidence, introduced the group to Quincy Jones III and they began work on a demo where they eventually caught the attention of B-Real of Cypress Hill. B-Real invited the teens to join the collective Soul Assassins which consisted of Cypress Hill and House of Pain. The Whooliganz toured the country with the Soul Assassins and their connection helped them land a record deal with Tommy Boy Records.

The Whooliganz recorded their debut album, Make Way for the W and the first single released was “Put Your Handz Up”, produced by DJ Lethal and released in 1993, under the Positiva record label. A second single, “Don’t Mean Nothin'” was planned but then Tommy Boy decided to drop the group and not release the album. Another song, “Whooliganz”, was released as a single in 1995 in the UK on Positiva Records but the duo had already gone their separate ways. Caan followed his father, James Caan, into a successful acting career, whilst Maman turned to making beats and became one of the most successful producers in hip hop history The Alchemist.

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ruckspin & Quark – Sunshine

‘Ruckspin’ (aka Dom Howard) grew up with music from an early age. Age 6 he began playing piano and violin. Aged 15 he began using sample-based computer music programs, and started DJing Drum and Bass at gigs and parties around south london. After moving to Leeds, Dom had residencies at various clubs and events around leeds (including the Valve sound-system, co-presented 2 weekly radio shows on local radio, and promoted a weekly night with a group of resident musicians including beat-boxer ‘Shlomo’ and producer/DJ ‘Quantum Soul’. Ruckspin is now receiving Dubstep bookings at club nights and festivals across the UK and Europe, while continuing his residency at the increasingly popular monthly club-night ‘Central Beatz’. He is also working on a studio album due for release later this year, as well as producing and performing with live dubstep/downtempo group ‘Submotion Orchestra’.

www.myspace.com/mrruckspin

The illusive Quark aka Ed Gooden has developed a cult reputation as one of the most innovative and forward thinking producers in electronic music. With early interest in reggae and folk music, Ed took up guitar and piano at the age of 15. Playing with various bands, he had gigs at Finsbury Park festival, and with Islington group ‘The Magic Box’ at Notting Hill Carnival 2001. Ed also has co-writing credits on the ‘Howser’ album on Cut Records. Since starting to produce music in 2004, Ed has had Drum&Bass releases on Revolution Records as part of London group ‘DotheMath’, and now predominantly makes Dubstep for Ranking Records as well as writing downtempo and ambient music for TV and Film.

 www.myspace.com/quarkdub

September 5, 2010 Posted by | Dubstep, Electro | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10Ft Ganja Plant – Walkey Walk Tall

The Story Of The Plant

 It’s a sweltering hot day in 1999, we convene for the usual chalice and ital stew at 286 Beacon street in Somerville. Then suddenly a drum fill cracked and “Good News Dub” or as we like to call it “Why Can’t They Tell Us The Good News” was permeating the third floor living room. 10 Ft Ganja Plant from the start had many things to say. One was to play the only music we knew how and to give people something we felt was not heard a lot in the world today, roots reggae. Being collectors of the music we sought out many pieces of vintage equipment to make these records. I will never forget the first day the Ampeg 8X10 vibrated the house and the clavinet morphed through the wah-wah and phaser. When 10 Ft. began, its main intention was to get together and do song writing that would then be presented to another group of musicians- some of you may well know. As some of us were out touring with a familiar reggae band called John Brown’s Body we would get off the road and run to the studio; which at the time was called “Mang Studio” or as some of us called it, home. At Mang, everything was positive, and there was no stress to make music but more to relax and enjoy the company of our friends and family.

As we played music through the summer, frequently taking breaks to hit the rooftop to get a breath of fresh air we would get the next track ready. The amount of material we created began to grew quickly and something changed inside all of us. The album Presents debuted in 2000 and was released independently on I-Town Records. As we continued to build up an arsenal of music we decided to present the material we had recorded on two consumer JVC cassette decks to a friend. In doing so our relationship and family grew by introducing us to the well known record label ROIR. From here it encouraged us to grow as a group of friends, family, musicians and engineers. Signing with ROIR brought Hillside Airstrip in 2001 and introduced many new sounds and musicians to the record. From this point on the studio was like a revolving door of musicians cutting a track and passing it off. Midnight Landing arrived in 2003 reiterating the bands passion for roots deeply rooted in the mid to late 70′s. The bass got heavier and the drums bigger, the melodies stronger and the ganja smoke thicker. Bass Chalice was then released in 2005. As touring slowed for some, and life decisions took people into different parts of the world and realms of music. A short break was taken to gather the vibes, build a new studio and lay the foundation for what would become Bush Rock which was released in 2009. Reaching new levels of psychedelic sounds and heavy bass production brings us to where we are now. In talking recently, a few of us seemed to be in the same place of looking back to classic sounds of groups like The Upsetters, Silvertones, Pioneers, Gladiators, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Perry, The Maytones, Burning Spear and some of the greats that graced them such as Ernest Ranglin, Lynn Taitt, Jackie Mittoo, Carlton Barrett, Family Man and so many others. We decided in April of 2010 we would get together for a weekend and do a full instrumental record in conjunction with ROIR as a special digital release (and later hopefully to be released on vinyl) for the opening of the website and to give the people just a little more music to enjoy in the summer months to come. Keep your eyes and ears out for more of these spontaneous records to come as we begin work on the next full length record.

 Peace and Love, 10 Ft Ganja Plant

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Juggaknots – Clear Blue Skies (Re:Release)

  The Juggaknots are a New York collective consisting of members – DJ Boo, Queen Herawin, Breeze Brewin & Buddy Slim. The album ‘Clear Blue Skies’ was officially released in 1996 during hip hop’s years of great excitement, but was released solely on the vinyl-only record label ‘Fondle-em Records’, and therefore failed to recieve any major mainstream recognition. It was re:released in 2002, with eleven new tracks added to the original album, and it will always be remembered as an underground classic.

The crew, ten years after thier first release, let fly with their second studio effort, with the 2006 ‘Use Your Confusion’. Again the album is more recognised amongst the underground fans rather than the mainstream community. The album was released under ‘Amalgam Digital’.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Abyssinians – Satta Massagana

Truly great roots reggae album which was originally released in 1976 and has been re-released three times since in 1977, 1993, and in 2007 under the labels jam Sounds, and heartbeat Records. 

The title track “Satta Massagana” was a huge hit and has been versioned numerous times by both The Abyssinians and other artists since. It has even been adopted by some Rastifarian  groups as a hymn used during services. The song, which translates from the Amharic language as “Give Thanks”, was originally recorded for Studio One  in 1969, but the label’s owner, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd declined to release it.

The Abyssinians debut album has had a very complex release history. The first un-official editions, very limited in quantity, were released by Clive Hunt  in 1975. The first official release occurred in Jamaica in 1976 on Pentrate Label, issued by Clive Hunt and Geoffrey Chung , and shortly after in the USA on Jam Sounds.

The following years, 1977 and 1978, saw the album released by three labels under the title Forward On To Zion. The album was released in the UK  on the UK Klik Chart Sounds and Different labels, as well as on Bernard Collins’ own Clinch label. Similarly, Clive Hunt’s US-based Azul label released the album under the title Satta. A note on track-listings: the Klik & Different releases reverted to the original tracklisting of the limited pre-release editions which placed the title track as the final track, furthermore, the Azul edition renamed some tracks and did not include “African Race”.

The album would see numerous re-releases over the next decade, including in 1988 by Clinch and in 1989 by the Blue Moon label.

In 1993 the album was released on Compact Disc  for the first time by Heartbeat Records . This edition included four previously unreleased bonus tracks. And once again in 2007 as a deluxe edition which included four additional bonus tracks.

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment