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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

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

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

King Geedorah – Take Me To Your Leader

Another classic album produced by hip hop underground legend MF Doom, under the pseudonym of ‘King Geedorah’. The album was released under the Big Dada record label, the hip hop division and accompanying record label of NinjaTune. With regards to the album, Daniel Dumile AKA Geedorah, states the following;

“You should listen to the album for what it is and not expect it to be like the average “rap” stuff you’re probably used to. Geedorah is a space monster. He’s not from the Earth. I made it different on purpose. A blend of ill lyrics and instrumentals. To me its way iller than any of the wack shit out now… This whole album is Geedorah’s alien perspective on humans. This is done intentionally to show the listener a mirror image of his/herself and the way we see each other. On the album we cover different subjects ranging from race issues to the neglect of children. Some might find the word “Nigger” offensive, or the line about the young girl not being able to read maybe considered a “bad taste” joke. All these insecurities are within us.”

The character King Geedorah is thought to have grown from the character that appears in the Godzilla movies, King Ghidorah, who appeared as a three-headed golden monkey.  

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monsta Island Czars – Escape From Monsta Island

Escape from Monsta Island! is the first full-length album released by the Monsta Island Czars, notably featuring Daniel Dumile under his King Geedorah/King Ghidra alias, or better known as MF Doom to many. The album is very highly regarded among underground hip-hop fans. Although the Monsta Island Czars are a creation of MF Grimm, he is absent on the entire album due to his incarceration at the time of its production and release.

The album is entirely produced by the combination of X-Ray and King Geedorah, whilst it was released under the Metal Face Record Label. Monsta Island Czars is a hip-hop group from New York City featuring MF Doom and MF Grimm among others. The rappers in the group, such as King Geedorah, Jet Jaguar, Megalon, Spiega, Kong, Gigan, Rodan, take their names from movie monsters. Their first full length album, Escape from Monsta Island!, was released in 2003 by Rhymesayers Entertainment. Many of the Czars appeared on MF Doom’s album Take Me to Your Leader under his King Geedorah alias. Most M.I.C. (as they are often abbreviated) tracks are produced by King Caesar (aka X-Ray) or King Geedorah (aka MF Doom). (Both of whom are absent from the MF Grimm American Hunger album. As MF Doom is apparently feuding with M.I.C, and specifically MF Grimm, it appears doubtful that he will produce any future tracks.)

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postmen – This Life

Dutch Reggae and Hip Hop outfit ‘Postmen’ have some brilliant tunes. ‘This Life’ really enforces the melodic, soulful vibe that Postmen deliver time and time again on thier tracks. The group was founded by The Anonymous Mis and G-Boah in 1993 and the duo along with third group member ‘Rollarocka’ have featured in some of the largest Hip Hop and Reggae festivals around the globe. The group split up in 2005 because the three members had drifted apart. Anonymous Mis continued as Postman and released his solo-album Green in 2006. As Postmen the group released three albums, Documents (1998), Revival (2001) and Era (2003). ‘This Life’ emphasises Postmen’s style beautifully, combining Reggae with Hip Hop, within the production of the beat, and within the vocals, with catchy hooks featuring on countless records. This is a great summery Hip Hop track, with a slightly harder-hitting edge and a deepness that any Hip Hop fan can relate to. Probably the most famous Postmen track is ‘Cocktail’, which is notorious throughout Hip Hop heads in The Netherlands and across Europe and has become a tune synonymous with the trio from Holland. Have a listen for yourself, it’s a summery reggae jam.

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop, Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Toshinori Kondo & DJ Krush – Ki-Oku

Downtempo, acid, psychedelic smooth jazzy tones, this DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo collaboration is emphatically brilliant. Japanese Trumpeter Toshinori Kondo provides the melancholic samples over the break beat, trip hoppy style that one of the biggest hip hop DJ’s in Japan, DJ Krush, possesses. The albums start to finish brilliant, and a rare find that can be listened to from beginning to end. The album displays the genius of the pair, whilst a better example of multi-layering downtempo trippy beats surely doesn’t exist anywhere else within the music scene. Kondo, despite remaining a relatively lesser known name within the industry has worked with the likes of Herbie Hancock and John Zorn  in providing his fusion of avant-garde jazz.  The album is set out in a unique way, with ten “proper” tracks and three short interludes (entitled Tobira 1, 2 and 3). The album also features a distinctive cover of Sun Is Shining, which was originally written and performed by Bob Marley. The album has recieved major praise from music critics universally, with Allmusic stating that “This is one of those albums that reveals more with repeated listens; if it sounds too easy at first, listen again — there’s lots of interesting stuff going on beneath what sometimes sounds like a merely pleasant surface.” It’s an incredibly well produced album with a huge amount of feel incoorporated within it, loads of emotion and passion created by the trumpeting, with the entire album emphasising the smoothness that acid jazz can employ.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop, Jazz | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Original Flavor – Beyond Flavor

Original Flavor’s sophomore release Beyond Flavor was released in 1993 and at the time failed to capture and inspire unenthusiastic audiences. However, the lead single “Can I Get Open” features Jay-Z in impeccable pre-Jayhova form, and catapulted the great emcee onto far bigger stardom.

The group originally consistesd of producer DJ Ski and Suave Lover. They released two albums This is How It Is (1992) and Beyond Flavor (1993) although for Beyond Flavor Suave Lover was replaced by T-Strong and DJ Chubby Chub.  The group disbanded after releasing Beyond Flavor but they began work with Roc-A-Fella Records at the time with Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke.

‘All That’ holds down that impeccable jazzy 90’s hip hop feel with the classic verses and flow to match. If you wanna make sure for yourself, just click the link and give it a listen.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diamond D – Hatred, Passion & Infidelity

Veteran, legendary  hip-hop producer and emcee Joseph Kirkland, better known to the hip hop world as; ‘Diamond D’, from 165th St in the Boogie Down BX, has produced tracks for a multitude of rap music’s most critically acclaimed LPs, including A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Low End Theory’ and The Fugees’ ‘The Score’. In 1992, he recorded his first solo album, the underground classic Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop (which was released as by Diamond & the Psychotic Neurotics).  In the period between his album releases, Diamond spent much of his time producing for a number of artists, including Brand Nubian, Cypress Hill, Fat Joe, The Fugees, House of Pain, KRS-One, Lord Finesse, Tha Alkaholiks, The Pharcyde, Illegal, and Xzibit. A host of top-flight rappers returned the favor for his sophomore album, Hatred, Passion & Infidelity, including Busta Rhymes, Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), and Pete Rock. 

 His lyrical dexterity on his second effort is incredibly exciting and raw providing originality (key to a hip hop emcees success) and a swift narrative which carries the listener willingly from song to song. Sideman John Dough adds strong lyrics to “Flowin’,” “J.D.’s Revenge,” and “On Stage.” Reggae style chanter Don Barron (of Masters of Ceremony fame) gives an interesting touch to “MC Iz My Ambition.” Phife (of A Tribe Called Quest) and lyricist/producer extraordinaire Pete Rock are both featured on “Painz and Strife.” Diggin’ in the Crates family members Fat Joe, Big L, Lord Finesse, and AG join Diamond on “5 Fingas of Death” for a dark and ominous posse cut. Legendary MC Sadat X of Brand Nubians and K. Terroribul join Diamond on “Never.” K. Terroribul also appears on “K.T.” and “On Stage.”  Hatred, Passion & Infidelity is a masterpiece display of Diamond D’s skills on the microphone and behind the mixing board, an album a serious fan should have. As also should be noted, Diamond D is a  Grammy award winner for his work with The Fugees on The Score…and was nominated for another in 2007 for his work with Natalie Cole on the song  “Daydreaming”. As standard, click the pics and enjoy the beats.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gil Scott Heron – Im New Here

Wow, Giles ‘Gil’ Scott Heron is back with his first album since the 1994 release ‘Spirits’ on the TVT record label. From what i’ve heard so far, it’s spectacular, and most definitely the album I am most eagerly anticipating in 2010. The album’s due out early 2010 on XL recordings and is a collection of tracks Gil Scott-Heron has been working on for the past couple of years. Gil Scott is a spoken word, lyrical, poetic, musical and literary genius and this albums going to display his talents in no different way. Scott Heron’s recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. On his influence, Allmusic wrote “Scott-Heron’s unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists”. If you’re a massive fan of Gil’s from the 70’s, then don’t expect the same powerful voice, and similar production techniques, but the lyrical content is still brilliant, so intensely thought-provoking and still contains the sociopolitical content that has made Gil Scott Heron a hero within the music industry. Enjoy, and let me know what you think! If you want to hear more, then i’ll definitely be posting up the full album, or my favorite tracks from it when i hear the whole of it in the next coming weeks, otherwise, for now, click the picture for ‘Me and The Devil’, the first release from the album, and here’s an extra little sneak peek, http://gilscottheron.net/, where you can hear another track ‘Where Did The Night Go’.

January 7, 2010 Posted by | Hip Hop | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment