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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

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

Dr Alimantado – Born For A Purpose / Reason For Living

One of the best Reggae tunes iv’e ever heard, so smooth, soulful, the beat’s pure summer. Fact is Dr Alimantado hits the spot. Dr Alimantado, born Winston Thompson, also known as The Ital Surgeon (Kingston, 1952- present). He started to record very young under various names (Prince Winston, Winston Cool or Youth Winston). His first recordings were for Lee “Scratch” Perry and Bunny Lee – “Place Called Africa Version 3” and “Maccabee Version”. He returned to Lee Perry in 1976, recording the DJ portion of Devon Irons 12″ “Ketch Vampire”. Between 1971 and 1977 his singles were unreleased outside Jamaica, only being available in the UK on import. He built his reputation with tunes such as “Oil Crisis” ( versioning Horace Andy’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”), “Sons of Thunder”, (toasting over Jackie Brown’s “Wiser Dread”), “Gimme Mi Gun” on Gregory Isaacs’ “Thief a Man” and “Poison Flour”, on a recut of the Paragons “Man Next Door” rhythm. He mainly met success in the mid to late 1970s, with his best known album being Best Dressed Chicken in Town (1978), a Greensleeves Records collection of tracks recorded in the mid-70s, featuring Alimantado toasting over singers such as John Holt, Gregory Isaacs, Jackie Edwards and Horace Andy. His tunes mixed his Rastafarianism with commentary on events then going on in his community; “Poison Flour” referenced a recent incident when a number of local Kingstonians had been poisoned by eating bread made with contaminated flour. Alimantado became popular with punk rockers in the ’70s following Johnny Rotten praising him in an interview. He was mentioned in The Clash song Rudie Can’t Fail in the line “Like the doctor who was born for a purpose”.

Alimantado’s biggest hits were “A Place Called Africa” and “Born for a Purpose”. The latter song was originally released on his Vital Food label, and told of his Rastafarian faith supporting him after bus driver had driven into him in Kingston on December 26th 1976, causing serious injuries. The musicians who played on the record did so without payment. The single, and its accompanying version “Still Alive” were released in the UK firstly as two 7″ 45s, then as a 12″, featuring the full extended mixes. By 1977 he had largely abandoned his toasting style, apart from occasional records such as “Go Deh Natty Go Deh” on a heavily dubbed mix of Delroy Wilson’s “Trying to Conquer Me”, preferring to release singing tunes, including “Mama (I Thank You)”, “Jah Love Forever”, and a cover of Billy Stewart’s “Sitting In the Park”.

 

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Reggae | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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