Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Kanye West – Power

August 7, 2010

For those who think Mr. West has something of a God complex, I present to you the (shortened) video for Power. Directed by Marco Brambilla, this dynamic living portrait is somewhat over the top but, admittedly, is also visually stunning. Coming in at a lean 1:42, the video is a tad shorter than one might expect, but let’s be honest; could you really sit and watch this ode to Yeezy for a full three-and-a-half?

James

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

August 3, 2010

For this instalment were going back to 1989. A year when one Texan sporting a LA Kings Cap moulded a west coast sound that would emanate through the nineties. Let me cut right to the chase here – nobody was spitting like this in ’89. The only people who even came close were sitting on another coast – with another sound.

D.O.C

Without The D.O.C, there is no N.W.A. The Texas native became one of the most prolific ghostwriters in hip hop, helping write classic tracks on Straight Outta Compton & The Chronic. The D.O.C. got his chance with No One Can Do It Better. With Dr. Dre behind the boards, The D.O.C. shined with a lyrical prowess unlike any member of N.W.A. (even Cube). D.O.C. broke all the conventions and rules for rhyming at the time. He interweaved his rhymes in and out of bars, ran off beat at will and never once insulted the listener with a sackful of verbiage. Tracy Curry looked destined for greatness before an unfortunate car accident damaged his vocal chords.

Back when Cube – was rollin wit Lorenzo in a Benzo
I was bangin wit a gang of instrumentals,
got the pens and pencils, got down to business;
but sometimes the business end of this shit can turn your friends against you
but you was a real nigga, I could sense it in you
I still remember the window of the car that you went through
that’s fucked up – But I’ll never forget the shit we been through
and I’ma do whatever it takes to convince you, cuz you my nigga D.O.C

No One

The D.O.C. continued to assist behind the scenes; working closely with Snoop and Dre’s on future releases. He was even introduced to a whole new generation (who may have never heard of him previous) through placements on Grand Theft Auto & EA Sports soundtracks in the mid noughties. Revisiting tracks like ‘It’s Funky Enough” “Mind Blowin” or “Whirlwind Pyramid,” it’s easy to see why The D.O.C. looked destined to be in everyone’s top 10 of all-time. No One Can Do It Better may not be as well known as The Chronic or Straight Outta Compton but it’s on the same level, if not higher.

Unsung Hero of the Hop.

The D.O.C

Dré

Devlin – freestyle (produced by Z-dot)

July 20, 2010

Ripped from Logan’s show on Monday. This is getting quite a bit of attention on GrimeForum, and rightfully so. There are some killer lines in here, I like the Ancient Egyptian similies best, pure fire.

Devs is goin’ in right now.

Gwaan Devs!

Kristian

D Double E Interview

July 17, 2010

I caught up with D Double and the Dirtee Stank crew at the BBC as he was about to perform on the 5.19 show. After filming was done we went to the pub and, over a Bacardi and coke (double measures of course!) had a chat about Street Fighter, Newham Generals and the many upcoming projects he’s involved in. Bluku Bluku!

So, ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ is doing the rounds at the moment, Swerve produced it, are you two going to work together in future?

Yeah really want to do another tune with Swerve. Right now he’s got a lot of fire for me.

The collaboration seemed to come a little about out of the blue…

Yeah I’d never heard Swerve’s production – I never knew he produced until Laurence said ‘Ere listen mate, got a beat ‘ere’ and I was like ‘alright then let’s have a butchers.’ And yeah, I’m here! Big up Laurence, big up Swerve!

Have Capcom said anything? Do they want you on the next game?!
Yeah man, hopefully all that stuff will come after the tune. It’s in the pipeline, I mean we had to holla at them for the legalisation, so they know about us, but we re-did the sounds and FX anyway and I don’t think anyone can tell the difference! HADOUKEN! Hahaha!

After releasing your ‘Woooo Riddim’ version and ‘Street Fighter Riddim’, anticipation for the forthcoming DEE solo project is high. What can fans expect?

Boy, you can expect pure heat. If you liked the ‘Woooo Riddim’, ‘Street Fighter’ or ‘Hard’, then know what sort of avenue I’m taking.

Guest spots?

Producer-wise there is a couple of guest spots there. Footsie’s there, I’ve got a couple of tunes from Cage, Swerve, Swindle, Noah D and Skream. It’s an A-list roster…It’s gonna be live!

You produce as well as MC, can we expect any of your production efforts on there?

Definitely in the future, but at the moment I’m trying to pump out my vocals on the best beats and get my levels up in the background. Production is more of a hobby for me.

Part of the Newham Generals ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’ is being produced by Skitz. What was it like working together?

Skitz has been about for time and he lives around the corner from my house so I’ve known him for a long time. Skitz is bless and used to work with Slew Dem a lot back in the day who are like my family.

The ‘I’m a General’ tune featuring the late Esco must have been a lot to record. Was it an emotional experience?

Erm…It was kind of, but at the same time it was a good feeling to promote and showcase his talent again. We wanted to show love. He never got his chance to shine so we helped out a bit.

I read an interview you gave with the Guardian back in 2004 where you said you were tired of listening to 14 year olds chat about guns, and that you wanted to go lyrically deeper with your music. What does Grime say to you today and do you feel able to express yourself fully on it?

Grime has got a lot lighter, it’s still dark, but it has definitely lightened up. Stations like KISS, 1Xtra and Radio 1 are starting to play us now so we all have to straighten out a bit. It’s getting more professional and the production is levelling as well.

Does Grime still give you the same feeling as it did back in the day?

Definitely man, I can listen to Grime beats all day. It still hits me and I like the way it’s getting wider. Tunes like ‘Rescue Me’ by Skepta [for example] aren’t strictly ‘Grime’, but they have that element. It has that home base. I like anything that has that home base in there.

Talking of success, Chipmunk, Tinchy and Tinie are finding high chart positions, and Jammer, Skepta and yourself are starting to position yourselves for the same. However, whereas they made their music a bit sweeter, you guys have been able to stay true to your sound and still find new audiences. Did they ‘open the doors’ for you in that sense?

I think they have made it easier, but not because of what they’ve done. People are moving away from the scene, so the people like me left at the core are able to represent more fully. They aren’t repping what we come from. You hear a mixtape and there might be a couple of hard tracks on there, but their core fans don’t get Grime.

They are helping in the way that, if they have an interview they will talk about what they’ve done before and who we are.

You have been noted as being ahead of your time, and you’ve said that you still perform lyrics still you wrote at 15. What lyrics were they?

Err…yeah, you know “If you you, you you/ Wanna come against I-I, I-I” that was from then, “me nah ramp, me nah skin/” Ah there’s so many, I’ve got a big selection of lyrics.

Your lyric repertoire is big, but how do you keep going on sets?

It’s natural for me. I don’t really need to make that much of an effort to lift-off as I used to. It’s just there bruv. I could be here mucking about and say something and I could make it into the deepest thing.

Has that happened recently?

Yeah man, it happened with ‘Hard.’ We put that together quickly! ‘Street Fighter’ was so quick, all I need to do is feel free, have the beat playing and bubble.

How would you say you’ve developed since the Jungle days?

I’ve got more professional with the lyrics. On Jungle I couldn’t really go into depth ‘cos of the tempo, Hip Hop was a bit too slow and Grime was just right. I found I could go in more. Now I can spit at 140 (bpm), 160, whatever.

You and Footsie together with DJ Tubby have forged a niche spitting over Dubstep, and have become known for it. Is it more exciting to spit over than regular Grime?

I prefer to ride Grime because it gives me the time to do what I need to – maybe a bit too much time sometimes! You know, if a DJ’s playing for two hours it’s like ‘Rah I might run out of power’ on dubstep though, there are tunes there that you can’t ride, they’re too big. You’re still ready to leng, but you’re also a host.

With Grime it’s flat out. You can spit your heart out for half an hour with hype and then the tune you love best comes in and you’re like ‘shit!’ So yeah, I think Grime is better to practice and MC to.

What do you think about other MC’s jumping on it?

It’s alright, it’s a good move but I think Dubstep is slightly different. You can’t really do too many deep songs on it; the instrumentals have as much power as the vocals. With the beat already there, as an MC you need only add a couple of spicy lines and it’s gone, maxed out. With Grime you have to add your own energy and build on the beat.

Some people sound good on it, some don’t.

As a FWD>> veteran, what has performing there done for your repertoire?

FWD>> was my introduction to Dubstep. Tubby and Footsie brought me in on that, I was all Grime-d out, whereas they were into their Dub. But FWD>> was a time where I got to see another world and build on it. Now, Dubstep is massive and it’s cool man.

You’ve worked with Breakage and Skream, are there any other people you would like to work with?

Yeah, I’m working with Noah D, I want to do a tune with Chromestar, Caspa, Plastician…anyone that has the bangers. They know what I can do!

Let’s talk about ‘Generally Speaking.’ I heard you spit on DJ MK’s kiss show and you said ‘Generally Speaking means a lot to me.’ What does that CD mean to you?

It’s a benchmark. It was the first official release and there will be a lot more to come. That was number one…

What was the recording process like?

It was long – over quite a stretch of time. Some of the tunes that were on the finalised track listing were some of the last ones we recorded. We had so many to consider, it was like a puzzle trying to fit it all together.

Will any of the off cuts make it onto the new CD?

Nah man, that’ll all be fresh stuff. We got some tunes that we’ll pump out in the meantime but the next album from New Gens will be all brand new material.

How do you think ‘Generally Speaking’ was received?

I think that album is timeless. If you listen to it, you keep surprising yourself. It’s quite deep. It’s different, but looking back, at the time I thought it was really different from what we do. Now, I can see it fits in with what we do – it’s us and fits our sound.

After releasing ‘Generally Speaking’ you embarked on a huge tour supporting Dizzee, what was it like spitting for crowds that aren’t as ‘Grime-savvy’ as your usual audience?

We found them quite receptive man. The ravers we played out to were there for a good time so we played to that. We were surprised the youngsters got in ‘cos there’s a fair amount of swearing in the shows but they were easy to get involved, especially when me and Foots get them to go against each other like ‘This side make noise, that side make noise’ ‘where’s all the girls in here?’ ‘who’s got money?’ ‘who knows about Facebook, Twitter, C‘mon!’

Will the experiences you got performing live form the shape of the new album?

Definitely, that is the way we go about music at all times. Every piece of music we write is something we can go and perform. It’s lively, always about making straight bangers. A lot of Grime artists do what they think will work but going to Dizzee’s show, you can see it’s electric. It’s like a D’n’B rave. I wouldn’t want to go to a live show and hear some bloody R’n’B. I want everyone to go maaaaaad!

Both you and Footsie feature on ‘Bad Mind People’ one of the stand-out tracks from Jammer’s debut album, released this week. What was it like hooking up for that?

It’s always fun hooking up with Jammer, we have bare jokes – Jammer’s a mad man! It was vibes recording that tune, Likkle J had already laid down his chorus so it was just us man vybzin, big up Jammer! We’ve known each other since 2000, I was the one that introduced Jammer to Nasty Crew, he was coming up on the production tip and then one day I went over to his house with Sharky and then it formed in front of me.

Do you still keep in contact with the other Nasty members?

Erm, not really. I don’t see Sharky much anymore. I still see Mak 10, Kano and Ghetts every so often but that’s it. I haven’t seen Stormin or Armour for a while…One person I do see come to think of it is Hyper. When he heard my ‘Woooo Riddim’ he phoned me up and was like ‘Double man I heard your Woooo. I need that beat!’ and he met me and got the beat. I told him that he better go mad on it and I tuned into Logan’s show to hear that he did…I think it might be the second best version man.

There is a lot of promo for ‘Bluku Bluku’ at the moment, what can people expect after it drops?

Once the release is done, we’ll get promoting that and then get ready for the ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’, the second Newham General album and then pick up on my solo project that’s already in the making. We’ve got quite a few things on the go that should take us nicely into the new year.

Shouts?

Watch out for the ‘Street Fighter’ single released July 26th, the ‘Bluku Bluku E.P.’, the ‘Bag of Greeze E.P.’ and also watch out for ‘Bluku Bluku T.V’ coming soon to Dirtee Stank TV. I’ll be hosting the show, doing a load of stuff. We’re talking pranks, the whole shebang. There will be a few Punks in there, and hopefully we’ll be on BBC4 by the year 2012!

‘Street Fighter Riddim’ drops July 26th

Follow D Double on Twitter here

Kristian

Street Fighter Riddim Review

July 12, 2010

D Double E SFR cover

I reviewed D Double E’s forthcoming single ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ for MTV’s The Wrap Up.

Read it here

Kristian

Logan Sama’s June 2010 Round Up

July 6, 2010

“The last month has been all about the releases, and keeping them consistent. I helped J Beatz put out the ‘1 Dutty E.P’ on his own label Crown Jules and Sharky Major’s much-anticipated mixtape ‘Major League’ is coming out later this month. B-Live’s ‘Modern Warfare’ EP is coming after those, then we have two producer E.P.’s from NuKlea and Z-Dot and then Scrufizzer should also have an E.P. ready by then too, something I am particularly looking forward to hearing.

“All these guys have been sending me stuff regularly so it’s only right that their work is put out there for the public to buy. Putting downloads and promos on Twitter or Grime Forum is all well and good but for the casual listener, these are inaccessible. They will go on iTunes or Juno and search for music and so it’s important for artists to put their promos on these sites – it’s free to list as well.

“I’ve got a bag of unconfirmed projects in the pipeline too, one of which is called ‘Year of the Producer’ – a four track E.P. compiled with efforts from some of the bigger producers in the scene. Keep an ear out for that!

“I’m currently sourcing MC’s for the next Chosen Ones, due to air at the end of July or the start of August. Everyone’s schedule is hectic though as it’s summer – which only means one thing – Napa! However, the feedback I get for the shows is great and I really enjoy doing them.

“Already we’ve had some big releases, Skepta’s ‘Rescue Me’ and Jammer’s debut album ‘Jahmanji.’ A song from the album called ‘Back to the 90’s’ will, I think, do really well – the response from the crowd at the launch party was really good. In fact I think he will be performing a lot of songs from this one; it’s a varied album with lots of different styles and approaches.

“Touring with Mumdance and working with Toddla T has inspired Jammer to make a lot of uptempo dance-records – but not of the Euro-trance-pop variety! It’s an album you’d expect from a producer – with lots of Grime on it. ‘Bad Mind People’ featuring the New Gens and Lickle Jay is my personal pick!

Ghetts

“Ghetts’ appearance on my show this week was great and although we only got to play a handful of tracks from ‘Calm Before the Storm’, I’m excited to see how it is received by fans. Believe me when I say there are a LOT of good Grime tracks on there! Fans will be pleased.

“Talking of NASTY crew members, Hyper made a welcome return to Grime last week with his ‘Woooo Riddim’ version. Although I retired this beat a while back, it was good to hear him back. I know he’s got more in the pipeline too. People expressed their surprise at how sharp he sounded – what do you expect from a guy that’s done it as long as him!

“Aside from music, I recently purchased an iPhone. I’m learning it currently and will be able to Ustream etc in the near future. I have also bought a new HD camera, so expect to see more video features from myself soon! Oh and if you can’t wait, look out for me in the ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ video.

Respect. Keep it Grimy!

Logan.”

Logan’s Top 5 – July 2010

Jammer feat. Lickle Jay & Newham Generals – Bad Mind People

Maxsta feat. Various – East London Is Back RMX

Ghetts – Salute Me

D Double E – Street Fighter Riddim –

B-Live feat. Spyda, Newham Generals & Skepta – Modern Warfare 2

Artist Feature: Skurge

June 10, 2010

Logan’s belated May blog post pointed me in the direction of this Bay Area MC. I’m always intrigued to hear Yank MC’s respective takes on our sound and after doing some stealthy google work, I found his facebook page. Full up with Music clips and downloads, I got to hear what he’s got to offer and may I say now that Skurge is sick.

Taken from his facebook page:

“Skurge is a member of Sammie Award Winning Hip Hop Group, Righteous Movement. He is all styles. With a sharp delivery and lyrics that often find their mark, Skurge has been effective at giving the listeners what they want to hear. Real, Raw, Hip Hop”

Whilst he doesn’t  jump on what we call ‘Grime’, his music has that same raw element.  He has an infectious drawn-out delivery which slides over some rather tasty, weighty production. The mastering is perfect – an area Americans have always excelled in. They can make a Lil Jon record sound ‘full’ FFS!

Take a trip to his Fan Page and listen to ‘Nobody’, ‘Goose’ or ‘Open Container’ all of which are available for download. Disgusting!

Facebook
Twitter

Kristian

Logan Sama’s May 2010 Round Up

June 10, 2010

Apologies for the late blog entry. As some of you will know I was booked to play San Francisco at the end of May, which kind of messed up my schedule. However I’m back now, well rested and ready to go!

Flyer

Starting with my trip, San Francisco was cool! In terms of the actual gigs – they went ok. Dubstep has been big for a while out there, but I was the first dedicated Grime DJ to have been booked. The gigs could have been a bit busier, but amongst those that were in attendance there were some really knowledgeable people who enjoyed the tunes and knew the records.

There were some Dubstep guys on the rota and so when they played it was very much a ‘let’s stand here and absorb the Dubstep’ atmosphere. In fact, whilst I was there, ‘The One’ said he noticed his audiences being turned off by the shrill, mid-range ‘Brostep’ that currently popular. Because ‘The One’ and his lot are so in touch with the music, they only book Dubstep acts like Joe Nice and Mala – DJ’s that still incorporate the ‘Dub’ element in their sets. However, when I went in, people were jumping up and down and showing real energy. Surprisingly, they went for the vocals as much as the beats. I think after hearing instrumentals all night they needed something different to vibe to!

I’ve got to big up the promoter ‘The One’ for bringing me out to San Fran. He DJ’s and produces Grime, often collaborating with others in the area. He actually did a remix of Wiley’s beat ‘5.27’ which I played on my show about a year and a half/two years ago. There are guys out there that have been doing Grime for a good 5-6 years, who know all the tunes and are up to date with releases…With the internet, anywhere you go in the world, fans that know the music will talk to you and know as much as anyone in the UK. It’s good to see.

In fact, whilst I was out there I was made aware of a couple of MC’s bringing the Bay Area style of rapping to Grime. One is called Skurge, a talented spitter that ‘The One’ is working with. Also, there is a production crew called ManVSMachine that are doing stuff over Terror Danjah beats etc. I know Tre Mission is big now and spits double time Grime tempos, but these guys bringing a slower, drawn-out style to the table.

Logan's Sweets

Music aside, I enjoyed the American food as subscribers to my Twitter feed will know! I always think of picking up my phone when I’m about to eat…so naturally I feel to broadcast my eats worldwide! I was only there for five days and I wanted to try everything so I went to the International House of Pancakes and had a stack, had a Philly cheese steak and a couple of burgers. It was ok for a week, but if I stayed out there any longer I would’ve probably had a coronary!

Back in the UK it’s been pleasing to see so many instrumental tracks/CD’s coming out. Fans can get their hands on a lot more beats that would’ve otherwise become obscurities. I think now that this is going, we need to keep momentum behind the E.P. and single release model that JME and myself have been using. There is no reason why producers, after getting good feedback for a track, can’t fling it up on iTunes so that it comes out a couple months after audiences have first heard it. Also, this open-source remix thing going on at the moment, spearheaded by Terror Danjah, Skepta, JME etc is very healthy for the scene and is a really good platform for established producers to show the levels. I’ll be showcasing more of the efforts on my show soon, do a little medley or something.

NHNT

Despite only catching a couple of the episodes, BBC2’s No Hats No Trainers has become a great vehicle for Grime culture. If the culture gets out there, then the sound will follow. Whilst I’m under no illusion that if we were to put out Next Hype tomorrow it would make top 10, the more people who are made familiar with Grime culture the more accepting they will be of the music. Then, there will be less need for these 4/4-electro crossover efforts. You have to remember that the guys responsible for picking the track listings for Radio 1 etc, are middle-aged, middle-class men who are out of touch and incapable of spotting trends. They only pick what is popular now.

Anything that makes Grime look a little more desirable to the masses is great in my book. They said they’d get me on there sometime soon, although I haven’t heard anything yet. The Street Fighter section with D Double was something that I’d have liked to have got in on…Seeing as I was one of the first to play the tune AND I spend most of my day playing Street Fighter!

The World Cup is about to start and whilst I hope England romp home to an astonishing victory (!), I also hope there won’t be any major incidents. Having lived out in South Africa for three years, I know how beautiful friendly and welcoming the country can be. Conversely, I also know how dangerous it is in certain parts. It has one of the highest murder rates in the world and poverty remains a massive issue. So if you are going, enjoy yourself, soak up the atmosphere but be vigilant – not just of crime but the weather. It’s Winter out there right now so it’s as warm as London in the Summer during the day but at night, temperatures plummet.

As for predictions, I haven’t seen any teams that are really playing on form but aside from Brazil, I reckon the Spaniards will do well.

Until next time peeps, Keep It Grimy!

Logan

Lewi White – Metal Face (New Release)

June 6, 2010

Lewi White - Metal Face

Grime stalwart and producer extraordinaire Lewi White has always had a sinister touch to his music. Listen to Ghetts’ ‘Freedom of Speech’ if you don’t believe me. Every time I listen to it I get nightmares.

So it is with some apprehension that I blog about his new release, the fearsome dubstep smash ‘Metal Face.’ It’s dubstep for Jigsaw lovers -those who love big, screaming synths smashing them in the face and ribs. Trolley Snatcha will have his pants full up’a shittin!

It’s out now so go cop that on:

Amazon
iTunes

Kristian

Klashnekoff – ‘Back to the Sagas’ Review

June 5, 2010

Back to the Sagas album cover

With a celebrated music career that has spanned over a decade yet gleaned only a handful of releases, UK rapper Klashnekoff (a.k.a. Darren Kandler) is a figure that commands both love and frustration in equal measure.

His elusiveness and steadfast refusal to participate in industry politics has undoubtedly prevented him from wider success. However, in an age where bland, do-anything-for-the-fame urban acts dominate the media, his outspoken character and honest music is admirable.

Sagas of Klashnekoff album cover

After a three year hiatus fraught with clique divisions and label worries, Klashnekoff is back with his third album ‘Back to the Sagas.’ Working closely with rap producer Smasher, ‘Back to the Sagas’ is a weighty effort that aims to recapture the raucous, Rasta-infused essence of his debut, 2004’s ‘The Sagas of Klashnekoff’.

Indeed, the Hackney-based MC wastes no time in establishing a conceptual link between the two. Album opener ‘Church (intro)’ immerses the listener once again in a Babylonian world of struggle and tussle as Klash sets out his nihilist agenda, punctuating rousing electric guitar and synth riffs in that trademark multi-syllabic yap.

Klashnekoff

Title track ‘Back to the Sagas’ continues the candid lyrical theme and, in some detail, describes conflicts with management and Kyza’s surprise departure from Terra Firma. The rolling snare drums and orchestral stabs lend a military theme to the production, evident in varying degrees on ‘Get it Too’, ‘Repping Hard’ and the excellent ‘Soon Come’.

Not only does the dramatic instrumentation provide real depth to the music, rekindling the warm, analogue feel of his debut, it bolsters Klash’s combative tone and revolutionary sentiments. Nowhere is this more prevalent than on ‘Keep It Moving’ whereby the buoyant, summery beat gives real motion to a flurry of gritty observational prose.

Klashnekoff

Soviet sing-along ‘Klash Anthem’ offers some respite from the serious tone, adding a vein of boisterous humour to proceedings, even if its playback appeal may dwindle over time. The same can also be said about CB4-sampling ‘Music Game’; an 8-bit analysis of the music industry that, whilst cheery, seems at odds with the rest of the album.

Protest song ‘Raw’ brings ‘Back to the Sagas’ to a neat conclusion, and serves a poignant reminder of what Klashnekoff is capable of when in his niche. Whilst ‘Lionheart’, in its attempt to capture a clubbier, more accessible sound obscured the MC, ‘Back to the Sagas’ foregrounds his lyrical talent with layered, soulful and arguably more traditional Boom-Bap production.

Yes, some of the features and speech samples are superfluous, but these are significant of an artist that wants to say something through music, not merely spit for the sake of industry props or fleeting internet praise. ‘Back to the Sagas’ is a reaffirmation of Klashnekoff’s talents and although the ‘Sagas’ bar may not have been raised this time round, it has certainly been nudged.

Buy ‘Back to the Sagas’:

Play.com
Amazon.co.uk
Junodownload.com

Hit Klashnekoff up on Twitter:

@Klashnekoff

Kristian