Monthly Archives: February 2010

BBC 6 to close?

The fate of the home of Craig Charles’ Funk & Soul Show and many other quality niche music shows hangs in the balance. Always eager to put their (jack)boot into the BBC, the Conservative party has been making bullying noises about what they’ll do to the Beeb if they win the general election. Instead of saying, ‘Ya Mama’ and telling Cameron to get on his bike however, the BBC have more or less dropped their trousers and bent over – basically proposing to sacrifice BBC6 Music and the Asian Network to show how willing they are to save cash money. It strikes the monkey that here is an own goal on at least two counts. Firstly it’s a massive missed opportunity to jettison that moron Moyles (who probably earns more than 6Music’s entire budget) and secondly it’s probably worth pointing out that acts of appeasement in the face of fascist aggression haven’t historically been wildly successful…plus, while I think about it, what kind of lightweight capitulates to someone BEFORE they’re in power?

BBC 6 Music

DJ KRUSH live @ The Electric Ballroom 29 April 2010 – WIN FREE ENTRY FOR 2

Ever watched the first (and only decent) Blade movie and wondered who did the minimal beats that fit so well with Wesley Snipes driving round round a moonlit city in a black Ford Mustang? Step up DJ Krush, a man who, along with DJ Shadow, was responsible for Mo Wax being such an entity in the mid nineties. Anyway, there’s a new LP on the way and Krush is dropping by the UK. COMPETITION CLOSED – congratulations Sam Compton!If you fancy winning free entry for yourself and a friend for his show at London’s Electric Ballroom (where he’ll be supported by Mr Thing & Anchorsong) on 29 April:
1. Riddle me this:
What is DJ Krush’s real name? (Shouldn’t be too hard to find out in a world with wikipedia in it.)
2. Email your answer and your name to monkeyboxing.editor@yahoo.com so that the ever-generous Soundcrash Music promoters can put you-plus-one the guestlist.

Simples!

(PRESS RELEASE) The Sensei, aka DJ Krush returns to London for a rare solo show to throw down some of the heaviest beats and basslines known to mankind. With an exclusive preview of tracks from the eagerly-anticipated new LP (out late 2010), as well as a chance to catch one of the most gifted humans alive doing what he does best, this is a not-to-be-missed show for any fans of hip-hop, turntablism and progression!
Inspired way back by the seminal ‘Wild Styles’ movie Krush quickly embraced the burgeoning hip-hop culture, and before long was the first DJ to use turntables as a live instrument. He comes at you today as the battle hardened veteran of time-honoured dance floor killing shows across the globe. Expect a live turntablism display unlike anything you have seen before, following on from the acclaimed battle with his protege Kentaro back in October where he cemented his place on the top of the turntablist ladder.

MR THING started his high profile career as ‘the best one from the Scratch Perverts’! Not a bad start you’d think, however since his split with them he has gone on to become about the most respected hip hop DJ in the UK, working with BBE records, Youngun, Vadim, Roots Manuva and just about everyone else! Yes he still posesses the sublime turntable trickery that the ‘Pervs were all about but now, as a major lynchpin of the UK hip hop scene his sets are just as much about dropping the greatest block party anthems to excite trainspotters and the mainstream alike!
London-based Tokyo child Anchorsong makes great music! Plain and simple. Heavy, technical beats laden with synth-harmonies and moving chord-changes, all set to the beautiful sound (and sight in this case!) of his all-girl string-quartet, he came reccomended to us by DJ Krush and the high-accolade is easily matched by his pure, raw talent.

DJ KRUSH Official website

ticketweb.co.uk

soundcrashmusic.com

THE HAWK feat. Little Hannah Collins: Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover – 2010 – Single review + Video

Rating: ★★★★★

What with the current vogue for all things soul, Big Boss Man bassist the Hawk and former The Heavy/ The Snugs songstress ‘Little’ Hannah Collins head north on Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover. Obviously judging a book by its cover is the act of a crazed-impulsive though were you tempted in this case to stray from the path of measured consideration – you might be forgiven for thinking this was something that got a good airing down at the Wigan Casino back in the day. High praise indeed in some circles, including (of late) this one. The facts, however, are simply this: that in Don’t Judge… what you get is a proper slice of future retro action – a concept neatly encapsulated in the accompanying video – watch below links. And it’ll be out (correctly) on seven inch, as well as digital. Get down!
(Released 1 March on Record Kicks)
The Hawk – Myspace
Little Hannah Collins – Myspace
recordkicks.net

The Hawk – Myspace

Little Hannah Collins – Myspace

recordkicks.net

HEALER SELECTA: ‘Let’s Get It Started’ album release details

Healer Selecta do a kind of roots-y, funky fusion. It contains elements of original rnb (and I’m thinking Link Wray there rather than Pariah Carey’s first LP), new Orleans funk – particularly the ‘second line’ swampy stuff plus elements of Soho mod rock, world music, rocksteady and surf guitar. I bet if you went to one of their gigs it would be variously populated by a range of European students, unwashed white dreads and a couple of exotic but strangely attractive beautiful people who you’ve never seen before and will never see again. All enjoying themselves. The bastards. In other words, here is a band who probably inspire a joyous fervour in their following and create a massively feel good vibe at their live shows in much the same way as Ozomatli and Manu Chao. I’ve never seen them live, of course, and so have effectively ‘imagineered’ a whole perception of Healer Selecta which any sane person will immediately ignore.
(Released 8 March on Freestyle)
(PRESS RELEASE) Healer Selecta (aka Yvan Serrano-Fontova) is one of those multi talented characters in music who has blazed his own individual and highly independent trail right from the outset. Starting his musical journey early on, aged 10, playing along on his guitar to 45s by Link Wray and Magic Sam and digging the rebellious sounds his rock & roll and R&B heroes like Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley, Yvan was already displaying his wide ranging, eclectic thirst for music that was raw, exciting, retro and powerful. By the age of 18 he was putting on parties, gigs, shows, festivals and playing guitar in bands and grooving to whatever hidden gems he dug out of the dusty record boxes of record shacks across Europe and the US.
The Healer Selecta phenomenon has been involved with an amazing array of influential figures over the years as a musician, club promoter, DJ, and film music supervisor, including John Peel, White Stripes producer Liam Watson, The Noisettes, Charlie Winston, The Portico Quartet and Hinda Hicks, as well as his own well renowned Raison D’Etre Collective.
‘Lets Get It Started’ is an album that displays all of Yvan’s wide ranging taste, musical knowledge and experience. There are precious few groups whose influences range from soul, rocksteady, afrobeat, samba and Rhythm & Blues, latin boogaloo and surf, and even fewer who can blend these influences into a cohesive and original sound for the 21st century. It’s not for nothing that respected publications sing his praises: International music bible Mojo magazine declared that ‘Healer Selecta has made London swing again’ whilst London listings magazine Time Out described Yvan as a ‘hero with a record box.
Sit back, let Yvan and his crew take you on a wild musical journey where genre, trends and narrow minded purism take a back seat in favour of simply great music, not old or new – just good!

Listen to Healer Selecta – Let’s Get It Started

Healer Selecta – Myspace

GOODGROOVE: Regrooved Series 10

The latest from the Goodgroove label goes large again and by now you should know to expect fat beats drawing influence from across the funky spectrum with nods to house music in the builds and the drops. It does come across as a bit mechanical at times and the Apache break has had more than enough outings in the last year or so but at least they didn’t go all Fatboy Slim like the last drop from rivals Manmade. Philly Blunt takes the laurels.
(PRESS RELEASE) 4 superstar producers all with sure fire club bangers. The Regrooved series delivers a solid 4 track EP that works in all departments on the floor, just it was intended to. Producers from all corners come together to make a storming release. Another must for any funky DJ that knows how to rock the spot.
Regrooved Series 10 – Tracklist:
A1. Hustle Muscle – DJ Wood
A2. Blow – Fuzzbox Inc
B1. Funkanomical Boom – Jroc
B2. Loves California – Philly Blunt
(Released 1 March on Goodgroove)

Listen to Goodgroove: Regrooved Series 10

Goodgroove Records – Myspace

MOS DEF: UK tour dates 2010

Yes the Black Dante deigns to grace UK shores with his presence for a lengthy tour and will most definitely be appearing at the following O2 Academies. No doubt looking for an ecstatic reception…
Mos Def – UK Tour dates:
13.04.10 Glasgow – O2 Academy (£25, available 12pm Fri 12th Feb) CANCELLED
13.04.10 London – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
14.04.10 Bristol – O2 Academy (£25, available now)
15.04.10 London – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (£25.50, available now)

ticketweb.co.uk
(PRESS RELEASE) This April sees a true modern-day, multi-talented, multi-media icon hit the UK for an un-missable series of very special, exclusive live performances in London, Bristol and Glasgow! Not content with being one of the most important figures in Hip Hop music and culture, Mos Def has established himself as both a respected mc and poet as well as an award-winning actor. During a prolific music career spanning just over a decade he has worked with an illustrious list of artists including Talib Kweli, The Roots, Robert Glasper, De La Soul, The Neptunes and Madlib to name but a few. Somehow in all this time he has also managed to fit in roles in TV series and films as diverse as House, Monster’s Ball, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind.
His recent appearance in Gorillaz’ new single suggests he isn’t about to slow down any time soon. Yet despite – or maybe because – all this activity, Mos Def has delivered just four full solo albums in this period. His latest offering, ‘The Ecstatic’, marks a return to the characteristics that made him stand out with his iconic first solo album ‘Black On Both Sides’. Released in mid-2009, ‘The Ecstatic’ sees Mos Def combining clever intricate wordplay, heartfelt lyrics – in Spanish even – and sung choruses riding over a myriad samples from Turkey, India, Brazil and beyond. Making the end of year lists left right and center ‘The Ecstatic’ was one of the Hip Hop highlights of 2009 and shows Mos Def at his best.
Mos Def will be touring the UK in April showcasing material from ‘The Ecstatic’ for the first time in the UK as well as classics from his repertoire. This is a very rare opportunity to see him performing the UK: one you just don’t want to miss.
Praise for The Ecstatic:
“Impeccable.” Observer Music Monthly
“Mos is back on form. (Album of the month)” Echo
“Looks like we finally found the Mos Def we were waiting for.” Pitchfork
“This year’s finest Hip Hop album.” Uncut
“Exhilarating listening.” Q

Mos Def – Myspace

BASEMENT FREAKS: ‘Don’t Mush With My Funk’/ Promo Mix 2010 feat. MC Coppa

George Fotadis a.k.a. Basement Freaks has got funky pockets. How can you tell? Because he’s dropping free shit like there’s gaping holes in them that’s how. Either that or he’s in an especially generous mood following the rapturous critical reception of current Disco Life EP. Don’t stand on ceremony – let the download frenzy commence!:
Dont Mush With My Funk (Bootleg L.P) by Basement Freaks
Basement Freaks Promo Mix 2010 ft Mc Coppa by Basement Freaks

Basement Freaks – Myspace

RHYMEFEST: ‘El Che’ LP release details

He’s co-written with Kanye, collaborated with Mark Ronson, talked hip-hop with UK Tory MP/ publicity slag David Cameron and recently indulged in a bit of gay-bashing – but will Rhymefest revolutionise hip-hop with El Che…?
(PRESS RELEASE) Grammy Award winner, Rhymefest, will release his highly anticipated album El Che on May 18, 2010 via dN|Be Entertainment. Distributed by EMI, in conjunction with Rosehip Records.
The full length LP features production from beatsmiths Scram Jones, S1, BKS, and Terry Hunter. The 16-track opus also boasts guest appearances from Little Brother, Saigon, Glen Lewis, and fellow Chicago emcee Twone Gabz.
The follow up to his critically acclaimed Blue Collar LP, Rhymefest’s El Che promises to deliver raw lyrics over epic production. Hip Hop lovers should expect to hear an unfiltered Rhymefest, liberated from the corporate suits and oppressive ideas of the prevailing record industry. As dN|Be Entertainment’s flagship artist, the Chicago emcee now has full creative control over his projects. When questioned about his new partnership with dN|Be Entertainment, Rhymefest mentioned “I wanted to be somewhere that not only appreciates artistry, lyricism, and originality, but also serves a greater purpose in Hip Hop and the Black community.”
In anticipation of El Che’s release, dN|Be Entertainment has launched the interactive website ElCheTheMovement.com. Fans can connect with Rhymefest through the website’s blog, videos, streaming music, and social networking links to Facebook and Twitter. Exclusive content concerning the El Che LP will be uploaded daily.
Rhymefest’s tour dates (including Austin ’s SXSW) can also be found there. Finally, Rhymefest will be releasing his last pre-album mixtape titled DANGEROUS: 5-18 on ElCheTheMovement.com this spring.

elchethemovement.com

Rhymefest – Myspace

FREEWAY & JAKE ONE: The Stimulus Package – 2010 – Album review

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Time is at a premium this week so regular readers may notice the extended tenure of the ‘guest review style of the week’ from a fortnight ago to facilitate our exploraton of this freshly-released offering from Leslie Edward Pridgen and Jacob Dutton. Or Freeway and Jake One as their mums know them…
WHAT’S RIGHT WITH IT?
Well, and I hate to sound like a stuck record here (y’know – one of those big black cd things), it’s the production stupid. Jake One delivers an impressive sound that you could go to the bank with, correctly getting the bottom end right as if he couldn’t care less what this sounded like on mobile phone speakers. It’s also worth noting when he gets a bit inventive with the beats as on the clattering snares of ghetto tale Never Gonna Change which initially sounded like El-P had popped round for a cup of tea and had a crack at the drum programming while Jake was in the toilet but later resonates as the most memorable beat on the album. Also Microphone Killa livens things up and sees Freeway and Young Chris trade battle rhymes over a lively slice of boom-bap and furious scratching though, in common with much of the album, it could have done with being more stripped down and minimal. Freeway gets in some pretty memorable lines too – on The Product for instance where he delivers flow from the viewpoint of drugs and has a crack at the gangsta mentality, “Yes, I’m the product, I’m the narcotic/ I got all these rappers working for me/ Yes, I’m the product, I am like the chronic/ I’ve got Dr Dre detoxin’ off me,”…or during Sho’ Nuff where I hope he’s taking the piss with, “Who’s bad? I’m bad/ I am Michael Jackson, Puff Daddy bad/ Boy I will strike you with a belt like your dad/ I will rock your bells I am LL bad.” You don’t get the impression that he is overshadowed by his guests (including Raekwon and Beanie Sigel) at any rate. Furthermore this particular stimulus package is a consistent for its duration and you don’t feel that the pair have buried lots of half-assed filler after the two thirds point – witness the soul-hook of Money, for example, which features Omilio Sparks and Mr Porter – one of the stronger tracks on the LP and thirteenth out of fifteen.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT
Jake One’s rather good solo long-player White Van Music from a year or two back might have led you to expect some sort of musical variety on this so it comes as something of a disappointment to discover that ninety per cent of The Stimulus Package is – ho-hum – 80-90 bpm beats and multi-layered orchestral soul loops. It’s a template we’ve all heard a million times in the last decade in both the underground and the mainstream and frankly, it’s getting a bit wearing. In fact it puts me in mind of the Black Milk’s Popular Demand a couple of years back which was feted like nuclear fusion had been discovered or something but failed to ignite planet hip-hop and makes me long for a back-to-basics (funny how the language of political spin keeps turning up in hip-hop) approach. Talking of wearing (like I was a minute ago) – the idea of Freeway and his strained, high-pitched flows gets a bit thin after nearly an hour too.
VERDICT
Whatever other unlikely legacies the Obama administration might leave behind, the one surefire thing will be a multitude of hip-hop LPs and mixtapes (including, apart from this one, offerings from Del The Funky Homosapien and South Rakkas Crew) all entitled The Stimulus Package. Unlike Obama’s stimulus package (which might have reversed economic freefall by the skin of its teeth) I haven’t yet heard one which will do much to reverse the generic freefall of hip-hop though this particular one might slow it for a bit. Very good of its kind even if its ‘kind’ could do with a bit of a rest.

Listen to Freeway & Jake One – The Stimulus Package

Freeway – Myspace

Jake One – Myspace

BROTHER ALI: UK tour dates announced

N.B. TOUR CANCELLED – details HERE
He dropped arguably the best hip-hop long-player of 2009 so it’d be rude not to pop along and catch the man, should you find Brother Ali round your way in March. And while locating a good hip-hop LP these days is more difficult than finding a job; finding out if Ali’s in your hood couldn’t be simpler – details below:
(PRESS RELEASE) Brother Ali has announced a run of UK headline dates next month. The rapper, signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment, released his latest album “Us” last year to much critical acclaim and played his first headline show at a sold-out Barfly in London after having previously been over as support for Atmosphere at their sold-out Koko and Scala shows.
March:
16th – Croft, Bristol
17th – Cargo, London
18th – Freebutt, Brighton
19th – Korova, Liverpool
20th – Craw Daddy, Dublin
21st – Bodega, Nottingham
Check Brother Ali’s steez in the Brucie-bonus vid below:

Brother Ali – Myspace

brotherali.com

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