Monthly Archives: December 2008

THE KNUX – Bang-Bang/ Cappuccino – Free mp3 downloads and videos

It’s press release time again folks – get yourself some free Knux Xmas goodies and mind your heads on all that hyperbole..!



“Hip hop used to be feeling, not a form – a boom-bap rush that could, and would, be interpreted and articulated differently by it’s various creators. It was this loose constitution, open to infinite amendments, that bred the broad crop of creative, innovative rap in late ’80s and early ’90s. However, things changed. When the financial stakes are high, that which makes dollars makes sense, and consequently a more polished and rigid vision of hip hop emerged in the mid-’90s, and it catapulted the genre to new heights.

Hip hop continued to progress into the new millennium and brought even newer formulas that bridge the gap between all musical genres, reaching wider audiences and combining styles in order to grow, adapt, stay alive and thrive. Consider The Knux, and their genius, genre-bending debut, Remind Me In 3 Days…, the sledge hammer that’s going to save the music.

“It’s funny,” says Al Millio, the younger Knux brother (yes, they’re blood kin separated by 2 years), “Because people make such a big deal about the fact that we produce and play our own music, and that it sounds ‘different’ or whatever, but to us that’s more hip hop than making lame shit that sounds like everybody else.” For those of you who like to put things in boxes, it’s like this: The Knux are a self-produced group comprised of two brothers from New Orleans. They play all their own instrumentation and fight like The Kinks. Their debut album sounds like Outkast, Juvenile, Tha Pharcyde, and The Strokes concurrently blasting, out of a drop-top Jag on Sunset Blvd. on a Saturday night in the summer. Wrap your head around that.”

LP Remind Me In Three Days is out now on Interscope Records.

The Knux – Myspace

CHOPPS DERBY – Down The Dogs – Video

Chopps Derby comes from Manchester and makes hip-hop rich in social observation of UK working class life. He’s also got a mouth like a sewer. And when I say ‘sewer’, I’m thinking of one so filthy even turds balk at having to enter – as you’ll realise if you check the Down The Dogs video – below. His laid back northern mumbling and late night jazz bar loops and beats are a bit like those peanut butter and jam sandwiches the Yanks are so fond of – sounds terrible in theory but in reality goes down a treat. If the video doesn’t offend your soft southern sensibilities the You Don’t Know What Broccoli Is? EP is out now on The Gulls Trunk Records.

Chopps Derby – Myspace

The Gulls Trunk Records

THE ROOTS – Live at Bristol Carling Academy – December 3 2008

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never really been into The Roots. “What a colossal oversight! (You might be thinking) They’re renowned for being a legendary live act!” To which I’d reply, “Well, quite” which is why despite only owning one Roots LP, I still went to see them. And when Tuba Gooding Jr. (possibly not his real name) led the rest of the band onstage with his Sousaphone (a piece of brass so massive it makes a tuba look like a kazoo) and the band kicked the first track, I began to wonder why I didn’t own more Roots albums – a feeling that lasted for – well, about the first five or so numbers in their set. After a while though, (some time later when things got a lot more jazzy and a lot more noodly) I slowly began to remember why I haven’t often made a Roots purchase – mainly because I’d rather chew my own fucking arm off than listen to jazzy noodling. Having said that, by the end of the gig, I had – like a woman in a shoe shop – changed my mind again and made a mental note to check out the band’s back catalogue once more.

All of this preamble lets me off having to identify most of the tracks that were being played as I didn’t have a clue and still don’t. Luckily I had a mate with me who owns every Roots LP and occasionally he’d go, “Yeah that one’s off Do You Want More? or, “That one’s off Phrenology,” or, “That one’s off Things Fall Apart.” Interestingly he didn’t much (if at all) say – “That one’s off Rising Down,” (the band’s latest LP), sagely pointing out that ?uestlove et al do so many guest collaborations in the studio that it must narrow their options somewhat when it comes to playing live. And ‘play’ live they most certainly did – seamlessly morphing the first track of their set into the Incredible Bong Band’s Apache and later Black Sabbath’s Ironman. Subsequently they inserted a few bars of Kool And The Gang’s Jungle Boogie into another track. On You Got Me, guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas (again, possibly not his real name) stood in for Erykah Badu’s part, which was both amusing and actually pretty damn convincing. And then there was ?uestlove’s drum solo – which eventually became a drum battle as percussionist Knuckles entered the fray. There were few (if any) of the clichés of between tracks repartee you might expect at a hip-hop gig with barely a ‘Put your hands in the air’ all night, though Black Thought’s rhyming was constant and prodigious. In fact the whole thing from the band’s manner and improvisational jams to the lighting probably had more in common with something like a Miles Davis’ performance from the Bitches Brew era.

If anything characterised The Roots live it was the effortlessness with which they did everything. They never seemed anything other than immensely relaxed and were clearly having at least as good a time as the packed out venue. This was, in other words, an effortlessness that only comes from both years of playing live as a unit coupled with a substantial helping of pure talent. And if anything caught this effortlessness perfectly it was the way they the final track of the encore found the band’s entire line-up playing faultlessly whilst dancing in formation from one side of the stage to the other their cheesy grins mirroring those of the crowd.
The Roots – Myspace

The Roots – Myspace

UGLY DUCKLING – I Won’t Let It Die – Video

Heads up! Everyone’s favourite Long Beach old-schoolers go large in their new video to I Won’t Let It Die – the first track on the brand new Audacity LP (read review here) in a homage to/ pisstake of those possessed of such mighty self-belief that reality is but an occasional faint buzz.
Ugly Duckling – Myspace

Ugly Duckling – Myspace

New Hiero LP updates: DELTRON 3030 – Second LP/ DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN LP – Funkman/ A-PLUS LP – Pleewater

According to a recent myspace bulletin there are three forthcoming releases from Oakland-based hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics and a new Deltron 3030 LP. Before you get all excited though, the details weren’t that specific. Actually they weren’t specific at all – for example, the second Deltron 3030 LP looks like it might get a late 2009 or early 2010 release. Then, hot on the heels of Eleventh Hour is Del’s new solo LP Funkman which looks like being jointly released with fellow Hiero rapper, A-Plus’s Pleewater LP in Spring 2009. Apparently the intention is for both of these to be free for fans somehow. Finally, look out for a free Del EP L.E.D. also coming sometime ‘soon’.

Del The Funky Homosapien – Myspace

A-Plus – Myspace

Underexposed!…INNEREYEFULL – Free downloads and interview

Andy Kent – a.k.a. Innereyefull has been exploring the outer reaches of downtempo beatmaking for some time now. Inspired by the kings of old-school hip-hop, funk and dub he’s been blending his influences into tripped-out digital psychedelia just ripe for sound-tracking your next herbal-fuelled mind-excursion – if you catch the Monkey’s drift and two Innereyefull E.P.’s are currently available for download totally free!:
Haunted E.P
Jus’ Believin E.P
…so now you too can hitch a lift on Andy’s magic carpet ride! Monkeyboxing has long been overdue for a chat with the man himself – here’s what he had to say when we finally hooked up:
Monkeyboxing (MB): Tell us a bit about how long you’ve been making music and what got you into it in the first place
Innereyefull (IEF): I’ve been making music for over 20 years now, I got into scratching after seeing a video in the early 80’s of Grandmaster Flash in his kitchen mixing and scratching on 3 decks and I was hooked! And I got into making music through my brother who is a bass player, he had an old ARP AXXE keyboard which made some splendid sounds, we use to jam with my cousin who played drums and make a right noise!! From there on I just wanted to make music and in 1989 I moved from London to Wiltshire where I continued to make music. In December 1994 I was in a studio with a mate doing some tracks under the name Transmit Zero, it was sorta breakbeat stuff with scratching of course, anyway a band he knew heard me scratching and asked me to put some stuff over some tracks they had recorded and a month later I was doing a gig with them in the Fleece and Firkin in Bristol which was wicked! I then joined the band and we did loads of gigs all up and down the country and had a mental time for a few years! After that I decided to do my own thing and explore what I could create with my ideas and that’s where Innereyefull came about.
MB: I thought I read somewhere that you had a previous incarnation in some sort of hip-hop crew – would you care to confirm or deny this?
IEF: Mmm……well I grew up in London and on the estate I lived on me and some mates had a hip hop crew. I used to make beats on a tape deck doing pause loops stylee. Man – it took ages getting a 3 minute drum loop, we would then go breakdance on a huge piece of cardboard which we spray painted, and rap over my beats which were banging out on an old school boombox (haha…what a word!). We didn’t really last long as our breakdancing wasn’t really any good so I stuck to making the beats instead.
MB: What equipment do you use for production?
IEFI use a Mac G4 running Logic and plenty of VST plugins, TC Electronics M300 rack fx, Akai S2800 sampler, Roland & Yamaha midi keyboards, Makie mixing desk, Technics & DJ mixer, Wharfedale Diamond Pro studio monitors, bass guitar, electric guitar & acoustic guitar plus I have a massive sample library I’ve built up over the last 20 years and plenty of imagination!
MB: Have you got any plans to collaborate with vocalists or rappers and is there anyone you’d really like to work with?
IEF: I’ve been working on a project under a different name with a friend of mine who plays guitar, keys and vocals, we hope to get some of this stuff out there in the future. I’m also gonna be working with another vocalist in the new year which should be pretty special if it comes off and I’d love to work with a rapper – it would bring a new element to the Innereyefull sound. As for who I’d really like to work with…well anyone who fits with my sound and keeps it real.
MB: Other than that, what’s next for you in the world of musical performance and production?
IEF: Well I have played live but not for a few years and I’d love to take my sound out and do a live Innereyefull set in the future, it’s a great buzz!!! As for production, just to keep moving forward and doing more collabs and digging for more dirty breaks!
MB: ‘Trip-hop’ got to be a dirty word back in the 90s. Where do you stand on the usage of the phrase ;-)?
IEF: I honestly can’t remember it being a dirty word, I don’t really get caught up in the politics of genres, I just keep doing what I’m doing and that’s what matters.
MB: True dat! The last word is yours. Anything you want to say?
IEF: Yeah……”Get an earfull of this!”

Innereyeful – Myspace

DEC. 08 – MR LEE

Johnny ‘Mr Lee’ Lee says his name ‘is like the Chinese equivalent of Mr Smith…generic and anonymous’ – in other words, nothing like his striking artwork. Most happy with a pen and pencil, he is not averse to exploring the possibilities of computer generated images and as you can see he’s not a man bound by any particular genre, citing film as one of his biggest influences – in particular blaxploitation and Kung-Fu flicks. It’s an influence that comes through in his record covers for a friend’s dubstep label Ranking Records, work which, he says, was what got him back into his artwork after a break. Mr Lee has a number of projects on the go currently, including more record covers, a tattoo design, and character-based images for breakbeat culture club night Vagabondz, he’s also keeping quiet about a few other ideas referring mysteriously to, ‘some collaborations’. With regard to the future he mentions an interest in clothing design, animation, tattooing and even haircutting. One to watch then, given that the stuff you see here has all been produced this year. Hit the man up at:

Mr Lee – Myspace


1. (NEW) Ugly Duckling – Einstein Do It (Night On Scratch Mountain) (Audacity LP) – Fat Beats
DJ Einstein on the cut y’all! Massive.

2. (NEW) Shantisan – Bring The Bossa Back (Resense 008 EP) – Resense
Drum n Bossa? Latin vocal? Party!

3. (NEW) Q Tip – Won’t Trade (The Renaissance LP) – Motown
Motown sampling bomb. Shoulda had more like this on the LP.

4. (NEW) K Delight (feat. Koaste) – Teenagers From Outer Space (Audio Revolution LP) – Playing Around
Swirling tech-hop banger and the best lyrics all year from Koaste.

5. (1) Andy Taylor (feat. Louisa Rox) – Pray (Unreleased)
Ridiculously euphoric funky anthem.

6. (3) The Bamboos – Tears Cried (Side Stepper LP) – Tru Thoughts
More funky sister soul action from Melbourne’s finest
ListenRead Review…

7. (NEW) The New Mastersounds – Hole In The Bag (Plug & Play LP) – Etage Noir
A fat nugget of organs, wah-wah and clattering drums.

8. (NEW) Da Wiesel – Raw Rapture (Resense 008 EP) – Resense
Female vocal breaks-track, cutting up Sly Stone, and the Mohawks

9. (NEW) The Bas Lexter Ensample – Bas Lexter’s Rock (Resense 008 EP) – Resense
Uptempo brass-driven breaks.

10. (NEW) T Bird & The Breaks – Juice (Learn About It LP) (Unreleased)
Funky-ass soul so raw it’s still bleeding.