Monthly Archives: January 2009

RECORDKINGZ (of THE CREATORS): Heavyweight LP – Press release

How can some guy from the UK have a new record, ‘Heavyweight’ (Read RECORDKINGZ – Heavyweight – Album review – HERE), with names like Little Brother, Mobb Deep, Evidence, Joell Ortiz, Tragedy, Beatnuts, and G Malone on it to name but a few? Maybe the question should be – ‘What do – Sha Money (G-Unit), Lord Finesse, Just Blaze (Rocafella), Alchemist (G-Unit), JuJu (Beatnuts), Evidence (Dilated Peoples), DJ Head (D12), E-Swift (Liks), Buckwild, Havoc (Mobb Deep), T-Ray (Cypress Hill), DJ Spinna, Madlib and Joey Chavez have in common? One man and one shared passion connect all these guys. Juliano Creator from Recordkingz is that man and vinyl addiction is their common fix. All these cats are searching for that ultimate break that no one else has flipped and Juliano, the man behind Recordkingz, is the guy to find it.

Juliano’s collection started at the age of 10 when he bought his first record from his big brother who was a rock n roll DJ. Now, he and his team travel the world sourcing rare records for their own productions and some of the biggest producers in Hip Hop. He first made steps into Hip Hop back in ’92 when he decided that music was now much more than a hobby and hopped on a plane straight to New York with a bag of records that he knew no one in the US had heard and a sampler under his arm. He hooked up with people like Natural Elements, Two Face/Big Kwam, Big Twann and DJ Spinna and started making records for real. People like DJ Mayhem, Stretch Armstrong, Matt Fingers and Funkmaster Flex are the people that helped put Juliano on the map, by playing his joints on the radio and making connections with any and everyone. He still says 15 years on I owe my career to those people.

On his return to the UK he knew what he needed to do. His ear and his vinyl became his key assets. He started making records and set up his own label Creative Entertainment to put them out. He kept buying more and more records and travelled further and further to some of the darkest corners of the world to find those secret gems that would make him who he is today – King of the Beats. He started a project called The Creators, where Juliano and beat partner Sip Spex decided to put together a record called ‘The Weight’ and hooked up with artists like Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Craig G and Will Pack, Consequence, El de Sensei and Diamond D. They spent months perfecting their sound and came out with an underground hit. His success continued with TV music for advertising campaigns including Hugo Boss and Sony, Rare Funk Compilations that he compiled, production and remix credits on hit singles for artists like Nas and Dilated Peoples and Creators singles getting crazy radio play and support. He grew stronger and perfected his trade.

Juliano’s record collection was now so large that he needed to do something that gave him access to a larger marker of buyers. He was going to set up a shop, but felt that restricted him to being stuck in one location and so decided to set up His website is now without question the leading source of rare records for collectors and producers alike. He has one of the largest collections of rare jazz, soul, Eastern European, Asian, Film/TV library and Hip Hop records available anywhere in the world. It’s taken years of hard work. His network has grown and he’s watched the careers of some of the great producers of today grow by using breaks and loops that Juliano has sourced.

Now he’s back doing what he loves most, making beats. ‘Recordkingz presents Heavyweight’, is coming out in 2009. Recorded whilst digging and selling across the world this is the long anticipated follow up to The Weight. With tracks like ‘Rock Ya Shoulders’ featuring The Beatnuts recorded in London, ‘Heat’ featuring Mobb Deep recording in Paris, ‘Take A Walk’ featuring Joell Ortiz recorded in New York, ‘Playin’ To Lose’ featuring Little Brother recorded in LA and ‘Hip-Hop Throwback’ featuring Guilty Simpson in Detroit it’s a truly international venture. It’s a compilation of all of the Recordkingz team’s favourite artists who they have met and worked with along the way. When opportunities to record came up – the Recordkingz team would hit the road always taking a bag of beats with them.

Being from the UK it’s harder to stay in contact with artists who are always on the road touring and so if we heard that any of our people were in town we would travel to meet them at all hours of the day and night. Every track that was recorded has a story behind it. We found out that we could do a Mobb Deep record at 2am when we were with Havoc, Prodigy and Alchemist in a hotel in London after a show. The only problem was that we had to go to Paris where a studio was booked the next day. So we booked a ferry, jumped in the car with a MPC and disks and off we went. 36 hours later without any sleep, Havoc and Prodigy had laced the record Storm had signed it off and were gone. Incredible.

Heavyweight summarizes what Juliano the man behind Recordkingz is all about. If you make beats and you need something special you need to know about If you like classic underground Hip Hop and you want to hear what’s hot check out Recordkingz ‘The Heavyweight’.
Digital release 17 February – CD/ Vinyl release tbc.

Recordkingz – Myspace

DANIEL MERRIWEATHER (feat. Skinnyman): Chainsaw – ‘Free’ download

Nothing in life is really free is it? And if you ain’t paying with cash money you’ll pay some other way – a bit like with this link. Daniel Merriweather’s label offers you a ‘free’ download remix of track Chainsaw which also features UK rapper Skinnyman. Merriweather has a new single Change out on 2 February and a debut LP Love & War out later in the year – both produced by Mark Ronson. If you are unable to contain your boundless excitement at something new that’s been touched by the hand of Ronseal – or are such a desperate Skinnyman completist that you simply have to have anything he’s on – click away. Bear in mind however that you will be asked to give over your email, mobile phone number, and promise to send them an affidavit signed in your own blood agreeing to let them have your soul and firstborn child. I might have made the last bit up. Anyway – here’s the link:

‘Free’ download of Daniel Merriweather (feat. Skinnyman) – Chainsaw

You could also listen to it on the link below first before making your decision. Gotta stick it to the man right?

Listen to Daniel Merriweather (feat. Skinnyman) – Chainsaw – courtesy of

Daniel Merriweather – Myspace

T BIRD & THE BREAKS: Learn About It – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★★

A bit like the winning fat man at a pie-eating contest, the worldwide funk and soul scene is splitting at the seams with talent and given the amount of competition, any band wanting to make a name for themselves these days needs to make damn sure they have some sort of a distinctive spin on the genre. Enter T-Bird & The Breaks who work a ‘Wilson Pickett fronting the JBs’ kind of angle. Incidentally while you’re making a name for yourselves it’s not going to harm you to make up a cool name for yourselves either. Since only a fool is really going to argue that ‘T-Bird & The Breaks’ is anything other than a cool name it only remains for this lot to establish a rep and with self-produced debut LP Learn About It they’re going the right way about it.
If they do actually sound something like Wilson Pickett fronting the JBs it’ll be for two reasons. Firstly frontman T-Bird, a.k.a. Tim Crane, whose sandpapered-whiskey vocals provide soulful authenticity and secondly, The Breaks. The Breaks (a.k.a. the rest of the band) comprise roughly half the population of Austin, Texas, hold down some super-heavy grooves, drop some fat – er – breaks and number amongst themselves a bevy of female backing vocalists.
A substantial portion of the LP consists of bluesy funk – no mincing around with Hammond organs for this lot – this shit’ll put hairs on your chest. Opening stomper Two Tone Cadillac, has a guitar riff that recalls the one on the Beastie Boys’ Funky Boss, and yet, despite it’s impact, you’ll find your affections transferred to second track Esmerelda (the highlight among the album’s many highlights) within three bars of it’s kicking off. This blues-funk-groove is giant – it’s got hip-shaking breaks, an insistent bass pulse and cheeky lyrics about some wild chick. Blackberry Brandy, which is next, eschews syncopated rhythms for a more swinging bluesy one and demonstrates Crane’s facility for writing classic lyrics as he belts out lines like, “I know I should be looking for a job/ But it sounds too much like work to me.” Then you’ve got All The Blame – another slow one with tremoloed-out guitar strains that explores that staple blues theme of the man who doesn’t treat his woman right. Stand Up is a swaggering uptempo funk strut, and Juice opens with an insistent piano, shortly before the arrival of an energetic break and sweet horn riffs. Of the last three tracks Baby Bottle is a wah-wah toting funky bounce, while the other two appeared on the band’s demo EP. Take Time is an uptempo classic – all driving horns and guitar and last track Sunday On My Own is – not unexpectedly – another slow one and finds Crane mourning a lost love and in the process demonstrating his considerable vocal range.
T-Bird and The Breaks mentally inhabit the twilit world of smoky bars where wearing a sharp suit, alligator shoes and playing to pay for your bourbon is what it’s all about. If you don’t know what that feels like – you might when you’ve heard this. This is a band with lots of love and plenty of soul.

Listen to/ Buy T-Bird & The Breaks – Learn About It

T-Bird & The Breaks – Myspace

CHASE & STATUS (feat. KANO): Against All Odds – 2009 – Single review/ Video

Rating: ★★★½☆

If this weren’t the second time I’d heard the drum break from the Incredible Bongo Band’s Apache getting a damn good seeing-to in the last six months I reckon I’d be a bit more stoked with it. Unfortunately the Empire – er – I mean the underground got there first and last summer’s K-Delight/ Chrome (Deftex) hook-up is still the don. Nevertheless – this effort between erstwhile Drum N Bass crossover commandos Chase & Status deserves an honourable mention in dispatches – not least for the fact that it will be heard on a far wider scale and bring some heavy duty old school breaks to the kids. Far from dnb, C&S go for the straight hip-hop cuts, throw in a Lou Rawls soul loop and sprinkle grime king Kano on top – thus ensuring appeal to both older headz and grimey youngsters alike. Slickly done without being too slick. A bit like the pastiche of a pastiche of a blaxploitation video that accompanies it. I fully expect this to be very large. In all senses of the word. Word.
Released 23 February on Ram Records

Listen to Chase & Status – Against All Odds

Chase & Status – Myspace

Kano – Myspace

LAURA VANE & THE VIPERTONES: Steam – 2008 – 7” review

Listen to – Laura Vane & The Vipertones – Steam

Laura Vane & The Vipertones – Myspace

EDDIE & ERNIE: Bullets Don’t Have Eyes – 2009 – 45 review

Rating: ★★★★★

The woozy guitar lick and horn section on Bullets Don’t Have Eyes got a rinsing last summer on ‘Bristol Bass’ DJ/Producer Parker’s bomb Western Soul. The source of the cut – 60s duo Eddie & Ernie’s Bullets Don’t Have Eyes gets a re-press here and packs some original heavy soul brother vocal heat about how love isn’t the only thing that’s blind over crisp syncopation in an anthemic end-of-the-night stylee. Daptone seem to be offering two alternative b-sides – either In These Very Tender Moments or You Make My Life A Sunny Day both much slower with the emphasis on the soul rather than the funk and – it has to be said – considerably less likely to spun for the crowd.
Released 26 January on Daptone/ Ever Soul.

Listen to Eddie & Ernie – Bullets Don’t have Eyes

Ever Soul – Myspace

Daptone Records – Myspace

JOHNSON & JONSON: Mama Told Me – 2009 – Single review

Rating: ★★★★★

The highlight of last year’s Johnson and Jonson (a.k.a. L.A. rapper Blu and producer Mainframe) LP Johnson & Jonson, Mama Told Me is a sun-drenched slice of psychedelic hip-hop that’s pretty much what the doctor ordered in a world where the big mainstream names haven’t managed a decent idea in several years and the underground finds itself (by and large) in a similar ideas-drought. Mainframe packs it full of swirling Hammond cuts and Blu reminisces about back in the day when it was all about P.E. and OGs or, in other words, when he was a world weary toddler of three or so. Keep your eye on the red baby!

Listen to – Johnson & Jonson – Mama Told Me

Johnson & Jonson – Myspace

KRUMB SNATCHA: Hidden Scriptures LP update & tracklist

Press release:
Gang Starr fans and followers of Hip-Hop already know the name Krumb Snatcha. From his “Snatcha Season Pt.1” EP with songs like “Hip Hop” and the industry critique “Gangsta Disease,” to his duet with M.O.P. on the Oscar award winning movie “Training Day” soundtrack only served to solidify his position, setting the stage for his first full length album “Respect All Fear None” on D&D Records in 2002. Yet, Krumb’s profile went national thanks to his appearance on “Make Em Pay” from Gang Starr’s classic opus “Moment Of Truth” a buzz starting appearance that lead to Krumb being chosen as the first independent artist to receive the prestigious award of The Source Magazine’s “Hip Hop Quotable” for his verse on “Make Em Pay” which propelled him in the spotlight to release “Closer To God” produced by none other than the legendary DJ Premier.

While Krumb has been under the radar for a minute, thanks to a slew of guest appearances on albums by Guru of Gang Starr, Pete Rock, Beatminerz, Funkdoobiest, ED OG, Termanology, Teflon, Afu Ra, Craig G, Tony Touch etc., an appearance in the motion picture “Urban Massacre” and his DJ Green Lantern hosted mixtape release entitled “You’ll See” he is now positioned to release his best work to date “Hidden Scriptures” (which will be released on 3-10-09). With production by names like Pete Rock, Large Professor, Beatminerz, Statik Selektah and 3 time DMC champion DJ Ace and with a lead off single “Feeling” by Beatminerz, and “Mind Power” by Large Pro that have garnered raves, Krumb is sure to please his old fans and acquire new ones with “Hidden Scriptures.”

From the streets of “Lawtown” to new found label Str8up Entertainment, Krumb is back with a new sound and moniker on “Hidden Scriptures.” It’s the rebirth of K.S. and the death of Krumb, as stated in his song “Begins” produced by the legendary Pete Rock as he explains “The vibe was totally different on this one Krumb explains. I wanted to show everyone the other side of me. I feel like I’ve been walking in the dark for to long and I wanted to give the people my inner me.”

With such much turmoil in the music industry today, Krumb feels that with all that has happened in the last year alone, music and its artists should set a new tone by educating fans and picking more social topics that are relevant to people today as he laments “Music should give people a mood. Whether it’s a dark one, or an uplifting one, it should explain the matters of heart”. Further, as we get ready to embrace Barack Obama as our President, Krumb wanted to add on to the movement without getting too political. “This album was not to offend anybody, its sole purpose is to inspire. I believe with this contribution fans can see more to the artist than just skills, we are human too” states Krumb.

Tracklisting and credits for Krumb Snatcha’s “Hidden Scriptures:
1) .The Way (produced by Nickel Plated)
2) .Triumph (produced by Karimbo)
3.) L.O.V.E. (produced by Karimbo
4.) Hold It Down (produced by Nickel Plated)
5.) Still Be Me f/Lex Boogie & Blackastan (produced by DJ Stress)
6.) Street Merchant (produced by Sam Thoro)
7.) Secret (produced by Nickel Plated)
8.) Feeling (produced By Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz)
9.) Hidden Scriptures (produced by Statik Selektah
10.) The Light (produced by The Asmatik)
11.) Mind Power (produced The Large Professor)
12.) Explanation f/Lex Boogie & POPS (produced by DJ Stress)
13.) Garden Of Eden (produced by DJ ACE)
14.) Heaven On Earth f/ Lauren of I.Q. (produced by Nickel Plated)
15.) Yesterday (produced by Pete Rock)
16.) East Is Back (produced by Nickel Plated)
17.) Underground Ambassadors f/ Afu-Ra (produced by Karimbo)
18.) Leavin (produced by Nickel Plated)
19.) Begins (produced by Pete Rock)

Krumb Snatcha – Myspace

DANIEL MERRIWEATHER (feat. Wale): Change – 2009 – Single review/ Making of… video

Rating: ★★★★☆

“Some do it all for the money, some do it all for the love,” – my jury’s still out on Daniel Merriweather but this has brought me round a little. Last time I reviewed one of his vocal performances I likened him to Daniel Bedingfield – which may have been a little uncharitable. I’m prepared this time to go so far as to suggest that he sounds a bit like the lead singer of of 90s funk-glam-rockers Living Colour – Corey whatshisname. Anyway – there’s something a bit nineties about his voice which still sounds too clean cut for my liking, though I suspect that’s partly a consequence of production and choice of track. Incidentally, production on Change is the responsibility of Merriweather’s best buddy Mark Ronson. Can you guess what it sounds like? A few horns maybe? Yup. Functional but not especially imaginative breakbeat? Yup. The presence of rapper Wale ups the kudos a little but other strengths are lyrics that are at worst inoffensive and at best ‘conscious’ and the bottom line – a decent, if introspective, tune. Not quite the “anthemic psyched out acoustic folk record fuelled by the fires of Motown” of press release hyperbole but I wouldn’t kick it out of bed. ‘Making of…’ video below…
Released 2 February on Allido/ Columbia

Daniel Merriweather – Myspace

INNER PARTY SYSTEM: Don’t Stop – 2009 – Single review

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

Ironic that this should be called Don’t Stop as that was the complete opposite of my reaction when I heard it. Incredible as it may seem, this lot must have listened to Pendulum’s ill-advised combination of weedy over-filtered vocals, rent-a-kit rock guitars, and pounding ‘dance’ beats and thought – ‘Man, that sounds good!’ Unfortunately they’ve generated a concoction so bland that if it was a drink it would make a carton of UHT Milk’s idea of bland seem appetising. The only reason this is more tolerable than utter shit like – I dunno – Westlife is because – come on – come on – there must be one – Westlife are anti-music – ahh got it – is because the only thing worse than listening to this would be listening to a watered down version of a rip-off of a rip-off of a late period Elton John ballad. Such as Westlife sing. ‘This is entertainment’ hollers the frontman. Fuck off.
Released 9 February on Island/ Fallout Records

Inner Party System – Myspace