Monthly Archives: July 2009

KYLIE AULDIST: It’s On/ Made Of Stone – 2009 – Single review

Rating: ★★★½☆

The gorgeous voice of Kylie Auldist (which sounds better than ever on this) plus funky backing from The Bamboos on the lead single off forthcoming second LP Made Of Stone ought to be soul gold. And yet, while not underwhelmed, I’m not exactly overwhelmed by either It’s On or Made Of Stone. More, kind of…just…whelmed. So what’s up? It’s the tunes stupid! Maybe a year between albums wasn’t long enough for our Kylie? Maybe The Bamboos spread themselves too thin being – um – themselves, doing backing for Ms Auldist and a few of them moonlighting as Cookin On 3 Burners. Or maybe everyone involved on this just switched on cruise control and popped out for a stubby…who knows?
Out now on Tru Thoughts

Listen to Kylie Auldist – It’s On/ Made Of Stone

Kylie Auldist – Myspace

DANIEL MERRIWEATHER: Impossible – 2009 – Single review/ Video

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I’ll tell you what seems to be impossible – creating a crossover nu-soul hit that keeps both the masses and the heads happy. Ever a greasy pole to climb, so far the only act demonstrating anything like the superhuman grip necessary has been Gnarls Barkley. At least since the seventies. Genuinely authentic sounding funk-soul revivalists like Sharon Jones and co. haven’t managed to attract a non-specialist audience (though it’s true that Mark Ronson has employed Jones’ band The Dap Kings – but the fact remains largely unknown) while Amy and the like never had any underground kudos in the first place. Impossible – one of the more convincing cuts from the recent Love & War LP, finds Merriweather doing his best with a melody influenced as much by The Mamas & The Papas as by Ike and Tina, and Ronson provides his usual breakbeat (yes, I did mean to use the singular) but he is no Cee-Lo and Ronson is no Dangermouse. One for the charts then and not the heads.
Out 17 August on Allido/ Columbia
Oh yeah – here’s the vid…

Listen to Daniel Merriweather – Impossible

Daniel Merriweather – Myspace

DANIEL MERRIWEATHER: ‘Impossible’ single released 17 August 2009

(PRESS RELEASE) Impossible is released on 17 August 2009 by Allido/Columbia Records

(Love & War) has retro pastiches of grits-and-gravy ‘60s southern funk and the smoother ‘70s soul (UNCUT)
Indisputably soulful (Daniel Merriweather) comes across in the music as unstintingly honest and expressive (GUARDIAN)
(Love & War) is a consummate modern soul record (DAILY MAIL)
(Daniel Merriweather) is so naturally gifted just opening his mouth in the vocal booth can let loose some laryngeal magic (SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE)

For much of 2009 the airwaves and charts have been dominated by a string of upcoming female solo artists: La Roux, Little Boots, Lady Gaga, Pixie Lott et al, but one male solo artist has stood out: Daniel Merriweather.

Daniel Merriweather’s, critically acclaimed and highly anticipated album, ‘Love & War’, debuted at No. 2 in the Official UK album chart and has now shipped in excess of 180,000 copies, certifying it gold. Meanwhile, ‘Red’, the anthemic follow-up single to the airplay smash ‘Change’, was a top 3 airplay hit and entered the chart at No. 5 where it stayed for over 4 weeks, and has now sold over 200,000 copies.
Other highlights of Daniel Merriweather’s year to date include a recent sold-out gig at the Bloomsbury Ballroom on June 3rd 2009, an outstanding performance of ‘Cigarettes’, ‘Stop Me’ and ‘Change’ on Later With Jools, and a stellar appearance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

‘Impossible’ which is the 3rd single to be released from ‘Love & War’, is an up-tempo funk influenced record. With a lively bass, a catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics, its subject matter is sad while its shuffle is infectious. A key moment on ‘Love & War’, recorded during the albums latter stages, ‘Impossible’ shows Daniel’s uniquely soulful voice at its best. In addition to releasing ‘Impossible’, Daniel Merriweather will be playing at Wireless, Oxegen, T in the Park, T4’s on the Beach and V Festival.

2009 may have been dubbed the year for the girls, but for Daniel Merriweather it is the year he has emerged into a star in his own right, proving he is now a long, long way from where he began in Melbourne, busking on a street corner just to earn a buck.

Daniel Merriweather – Myspace

GHETTO MULLET: Unearthly Hours EP – 2009 – Review

Rating: ★★★½☆

Unearthly Hours finds the band with one of the filthiest names in music end up where I suspect they might have been heading from the start. To put it another way – if last EP Sunday Morning Hangover saw instrumental hip-hop flirting with techno, this time around it gets its comeuppance with techno giving hip-hop rather more than a come-on. Where are we? That’s right – Warp Records territory. The beats might still be syncopated but they clank, buzz, and stutter like androids in a jacuzzi. As the title would suggest, Unearthly Hours is the sound of a party at five in the morning where the front room’s full of empty fast food cartons, a motionless haze of waist-level blue smoke and someone with dreadlocks has fallen asleep while trying to roll a spliff. It’s very accomplished, if that’s how your ears get off, and should probably be the soundtrack to some low budget US indie flick. Preferably one shot in grainy black and white about a paranoid Phd student who inadvertently discovers how to rig the US stock market via the internet but can’t cash-out because every time he thinks about turning on his computer he knows they’re watching him. Or something.
Out now on Red Robot RecordsGhetto Mullet – Myspace

BIG BOSS MAN: Full English Beat Breakfast LP Update & Tracklist – September 2009 release

(PRESS RELEASE) The long awaited third album from Big Boss Man; Full English Beat Breakfast is released from September 2009 (Read MONKEYBOXING Review HERE).

Recorded by the band at their 8-track ramshackle studio, the album was mixed by Nick Terry (Klaxons, SMD) at Studio 2 at The Premises, Hackney, London. As usual the band have made good use of their extensive collection of vintage (and temperamental) gear for Full English Beat Breakfast. Head honcho Nasser (a.k.a the Bongolian) plays mini-VIP, Farfisa and Hammond organs, Wurlitzer piano, Moog synths and drums and percussion. Driving bass beat and fuzz guitar is provided by bassman Scott Milsom “the Hawk” and guitarist Trev Harding. The band have once again created a superb spaced-out selection of prime 60’s inspired dance floor tracks: Northern Soul vibes with Black Eye, garage sounds with The Bloater, Boogaloo with Pies and Pastiche and even samba with Full Brazilian.

Big Boss Man formed in 1999 when three long time friends Nass, Trev and Scott, got together for some Hammond-heavy action. They released their album debut Humanize (Blow Up) in 2001 which precipitated a wave of interest in the band, and was a clear definition of the BBM sound: a hip Hammond hybrid of 60’s and 70’s drenched R’n’B, Funk, Latin, Jazz, Soul and Pop. The album went on to be used exclusively as the soundtrack for the 2002 BAFTA nominated short film “Sweet” featuring The Mighty Boosh (Big Boss Man performing in the nightclub sequences in the film), as well as tracks appearing on numerous compilations. Party 7 from Humanize was featured in the Thierry Henry and Eric Cantona NIKE WORLD-CUP worldwide advert in 2006 and subsequently released as a limited single. Their 2005 follow up Winner was produced by the band and Morgan Nicholls (The Streets / Muse / Gorillaz). Morgan (the son of Immediate Records’ in-house songwriter Billy Nicholls), has a studio choc-full of groovy stuff: The Who’s Hammond, Steve Marriott’s first guitar, Clavis, Wurlis etc, etc. all of which were put to good use on the album which continued the trip from where Humanize left off – through 60’s Funk, along the way taking in Bongo/Fuzz, Latin Soul, French Beat, Boogaloo and general Hammond/Moog mentalness everywhere else!

In addition to Humanize and Winner and in between their hectic live schedule, Big Boss Man have worked on numerous other projects including remixes for Paul Weller (The Bottle), a solo project from Nasser as The Bongolian (three albums The Bongolian, Blueprint, Outer Bongolia for Blow Up) on which he played all the instruments himself. Following the inclusion on the Thievery Corporation’s Outernational Soun compilation, Big Boss Man’s dancefloor favourite Sea Groove was sampled for and features throughout the track The Numbers Game on the Thievery Corporations latest album Radio Retaliation in 2008 as well as being used by the Red Cross for a nationwide campaign in the USA this year. The original 7″ version of Sea Groove now valued at £25 in the official Record Collector guide – although that’s if you can find one!

The band are loved by 60s fans, funk fans, cocktail parties and people who are not afraid to party like it is 1966 the world over.

Big Boss Man – Full English Beat Breakfast (2009) – Tracklist:
1. Triumph Of The
2. Beat Breakfast
3. Black Eye (I Believed In Love)
4. Full Brazilian
5. C’est Moi
6. Clown Face
7. VIP 233
8. Hairy Mary
9. Pies And Pastiche
10. Vampyros Twist
11. Trilby Of Fun
12. Slap Head’s Demise
13. The Bloater
14. Luna 2

Big Boss Man – Myspace

Blow Up Records

ADIDAS Skateboarding: Summer 2009 (pt. 2)

Here you go then – the latest Superstar that wasn’t featured in the first feature about Adidas’ summer ’09 drop. It has to be said that the monkey’s not really feeling the black/ ‘electricity’/ lead colourway nor the see-through sole.
Also, Adidas’ first full-length skate vid. Diagonal is now fully stream-able on the site HERE and features performances from a host of Euro skaters including the UK’s very own Chewy Cannon as well as guest appearances from Gonz – among others.
And finally – how about this – there is a skate version of the Campus with a cup sole after all. Don’t bother looking on the Adidas skate site though nor the Adidas Originals section of the online store. Oh no. “But, then in which exclusive sneaker boutique or hardcore underground skate store may I avail myself of a pair?” you ask. The answer my friends is blowing in the cyber-wind – these Campus’s appear to be exclusive to chav chain JD Sports. What’s up with that?

Underexposed!…QUEENS ENGLISH

(PRESS RELEASE) A 5 strong banana bunch of trouble, remaking the world of hip-hop in their own image. Banging at the gates of heavy entertainment, lean lyricists Sherlock and Leon Rhymes bounce off the soulful vox pops of MC Source and the beatbox genius of Pikey Esq (UK Beatbox 2007 finalist), tied together by scruff-bag disc-jockey-cum-producer, Something Else.
Their story is one of true grit and urban grime, having met over tea, cheap booze and a lot of pot. From the humble beginnings of rapping over stolen or otherwise plagiarized instrumentals, QE would regularly bash one out at the acclaimed club night-cum-money-laundering-outfit, Cowboy Tactics. After graduation from Leeds Uni, our heroes soon found solace in London town, hooking up with the unwashed brilliance of Something Else and hyperactive nut-job Pikey Esq.
With funds stolen from their little sisters’ ISAs, Queens English produced their first EP, “Mind The Rap.” The band have worked extensively with (and severely irritated) the likes of DJ Skinny (a.k.a. Nu Balance), Embee (of Sweden’s Looptroop), Babar Luck and Aries to develop, in Time Out’s words, “genre straddling excellence.”
“Wonderful, epic tracks”
– Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6
”If The Streets are the streets, then Queens English are the Royal Mile” – 4Music
”Queens English have burst onto the scene like a breath of fresh air”– Knowledge Magazine
Festivals QE are banned from:

  • Wytchwood Festival ’09
    Swan Fest ’08
    No Passport Necessary ’09
    Production London ’08
    South Of The River ’08
    Sno!Fest ’08
    Outlook Festival (Croatia) ’08
  • Bands who refuse to play with QE any more:

  • Foreign Beggars
    The Correspondents
    Gentlemens Dub Club
    Bad Science
    The Artful Dodger
  • Cities in which QE are wanted for traffic offences:
    Nottingham, Leicester, Brighton, Leeds, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Ipswich (and most of Suffolk), Stockholm, Gothenburg and many more…
    Their debut album, ‘EQ’ has been received like caviar and crackers by the syndicated press, abusing air time on 1Xtra, BBC Radio 6, Ninjaradio, Dissident Island, TunA the Day and many more. 2009 has already seen the group hit the festival circuit hard and the evolution of their live stage show. Despite all of this, QE remain an unsigned act resorting to signal flares, a fake charity phone-in and a botched appearance on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night takeaway (never broadcast for legal reasons) to raise their profile.
    When all is said and done, no press release, however silly and narcissistic, can hide the drive, determination and talent that explode onto the stage when QE steps up to the plate.
    In the words of their other spiritual leader, Yazz, “The only way is up.”

    Queens English – Myspace

    SWAY: Mercedes Benz – 2009 – Single review

    Rating: ★★★½☆

    Not an ‘urban’ re-working of the Janis Joplin track (though that would have been amusing), Sway is right there at the cutting edge of grime with this Marva Whitney-sampling ‘joint’. Unwind Yourself was already two decades old when Mark The 45 King made it the basis of his 1987 hip-hop classic The 900 Number. And then Chad Jackson used it for 1990’s Hear The Drummer Get Wicked. And then DJ Kool used it for 1997’s Let Me Clear My Throat. Not an underused sample then. So what’s new? Apart from a suspiciously jiggy rhyme, this also differs in having a crappy ‘horn-in-a-can’ sound, and for once the bpms are about the same as the loop’s original source. Still, you can expect it to drive straight through the front window of whatever passes for the ‘pop’ charts these days. Anyone else think grime’s dead though? The sample on this one, Kano on a track re-using the Apache break last year and that bloody Chipmunk track ruining the only good song ever by Elton John…
    Out 26 October on Dcypha – video below…

    Sway – Myspace

    GRAND FLAVOUR: Summer collection 2009 (pt. 2)

    More cool threads but I’m confused. Australian style-mongers Grand Flavour dropped what they called their ‘Summer collection ‘09’ back in January when it was summer in the southern hemisphere. Now, here they are again dropping what they’re calling their ‘Summer ‘09’ collection when it’s summer in the northern hemisphere and probably an icy 20-odd Celsius in Sydney or something. I dunno. I guess it’s just summer all the time at Grand Flavour Towers.