Monthly Archives: October 2009

DANIEL MERRIWEATHER: Water & A Flame (feat. Adele) – 2009 – Single review + Video

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆

More smug and puke-inducing than one of those middle class couples who don’t have the bollocks to admit they’re Tories, this will doubtless play on said couples’ car stereo as they take little Poppy and Jasper to pony club. Also, listening to it, I noticed my life-force started to ebb away like it does when I’m in the ‘helpline’ queue of a company so massive that they couldn’t care less if you wait fifty minutes at premium rates and, in fact, might just cut you off at the end of that time anyway, fuck you very much. Ironic really, as toss like this is exactly the sort of thing picked by faceless multinationals to soundtrack your suffering while they claim to experience, ‘unusually high call volumes’. Wankers.
Watch Water & A Flame video HERE

Daniel Merriweather – Myspace

FORGE YOUR OWN CHAINS: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges 1968-74

Is it me or has there just been an underwhelming amount of promo for this? I sometimes wonder if people want to sell stuff at all. Egon and Now Again records dig deep in the funky psychedelia…
(PRESS RELEASE) With the same detailed, no-stone-unturned approach he used for deep funk on The Funky 16 Corners and Cold Heat, Egon’s Now-Again Records tackles beat-heavy global psychedelia with Forge Your Own Chains. Psychedelic records, long the mainstay of older, grizzled collectors, are giving up new ghosts in the hands of Egon and those of this generation.

Digipak CD package includes 40-page full color booklet with detailed liner notes, annotation, photos and ephemera. Gatefold 2/LP includes all liner notes.

Physical purchase comes with the bonus 7-inch single Forge Your Own Chains 45, by Guilty Simpson, Oh No, J.Rocc and Egon, while supplies last.

FORGE YOUR OWN CHAINS: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges 1968-74 – Tracklist
1. Top Drawer “Song of a Sinner” 8:44
2. Sensational Saints “How Great Thou Art” 3:35
3. East of Underground “Smiling Faces Sometimes” 6:27
4. D.R. Hooker “Forge Your Own Chains” 4:45
5. Shin Jung Hyun and the Men feat. Jang Hyun “Twilight” 5:40
6. T. Zchiew and The Johnny “Let Yourself Be Free” 3:46
7. The Strangers “Two To Make A Pair” 2:52
8. Damon “Don’t You Feel Me” 2:36
9. Ellison “Strawberry Rain” 5:33
10. Morly Grey “Who Can I Say You Are” 3:45
11. Shadrack Chameleon “Don’t Let It Get You Down” 4:44
12. Ofege “It’s Not Easy” 4:25
13. Ana Y Jaime “Nina Nana” 3:18
14. Kourosh Yaghmaei “Hajm-e Khaali” 2:42
15. Baby Grandmothers “Somebody’s Calling My Name” 9:13

Listen to – FORGE YOUR OWN CHAINS: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads & Dirges 1968-74

Get all nerdy with the deep background info…

SLUT clothing

The name alone should indicate that Slut is not a company to compromise, so I’m sure that they will have no problem at all agreeing with me when I say that their style is in your face like a money shot. Don’t believe me? Check the pics below. It should come as no surprise to you that they are also a clothing company who know how to get down. Their launch party in 2006 was so impressively debauched they had another one the next week and then one the week after that. Now, three years later, Love Riot is one of the fastest and loosest club nights in the southwest. We’ll overlook the predilection for house DJs at Love Riot nights because a) soul/ hip-hop legend Norman Jay has also played there and b) some of the Slut’s founders ride the wave-steed of ancient Hawaiian kings a.k.a. the bodyboard. Here’s what they have to say…
(PRESS RELEASE) SLUT is a boutique fashion and partying brand from Cornwall, dedicated to serving the needs and desires of those with a penchant for seriously enjoying life. Owned and run by surfers from Porthleven, and a fisherman from St. Just, we have a firm background in surfing, skating, music, design and partying, or whatever it takes to have a bloody good time. On the clothing front, we aim to be a refreshing alternative to the corporate surf brands which dominate today’s market, whilst still being able to relate to the great many of you who couldn’t care less about surfing but share our interests in brilliant clothes, partying and just plain enjoying life.
Our designs are inspired by a tongue in cheek look at our lives here in Cornwall, Ireland, London and further afield. We place a great emphasis on making our products to a high quality, and have a talented small team of designers helping to ensure this. A couple of whom take great pleasure in secretly moonlighting from their day jobs for us, where they design for a couple of very influencial UK brands.

MANMADE: Feature Funk Vol. 3

The next instalment of mental mash-up mayhem from Manmade with Javier Morillas, Slynk and D*Funk all taking a disco-influenced approach this time around – although it all sounds suspiciously like they’re trying to ‘house’ you. This means it’s up to label bosses CMC & Silenta to wheel out the heavy artillery with skanking ragga beast Just A Little More which has more wriggle and squirm than a fascist bigot on Question Time. Wait till it kicks in – you can end your set with that and go home happy.
After the amazing success of Feature Funk Vol1 and Vol2 we are glad to introduce
two new artists on Manmade. D*Funk a well known breakbeat producer from the
South of England and an upcoming breaks producer Javier Morillas hailing from
Granada, Spain. Again on this Record, Manmade the guys behind this project and
Slynk the best producer coming out of Brisbane.
CMC & Silenta provide another marvellous addition for the dancefloor. “Just A
Little More” contains an old and fairly unknown sample from the 50´s, using the
catchy vox, adding a phat bass-line and a miscivious bit of a ragga creating the
feeling you expect from the mash up kings. Javier Morillas did an amazing old school anthem with everything you need to think “Don´t Stop The Groove”. Driving old school beats, incredible bass-line and perfectly arranged guitar, vocal and horn samples. This one will please any party crowd with no exception!
We’re proud to present Slynks disco-breaks tune “Miss Funky Fox” alongside
D*Funks disco-hiphop-break-beat track. “Miss Funky Fox” lives up to its promise,
ladies will be shaking their hips and getting downright funky. Once again Slynk
comes up with a funky-disco tune without compromise. D*Funk accomplished a track that contains at least 4 different styles and fits it perfectly together, we hade to listen twice to realise what he gave us! Big drum set and funky bass-line let “Feeling Funky” be a peak time favourite.
(Out 9 November 2009 on Manmade)

Listen to Manmade Feature Funk Volume 3

Manmade Records – Myspace

APATHY: Wanna Snuggle – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

What a shame there wasn’t a nice old-fashioned interfering record company around to trim the fat off Wanna Snuggle’s twenty-odd track length into the lean mean fourteen track hip-hop machine that I created on iTunes. Still, that’s what it’s all about these days isn’t it? The digital age has brought the power to the people. Apathy no longer needs a record company (this is self-released) and I have the power of an executive producer. On the other hand – while Ap might not be paying a middle man you can bet that somebody somewhere will have posted this up for free download until the mp3 police catch up with them. Number of copies downloaded? Who knows? Money received by Apathy? Zero. Then there are chumps like me who (call us old-fashioned) still want to play stuff on vinyl – like album promo single and total banger Shoot First which features B-Real, harks back to the glory days of early Cypress Hill and was released for free download a while back. Apparently not even Apathy knows if there will be a vinyl release. Consequence? I go and press up a dubplate. Cost to me? Ironically, about the price of an album. Money received by Apathy? Zero (at least directly) which is technically piracy but then it ain’t for sharing or resale and when I play it on the wheels of steel I’m arguably generating publicity for Apathy. And just like there isn’t a 12” of that track available; there wasn’t an executive producer around which means a review of Wanna Snuggle takes all the tracks into consideration. Which is why this is getting four stars and not the five that my infinitely superior fourteen-track edit would have done.
As is de rigeur these days, there are more collaborations on this than solo tracks. Admittedly, the best of these rank among the best hip-hop released this year, the aforementioned Shoot First for example, the Blacastan-featuring boom-bap of On And Off The Mic and especially the two cuts on which Holly Brook features. The first of these, No Sad Tomorrow, has a chorus which sounds like it’s based around an old sixties folk/ psychedelic rock sample and if there was any justice would already have trounced any hip-hop currently in the charts. On the other hand, the second, Victim, is the last thing you’d expect to find in the charts and is quite possibly the creepiest hip-hop track I’ve heard in a while with a vocal hook from Brook that is all the more chilling for sounding so mournfully innocent. Little Brother’s Phonte (who seems to have taken over from Busta Rhymes as ‘guest-spot slag’) once again sounds better on True Love than on any actual Little Brother release, and King Magnetic does a decent turn on the Amil sampling Anyday
Production is solid and there’s a range of musical avenues explored on here – including heavier funk-backed boom-bap tracks although the predominant sound is big band strings and horns which mainly works well though not always. J-Live vehicle This Is The Formula is just tedious, for example. Also, Apathy might want to make a mental note not to try and sing (as he does on Hell’s Angel) where he sounds like a dead ringer for Awol One. In fact, he even sounds like Awol One when he’s rapping on that one.
Translated into old money: there’s easily an album’s worth of worthwhile (and occasionally classic) stuff on this album but there’s also an EP’s worth of stuff that should’ve been (and would’ve been back in the day) relegated to an outtakes and b-sides collection.

Listen to Apathy – Wanna Snuggle

Apathy – Myspace

BLAKROC: Dollaz & Sense feat. RZA & Pharoahe Monch

Rap rock – get it right and the world walks your way. Get it wrong and your biscuit will be limper than a soggy krackawheat and less appetising. Enter the Blackroc project a.k.a The Black Keys who (as everybody knows) are the world’s best rock band and all your favourite rappers’ favourite rappers including Mos Def, RZA, Raekwon, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monch, M.O.P’s Billy Danze and – rising from the grave once more – Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Please God let it be good. Here’s the audio for the RZA/ Monch featuring Dollaz & Sense…album’s out end of November. Watch this space.

BREAKESTRA: Dusk Till Dawn – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★½☆

L.A.s. funk ‘orchestra’ return with their difficult third LP and prove once again that they should never be in charge of their own vocals. I don’t mean that Miles and Wolf can’t sing, it’s just that when Miles is on mic duty he lacks the growl – a la early 90s jazz-funk bastards – while Wolf has got the growl but not (apparently) the range and ends up doing more of a jazzy scatman thing. With the breaks the ‘Stra are dropping surely we ought to be treated to someone of the calibre of Aaron Neville or Ernie K Doe? Come on boys – can’t you poach Fallon Williams from the Australians or something? You can’t fault the musicianship though – fat rhythms, and the sense to let the spaces in the music speak. Too many modern deep funk bands seem to feel compelled to weigh the rhythm section down by slathering layer on layer of organs, horns and Christ knows what else on top continuously throughout any given track instead of doing what was really done quite a lot back in the day which was to deploy melody sparingly and employ the instruments traditionally used to create it in ways that accentuated the funky rhythm. The Meters knew all about that and as with the last two LPs (in common with many other deep funk bands) this owes a lot to Art Neville and co. You also get the latin-tinged Dark Clouds, Rain Soul and hip-hop bump Posed To Be. Roping in former Jurassic 5 rapper Chali 2Na (and let’s face it – they’ve done him a massive favour after the lame Fish Outta Water) as well as Mixmaster Wolf and the late DJ Dusk this one boasts an epic bassline and percussion but still manages to remain curiously subdued. Every time I spend nearly spent six minutes listening to it, I find myself wanting some huge horns to kick in during the chorus. There’s a remix opportunity in there somewhere.

Listen to Breakestra – Dusk Till Dawn

Breakestra – Myspace

PUMA Suede: October + November 09 Colourways

I don’t really need to say anything about these do I? Oh go on then. Once upon a time there were two brothers Adolf and Rudolf who are at the root of a story which (despite the fact that it sounds like it’s going to be about Nazi reindeer) is about shoes. Dope shoes. After a misunderstanding in an air-raid shelter their shoe company partnership ended. Adolf called his half of the business Adidas, derived (somewhat contrivedly) from Adi (short for Adolf) plus the first syllable of his surname DASsler while Rudi went on to form a company called Ruda derived (in an equally contrived way) from RUdolf DAssler – though, luckily, he realised that sounded a bit shit and later changed it to Puma. Consequently, back in the day, b-boys could pick kicks from two dope selections, the absolute kings among which were the Adidas Superstar and these – the Puma Suede. Amazingly both brothers had hit on freshness so total that these styles are still with us today and wearing them will still elevate your cool to rarified heights. Just remember to waterproof them before you wear them, keep a spare toothbrush to clean them with and always rock fat laces. Oh yeah – best buy two pairs when you see a colour scheme you like too. Ladies and gentlemen – the Puma Suede for October and November 2009…

SMOOTHE MOOSE: Mixtape 2 Fall 2009 – Free download

The way things have been going the last few years, the mash-up has been giving the cover version a bit of a spanking in terms of being everyone’s favourite means of reinterpreting the work of others. Undeterred, the ridiculously named Smoothe Moose collective have a crack at the covers game and manage it so successfully nearly everyone else just got owned. Nobody will believe me if I say, for example, that their re-imagining of Black Uhuru member Don Carlos ‘Laser Beam (complete with horns from the MK Groove Orchestra and vocals by Becca Stevens) sounds like Pharaoh Sanders and Mad Professor hooking up with Liz Cocteau – so I figured the only way to avoid an accusation of hyperbol-isation would be to embed the whole damn ‘fall’ (‘autumn’ to those in the know) mixtape which is brimful of chilled delights. Judging by Massive Attack’s new stuff, they should probably check this out – the miserable fuckers. Chek:
Smoothe Moose Mixtape #2 : Fall 2009 by smoothemoose

RALPH RIP SHIT & STOPHE: OCDC Vol. 1 – Free download

You have to wonder about the music business when quality shit like this is being given away. And what of the artists who are doing the giving? Or, (to put it another way) as Lee Dorsey once sang, “Who’s gonna help a brother get further?” The answer ain’t blowing in the wind my friends – it lies with you: DOWNLOAD Ralph Rip Shit & Stophe – OCDC Vol. 1 HERE. Slicker and smoother than the last time I heard Mr Rip Shit on The Best Name this is right up there with anything you might actually consider paying for. Stophe drops simple fat breaks rife with sixties, seventies and eighties instrumental samples and Ralph reveals why they’re both “Too big for Swansea.” And he does have the best name. No excuses for not copping this. I’m off to give my kicks a clean.
(PRESS RELEASE) OCDC! is the culmination of Classic Tuesdays spent in the studio together and the odd Thursday thrown in for good measure. This is for those who made tapes. This is for those who liked Busta when he had hair. This is for those who still love Maceo blowing soul through the horn. This is for those who are convinced Dres is the greatest MC ever. This is for those who want to swagger with earphones in, clean their sneaks with a spare toothbrush and rock a crisp tee in the summer…


Ralph Rip Shit – Myspace

Stophe – Myspace