Monthly Archives: March 2010

RAY HARRIS & THE FUSION EXPERIENCE: ‘Scaramunga’ Remix competition – Closing date extended!

Yes, this is the second slice of jazzy action today on Don’t worry – we haven’t come over all contrapuntal – it’s simply a means of pointing out a way to remedy the nigh-omnipresent ‘j’ word this week – in other words supercool Italian label Record Kicks are running a remix competition. Now’s your chance to do the decent thing with Ray Harris’s Scaramunga – details below (N.B. COMPETITION CLOSING DATE NOW EXTENDED to 31st MAY). If it was up to me – I’d slow the bpms right down, jack the drums and bass right up, chop up the hook and find a rapper somewhere – Q-Tip say – to lay down some verbals – Native Tongues style. But then I haven’t heard enough good hip hop recently…
(PRESS RELEASE) RAY HARRIS & THE FUSION EXPERIENCE are out now with an EP (available on 12″/Digital Download), and scheduled to release their self-titled full-length in all the best stores worldwide on April 12th, though you can already buy it exclusively on the RK website. To celebrate Record Kicks has partnered with Juno and Souncloud to give you the chance to show off your production skills with a remix competition of single “Scaramunga”. So DJs and producers out there pay close attention as the winner will get their work released on Record Kicks, score a bunch of RK 45s, a £50 voucher from Juno and a free premium account on Soundcloud!!!
CLICK HERE for full details and rules at

Ray Harris & The Fusion Experience – Myspace

LOUIS LOGIC: ‘Me & Everyone You Know’ album release details + tracklist

Louis Logic? I know that name – he was one half of the Odd Couple with Jay Love a few years ago. Alright…it was eight years ago. I bought a 12” by them – Pimp Shit. It was dope. Let’s hope this LP kicks it like that…the early signs are promising – summery rhymes and vibes and (as the acid-assisted cover might suggest) – psychedelic beats.

(PRESS RELEASE) Underground extraordinaire, Louis Logic, returns in 2010 with a brand new full length release. After successful solo albums, “Sin-A-Matic” and “Misery Loves Comedy”, the infamous ‘Drunken Dragon’ brings a project consisting of unadulterated and creative hip hop excursions. This 11 track album showcases songs that Louis has collaborated on with hip hop’s next crop of newcomers and artists on the rise. If you’re a longtime fan of Louis Logic, you will appreciate the continuation of his raw and well thought-out style, as this is a strong pairing of musical talents much like his previous group albums with The Odd Couple and Spork Kills. Album cover features original artwork by Chris Sosa.
(Out 6 April on Pot To Piss In)

01. Playing For Keeps (with Mdusu)
02. Right N Wrong (with Bo Jankans)
03. Natural Selection (with Anecdote & M-Phazes)
04. What You Want (with Nocturnal Artist, Ivan Ives & Big Jess)
05. The Lone Gunners (with Bugz)
06. Knock Knock (with Lakai)
07. Party Crashers (with The Let Go)
08. Knock Knock Bastardface (with Atari Blitzkrieg & Roc C)
09. The Long Way Down (with KAWZ)
10. Confinement (with The Day Laborers)
11. Broken Record (with Black Mask)

Louis Logic – Myspace

LACK OF AFRO: Special Baby 12” release details

The Lack is back with the jazz-funkiest of cuts and I have to say I’m feeling the re-rubs a bit more as Funkshone’s Mike Bandoni adds some Hammond flourishes and an almost P-Funky bass to the Blue Note-iness of the Special Baby original cut while DJ Flevans gets his disco on with the late-bar jazziness of Flip Beautiful Here. Even so, it’s still all a bit too jazzbo for me. Then again, I’m not a jazzbo.
(PRESS RELEASE) As a multi instrumentalist, in-demand producer and re-mixer, a DJ with his finger on the cutting edge of contemporary sounds, and an ear tastefully cocked to the hippest soul, jazz and funk music from the 60’s and 70’s,
Adam Gibbons, the talented young man at the centre of the Lack Of Afro phenomenon, has already established an unrivalled reputation as one of the most crucial names at work in funk and dance music today.
This brand new 4 track single features 2 brand new and 100% exclusive remixes from DJ Flevans (Tru Thoughts) and Mike Bandoni from Funkshonewho rework ‘Special Baby’ and ‘Beautiful Here’ both in their own inimitable style.
Hang on? Lack Of Afro, Flevans and Funkshone on one special, beautiful new 12 inch? Yes, it’s true and now it can be yours!
(Out 26 April on Freestyle)

Lack Of Afro – Myspace

ADIDAS: Skateboarding – Summer shoes 2010

…Well, I presume they’re the summer range anyway for, despite being in the same hemisphere as monkeyboxing, Adidas’ notion of the seasons seems a bit out of kilter with…well…with anyone else’s as they’re always a season ahead. Not that I’m complaining you understand – for they deliver the goods once again which, according to Adidas’ U.S.-based skate team manager, should be in store come 1 April. There’s a date to set your mind at rest. Should you feel like swinging by, you’ll also find footage of the skate team in San Francisco – going off by all accounts…

K-OS: I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman – 2010 – Single review + Video

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

For the last half decade the faithful have been wandering (and wondering), lost, through the sterile and largely funk-free desert which the realm of hip-hop has become, beset by the evil, ketamine-fuelled dubstep hordes and occasionally crossing paths with isolated and increasingly rare defenders of the truly phat flame. Sadly, there’s no end to that desert in sight yet and as we fight our way onwards, sonically parched and close to delirium, K-OS appears like an evil djinn and raises a question – to wit – is a track based around a sample of the theme to The OC, with a weedy beat, featuring Nelly Furtado, preferable to yet another ‘banging’ house-tune masquerading as hip-hop because hamster-cheeks West or Will I-fucking-Am bleat something inane over the top of it? The answer, correctly (and despite the single’s accompanying image), is, “I don’t care.” Video below links…
(Out 19 April on Last Gang Records)
K-OS – Myspace

K-OS – Myspace

DEEP STREET SOUL: Straighten Out feat. Randa Khamis 12” – 2010 – Single review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Australia’s garage funkers take the final cut from recent LP Deep Street Soul (which comes on like a kind like a garage-ey Meters) and invite Randa Khamis (of Randa And The Soul Kingdom fame) to get all vocal on their ass. There’s no doubting that Ms Khamis’ pipes are in full working order and she’s got all the requisite scream and power although her style’s a bit too warbly for me. Good to hear another vocal cut from this lot but hard not to compare with their genius cover of Kick Out The Jams featuring Tia Hunter. Serves them right for being so dope in the first place. I’ve got no sympathy. Still, if you’re less fussy than me about the vocal style of your soul sisters and looking for something that sounds straight outta Muscle Shoals – welcome home!

Deep Street Soul – Myspace

Randa & The Soul Kingdom – Myspace

THE BLACK KEYS: Brothers LP release details + tracklist + listen to ‘Tighten Up’

Scuzzy, groovy blues rock on the way alert! Despite the apparent lack of an official internet press release, the last few weeks have seen details trickling out about a new Black Keys LP (Brothers LP review HERE) and then suddenly this week, Zane Lowe gets his hands on album track Tighten Up, produced by Dangermouse (giving it a certain bounce to each ounce) – and to which you can have a listen below. The monkey has read all that other stuff so you don’t have to and basically the important bits are that it’s released 18 May on Nonesuch, contains 15 tracks all produced by Carney and Auerbach (except the aforementioned Tighten Up) and was recorded at Muscle Shoals! According to Billboard “the album is highlighted by ‘Next Girl’, a Zeppelin-y blast of fuzzed-out guitar, and ‘Howlin’ for You’, which features a “da da da” chant and a drum beat akin to Gary Glitter’s glam-rock classic ‘Rock and Roll (Part Two)’”. According to theblackkeysfanlounge, ‘new single ‘Howlin’ For You’ will be released on Record Store Day in the USA on 17 April 2010.

The Back Keys – Brothers – Tracklist:
01. Everlasting Light
02. Next Girl
03. Tighten Up
04. Howlin’ For You
05. She’s Long Gone
06. Black Mud
07. The Only One
08. Too Afraid to Love You
09. Ten Cent Pistol
10. Sinister Kid
11. The Go Getter
12. I’m Not the One
13. Unknown Brother
14. Never Gonna Give You Up
15. These Days

The Black Keys – Myspace

PHAROAHE MONCH: W.A.R. LP to get summer 2010 release

Elsewhere, Monch has described the forthcoming W.A.R (standing for ‘We Are Renegade’) as, “a throw back to 1993, 94 hip hop.” Let’s hope that means it’s along the lines of his solo debut Internal Affairs and less like the disorganised confusion of styles on last LP Desire which mixed up the odd banger with tedious rnb folly. I’ll be taking that old ‘summer release’ talk with a pinch of salt too – bet it’s not out till after August…
(PRESS RELEASE) Pharoahe Monch is on the front lines once again and this time it’s bigger than just album talk. Monch is gearing up to release his new project W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) through a partnership with Duck Down Music, while establishing his company W.A.R. Media as a viable entertainment portal. W.A.R. is the follow-up album to Pharoahe’s “Desire” project from 2007. Fans can expect what they’ve come to love from Pharoahe on the new LP; complex rapping techniques that are both intricate and intelligent.

Monch states, “I’m incredibly excited about my upcoming release W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) and my new partnership between my company W.A.R. Media, LLC, and Duck Down Music. This album deals with conflicts and resolutions of the spirit, the soul, the government, and the industry among other things. Thus far it features Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, Jean Grae, Styles P, Phonte, Black Thought, with more to come. It also features production from M-Phazes, Marco Polo, Mike Low, Fatin, Lee Stone, Exile and others to be announced. I am working diligently to finish the work for a summer release and I am honored to join forces with the Duck Down family during their 15 year anniversary.”

Pharoahe Monch – Myspace

INNEREYEFULL: Blunted Soul EP – Free download

Innereyefull isn’t on Mo Wax but he would have been if he’d made this in 1994. The Blunted Soul EP finds him dropping grooves like Krush (as in DJ) rather than krush-groovin’ like say, Kurtis Blow. For the uninitiated that means breaks for rolling rather than breaks for breaking – if you catch my drift. Reminds me of lounging in the sun back in the day when there were proper summers – y’know – a time when DJ Shadow was an unknown and Massive Attack made good music.
FREE DOWNLOAD – Innereyefull – Blunted Soul EP – HERE

(PRESS RELEASE) The early nineties wasn’t just a golden era for hip-hop y’all! It was also a time that saw the birth of a new sister-genre which languidly rose through a thick, smoky haze all around the globe, from California to Bristol and from Paris to Tokyo. Often instrumental, the aim was simple – to provide the perfect music to…well, let’s just say to relax to. Incredibly popular and created by luminaries as varied as Massive Attack, DJ Shadow, DJ Krush and La Funk Mob, it didn’t so much eventually disappear as drift off to sleep for a bit. Well, quite a long time actually. Over fifteen years later, Massive Attack have a new LP out, DJ Krush is engaged in an international tour and rising talent Innereyefull has just dropped a new EP. Stoned breakbeats and warm basslines envelope the listener while subtle instrumental loops and samples complete the tripped-out ambience from the minimalist Krush-like title track, to the sinuous Be Cool and the hypnotic bass pulse of the aptly named Kickin Back. And the name of this sister-genre? No doubt the phrase ‘trip-hop’ will be bandied about once more though you could search for a long time to come up with a better name for it than Blunted Soul

Innereyefull – Myspace

QUASAMODO: Bollywood Man EP feat. MC Coppa – 2010 – EP review

Rating: ★★★★★

The funky breaks scene has been getting so cheesy recently you could serve it up on crackers at the end of a dinner party – so it’s Quasamodo and MC Coppa to the rescue with a little help from Basement Freaks’ new label Bombastic Jam with the Bollywood Man EP. Despite Coppa’s claiming “I’m a Bollywood man with Bollywood plans/ Got Bollywood fans who do the weird dancing with their hands” the EP, perhaps unexpectedly, is not a cue for loads of bhangra-fuelled antics but an excuse to offload the biggest funky breaks banger so far this year. The wah-wah toting original mix would take the gold medal were it not topped by the Basement Freaks remix horns-fest which doesn’t so much strike you as a good track as prance around shouting “Get me – I’m the shit!’ With considerable justification. Yep it’s yet another full marks – looks like this spring is better than last for beats and rhymes. I know how my next set’s going to finish.
(Out 16 March on Bombastic Jam)

Listen to Quasamodo – The Bollywood Man EP

Quasamodo – Myspace

MC Coppa – Myspace

Bombastic Jam – Myspace