Monthly Archives: March 2010

FUNKSHONE: Soul Survivor – 2010 – Single review

Rating: ★★★★★

Funkshone (ably assisted by singer Chris Wilson’s authentic 24 carat vocals) here deliver an impression of soulful seventies funk so convincing that it could easily be mistaken for a long slept-on 45 from Atlantic Records’ basement. It’s not of course and despite the fact that my personal preference tends to an earlier period of soul/ funk, repeated listens convince that to withhold the full five stars would be an action meaner than the conduct of Ebeneezer Scrooge during a particularly nasty economic downturn. Plus there’s a horns-led instrumental cut on the flip for remixers, mash-up creators and – well – people who just like instrumentals. In short: dirty wah wah, heavy breaks and a chorus larger than Terry Tibbs in a Maserati showroom. ‘Ave it!

Listen to Funkshone – Soul Survivor

Funkshone – Myspace

SWOLLEN MEMBERS: European Tour dates announced and Greatest Hits Video Blog released

Yes – you can now watch the best bits of Swollen Members on video. This is obviously not a porn reference – please note the use of a proper noun indicated by the capital S and M. Actually, on reflection taking careful note of S and M makes things sound worse rather than better. Fuck it – watch all the S& M and porn that you like – or go really large and watch S&M porn for all I care – just take note that Vancouver’s biggest hip-hop act have got new shit going on.
(PRESS RELEASE) Swollen Members have posted the first episode of their VLOG series for “Greatest Hits: Ten Years of Turmoil” online
In VLOG #1 Prevail talks about the significance of the track “Lady Venom”, from the “Balance” album, and how fans still react to it a decade later.
After six studio albums, Swollen Members will release their first-ever, career-spanning collection, “Greatest Hits: Ten Years of Turmoil”, on March 16th, 2010 through Suburban Noize and Battle Axe Records. For this compilation, Swollen Members have reached back deep into the vaults and assembled a collection of 18 classic tracks that have been previously out of print to the Battle Axe army. The album is currently available for pre-order at, along with a limited edition t-shirt.
Swollen Members recently completely a US tour with Cool Nutz, and will kick off their upcoming European run on March 11th in Prague, CZH.
“I’m very excited to come and perform for all our fans in Europe,” commented Madchild. “Due to the trials and tribulations we’ve been through over the last few years I was not able to make the last tour with Swollen. Now I’m back and feeling stronger than ever and ready tear shit up for our fans, while soaking up the rich culture Europe has to offer. Get ready for the warrior movement!”
3/11 – Prague, CZH @ Lucerna Music Bar
3/12 – St Gallen, Switzerland @ Kugl
3/13 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo
3/14 – Weinheim, Germany @ Café Central
3/16 – Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia
3/17 – Leipzig, Germany @ Conne Island
3/18 – Athens, Greece @ TBA
3/19 – Thessalonki, Greece @ TBA
3/20 – Munster Germany @ Skaters Palace
3/23 – Helsinki, Finland @ Kuudes Linja
3/24 – Oslo, Norwary @ Livingroom
3/25 – Stockholm, Swe @ Lilla Hotellbaren
3/26 – Gothenburg, Swe @ Pusterviksbaren
3/28 – Kulturfabrik Switzerland @ Kofmel
3/31 – Paris, France @ Glazart
4/01 – London, UK @ Cargo
4/02 – Amsterdam @ Melkweg

Swollen Members – Myspace

EASTER SUNDAY BASS FESTIVAL: Feat. Nightmares On Wax + The Trojan Sound System – WIN FREE ENTRY FOR 2

You know that feeling when there’s a proper bass-y sound system going off and you’re all a bit – “Damn! I can feel that in my chest! Look at those parked cars moving down the road because of the vibration?” Yeah? Just wanted to check because that’s what’s on offer here and you can get your bad ass (and someone else’s bad ass) in for free at Camden’s Koko to see Nightmares On Wax, The Trojan Sound System, Dub Pistols and Smerins Anti-Social Club on 4th April if you can just lift your weed-hindered hands enough to google the answer to the question below. Obviously I don’t expect anyone to actually know the answer any more. What’s the point in having a memory when you can just get catatonic on the chronic and tap up google instead? Anyway – here’s that question:COMPETITION CLOSED – congratulations Haridas Stewart!
Q – Where did the ‘Trojan’ part of Trojan Records name come from?
MAIL your answer to

(PRESS RELEASE) Come and join the party at Soundcrash at KOKO this Easter Sunday for a journey through the louder side of things, with some truly legendary bands bringing the noise and busting the bass-bins…
A VERY rare performance from the incredible NIGHTMARES ON WAX SOUND SYSTEM. Properly iconic legends the TROJAN SOUND SYSTEM will be in full attendance ready to get the room skanking with a vengeance; Chart-toppers the DUB PISTOLS will demonstrate why they are still super-cool with their furiously energetic live show; and with support from Leeds’s electronica-whizzes Paper Tiger, the fantastic SMERINS ANTI SOCIAL CLUB and Tru Thought’s super-sultry-songstress Lizzy Parks it’s a truly cataclysmic collection of live acts to while away your Easter evening and set yourself up nicely for that bank-holiday lie-in!
Come and join Soundcrash at KOKO this Easter Sunday for a journey through the louder side of things, with some truly legendary bands bringing the noise and busting the bass-bins…
The Nightmares of Wax Soundsystem come out of hiding for an ultra-rare fully-live London performance! Nightmares on Wax should need no introduction; having released one of the most iconic albums of the 90s in ‘Smokers Delight’ – one of the very first Lps on Warp records – N.O.W. then went on to release mixes in the highly respected ‘Dj Kicks’ and ‘Late Night Tales’ series, as well as being instrumental in bringing the legendary De La Soul back into the spotlight thanks to their Sounds of N.O.W. EP. That’s some career! Tonight they will regale those lucky enough to attend Koko on Easter Sunday with the full-on Nightmares on Wax experience. BIG.

Trojan Sound System – Myspace

The Dub Pistols – Myspace

RHYMEFEST: ‘El Che’ LP release details update + tracklist

Read the latest 411 on Kanye’s ghost writ- er I mean collaborator Rhymefest and his new album below. It’s actually not a wildly different press release to the last ‘El Che LP release details’ post on for the reason that the wording is almost identical but at least this time you get a tracklist…
El Che Features Appearances From Saigon , Little Brother and Production from Scram Jones, S1, BKS and Terry Hunter
“Everyone needs a hero, what’s my name—EL CHE”
CHICAGO, IL– Grammy Award winner, Rhymefest (Che Smith), will release his highly anticipated sophomore album El Che on May 18, 2010 via dN|Be Entertainment and distributed by EMI, in conjunction with Rosehip Records.
On February 15, 2005, Rhymefest earned a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song, along with Kanye West, for co-writing the song “Jesus Walks” from Kanye West’s debut The College Dropout. Rhymefest’s critically acclaimed debut, Blue Collar, was released on July 11, 2006, which included production by Mark Ronson, Kanye West, Just Blaze, NO I.D and Cool & Dre and was spearheaded by breakout “Brand New” f/Kanye West, “Bullet” f/Citizen Cope and “Fever.”
Rhymefest’s sophomore LP, El Che, (in stores May 18th, 2010) delivers raw lyrics over epic production and Hip Hop lovers should expect to hear an unfiltered Rhymefest, liberated from the corporate suits and oppressive major label ideals of the prevailing record industry as evidenced by the hard-hitting “Talk My Shit,” “One Arm Push Up” and the frenetic Scram Jones produced “Give It To Me” f/Saigon & Adad. Always one to deliver a cohesive and diverse project, Fest and Phonte of Little Brother drop playful barbs on “Say Whassup” and gets celebratory on odes such as “Prosperity” and “How High” f/Little Brother and Darien Brockington.
As dN|Be Entertainment’s flagship artist, Rhymefest now has full creative control over his projects. When questioned about his new partnership with dN|Be Entertainment, Rhymefest mentioned “I wanted to be somewhere that not only appreciates artistry, lyricism, and originality, but also serves a greater purpose in Hip Hop and the Black community.”
On the heels of releasing El Che, Rhymefest will be releasing his last pre-album mixtape, DANGEROUS: 5-18 on this April; Rhymefest’s tour dates (including Austin ’s SXSW) can also be found there.
Tracklisting and credits for Rhymefest EL Che LP:
1.) Intro: The Agent
2.) Talk My Shit
3.) Say Whassup f/Phonte of Little Brother
4.) How High f/Little Brother & Darien Brockington
5.) Chocolates
6.) One Arm Push Up
7.) Prosperity
8.) Truth On You f/Twone Gabz
9.) Intermisson: Juan Carlos
10.) Chicago
11.) Agony f/Glenn Lewis
12.) Last Night
13.) Give It To Me f/Saigon & Adad
14.) Intermission: No Help
15.) City Is Fallen f/Slique
16.) Celebration

Rhymefest – Myspace

T BIRD & THE BREAKS: Monkey In The Trees – 2010 – Single review

Rating: ★★★★★

Back in the 1950s there was none of that ‘throw a couple of singles and twelve slices of filler together and call it an LP business.’ The single was king. Now, thanks to the internet and downloading, the star of the single is waxing again. Of course, if you’re just going to put singles out they can’t be any old shit that got crapped out to fill ‘album obligation contracts’ – no – you’re going to have to work hard. Presumably not feeling challenged enough by these circumstances, Texan funk band T Bird & The Breaks are now in the fourth month of their ‘release a single a month’ campaign and nothing they’ve dropped has even the remotest sniff of ‘filler’ about it. Frankly, it’s starting to look like showing off. “I wanna climb all over your loving baby/ Just like a monkey, in the trees,” sings gravel-voiced frontman Tim Crane on the low-slung funky blues of A-side Monkey In The Trees. You can’t get away with lyrics like that any more. Except they can and do. Plus there’s there’s frantic B-side Shackles & Chains which accelerates the bpms and goes a bit more Dyke & The Blazers on the horns. Chek!

Listen to T Bird & The Breaks – Monkey In The Trees

T Bird & The Breaks – Myspace


THE BAMBOOS: 4 – 2010 – Album review + Free download ‘Tears In The Rain’

Rating: ★★★★½

While Australian band The Bamboos seem to have struggled with an album name for this one they have, as usual, had considerably less trouble with the funk. Keen perusers of this site may have noticed the massive big-ups that On The Sly a.k.a. the first single (and also the first track) from this, The Bamboos fourth studio LP, has been getting over the last couple of months. And rightly so, for it is a massive slinky funk beast featuring the band’s secret weapon in the form of sultry vocalist Kylie Auldist who sings on most of the best tracks on 4. On The Sly is the highlight among highlights but also on offer is the gorgeous, moody, loping funk-soul of Ghost, the muscular jazz-funk of Got To Get It Over (by which I was surprised to find myself won over) and King’s Cross – which is apparently not about a dodgy area in London of the same name (or even a dodgy area in Sydney come to that) but a gritty slice of spy-funk. In fact (now a full-time member of The Bamboos’ line-up) Auldist appears on no fewer than seven of twelve tracks and demonstrates equal facility, by turns, across a range of sub-genres which (other than those mentioned above) also include more seventies-influenced numbers like Keep Me In Mind, the early Motown-ish Never Be The Girl and firmly establishes herself as right up there with a certain Sharon Jones. Naturally this means that there are far fewer of the instrumentals that characterised earlier Bamboos LPs – especially when you consider that two of the remaining five on here are also vocal tracks. One of these is a blinder of a mod soul gem featuring King Merc who hails from Tonga and sounds a bit like Paul Weller. The other is a collabo with Quannum Projects luminary Lyrics Born who squanders the perfectly decent funky backing provided by the ‘Boos with a dull virtually one-note ‘melody’ where he moans on about how some chick he fancies hasn’t called him back. I’m not surprised. If it was up to me, I’d have buried this at the back of the album as a ‘special feature’ of a cd release only. All of which shenanigans leaves three instrumentals with the trippy sitar funk of Up On The Hill being far and away the best.
I’ve always thought that the Bamboos’ best tracks have always been ones with vocals – Step It Up, Bring It Home, My Baby’s Cheating and Tears Cried to name but a few. Each release has included at least one classic of modern funk and the vocal element has increased with successive albums – which on the evidence of this continues to be a highly successful manoeuvre as 4 is pretty much what the funky doctor ordered. Just don’t invite Lyrics Born back unless he’s packed a tune eh?
(Released 29 March on Tru Thoughts)
DOWNLOAD LP track Like Tears In Rain FREE HERE

Listen to The Bamboos – On The Sly/ Turn It Up

The Bamboos – Myspace

DJ ANGELO: Jay Z vs. Fine Young Cannibals – 99 Problems (‘Crazy Cannibal’ mix) – Free download + Video

DJ Angelo follows up his Monie Love/ Dizzee Rascal mash with this cheeky splicing of the biggest wallet in hip-hop and the finest widow’s peak in the whole of 80s pop. The result is that on 99 Problems (Crazy Cannibal remix) – DOWNLOAD HERE Jay Z becomes funkier and Roland Gift and friends acquire something of an edge – though it’s probably safe to say that they don’t know about this. Sssshh! What’s more, not only can you download this audio cocktail gratis but there’s a video as well for your viewing pleasure. Some people just can’t help giving…

DJ Angelo – Myspace