Tuesday, 22 December 2009

top 10 albums of 2009

i know i should've got this done sooner, but i've been arsing about and umming and aahhing and generally being a bit hopeless in whittling it down to just 10 ( i'd say that's down to the sheer amount of quality music that's being put out there now really). anyway, now i finally have and here they are - in no particular order...

Kinny – Forest of Idle Chit Chat [Tru Thoughts]
we've been spoilt for choice in terms of new material from Tru Thoughts in this, their 10th anniversary year. this release really stood out for me, though - no doubt due in part to the production approach. in simple terms "Forest of Idle Chit Chat" sees Kinny belting out some brilliantly-conceived modern soul vocals over a selection of beats crafted by the finest of the Tru Thoughts production talent (along with a few friends). familiar names Quantic, Hint, TM Juke, Nostalgia77 and Diesler all feature, as do new "ones to watch" Souldrop and Unforscene. the variety (and quality) of the producers, along with the incredible talents of Kinny herself make for a fantastically varied and entertaining listen.


Julien Dyne – Pins and Digits [BBE]
i've said more about this very recently here, so i'll keep this brief: electronica, soul, funk, disco and hip-hop all collide in a wonderful brew of sheer listening pleasure. there's echoes of past sounds mixed very cleverly with modern, dusty, wonky, slightly glitchy head-nod stylings. can't stop listening to it!


Pseudo Slang – We’ll Keep Looking [Fat Beats]
according to the (relatively sparse) Wiki page on this hip-hop duo, the Chicago Times say Pseudo Slang are "the thinking fan's kind of hip-hop". and i'm inclined to agree. there's not too much "new" in terms of production style on this long-awaited full-length debut, but if you're already content with jazzy, melodic, unobtrusive beats and intelligent, thoughtful lyrics then you're bound to appreciate what Tone Atlas and Emcee Sick have to offer. i'm yet to encounter a hip-hop fan who doesn't like it!


Tanya Mor
gan – Brooklynati [Interdependent Media]
i think these guys might be on the verge of hitting the big time. then again, i also insisted Olly Murs was going to win X-Factor, so i wouldn't necessarily trust my musical predictions all the time. originally hooking up through an internet message board back in 2003, Von Pea, Donwill and Ilyas put their first album together sitting in different parts of the US, swapping their production and vocal files via AOL. by the sounds of it, things have moved a bit on since "Moonlighting" and this year they released "Brooklynati" to much applause. sounding both familiar and fresh, quirky yet accessible, this release really struck me. it's got a concept album feel, with small skits dotted throughout which help bring to life the fictional city implied in the LP's title. chock full of infectious tracks, it's a real treat of a listen - and i dare you to listen to "So Damn Down" and not get yer groove on.


Dorian Concept – When Planets Explode [Nod Navigators]
an often-challenging but ever-rewarding journey through glitched out synth-led soundscapes, sub-bass filth and messed-up beats. quite simply one of the best electronic music albums of 2009...which is why it's in this list. unmissable for fans of FlyLo, Dabrye, Dilla et al.


Jon Hopkins – Insides [Domino]
i'm just going to get a few compulsory words out of the way first: Brian Eno, Royal College of Music, Coldplay, world tours. right - sorted...on we go. Jon Hopkins has been knocking out incredibly stunning, melodically jaw-dropping electronic music for a fair few years now. if you've already had the pleasure of previous albums "Opalescent" or "Contact Note", you'll know exactly what i mean. "Insides" sees his sound evolving in a very satisfying way. the lush, achingly beautiful melodies are still there (if opener "The Wider Sun" doesn't take your breath away, you have no soul), but there's also the incorporation of some frankly excellent glitchy, dub-stepesque nastiness amongst it all. second track "Vessel", for instance, feels like being taken from the warm comfort of the womb and plunged into a piranha infested ice-bath. but, y'know, with less actual pain. just do yourself a big favour and go and buy it.


Rupert – Just Woke Up [Hear Today]
in a year where there's been increasing volume on the "hip-hop is dead" murmurings, this album from London MC Rupert waltzes in and plonks itself in the middle of the nay-sayers' table. and flicks the v in their faces quite spectacularly. Rup had already established himself as a fine wordsmith and talent worthy of recognition in "Rup On Zebra", put out on Tru Thoughts' hip-hop sublabel a couple of years ago. since then Zebra Traffic ceased to be, and Rup moved onto Hear Today records to continue developing his sound. it's a move that seems to have paid dividends, as a range of producers have contributed to make an album which is both varied and coherent. Opener "Moves" is a crunchy, bouncy synth-stabbed statement of intent - hats off to Steve Clear. the Naim-produced "Something That You Like" wins my award for catchiest beat/hook/bit of brilliance of 2009. getting Bonobo in to run the beat for album-closer "Geography" is a touch of programming genius. tying it all together though, is the main man - Rup. people say "he sounds like Mike Skinner", and while i can see the comparison, it's fair to say he weaves a much more complex, well-thought, intelligent, witty flow than anything The Streets' man has achieved yet. sorry Mike, if you're reading. one of the best UK albums this year, if not this decade.


Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue [Warp]
Bibio has been doing a fine trade in quirky, scratchy, wonky acoustica for a while now...but this year he really seems to have made strides in both adapting and progressing his sound, as well as winning wider praise for his work. i can't really do any "it sounds a bit like", because it's so far-flung in the influences and contributing elements that it's difficult to put a finger on it. it's tempting to say "there's echoes of Mike Oldfield" or "if you miss Lemon Jelly...", but i don't want to put you off. overall the sound has a summery vibe and there's tracks (such as "Jealous of Roses" or "Lover's Carvings") which will help to put a skip in your step on the coldest of winter days. there's also some blinding low-slung wonk-hop lurking in there too - album closer "Dwrcan" plods along like a malfunctioning toy robot, and "Fire Ant" wins my award for beat of 2009 - no contest there at all. everyone should have at least a bit of Bibio in their lives, and this is as good a place as any to start.


Dam Funk - Toeachizown [Stones Throw]
i never thought i'd find myself bigging up an 80s-inspired gloriously sleazy boogie synth release...but then i suppose that's the joy of music! my good friend James Remote insisted i give Dam Funk a try way back in the spring, and his excitement for the sound proved infectious. initially confined to just a couple of EPs, eventually the "Toeachizown" album has been released. all 5 parts (or 2.5 hours) of it. this is one of those brilliant releases that says "yo - remember the past? now look at the future" without ever feeling too pretentious or twattish. surprisingly varied and texturally outstanding, this is definitely a listen for anyone who might be feeling a bit lost or disillusioned with the same old funk sound. oh, and can someone take me to Dam Funk's club night, please?


Beem - The Future
yet another shout of thanks going out to James Remote for putting me onto this - and it was FREE, too! Beem is a resident of Sweden and produces a fine line in futuristic, synthy funk. in a similar way to Dam Funk, Beem manages to harness a familiar old sound and apply some modern production techniques and sounds to make it feel a little more progressive. and of course, pleasing to listen to; opening track "Muni" is a chirpy, broken-beat styled funk number, while "Mouth Everest" has a more wonky, spacey hip-hop sound. the penultimate song, "Days", is an absolute peach of downtempo, lush, piano-string-deep-breath-loveliness. i don't know how you can possibly say no to this album - it's free and you can still download it over at Beem's website, HERE.

hopefully you'll find something to please you amongst that lot. oh, and there's a few other albums which didn't quite make the top 10 cut, but are definitely worthy of a mention nontheless:

Architeq - Green & Gold
yet more wonky chuggy deep spacey electronica.

DOOM - Born Like This
MF returns with a damn fine album. if it hadn't taken so long to click with me, it probably would've made the top 10...

Mochipet - Bunnies & Muffins
definite contender for "album title of the year", this is another mish-mash of a huge variety styles, underpinned with some fine electronic production.

DJ Frane - Journey To The Planet Of The Birds
the only reason this doesn't make the top 10 of 2009 is because it was released in 2008. and while i'm gutted about that, i'll just give it its own post at some point very soon. you need this in your life.

right, i think i'd better stop there! here's to plenty more fantastic music being released in 2010. if it's anywhere near as good as this year has been, we're in for a treat.


Friday, 4 December 2009

friday visuals 002

in a bit of a mad dash this week so i'll be quick and concise: we're going to have a little mixture of music, MPCs and movements. DANCE movements. aight?

let's begin...

here's French electronica don Fulgeance doing his thing on an MPC-1000 (in this case re-working a Souleance beat). love the "woo":

next up, we're gonna go back...way back. well, to 2002, and DJ Shadow's "In Tune and On Time" tour. more MPC geekery as he's joined by Cut Chemist and DJ NuMark for a sampler showdown. this routine is so much fun:

some modern dance now, courtesy of two badass movers and shakers. set to DJ Assault's fantastic "Ass n Titties", this isn't a link you should be clicking on if you have public speakers playing into a shared office. unless your colleagues are all safe as fuck...

last up, a Friday classic. been in my head all day, so thought i'd help spread the earworm around a bit...

EDIT/STOP PRESS> gotta include this, thanks to Duck from the excellent Bam Bam Sound for giving the heads up, too. if any proof were needed that dubstep has landed, look no further. absolutely mental:

have yourselves a lovely weekend.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

beer advent calendar...returns!

do you like drinking beer with your mouth? do you like reading internet blogs with your eyes? do you like the idea of enjoying an advent calendar but franklyatmyagethesuggestionofitisquitesimplypatronising?

then why not join my mate Ben on his quest to replace chocolate windows with...erm...beer ones? now in its second year as a blog, the Beer Advent Calendar is fast growing in popularity and widely heralded as a read of true pleasure over the maddening run up to the festive season. witty, informative and thirst-inducing...add it to your bookmarks and check back each day for the update.

oh, and someone get this bloke published...

read the Beer Advent Calendar here.

Monday, 30 November 2009

julien dyne - pins and digits (bbe 2009)

i was going to leave posting about this album until tomorrow but, after having put it on for the first time this evening and now just finished listening to it for the third time...i felt it warranted a few words before slumber sets in.

it's immense in that it seems to straddle a diverse range of musical styles, and weirdly brings together wonky glitch hop and elegant soul (for instance) in a way which makes for interesting and rewarding listening. although only rewarding, and probably just mildly interesting, if you're a fan of both wonky glitch hop and soul...of course.

there's more to it than that, though. Julien Dyne's music also takes us on a tour of chugging tribalesque funk in "Layer", or deep into ambient freakout jazz territory on the beautiful "Spirits". late night-lovers will find warm cwtched up bliss in the understated soul on "Fallin' Down", and tucked away in the middle of the album i think i may have found one of my beats of the year: "The Jung & The Fine" just blows me away - worth the admission price alone.

it's a great album though, because it seems to contain so little filler. each and every track is a winner, and that's pretty rare (although hopefully less so in this digital age of consumers' ability to pick and choose tracks as they wish from releases). "Pins and Digits" seems diverse enough in its style to be interesting, but somehow manages to stay coherent enough as to not annoy...or more importantly see you skipping through the tracks.

without a doubt, definitely one of my contenders for album of the year.


yeah g'wan then...

listen to samples & buy at Juno
Julien Dyne on MySpace


space rangers - plimsoll 002

how d'you like your disco? deep, spaced out, funk-edged and with enough chug to wear the soles out on your best bopping shoes? if you're answering in the affirmative, then you'll want to get on this new release from the fledgling - but highly impressive - Plimsoll records.

following on from their excellent debut release "Guardian Angel" (and subsequent digi-MJ-tribute-release), the Shoes-offshoot keep firmly on the re-edit trail - this time signing up Space Rangers to deliver a belting duo of reworks.

the a-side features a workout on D-Train's "Keep on Moving", which is nicely dubby but equally chuggy...and builds and builds into a stomping finale, which is always a winner. especially for those late-night afterparties.

on the flip you'll find a much more boogie-synth driven dancefloor pleaser, which rates highly on all 5 of my funk-meters. it's a re-edit of New Jersey Connection's "Love Don't Come Easy", and if it doesn't get hips shaking and women throwing themselves at your disco-king feet, you're at the wrong event.

serve dressed in your Hugh Hefner outfit, accompanied by a winning smile.

buy it at Juno


Friday, 27 November 2009

friday visuals 001

gonna try to get into the habit of sticking a few vids up for your perusal every friday. or at least every friday that i'm around!

let's get started then...

first up there's this little beauty from one of Dorian Concept's recent releases. i'm not sure if this is an official video, or just something that a fan has knocked together. whoever's responsible, they've done a wonderful job. some textbook dance moves here - i'd be particularly interested in joining a dance troupe who emulate the "jumping around in a circle" motions that the kids are doing at around 1:00:

next up - more filthy electronic wonk, this time with a tasty hip-hop edge. i'll admit that i've only recently started buzzing for the sounds of Siriusmo, but having dropped one of his tracks to a great reception at Festinho 2009, i knew he was onto something! this video is as entertaining as the tune, which is always a bonus...and in my mind suggests what would've happened if Flat Eric met the girl from The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" vid. check it:

something less "music video" and more just plain old "wow" here. hip-hop legend Q-Tip in the studio with his boys, considering a record for sample chopping. except he's having a go at chopping it by hand, with the needle - rather than just using the MPC sat next to him. hahahaha. try before you buy LOOPS - i love it. enjoy:

let's finish up where we started, with some more Dorian Concept. i don't know much about this performance, and my knowledge of German is non-existent i'm afraid (translations welcome). from what i can gather, it's a live performance for a radio station called FM4. it's wicked - jazz drums and a jazz piano/synth workout (just how much RANGE has this bloke got?!?). immense:

more next week!


back into the fold...

june. really? it's honestly been that long since i last posted?

nah, it hasn't. but a few posts of mine got taken down due to copyright issues and, since i mostly tried to use this space to share my radio shows and mixes with you (and of course promote the music itself), it left me reeling a bit. and pissed off, naturally.

i only have good intentions with sharing that stuff - it's just about buzzing for the music and wanting other people to feel the same. and in the case of some of the radio shows, getting drunk and playing Simply Red. i don't think i need to offer any apologies for THAT, do i?


so yeah. i'm gonna try to get back into posting here more and keep trying to promote the music i think is worth listening to at the moment.

i've had a great summer of it - plenty of festivals, parties, gigs and gatherings where the music has been incredible. some fine stuff out there lately, and i'm itching to get back into chatting shit about it all.

in the meantime, here's a video. the fantastic Lee Fields, live and in your face...


Wednesday, 17 June 2009


i hate shopping for clothes, but i'd like it a lot more if this kind of thing happened while i was out:

courtesy of the fantastic A Tribe Called Next blog. big up yerselves. :)


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

weekend warm-up 22/05/09

hello. it's been a while since i last posted anything, sorry about that - i've been pretty busy with weekends away, DJing here and there, sorting out our garden/veg plot and generally enjoying the sunshine. i mean, we've been lucky enough to actually have some sunshine in the last few weeks, so you wont hold it against me if i get out there and enjoy it rather than sit at a PC all the time, right?

anyway, as a peace offering i thought i'd upload a couple of my recent radio shows for your listening pleasure (this is also an exercise in "look - i have actually been doing some music stuff OK?!?", granted).

the first is from the last weekend in May and, inspired by a sunny evening in Cardiff, i dug out a load of funk-based beats (apart from the La Roux, but that was a request) and had a play about with them. there's some chatter too, but you can skip over that if it does your head in.


count bass d - jussa playa [day by day entertainment]
brownout - brown wind & fire [freestyle]
la carnival - blind man (cut chemist remix) [stones throw]
boca45 - round & round [unique]
ayb force - ay boogaloo [p-vine]
now on - now on and on [unknown]
mr scruff feat. broken english - listen up [ninja tune]
quasamodo - funk off [timewarp music]
bomb the bass - bug powder dust (la funk mob remix) [fourth & broadway]
greg wilson - gotta keep workin it [reactivate]
krafty kuts - we do this [liberator music]
speech debelle - the key [big dada]
breakestra - family rap [ubiquity]
speedometer - are you my woman? [p-vine]
the haggis horns - got to lose your way [first word]
illinton feat. anne rani - sugahoney [nam nam]
patrice rushen - forget me nots [elektra]
przasnik - swingalong [funky mamas & papas poland]
marvin gaye - got to give it up (part 1) [motown]
snax - get in trouble (crazy p remix) [defdrive]
flevans - hold no water [tru thoughts]
omega man - disco love (featurecast remix) [super hi-fi]
the juju orchestra - kind of latin rhythm (smoove remix) [agogo]
ilija rudman - two faced love (extended mix) [red music]
black science orchestra - philadelphia (party mix) [junior boys own]
dj wood - eye know [goodgroove]
hint - one woman army (hint remix) [tru thoughts]
la roux - in for the kill (skream's let's get ravey remix) [unknown]
chin chin - gg & the boys [unknown]

download: http://rapidshare.com/files/246013962/weekend-warmup-with-marky-22-05-09.mp3.html

if there's a problem with the download, let me know and i'll happily re-up it for you.



Monday, 18 May 2009

weekend warm-up 15/05/09

another week, another set of music for your delectable little ears.

on Friday night i stood in for an absent Mat Hoods, who couldn't make his usual 8pm-10pm slot on Purple Radio. Mat's show is ace (check it out when you can) and he tends to keep things on a jazzy, disco-flavoured tip for the most part. so, when pulling tracks together for the show, i tried to keep it in line (more or less) with his style. i hope i didn't let him down!

there's a bit of inane chat on this recording too...but more importantly, a good selection of new releases. you can tell summer's almost here - there's just so much good stuff being released at the moment. mint.


count bass d - jussa playa [day by day entertainment]
dj day - can you feel me [unknown]
cro-magnon - eclipse (dj mitsu the beats remix) [lastrum corporation]
thievery corporation - the forgotten people [eighteenth street lounge music]
madlib - steppin into tomorrow [blue note]
the london all-stars - the london convention [bbe]
g frequency - flight ticket [scribble records]
me&you - love in be must we [tru thoughts]
spanky wilson & the quantic soul orchestra - waiting for your touch (domu remix) [tru thoughts]
tal m klein - bricando el tiburon (valique iskradisco! remix) [aniligital music]
6ix toys - giggle [first word records]
lopez - jellybean [keep up]
domu - springbreak [tru thoughts]
mr scruff - get on down [ninja tune]
firefly - love (is gonna be on your side) [emergency records]
evelyn champagne king - i'm in love [bmg]
ilija rudman - two faced love (extended mix) [red music]
fat camp - put a little jam on it [anorak edits]
part time heroes - realise (landslide remix) [wah wah 45s]
snax - get in trouble (crazy p remix) [defdrive]
united future organisation - united future airlines (remix) [talkin loud]
speech debelle - spinnin [big dada]
kinny feat. diesler - back street lust [tru thoughts]
mr day - if i can love you [favorite]

download: http://www.sendspace.com/file/4726nk

i hope you enjoy it - as ever, give me a shout if you encounter any problems with the download.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

weekend warm-up 08/05/09

here's the latest edition of my fortnightly Purple Radio show.

once again i was mic-less, but in the grand scheme of things that's probably a blessing. the two hours showcases the usual smattering of hip-hop, funk-based beats and electronica - with forthcoming beauts from Quantic & his Combo Barbaro, and another cut from the Speech Debelle album...whilst i also give a little nod to the excellent Bangface weekender with some dubstep (mixed terribly!) and filthy wonk.

i didn't host the show live as i had to return to Birmingham for the funeral of an old schoolfriend...and hence the last track of the show is dedicated to him.

RIP Andy Edmonds - 1982-2009


count bass d - jussa playa [day by day entertainment]
kev luckhurst - dreams [unique uncut]
crown city rockers - no sense [basement records]
common - nuthin to do [relativity]
flying lotus - massage situation [warp]
nalepa - flatlands (nosaj thing remix) [1320 records]
rupert - feel you [hear today]
thunderheist - lbg [big dada]
quantic & his combo barbaro - linda morena [tru thoughts]
troubleman - toda hora [far out recordings]
crazy penis - do it good [paper recordings]
napz & mr strom - fresh kings [innvision]
luke vibert - synthax [warp]
nirobi & barakas - bungle jump (diesler remix) [tru thoughts]
me&you - united states of africa [tru thoughts]
toddla t feat. herve & serocee - shake it [1965 records]
autodidakt & john disco - autodisco theme [traktor]
plump djs - electric disco (d ramirez remix) [finger lickin]
the streets - blinded by the lights [679 recordings]
marco del horno - samurai (rusko "safe sex" remix) [bullet train]
massive music - find my way (kode 9 remix) [hyperdub]
la roux - in for the kill (skream let's get ravey mix) [polydor]
tc - where's my money (caspa remix) [d-style recordings]
frikstailers - to com saudade (ft. mc maiquinho) [man recordings]
mr scruff - giant pickle [ninja tune]
tom central & kaitain - akama [keep up]
bullion - get familiar [one handed music]
speech debelle - go then, bye [big dada]
metallica - nothing else matters [vertigo]

download: http://www.sendspace.com/file/tdf0iw

i hope you like it - holla if you encounter any problems with the download.

(the Weekend Warm-Up goes out every other Friday, 6pm-8pm GMT on Purple Radio)


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

saturday soul 02/05/09

Saturday Soul is a weekly show broadcast on Purple Radio. as the name would suggest, the remit of the show is present two hours of soulful tunes - both classic and contemporary. running for around 18months now, the show has been a great success and is much-applauded by the listeners for its suitability to the timeslot - and also its ability to celebrate classic/forgotten soul hits, whilst simultaneously highlighting the wealth of current, or more recent, soul gems.

last weekend i stepped in at the last minute to cover the show myself, and had a lot of fun pulling the music together. again, i had no mic - but i hoped the selection i chose would speak for itself, really. as ever, i've put a download link here so if you missed the live show and fancy a couple of hours of soothing soul, feel free to have a listen! there's a bit of everything in there, from legends like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Ben E. King, to current favourites such as Mary J. Blige, Kinny and Angie Stone.


channel two - sposed to be
marvin gaye - right on
the soul clan - that's how it feels
angie stone - brotha
uptown funk empire - i'm a manchild
the spinners - i'll be around
maze feat. frankie beverly - color blind
gil scott-heron - gun
solange - i decided (part 1)
mary j blige - just fine
ashford & simpson - it seems to hang on
leon ware - that's why i came to california
ohio players - pain
greyboy feat. sharon jones - got to be a love
donnell jones - u know what's up
kinny feat. diesler - queen of boredness
speedometer feat. ria currie - am i your woman
esther williams - last night changed it all
timmy thomas - sexy woman
dwilt sharpp feat. lorett fleur - i need you close
kissey asplund - caos
the soul children - signed, sealed, delivered
ben e. king - supernatural thing (part 1)
roy ayers - show us a feeling
linda williams - elevate our minds
erykah badu - honey
mayer hawthorne & the county - just ain't gonna work out
aretha franklin - i say a little prayer
debra laws - how long?
al green - love & happiness
sunshine anderson - heard it all before

download: http://www.sendspace.com/file/hrlz89

i hope you enjoy it - holla if you encounter any problems with the download.

(Saturday Soul is broadcast every week on Purple Radio - Saturdays 12:00-14:00 GMT)

Friday, 1 May 2009

mayer hawthorne vid

happy May everybody! let's hope the summer starts properly now, eh?

thought i'd kick off the month with a corker of a video from Mayer Hawthorne (who i've raved about in my April top tunes, below). gawd bless the Stones Throw camp on this one - terrific sound, really setting a new standard for this modern soul revival that seems to be happening. the video itself is a great watch too.


by the way, there's some great shots from the "making of" the video HERE.


Thursday, 30 April 2009

top tunes - april 2009

blimey! nearly missed the boat this month! anyway...better late than never, huh? in no particular order (because like children, if i had them, i couldn't possibly pick favourites) here's a selection of the beats and breaks that have been consuming my ears the most over the last 30 days or so...

Fort Knox Five - Insight (A Skillz remix) [Fort Knox Recordings]
Around this time last year people started caning A Skillz' remix of Kraak & Smaak's "Squeeze Me"...and it lasted right through the summer as a festival party anthem - a true banker for any DJ dropping a funky breaks set. Well, i think Mr Skillz has gone and done it again here, and this time it's Fort Knox Five who get the man with the golden touch's treatment. Uptempo, solid big beats, ravey synths and a vocal that urges you to "put your hands in the air" - bet you can't resist, either. Buy it now so you know what it is before it drives you mad with curiosity at every festival you attend in 2009.

Download @ Juno

Dwilt Sharpp feat. Lorett Fleur - I Need You Close [Favorite]
I don't know anything about Dwilt Sharpp...nor Lorett Fleur, i'm afraid - but this is one of the loveliest bits of nu-soul i've heard in a good while. Low-slung beats and a guitar hook that oozes class, Fleur's vocals smother the track in beauty and sublime dubbed-out soul stylings. Favorite have put out an early summer winner here...a must for any soul or downtempo fan...or DJ.

Dwiltt Sharpp @ MySpace

Rupert - Just Woke Up [Hear Today]

OK i'm cheating here - this is an album release - but I wont do this often unless the album in question is really outstanding...and this one is, believe me. Previously signed to Tru Thoughts' sister label, Zebra Traffic, and then known as Rup, this young man from South London has been carving a name for himself on the UK hip-hop scene for a few years now. With his vocal style often drawing comparisons with Mike Skinner, his "everyday" lyrical content is a joy to listen to. On this album, released through the brilliant Hear Today records, he's teamed up with a swathe of fine producers; from Steve Clear and Naim, and even a track with former TT label-mate Bonobo. Full review soon, honest...but in the meantime get over to the Hear Today website, buy it, and then come back to have a go at me when you can't get the hook to "Something That You Like" out of your head. Mwahahahaha.

Rupert @ MySpace
Buy the album @ Hear Today Records

Lopez - Jellybean [Keep Up]

You'll be able to hear this on the Beat Dispenser E.P. - yet another quality release from the ever-consistent Keep Up records. If you've been following the label's output you'll have undoubtedly come across Lopez's work before; usually a producer of latin-influenced funk beats and breaks, on this release the producer has turned things around and opted to give us a taste of his more wonky, electro-tinged side. It doesn't disappoint either, and hasn't been off my decks since I got hold of it earlier in the month. Hint's also done a smart remix of this tune, but you've gotta check out the plod and bassy drive on the original. Essential listening.

Lopez @ Keep Up
Buy the "Beat Dispenser" EP @ Juno

Hint - One Woman Army (Hint Remix) [Tru Thoughts]
The original was brilliant, i'll give you that...so I was intrigued to see what Hint could bring to his own track to take it somewhere else and enhance an already perfectly acceptable slab of music. Well, he's knocked the tempo up to a 2-steppy, broken beat speed, laced some subtle organy-synthy (i believe that's the technical term) stabs over the top, and then underpinned it with a proper knee-wobbler of a bassline. Oh, and did I mention the undeniably fantastic strings? If you liked what he did to Hot 8 Brass Band's "Jisten To Me", you'll love this. Just go and check it out on his MySpace, then buy it - you know it makes sense.

Hint @ MySpace

Amplified Orchestra - Fun Thing [Clone Records]
It's all the rage at the moment, this disco-chug stuff. I've never really known where to start, as there's simply so much about it's a bit bewildering. If you like things with a little bit of wonk, a splash of acid moog, a backdrop of funk and strings direct from a 70s New York pimp's underwear drawer, then check this out. Relentless, funky and all kinds of disco greatness - ideal for late-night grooving. Or something.

Listen/buy @ DJDownload.com

Mayer Hawthorne & The County - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out [Stones Throw]
Late. I'm bloody late again! By now you've probably read about this recent signing to the brilliant Stones Throw label - and if you haven't you should really check out this feature here. Originally this double-sided, heart-shaped vinyl was put out on a very limited run. I missed it that time round. Then another slew of them came through, and I grabbed one while the going was good. It's nu-soul, but it sounds vintage...it's really quite remarkable, and i'm yet to play it to a classic soul fan who doesn't love it...and insist "this can't be modern...it just can't". Expect big things from Mayer Hawthorne in 2009, and grab anything you can by him until the inevitable album drops.

G Frequency - Let's Begin EP [Scribble Records]
A real beaut of a hip-hop four-tracker here, from a label who hail from Dublin, Ireland...of all places. Tracks like "Flight Ticket" ooze a Pharcyde-ish sensibility and production style, and the groove and charm on title track "Let's Begin" (with its contents encompassing a bunch of kids being tutored in the ethics of real hip-hop) is irresistable. Not an offensive track on it, you could play this to your Nan and she'd probably love it. Well, i know mine would. Seek out and enjoy - it'll sound great in yo yard with a beer when the sun shines.

Listen/download @ Clickgroove

DJ Wood - Eye Know [Goodgroove]

This is actually tucked away on the latest Featurecast "Regrooved Series" EP, and while the A-side tracks are entertaining enough ("Soul Flower" being particularly enjoyable, with its sneaky interlooping of Paul Weller's "Sunflower"), it was this track that caught my ear and had me bopping, and grinning, like a loon this month. Basically, it's the hook from De La Soul's seminal tune of the same name, but turned into a 127bpm banger with a nice summery vibe to the whole damn affair. Another one for the bars at the festivals, i'd imagine.

Listen/buy the 12" @ Juno

John Robinson - The Author [Fat City]
Yet more ESSENTIAL hip-hop i'm afraid - but again, if you haven't heard this already, I think you'll be thanking me for hooking you up (and in turn I gotta thank Beatsfortea for bringing it to my attention). It's not new, this - I believe it was released back last year (2008) on the truly awesome "I Am Not For Sale" LP, but it's one of those that could have quite easily passed you by. Man-of-the-moment Flying Lotus is employed to produce this particular beat, and it carries his typcially wonky, off-kilter style...which matches perfectly with Robinson's delivery (who you'd be forgiven for thinking sounds a tad like MF Doom - they're good pals, after all). Get hold of the album and revel in a bit of quality NY hip-hop...and realise that the good stuff hasn't "disappeared".

John Robinson @ MySpace

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

weekend warm-up 24/04/09

here's my most recent radio outing if you fancy getting your ears around something and missed the original broadcast. again i had to pre-record the show, as i was off on my RAVE TRAVELS enjoying some brilliantly obscure, and pretty tough music down at the Bangface Weekender. anyway, this time i managed to grab a mic and do some chatting over it, which makes for a slightly more interesting listen. or less - i'll leave that up to you to decide.

the show runs through hip-hop, funk/party breaks, a touch of house and a smattering of drum & bass, and features new-and-upcoming releases from Ninja Tune, Favorite, Rhythmicity, Tru Thoughts & Scribble...amongst many more.


count bass d - jussa playa [day by day entertainment]
ghost - feel pain [breakin' bread]
dwilt sharpp feat. lorret fleur - i need you close [favorite recordings]
kinny feat. souldrop - water for chocolate [tru thoughts]
mophono - the edge [cb records]
g frequency - outside my window [scribble records]
speech debelle - the key [big dada]
krafty kuts - we do this [against the grain]
badboe - let's get ill [goodgroove]
mr scruff ft. roots manuva - nice up the function (remix) [ninja tune]
john robinson - the author [fat city]
the dynamics - miracles [big single]
arcadion - ghost feeder [dc recordings]
ltj x-perience - no rhyme no reason (pluton kids remix) [irma records]
the middle agent ft. tech n9ne & garth culti-vader - keep it hott (bradelectro remix) [tarantic records]
grant green - let the music take your mind (live at inside out studio mix by muro) [mukatsuku]
paikan - dancefloor fight [jazzman]
flevans - endless things [tru thoughts]
thunderheist - sweet 16 [big dada]
fort knox five - insight (a skillz mix) [fort knox recordings]
etienne de crecy - 3 day weekend [xl recordings]
mel rosario - still maintaining [rhythmicity]
willie graff & tuccillo - 123 yeah yeah [freerange]
high contrast - the basement track (hc upstairs downstairs) [hospital records]
me&you - wouri river (redeyes mix) [tru thoughts]
the insiders - stepdub [intrigue music]
dj moodie - made jah look [large hole]
rupert ft. naim - zone out [hear today]
g frequency - flight ticket [scribble records]
flying lotus - gng bng [warp]

download: http://www.sendspace.com/file/dfg44t

i hope you like it - holla if you encounter any problems with the download.

(the Weekend Warm-Up goes out every other Friday, 6pm-8pm GMT on Purple Radio)


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

kutiman - mother of all funk chords

this isn't new, it's been knocking around for a while now...so god knows why it's taken me so long to post it up on here.

Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) is an Israeli-born musician, composer & animator...and recently began making a name for himself with his ThruYou music video project. in basic terms, Kutiman's taken the culture of sampling records to make new beats, but applied this to videos he's found while browsing YouTube.

in the words of the man himself: "what you are about to see is a mix of unrelated YouTube videos/clips edited together to create ThruYou. in other words - what you see is what you hear..."

enjoy this - and i hope it puts as much of a smile on your face as it does on mine...


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

weekend warm-up 10/04/09

on Friday night i made my "grand return" to Purple Radio's wonderful airwaves...although it wasn't as grand as i'd have liked, as i was unable to do the show live due to family commitments, and didn't have a mic to use for the pre-record either. ah well - it's still two hours of my top tunes at the moment, some mixed together better than others (i decided to pre-record after an unexpectedly brilliant night at a pub quiz...so please excuse any drunken shoddiness).

some of them you might notice from my March "Top Tunes" update, and some will be featuring in my April "Top Tunes"...which i'm hoping to list this week. honest.


count bass d - jussa playa [day by day entertainment]
stonephace - five miles high [tru thoughts]
mayer hawthorne & the county - when i said goodbye [stones throw]
rupert feat. naim - something that you like [hear today]
john robinson - i am not for sale [fat city]
son of ran - the so [unknown]
lopez - theo's beat [keep up]
gagle - snow revolution (dj mitsu the beats 2008 instrumental edit) [mukatsuku]
dragon fli empire - civic pride [makebelieve]
q-tip - manwomanboogie [universal motown]
amplified orchestra - fun thing [clone records]
przasnik - swingalong [funky mamas & papas poland]
mr scruff feat. skuff & inja - zen [ninja tune]
benga - someone 20 [tempa]
featurecast - soul flower [goodgroove]
fort knox five - insight (a skillz mix) [fort knox recordings]
neighbour vs. dj soup - stars over kingston [home breakin records]
domu - le grand grunt [unknown]
hint - one woman army (hint remix) [tru thoughts]
orbital - chime (del gazeebo breaks edit) [unknown]
zinc feat. no lay - killa sound [unknown]
fingerlickin allstars - 2 da break (a skillz remix) [fingerlickin records]
dj wood - eye know [goodgroove]
flevans - 27 devils [tru thoughts]
tom central & kaitain - akama [keep up]
fort knox five - funk 4 peace (nick thayer remix) [fort knox recordings]
dj shepdog - limb by limb (militia mix) [large hole]
gagle - practice & tactix (souljazz instr - guynamukat edit) [mukatsuku]
lewis parker feat. jehst - communications [melankolic]
rupert feat. bonobo - geography [hear today]

download: http://www.sendspace.com/file/f76cqm

i hope you like it - holla if you encounter any problems with the download.

(the Weekend Warm-Up goes out every other Friday, 6pm-8pm GMT on Purple Radio)


Monday, 6 April 2009

review: hint @ glo bar 03/04/09

I’ve been living in Cardiff for a couple of years now, but much to my dismay have yet to see a Tru Thoughts artist playing here. That was until this weekend, when the mighty Hint made the journey into the Welsh capital to play at the opening night of Glo Bar’s new weekly event, “Big City Beats”.

Musically, the flyers and posters promised “funk, soul, hip-hop, breaks & mashups”, and I had a feeling that a set from Hint, who’s style has come a long way since his debut Portakabin Fever (Hombre, 2003), would fit the bill perfectly. It’s definitely fair to say that his latest offering, Driven From Distraction (Tru Thoughts, 2008) has seen him take a bigger step towards dancefloor-orientated beats, with his funk, soul and jazz influences melding nicely together with electronica – more specifically those current yoot fave elements “basslines” and “wobble/wonk”. Just go and check out “The Tremmuh” or “At The Dance” if you want a better idea of what I’m talking about. I guess it’s easy to see, when listening to that album and then reading Glo’s musical remit for the event, why they chose Hint to come down to open the party.

I got to the venue at about 11-ish, and was surprised by how quiet it was – not in terms of volume (Glo Bar doesn’t have a problem there – I think they’ve upgraded their soundsystem since I last paid a visit!), but more numbers of people. It’s a popular place at weekends and I expected it to be pretty packed by 11pm on a Friday. Not so – not this week anyway. Still, it enabled me to grab a seat with friends and listen to the support DJs do their thing.

After an hour or so of funk classics, a smattering of hip-hop and a selection of some pretty shady bootlegs/mashups (it’s a fine art nailing a mashup, and there’s some real guff out there unfortunately), Hint took to the decks. Bizarrely, the venue hadn’t really got much busier than when I first arrived, and I was increasingly amazed (and frustrated) by the fact that, despite having a pretty intimate “club/dancefloor” area on the basement level, Glo Bar had opted instead to keep all the DJs playing in the corner of the room in the upstairs bar. Which is mostly filled with tables and chairs – and thus isn’t really conducive to dancing (or swaying haphazardly, in my case).

Hint didn’t seem too phased by this though, and settled into opening his set with some brilliant soulful tunes. Starting the show came a corking little refix of Sunshine Anderson’s “Heard It All Before”, and not long after we were treated to Mary Jane Girls’ classic “All Night Long”, before he dropped the brilliant “One Woman Army” from his latest album. By this point the atmosphere seemed to be picking up and there was a move from head-nodding and foot-tapping into a few shimmies and shakes…good to see!

It wasn’t long before Hint progressed his set into a more disco-oriented vibe, notably playing Aretha Franklin’s “Jump To It” and (possibly the tune of the night, for me) Firefly’s “Love (Is Gonna Be On Your Side)”. By this point I’d had a few pints and had really begun to enjoy myself – and so had a few others. It was around this time, however, that the venue’s mistake in choosing to have the DJs upstairs, playing to a seating area, became all-too apparent. Though there were small spaces where you could dance, it seemed daft to do so next to people who were just sitting around enjoying a chat. It turned out that the management were piping the music from upstairs into the club space below, although this just resulted in a mass of people heading down there so they could dance, leaving the bar itself feeling even quieter. It must have been a nightmare for Hint to play in that kind of environment – how do you try to read a crowd when they’ve pissed off to dance where you can’t even see them?!

Still, the tunes kept coming and a more heavyweight selection of electronica, 2-step and broken beat began to creep in. I urge you to keep an ear out for Hint’s very own remix of his own “One Woman Army”, which sounded sublime through Glo Bar’s system. A lush bit of knee-shaking broken beat – perfect for city-centre Friday night grooving, trust me. Before finishing his set, Hint took the tempo back down and treated us to a bit of a hip-hop & funk “breaks” mix, rinsing out Prince’s “Gett Off”, the ever-pleasing “Soul Power 74”, and a storming bit of mixing from hip-hop favourite “The Message” into Sly’s “Family Affair”. Ooof – top work!

Hint is a fantastic DJ, there’s little doubt about that. The set eased its way from one genre to another, and within each genre a magnificent representative selection of tunes were mixed seamlessly into one another. Everything was on beat, every drop fell into place perfectly, and every selection flowed nicely into what had gone before. I’ve also got nuff respect for anyone who can keep a dancefloor (in another room) going while all they’ve got in front of them is people sitting at tables! If this is what he can do in a small, laidback bar, I’d love to see him play on a massive system in a decent-sized, packed-out club. Preferably somewhere a bit dark, too - so nobody can see my embarrassed shuffling (it's what i do when i'm "dancing") and drunken air-synths. Again....christ - I should get some help for that.

So, top marks to Hint for taking the time to visit us in Cardiff and for bringing a class box of tunes with him…and I’m afraid it’s a “must do better” for Glo Bar, who should really be using their club space if they’re going to book such great guest DJs.


Tuesday, 31 March 2009


okay okayyyy - i knowwwww: something else i'm no doubt late to - but something worth bigging up nontheless, i reckon...

soundcloud is a website/online resource/musical networking tool that basically allows producers (of all levels/abilities) to upload tunes and have people listen to and comment on them. each file is represented on-screen as a waveform, and one of the cool features is the ability to "tag" specific bits of the tune you're listening to and add your thoughts. so it could be a "ooof - nice wubble on the bassline", or "great drop here, made me touch cloth"...i'm sure you get the idea. you can also add general comments if you like - it's not compulsory to tie your comments down to any one part of the tune.

the nice touch about soundcloud though, is that it gives you an insight into both demos/productions-in-progress, as well as mastered forthcoming releases, and occasionally just a "here's a piece i put together a few years ago...thought i'd give it another rinse-out...enjoy!".

a fine example of using the resource in this way is Domu. a favourite producer of mine at the moment, i was pleased to find his work on soundcloud, so i decided to follow him on there and subscribe to his updates (yet another handy feature). in the last week or so, he's graced our earholes with three great productions, all differing in their "status". the first is "The Real Real Thing" - essentially a re-working of a Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell soul classic. is this a bit of jovial experimentation? or is this a forthcoming release? i hope it's the latter! next up was "Mandaloria", which is (in the words of the man himself) the "Second Domu record ever made, released on Archive 1999. A rare, deleted gem I thought I would give a lickle shine to celebrate it's 10th birthday". it's lush - blissed out, melodic broken beat at its finest - i can't believe it's ten years old! finally, Domu has treated us to a sneak peak at "4 O'Clock Earthquake", which is a remix he's knocked out for the KPM Remixes series. again it's immense...and another one i'm going to have to add to my ever-growing "must-buy" list.

soundcloud is full of cracking producers and wonderful music - and though it takes some patience in hunting stuff down, and a fair bit of following links & trying stuff out, you'll soon get the hang of it - and i pretty much guarantee it will expand your shopping list too.

get yourself a log-in and check it out. oh, and don't forget to buzz me if you find any producers on there that you think i should be listening to. cheers dears.


Friday, 20 March 2009

Boca 45 @ The Thunderbolt, Bristol - TONIGHT!

sorry about the late notice folks (should've really nudged you about this sooner), but tonight Purple Radio is hosting the wonderful Boca 45 at The Thunderbolt, Bristol...

thanks to the fine efforts of Mark Williams and Teiresias, Purple Radio have been hosting monthly events in Bristol for a while now, and this corking booking represents how well those events are doing. Boca 45 is an excellent producer (check out the albums "Vertigo Sounds" and "Pitch Sounds" if you haven't got them in your collection) and he's a fine DJ too. this is going to be BIG!

Boca 45 on MySpace

it's running from 7pm until 1am, and FREE ENTRY means you surely can't turn this one down if you're in the area. support comes from residents Mark and Teiresias, as well as Myles, Mr Black & Andrea.

hopefully see plenty of you there for a few ales, lots of top-notch music and maybe even a dance-off or two...


Thursday, 12 March 2009

top tunes - march 2009

Here's a selection of tracks that are doing the business for me at the moment. Please support the artists and labels by buying their music, attending their gigs and sending them emails of adoration. They'll love you for it and continue to deliver more stunning work if you do...

Kinny – Water For Chocolate (feat. Souldrop) (Tru Thoughts)

Gorgeous, laid back soul with a twist from Tru Thoughts’ “one to watch” in 2009 – lush guitar-led production from Souldrop underpins Kinny’s attitude-laden vocals. How many soul numbers open with the lyrics “fuck this”? Not enough, if this is anything to go by. I’m going to put a full review together in the very near-future, but in the meantime head get your diaries out and pencil in the release date for the album “Idle Forest of Chit Chat” - coming on 23rd March 2009.

Kinny @ Tru Thoughts

The Insiders – Stepdub (Intrigue Music)

Is it dubstep? Is it electronica? Is it just a drum & bass tune that never actually drops into a full DnB step? Who cares – it’s immense! Brilliant drums and percussion pound a steady beat under some great techy noises, and a bassline that goes “waaaarrrrrrb” a lot. You’ve gotta like that, huh? If you don’t, go see your doctor. Pretty standard drum & bass fare (“Cold Harbour”) on the flip to this, but it was this track that really caught my ear.

The Insiders on MySpace

Tom Central & Kaitain – Akama (Keep Up!)

Keep Up are definitely a UK label to watch, if you don’t already. This track is a rock-solid reason why: fantastically-programmed beats and percussion underline a pretty standard funk hook…but then the bassline kicks in and it all goes off…right off! Every time I drop this into a set at the moment it gets a great reaction, which must be a good sign. Funky, dirty and very dancefloor-friendly – plus it’s got a brilliant video too! Check it out here!

Tom Central & Kaitain @ Keep Up!

Kev Luckhurst – Dreams (Unique Uncut)

I hadn’t really heard of Kev Luckhurst (formerly known as Phat Kev) before I got hold of this - a crime, I know. Now I’m seeking out everything he’s put his name to (any suggestions gratefully received!). This is a fine example in taking soul/jazz melodies and weaving them into a beautiful, intelligent piece of hip-hop instrumental work. All it needs is to be a couple of minutes longer and maybe feature a nice vocal…but I’ll leave that to the re-editers amongst you and bask in the warmth of this track in the meantime.

Listen to/buy @ Clickgroove

Stonephace – Five Miles High (Tru Thoughts)

More pre-release treats from the Tru Thoughts camp (I’ve been spoilt this last month!). Stonephace continue the label’s leaning into classy jazz and bring together an all-star lineup with which to do so. The album hosts jazz veteran Larry Stabbins, Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley and bassist Jim Barr, and even a guest turn from Dizzy Gillespie collaborator Guy Barker on trumpet. The production is overseen by Cornish resident Krzysztof Oktalski, and trust me – it’s awesome. If you like the kinds of sounds Madlib brought on “Shades of Blue”, or you just enjoy some quality, low-slung jazz, then you’ll want this. Self-titled album due on 20th April 2009.

Stonephace @ Tru Thoughts

Gagle – The Funky Instrumentals: Vol.3 (Mukatsuku)

Another fine label who are in the habit of putting out must-own records, Mukatsuku made me firm right up (sorry Nan) with this release. A double-sided 7” of two DJ Mitsu The Beats instrumentals, this really really IS a vital slab of plastic to own if you even care in the slightest about hip-hop, or lush downbeat for that matter. Mitsu has got the midas touch like no-one else, and these tracks sum it all up for me. Beautiful, beautiful stuff, and another one to appeal to you acapella-fiddlers, surely? Worth the slightly-more-expensive price you’re paying for an import, without a doubt.

Listen to/buy @ Juno

Frikstailers – To Com Saudade (feat. MC Maiquinho) (Man Recordings)

Taken from the 8th installment in the “Funk Mundial” series, this track bridges electronica, hiphop and funk with an infectious vocal hook, crazy synth lines and an absolute stomper of a beat. Do you like basslines that make your tummy rumble? Then you’d be daft to pass this one up – more tummy rumble than Starvin Marvin yo!

Listen to/buy @ Clickgroove

Przasnik – Swingalong (Funky Mamas & Papas – Poland)

Another fine “lesson” of a track here – this time the lesson being “how to take a bit of dusty old jazz and turn it into something cheeky and modern”. Instantly catchy and another dancefloor-pleaser without any doubt, Polish-based Przasnik has come up trumps here. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s Mr Scruff producing under a pseudonym (maybe it is?!), given the infectious jazz-wobble-meets-irresistible-beats that it encompasses. Out now on 7”, with a nice bit of edit action in the form of “Get Bambaata” on the a-side.

Przasnik on MySpace

Mr Scruff – Whiplash (Ninja Tuna)

I know, I know…I can already hear you saying “Marky, mate – this is oooold news now bro”, and maybe it is. But Scruff recently (and finally!) put this monster of a track from his 2008 Ninja Tuna album out on 12”, so I figured I’d elbow it in to my Top 10 for March. And hey – what’s not to like about it? Absolutely a tune of two halves, it opens up at 137bpm with a frantic set of drums laced under some scarily-wonky brass stabs…and then suddenly boils down into a 92bpm rumbler. Like, a proper rumbler. More wub-wub bass than you can shake a stick at, too. Another one that doesn’t fail to do the business whenever I slide it into a set, it got a huuuuge reaction at Electric Vindaloo last weekend. Get that 12” in your shopping basket and lap it up.

Buy this 12" @ Ninjatune.net

Flevans – 27 Devils (Tru Thoughts)

Woah woah woah! Bit of a “stop press” moment here! Still getting my ears around this one, but the new Flevans album is on its way and the promo landed on my doormat just last week. I’ll be saying a lot more on it in the very near future, but I just had to give props to this, the title track, which has really blown me away. Loose-sounding drums which drop into a nice tight rhythm, a good smattering of ivory-tinkling and some dutty dutty bass – I guess you can tell why this one stood out on the initial listen! Also continues Flevans’ knack for giving us tunes of two halves (though now this has become more subtle), this one moves from jazzy funk into an almost haunting piano melody for the last section. Just. You. Wait. All kinds of aces!

Flevans on MySpace