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
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
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.
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 (“
Tom Central & Kaitain – Akama (Keep Up!)
Keep Up are definitely a
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.
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.
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
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!
Przasnik – Swingalong (Funky Mamas & Papas –
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.
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.
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!
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
after what was deemed to be a very successful event last month at Clwb Ifor Bach, myself and Neil Raygun (Phantom Beats, Plastic Raygun) are being allowed back onto the decks this Friday 13th March (yes, i'm aware that doesn't bode well) for another edition of Freakaholic.
unfortunately we've got no flyer to pimp at your eyes, but rest assured it'll be along the same lines as last time: plenty of funk, hip-hop, breaks, beats and basslines. the perfect antidote to staying in and watching Comic Relief. not that i'm against Comic Relief, of course, but you try watching more than two hours solid of it without feeling more than a little bit depressed.
there's a Facebook event page here, so feel free to register your interest there and perhaps use the comments bit to hurl abuse at us. we know you want to.
you'll also note that while we play on the top-floor, Ben and co will be hosting the frankly excellent Breakfast Club in the middle room - an unashamed celebration of forgotten (and unforgotten) 80s pop classics. so that's £4 for entry to two top nights, one fantastic venue!
IN YOUR FACE CREDIT CRUNCH BRITAIN!!
the night runs from 10.30pm to around 3am. bring your dancing shoes and perhaps a bit of lino if you're into all that bodypopping malarkey.
see you there...
Sunday, 1 March 2009
thought it was about time i brought a bit of video action to my little slice of the blogosphere...and what better way than with a slice of classy soul from Tru Thoughts' rising star, Kinny?
i'm really excited about the forthcoming Kinny album, "Idle Forest of Chit Chat". collaborations with Nostalgia 77, Diesler, Hint, Unforscene, TM Juke and Souldrop promise to make it one of the must-own musical releases of 2009. not to mention Quantic Soul Orchestra, whose wonderful tropic-soul sounds underpin Kinny's fantastic voice in this little number, "Enough Said":
i've had a sneaky listen to a couple of other tracks from the album, and it's all sounding really very tasty. i'll no doubt have a lot more to say nearer the release date, but in the meantime, check Kinny out at the links below and put a bit of cash aside for when the CD is released in late March. oh, you can also grab the single of "Enough Said" on a nice little 7" - might keep you satisfied until the album release!
Kinny on MySpace
"Enough Said/Desire" single info @ Tru Thoughts