Friday, September 22, 2006

1000 Apologies...

for the lengthy hiatus. I blame it on a lack of interent, now rectified.

Wiley is truely killing it at the moment. He's easily the most exciting UK artist for me at the moment. As well as the legit version of Da 2nd Phaze i also copped a version floated on the net which had some other great tunes on it. I have combined them into one version in my iTunes, making Da 2.1 Phaze!

His vocals on Stormy Weather are just superb, very on point, relentless flows.

And then to legally release two free mixtapes on the internet, announce the series is going up to 10 and get a deal with Big Dada. Add to this the absolute multitude of vinyl releases, especially white labels, across the Wiley Kat, Dumpvalve, XL and more. This fella here nails it.

Wiley's a don like wimbol. Nuff said.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short Hiatus...

I'm flying to Azerbaijan on Thursday for three weeks around that area so there will be a short intermission. Maybe I'll try and buy some local tunes and post them up when I get back! Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Freshen Up

Jungle is a funny thing. At Freshen Up last Sunday the musicians purveying it were markedly, even comically, polarised. Daddy Freddy, grown up in Trenchtown, looks battle hardened enough to merit a name change to Grandaddy Freddy, whilst the faces behind Junglist Alliance are extremely young and fresh. That is something I love about Jungle though, the many voices it has under a single umbrella label. It might sometimes result in slightly incongruous ideological interplay such as a Jamaican Rastafarian vocalist in his 40s exhorting a crowd of white 20-something students (plenty of whom were dreadlocked, though, but that's another story altogether!) to 'praise Jah' 'bun de sensi' etc, but perhaps that only mirrors Jungle's magpie musical nature.

I expected the smaller room to be more fully devoted to dubstep, but much of the music was the kind of stuff Zinc does on Bingo or Darqwan (Oris Jay) makes; a bouncy sort of beat perhaps best described as breakbeat garage. From 11-12 Deadman of Junglist Alliance played a rather nice selection of half-step dubstep, Loefah's Monsoon Remix and a couple of Digi Mystikz tunes amongst them. The sound was pretty nice, as the room was small and the bass ample. Local producer Rogue State was then up for an hour. I think he played a few of his own productions. It's really encouraging to see local musicians making dubstep beats and also interesting that their points of reference are firmly within the Jungle rather than Garage tradition.

Oris Jay (<) was perhaps the DJ i was most looking forward to in the whole line-up. He cut a pretty dapper figure in a natty Stussy tee and some cream Nike Air Rifts. Tunes were mainly on the upbeat tip. Bangers included DJ Distance's Traffic (or was it cyclops...), classic tune Said The Spider VIP and a Mark One production or two. The DJs on afterwards (Deekline and then RM Loki) continued the bouncy breaks vibe and the music got a bit cheesy and clean sounding for my tastes!

Throughout the music in the smaller room I popped into the big room to hear the Jungle action there. The shape lends itself pretty well to a club, with a back part full of chairs and rails to hold drinks. The emphasis for the evening was on vocalists really, rather than DJs. Daddy Freddy appeared alongside Jah Prento to rhyme over Chase and Status. I would guess that both have their roots in Ragga, with Freddy proving adept inna jungle, hip-hop or raggamuffin style. There is a hilarious video of him on his website going on Record Breakers and getting the record for being the fastest rapper in the world. He did a bit of super-speed rhyming but it didn't really sound like any cogent syllables i have ever heard! The two MCs were joined by another guy who seemed a bit strange. He sounded vaguely American I thought, and indeed looked somewhat like a used-car salesmen from somewhere deep in the bible belt.

And then Top Cat and Tenor Fly stepped up and did a showcase of around an hour. They are both good vocalists, and interspersed double-time MCing with some ragga style crooning. Top Cat did a nice little acapella about being kings and queens. All in all it was an enjoyable night, though i'm not sure I'm convinced by the quality of Corporation's soundsystem. It sounded a bit dirty in the big room. Must thank the promoters for guestlisting me too!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Articles 95

Here are some PDFs of some excellent articles on Jungle from the Mid '90s. Seckle on the Dubstep Forum provided them, so big up him. Really interesting reading; an interview with Goldie and a round-table with James Lavelle, Dave Clark, DJ Rap, Orbital, Mr C, Norman Jay and some other heads.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Grey Cooper Love Band

are playing DQs late bar on Monday 5th. Their Myspace (where you can listen to some tunes) has George Clinton, James Brown and Donald Byrd in the top eight (star-spangled or what??)! Local Sheffield cats too, so come and support.

Fitzwilliam Street (near the Washington/below Devonshire Green)
Monday 5 June 2006
9pm till very late! Free Entry

And come this Thursday Ray Keith is playing there too, definitely to be attended, doubly so since that day marks the end of my formal education!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ever FWD>>

The best Dubstep line-up ever. The chance to catch all those early garridgey DJs is amazing, shame i'm going to be on holiday for this and DMZ at Mass. I'm loving the fact that Plasticman, Tubby and Geeneus are billing, meaning the night is really gonna be a mashup of dubstep, grime and garage. Plasticman b2b with Geeneus on the fwd>> podcast is seriously tight mixing.

Still, the wording clearly implies this to be the start of something regular, my money is on a party every two or three months. Hopefully it will alternate with DMZ, providing big Dubstep parties every month! Going to be lots of trips down to London over the next year i predict! Thank god for cheap advance rail tickets, the Megabus can be severely wearing if experienced too frequently!

FRIDAY 23.06.06


Entrance: 23:00 - 06:00 | £10/£6 NUS on the door | £10 Advance tickets | Fully licensed bar until close

Main Room: Plastician, Youngsta, Digital Mystikz & Sgt Pokes, Hatcha, Geeneus, N Type, Tubby. Hosted by MC Crazy D

Lounge: The Roots of Dubstep - Horsepower, El-B, Artwork, Menta, Phuturistix, Landslide, Hatcha (2001 Set)

Grime and dub-step night Forward, kicks off a new Friday night party here at The End.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Do The Churchill

DMZ Leeds

Soldier business on the train with Red Bull armaments, then trekking up to the West Indian centre and finding Clay Pit Lane turn into a large dual carriage way and thus negate my attempt to walk to the venue.

Walking past a room of old West Indian guys chilling out next to a room of the most thundering drum'n'bass imaginable.

The fact that the WI One Day International cricket match was being shown.

The fact you could buy curry goat over the bar.

N-Type was tight as ever, I didn't really recognise that many of his beats though, barring Iron soul's Kalawanji. Oh and I think he dropped Loefah's Ruffage too. The MC was Cessman (though at the time i mistook him for Rogue-Star, cheers UFO!) who together with IronSoul (who is know as Kromestar when making grime!) forms the Terraphonix production team. Cessman's spitting was pretty decenct, a doubletime dnb-ish flow.

Skream got the party moving, rinsing our plenty of his best beats; Dutch Flowers, Music to Make U Stagga, Lightening and others. Big response blending that last track into Loe's I Rmx. I don't think he is as technically proficient as most of the other DJs though, and he can be a bit rewind happy. Crazy D on mic, pretty decent. Great contrast to both Pokes and Rogue-Star. Its easy to see the ghost of garage haunting him still, in that slightly nasal delivery and the vaguely blinging sunglasses he was wearing.

Mala (Loefah was also due to play but wasn't there) playing a good one and a half hour set. Absolutely loads of bangers (I'll add more if I remember them) including what I always think of as 'the horses hooves tunes' with the crazy off kilter rhythm like dashing stallions. I was peering into the DJ bit and trying to see the names of the dubs and this is called Bury the Boy Dub (cheers Joe Nice!) I think. Also Left Right Left which is obviously pretty genius, Anti-War Dub (great crowd reaction), Haunted and more. I seriously might take a notepad next time to jot down the tracklistings but maybe that's taking the geekery a bit too far?! Pokes on mic, what a funny guy. My favorite line was when a tune demanding a particularly large degree of head-skank dropped and he urged the crowd to 'do the churchill'.

Youngsta and Task. Yunx is a great DJ but I find the mood of his tune selection to border on the homogeneous sometimes. He's also a real elitist, playing dubs from just Skream, DMZ camp and D1 I think. Mala's Blue Notes (great title) and a Skream tune called, I think, Morning Blues were new to me. I still really enjoyed the set, but at 4 in the morning some more bouncy ish may have been better - Youngsta's set would have been perfect for the smoked-out 4.30-6 slot. Task is a man of few words, which in Dubstep is often a good thing. Just a select few crowd urges and abrupt exclamations - 'Youngsta ya big!'

Females. Pretty good gender ratio of, say, 6:4 rather than the more traditional dubstep 8:2 situation. Probably to do with DJ Fresh, Commix, Bailey and Hazard in the other room. Some even had fancy skirts on. I would say peasant is defiantly out this year, though minor manifestations of asymmetry persist. The dnb wasn't too bad actually (I allowed myself a couple of ten minute jaunts), though I didn't know any of the tunes or the DJs. It was maddeningly fast though, and without the earplugs supplied free (props!) I don't think I could have stood it. As it was, the music was like a sonic Red Bull best enjoyed in short bursts, though my favoured spot at the front of any night seemed to be predominately a courting zone for illicitly enhanced mid-teens.

Slightly too many rewinds. Slightly. Not really a major problem.

Finishing at 4.30. It being a Sunday my train homewards wasn't leaving until 8.30, giving me a pleasant four hour early-morning interim in which to explore Leeds' semi-industrial outskirts. Nice. Maccy Ds in the station opened at 6.30 I think, providing refuge and unaccustomed entertainment in the unfortunate form of both The Daily Telegraph and The Mail. Their coffee is actually pretty good and obviously sausage and egg mcmuffins are the best thing served in the whole place. If somebody had stepped up at 4.30 and rinsed it out until 6 it would have been perfection. Perhaps I'm forgetting the somewhat blunted state some people seemed to be in as I was wholly sober and just riding the bass.

The bass-maddened strip of metal behind my head when sat in the third chair from the front on the left constantly vibrating and giving an unwanted percussive layer to the music. Remedied by moving chair.

Loefah not being there.

I'm searching for negatives here, but I suppose if it had been ragga-styled Jungle in the other room that would have killed it. Though I would then have been caught on the horns of an unsavoury listening dilemma.

Lil bit of aggro at kicking out time but nothing serious.

Hope everyone who reached enjoyed it as much as I did!! Big up DMZ gang for doing something special out of nothing but love for music.