Thursday, 31 May 2007

Blind as a post

There are not many tunes that I would post before I've even listened to but when I find Jurassic 5 have a new song then I will post it. That was just a a thought, but by complete coincidence here is a new track by J5 that I am only just listening to for the first time.

If you like previous tracks where they do a singsong chorus then this is for you. This style of harmony is a clear nod to the freestyle fellowship. For a excellent taster of them go to missingtoof for a selection of downloads and a loada knowledge.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Jilted John Shuttleworth

Imagine my delight when two of my musical comedy...erm, favourites, became one. Today I was looking up some of the comedy I enjoy listening to on BBC 7. I googled John Shuttleworth as his thoughtful but ridiculous northern comedy makes me chuckle when I'm tucked up on an evening. Then I went to his website and low and behold, John Shuttleworth is Jilted John of Jilted John fame.

In 1978 Graham Fellows provided the soundtrack for my mum's day trip to Silverstone with 3 of her male friends with his alter ego's number one hit, Jilted John. Many years later, listening to her old Blue Oyster Cult and Sham 69 tapes I discovered this one hit wonder. Then I found it on 7 inch and my sister saw it on one of channel 4's awful 'top 100...' shows (one hit wonders). Nowadays, an older John is regularly gracing the airwaves as John Shuttleworth, a sheffield born 'Versatile singer/organist' who sings about everyday occurences in a serious manner.

John Shuttleworth - Two margarines
Jilted John - Jilted John - for loads more videos/audio - for more mod/punk music of the time - for to find out when you can listen

Sunday, 20 May 2007

UK Hip Hop - 'We are the unknown'

Any Hip Hop head dwelling in Great Britain worth his/her salt will be a fan of UK Hip Hop. I am a great believer in what is sometimes termed as Brit-Hop and I honestly prefer it over the majority of the products of our American counterparts.

Now let me counteract some common retorts to that statement before they are said; I don’t like ALL UK Hip Hop, I like what I deem to be GOOD UK Hip Hop. Let’s put it this way, just because it’s on Channel U it doesn’t mean I like it. I could get on Channel U if I wanted, they show anything.

In this post I aim to provide a sample of some excellent Hip Hop that may have passed by even the most avid fan’s radar. There are obvious acts that would be recognisable by many, even those who have just scraped the surface of UK talent; Skinnyman, Blade, Klashnekoff, Sway, The Streets, Roots Manuva, Jehst, Rodney P, Blak Twang and erm… Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Getting hold of UKHH is hard - simply because it’s so much more expensive to buy.

Chester Copperpot – Moneygrip ft. Braintax – Not 100% British as I believe Copperpot resides in Roxbury, US, but featuring Leeds born label owner/vinyl presser/MC/UKHH legend. Braintax spits his usual easy on the ear and witty lyrics over this funky beat.

Asaviour – Money in the bank (remix) ft. Kyza & Yungun – 3 great British MC’s here; Yungun being my favourite mainly for his quotable lyrics. You should def listen to his album ‘The Essance’. This track is produced by Jesht so best believe it’s good.

JTWR – Backlash ft. MCD – There may be a reason why this guy went unnoticed but I do like him. His moniker stands simply for John the White Rapper, cool eh? No. However, this track featuring one of the UK’s stalwarts is just goodness.

aRRO - 1066 – Yes! A medieval knight rapping about rescuing princess and killing folk who rape and pillage in his village. This is concept rap at it’s best and although I’ve heard a couple of other similarly themed tracks since I think this was first. The chorus even contains battle sounds! This Geordie born, one time leeds resident would be the first round my round table should I ever create one.

Inertia – Hostile Takeover ft. Analyst, Gentleman & Trotter – Rap from red rose country, Lancaster to be precise. I met Inertia whilst at uni and I don’t just like his music cos I know him. Check it out, he’s talented on the mac and the mike. Listen carefully to analyst’s verse, this guy is funny and has a quick mind; his freestyles are possibly better than his written lyrics. Check the website.

Zionnoiz – And What? – Look, their name spells the same both ways; clever! This London collective are all professing Christians and both versions of this are heavy, party orientated slices of rap.

DJ Pager – The Product ft. Ironbridge – A tuba loop and a scratched chorus with witty simile and metaphor laden raps from Ironbridge, a duo from somewhere in this country. Jibberish is probably the fastest rapper in the UK - fact.

SK Crew – I wreck the Mic – First time I saw the SK Crew live supporting Adam F they did a track along the lines of ‘If you go down to the clubs today’, based on…you guessed it, Teddy Bears Picnic. Then in their DJ/freestyle set after they rapped about me. Then I discovered Stoopid Ill was actually the cousin of a girl on my course, so I invited them to perform at the hip hop night I had. Again, great, hilarious freestylers and always with tongue firmly in cheek. Go to theirspace.

Infinite Potential – I excel ft. Amber MC – From Brighton’s Catskills records comes this short track featuring lots of scratching and some rhyming about how Amber MC is better than all the rest, classic Hip Hop fare.

Mark B – Ya know we don’t stop ft. Tommy Evans – Wooo, another Leeds born MC, this came off the flip of radio played ‘Move now’. A more classical driven beat here, some solid hip hop.

Mr. Spleen – 1st Class Delivery – As far as I can work out, Spleen is the producer of this Andrew Lloyd Webber raiding, fast paced banger. Various MC’s and a DJ provide verses and scratches. Some Yorkshire rappers here too.
I guess the main reasons I like UK Hip Hop are it's fun, fresh and closer to home.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Every other household's got PCs

Downloads are killing music. How many times have you heard that? And do you agree? Have you actually thought about the implications of such an accusation? Why are MP3s apparently heralding the end of music in more tangible formats? Is it because all the kids are downloading illegal files for free and not contributing to the industry? No, in a word.

Little Johnny gets an MP3 player (its not an i**d, just a regular, generic MP3 player) for Christmas because they’re cool and his mates have them. He wants some music, he’s only 13 and hasn’t built up anything resembling a record collection. His choices are 1) get dads CDs and rip them, 2) go out to buy a CD, or 3) get on that computer and get loads of good tunes for free. We all know which one he opts for, but before we continue, lets explore his other choices:

Dad’s music; yes he likes it. The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel, Black Sabbath – a brilliant musical grounding for any aspiring music fan – but in front of his friends; No way Jose (as I believe all the ‘hip’ kids are saying these days).

A trip to HMV; he doesn’t get enough pocket money, he doesn’t have a paper round and mum certainly aint gonna buy him that Eminem album even though she can pick it up at Sainsburys for £7.97 along with the weekly groceries.

Downloads; yes he downloads. This kid is not ruining the economy, without the internet he would simply just not be listening to music. He would have no means of doing so. This child does not represent the people who buy actual CDs. He represents a new cross section of society; the youth who now have access to almost everything they want. Pre internet he’d be playing the CDs he got as presents or after a big save over and over again. And he would be appreciating it.

Appreciation. LP. These words are synonymous in my life. There are probably only two albums (and only one actually springs to mind) that I regret buying. The rest I cherish and enjoy for one reason or another. The complete embodiment of an artists work is a treasure. I remember sitting in my room with liner notes; scrutinising the artwork, production credits, who did the scratches, who played slide guitar on one track, how the line up changed for that particular song – I still do it now and it is nothing short of satisfying.

I contrast this to myself post-mad download spree. First 10 seconds - Whack. Next track – hmmm, OK I suppose. Delete or keep? Yeah I’ll keep, might not listen again. Next track – forgettable. Oooh this tracks good, I’ll remember that one but…let’s see what else I got. Skip. 30 seconds. Skip…and so on. An average mp3 player now will contain tracks in their thousands. How can one teenager possibly listen to and love all of these? They can’t, portable audio collections have meant music becomes a backdrop – it becomes another element of overall fulfilment that people seek in multiple pleasures. Will these kids ever sit down and devour the text and images whilst listening and consuming a whole product? Or will they be content in their skittering, whimsical, non-committal competition to have as many days worth of music on itunes as possible? Will they appreciate an artist and their work this way? I don’t think so. I have cherished and loved the albums I have bought. Many of them were the result of hard work, anticipation and deliberation. When downloading is as easy as right click, save target as, save; the personal value is immediately deleted, along with 50% of the downloads that didn’t sound good after 30 seconds.

The lack of appreciation leads to the increasing popularity of bands and artists being 'the next big thing'. These days anyone touted so is pretty much destined to fall off the conveyor belt before reaching anything resembling a career pinnacle. Their heady ascent to a plateau someway below the peak is their highlight, it is their achievement. The modern consumer wants more, wants it new and they want it now. Artists, and indeed albums, are not given the chance that past generations would have afforded them to mature. They are now flung into the spotlight in front of a baying crowd who 6 months down the line will reject them and will have had flirtations with numerous bands and several musical crushes since.

Downloading isn’t all bad, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Album buying comes with a greater degree of certainty once you’ve heard a couple of cuts of it. Finding a tune or group you absolutely adore is easier now you can afford to explore. But don’t let these advantages put you off buying an actual product that you can hold in your hands. Multi-sensory stimulation is not a thing of the past; the internet is not the only medium available to us. You are depriving yourself, it wont affect the artist; they’re probably minted already, it’s only CEOs who care about their sales figures. And anway, if artists do want more money, they should do more shows instead of flooding the entire world with second rate product called ‘mixtapes’.

What do you think? Am I barking up the wrong end of the stick? Hit me up with some comments.

Ain't a problem that we can't mix

Popes on dope mix

The Hermit and I spent last night mixing a bit of electro up, here for you, is the result.

Track listing - this is also in the lyrics section of the ID3 Tag for you itunes users.

The Knife – Silent Shout
Scroobius Pip – Thou shalt Always Kill (Live on XFM)
Booka Shade – In White Rooms (Neo mix)
Metric – Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT remix)
Knightlife – Ambopop (demo)
Kavinsky – Testarossa Autodrive
Busy P – Rainbow Man (K.Christmon's Slight Tamper)
Celluloide – Audio Therapy
Audio Bullys – The Things

Just download, that's why you're here

Here are some tracks that have been making waves down my ear canal in the last week.

Paul Wall - Bangin' Screw - Pauls charm is in his effort to be a cool southern rapper, this is hot though, don't get me wrong.
Royce da 5'9 - Hit 'Em - Royce seems to fall on and off the radar but he's pretty consistent and this is good hard hip hop.
Skyzoo - The Paper - Unashamed about why he raps, he wants to make money, at least he's honest.
Prodigy - Raining Guns And Shanks - Wow! The best of the bunch here, what is this beat? It's amazing!
Young Jeezy - Mr. 15 - Good album, good track.
MED - All I Know - Produced by Madlib, this is a heater.
Clipse - Nightmares ft. Bilal and Pharrell - Chilled out track from Virginias finest cain slingers.
Sway - Sky is Falling - Didn't make the new EP but tis truly great Brit Hop

Free file hosting from File Den

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Surfin with a boy in your mouth

Part 2- Will it ever - Electro type dancehall with female vocal

Lotek Hi-Fi - Ram Dancehall Ft. Earl J - Gorillazesque Electro dancehall

Justice - The Party Ft. Uffie - What you'd expect, a silly girl talking over some electro

Lyrical Darkness - Subzero - The Anthem - Electro beat American Hip Hop

Leyode - Isabelle - Chilled out instrumental hip hop with reversed samples

DJ Mehdi- I Am Somebody (Paris_Version) - Ooooh, this must be headed for stardom

Hood Surgeon - Daddy Was A Dr - Dr. Dre's son joining The Game in idolising his dad

Busdriver - sunshower remix - More crossover, like Hadouken! but the American way.

Shadowless Tomz

Futuristic and old school seem to be the same thing at the moment. A trend slowly gaining momentum since Rick Rubin produced '99 Problems' for Jay Z and The Neptunes did 'Drop it like it's hot' for Snoop. The Cool Kids are doing it right now and so is Birmingham's own Shadowless Tomz.

Shadowless Tomz matches these electro-ish future/old school beats to MC's lyrics and comes up with something totally fresh. A simple google search reveals remixes galore by this producer, worth checking out I'm sure.

I'm not sure who the lyricists are or if it is actually Shadowless Tomz himself, I'll look into that.

I'm giving up on the formatting on this, every time I add a picture it messes things up.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


Blogger seems to have a mind of it's own coupled with selective publishing and it is intent on annoying me. I keep editing that flippin' Beastie Boys post but to no avail. Here are the three mp3 links it refuses to include:

They got it going on...

Some of the very perceptive readers (or just those who know me) may have picked up on the fact that this blog owner is a fan of the Beastie Boys. I feel it’s about time to openly admit this (not that I hide it – I love to sport my Beastie Boys T-Shirts) and provide you with some Beastie Boys goodness. For some of you this may constitute a whistle whetting, for others; a reminder of how great and all encompassing they are.Fandom for me began when ‘Hello Nasty’ was released; receiving that cardboard foldy outy sleeved CD for my birthday has most likely changed my musical life for ever. My first Beastie Boys purchase was actually ‘Intergalactic’ on tape single and for anyone unacquainted is definitely a great way to begin liking the group (I also now have it on vinyl thanks to Oxfam). After you realise how amazing this track is, buy the whole album. Hello Nasty has some great Hip Hop, Reggae, Bossa Nova and instrumental tracks and a well meditated tracklist.

The year I was born was the year the Beastie Boys rudely exploded onto the rap scene and along with stable mates LL Cool J and Run DMC at Def Jam (and Rick Rubin) they pretty much changed the sound of the rap game. We all know that sound; heavy, simplistic drum breaks infused with heavy, simplistic guitar riffs. For sheer chauvinistic pleasure and comedy value (and also a small chance for me to brag) I have chosen to give you ‘Girls’. I have a copy of this on 7” vinyl, still wrapped in plastic (although it is opened at the end) with a free tour patch. I have never seen this version of the single anywhere as I guess most people would have taken off the patch to wear with pride on their faded denim jacket.

Well, I’m not going to go through Beastie history because I promise I am attempting to make my posts shorter but I will point you in the direction of some good tracks. If you have never got into the Beastie Boys and would like to then I would NOT recommend ‘Solid Gold hits’ or ‘Sounds of Science’. If you buy either, you will be satisfied with the material and will never want more and there is so much to be found elsewhere. Buy any of their albums, if you’re patient and shop at HMV then you can usually get them for around a fiver each in their (decreasing in quality) numerous sales.

To sample the varying sounds of the Beastie Boys cop these for yourself:

Hold it now, Hit it – from Licensed to Ill – Rick Rubin beat with a whistle scratch
Groove Holmes – from Check your head/ - …groovy, funky instrumentation
Sabotage – from Ill Communication – The Boys playing their instruments=great rock
Get it together – from Ill Communication – Featuring Q-Tip, a v. cool track
Root down (Free Zone Mix) – from Root down EP – my favourite B.B. track
Crawlspace – from To the 5 Boroughs – a slithering bassy beat, laid back lyrics


So Watcha Want ft. B-Real – the boys with another favourite MC
Hey Ladies (Green mix) – from New York State of Mind mix by DJ Green Lantern
Triple Trouble (Graham Coxon remix) – indie rock remix by Blur guitarist is nice
Country Delight – from Country Mike’s Greatest Hits – thought I’d rip this one for y’all
Triple Take - McSleazys mash up of Franz Ferdinands 'Take me out' and 'Triple Trouble'

There’s always remixes flying around on the net because the Beasties have/had all their acapellas available for download on their newly designed website. As any blog reader worth his salt will know, the Beastie Boys are bringing out a new instrumental album which I’m looking forward to so keep eyes peeled for that. I feel like I’ve posted too many mp3s but this still only represents a small portion of the BB’s body of work and I urge you to go and buy some of their albums. Finally check out Mic to Mic, a blog dedicated to the good ol’ Boys.

Friday, 4 May 2007

What's another word for pirate treasure?

I've been on some sort of a plundering mission and many blogs and websites have been ravaged. This weekend I shall be putting in for port, I will be dropping anchor and taking stock. I have downloaded millions of mp3s since my last post and alot of them have been very good. I just now need to find the all important diamonds in amongst all the gold (the wheat/chaff thing doesn't fit with the whole pirate analogy).

If you're up for listening to a collection of hip hop gems purloined from various locations in the vast oceans we call the internet then come back in a couple of days. Meanwhile, I'll be sitting in my lair gleefully sifting through the piles of booty, letting the beats and rhymes fall carelessly through my fingers and tossing the flows and rhythms up in the air and letting out 'arrrs' of delight as they rain down on me.

Being a helpful sorta piratey type, I'd like to share just a couple of things with you just to keep you sweet. If you're planning to sail the 7 seas then you'll need some mixtapes to slot into the deck. For an excellently mixed chronological history of Hip Hop then go download these ones from The Rub here. There are 11 altogether going from 1979 to 1989 and they will school you in all the essentials of the rap games roots. Also check out Jaguar Skills's's 'Who is He?' mixtape. If you like hearing your favourite acapellas from the likes of Nas, Jay-Z, Biggie and Lupe over what seems to be every instrumental and break ever made in quick succesion then download this. If you like the normal boring mashups (that I am now just about pig sick of ) then this will be a shock to your system and for most should be a welcome change.

The answer is: Booty (Just ask the Beastie Boys)