Friday, 25 June 2010

'Oddio' - Stanley Odd (review)

One of my favourite albums at the moment? Easy. Stanley Odd's 'Oddio'.

Now, as you may have noticed, Scottish Hip Hop usually doesn't sit too well with me - mainly because it's all fairly angry and aggressive which is not the sort of thing I listen to for pleasure even if I can appreciate the craftsmanship. Stanley Odd are a band made up of members of different nationalities but the MC who fronts the band is definitely a Scotsman.

Solareye is the man in question and his outlook on life is as cynical as the next Scottish person's but his wry twist and LOL-inducing lyrics are something else. I could finish off this review just by quoting some of his lines ("The next generation are counting on us/So let the pregnant women sit down on the bus", "I've not been in a good mood lately/Cos cats lack passion like the makings of a test tube baby", "She said 'Who in their right mind takes a horse tranquilizer?'/I wasn't in my right mind so I couldn't advise her"... I could go on but I won't).

Solareye is backed up by the lucious vocals of Veronika Electronika who provides both sung choruses and half-rapped, half-sung verses as well as just general beautiful noises (check 'Sun Dance' to really get what I mean).

The whole album gots that funk that only a live band could produce and tracks like 'Your Move' will more than certainly bring an insane grin to your face as you tune into the solidity of the musicianship of Rune Dawg, T Lo, AdMac and B Dot.

'Oddio' is out now on Circular Records and you must, must buy it. It's available on itunes now.

'Platypus Funk' - ASM (review)

ASM's 'Platypus Funk' can easily be heard at Bandcamp so I won't waste your time with too many words - go make your own opinion.

What I will say though is that this is some of the funkiest, most soulful, head-nodding Hip Hop that my ears have experienced in the last few months - and I've listened to this a lot. If you're a fan of Jurassic 5, Ugly Duckling and People Under The Stairs - those type of cats, then you'll love this positive rap music. Lyricists Green-T and FP are backed by the production of Fade and graced the presence of DJ Vadim, Kidkanevil, Bonobo, Sadat X and others over the 14 tracks.

'Platypus Funk' is available now on First Word records. ASM stands for A State of Mind - make this yours.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

WTF!?/Dead Prez/Shy FX/Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly

This isn't a Dubstep or D'n'B blog but if it was this is what I'd be posting. Adam F and DJ Fresh have come together once more to form WTF!? and they've only gone and remixed one of Hip Hop's biggest anthems - 'Hip Hop' by Dead Prez. Dead Prez loved this one so much that they recorded new vocals for it and everything and requested that this remix be a part of their live show. These two knew what they were doing with D'n'B, produced some pretty cool Hip Hop stuff and now have the Dubstep sound on lock - what can't they do? Could only find this video but I got the promo CD today - big, big tune!

The other thing, and also D'n'B flavoured by the spices of Shy FX is Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly's latest track 'Collapsing Cities'. This track is pure summery and reminds me a bit of Gorillaz - y'know, singy songs with more Hip Hop/D'n'B beats. Love this one and am gonna be playing this a lot this summer. Click here to listen to the full track.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

'Blow The Whistle' - Sway (video)

Name checking genius from Sway - not bad.

'Around My Way' - Mystro (video teaser)

Mystro is just a naturally funny guy - so even this little video is worth a watch and a post here.

The track is produced by DJ Swerve and is taken from the 'Digmund Freud' EP which will be released in August 2010 on Self Destruct Music/Don't Bizznizz.

'Everyday' ft. Black The Ripper - Skandal (video)

Love the sung chorus on this - would defo be up for hearing more decent rapper-sung choruses in UK Hip Hop! Also, this is probably Black's strongest performance yet in my opinion.

'Everyday' is the first single to be taken from the forthcoming 'Hunger Pains Vol. 2' and if you like it, you can download the radio rip now at

'Digital Connects' - Delusionists (video)

Big shout out to Delusionists for their big shout out to me!

Readers - you can get 25% off the download of their most excellent album by using the code DIGIFAM over at

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Jack Flash - '24'

If you're a fan of the mighty Jack Flash then you'll have been following his 24 freestyles in 24 weeks. If you're a fan of Jack Flash you'll have been hoping that he'd put them altogether as a mixtape. If you're a fan of Jack Flash then you'll love this, because he's done just what you wished.

Even if you haven't been doing the above you should definitely download this from Bandcamp - it can be free if that's how much you want to pay!

Friday, 4 June 2010

'Music From The Tanhauser Gate' - Mr. Loop (free download)

More dopeness from Certified Banger favourite producer Mr. Loop featuring Yosh, Zoo Mark, Ben Black, Slippa, Rick Fury, Chattabox, Sam Otis, Super Dertie and others this free download really brings quality to your table. Mr. Loop is truly a perfectionist which is a great characteristic to have in this competitive scene. It's criminal that folks haven't heard of or heard the music of Mr. Loop. If you're one of those people, mug yourself no longer and download a copy of this and bump, bump, bump it.

Recommended Listening: Scorzayzee, Jon Phonics, Blacastan, Abstract Soundz, Sandman, Screaming Soul, & Northern Hostility

Have been really busy of late with this and that, whatnot and stuff and as you can probably tell Certified Banger really took a back seat. Doesn't mean I haven't been listening to music though does it? No. Here's some stuff I've been listening to that you might want to turn your ears to:

Sandman's 'Code of the Road Runner' is some refreshing Dubstep/Dub/Reggae inspired UK Hip Hip which features Ghetto Priest, Farma G, Seanie T, Stig of the Dump and Skrein amongst others. The album is available for just £5 at Bandcamp.

Sandman is also a part of the Screaming Soul crew alongside Ghetto Priest (who has worked with Asian Dub Foundation). Screaming Soul is made up of a whole host of musicians (read more at Bandcamp) and their album 'Ghost In A Shell' is more of the Dub/Dancehall/Reggae/Hip Hop goodness (with less emphasis on the Hip Hop) that can be found on Sandman's LP. This album is also available for a fiver - a bargain as this is a superb collection of tracks suitable for the current weather.

What else have I been checking out? Oh yeah, Abstract Soundz (a producer) dropped an absolute gem from out of nowhere featuring a whole host of interesting MCs who I'll definitely be on the look out for. The release is just called 'Abstract Soundz presents...' and it features a whole host of accomplished and funky productions, rappers such as Brotherman, B'Tol, Chalk MC, Louis Vines, Equis (who's French), Skunkadelic, Tom Long, Kaos, A Kid and The Ruby Kid and the sublime vocals of Eva Lazarus - don't be put off if you don't recognise some of these names - they are all worth listening to. Download it for free here.

Over to the US now with Blacastan's 'The Master of Reality' mixtape - proof that decent artwork and packaging has a huge effect on a potential listener. Basically, the CD is presented as a mini vinyl LP in the cut and paste style of Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' album complete with a Vertigo style CD. The tracks are raw, gritty, street rap and the stand out tracks for me are 'If You Only Knew' which perfectly interpolates Henry Mancini's 'The Windmills of Your Mind' and 'Martyrs' which samples Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Boxer' - a track which I've been brought up on. Not sure how you'd get hold of one of these as they're limited edition but I'm pretty sure a quick internet search would turn up a download - try it now.

Jon Phonics has a new thing out, 'Half Past Calm 2' , which you can get for free by simply signing up to get mail outs from YNR Productions by clicking here. It's a fairly dark affair in the vein of the recent work of M9, Triple Darkness and the like and it features T-Bear, Nasheron, M9, Masikah, Verb T, Kashmere, Fliptrix, Cyrus Malachi, Micall Parknsun, Kosyne and newcomer/one to watch Kal Sereousz. Check Jon's exceptionally crafted, blazed-out beats.

I was rather excited to ear-peep Scorzayzee's mixtape 'Raging Bull' because he is such an engaging and entertaining MC and I really wasn't disappointed. Right from his 64 bar romp over De La's 'Babyphat' at the beginning I was hooked and you will be too. Download it for free now. Simples.

Lastly is yet more proof that Yorkshire, especially the West side of said county, is where it's at right now, especially if you're into heavy, unadulterated old school-influenced rap. Northern Hostility, the crew consisting of scores of MCs, producers, DJs and smaller crews, have put together their 'Bad Language Mixtape' and it's pretty good. Verbal Contact, Alphabetix and Defenders of Style all contribute to this free download.

'Jerus and Gentiles' - Knew Jeru'slum (album review)

Rowdy and militant – that’s how I’d describe ‘Jerus and Gentiles’. Now you must understand; I use both words with all possible positivity. Knew Jeru’slum’s debut LP disturbs the peace with its no-nonsense approach to Hip Hop although it’s not all heavy fire.

‘Intro’ featuring cuts from First Word’s Andy H, ‘Thirty Twos’ and lead single ‘Non-Apologetix featuring US MC Manchild are pure aural assault with the album’s three producers Eliphino, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Brutal Artistry each taking their turn to match the MCs’ impassioned rhymes. ‘Dreamcatchers’ featuring JND (as heard on Certified Banger’s ‘On The Radar’ series) and ‘Kaleidoscopic’, whilst remaining equally as heavy, provide a slower tempo and a rest in the trenches before ‘Speakwise’ explodes into the ear canal with renewed fervour.

Label mate Chief Wigz must have influenced ‘Move Mountains’ featuring Larbi; the interplay between Jonny Alpha and Watson G on the chorus makes for one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Another US MC, Pigeon John, joins the ranks for the summery ‘Hibernation’ on which Belinda’s vocals are showcased beautifully. ‘Aircon’ does what it says on the tin – provides a breather and a chillout moment which is backed up by the serious message and the laid back vibe of ‘One Foot In The World’.

‘Plan To Prosper’ brings the funk and the juxtaposition of the haunting background vocals with the MCs frenzied words is fairly close to surreal, and that’s before it ascends into Drum and Bass chaos. Narykcin provides a heartfelt chorus on ‘Penitent Man’ and if you hadn’t caught onto the fact that this album is inspired by the Christian faith of its proprietors by this point then this will track will point you in that direction, causing you to re-think everything you’ve heard so far.

‘Memoirs’ serves as a decoy before ‘Bobby Legion’ devastates the situation; the track, featuring singer Stevie Heath’, has the most mass appeal because of its chorus which is insane considering the earth-shattering hardcore-ness of its Hip Hop beat – definitely the album’s atomic charge, talk about saving the best ‘til last! In fact, it’s not the last; ‘Hunger’ featuring Rini of Sons of Light and Ragga artist Wizkid bring the final frontier of variety as old school Hip Hop, R’n’B and Dancehall rub shoulders making for a crowd-pleasing product.

Stand up and salute West Yorkshire’s latest offering to the UK Hip Hop scene – Knew Jeru’slum have created a piece of work worthy of decoration. Suspect Packages are stocking this, you can get it (and listen to it all for free) at Bandcamp, it’s on itunes, you can get it at label Don’t Talk To Strangers’ website so there’s no excuse for you not to have this in your collection. Oh yeah, and it's only a fiver.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

'I'm Still Here' - LATE (video)

SonnyJim A.M. Spittin Sessions Pt. 6

'Now' - Verbal Kent (produced by Kelakovski) (video)