Saturday, 12 April 2008

'Bust shots at your mum'

Listening to classic pirate radio sets upped onto by 14 year olds is one thing, but when it comes down to actual artist albums and mixtapes grime can be pretty dry. Once you've got past the requisite 'back in the day', 'road to music' and 'wifey' songs all your generally left with are a few recycled radio bars spat over lifeless beats culled from the recycle bin of some past it mid table producer. I'm not sure if Tempa T has an album/mixtape but I'd like to think that in the event that he does it wouldn't be like this; he's one of the few guys in 'the scene' that seems capable of recreating the violent energy that makes the live and radio sets so exciting on record, as illustrated on his 'Are you on dis ting' mp3 below.
Check out this youtube rip of his freestyle on the Risky Roadz 2 DVD too, when he says, straightfaced, 'or, I could wait in your bin' around the 48 second mark I'm not sure whether to laugh or be very afraid.

Tempa T - 'On Dis Ting' mp3

Sunday, 30 March 2008


With the emergence of the nascent Smell scene in LA and the rise of Telepathe et al in Brooklyn it's been hard for UK music fans not to feel slightly envious of our Atlantic brethren over the last year or so. While for a period the likes of HEALTH, Mika Miko and No Age seemed to be gigging for US audiences on a near daily basis, domestic fans have been left with only a handful of one off gigs and sparse tours to provide relief from a homegrown music scene which has become increasingly directionless and creatively impotent. Let's be thankful then for the emergence East London based 2-piece Teeth!!! (and cast aside the fact that they're actually a transatlantic duo; vocalist Veronica actually hails from San Francisco) who have amalgamated everything great about the aforementioned US bands and re-imagined them as synth-smart electropop noise terrorists.

Upcoming gigs include jaunts at Tears on the Golfcourse in Manchester on the 4th April and a set a Club Motherfucker (with DAT politics) in London on the 20th, both of which are sufficiently diverse in their geography to rule out any excuse for not attending at least one.
Download their excellent SSSIPPPEE mp3 by clicking the link below or visiting their Myspace page.


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Hatcham Social

These days it's pretty hard to tell which of Londons 'monochrome set' bands are garnering attention on their own merit, and which are gaining credence merely by virtue of going to public school/sleeping with the guy from The Horrors. Luckily Hatcham Social, via their razor sharp interpretation of everything great about Edwyn Collins/ Orange Juice/ The Velvet Undergrounds 'Sunday Morning', make discerning which side of the fence they occupy a significantly less onerous task than many.
Indeed, all signs point to these three sons of Young Scotland going far this year because, unlike so many of their peers, they've got enough Tunes stuffed up the sleeves of those vintage polo necks of theirs to match their imagery of neatly coiffered indiepop dandyism.

Hatcham Social 'So Happy Making'

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

'It's Free and It's a Poster!'

If you live in London and have even a passing interest in music the chances are you've probably come across the free P.i.X fanzine which you can pick up in any shop/bar/club worth going to. Basically it's a load of features, interviews etc with bands that are so new some of the people that are in them don't even know about them, along with charts and a cool foldout poster.
I've been helping them out spreading the word of P.i.X in the North West and have started writing a few bits for them too, including an interview with this months cover stars Televised Crimewave. Check it out online here or better still go and pick up a copy.
While I'm at it, if you are a bar, shop or club night in Manchester that would like to host some copies of P.i.X get in contact and I'll drop some over....

Er, what else? I've done some more reviews for High Voltage this week, check out my thoughts on pressing releases from Foals and Les Savy Fav here and here respectively. I'm still reeling from my use of the word 'anthemic' in the Les Savy Fav one to be honest.

Also, if by some twisted geographical accident you happen to be in the Manchester region for any reason this weekend then come along to Stay Sick at Big Hands where I'll be playing some tunes and offering withering put downs for requests to play Maximo Park. Good times will be had, I'm sure.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

I can do the real thang thang

I can't believe we're this far into the year and I haven't mentioned Telepathe yet.
I've been bumping their 'Chrome's on It' tune for a while now and with all their blog patronage the Brooklyn girl/girl duo look dead set to become this years Crystal Castles. So far they've collaborated with Dave Sitek of TV on The Radio fame as well as some guy from M*th rock stalwarts Don Cab on their hook happy 'process oriented' electropop. They're touring the UK around May I believe and releasing a double A-Side single on No Pain in Pop with 'mysterious' dubstep producer Sunni Geini. Real and Strange indeed...

Telepathe - Threads and Knives vid

Telepathe - Chrome's On It mp3

Next thing she's wearing my rolex...

OK, so the last post was actually published by mistake (the ill conceived execution of the concept and the abundance of spelling and grammatical errors are, I'm sure, a testament to this) but it's a minor. Conversely it seems to be the post that I've discussed most with people in The Real World of recent times (lets get involved in the comments though guys), so it's all good I guess. Continuing the Wiley theme has anyone heard his new track 'Wearing My Rolex' which is doing the rounds on the radio at the moment? It's absolutely massive, expect it to be propping up the charts soon, it's got hit written all over it. No doubt it'll also be featured as background music in Eastenders Queen Vic scenes, as were most the tracks of his last album 'Playtime's Over'; clearly the producers have clocked he reps for the East, so fuck it, why not go the whole hog offer him a cameo? Can't be much worse than Goldie...

Wiley - Wearing My Rolex mp3

I'm a bit late on posting these links but never mind, basically I've written some words that have cropped up in various places. I reviewed the new Hives single here, I actually only listened to it about twice but it really is a shocker, apparently the rest of the album is nothing like it but I cant say that I'm too tempted to give it a try.
Drowned in Sound darlings (and providers of advertising revenue) Los Campesinos released their much awaited 'Hold On Now Youngster' LP this week. Generally reviews have been of the consensus that it's just a few good singles padded out with some underwhelming filler.
I reviewed their 'Death to Los Campesinos' single which ushered in the album a week previously here. It was really a 3.5 but the score system at High Voltage doesn't cater for decimals so it got a slightly over generous 4/5. The guys voice really is annoying though, for some reason it makes me think of a second year Uni student bawling at their parents, if he just toned down the hyperactive fey enunciation's a little he'd be doing them a big favour.

Expect some stuff of mine to be popping up in P.i.X this month, possibly including the cover story. I'll post links up when the issues out and on their website.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Hype ting

I really hate it when people go righteous on me and get all like 'music isn't a competition you know'. Music is TOTALLY a fucking competition, it's just, for the most part white people just don't seem to have got to grips with the format. Battle of the bands competitions are uniformly shit, X factor is lamentable and TMobile unsigned? Well I guess the fact the series was won by a group of sexless primary school teachers who wouldnt know a good tune if it strolled up and hit them in the face tells you everything you need to know. See the real propblem I have with these shows is the competition is so indirect. Contestants exist in realtive isolation from each other; they do their cover of 'Angels' or whatever then plead open handed and earnest for the judges apporval. In grime, it's not really like that. MC's enter into the competetive spirit with gusto; it's not enough to say 'heres my song, I hope you like it more than the other guys...'
if they think they're better than you they'll write a song about it saying why. If you dont like it then you write a song back, with accompanying threats of violent reprisals. This process works even better in a live format, and doesnt even require the bickering of a couple of closet homo's to spice things up. See below for footage of Lethal B and Wiley on the Young Man Standing set a few years back. Lethal B starts slagging Wiley off live on radio before, seemingly within seconds, Wiley rolls up at the station unannounced with some of his goons, takes a quick puff of a nearby zoot and the 2 go of them go at it. Imagine how amazing it would be if the X Factor auditions were like this? Simon Cowell take note...