Shifty Trailer with preview of title track feat Riz MC, Sway and Plan B

I've said it once and will say it again. Watch this film. It's fantastic - a beautifully observed study of friendship and suburban ennui that's a mixture of Ken Loach, and Shane 'This Is England' Meadows. Film score is subtle and superb too.


Free Golden era hip hop mixtape

Wu-Tang Clan host The Golden Chamber Mixtape, for DJ Fricktion (Def Jam UK) and The Lovesoul DJ's

NEW YORK CITY, USA, Monday March 30th 2009 - DJ Fricktion, of Def Jam UK, and the DJ duo, Lovesoul, today released 'The Golden Chamber' mixtape, hosted by the Wu-Tang Clan.

The tape, compiled by Fricktion and Lovesoul, both from the UK, provides a snapshot of the groundbreaking songs that formed the rise of the Wu, along with classics cuts from that era, rare footage, and original interviews by Lovesoul.TV.

DJ Fricktion, responsible for mixing and original production on the tape, said, 'It felt great to dig out some classic vinyls and re-create the early 90's feeling. The Wu made such a massive impact on me, and it feels great to work with such powerful records that mean so much to hip-hop.'

The tape is hosted by all members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and contains interview snippets with RZA and Method Man, that can be seen in full on Lovesoul.TV. The Lovesoul DJ's state, 'The RZA and Method Man interviews were really insightful and we cannot wait to share them. It was great working with them and the other Clan members to create something very unique and nostalgic. It's rich with feelings of great times in hip-hop.'

The tape can be downloaded now at either Lovesoul.TV or DJFricktion.com or here


The Invisible - free single download

London Girl

The Invisible rock. Here be my review for the Independent a few weeks ago.

The Invisible: The Invisible


Being described as ‘the UK TV On The Radio’ could be a heavy load to bear, however The Invisible carry it off assured ease. Maybe it’s because of the trio’s illustrious background: drummer Leo was head hunted by Hot Chip for their last tour, and bassist Tom also stars in punk-jazz experimentalists Polar Bear. Indeed The Invisible’s eponymous debut LP has been delayed by these various commitments, but it’s more than worth the wait as producer Matthew Herbert (behind Micachu’s LP recently signed by Rough Trade) has helped shape The Invisible’s subtle, introspective electronic rock that takes in LCD Soundsystem-esque guitar funk, Bloc Party-style danceable song structures, philosophical subject matter (god, optimism, sin) as well as girls, love, and forgiveness, with an air of lovable Hot Chip’s lovable geek charm. Who knows without the delays, maybe TV On The Radio would have been dubbed ‘the Canadian version of The Invisibles.’

The smart trio is making the single, OK, which is currently single of the week on iTUNES, available for free here


Calling all music producers - competition to feature on soundtrack

Being Charlie Sloth - Episode 22

Homegrown rapper Charlie Sloth's TV show - it's still the most inventive marketing too I've seen for any up and coming artist. Go Charlie, with this hustle you certainly ain't a Sloth!


Mpho - Art Of Pop mixtape

Mpho Skeef is super duper talented. She's worked with Bugz In The Attic, Elektrons and many others. Saw her live earlier this year at Jamm, and she's got alot about her - presence, style, poise and grace on top of a stunning voice and smart song writing. And she's a Brixton gyal. Anyways, she's got a free mixtape to download here. According to no lesser an authority than Joe Muggs, who knows his stuff, it's up there with Diplo and Santogold's Top Ranking mixtape, which is dynamite.

Here be the tracklisting

1.) Introducing….MPHO
2.) MPHO - Step Clap
3.) Little Boots - Meddle (Toddla T Remix)
4.) Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen
5.) Shy Child - Drop the Phone
6.) Mongrel ft Pariz 1 - Hit from the Morning Sun
7.) Kate Bush - Running up that Hill (DJ Beware more drums edit)
8.) MPHO - Morning After (accapella) vs Bam Bam riddim
9.) Aaliyah - Try agin (accapella) + Bam Bam riddim
10.) MIA - Paper Planes (DFA rmx)
11.) Beyonce ft. Jay Z - Single Ladies (Mick Boogie rmx)
12.) MPHO - Hips Go Pop
13.) Daft Punk - Around the World
14.) DJ Mujava - Township Funk (Ashley Beedle’s Africanz on Marz rmx)
15.) DJ Gregory - Block Party
16.) Tigerstyle ft.Mangi Mahal, Vybz Kartel & Nikitta - Balle! Shava! (Sinden rmx)
17.) MPHO - Paranoid Type (accapella) + Salt n Pepa - Push it + Ghostown Djs -My Boo
18.) Tone Loc - Wild Thing
19.) MPHO - All Change
20.) MPHO - Made you cool + Lil Wayne ft. Mannie Fresh - Go Dj (instrumental)
21.) Martha & the Muffins - Echo Beach + Mims - This is why I’m hot (instrumental)
22.) MPHO - Box n Locks
23.) Blondie - Rapture
24.) South Rakkas Crew - Mad Again (Diplo Club edit)
25.) MPHO - Fix ya Face
26.) MPHo - Fix ya Face + Coolie Dance riddim
27.) Busy Signal -Tic Toc
28.) Prince- I wanna Be Your Lover
29.) Burt Bacharach - Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Mr Hudson & Kanye


Remember Mr Hudson & The Library??? The articulate hip hop dandy who launched by touring British Libaries. Well according to Semtex's Tweets, his new LP is BIIIIIIIG, and is supported by all manner of big names - Kanye included. Here's the pair collaborating at SXSW.

DFiD Youth Reporters

So I've been mentoring a group of nine super smart young people on behalf of DFID (that's the Department for International Development which deals with developing countries and aid), who are keen to involve and engage young people in the white paper on 'Eliminating World Poverty' and most importantly the London Summit on Apr 2nd. when the G20 (that's the richest 20 countries in the world who incidentally account for 75% of the world's wealth) gather to map out how the developing and developed world can work together. Of course it's also the first time Mr President Obama will be in the UK. And is quite likely to see protests on the streets of London.

Anyways here's what the reporters have been upto.

Ed Milliband isa future prime minister. Every single woman whether civil servants, NGO heads, press officers or our youth reporters, quite literally swoon when he's within a ten metre range. I met him about six years ago in Newcastle, South Shields to be precise (his constituency), and he is a very impressive individual.


My fave choons from The Guardian's Party Records shortlist

1000 songs everyone must hear

Party songs: part seven of 1000 songs everyone must hear

My selection of 43 from the Guardian.co.uk list of 162

Rather than just list the tracks this needs to play the tunes!!!!!!


This Is MY Jam

By Real Mr Smith. Myspaz here. Gunfinger salute to Jungle Queen Therryi for the heads up!


Trailer for Shifty - BIG BWOY FILLUM

Trailer for Brit flick, Shifty starring my boy Riz MC. In all seriousness this is a fabulous lo-fi film looking at a day in the life of your friendly neighbourhood dealer, aka Shifty. Think Shane Meadows, Ken Loach, gritty suburban drama, and a beautiful observation of friendship. Do not miss. Website here


Q Tip @ Roundhouse Review

One of my fave tunes of all time. I'd mortgage my flat on J Dilla manning the studio controls for this one. Anyhow this is all a bit of a long winded way of posting my review of his first appearance in London in 14 years, last Saturday.

Q-Tip, The Roundhouse, London - Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Hip-hop maverick comes of age FOUR STARS

Q -Tip, formerly the front man of revered New York hip-hop band, A Tribe Called Quest, counted down the hours to his first UK show in 14 years by posting a flurry of videos of his favourite British bands on Twitter (The Clash's "Guns Of Brixton" and "Police And Thieves", Joy Division's "Transmission" and The Who's "I Can't Explain").

These may seem unusual influences for a rapper but ever since A Tribe Called Quest followed De La Soul's wake in the early 1990s, Q-Tip has cut a singular, maverick figure. ATCQ's cheeky, life-affirming hip-hop-jazz was a beacon of hope as gangsta rap came to the fore and has influenced contemporary icons including Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, The Cool Kids and Kid Cudi. Yet after five top-notch LPs, A Tribe Called Quest split and then, after one promising solo album –1999's Amplified – Q-Tip's career stalled, thanks to record company wranglings.

Then late last year Q-Tip returned with the magnificent The Renaissance, a glorious fusion of rock'n'roll, soul, jazz, funk and rap. Gilles Peterson's intro tonight, describing Q-Tip as "one of the most influential spokespeople in music and hip-hop over the last 20 years!" isn't hyperbole. A sample of an Obama speech heralds Q-Tip's entrance: he leaps to centre stage and conducts the band to the dramatic "Shaka" and the guttural funk and psych-rap of "Feva". It's immediately clear that The Renaissance is an album to be heard live: this isn't one of those hip-hop gigs with a mumbling rapper backed by a DJ, it's a big, bright and ballsy Technicolor experience, where you feel the full force and weight of a tight band (bass, guitar, keys, sax, DJ, drummer).

After three tracks Q-Tip is mopping sweat from his brow, straining every sinew as he gives his all. Q-Tip's versatility is a marvel – trademark vocal tics morph into a languid high-pitched flow, and supple soul. Meanwhile the band switches from space-jazz to Motown soul to fatback funk and explodes into rock'n'roll with similar fluency.

"We Fight/We Love", a thoughtful analysis of America's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and response to terrorism, is proceeded by an a capella "Dance on Glass", chastising record company execs who are obsessed with "singles". An ATCQ medley, featuring the playful "Bonita Applebum" and the blissed out jazz of "Electric Relaxation", highlights where Q-Tip has come from and how much The Renaissance is a realisation of his early potential.

Then comes a high intensity reprise of another ATCQ classic, "Scenario", and military marching, brassy horns signify yet another Tribe anthem, "Check the Rhyme". Q-Tip falls to the floor in mock astonishment as the audience roars back the prescient line "Record company people are shady". Q-Tip's Kamaal the Abstract LP was never released, allegedly because it didn't contain any "singles".

He switches back to new school Q-Tip with the love song "Gettin' Up", and then reverts to Tribe with "Award Tour", leaping atop the speaker stacks and soaking up the adulation. In this moment Q-Tip is reborn. He closes the triumphant 100-minute show with "Life is Better", which he performs from within the audience.

Hip-hop is renowned for artists and acts who like to shine brightly and briefly. Twenty years after first emerging, Q-Tip has clearly come of age and is undoubtedly improving as he progresses. He's on the verge of true greatness and becoming as influential as the iconic English bands on his Twitter feed.

Gabriel of The Heatwave - rowdy bashment mix

A portable party for your mp3 player: over an hour of the most rowdy and x-rated Jamaican bashment from last year mixed in quickfire juggling style - 79 tracks in 74 minutes!

From crossover hits like So Special, Ramping Shop and Click Mi Finger to irresistible riddims like Sky Daggering, Dung A Town and Money Tree, this mix is packed full of killer tunes. Heatwave's excellent resource to bashment and dancehall is available here

Butterz & Skilliam Grime Mini mix

Download an ace grime mix here

It's from Vice's website and here's what Elijah, aka Butterz, here's his blog

Elijah: “We tried to feature most the producers we’ve been playing a lot of on the Rinse show recently and play the tunes where you don’t really have to question whether it’s grime or not. There’s tunes on there from Maniac, DVA, Terror Danjah, Joker, Nocturnal, Footsie, Rude Kid, J Sweet and Swindle. The tune at the end is me debating with journalist Dotun Adebayo on BBC London Radio about his article in the Sun where he claimed he had listened to grime for 12 hours straight and wanted to kill someone. Most of the tunes in the mix are out now, so buy them if you like them!”

Joker is B.A.D. Siickest producer on the block right now.

I Love My Media

The multimedia DIY revolution explained in a 100 seconds. If you don't know get to know and if you're an old school media bod who believes media is better in the hands of the many rather than few, RIP.


LIVE 31 - The Global Ethical Issue out today!!!!!!!

LIVE 31 is out today. Don't you just love the smell of new magazines, kind of like the new car smell - all synthetic, chemically and lovely, and probably very bad for you! This fine issue has features including first hand accounts My First Protest, Living In Care, Charity Shop Bargain Hunting, Student Protests in Rome, and New York on the day Mr President got elected. As well as a profile and interview with soon to be huge actor/rapper Riz MC, Jesse Jackson and Minister for Third Sector, Kevin Brennan.

Holla at me for a copy, and BIG UP the TEAM LIVE, especially JayLani who designed the ENTIRE issue, editor Sian, ed-at-large and soon to be on VBS.TV Mahta.


Get Your Skank(s) On

The official video to Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (blogged about here waaaaay back in January). This plus the original video have clocked 1.7m views. Which is ALOT by anyone's standards.

Tribal Skank