A Youtube type music video (authorized) for Engine Earz massive Kaliyuga track. Gonna see these guys do a Maida Vale session next week. Can't wait and theirs is the album I'm most excited/rubbing my thighs/salivating over for 2010. Find out more about them here
Check it out. I've seen him live, many times, and it's all of the above and more. Truly, truly incredible. Mindbogglingly so. Moving the woman's tan line is the one.
A round up of current d&b LPs reviewed in today's Metro - I have to say as a disillusioned d&b head, I'm the most excited about d&b as I have been in years. Hopefully this link will work, and you can see the piece in its full glory here.
Here's the text, I'm pretty pleased with it apart from - any budding journos out there take note! - I'm a little annoyed for using 'euphoric/euphoria' twice in the piece (even worse twice in the same review in the space of four lines. Grrr.)
Drum & bass
Sub Focus: Sub Focus
Alix Perez: 1984
Blu Mar Ten: Natural History
Blu Mar Ten
DJ Marky & Friends presents Makoto
Drum & bass’ continues to do the unexpected: just when it seemed the genre had been supplanted by dubstep, over the last 12 months it’s risen to the challenge of competition on the bass music block and is enjoying a renaissance – as these albums demonstrate.
Sub Focus will hope to match the success of former Ram Records label mate Chase & Status who have signed to Mercury and have been working with Snoop, Pharrell and Rihanna (they’ve been producing her 2010 LP). Sub Focus almost elicits the same Marmite reaction as Pendulum because he goes against the grain by drawing on electro, trance, rock and synths. This is precisely why Sub Focus’ eponymous debut stands out: guitar-led pop d&b, cosmic slo-mo jungle, Eye Of The Tiger-esque power rock, ravey hip hop, piano house, and cinematic synth-pop (think Airwolf’s theme tune), ethereal android soul and ferocious d&b, take you through the highs and lows of exploring outer space. It’s a forward-thinking, coherent album, which is shoe gazing, dreamy and dancefloor dynamite, and takes d&b into uncharted territory.
Belgian-born, London-resident Alix Perez’s classy musicality has been apparent since he emerged a couple of years ago. Despite his obvious talent debut LP 1984’s breadth, complexity and poise is remarkable: Cascading, Balearic soul is followed by sinister drum funk (evoking Photek) starring Foreign Beggars spitting angsty rap (The Cut Deepens), a vortex of thick bass sucks in swirling vocals (Fade Away), and Voices muddles traditional percussive structures. 1984 explores the growing half-time scene (literally d&b at 50% of its usual tempo), and it works well with vocalists. Perez shapes sophisticated piano-led soul with Peven Everett (the voice of Roy Davis Jr’s garage classic Gabriel), and computer bleeps provide the backdrop for polemical poet Ursula Rucker’s technology tirade. Perez’s ability to weave the essence of jazz, soul and funk, into monstrous sub bass recalls Alex ‘Pulp Fiction’ Reece, and takes the breath away.
Trio Blu Mar Ten made its name with Bukem’s Good Looking label over a decade ago before a sabbatical in downtempo music. Natural History is Blu Mar Ten’s debut d&b LP and takes in trademark jazzy d&b, club anthems, and um, wildlife. God’s Lonely Man floats freestyle jazz drumming over piano blasts and humming bass, By The Time… brilliantly weds lions’ roaring and horses’ galloping, to jumbled rhythms, for a rollicking rumble in the jungle. Considering d&b’s downturn was partly down to the proliferation of disposable music, it’s refreshing to see Blu Mar Ten make the effort with artwork: Natural History comes with six pages and an A1 poster of hand drawn illustrations.
DJ Marky & Friends Presents: Makoto gathers the output of the Innerground label and puts it in Japanese producer/DJ’s record box to mix. Innerground reflects the personality of permanently grinning Brazilian DJ/producer Marky, and focuses on feelgood, euphoric d&b. As a result this is brimful of elegant instrumentation, sumptuous textures and giddy euphoria. Highlights include Marky & S.P.Y.’s Kinky Funky, which has as addictive a guitar line as Marky’s 2003 chart hit LK, Makoto’s sublime roller Good Old Days, the grinding bass of Logistics’ Millionaire and Makoto & Marky’s breathless Aquarius featuring soaring horns and vocalist Deeizm scatting. It’s also evidence that d&b still exerts a powerful international pull.
Heavyweight grime/dubstep pressure from Virus Syndicate, featuring the Mancunian crew waxing lyrical on shotting everything from 'crack to dope', it cleverly samples Talk To Frank ads - bet the government's loving this. Not. In other news Virus Syndicate are working with Benga - you can hear the fruits of their labour in March.
Bollywood & hip-hop. A couple of shit hot producers (Dan The Automator) have reworked Jay Z's American Gangster album and laid his rhymes over 1970s Bollywood gangster film soundtracks. You can download Hindustani Gangster for free here. Arguably the most memorable of these films is Don (theme tune above), starring angry young man Amitabh (as were most of his most iconic roles were in this era).
However this isn't the first time Bollywood's got into bed with hip hop, there's been a blossoming love affair between the two, and that's beyond the obvious Panjabi MC Mundian Te Bach Ke (this video is hilarious) and DJ Quik/Dr Dre featuring Truth Hurts (these donuts got their asses sued for sampling India's most iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar without permission).
Producers Dan The Automator (Gorillaz, Deltron 3030) and Shadow, yes that Shadow, did Bombay The Hardway back in 1999, dicing and slicing 1970s Bollywood in a bumping hip hop style. I stumbled across this in a San Fran record shop in 2001 and it's probably my most treasured record shop 'find'
This was followed by Bombay The Hardway II: Electric Vindaloo and since then it's been ALL about Madlib, in my opinion the finest underground hip hop producer of our times, getting up to studio mischief with funky ass Bollywood through his Beat Konducta series (taster below).
Mos Def made use of one of Madlib's productions for the finest hip hop track of 2009 Auditorium (below)
Then of course there are such embarrassing delights as Snoop doing Bollywood film soundtracks - I guess this is for an Indian audience (the country was largely unaware of hip hop til this decade), whereas all of the above is for hip hop heads.