Culture Clash - October 14th

Check it out. How big does this look? I'm currently writing a story for the Independent around the history of soundsystem culture in the UK. Thus far, I've chatted to Goldie - who's still seething from the bantering (or disrespect as he's calling it) from the first Culture Clash in February - Don Letts (a total gent and super on the ball) and Soul Jazz Records. I do love my job.


Mo 'Shank' Ali's video for Zed Dread remix of Rolling Stone's Gimme Shelter

This week - Party 4 Pakistan

So this Wednesday is Party4Pakistan, which as the title suggests is fundraiser for the victims of the floods in Pakistan. I've been disappointed, and discussed it at length with my nearest and dearest, by the lack of fundraisers organised in clubland - there were at least between 5 and 10 when the Haiti earthquake happened in January.

It's not just clubland either - there's deafening silence across the arts when it comes to raising money for those made destitute in the recent floods. Why? Is it the way the media reports Pakistan - hotbed of terrorism, unstable, corrupt and generally a failing state, disaster fatigue, mistrust of allocation of funds, or anti-Islamic? Who knows it's probably a combination of all of the above.

All I know is that these are people who are suffering, people like you and I, and for anyone that's South Asian, like it or not, these are your brothers and sisters. So please put your petty religious squabbles aside - like everyone performing whether Riz MC, Plan B, Bobby Friction or Nihal - has realised this is for people who are desperate.

Anyway enough of the sermonizing, here's an exclusive with Plan B talking about a bhangra remix of She Said:

And some audio from Fonejacker who makes his live debut on Wednesday.

And here's an amazing graphic of the flood affected area transposed onto the UK. In case anyone's forgotten, a fifth of the people in the world's sixth largest country are basically effed. Spread the word and tell a friend.

Big up Riz, Anealla and all involved in putting this on.


Independent Top 10 UK Club Choices September 25 to October 1

So I've been doing the Top 10 Clubs for The Independent for a few years now, and I suddenly thought I'd post what I've been doing on a week to week basis and give myself and the nights a bit of a plug.

This week is all about Party For Pakistan. Here's the flyer. Represent people, it's for a good cause and that's about as far as it goes. In other news the Habit warehouse party with Henrik Schwarz and the Rustie EP launch are looking tasty!

Party For Pakistan

September 29

A fundraiser for the floods in Pakistan starring rappers Riz MC and Plan B who will combine for a comedy take on Ant and Dec, as well as rising R&B/dancehall star Mumzy Stranger, and Radio 1’s Nihal and Bobby Friction

Islington O2 Academy, London


October 1

An electronica smorgasbord drawing on talent from all over the world including Detroit’s Urban Tribe and The Hague’s Legowelt, Dallas Convextion all performing live.

Corsica Studios, London

Sunburst EP Launch

October 1

Baby faced producer/DJ Rustie launches his debut Warp records release with a live performance of his juicy synth-funk meets sub bass and video game effects, with support from kaleidoscopic producer Harmonic 313 and dubstep house don Untold.

The CAMP, London

Counter Culture

October 1

A pop up club in London Bridge hosts Mumdance (Mad Decent)’s furiously kinetic global ghetto rhythms including Mexican guarachero, Baltimore gutter, Brazilian baile funk and beyond

7 to 9 Crucifix Lane, London

Plug’s 5th Birthday

September 25

Super d&b and dubstep producers Chase & Status count down to their new LP with a headline DJ set, with support from larger than life grime MC Tempa T, and future star, soulful rapper Maverick Sabre.

Plug, Sheffield

The Warehouse Project

September 25

The original pop up club space, returns for its tenth three month season with Eric Prydz’s big room house, Basement Jaxx’s Brixton house and Felix Da Housecat’s disco-influenced electro.

Underneath Piccadilly Train Station, Manchester

Bigger Than Barry

October 1

Jump up jungle from the genre’s pioneering producer/DJ Shy FX with support from Breakage, who’s fine Foundation LP traverses contemporary soundsystem culture (roots reggae, dubstep, grime, jungle, UK funky)

DQ Sheffield

Desolat vs Sci Tec

September 25

Epic undulating house courtesy of Deep Dish’s Dubfire, as Joy Orbison selects a dreamy blend of twostep, dubstep and house, and Loco Dice’s minimal house and techno.

HMV Institute, Birmingham

In Motion

October 1

A hip hop extravaganza featuring master blaster Krs One, Brit-rappers Rodney P, Yungun, and dazzling freestyle MC Supernatural.

Motion Skate Park, Bristol

Habit Warehouse Party

October 1

Deep, delicious soul-fused house and techno from Berlin’s grand piano playing maestro Henrick Schwarz

Hoults Yard, Newcastle

Metro clubs column today

If I wasn't under the weather I'd definitely be going to Electric Minds and would love to check out James Blake, Ramadanman, Dark Star - each of these in their own right are absolutely brilliant. I'd be a little wary of XOYO coz it will be young, hipster central and I'd mainly feel old.

XOYO + Electric Minds

London’s world-class clubbing scene appears to have taken a battering over recent years with the closure of iconic venues including The End, Turnmills, Canvas and The Cross, and Matter’s temporary shutdown. However, it’s simply the circle of (night) life, as London clubland is reinventing itself through smaller and agile (multipurpose) venues.

Take for example new 800-capacity Old Street ‘events space’ XOYO: upstairs can host live acts and arts events during the week, while the downstairs is also capable of hosting gigs, as well as club nights. The team behind it certainly has the brains and experience to push the raving experience forward: XOYO is the brainchild of Cymon Eckel (behind the cult 1990s fanzine, label and night Boys Own, and east London boozers The Griffin and The Britannia), Tom Baker (cutting edge promoters Eat Your Own Ears), Marcus Weedon (Field Day, Underage) and Johnno Burgess (Bugged Out! Jockey Slut).

Tomorrow sees Blogger’s Delight & Eat Your Own Ears take over XOYO with a glorious showcase of post-dubstep: Dark Star (Hyper Dub) who specialize in gothic, analogue dubtronica, perform live with DJ support from mellifluous melody maker James Blake, whose dub-house features gurgling r’n’b, and Ramadanman, who fluidly fuses dubstep, house, and techno with aplomb.

Electric Minds is an example of the kind edgy, underground nights that have sprung up as established venues have waned. Tomorrow the label and impromptu night continues its Loft Party series with a few hundred electronic music connoisseurs enjoying Innervision’s Marcus Worgull’s deep, blurry house and gliding percussive techno. Combined with a powerful Funktion 1 Soundsystem and intimate, unorthodox setting, it’s proof that London clubland is alive, kicking and screaming. Rahul Verma

Tomorrow, XOYO, 32-37 Cowper Street, 9pm to 3am, £9 adv. Tel. 020 7729 5959. www.xoyo.co.uk. Tube: Old Street

Tomorrow, Electric Minds, secret East London location, 10pm to 6am, £8 to £10. email info@electricminds.co.uk for details. Tube: Old Street


So I've been away on holiday in India - south India (Chennai, Bangalore, Andaman Islands) to be precise - then the West Country (Shropshire) and then France (Aubusson), hence the lack of bloggage. I'm back now and admittedly I've been slack in posting, but that's the point of a holiday, and easing back into things is one of the few joys of the post holiday comedown.