And you're certainly not clever
Friday, 31 March 2006
Realising there is life outside of London, RWD takes a regular look to your ends. This month we caught up with Mike Skinner aka The Streets as he shows us around his home town, Birmingham... Words by Chantelle Fiddy
How would you sum up Birmingham?
It's changed a lot since I left there, but Birmingham is a very big city but culturally and creatively it's very small unfortunately. It's very stifling creatively actually, but one day i'd love to go back there. If you're going to be creative you need a business built around that because you've gotta pay the bills. When I say stifling I don't mean the character of the people, I mean the system. I believe it's getting better though.
Where did you grow up?
West Heath which is very south, very suburban, right by where they make Rover cars. It's a nice area but it's had its problems because of what's been going on with Rover - no ones got any jobs. It's been building up.
Do you support a football team?
Birmingham City, blue nose! Last time I saw them was against Manchester United but I'm all about music now.
When you were in Birmingham where did you hang?
The Custard Factory was pretty cool, also the Arcadium but I was just in, out and about the pubs.
Where in Birmingham were you making music?
Where I lived. I made my album in my mums house, I still live with my mum in London. We look after each other, she drives a Mercedes now.
Which school did you go to?
Westheath Junior and Bournville Senior. I did start college but I didn't get much out of it. I would read magazines and teach myself music.
Anything else to do in Birmingham?
Eat curries, they're the best curries in the world. Manchester is the true Curry Mile but I think the Birmingham ones are better. Khans was my spot, always a Chicken Korma, garlic naan, onion bhaji's.
Nah, my Jamaican mates used to order those but it was too sweet for me.
If you were going home for the weekend what would you do?
Probably the Arcadium, get some wine. It's built around a cinema with loads of bars and all the pretty girls go there. Broad Streets getting better if that's what you're into.
Is that where all the single people go then?
Yeah but It wasn't so good for me before I became an international pop star success. You'd be amazed, sell a few records and like 50 Cent said "It's like having a face transplant." We do have some fun on tour.
What's it's like when you perform in Birmingham?
The last gig I did there was a real success, it's really good to go back to where I used to hang around outside when I was a kid, then go in and large it up. They're rowdier than in London, I'm not saying there isn't a hardcore element in London, but in Birmingham it kicks off more, in a good way and a bad way. They tend to be younger too. In London it tends to be lots of industry people but in Birmingham you don't have that so people are age don't watch bands, they're busy bringing kids up.
Do you have a name for the next album yet?
No, it's always the last thing I do. I'll finish it, go through the tracks then decide. We did the same with The Mitchell's album. It's best to reflect cause it never comes out the way you often expect it to.
Who in the UK scene are you feeling at the moment?
DaVinChe, Mikey J, Sway, I quite like Bearman too but I've not heard a lot of him, Skepta too. I met Skepta in Camden with his mum recently, very random but I love it when I meet mums. My mum comes to all my gigs and screams it down.
Fave song at moment?
Coldplay - Swallow By The Sea
Sum up The Beats for us?
British rap music, honest.
A version of this article appeared in RWD Magazine. The Streets 'When You Wasn't Famous' is out now. Big up Ted and all @ The Beats. Check a forthcoming issue of i-D for the full crew wearing multi-coloured T-shirts in a shed.
Thursday, 30 March 2006
reggaefied hip hop (Nerds, trainspotters and the moody boys need not apply), as residents, guests and host MCs resolutely set out to ensure the bass will put a smile upon your face. Policy : Bashment, Dub, Ragga, Rockers, Roots, Lovers...
10-2AM £5/3 Conc.
Thursday, 23 March 2006
If you're looking for somewhere to warm up before Straight Outta Bethnal tomorrow night, then here you have it. Calling all ghetto-freaks and zulu gestapo affiliates, get retarded! Touch your toes, 7 Year Glitch is back! Get wrecked on the liquor and get retarded to the hardest freshest sounds. Expect bootypop, acid, grime and ghetto-freak funk.
7 Year Glitch
Upstairs @ Old Blue Last
Great Eastern Road
Tiny Prancer (Vice)
DJ Brain (NES)
Joe Muggs (MixMag)
+ Scare Dem MCs
Wednesday, 22 March 2006
Got the heads up from Quirky on the March For Free Expression... Anyone whose been in central London over the last six weeks might have noticed the fairly tedious demonstrations that have been going on in Trafalgar Square over those Danish cartoons about Muhammed. Yes, incredible though it might seem, some people are STILL going on about it. Anyway, there's a rally on Saturday that's been organised by a fairly broad coalition of humanist/secular/religious/free-speech and women's groups that needs support. Maybe we should back it to help waste MC's who only want to spit whatever shank lyrics all day and can't understand why they're not getting radio.
Monday, 20 March 2006
Slimzee is back. Well he was in Rhythm Division today at least along with pretty much every DJ in the scene (bar Cameo, what's up?). He didn't want to get in the group shot cause his game right now is fatherhood and giving up smoking (that's not a Tampax inbetween his lips). Where playing records is concerned, Slim's problem is he doesn't know what to play. I suggested an 80's set at Straight Outta Bethnal given it's the only thing that seemed to semi excite him (even Funky House wasn't cutting it). We'll see but Slim, dubplate Godfather, we still salute you. Take care of Jamie Ding for us too.
Sunday, 19 March 2006
Fuck what everyone says about your sideburns Ashanti, don't ever wax the strayers. Even the choongest girls have got nostril fluff, trust. I'm an inspector. Just sing it to me, SING IT TO ME, SING IT TO ME NOW... repeat, repeat, before I shank you with my tweezers.
"Cause sometimes I can't sleep at night and this here it just don't seem right and sometimes I just wonder why I don't know, let my life go by"
1. Wiley Kat - Gangsterz (White)
2. Slew Dem - Grime Remix EP (White)
3. Wiley Kat - Eski Boy (White)
4. Footsie - Scars Remix (Dirtee Stank)
5. Pay As U Go - Know We Megamix (White)
6. Gods Gift - Mic Tribute 2006 (White)
7. Ruff Sqwad - No Bass EP (White)
8. Jammer - Murkle Man & Remix (White)
9. Iron Soul - Heavens Rejects EP (Sweet Beetz)
10. Rossi B & Luca feat. Nasty - In The Place/Run 4 Cover (A.R.M.Y)
Compiled by Sparkie @ Rhythm Division, 391 Roman Road, Bow E3. 020 8981 2203. All audio can be heard at www.rhythmdivision.co.uk
Guest Chart: Kode9
1. Pressure feat. Warrior Queen - 'Dem a Bomb We' (dub)
2. Kode9 & the Spaceape - 'Backwards' (Hyperdub)
3. Kode9 & the Spaceape - 'Spaceape' (Hyperdub)
4. Skream - 'Tapped' (Tempa)
5. Digital Mystikz - 'Molten' (dub)
6. Loefah - 'Mud' (dub)
7. Skream - '0800 dub' (Tempa)
8. Tubby - 'Tigerstyle' (dub)
9. D1 - 'Bamboo' (Tempa)
10. Kode9 - '9 Samurai' (Hyperdub)
Hear Kode9 on Rinse 100.3FM, 7-9pm every Thursday.www.kode9.com or www.hyperdub.net
Logan Sama's Top 10 Dubplates blowing up soon...
1. Scorcher - Chance Us
2. Jammer ft Dizzee Rascal & D Double E - Murkle Man Remix
3. Wiley - Gangsterz Remix
4. JME ft Wiley - Don't Chat To Me
5. Nasty Crew - Girls Love Nasty
6. Roadside Gs - Beef Is More Than A Song
7. Slew Dem ft Scorcher - Way Down The Road
8. Ghetto ft Scorcher - Skinny Sort Remix
9. Big H - Stand Back
10. Narstie & Solo - Brushman
Hear Logan Sama on Kiss100 FM, Monday's 11-1am. http://www.logansama.blogspot.com Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
He might be the only Scotsman to have taken over pirate radio, but that aside he's got a lot more to show than a funky accent...
Who is Kode9?
Not sure, but he's been a resident at Fwd>> since it started and has been hosting the Fwd>> show on Rinse FM 100.3 for over 3 years (Thursdays 7-9pm). He runs the Hyperdub label to release vocal dubstep and grime influenced riddims.
You've been in the game 10 years now, tell us your history...
Dunno. Jungle drew Kode9 to London. When he got there he got sucked in. The rest is psychiatric history.
Highs and Lo's of your career?
Highs: playin in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2005.
Los: the lush bass systems at Fwd and DMZ
Is the music you play different to what you make?
Kode9 likes to dj with alot more energy than he produces. His productions tend to be pretty laid back and full of dread.
Releases to date?
There has been a couple of tunes released on Tempa in the last few years, 'Fat Larry's Skank'/'Tales from the Basside' from around 2003 with Benny ill from Horsepower and 'Babylon' on the Tempa Allstars album. Also there were four tunes released on Rephlex's Grime 2 compilation in 2004, and a remix for a US label called Voltage back in 2004. On the Hyperdub label since 2004, there's been 'Sine of the Dub', 'Stalker','Spit' and 'Kingstown' with the vocalist the Spaceape. Hyperdub has also released music from Burial, Pressure and Warrior Queen.
Where do you get your influence from?
Core influence was early jungle in the way it brought every music i love together.
Difference between playing on radio and at a club?
I just do what i want on radio really. It can be pretty random, the things I'll mix up. But the core is about mixin the subbass of dubstep with the vocal energy of grime. When i play out, i'm looking to get people windin their waist.
Favourite club nights and why?
All time favourite was probably Metalheadz in 1995. Now it would be DMZ.
Top tunes in your world?
For the last few months i've been feelin most of the synthy tunes by Skream and Slew Dem's 'Joyride' - that tune is pure skank energy in the dance
How did you end up doing Dubstep Allstars?
Tempa asked me, and I said yes. I've released stuff on the label before, and alongside Hatcha, we're really the main dj's who've supported that label since it started around 5 years ago.
Describe your mix? Did you choose tracks?
For an Allstars mix, its relatively fast movin and diverse, knitting together unreleased bits of grime and dubstep with my vocalist Spaceape riding the first half and then I put him through the delay and reverb chambers in the second half. Yeah i chose the tunes. There was a couple of other bits I wanted but couldn't sort out in time when I did it late in 2005.
And who's Spaceape, never heard of him before?
He's the dubtronic poet i work with on the Hyperdub releases. He comes from another planet apparently.
I've got a remix of 'Fat Larry's Skank' coming again on Tempa this year. We are about to drop the latest Hyperdub 10" 'Backward'/'9 Samurai' and the Dubstep Alllstars vol.3 mix compiliation on Tempa. Will probably release our own album after the summer.
Find Kode9 hangin out in the bassbin at Fwd or DMZ, Rinse Fm 100.3fm 7-9pm every Thursday.www.kode9.com or www.hyperdub.net
She may have lost her favourite ring, but Lady Sovereign's still got a lot to be smiling about...
“My last ring slipped off my skinny finger like the rest of them, but when I find the time I’m getting my personalised Sovereign sorted.” Let’s hope that nineteen year old Lady Sovereign gets a day off soon then. While last year might have been busy, that's going to be nothing given what's already lined up for her in 2006. Just before Christmas, a deal with Island Universal already in the bag and hard at work on her debut album, Public Warning, something unprecedented happened. Following an impromptu performance in the USA, Jay-Z called her management. "It was, well it still is surreal. These are people I've grown up listening to after all" Ess-Oh-Vee told Touch over her favourite tipple, Pernod and lemonade. A meeting and freestyle for Jigga, Usher, LA Reid and the family tree later, she bagged a deal with the Def Jam imprint, La Familia where label mates now include Noreaga and hotly tipped rapper Aztek Escobar. Since then there's been the UK tour, accompanied by both a DJ and full band, followed by an even grander scale sell-out tour of the USA. And it’s not just paying punters who are showing their support for her unique lyrical prowess. Industry faces spotted in the rafters range from the Eski-boy Wiley and R&B princess Christina Milian to actor Jamie Kennedy and reggae great Damian Marley. Sovereigns ability to defy genre is no doubt what’s generating her ever-diverse fan base. “I don’t think the record labels can quite work me out, no one’s quite sure where I fit In but I can’t do anything about that. I can’t say to you ‘I’m hip hop’, ‘I’m grime’, ‘I’m alternative’ cause I’m just me and I’ve never been scared of what people might think of how I experiment with my music.” Confusion may be the case but her debut release on Chocolate Industries in the States, the Vertically Challenged EP (which includes a remix of Little Bit Of Shhh! by the Beastie Boys Ad Roc), is riding high in the college charts, selling out of it’s limited 25,000 vinyl run as well as earning her a two page spread in the prestigious Rolling Stone Magazine. Despite the now endless options open to her, musically speaking, Sovereign’s keen to stick to her original plans (although a record company source has confirmed there’s a date with The Neptunes in the diary). “I’m supposed to be working with Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) but we’ll see what happens cause I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself, I don’t want to freak out.” There’s already tracks delivered (for the album, now due out early Summer) from Basement Jaxx, Menta and right hand man Medasyn. Following the success of remixes such as ‘Hoodie’, she’s also keeping it real in the UK and getting back in the studio to work with Mizz Beats, Skepta and JME. “I used to get caught up in all that selling-out hype but my experiences are giving me a better understanding and I know how much work it takes to break through. I want other people to share these experiences that’s why wherever I go I’ll try take the scene through too. I’m waiting for JME to drop me off a load of mixtapes to hand out, rags, when I go away next.” And she’s not going to be leaving her hometown either. “Put it this way, I’ve thought about it but I don’t like the food in America. I’d miss things like cottage pie and cheese & onion pasties too much, plus I’m going to be an auntie soon and if anyone’s going to spoil that baby, it’s going to be me.”
Words/Pic: Chantelle Fiddy. A version of this article appeared in Touch Magazine 2006.
Ch-Ching XXXChange Remix
"Adidas Hoodie Remix" feat. Mizz Beats, Skepta, JME, Ears, Jammer & Baby Blue
http://www.ladysovereign.com/ http://www.myspace.com/ladysovereign/ http://www.chocolateindustries.com/
Friday, 10 March 2006
Thursday, 9 March 2006
Monday, 6 March 2006
Wednesday, 1 March 2006
Statik Presents Grindie Vol. 1 Hosted By Scorcher, Big H & Pres T
2. Shout Outs
3. Larrikin Love - Happy As Annie - (Statik Remix Feat. Scorcher And Manga)
4. The Rakes - 22 Grand Job - (Statik Remix Feat. Lethal Bizzle)
5. Kaiser Chiefs - Everyday I Love U Less And Less (Fuck Drums Mix)
6. Statik Feat. D Double E - Supadoop
7. Babyshambles - Killamangiro
8. Statik Feat. Wiley, Jammer, Flodan And Skepta - The Rave
9. Lethal Bizzle - Mind Ur Head
10. Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure
11. Kraftwerk - Numbers
12. Statik Feat. Jme, Big H, Schorcher, Ghetto, Godsgift, Napper, Solo 45, Pres T, Skepta And Hammer
13. The Strokes - Automatic Stop
14. Davinche - Mega Drive
15. Franz Ferdinand - Evil And A Hero
16. Fire Camp - Air On The Roads
17. Death From Above 1979 - Black History Month
18. Statik Feat. Tinchy Stryder, Skepta, Jammer And Nio - I Just Wanna Fu**
19. Pure Groove Records Skit
20. Bloc Party - Positive Tension (Statik Remix Feat. Flirta D)
21. The Kills - Your Love Is A Deserter
22. Tinchy Stryder - Underground
23. The Rakes - Binary Love
24. Terra Danjah - Radar (Statik Remix)
25. Interpol Evil (Original And Statik Refix)
26. Jme - Blue Portal
27. Test Icicles - Boa Vs. Python
28. Test Icicles - Boa Vs. Python (Statik Remix Instrumental)
29. Jon E Cash - Hoods Up
30. The Rakes - Binary Love
31. Young Dot - Bazooka
32. Blondie - Heart Of Glass
33. Wylie - Dubplate
34. TV On The Radio - Ambulance
35. Wylie - Colder Statik Remix
36. The Cribs - North Of England
37. Jimi Hendrix And Bob Dylan - All Along The Watchtower (Statik Refix)
38. The Engineers - Given Right - (Statik Refix)
39. Big E D - Frontline (Statik Remix)
40. The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black
41. Bloc Party - Price Of Gasoline (Automato Remix)
42. Statik Feat. Ghetto And Demon - Never Guess
43. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - On And On
44. Statik Feat. Wiley And Test Icicles - Shut Down
45. La Belle Et La Bete - Babyshambles - (Statik Refix)
46. La Belle Et La Bete - Babyshambles - (Original)
47. Arctic Monkeys - From The Ritz To The Rubble
48. Statik - Bring It On - Instrumental
49. Babyshambles - Pentonville
50. Nasty Crew - Run 4 Cover (Jamrock)
51. Madness - Driving In My Car
52. D Power - Bring It On Feat. Shizzle, Doctor, Napper, Ryder, Fresh, Nicki Forcer, Statik
53. The Holloways - Generator (Statik Remix Feat. Scorcher)
54. The Strokes - Between Love & Hate (Statik Refix)
55. Statik Feat. Wiley - No Time (2 Die)
56. Magic Numbers - Forever Lost
57. Lethal Bizzle - Mind Ur Head (Statik Remix)
58. Statik - Showerface - D Dark And S Kid Freestyle
59. Skepta - Watch
60. Scorcher - Doin Dis Ting Freestyle
61. Ladyfuzz - Bouncy Ball - Statik Remix Feat. Knuckles And Scorcher
62. Test Icicles - Boa Vs. Python - Statik Remix Feat. Firecamp
63. Vincent Vincent And The Villains - On My Own
64. Phoenix Drive - Supplement
65. Kid Harpoon
Celebrating soundclashing as urban warfare with bass lines so disgusting you could puke and electronic stabs that will have last nights dinner turning in your stomach… ok you get the idea? Fusing ragga with punk in frenzied mash-ups, The Bug’s Razor X Productions look set to cross over onto many playlists and cause havoc in any DJ set... Meet The Bug.
Q: Who is The Bug?
The Bug is Kevin Martin. He recorded the critically acclaimed album 'Pressure' for Rephlex/Tigerbeat6 in 2003, which received instant high praise from musical mavericks like Aphex Twin, Andy Weatherall, Kid 606, Massive Attack, Jerry Dammers etc... before being somewhat bitten by M.I.A.(As confessed by her manager and producers)
Q: Releases to date?
'Pressure' on Rephlex, 'Aktion Pak' on Rephlex, Several 7" releases on Razor X, 'Dem A Bomb We' on Ladybug and various remixes including The Streets and Saul Williams.
Q: How would you describe your sound?
Electro ragga to punk fuelled, grime flavoured bashment via deep electronic dub.
Q: Breakdown Razor X?
Razor X was a 7" label set up by The Bug and The Rootsman to release Babylonian battle tools, incinerate any dancefloor predators and kill off the party imposters.
Q: How did idea for project come about?
The Bug was a long time friend of The Rootsman and was aware Rootsman acted as a high profile dubplate producer for a large range of reggae and dancehall singers/deejays. They were both stung into musical action by Punk music before becoming Reggae converts. And both felt there was a need/opening for high intensity, renegade ragga.
Q: Do you know the artists on album personally?
Warrior Queen is the Bug"s regular live MC as is On-U Sound collaborator Ras B. Whilst Wayne Lonesome and Mexican are also friends and sometime live accomplices.
Q: Any memorable experiences recording it?
Working with the somewhat erratic Cutty Ranks, who decided to insult the engineer and provoke the producer on several occasions, whilst getting severely blunted and seriously mashed up on guiness, before dropping some seriously homicidal lyrics on 'Boom Boom Claat'.
Q: Fave track and why?
Probably 'Killer Queen', because 'Killer' had previously been the most acclaimed Razor X release, yet Warrior Queen dared to version the original and mash up He Man's original stone cold dead.
Q: What else is in pipeline?
Just started the Ladybug label for projected recordings with female mcs and eclectic female singers. In the process of signing to Ninja for the next proper Bug album. Recording Grime/Dubstep as Pressure. Collaborating with Dub poet Roger Robinson for a new album. And instigating 'BASH' at Plastic People (A new dancehall, bashment, dub night), with Loefah from Digital Mystikz).
Q: The Bugs current top 5?
1/ Cham - 'Ghetto Story'
2/Slew Dem Productions - 'Grime Remix'
3/Beenie Man - 'Come Again'
4/Kode 9 ft Space Ape - 'Backward/9 Samouri'
5/Digital Mystikz - 'Haunted'
Catch The Bug on 13th Feb - BBC Radio 1 Mary Ann Hobbs show(With guest MCs Warrior Queen/Ras B/Jimmy Screech/Ricky Ranking/Banana Klan/Riko/Flowdan/Stush/Space Ape/Roger Robinson), 23rd Feb - BASH(Plastic People - London), 3rd March - Theckla Bristol, 13th April - Concorde Brighton
30th April - Glasgow Barrowlands.
A version of this appeared in Blues & Soul Magazine