Tuesday, 30 June 2009

My Hero Ain't Molest Them Bitch Ass Kids: Phonte's teary-eyed tribute to The King

Via Phonte's Myspace
I wasn't sure whether to post this because it's been everywhere and I don't want to constantly talk about Michael, but I don't want ANYONE to miss this blog post from the ever-amazing Phonte.

I haven't been compelled to blog in a long time.

In an era where everybody is twittering and text-messaging their lives away, a well-thought out essay that extends past 140 characters is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

But when our universe lost its brightest star on June 25, 2009, I felt a deep, overwhelming sadness that I haven't experienced in many years and I felt moved to say....something.

My hero, Michael Joseph Jackson, is dead.

Honestly I'm still trying to process it, almost like the loss of a much-loved family member. I mean, hell, to many of us Michael WAS family. Much like Nike, or Coca-Cola, or McDonalds, Michael Jackson wasn't so much a person as he was a living, breathing, American institution; a ubiquitous force that has seemingly existed forever and one that we couldn't imagine a world without. Seeing Michael onstage was less like watching a musician perform and more akin to witnessing a magician at work.

But contrary to his otherworldly stage presence and magical aura, the man we called The King of Pop proved to be a mere mortal. And now my hero, Michael Joseph Jackson, is dead.

What isn't dead, unfortunately, is the cloud of false accusations, unsubstantiated rumors, myths, slander, and outright lies that surround his life and his legacy. The greatest myth regarding Michael Jackson is that he was a pedophile who preyed on young children.

It is my belief now, just as it was 16 years ago, that the charges brought against Michael during his 1993 sexual abuse case were false. The allegations made by Jordan Chandler (the accuser) and his father Evan Chandler always seemed suspect to me for a few reasons:

1. Ask the average parent whether they'd want justice or money for their abused child and more than likely they'd say justice, if for no other reason than to protect their child (and other children) from a future attack. The fact that Evan Chandler was willing to essentially let Michael off the hook for a few million (reportedly 2-3), made their case seem like a well-orchestrated extortion attempt. In regards to the case, Evan was later caught on tape saying, "If I go through with this, I win big time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael's career will be over." Notice that homeboy ain't mention jack shit about his son. So much for being a concerned father...

2. Generally when victims of abuse come out with allegations against someone, other victims come forward to corroborate their story (i.e. the Catholic Church scandal, where a few parties came forward and it later led to thousands).

Very rarely do child molesters stop at just one kid, or even two for that matter. An alleged pedophile with only two accusers is kinda like an alleged serial killer with only one body. Or an alleged sneaker addict with only two pairs of Jordans in his closet. It just doesn't make any logical sense, nor does it coincide with the recurring psychological characteristics of most people who fall into those categories.

In the case of Michael Jackson vs. the Chandler family, not a single corroborating witness could be found to help prosecute the case and after raids were conducted on several of Jackson's homes, no hard evidence of sexual abuse was gathered.

Michael later settled the Chandler case out of court, not as an admission of guilt, but at the behest of his lawyers and financial advisors who warned him that a criminal trial could cost him millions of dollars in legal fees, as well as the loss of hundreds of millions in touring and endorsement revenue. With the Chandler case finally over, Michael continued to tour and released his greatest hits package “HIStory” in 1995. Ten years later though, he would face another trial that, in my opinion, would be the one to literally and figuratively, kill him.

Martin Bashir’s heinous, Machiavellian documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” aired in 2003. It was in this documentary that Mike (albeit foolishly) talked about his fondness for sharing his bed with children, and was seen holding hands with a young boy. Shortly afterwards the young boy from the documentary, 13 year-old Gavin Arvizo (a cancer survivor who had all his medical bills paid for by Michael), accused him of sexual abuse.

When Mike’s case against Arvizo hit airwaves in 2005, I must admit that I had my doubts. Much like the Chris Rock joke, I too shook my head in disbelief and said “ANOTHER kid!?! Mike, what the fuck?!! How could you be THAT stupid?!?!” As the case unraveled though, the financial motivations of the accuser’s family became much more apparent.

Similar to the Chandler case from ‘93, the prosecution couldn’t produce any credible witnesses to corroborate Arvizo’s testimony against Michael. Many of the prosecution’s witnesses were either former employees of Michael who had financial disputes with him, or had criminal convictions themselves. Arvizo’s testimony contradicted previous statements he’d made to officials saying that nothing ever took place between him and Michael, and Arvizo’s mother Janet Arvizo, an eccentric woman with a prior conviction for welfare fraud, single-handedly killed the case with her flippant remarks on the witness stand and overall bizarre courtroom behavior.

Actor Macaulay Culkin came forward in Michael’s defense and testified that no inappropriate behavior ever took place during their many times together, as did many other associates who had spent time at Neverland. Ultimately, Michael emerged from the Arvizo case with a Not Guilty verdict on all counts, but it proved to be a pyrrhic victory. The damage was already done. In the court of popular opinion, The King of Pop was an unrepentant child molestor.

When defending Michael Jackson against his detractors, I am often asked if I would let one of my sons sleep over at his house. The answer is no. Shit, I wouldn't let my sons sleep over at YOUR house. But that doesn't make you a pedophile, it just makes me a concerned and protective dad who doesn’t leave his kids around people I personally don’t know well enough to trust.

When it came to children, the only thing Michael was guilty of in my opinion, was naivete. While cuddling in the bed with children isn't technically illegal, it does violate several social norms; norms that a man who dresses funny, lives at an amusement park and refers to himself as “Peter Pan” would certainly pay a higher price for breaking. When I hear the tales of Michael laying in bed with those children, watching movies, tickling, and engaging in general horseplay, it sounds less like the work of a pedophile and more like the actions of a man trying to experience a childhood he never had.

During his investigation for the Arvizo trial, Michael was examined by Dr. Stan Katz, a clinical psychologist who concluded that Michael didn’t fit the profile of a pedophile but instead that of a regressed 10 year old, an analysis which I agree with wholeheartedly. I mean after all, only a person with the simple, unsuspecting mind of a child could truly believe they could sleep in the same bed as their pre-pubescent buddies and not pay a price for it.

Still, the most saddening myth surrounding Michael’s life is that he was ashamed to be Black. During the mid 80’s, in the midst of his ever-changing skin complexion and facial features, popular opinion in the Black community was that Mike was a sellout. This was an opinion that would unfortunately haunt him for the rest of his life, but a closer look reveals quite the opposite.

As echoed by my man Scorpeze of the house music duo Windimoto in his excellent blog, Michael Jackson never tried to disown or separate himself from his Blackness at any point in his career. In fact, he was probably the most openly pro-Black pop entertainer of his time. Michael Jackson ashamed to be Black? I mean, this was the same guy who:

-portrayed Black people as kings and queens in ancient Egypt ("Remember the Time" video)
-called Tommy Mottola (his then label boss) a devil and a racist
-sang "white man's gotta make a change" live on the Grammies in '88
-sang about a beautiful African woman in "Liberian Girl"
-featured an African chant at the end of "Wanna Be Startin Somethin"
-donated over $25 million to the United Negro College Fund
-sang "I ain't scared of no sheets" in "Black or White" and upped the ante by morphing into a BLACK PANTHER at the video's end
-wrote a song called "They Don't Really Care About Us," with a Spike Lee-directed video that featured prisoners raising the Black power fist
-uhhh “We Are The World” and USA for Africa, anyone?

What about this man wasn’t Black enough? Was it his battle with vitiligo and how it caused skin discoloration? Was it his excessive facial surgeries, due I’m sure in no small part to the teasing and ridicule he faced about his looks as a teenager?

Why did we turn our collective backs on a man who always reminded us that he never forgot who he was, or more importantly, whose he was?

This essay is my plea to all people who consider themselves a fan of Michael Jackson, but especially to Black people: Don't let them talk about our Brother. Don’t let his naysayers convict him of crimes that were never proven. Don't let people reduce the memory of one of our greatest heroes to that of a weird guy who wore a shiny glove and molested little boys.

When Elvis Presley died, did the media remember him as an overweight, drug-abusing racist who dated a 14 year-old, or was he eulogized as The King of Rock and Roll?

When Woody Allen dies, do you think the media will focus on the controversy behind him marrying his own stepdaughter, or on the films "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" and how great they were? (Ditto for Jerry Lee Lewis, the rock and roll pioneer who married his 13-year old cousin.)

When people accuse Michael of being a pedophile or a child molester, ask them to provide hard evidence. Ask them to provide an opinion rooted in fact, rather than one based on gossip, hearsay, and conjecture. Chances are, they won't be able to. The Black community has done a great disservice in not reciprocating the love that Michael Jackson showed us when he was alive. The least we can do in honoring his death is ensure that his legacy is remembered properly for future generations.

Was Michael Jackson a weirdo? Of course he was a weirdo.

But maybe if you had been in the public eye since you were 7, had grown ass women throwing themselves at you since you were 13, suffered physical abuse at the hands of your father, watched your father and older brothers engage in sex with groupies on tour as a child, were called "Big Nose" and "ugly" by both family members AND fans, developed a skin disease that took away the one thing you repeatedly expressed your pride for, and spent the last half of your life as the most famous person on Earth, you'd probably be a bit of a weirdo too.

I am not attempting to paint Michael Jackson as a saint, as no man ever lives up to such a lofty title. But to me, the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” seems to sum up Michael Jackson’s life more than ever.

Why would people try to tear down a man who constantly used his power, money, and influence to help others?

Why would people express such disgust and contempt for a man who constantly sang of love and peace, and used his talent to entertain, uplift, and inspire millions?

Tell em that its human nature, I suppose...

Rest in Peace, Brother Michael. I love and miss you dearly.

Phonte


Skeen

Erm, yeah. If you've ever witnessed Ryan AKA Skillit at a hip hop gig (remember the boys losing it at the front at the Madlib show?) you'll know he's pretty deep with it - so I wasn't quite expecting this pretty hilarious video...

COSMOPOLYPHONIC X !NSiDE Guest Mixes Vol.3 *Free Download*

The lovely !NS just shot this over so I thought I'd send it your way...check his blog if you haven't yet, it's dope! insoulmusic.tistory.com/
!NSiDE (as a label) did the guest mix below for their friends in Japan Cosmo Polyphonic Radio.

Photobucket

+DOWNLOAD+


CPR GUEST MIXES
feat. Simo, Mood Schula, Flyherro, Esspee, Bygone Tomorrow, ASP, Pandaponics

w/ Friends *

" !NSiDE takin' it outside from Seoul!!
feat. Simo, Mood Schula, Flyherro, Esspee, Bygone Tomorrow, ASP, Pandaponics, and many more.." - CosmoPolyphonic
Tracklisting

Artist ― Track (Label)
01. Flyherro - Thank You
02. Esspee - Midnite
03. Simo - Listen
04. Bygone Tomorrow - Sun Goddess
05. Morgan Zarate - Satin White (CDR) *
06. Mood Schula feat.OlivierDaySoul - !NSiDE *
07. Esspee - Deep !NSiDE
08. Simo - Wop Wop
09. Stevie J aka Funkineven - Mad Swing! (Eglo Records) *
10. Flyherro - Sonshower
11. Simo - Giwa
12. Mood Schula - Moodang
13. Esspee - Cloud City
14. Eric Lau - Warp (CDR) *
15. Flyherro - MKLV
16. Chris Daddy Dave - Ballad Drumma's 4 Lyfe (CDR) *
17. Mood Schula - Untitle
18. ASP - Purple
19. Karriem Riggins - 12's 8 (Scion A/V) *
20. Mood Schula - Australopithecus
21. Flyherro - Neghit / Simo Remix
22. Mr. Dibiase aka Diabolic - Be Fly (CDR) *
23. Flyherro - Happiness
24. Pandaponics - Enlil's Road
25. Esspee - Here's the Love
26. Bygone Tomorrow - Get Fuzzy
27. RLP - Yesterday (Circulations) *
28. Simo - Orbit
29. Mood Schula - Too Many
30. Flyherro - Beer
31. Simo - WorLd
32. Pandaponics - Particulate
33. Mood Schula - Metropolis

INTERVIEW: ZAKI IBRAHIM

Zaki Ibrahim is probably one of those names you've heard somewhere and associate with something good but might not be too sure what she does yet...even some of those who are supposed to know seem to have drawn a blank and stick her somewhere in the unhelpful "Urban" no mans land. The title of her latest release Eclectica (Episodes in Purple) is perfect - the diversity of sounds it features is united by its deeply soulful feel - it might be quirky but it's very easy to listen to. The daughter of a black South African and an English teacher from the UK, Zaki grew up in Canada, and has already supported The Roots - who knows where she'll be next...

You're one of those artists people seem to have trouble defining - for anyone who hasn't heard your music yet how would you describe your sound in a few words?

A mosaic of melodies, evolving from a whole lotta stuff into a whole lot more...stuff. Aaaah. Still too many words! I think I should maybe just call it a melodic mosaic.

What does the title of your latest project "Eclectica" mean to you?

The word “eclectic” has always been a funny word to me. Almost sounding like “eccentric” but with a little more “click” to it.. Something that is, in fact, unique and distinct but has not been named yet, will sometimes be called eclectic, or essentric, only because it is irregular and not easy to label. Exotic is another word I’ve been called as a complement as well, when someone can’t place my race…I feel it’s best to just say thank you and be on my way. Eclectica, in a way is my way of owning a word, but flipping it and poking fun at tittles. The “Purple Episodes” of eclectica are about standing strong in a title of my own.



You have a very interesting background - how much does this influence you in your writing, and what else inspires you to pick up a pen?

Hunger. An empty fridge. A shopping list. Playing…I feel like my background is everyday that is behind me and at the same time, generations and generations in every-which direction and in each of those life-times, they were all trying to figure out what their purpose was. Somewhere, sometime in Africa, a lover and dreamer of a woman had to sacrifice her sense of joy for the sake of honoring her tribe and on the other side of the world, a wild eyed Scotsman sacrificed his life to keep his land and bloodline…During the Dutch East India slave trade en route from Malaysia to the Southern-most Tip of the African continent, there was a blind singer that refused to be a slave… centuries later this mixed up female, living in Canada started to sing about it.

I read that you lived and worked in South Africa a few years ago, where your father is from originally - what was that like?

Living there has had different outcomes every time. As a child it was surreal and confusing, at times, traumatic, but some of the most joyous of moments at the same time are still remembered. Living and working there as an adult I have been able to start seeing where some of the sources of a lot of the confusion come from, yet still a confused and damaged place, I’ve been able to put some of the pain in context in a strange way, still a process and long way to go... One year I got to experience working within the community for a moment at a radio station and learning institute, Bush Radio. I was also exposed to the prison system through a childhood friend that somehow convinced me to put together a workshop program on “self expression” for young women awaiting trial…this was by-far the thing that stayed with me the most. I think I’m learning that a woman with a voice, a means to express, in whatever circumstance you are in, is a reason to use what you have to make your ripples in the world.

What can we expect from your forthcoming album and when can we get our hands on it?

There are a few actual songs this time. Still a few “things” but definitely trying my hand at real song writing. There is always a child-like approach to making music for me that can be both a blessing and a curse. I sometimes like to create a fantastical world within a song, live in it and mature in it for a while and then let it go into the digital and physical word. Other times, I make songs by mistake and show my tumble scars that very day. This Album is a mixture of mistakes and careful crafting of compositions and word play. When? When I’m done. Haha. I’ve decided to not have a release date until the master-master mix is out of my hands. And speaking of mixes: this album is for the remixers of the world to interpret what they will.

If you could collaborate with any other artists you haven't yet who would you choose?

Radiohead.

Could you recommend some music or artists that you love for our readers to check out?

Little Dragon. Simply mesmerizing. www.myspace.com/yourlittledragon
TV on the Radio. Dope. www.myspace.com/tvotr
Muhsinah. Sweet intricate angel songs. www.myspace.com/muhsinah
Tumi. MC for the “whole worlds”. Or www.myspace.com/tatv

What's next for you and will you be coming to the UK any time soon?

I’m sitting on this egg in the studio at the moment and don’t know exactly which way it will roll yet. But I hope the UK is in the nearest future, I’ve been receiving some really dope letters from that side and would love to connect the feeling to a sea of faces.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Jay Z - Death of Autotune video

I was hoping that it would be a video of Jay Z stomping on T Pain. It's not. Still good though.

Janet Jackson, Jamie Foxx & Ne-Yo pay tribute to Michael at the BET awards



This video made me cry, and I hadn't yet. It wasn't the tributes or the performers - it was everyone in the audience singing along, which reminded me of this...Motown 25, the first time the Jackson 5 re-united since their split, the first time MJ showed us the Moonwalk, recorded on the day I was born, March 25th 1983. I watched this on VHS - the copy of which I still have - almost every day most of my childhood (or Moonwalker).



*Please excuse the wasteperson who added wack subtitles & cut it out 3 secs before the last note!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Beyond wrong

I just found this via a tweet from Gas Lamp Killer (anyone else find it almost impossible to say that without "The Muthaf*ckin" in front?), which read "THESE GUYS SHOULD KILL THEMSELVES NOW". I concur.


The Clipse "Till The Casket Drops" - Three MP3 Leaks


I just picked up the first three leaks from the forthcoming album from The Clipse "Till The Casket Drops" (out in September) from Semtex. Not sure yet, but check em anyway.

Download : Clipse - Eyes On Me

Download : Clipse - Im Good

Download : Clipse Featuring KanYe West - Kinda Like A Big Deal


Saturday, 27 June 2009

ArtDontSleep's AM Sessions

I've been waiting for this for a while, I'm a huge fan of ArtDontSleep & Mochilla. DOWNLOAD HERE (immediately)



Los Angeles is bubbling right now, ArtDontSleep, amongst many others, has been championing this blossoming sound for the last 5 years. Giving artists a place to freely create, innovate and build with one another. No distractions, just music. This is the first of many Jam Sessions to come.

Thank you to Blu for lending us his studio to do this right.

From the June 16th 09 jam there are 5 songs that have been chosen for free release. This is the first of the bunch. A spontaneous 25 minute rendition of "A Love Supreme". The next round of releases will have vocals featuring, Zap Mama, Nia Andrews, Novena Carmel and Neha Kent. For now, enjoy this small offering.

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - Viola
Todd Simon - Trumpet
Andres Renteria - Drums, percussion
Pablo Ygal - Electric guitar
Shafiq Husayn - Juno, drums
Mark de Clive Lowe - Keys, mpc
Computer Jay - Rhodes, keys
Brian Martinez - Acoustic bass, electric bass
KenBts. - Effects

Benjamin Tierney - Recording engineer, mixing engineer.

Azul213 - Photo

Professor Green - Upper Clapton Dance

Trying to get back to normal, so on a happier note here is the new video from Professor Green who is hopefully recovering quickly from his recent attack (someone stabbed him in the neck with a bottle last month). I don't post that much UK stuff on here but I've been hearing loads of completely amazing music lately so I'm hoping that's all about to change. I love this tune.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Goodbye Michael

Part of me doesn't want to write anything at all today, but it wouldn't be right for PMOI not to say something about Michael Jackson passing away.

Everyone has their very personal stories, memories, the things we did as kids to look, dance and sound like him, he was the soundtrack to many of our lives growing up, and the quality of his music remains untouchable and inspirational. The musical bar of pop is still set where he left it. It's not strange to be sad about the death of someone we don't know - when someone makes music that is important to us they become important to us, and I imagine for almost everyone who reads this blog MJ may have made more songs that were and are big parts of our lives than anyone else. I truly hope that he had some idea of just how much his music means to the world, and that we will remember him for his unquestionable, unparalleled talent as a musician and entertainer. What he did has never been done before and never will be again.

Everyone will honour him in their own way - but I'm quick to say that death is not entertainment. I hope his legacy will not end up as a cheap tribute act, but that his music and memory will stay special and unique for us all. I hope that in future our children will know him for the magic he made, not the turmoil and struggles he battled. Lastly, I hope that we will all be big enough to set aside the things that we don't understand and celebrate the inspiration, excitement, and genius that was Michael Jackson.

All that's left to say is thank you Michael, from the bottom of our hearts.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

SA-RA "Dirty Beauty" feat. Erykah Badu



Nuclear Evolution: The Age Of Love the latest LP fromThe SA-RA Creative Partners comes out today on Ubiquity - buy it HERE. The album is a double CD of 17 brand new tracks , plus a bonus disc of beats and previously released SA-RA/Ubiquity tracks.

SA-RA "Dirty Beauty" feat. Erykah Badu

>>>Download

Props to Okayplayer & J.Kim for this one.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Natural Self "In The Morning" (Paul White Remix)

I just pulled this from the Tru Thoughts website - get it while it's hot!

The first Shapes compilation of 2009 is here.

Tru Thoughts’ first Shapes compilation of 2009 is a rather massive 29 track double CD collection, featuring a selection of current highlights, remixes and exclusive tracks from acts including Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, Bonobo, Belleruche, The Bamboos, Nostalgia 77 Sessions featuring Keith and Julie Tippett, Kinny, Stonephace and all the excellent artists currently signed to the roster, of which there are far too many to mention in one coherent sentence. Suffice to say, over the two discs – arranged into ‘home listening’ and ‘DJ’ modes – there is plenty of great music for your ears and dancefloors, from minimal soul through downtempo beats and lush jazzy vocal tracks to floor-filling basslines.

For a limited time only, you can help yourself to a full-length version of Current Track - In The Morning (Paul White Remix)

Wind It Up - Mark Pritchard ft Om’mas Keith

If you buy one record this summer - let it be this.



"Wind It Up" will be released on Hyperdub (Kode 9's label) on 27th July. Until then you can listen to it here...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Wyclef Jean - Coming to America Mixtape

I have to post it up because it's Wyclef- could be fire! Rare I post without a listen first, if it's really wack I might take it down...trial by fire.

coming-to-america-cover-art

1. Coming to America (Intro)
2. Last Time I Rhymed
3. Streets Wanna Know
4. Bustin Them Slugs
5. Nino Brown
6. You Better Pray Johnny (Interlude)
7. Johnny’s Dead (feat Styles P)
8. Play Me When I’m Dead (Interlude)
9. Africa
10. F.B.I. Knockin at my Door
11. Why I Doo This
12. Blood in Your Eye (feat The Game)
13. Operate On Me (feat Lil Wayne)
14. Been Away Too Long
15. Lauryn Hill and The Fugees (Interlude)
16. If You Wanna (feat Lauryn Hill)
17. Gettin Money Since 1996 (Interlude)
18. Rap Rock n Roll Star
19. Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself (Interlude)
20. Sweetest Girl (Cream Mix) (feat Lil Wayne Raekwon and Akon)
21. Informer (feat Uncle Murda and Movado)
22. Fresh Off The Plane (Interlude)
23. House That Clef Built
24. Leave a Voicemail (Interlude)
25. Coming Home from Upstate
26. Where the Hope Go (Interlude)
27. Slow Down (feat T.I.)
28. Street Religion (feat R. Kelly)
29. Behind the Scenes (Interlude)
30. Welcome to the East (feat Sizzla, Movado, Uncle Murda and Minister Louis Farrakhan)
31. Classic Street Album (Outro) (Bonus)
32. Endless Fight the Fugee

Download HERE

Props to Kevin Nottingham for this one!

Onetaste ft Little Dragon and Ebony Bones in Hyde Park

I had a lovely day out in Hyde Park yesterday at the OneTaste event as part of the Exhibition Rd festival. On the way there we bumped in to the uber-talented Szjerdene who mentioned her recent video for Soulculture so I thought I'd post that as well...



On to the rest of the day - we got there right at the start of brand new band Pearl Apollo's set. You might have known them as Elova (the lead singer T-bird writes for this very blog!), but they've reformed on more of an electronic tip and it's all rather sublime.





We ended up missing a lot of the acts due to an extended food mission, but managed to see Kate Tempest and MC Xanders sets. You can cop a free download from Kate Tempest and her new band Sound Of Rum HERE...

The first headline act was Little Dragon - I'd only seen them supporting Q-Tip at the Roundhouse and I couldn't hear the set too clearly so was super excited to catch them live again. We were treated to a couple of brand new tracks which let us know the next album (out in August!!!) will match the masterpiece of the first. For music that is so subtly brilliant I had no idea how it would work live and the answer was - even better. Yukimi's voice is every bit as stunning live as recorded, the whole sound just gets bigger, more exciting, experimental and intriguing (ooh I love what they do with the guitar plugged in to the synth, ahh what effects are they using on the drum kit?!). They ended with Wink and at that point they made fans out of everyone in the crowd.





Ebony Bones were as opposite as it gets - a huge live ensemble which is completely visually arresting - the band came out and jammed, followed by the shuffling backing singers, and eventually Miss Bones herself. I think in another setting I would have appreciated the music more, but after Little Dragon that amount of paraphernalia and madness seemed like too much style over substance. Lots of shouting and bouncing, but the crowd seemed to love it.







Onetaste will be at most major festivals this summer and are releasing a CD & pocast - for more info check them out at www.onetaste.co.uk

*Photos by Oddisee

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lawrence Watson - The World Is Yours



For some reason I got the wrong end of the stick & thought this exhibition wasn't closing until July (it ended on 7th June) - so this is a review rather than a go and see! On a recent sojourn through Brick Lane I ended up visiting an exhibition on Redchurch Street by accident and was completely blow away. I was with an American friend so it was funny explaining who the likes of Blur, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Black Grape and even Neneh Cherry were - but regardless the photographs held their own. On the way out a man was signing books, and it turned out to be the photographer Lawrence Watson - a lovely, unassuming guy who when asked informed us the most memorable person to photograph was (you guessed it!) Grace Jones last year. For a little more info check out his website: www.lawrencewatsonphotography.com












Friday, 19 June 2009

"FIRE" B-Real Featuring Damian Jr Gong Marley (Video)

This is my jam & has been for ages. I can't even think where I could go to hear it in a club - which is why I've been staying home a lot lately...my bedroom sets are amazing.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

PMOI EXCLUSIVE: KEV BROWN "ANOTHER RANDOM JOINT"

I met Kev Brown back in November 2007 when we booked him for a last minute show in London - all the fans of his music are devoted (including me!), so I know this is going to make a few people happy. His new album "Random Joints" will be dropping this Autumn, & he has a few other projects in the pipeline too - more info on those soon.

DOWNLOAD "ANOTHER RANDOM JOINT" HERE




*Photo by Janet E. Dandridge - Evolution Revolution Photography

Crazy Competition! Free tix to Little Brother, Guilty Simpson & Phat Kat, Black Milk Live, 10 Albums & Shook Mag for a year!

This competition is totally ridiculous. ONE WINNER - LOADS of prizes care of DJ Spin Doctor at The Doctors Orders. Here's how it works...

Complete the phrase below & send it with your name & contact details to putmeonit@gmail.com to enter. I will pick a name at random, and notify the winner via email by Friday 26th June.

"Pete, my singer don't know how to sing, [...]"

THE PRIZES -

*2 Free tickets to Little Brother at the Jazz Cafe 1st July
*2 Free tickets to The Doctors Orders with Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, DJ Vadim, Spin Doctor & more 3rd July
*2 Free tickets to see Black Milk with live band at Fabric with DJ Marky, Spin Doctor & Benji B 17th July
*10 Free albums from the artists included in the line ups - Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, DJ Vadim, Spin Doctor, Kidkanevil, Black Milk etc...
*1 years free subscription to Shook Magazine




*NB Please don't try to pull the family/ friends card, the "I am so and so" card, or bribery, as so many did with the Q-Tip ticket competition.

Kissey Asplund - Creep

Gorgeousness from Kissey Asplund...a little hard to reconcile the romantic beauty of her voice with the lyrics to this classic but you get there....click the link above to subscribe to her blog - it's always full of good things...

... So today I didn't know really what to do in the studio...i didn't feel like writing, singing...but not my music... I've been listening to Radiohead a lot lately so i decided to record a quick unplugged-nonmixed- cover of 'Creep'. The song is just soooooooo damn good and Tom Yorke does it soooo brilliant... I want you to have that in mind, this is just me doing something else and not me going for the Creep-trofé.

Download (MediaFire)
Download (Zshare)

Eglo Records Presents...Stevie J AKA Funkineven 1956



Yep, more from Eglo Records - the brand new UK-based indie label raining fire at the moment with Alex Nut, Floating Points, Fatima & Shaunise and their latest addition Stevie J. Yeah - that Stevie J!
Currently residing in West London, beat maker, hot stepper and provider of the funk Stevie J originally hails from an innerspace destination known only as Funkineven 1956. In homage to his home land the cosmic location was taken on as the title for his current incarnation. Comfortably fusing the sounds of house, hip hop, soul, rare groove and beyond, the Funkineven sound brings out the funk of the past and molds it into sound of today. Drawing inspiration from late night car rides, sunsets and fresh hair styles the Funkineven sound is universal, welcoming one and all to join him on the dancefloor.

As the lastest artist to join the ranks of Eglo records (Floating Points, Fatima, Shuanise etc) AYK is proud to present two exclusive new tracks from the data bank of Stevie J. Check them out, wake up your neighbour and get back to us with their reaction.
Mad Swing
DOWNLOAD HERE
If you want to tell them what you think of these tunes then email alex@allyoungkings.com

K'naan ft Afrikan Boy - TIA Remix!

DOWNLOAD HERE (I'm dancing too hard to it to write a post, sorry, you know I love Afrikan Boy!)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Timpani and the rock don't stop

Mos Def..big-ass timpani...Chris Dave....rah!!

Interview: Zap Mama

I posted about Zap Mama's single "Hello Mama" back in May from her new album ReCreation, and we've since been lucky enough to ask the lady herself a couple of questions via email...


Does your current single Hello To Mama, for the charity CARE, draw on your own experiences of being a daughter or of motherhood?

MD: Absolutely. I grew up with an African mother. So I know what it feels
like to come from a third world country - both the good and bad aspects,
but also from the love and support I received from my childhood. And being
blessed to receive an education. I want to help others to be able to have
that experience too.

The video is stunning, where did you film it and can you tell us about the creative process?

MD: There were 4 of us: Paul Jean Vranken (Editor, Documentary film maker),
Cerina DeRosen (Stylist), Paul Blackthorne (Actor - Lipstick Jungle,
Dresden), and myself. We decided to go to Mali (Africa), take some cameras,
and bring some stylish costumes in our suitcases, and with the help of CARE,
we headed out on an incredible adventure. We really just went to see what
kind of adventure MALI would offer us - to be there and see what Africa
could give us, with our positive vibrations. We didn't have a clear idea of
what we would find over there, but we had faith in the good and the desire
to accomplish something good and beautiful. We shared our talents with the
Malian community and they shared theirs. We wanted to take action to serve
the Universe in beauty and be part of the evolution of humanity. And I thank
my friends and CARE for helping me accomplish and create this video. And
because of 4 of us really gave our full time and talent towards this cause,
we ended up with this humble and good video clip.

Can you tell us about the sources of inspiration or personal experiences that lead to you making the new album ReCreation?

MD: I started the album in Rio, Brazil, cause my friend Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Ocean's 12), asked me to go to Brazil to record with him a cover of the song 'Paroles Paroles'. When I arrived in Brazil, everything was so well synchronized. Everything was there, and came together. I met the right people at the right time - it seemed that the world was turning in my favor. I met the exact right musicians. The weather was amazing. My son (who accompanied me) was in paradise. After I composed all these tracks in Brazil, I returned to Brussels and cut and edited all the tracks. Then I finalized all the beats with Karriem Riggins, and mixed the album with Russ Elevado (D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common) - both in Los Angeles. It was so nice. I met someone who offered me his beautiful house in the hills in LA- so I was in perfect harmony with the nature of the world. Then, on our first day of mixing, Obama was elected. To be part of the Obama election was just a wonderful moment - and vacation. And now I offer this soundtrack of beauty to the world... to bring all of us on vacation. Just listen to one track, close your eyes, and enjoy your recreation.

You've always walked your own very unique path artistically, and every album you've made has been met with excitement and critical acclaim, how have you managed not to compromise?

MD: I have compromised a lot - you have no idea. It would cost a lot to do
everything I've desired. I've had so many ideas - like bringing orchestras
into the middle of the forest to record the heart and sound of the forest.
But I have to compromise cause of finite budgets. Hopefully when my fans and
people in general buy the album, I'll have even more support to execute
these ideas.

We actually sent over a couple more questions which I hope we'll have time to get in to at a later date... ReCreation was released on 26th May (listen HERE). The proceeds of the first single "Hello Mama", will go to the charity CARE. Buy it HERE

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Tony Allen "Secret Agent" Remix Contest...

I came across this today so thought I'd share the details...


To celebrate the release of Tony Allen's new album Secret Agent, World Circuit Records are very excited to announce the Tony Allen remix project. World Circuit in collaboration with the good folks at SoundCloud and Propellerhead software are offering the opportunity to remix the title track from the album - 'Secret Agent' - a majestic slice of hardcore roots Afrobeat featuring a driving groove, penetrating guitar, pulsating horn riffs and stirring vocals. Simply put, one of the greatest drummers of all time is giving you the chance to get creative with his legendary beats.

If Tony thinks your remix of 'Secret Agent' is the best, in addition to having it hosted on World Circuit's website, on Tony's Myspace and on this blog you will benefit from a SoundCloud Pro Max account for one year, as well as either a day's studio time at Livingston Studios in London or the Reason Premium edition PLUS the Recycle software, should you not live in the UK or prefer the software to a day in a professional recording studio!
If you're not the best but second best, you will win a SoundCloud Pro Standard account for one year and a copy of Reason 4 standard edition.

Full competition details can be found here but basically this is how it goes:
1. Get the stems below. By downloading the stems, you agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions of the competition.



2. Remix the track

3. Upload your music using our SoundCloud dropbox
Send us your remixor by email no later than 7th July, 2009
4. Winners will be notified and winning entries will be posted online

If you have any questions please ask

Monday, 15 June 2009

Johnny Popcorn...

Hezekiah is hilarious and I love puppets so...enjoy! (It's the soul clap at the end you have to check for). For more info on Johnny Popcorn check myspace http://www.myspace.com/jpopcorn

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Cassie - "Must Be Love" Video & Instrumental Download

All of the individual elements suggest this will be heinous - I can't sing but I can definitely sing better than Cassie, I also can't rap but I can probably rap better than Diddy, and if you gave me the budget they undoubtedly had for this video I probably could have made something far more interesting (as could have most people for all of the above)...despite that....

I LOVE THIS.

I copped the instrumental a while back from Just A Moment, easily one of my favourite blogs - to download it click HERE

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Vocalists! Matthew Herbert & Eska Need YOU!

I wish I could sing on a daily basis, mainly so I could be a part of this project. Matthew Herbert & Eska are recruiting once again for a vocal ensemble which they will sculpt in to the most amazing sonic experience you can imagine - if last year was anything to go by. Details below...

Last year saw the release of 'There's Me and There's You' the second big band album by Producer / Composer / Protest musician Matthew Herbert.

On this album, Herbert (who's collaborations include artists as diverse as Bjork, Dizzee Rascal, Quincy Jones, REM, Roisin Murphy and Yoko Ono) blends lush jazz instrumentation, fascinating rhythms, an arsenal of outlandish, purpose-recorded samples and the incredible vocals and arrangements of Eska to create a dazzling set of protest songs.

Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios as well as at significant sites including the British Museum, Houses of Parliament, McDonald's and a land fill site, the album's dominant theme is power and its abuses in the 21st Century. The war in Iraq is a key rallying point. The power of monarchy, religion, media, climate change, state-sponsored torture and wealth inequalities are also recurring motifs.


The album and live show received rave reviews and the end of last year saw The Matthew Herbert Big Band take the stage at The Royal Festival Hall accompanied by a 70 voice vocal ensemble run by Eska.

The big band (+ Vocal Ensemble) have now been invited to perform @ The Barbican on Monday 26th October 2009. The performance will be part of an evening celebrating the 75th anniversary of the British Council.

Matthew and Eska are currently recruiting vocalists to be part of the performance. This performance is set to be even bigger, better and more spectacular than last year's.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact Jack Prideaux - Eska's PA: eskainfo@gmail.com


Friday, 12 June 2009

Afrobeat Lecture at Rich Mix with Lemi Ghariokwu, Tony Allen, Dele Sosimi, Rich Medina & Wunmi (10/06/09)

I was lucky enough to hear about and head down to a Q&A session this Wednesday at Rich Mix which was part of the Arts Own Kind "Afrobeat and the Art of Lemi Ghariokwu" exhibition and the Bass Festival. The panel was as high profile as it gets for this genre of music - chaired by Paul Bradshaw (Straight No Chaser), the panelists included; Lemi Ghariokwu, Tony Allen, Dele Sosimi, Rich Medina and Wunmi...


I must admit from the description on the Rich Mix website I was expecting something a little different to what we got - the advertised theme was "exploring the artistic forms of the Afrobeat, and its influence on the wider diaspora". I listen to Afrobeat but don't know about it in any great detail, so I was hoping to learn more about it in that sense and gain a greater musical appreciation. The actual theme ended up being very much focused on the birth and context of the genre, the difficulties artists working within it face, the current perception of it inside and outside of Nigeria, and its future.

The different perspectives on stage were as diverse as the panel, all of whom approached the discussion from a very personal angle, interweaving their stories in to the fabric of the scene and history...Some of the issues touched upon included; the strong association of Afrobeat with Fela and his immediate family as the torchbearers and the difficulty of furthering a movement with such small numbers of key players, the marketing of the genre to the rest of the world - in particular through record labels, the difficulties of being a female performer in a largely male field, working in Afrobeat as a UK based or non-black performer and who decides what is & isn't authentically "African", the effect hip hop is having on young Nigerian artists and the music industry, the struggle to engage young listeners and musicians with the movement who believe it is "old fashioned", how to maintain artistic integrity but still grow and collaborate, and the struggle to find a live music venue in London for a certain bi-monthly event...

I did find it fascinating and a real honour to be in such close proximity with some of my musical heroes, but the disillusionment I hear in conversations from all quarters about the music industry seems to be all-pervasive, and it seems that even in a genre which began at such political and grass roots levels the rapidly changing landscape is hard to navigate.

If you can make it down to the exhibition I would seriously recommend it, Lemi's iconic cover art is truly breathtaking - it's on until 6th July.



Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Georgia Anne Muldrow - "E.S.P" from new album Umsindo



I wouldn't normally just re-post something but I'm a big fan of Georgia and Fresh Selects and I imagine you are too so here goes some love spreading.
The album is a dedication to the African ancestors (Umsindo means “sound” in Zulu) and the song I have for you today, entitled “E.S.P.,” is a heartfelt tribute to her partner Dudley Perkins’ daughter, and the ancestors that live on within her. Musically, Umsindo is a return-to-form of sorts, for those of us who were lucky enough to hear Georgia’s pre-Worthnothings demo/sampler - this is her closest work to that since then, but with all the added growth and upped production skills to boot.
Download E.S.P. HERE
Usmindo will be released on 14th July on SomeOthaShip/ E1

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Charles Hamilton Part II - just in case you missed a moment.

Following on from Ben's post below...

I was on Twitter last night, watching this whole mess unfold. I have to say it was far better than television (although I don't have one). What everyone is getting upset about is this:


I first caught wind when I saw this on Twitter from DJ Houseshoes...
@charleshamilton Dilla hit me from heaven and said he dont know who the fuck you are and to leave his name off your trash.
Hamilton, possibly having learned from the last time he took something that didn't belong to him (a beat from Black Spade which he tried to pass of as his own - to Spade's face) thinks it's best to try to sort these things out over the phone.
This message is to all HATERS. If you really got an issue with me, send me ur number now. Charlesthehamilton@gmail.com. Callin FANS later...
So Sweeney from Rappers I Know sent his number & Hamilton calls him up - Sweeney blogs the conversation...

Whattup Sweeney.

Who’s this?

Charles Hamilton, what’s the hate?

It’s not hate. I just think you’re kind of a dweeb.

Ok, break down what your issue is with me so we can come to a mutual agreement to where you don’t have to say anything to me or support my music and you can go about living your life.

I only say anything about you in a public forum when I feel it’s something ridiculous like crediting Dilla as an executive producer of your album.

Do you know my relationship with Ma Dukes?

No I don’t.

If you don’t know my relationship with Ma Dukes, proceeds from my album are going towards the J Dilla Music Foundation, which is basically a temple. My issue is, if you don’t know all the details of it and simply are putting out negativity about me and what it is I’m doing, especially since I actually have a very good relationship with Phat Kat and everybody else involved, especially since I was in the studio with Pete Rock when he was mastering the Jay $tay Paid album. Do you really want to put such negative energy out there on a public forum?

Listen, that still doesn’t mean the man did anything for your album–

The thing is —

Let me talk. I let you talk, now let me talk. It’s cool that you’re giving proceeds from the album, I’ll admit that, I don’t have any problem with that. You crediting him as an executive producer of your album when you never met him is just foolish.

How do you know I never met him?

Fine. When you never had a working relationship with him, which I know you didn’t because I think I would have heard about that.

Really?

Yes.

What do you know about James Yancey personally?

What do you want me to say? I never met him personally–

If you don’t know James Yancey, his little brother or his mother the way I know them, then you can’t put any negativity out there. That’s slander. Now I’m not taking a legal approach, I’m approaching you man to man–

That’s not slander. You have no basis to take a legal approach, that’s ridiculous of you to say that.

Yo…just deal with the fact that you don’t know a large percentage of the information. You don’t want to buy the album, don’t buy the album

I’m not going to buy the album.

By the way, don’t make this a bigger issue than it already is.

How am I making it a bigger issue?

By how you talking.

All I’m saying, I’m not saying you don’t have a relationship with the family–

If I’m putting him as an executive producer, and executive producer gets a percentage of the album, what are you so mad at?

I’m not mad. I think it’s laughable that you’re crediting someone who you never had a working relationship with, and yes I’m going to make that assumption, as an executive producer on your album. Outside of you supposedly giving proceeds of the album to the J Dilla foundation, I think this is a publicity stunt, in some way, shape or form.

Are you upset that I’m giving money to the foundation and that could possibly get publicity?

Not at all. I’m not upset at anything, I’m laughing at it. I laughed when I first saw it. I’m not upset.

In the heading of your email you said ‘Hate.’

Yeah, it was a tounge-in-cheek comment. In your twitter you posted, ‘any haters email me your number,’ so I was like, ok, if this is what you’re calling it, then I guess this is going to be what he classifies as hate.

Nah, but see you didn’t ask a question, you simply stated what you thought was a fact. So what I’m trying to tell you is, upon asking Ma Dukes, or Illa J, or even his daughter, you don’t know how close to the family I am. The Hamilton family and the Yancey family have a very good relationship, so I just want you to be clear on that. The next time you want to make a statement or anything about me, do realize that I’m the type of person that will ask for your number and call you.

That’s fine. Save my number. Call me anytime. Listen, I’m not taking anything out of pocket besides the fact that I think it’s ridiculous that you’re crediting him as an executive producer. You don’t have to credit him as an executive producer to donate proceeds of the album to the foundation, that’s just how you’re choosing to go about it.

Hello?

Hello?

The response from Houseshoes was one of the biggest ethers I've ever seen in my life.
@charleshamilton just got off the phone w @madukesyancey she dont know who the FUCK U ARE. Nail in the coffin. FATALITY.

Madukes just told me to repost this from her own mouth. " Dilla left exec producing to Madukes. He does not come down for the bull****
Charles bumbles along merrily not realising what he's done and who he's dealing with. These people are not like the graceful & mild mannered Black Spade. These people might actually kill him. Here are some lowlights from Charles over the course of the evening as he descends in to denial followed by self doubt and I imagine, fear.
Ma Dukes was right. No one would believe me.

The beauty of it? You're all still visitin my page... Who loses?

@hexmurda does that include getting shot? Yay! Bullet wounds will stop my bafoonery!!! =-)
(I think that was in response to this from Hexmurda, Black Milks rather notorious manager - whose bio reads "I dont give a fuk." )
Congratulaions @charleshamilton, u made "THE LIST". & tell niggas to quit callin' SeanP askin' me to chill. Fuck yo' life, nigga.
...
And my plan, again, has worked. Twitterworld,I just brought more attention to the Detroit hiphop scene. No thanks needed.

Just hung up from @nicklenine.i understand y'all, Detroit. @houseshoes get in touch wit me. No disrespect meant at all. Misunderstanding. Up

And ain't nobody coppin a plea. Kill me if you want. This is for MUSIC. Not my pockets.

I was just on the phone with someone getting ethered. Don't remember who. I'm sure I deserved it...

I learned my social skills from watching BET and National Geographic. Can you blame me?

Of course I learn from life experinces. That's why I'm smiling right now. Self-depreciation = public masturbation
He then wrote this on his blog to er, justify himself?!
Not to say that I am a ghostbuster, but I do believe in being guided by spirits who have expertise in whatever field you are trying to excel in. Dilla virtually mastered the vintage sound. Prayer, meditation and belief in God allowed me to have a STRICTLY PARANORMAL relationship with Dilla, to master the album. Because of how deep the feeling was, how real the experience was, and his influence on my music, the right thing for me to do was to repay him.

An executive producer gets a percentage of the album's sales. When the album goes to stores (late summer/early fall), proceeds will go to Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey and the J. Dilla estate. Basically, whatever money she gets from the album, it will go to whatever she wants to do with it. Whether it's lupus research, paying residual medical bills or supporting his daughter, I want to help, as a token of appreciation for how he's helped me.
At the end of the day, in the highly unlikely event Dilla really had been an exec. producer he would have been able to strike the deal himself rather than take whatever it is Hamilton is offering. The issue is that he doesn't have permission, and if he really wanted to be charitable he could have just given a large donation and said the album was inspired by Dilla. Not exactly the altruistic philanthropist he purports to be...and there is no amount of money that can make up for his flagrant lack of respect for the legacy, rights, and artistic integrity of the man he claims he is so inspired by.

I don't imagine this will dent Hamilton's following, or even his day, considering how quickly the Black Spade event was forgotten. He might want to stay far away from Detroit though. And LA. And anywhere in the world there are people from Detroit...

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