Saturday, 28 May 2011

Video: Sosa Recording "Exit Wounds"


BRIDGE KIDS EXIT WOUNDS from Creative Control on Vimeo.

I cannot get this song out of my head. It's on We Love Vol. 28, and whilst I may have just dropped 60 glorious free tracks in a week on the blog I keep finding myself singing along (badly) to Exit Wounds on repeat. I couldn't find much online on SOSA aka Solana Rowe other than this video from Creative Control on the making of the track, which will apparently be on a forthcoming project called See Sos Run.

Farewell, Gil Scott Heron



I spent much of today reading articles and tributes, and listening to documentaries (all of them fascinating) about Gil Scott Heron, after hearing the sad news about his passing. It was on everyone's mind and as I spoke to a friend from Washington DC about it, it reminded me of the video above from his younger days. That stretch of river bank is covered in rich yuppies stretching out on their boats today. The thing that seemed to stick with both of us was the fact the man could be so eloquent in describing the problems that beset his people, the causes and the solutions, and yet be a prime example of the effects. The logic goes that if you understand a problem you can fix it, but it seems not everything is that simple.

I feel deeply grateful to Gil Scott Heron, it's not easy being that honest, and he was so unswervingly throughout his life. There were probably so many moments he could have thought - sod this I'm going to do it the easy way - but he didn't, and he created something that defied genre and categorization, art that changed so much that came after it and will remain forever.    

Friday, 27 May 2011

Video: Krystle Warren - The Love Songs Sessions



This is probably one of the most inspirational videos I've posted since I started blogging. The bravery and determination it must take to hold out in order to do everything on your own terms without compromising, then trusting yourself when the dream scenario comes together and you have 20+ other people involved in bringing it to life makes me feel overwhelmed just watching. I have a sneaking suspicion that this album, whenever it comes to light, will be a modern masterpiece. 

Video: Erykah Badu "Out My Mind Just In Time"


OUT MY MIND JUST IN TIME from Creative Control on Vimeo.

I find it hard to imagine this was in no way influenced by the recent Pina Bausch resurgence - it's basically a solo version of Café Müller without the chairs (please go and see Wim Wenders spectacular 3D film Pina, out now). Not that I'm knocking it, quite the opposite - whatever inspired it this is gorgeous and 99% of the contemporary dancers I studied with would kill for an ounce of the charisma and presence Erykah Badu brings to this piece, and her sense of physicality and vocabulary is really impressive for someone without formal training. Where movement is concerned the emotional is far more important than the physical.

We Love... Vol.28

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Yes you saw that right, Notorious B.I.G. - Busta has recycled a verse but the track (thankfully) doesn't sound like recent Busta Rhymes. Apparently his new album features a significant amount of production from Kev Brown (fingers and toes crossed). Disclaimer: in case the inclusion of some of these tracks is confusing I was a serious RnB chick with braids 10 years ago, there are definitely traces of that in here but I tried not to go overboard and the mixture of genres is still there. Enjoy. 

We Love Vol. 28 download [Mediafire Link] 

AAries - Baby, This Love I Have
Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra - African Kings
Bon Iver - Calgary
Boom Clap Bachelors - Løb Stop Stå
Busta Rhymes ft Notorious B.I.G. - I Knock You Out
Darryl Moore -  Where I'm At
Débruit - débruit's Pony
Dynasty - Magnificent
Hodgy Beats - Mystery
Homeboy Sandman - Fully Equipped
John Legend - Rolling in the Deep (Adele cover)
Mayer Hawthorne - Don't Turn The Lights On
MED - Where I'm From feat. Kurupt & Aloe Blacc
MF DOOM - Vomit (3:33 Remix)
Noisses - Vampire Riddem
Oddisee - I'm From PG
SOSA - Exit Wounds
Susana Baca - Molino Molero (LIve @ KEXP)
Toki Monsta - Bright Shadows
Uncle Murda - Warning

*WE LOVE... is a big one click download of carefully selected individual tracks sourced from reputable blogs & artists we love. Please email us (info@putmeonit.com) if we've uploaded a non-promo track in error or to send us something you love.  
   

Video: Lianne La Havas Black Cab Session


Lianne La Havas from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.


I'll say it again, this girl is going to do BIG things...

Video: What Song are you Listening to?



This is awesome. I wish people would ask each other more often (but then I am a music blogger). Saying that I seem to get asked quite regularly and it's easy to get caught out - last time I was listening to Bun B when I bumped in to a very religious friend who asked. It's amazing the way you see the world completely changes depending on what comes on in your headphones - sometimes you're trying not to look crazy dancing at the bus stop because of J Dilla, others you might be ready to (mentally) shank the next man who "hey girl's" you because of Wu Tang, or trying desperately to hold it together and not cry until you get in the house because of Arvo Part. That may just be me but I doubt it.

Video: Tommy Tempa "Light Medium" Dir. L P Balmer



This video is surprisingly similar to what I imagine the inside of Tommy Tempa's brain to look like. Another gorgeous song from his recently released "The Quixotic" EP [iTunes link] which I can't recommend highly enough. If you haven't yet you can check out our interview with Tommy and see if there are any free downloads left of "Fragments" here.

Interview: Aly Gillani on First Word Records 7th Birthday

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One of the UKs finest independent record labels First Word (home to Kidkanevil, Homecut, Laura J Martin, Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra and lots of others) turned seven years old this week so I asked label boss Aly Gillani AKA DJ Gilla about the journey. If you're quick you can grab this great free compilation they've released to celebrate, it's up for another day.




I've read the bio but still don't know where the name "First Word" came from, is it a dark secret? If so please will you tell us anyway?

Well, originally we were called 'Sounds Like' - as in charades - 'sounds like music' - we started getting logos with an ear being tugged as you would if you were playing the game. Then we found out there already was a 'Sounds Like' so we continued the charades theme and came up with 'First Word' - it seemed only natural that our first compilation should be called Two Syllables. I have no idea where this charades fixation came from - I don't even like the game that much....

We're sure there have only been highs, but please will you humour us and tell us about the biggest highs and lows over the last 7 years?

It's funny, but when you start out everything is a high. I remember rushing down to the newsagent to buy magazines and newspapers which had our reviews in, recording Radio One off the 'listen again' feature into my minidisc recorder when we had our first airplay, our first big shows at Jazz Cafe, Koko etc, were all hugely exciting. Particularly as the label has always had a real family vibe to it, you really feel part of something. As you get more experienced you get a bit more blase about it, because it becomes normal. The event at Vibe Bar this week was great, because it was the biggest line-up of artists on the label we've had since we started - I'm really lucky to work with a genuinely great group of people, and to have them all meet each other, socialise together and collaborate on fantastic music is really gratifying.

Plenty of lows too though! Going way back, our second single was by a band called Today's Mathematics - a really beautiful hip hop soul record. To this day it's still one of the best reviewed releases we've had - Radio 1 airplay, loads of press, great DJ reactions - we had high hopes..... it sold 30 copies on vinyl - heartbreaking! We've also been ripped off a couple of times, it's the nature of the business that distributors go under, and that's just how it goes. However, one guy literally pocketed a very significant amount of our money, for entirely selfish reasons - he just never paid us (and lots of other people too). It was pretty early on for us and it nearly sent us under. What's even more frustrating is that the guy is still working in the industry today! The only other real low point is when we have to destroy unsold stock - in the last year I've taken two full carloads to the skip and it's pretty soul-destroying - all those hopes and dreams you have end up in the crusher. It's generally all old releases, we definitely have more hits than misses these days, but it's still hard to take.

Is there anything you've found yourself wishing you knew about before you started running an independent record label? Like people don't buy that much music anymore...

There's so much I wish I knew, and so much I still don't know. I think when we started it was at a really interesting time in the independent scene. We were taking our cues from people like Ninja Tune, BBE, Tru Thoughts - labels that had started when people still bought a lot of records - they'd locked down how to run things in that climate and we tried to replicate that. That taught us our biggest lesson - everything changes so quickly - the nature of the business changes constantly. When we started in 2004 iTunes was in it's infancy, and not really a big consideration. If you didn't release something on vinyl DJs couldn't play it - which now is almost unimaginable. Technology has completely transformed the way we work, and the lessons from today don't necessarily help you tomorrow.

Has it made much of a difference moving your base from Leeds to London (apart from the lack of friendly conversations with strangers on public transport)?

Ha ha! Yeah, the number 78 bus from Peckham isn't a place to start a conversation really! I'm glad that we started the label in Leeds - it gave us our identity and the support from people there and in Sheffield was massively important to us. I still feel that we are rooted in that Leeds musical scene which has produced such amazing talent. As well as The Haggis Horns, kidkanevil, Homecut, Mike-L and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra on our label, there's Corinne Bailey Rae, Andreya Triana, Shlomo, Eliphino, Kato, Laura J Martin, Submotion Orchestra, Ramadanman and tons more - it's a really inspiring place.

The move has been great from a business point of view even though my reasons for moving were personal ones. There is a much greater scope for things here - Leeds is a relatively small city - which makes it all the more remarkable that it produces so much great music, but London opens up so many more possibilities. We're still proud of our Yorkshire roots though!

What's next? Any plans to sign a group of potty mouthed middle-class teenagers from the West Country and take over the world?

What, the cast of Skins or something? Actually, a record made by them would probably outsell everything we've ever done! We've got loads of great stuff coming up though - we're about to release a couple of reggae records in the shape of a new album from Lotek and East Park Reggae Collective (another product of the Leeds music scene). There's also the debut Souleance LP which is gonna feature Shawn Lee and Raashan Ahmad (that track is sounding crazy!) and we've recently signed RBMA graduate Amenta who I'm really excited about working with. There's an ethio-jazz album from Brighton duo Ye Mighty and we've just signed (today in fact) a 7" from Tall Black Guy out of Detroit. Plenty to keep us busy!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

We Love... Vol.27

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This one probably won't be to everyone's taste and the fact I assemble these compilations in alphabetical order leads to some strange coupling (Vado, Jada and Luda before Vieux Farka Toure is just bizarre). I just hope you find something you like on here...

We Love Vol.27 Download [Mediafire link]

Amanda Diva - Manchild
Bonobo - The Keeper (Live @ KEXP)
BOSCO - What, when, where....
Dub Sonata - Puffin' on a Fat Blunt
Fleet Foxes - Grown Ocean
Free The Robots - With The Drum
Grey Reverend - Walk The Same
J.Cole - The Good Son, Part I
Kidkanevil - Stomp ft Justin Percival
Lianne La Havas - Final Form (Everything Everything cover)
Mobb Deep - Must Go Hard
Nostalgia 77 - Cherry
Oddisee - You Don't Close Your Eyes
Sbtrkt ft Yukimi Nagano - Wildfire ft (Drake rmx)
Shystie ft Lioness, Lady Leshurr - Warning
Tommy Tempa - Fragments
Tone Trezure - Love me
Toro Y Moi - I Will Talk To You
Vado, Jadakiss, Ludacris - Check Um Out
Vieux Farka Toure - Inne (Live @ KEXP)
               
*WE LOVE... is a big one click download of carefully selected individual tracks sourced from reputable blogs & artists we love. Please email us (info@putmeonit.com) if we've uploaded a non-promo track in error or to send us something you love.

PMOI Presents: Tanya Auclair "Gabriel" Dir. by Will Hanke


Tanya Auclair - Gabriel (Live) from Tanya Auclair on Vimeo.

When Tanya first performed this song at the Tabernacle in West London a few weeks ago, after only working it out the night before, by the time she sang "he had good news" half of the audience had erupted. Not one for introductions, it was a moment for those who were there on the right dancefloor in 1997, and Tanya had managed to capture and distill the beautiful essence of a two step classic. The reaction has been the same everywhere since, so when director Will Hanke dropped over to her house at the last minute and filmed the lady of many instruments performing a couple of songs from her forthcoming EP "Origami" this had to be included.

My mate Ed makes me the best compilations, a couple weeks ago I was throwing shapes hard in the kitchen to a mix he'd made me ages ago and I rediscovered this Peven Everett/Roy Davis Jr beauty called 'Gabriel'. I spent the next couple days mouth-trumpeting that chorus hook with a spring in my step. For all you old-skool UK garage heads, here's my refix - without mouth trumpet. Directed by brilliant filmmaker Will Hanke. 

"Origami" the new EP from Tanya Auclair will be released on June 13th. The launch party is on Thursday June 9th at Servants Jazz Quarters (click for info).   

Video: Dele Sosimi Cooking Sweet


Dele Sosimi - Short Film / EPK from Chris Walsh (Dreadnought Media) on Vimeo.


"I'm not sure whether I like it or I need it"...

Good genetics could fool you in to thinking Dele Sosimi has to be a second generation Afrobeat artist, but he is as much a living piece of history as Tony Allen, having played keys in Fela's band Egypt 80 from 1979-1986. It's beautiful to see a musician who has been playing for so long still as excited and passionate as they were at the start. For some reason I've never been to one of his nights, the last Saturday of the month in Hackney, but after watching this I might just have to go.

PUT ME ON IT x BBC 6 MUSIC

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Lianne La Havas

We were invited to play a few tracks we're listening to at the moment for Tom Robinson's BBC Radio 6 Music Show "Now Playing", there's one day left to listen to the whole show, but they sent over our 5 mins so I've uploaded it below in case you'd like to hear it.  We played an exclusive called Clara Barton from Oddisee's forthcoming instrumental album Rock Creek Park, Løb Stop Stå by Boom Clap Bachelors, and Final Form by Lianne La Havas.

FYI they also cut down the list of artists I said I was listening to! I actually said - Valentina, Oddisee, Michael Kiwanuka, Stac, Debruit, Eska, Tanya Auclair, Olivier Daysoul, Quadron, Dam Funk, Micachu, Tune Yards, Bilal, Brittany Bosco, Tranqill (no wonder they cut it down).

   PUT ME ON IT ON 6 MUSIC by ameliaideh

I also wrote an article for their blog -

"In Search of Buried Treasure"
A lot of music bloggers lay claim to the title "curator", but I can't remember the last time I went to a gallery where the curator was shoving last weeks exhibition out of the back door before I had a chance to see it, whilst bustling past me to usher in ten random new paintings, half of them rubbish, still dripping wet and unframed...

Read the rest over @ BBC6

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

We Love... Vol.26

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It's been a while - I was thinking of stopping these (they take days) but realised I would miss them too much let alone the lovely people who threaten me when I leave it too long. So this is the first "We Love" compilation of 2011, Vol 27 will arrive tomorrow and Vol 28 on Friday. That's 60 tracks of the usual mixture which stretches from the insanely beautiful to inexplicably ignorant (sorry). Grab the first 20 individual tracks all wrapped up in a pretty zip folder below...

We Love Vol.26 Download [Mediafire]

Aloe Blacc - 99 Problems (Jay-Z Cover)
Alpha Yaya Diallo - Sogue (Live @ KEXP)
Asher Roth & Nottz - Run It Back
Baris Manco - Kucuk Bir Gece Muzigi (Mozart)
Blu Ft. Pac Div, U-N-I, J*Davey, TiRon & Ayomari - Doin' Something
Cam'ron & Vado - Hey Muma (Cookin Soul Remix)
Drake - Dreams Money Can Buy
Georgia & Dudley - Popstopper
J*DaVeY - Quicksand
Jhene Aiko - Club Stranger (Nguzunguzu Remix)
José James - COLTRANE (DEAR ALICE)
Karl Hector - Clavi Groove
Mansions on The Moon - Walk on the Moon
Muhsinah - How Great
The Park - Belleville
Sir Michael Rocks - Bring It Back
Sleepy Brown- You're My Lady
Szjerdene - Think it Through
Thundercat - For Love I Come
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Doubt/Hope (Live at WFMU)
       
*WE LOVE... is a big one click download of carefully selected individual tracks sourced from reputable blogs & artists we love. Please email us (info@putmeonit.com) if we've uploaded a non-promo track in error or to send us something you love.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Video: Wanlov The Kubulor "For The River"



The Prince of Pidgin returns with new stories to tell...

i wan go boff
for the river
i wan hold ma head up
for the river
but e no dey anymore
coz da river
e full of borla
e turn to gutta
i dey kai da way den we dey swim
4 da rivers plus wanna friends
afta den we dey fetch water
take go cook
den we dey chop better
but somtin happen
plastic come
rivers turn into drastic dump
sewage n electronic waste
sweet river
kai
toxic taste
river pra
emu aye fii
river odo
ewo muji
river volta
emeh podi
river densu
very nasty
ooh wanna rivers
i dey wonder how we go survive

Via the lovely Afripop

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Video + MP3: Tanya Auclair "Closer" on Spine TV x Yult Remix



It's always great to see team PMOI crew getting love in other places and this lovely video by Spine TV of Tanya Auclair and her new band kicks off what is about to be a very exciting couple of months for that lady in the lead up to her new EP "Origami" (set for release June 13th, launch party Thursday 9th June). Keep your eyes peeled over here for more news on that soon but in the meantime check out this juicy remix of "Closer" by Yult. 

   Closer (Yult Remix) by Tanya Auclair

If you are a numpty and you haven't done so yet go and download Tanya's last EP "Thrum" which we premiered here last summer.

Monday, 16 May 2011

PMOI Presents: Tommy Tempa "Fragments" [Download + Interview]

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I first came across Tommy Tempa at the end of 2009 when his Micachu remix of Turn Me Well blew me away and appeared on We Love Vol 6. I was becoming slightly jaded about electronica overload and Tommy's music had something distinctly juicy about it which got me excited again. After some prodding he sent over his new EP "The Quixotic" and I fell in love - for those who are fans of Kidkanevil, Debruit and Daedelus Tommy's name might be one to add to your list. I'm very excited to be offering a PMOI exclusive download of "Fragments", my favourite track on The Quixotic EP [iTunes link] which came out today on Somethink Sounds - be quick only the first 1000 are free.

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I also asked Tommy a few "getting to know you" questions below...

How did you get the name Tommy Tempa? You seem so nice, do you loose your rag often? Hehe, well yeah people have wondered that before, and I must say I wouldn't consider myself an angry kind of guy! Its actually tricky to remember when it stuck, but it definitely came from my teen years when I was big into break-dancing - and if you want to be a proper B-boy you've got to have your name right? Somehow ended up with Tempa - think perhaps it was my battle style? Hehe its just like a second name to me now.

Can you describe your creative process? Judging by the music I always imagine you begin by going for a quick jaunt through the rainforest with a tape recorder and spear. If I lived in Brazil then you're pretty much spot on! I actually definitely do like to start with recording sounds I can find. Outdoors and indoors - kitchen utensils is always a favorite. I've got a tape recorder and a dictaphone which add nice character to field recordings, street recordings etc... plus I like to multi-sample instruments. The thumb piano on 'Fragments' for instance, that way I can play it on the keys and twist it up with effects or pitch it etc quite easily. I've got things like a beautiful hissy recording of a grand piano, and a spinet from a museum all mapped out on a sampler which is great to use. Sampling from records I don't really do so much in a direct sense. I usually just start with any small noise and manipulate it beyond recognition and work from there.

Are you a particularly quixotic person or is it just the EP?
Well as far as I understand the meaning of the word I would say when I was making the EP it definitely came from that quite idealistic, romantic train of thought - when you can just be lost in your own little musical world and not care about who or what scene is gonna like it and how to sell it etc. So yeah its a quixotic EP! And perhaps it sums up my general attitude towards the music industry and my part in it..

Whilst we're on the subject of idealism, what is the optimum situation for this EP to be listened to in? If I had my way I'd go for a swimming pool in Plastic People.
I love it! This is gonna have to happen for the release party. It wouldn't be too hard to sort right? (Actually we are having one but not sure of details yet - will keep you posted). Well I would say ideally not skipped through on laptop speakers hehe, and all in order - the tracks are intended to lead on to each other. But however people are comfortable I guess... Just with open ears.

You have a habit of remixing that which should never be touched (Micachu, Caribou etc) and somehow pulling it off with great success - any collaborations in the pipeline? [If not who would you like to work with?]
Ha! Thanks! Yeah you mentioned two of my wishes right there... Well I actually live with some very musical people; Raisa from Micachu and The Shapes, and Olly from another band The Laurel Collective, plus a girl who's a classical double bassist. Theres definite passing of ideas going on - watch this space! Got one or two other people there's ideas forming with as well... Animal Collective would definitely be another on the wishlist, I love the kind of free-wheeling nature of their music. Maybe one day!


Review: Quadron Live at the Queens Head (London)

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I really thought I was a fan of Quadron. I thought they were a really good band with a quirky approach to songwriting and a lead singer (Coco) who had a lovely tone. I had no idea. Turns out Quadron are one of the most talented bands I've been blessed enough to stumble across in the last 10 years.

After an advance call to the venue we arrived at 9pm ready to see the band - who didn't go on stage until almost two hours (and two support acts who might have been dragged kicking and screaming from the nearest secondary school) later. It's always great to watch an act who have no need of nervy introductions, and Coco hopped on stage to join the boys, grabbed the mic and proceeded to deliver one of the most impressive live sets I've seen this year. You could sense from the start that the crowds expectations were being thoroughly trounced by a band whose music made so much more sense and became so exciting live, especially the rousing chorus of Jeans.

The thing about Coco is she is a huge star in waiting, with a very attractive mixture of firm confidence and genuine humility. Nothing on the record really suggests her vocal ability is as impressive as it is - her beautiful cover of Michael Jackson's Baby Be Mine is infinitely more beautiful live, and she began Pressure with an acappella similar to the incredible moment right at the end of this version with Rebekah Raff. Dru from Plug Research warned me that she would give me goosebumps but I found myself trying to physically keep my brain and heart inside my body. The band seemed surprised that the audience refused to stop applauding for minutes after every song, but I can't imagine anything else - we were being converted from fans to devotees. For our part we all refused to leave until they came back for an encore, providing the venue manager with the choice of potentially losing his job or dealing with a riot. Quadron obliged us with a quiet version of Herfra Hvor Vi Står, but I think a lot of us were secretly hoping when they said they would sing in Danish for this from the recent Boom Clap Bachelors EP [iTunes link]...


Boom Clap Bachelors - Løb Stop Stå from Plug Research on Vimeo.


*Update 18th May* Boom Clap Bachelors have just released an adorable new video so I thought I'd update here.....


Boom Clap Bachelors - Falder Ind Og Falder Ud from Plug Research on Vimeo.
 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Video: Oddisee feat. Tranqill "CI'IY LIFE"


Oddisee feat. Tranqill "CI'IY LIFE" from Mello Music Group on Vimeo.

Bringing new meaning to the phrase "hood video". Or not. This beauty has been in the works for a long time, created by the very talented Mark Phillips, and I love the way it feels like you're traveling on several different people's (bleak) journeys to some kind of work, set against Tranqill's dark storytelling. The track fit so perfectly on Oddisee's Odd Winter EP which as with the whole Odd Seasons series we premiered here, and now it's being released physically on CD & Vinyl.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Video: Michael Kiwanuka Black Cab Session


Michael Kiwanuka from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

The man hasn't released anything yet and he's supporting Adele on tour, The Guardian and Gilles Peterson are all over him, and now he's done a Black Cab Session! Impressive work. Lovely as this session is, unless he could have stuffed a full horn and string section in the cab with a drummer it just can't compare to the original, the production on which is just disgustingly stunning. Michael Kiwanukas' Tell Me a Tale EP is set for release on 13th June on Communion, a label stuffed full of other beardy fellows, but you can the single plus three other songs on iTunes now.



Sunday, 8 May 2011

Download & Video: The Park "Belleville"


The Park - Belleville from anthony valadez on Vimeo.

I didn't think I could love The Park any more. Then they released this. I should have known, the band who made everyone they supported look so much better at SXSW '09 have sprinkled their magic dust on to one of the most amazing film soundtracks ever (and one of the most stunning animated films), Belleville Rendez-vous. Download below!

Video: Débruit - Mezdé



Plastic Horse, Rainbow Monkey - Débruit always has the most fantastically named collaborators. In this instance Plastic Horse made this awesome video, and whilst I did ask D about the inspiration behind it I got the feeling from his slightly abstract but very interesting response you could analyze it all day but the best thing to do is come up with your own ideas. I did love the interpretation of the "surreal synth pitch sounds" Débruit creates with his voice as dolphins playing the trumpet though.

Débruit's Şiş Sürpriz EP is out now [iTunes link]

Video: Michael Rapaport on A Tribe Called Quest Documentary


Inspiring the Film - Michael Rapaport from Will Leather Goods on Vimeo.

A few months ago a trailer entitled "Beats, Rhymes and Fights" dropped and got us all very excited (in my case dubious because of the title), and extremely anxious to see the Tribe Called Quest documentary now thankfully titled "Beats, Rhymes and Life" Michael Rapaport has made. I can't reveal my sources on pain of death, but I saw the film a couple of weeks ago and it is awesome.

It would be stating the blindingly obvious to say that the documenting of culture is really important, but in this instance it moved me deeply and honestly has changed my perspective. I was slightly too young to follow ATCQ and the whole Native Tongues movement at the time, (the first CDs I bought with Tribe members on them were Amplified and Lucy Pearl - long since corrected I promise). So to see the journey, the beautiful optimism, the incredible music right from the early days, and how as a group Tribe (and their musical peers) grew was an amazing experience.

Part of me felt afterwards that despite being a big fan I have never really felt hip hop culture deeply enough before watching this film - it physically picks you up and transports you to a more idealistic time when the stakes were infinitely higher than money and success, and suddenly your sense of possibility is ignited. In a way the progression through to the present illustrates the stark contrast of culture vs industry (which hip hop has of course now become foremost for many), as the band argued their way reluctantly through the Rock The Bells Tour '08 to pay for Phife's medical bills, rather than a heartfelt reunion. I'm not one to yearn for the golden age of anything but it's hard not to compare such artistic integrity with some of the emerging "artists" that get major investment today and wonder why we allowed the bar to be lowered so far.

This is a film that desperately needs to be seen - I've heard rumblings that a few venues are interested but worried about whether it will find an audience. After showing the first Suite for Ma Dukes screening in London last summer I know for a fact the only problem would be not enough seats.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

PMOI Presents: Stac "Turn That Light Out" Kidkanevil & Blue Daisy Remixes [Download]

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Before you even begin reading this, hit download on the two beautiful remixes by Kidkanevil and Blue Daisy below quickly because the freebies are limited to the first 1000. They come from the second volume of remixes of Stac's debut album Turn That Light Out, which arrived on Wah Wah 45s recently. It features a really diverse range of production talent including Yult, Scrimshire, Alex Patchwork, Herma Puma, Ashley Beedle, Kidkanevil, Blue Daisy and Co. Since it struck me as a rather unusual thing for an artist to be this comfortable with putting out so many remixes I asked Stac a few questions about it...




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Most songwriters seem to hate remixes, how do you feel about this EP?
I love remixes! When I first started writing songs I just wrote acappellas and gave them to people to do their thing with, so actually I am really used to it. I get really excited when I get remixes back because its so interesting to hear somebody else's take on your song. It breathes new life into your song and if the person remixing it is amazing then why would the remix be anything else? Having said that I have asked for a few tweaks here and there but only tiny ones that wouldn't mean anything to anyone other than me!

Is it strange giving someone a song you've made as a collection of (potentially quite personal) "parts" to put back together in a different way?
It is strange but its also really exciting. Its like getting photos developed, you have an idea of what you think they are going to be like but there are often lots of surprises, so far so good!

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Do you have any favourites or is that like asking you to pick a favourite child?
Haha! I am going to be boring and deliver the standard answer in saying that I couldn't pick a favourite. It's bloody impossible because they are all so different and all give me oodles amounts of joy!

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If you could choose any of your own songs to be reworked by any artist (or combination of artists) dead or alive what would you go for?
Blimey! Well. I would give my left arm (I need my right) to have Quincy Jones do 'Head on Me'. I reckon that would be pretty sick and also, I was drunk the other night and I thought it would be a good idea to write Timberland an email asking him to save the pop world from all the RnB auto-tune euro trash awfulness that's in the charts at the moment. I didn't send it but I think it would be interesting to have him do 'Glory' or a really wonky Balls Bounce, maybe? Im gonna think about this question some more cause it's a good one!


Stac & Blue Daisy will be supporting Little Dragon @ Heaven on 11th May and performing the remixes! Tickets here

Monday, 2 May 2011

Nikki Jean "Pennies in a Jar" LP Release Date & Tracklist



If, like me, you have been following the drama as it unfolded for the last three years you too will be very excited to know that S-Curve Records (a Universal affiliate), will be releasing Nikki Jeans debut album Pennies In A Jar on June 7th.

Aside from her ridiculous talent and beauty, the woman is a marketing beast and has been video blogging her life for three years, alongside all kinds of other devotion-inspiring activities including going on tours of her fans houses, sending them hand written Christmas cards, answering all of their questions on Tumblr, baking cookies, knitting, the list goes on... The documentation process however allowed her fans an insight in to the pain and frustration of being caught in a deal with Columbia who didn't want to put her record out.



"The entertainment industry is a commodities game, just like corn or gold. The chemical composition of gold NEVER changes. Peoples perception of its value changes, and markets change. . but gold doesn’t change.  That’s what we are as artists. . Of course we grow and change every day, but . . our value?  our intrinsic qualities do not change. "

Then this happened...



This has to be one of the most exciting tracklist announcements I've seen in years.

1. How to Unring a Bell (Written by Thom Bell & Nikki Jean)
2. Steel and Feathers (Don’t Ever) (Written by Bob Dylan & Nikki Jean)
3. La Di Da Di Da (Written by Luigi Creatore & Nikki Jean)
4. My Love (Written by Lamont Dozier & Nikki Jean)
5. Pennies in a Jar (Written by Burt Bacharach & Nikki Jean)
6. What’s a Girl Supposed to Do (Written by Jeff Barry & Nikki Jean)
7. Rockaway (Written by Carole King & Nikki Jean)
8. Million Star Motel feat. Lupe Fiasco & Black Thought (Written by Bobby Braddock & Nikki Jean)
9. Patty Crash (Written by Paul Williams & Nikki Jean)
10. China (Written by Jimmy Webb & Nikki Jean)
11. Mercy of Love (Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil & Nikki Jean)
12. Sex, Lies and Sunshine (Written by Carly Simon & Nikki Jean)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Review: Mara Carlyle Live at The Forge [Camden Crawl]

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I've long loved Mara's album The Lovely (which admittedly I may not have heard if I didn't work with the label it came out on - you can listen in full below), so perhaps this afternoon's performance shouldn't have come as such a shock to me, and yet somehow it did. I had wrongly assumed that the vocal perfection on that recording was impossible to recreate live, and that no singer would dare. I was incorrect.  



As you can hear above, Mara's music is exceptionally classy, so her humble charm
and joking familiarity in between tracks feels a bit like being snapped suddenly out of a dream you don't want to end by your practical sibling. The moment she picks up her saw (she plays the saw and guitars of varying sizes) and begins to sing everything in the room changes. From a technical standpoint the woman is a marvel and her vocal range is extraordinary, but that's not really the point. We traveled with her through the most incredible range of emotions, from agonizing lament to soaring afternoon delight (Baby Bloodheart is about an orgasm), to a stunning Vietnamese folk song Mara somehow seamlessly mixed with... Amerie "One Thing".

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At various points I found myself slack-jawed, misting up, and I think my heartbeat became worryingly irregular when she performed a single verse of Pianni. Some of Mara's band also seemed equally amazed by her (including the gorgeous double bass player Arista of the Guillemots, who when off-stage made faces of varying incredulity). It seemed odd until Mara explained the band had only met each other 20 minutes before the show, a fact I am still trying to get my head around. They really brought the album to life with such stunning vibrancy and layered depths.

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Possibly the most exciting part of the show was the announcement that Mara's second album Nuzzle, which has been completed for at least three years and suspended in major label purgatory, is finally coming out this July. We await with baited breath.

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