Dolan, Don, Barbarossa & The Ice Cap’s

0 Posted by - Jun 14, 2012 - News and MP3s

Last year’s Oxjam Walthamstow gig ((dis)organised by this very blog) was fortunate enough to have a stonkingly good line-up. Now, by chance, B.Dolan, The Melting Ice Caps, Akira The Don, and Barbarossa all have new music ready and waiting at pretty much the same time.B.DOLAN

I was going to say “House of Bees Vol.2” started life as a mixtape, but it still is a mixtape, just one that was a year in the making and more than stands up against any “official” release.

The NWA inspired “Film The Police” became something of an anthem for the Occupy movement, then “Still Here” leaked in May as a tribute to MCA, and now the full album’s here, headed by the epic “King Bee“.

The opening line owes something to Jay-Z & Kanye’s “Otis” but where Jay Z declared “I invented Swag“, Dolan kicks off with “I invented Ugly” (although everyone knows Bubba Sparxx invented that in 2001). The lyrics were written at Dan Le Sac’s flat and Dan’s disinterested response to the “ugly” line as he looked up from an email: “Mhmmm. And you kept it all to yourself, didn’t you?” ended up being the second line.

The track itself is based on the Stone Foxes reworking of the blues standard “I’m a King Bee, chopped up and turned into something else entirely by producer Buddy Peace. As Dolan delivers a polemic statement of intent, “I don’t practice in the mirror, don’t rap to a focus group” the guitars snarl and deliver a sound that if Rage Against The Machine ever got off the festival circuit and wrote material half as good would sell a million.

Dolan also guests on Dan Le Sac’s new album (see “Caretaker” video below)”

B. Dolan
BUY – House Of Bee’s Vol.2 / Track by track breakdown
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In between recording 23 minute long video blogs bemoaning the “ridiculous, shlocky, dumb, anticlimactic, nonsensical MESS” that is Prometheus, Akira The Don released the 28th ATD Mixtape, entitled “Unkillable Thunderchrist”. As you’d expect from a Don mixtape its got a long roll call of guests including PolarBear, Envy, Footsie, Big Narstie, Mr Lacey, & Joey2tits. Denver based MC Time features on the tribute to Beastie Boy MCA “Too Sweet To Be Sour“.
In Envy, Akira appears to have found something of a musical soulmate, and as the number of collaborations mount up she must be wishing Virgin offered railmiles between Manchester and Akira’s Hackney home – or Nu Olympia as the Don has renamed it. Last years duet Nothing Last’s Forever takes some matching but the tone of “Give Me Something” is very different with Envy taking the lead delivering a heartbreaking tale about the loss of her mum.

The chorus samples Rufus Wainwright’s song about the September 11th attacks, “11:11″ to superb effect (and there’s some Gene and The Only Ones in there too apparently) but it’s the raw honesty of the lyrics that really hit you.

If I have kids I’ll be gutted they couldn’t meet ya
but ill show them all the pictures of us smiling in Ibiza

It’s the personal details of promising to look after her sister, her mum clowning around in baggy jeans like Rihanna or not wanting to visit her grave that are more affecting than a perhaps more “spiritual”, or metaphorical song. There are no floating clouds, tides going out, etc just the pain from the loss of the most important person in your life and the struggle to find a way to emerge out of the other side.