Floats, dancers, steel drums and over forty sound systems shaking the ground and perforating eardrums with everything from soca to dub, reggae, jazz, house and calypso – it must be time for Notting Hill Carnival 2013.
What will those mighty speaker stacks be blasting out this year? To hear from those that know check Heatwave’s always essential Carnival mix or Toddla T cramming 30 years of carnival into 5 minutes.
My own fifty Music Like Dirt carnival selections are bundled up into handy playlists below for your listening pleasure:
“Not saying I love you but I probably could…
The three year wait for new Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip material is over so I’m extending July to fit a cheeky August the 3rd release into my monthly best of.
There are a slightly ludicrous 101 tracks from last month in Soundcloud & whyd playlists below but first nab the FREE download of Pip & Le Sacs “Stunner” single via their website.
Dan & Pip’s solo albums were works to be justly proud of but like Taylor & Burton there’s a unquantifiable magic when they work together. On “Stunner” Le Sac’s slightly Death Grips style beats provide the perfect bed for Pip to do what he does best… deliver wonderfully inventive lyrics. It’s a joy to have them back!
Pre-order the album “Repent, Replenish, Repeat” on Strange Famous in the US, or on Sunday Best in the UK (itunes link).
Watch the video on Youtube or as the first of 100+ tracks in the playlist below:
If you were to list the great musical landmarks and locations in London, it would be a while before Walthamstow tripped off the tongue. However in Hoe Street, around the corner from the crumbling art deco cinema where the Beatles once played is a nondescript shop at the very centre of the punk explosion.
Today, 162 Hoe Street provides tasty Kabanos and other Eastern European grub but in the late 70’s kids from across the capital would make a pilgrimage to Small Wonder Records for the latest Punk and post punk sounds. Crass, Bauhaus, The Cure, The Cravats, Patrik Fitzgerald, Cockney Rejects… to name but a few of the bands who had their first release on the Small Wonder label.
And the Grammy goes to… people being interviewed for TV News. Among this weeks musical highlights is a worthy successor to Charles Ramsey, a Jamaican lady who’s interview with a local reporter is transformed into an insanely catchy dancehall track by Lotek.
There are 40 more selections including Amy Holford who despite the apparent audience indifference in the picture above left the Barfly and I thinking “Where on earth is that voice coming from?“. It brought to mind seeing a lowly billed Adele at The Luminaire in 2006, not to suggest Amy is the next Adele but just in the disconnect between the sound you imagine will come from the girl with a guitar on stage and the beauty (and power) that follows. The Broccoli’s may not be quite ready to sign her up for the next Bond theme but big things must surely follow..?
I hope there’s something to tickle your musical fancy in the Whyd and Soundcloud playlists below:
Who started the trend in ‘ironic’ folk covers often of r&b and rap tracks? Was it Nina Gordon, who cooed “a gat that’s pointed at yo ass” in such a life affirming manner on her version of NWAs “Straight Outta Compton” that Ice Cube didn’t have to use his AK for a month straight? Or was it Jo Whiley and her live lounge? An initially harmless novelty that spawned double CD compilations of such horror that trapped in a car with one I began to ponder how much it must’ve hurt Van Gogh when he cut off his own ear. If he’d heard The Kooks doing crazy he may have gone for the set.
Moaning over I’d like to hypocritically plug Alice Jemimas lovely cover of Teddy Riley’s Blackstreet classic “No Diggity“. Some might say it’s so perfect it would sound good in anyone’s hands… these people haven’t heard The Klaxons, Cher Lloyd or Ed Sheeran singing it! Ed’s version was described in the promotional material as a ‘fun cover’, that’s fun in the way sticking a fork in your own knee is fun.
But Alice turns in a treat with the same sparse sound and low bass that led me to accuse her of kidnapping The XX’s Oliver Sim for her debut single “By Your Side”. Thankfully aside from slightly ironic covers Alice has, in songs like “By Your Side”, the material and the gorgeous voice to keep any fans that might come her way via an unusual take on a familiar tune.
It was 2009 when Scroobius Pip first tipped me the wink to treat my ears to a nascent Benin City, selecting them as part of a “Spoken Word Furious Seven” feature for the blog. By 2010 I was so enamoured, a live rendition of “The Beat” featured as one of my top 30 tracks of the year. Unfortunately all traces of The Beat have been cleansed from the internet but trust me it was the greatest and so far perhaps only Go-Go Spoken Word track.
You can however listen to a typically brilliant live take of Kaleidoscope from 2010’s Invisible Cake EP on Youtube.
And then I waited for the album….
Fast forward to 2012 and “Baby“, the first official single arrived. An ode to fucked up love delivered with such slow building beauty and mournfulness that it floored me. Fortuitously BBC 6 Music asked a bunch of random bloggers for their mid year “best of the year so far”, and I rambled on about how “Baby” reminded me of the Cinematic Orchestra at their peak. Within days it had clocked up over 10,000 plays on Soundcloud!
And I waited for the album…
Later in the year Joshua, Theo, Tom, Rob, Rebecca and Faye were kind enough to cram into a comically small room in Walthamstow to perform “Crush” as a Music Like Dirt session. Unfortunately my shonky camera work doesnt do justice to the tune!
Meanwhile “Baby” strolled, Usain Bolt style, to this blogs top track of 2012 title.
And I waite….yes you get the picture.
2013 has seen “My Love”, “Accelerate” and most of all “Faithless” increasing the plaudits and anticipation while guaranteeing the album would have a bare minimum of 4 killer tunes (more than most).
Over the last few weeks a series of almost universally glowing reviews have emerged and now finally it’s available to stream in its entirety (and preorder)
After a three week bout of internet abstinence caused by moving house (see vinyl lugging video), plugging back in and having streaming music again feels like the proverbial water at the end of the desert.
As a result I’ve gone a little overboard, eagerly glugged at the musical well and picking out 50 of the finest tunes I’ve heard since returning to the wired-up 21st century.
There’s a dizzying array of new music featuring the long awaited return of Sara Lowes, a steel band version of Voodoo Ray, Men in Burka’s, Brass bands from Jaipur, Parisian pop, the beautiful voice of Isobel Anderson, and intelligent hip-hop from Dessa and Blueprint.
You can follow Music Like Dirt on Whyd.com for monthly and weekly best of’s.