Over the last month the new music well ran dry, or more accurately I forgot to drink from it. Going internet cold turkey in Cuba for two weeks along with generally taking a break means this batch of favourite things are more old gold than new music discoveries.
HOW WILL I COPULATE?
There was a time when mashups were ubiquitous and generally considered some kind of statement of post modern pop will eat itself daring but oh those days seem so long ago.
Bastard pop dated quicker than day-glo shoelaces but fine things still grow in those corners no longer illuminated by the spotlight of the currently hip. Starslinger turns out cracking tunes while others…well probably sleep or something and now his fans are getting in on the act. Moranismusic takes the queen of the mashup Whitney Housten, pitches her voice up to a squeak and melds it with Starslingers “Copulate”. Not the most radical or appealing idea on paper, but countless terrible bootlegs are testament to the fact that creating a mix that works as brilliantly as this isnt as easy as it seems.
Also check out the quirkily comic video for the“Close To Me” single. Samples the all time classic Curtis Mayfield produced “Lets Do It Again” by The Staple Singers.
For the moment London has entered rolling down the car window and blasting out tunes type weather. If you fancy pi£$ing off other people with such behaviour then can I suggest these two summer gems.
First up “Close Your Eyes” by The Bullitts a track from last year featuring the unlikely pairing of Lucy Lui and the ever excellent Jay Electronica. It reminds me of Malcolm McClaren’s 1989 Waltz Darling album with its mixture of artsy mix of street styles and pure pop sensibility. I’d forgotten how much I loved the single “Somethings Jumpin’ In My Shirt” although that may have had something to do with its guest vocalist Lisa Marie.
Returning to the Bullitts, Jay Electronica reconfirms his status as an MC at the top of his game by coming in towards the end and stealing the show with his rhymes.
“I was on the verge of dying like E.T. in the bald spot in the forest, right next to the speak and spell…
Tryna phone home but the signal wouldn’t reach the cell…”
Can’t wait for Jay’s LP!
Roots Manuva protege Jimmy Screech will be releasing the single “Divine” in May, and fellow Manuva collaborator WrongTom has smattered “clattering pots & pans” onto his “Divine Intervention” remix. Jimmy’s “Remedy” album is due next month and a solo Wrongtom album is also in the works.
MICHAEL FRANTI LIVE @ ROUGH TRADE
Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury, the album Rono Tse and Michael Franti made together back in 1992 as the Disposable Heroes Of HipHopcrisy is one of those records that mark out your life. Seeing them live with a slightly shellshocked Belinda Carlisle fan back then remains one of my favourite gigs of all time, with Rono showering the stage in sparks from an angle grinder while Franti poured out polemic in his honeyed tones.
Almost 20 years later it was joy to see Franti, 6ft 6″ tall with bare feet stride into the minuscule Rough Trade West clamber onto the counter and hold the crowd rapt for a good half an hour.
It started out with several thousand, now only 123 acts remain as the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition Longlist is announced.
After much soul searching and epic indecision, The Last Dinosaur, Golden...
Back at the tail end of January, the organisers of “Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2011” sent out an individual list of 160 bands to each of the 40 bloggers selected to judge the first round of this years competition. Since then each blogger has mulled over their selections and whittled them down to 3 choices.
The final 3 from all of them will then make up a long list of 160 acts. This will be revealed shortly but in the meantime here are a few of the standouts from the entries I received.
DISCLAIMER: These are in no particular order and inclusion doesnt necessarily indicate a place among those through to the next round. It was however tough to decide!
First up from Torquay, Devon, Aaron Sayer aka AirRun with a track called “Change“.
Entries to the competition spanned all musical genres and AirRun offers a softly spoken half rap akin perhaps to the soon to retire Mike Skinner or PolarBear.
SONS OF MISCHIEF
Formed from the ashes of a number of other bands, Sons of Mischief got together in August 2010 with they say the aim to “create energetic and extravagant live performances“. “Pythagoras” is rock at its most sweetly sung and melodic, and while not reinventing the wheel it got stuck in my head. [download][download]
DEAD BOY ROBOTICS
Dead Boy Robotics, a duo from Edinburgh, incorporate laptop, synths, guitars, tribal drumming, vocal harmonies, yelps and screams to create a sound influenced by bands like Animal Collective, Subtle, Liars and HEALTH.
De Grinpipol comes from the Italian pronunciation of The Green People. Dirty riffs, dancehall drums, love songs, filthy, distorted solos.
To celebrate the London launch of his WE.ARE.LIZARDS club night, Scroobius Pip kindly furnished Music Like Dirt with a rather fabulous MP3 bootleg.
Everyone loves MIA's "Paper Planes", its both a modern...
As the sun sets on the first month of 2011 hopefully a few will still indulge me in my annually late look back at the year just gone. Now in its 6th edition (2005,2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) it should like all “best ofs” be taken with a pinch of salt. I dont even agree with half the placings but if you think Im retyping 200 numbers again…
Ask me tomorrow what my favourites are and ill have changed my mind or remembered a classic that somehow escaped my thoughts. Loving a piece of music depends so much on where you hear it, whats happening in your life or who you’re with. There are tracks that only feature because they seem to work particularly well when played repeatedly at volume while pummelling up the M6 late at night.
Its a personal selection at pray to my whims, if Im in love ill overload the chart with slush, break my heart and ive a terrible weakness for Country and Western. Quite what putting an experimental Norwegian Jazz collective at No.1 says on that front is probably best glossed over.
Hopefully somewhere among this ridiculously long list there might be one artist you’d never heard before but will go on to love in 2011. Regardless of their order everyone of these 200 pieces of music has something very special about it.
Visit the Music Like Dirt page on Facebook to tell me just how wrong my selections are or what tunes Ive criminally overlooked? Theres also Twitter or the comments section of this page.
Theres a ZIP featuring some of the music featured here or listen to all the tracks on the Hype Machine. (I tried Spotify but it only had about 45 of the tracks).
““try, try again, maybe we can start it over, like a record at the end””
The buzz around Obaro Ejimiwe aka Ghostpoet built slowly but inevitably in 2010. His soft, sleepy, dulcet tones first came to my attention via blogging stalwarts Cubikmusik & Jus’Likemusic, then in February at The Worldwide Awards his performance was so packed, security had to enact a strict policy of one in, one out (unfortunately I never got beyond out).
Gilles Peterson was just one of the people spellbound by Ghost’s everyday tales, sonorous delivery and mix of wonky beats, hiphop & electronica, snapping him up for his Brownswood imprint.
“To Something”, his unofficial mix of Fourtet’s “She Just Likes To Fight” featuring another up-and-comer Rox is a new high watermark. Absolutely beautiful. Count the days to his debut album.
“go on and listen when they tell that these are your best years, don’t let anyone protect your ears, it’s best that you hear what they don’t want you to hear, it’s better to have pressure from peers then not have peers.”
14. DAN LE SAC Vs SCROOBIUS PIP
“Great Britain (Akira the Don vs. Joey2Tits Remix)”
“And we’re so so bitter, we never got over when Marathon got renamed Snickers”
In a flagrant abuse of the one song per artist rule I’m opting for three Akira The Don related tracks at No.14.
Back in May Akira’s website went up in smoke after his ATD 23 Streetfighter tribute mixtape was declared “The Best Gaming Mixtape You’ll Ever Hear” by the ludicrously popular gaming site Kotaku.com. In the name of adding to the buzz, my dulcet tones could be heard on Hype Machine Radio enthusing about standout track “Be Brave”. Shortly afterwards an unholy alliance of MLD and ATD’s twitter followers propelled the tune to the top of the Hype Machine chart.
14. AKIRA THE DON – “Be Brave”
“All I need a beat and sample I hit it and it goes pop… example”
No best of the year would be complete without an entry from Polarbear, this year its as a guest on Akira’s all done in a day LP. Listen to more here, and he’ll also be guesting on “Concrete Pigeon” from Sound Of Rums new album.
Finally a quick mention for PolarBear’s AfroBear side project, this month a few new demos popped up on Polars Soundcloud page.
Amarik Singh aka The Psychedelic Singh doesnt seem to appear on the blogging radar, or indeed any radio bar the BBC’s criminally threatened with closure Asian Network. Quite why is a mystery to me as everyone’s life would be improved by a little slice of Psychedelic Bhangra. On “Herbal Verbal” he takes HipHop pioneers The Last Poets down to the Bollywood disco.
The Busking Champions of the South West, Hedluv & Passman return with that difficult 2nd LP. Having confused/delighted/irritated audiences near and far, from Brazil to a string of 40th birthday parties “Dreckly” was the first taster of their new material.
Its everything you’d expect from Hedluv, ie. is it bad, is it good? Have Morris Minor & The Majors reformed? Daft, unabashed and embarrassment free as Hedluv lays his rhymes over Casio keyboard loops.
As many people will hate this as love it. To those that hate, I’m sorry I can see your point but whats that?.. I can’t hear you very clearly.. I’m just playing “Dreckly” 6 times straight on my ipod.
The Glastonbury Festival are inviting new bands/acts from across the UK and Ireland to enter their “2011 Emerging Talent Competition“.
To enter visit the Glasto site here, and submit a link to your music, along with the details of your “best” track. Entries are open until 5pm on Monday, 17th January 2011 with the winners performing on the main stage. Its FREE to enter and open to all musical styles.
Music Like Dirt is one of 40 music blogs who’ll be hitching up their trousers and getting their teeth fixed in order to help judge the 1000’s of entrants.
For 364 days a year this blog is dedicated to music I love, artists that need to be heard, and songs to make you sing/dance/cry/make love (delete as the mood fits)…
However Christmas Day is a very very special day. Its a day when we listen to music we’d rather die than hear for the other 364 days. Nevertheless I’ve hunted high and low (ie, blew some dust off the CD rack) to find a few truly great xmas tracks (and some others that at least don’t make you want to put those lovely new socks over your ears).
Thanks to anyone and everyone who’s visited this site in 2010 and to the people with the real talent who make the music.
1. KELPE – “Silent Night” / PAUL WHITE – “We Three Kings”
Lets start with two reworkings of traditional Christmas staples. First up Kelpe treats “Silent Night” with total reverence as distant choirs burst through, and impossible beauty unfolds. Paul White transforms “We Three Kings” into the finest seasonal beat since Coldcut’s risked career and credibility with their Christmas Break. Say Ho…. Ho!
I dont think Maps lead singer James Chapman quite understood the spirit of Christmas when introducing his cover of E17’s massive Xmas hit “Stay Another Day”:
“This song is my special Xmas gift to you, inspired by taking 12 Es and running myself over in my own car. Only an enormous puffer jacket prevented me from certain death“.
Their transformation of the song into a blissed out trippy shoegazing epic is nothing short of astonishing, and just goes to show how the much maligned E17 actually penned one of the pop songs of that decade.