Sunday, 10 April 2011

Hey everybody, we've moved...

After four years, 85 posts and infinite typos this blog is officially over.... Anyone glued to my illeterate ramblings about ireelevant topics can find me over at the very sexy

Monday, 14 March 2011

Here I Come....

Here I Come (Live) - Barrington Levy (ELMAYONESA Remix) by ELMAYONESA




Mike Skinner is an idiosyncratic figure, on one side shouldering responsibility for the rise of “Corr Blimey” stage school performers such as Lilly Allen, and on the other side being a philosophical performer possessing the last unadulterated urban voice in pop.

Which of these is he? Difficult to tell, but one thing for sure is that Skinner himself is sick of trying to work it out Computers and Blues sees him signing off from his Streets alter ego to presumably go and ‘find himself’.
I was a big fan of the first two Streets records, genuinely unique in their approach they spoke volumes about the human existence that was seeped in contemporary black culture, without the need to emulate a lifestyle removed from any suggestion of Westside ghettos.
Since then my enthusiasm waned considerably as Skinner appeared to be merely treading water, whilst those around him expanded on the template, significantly exposing his shortcomings as a producer and lyricist.

It is therefore with some indifference I approached Computer and Blues, expecting a ‘more of the same’ type whimpering finale. One thing to remember about Mike Skinner however is to never underestimate him; and this maybe is his best record for years.

The smell of farewell hangs heavy over the whole set, Going through Hell is as clear a fuck you farewell as you can imagine. Featuring leery indie vocals from Robert Harvey of third rate indie rockers The Music- this is the sound of someone with nothing to prove, and is all the better for it.
Beats and samples throughout are denser than Skinner’s previous work, signalling an a marked improvement in his sometimes lacklustre production skills.
As a swansong Puzzled by People is as much even the biggest detractors could have hoped for, a short but sweet pop driven jam of sweet soul vocals and blustery piano rolls. Soldiers slinks along on top of a skunk stinking low slung electro groove, and We can Never Be Friends recalls the folk tinged sounds of days of yore in vintage fashion.

Computers and Blues is never going to be a vintage record, it’s unlikely to trouble many best of millennium charts when they creep around again. But as a hard won reminder of somebody who dared to take risks and listen to the sound within, it’s a fitting testament. I’m not betting against a festival reunion in five years when the funds run dry though….

Toby Hemming

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Surgeon: fabric 53

Bonafide Zine

Fabric 53

If recent alleged reports of administration are to be believed, clubbing stalwart Fabric may be drawing its final breath as London club land goes even deeper underground (Ed, fortunately this is no longer the case).

It was the rise of the ‘Super Club’ that buried the final nail in the corpse of acid house. Fabric however always remained a beacon of hope amongst the larger-scale clubs, demonstrating a unique and refreshing take on heads down twisted dancing. And this instalment in the legendary mix series is a real testament to that profound take on dance music culture.

Surgeon has bobbed and weaved his way through the underbelly of raving for over a decade with his sets becoming synonymous withy those who prefer the hedonistic rather than chin-stroking side of what was once known as ‘real techno’. Compromising a strong 4/4 bottom end with a range of instrumental electronic textures throughout, the breath taking bone-shaking journey takes in everything from the classic Detroit sounds of Robert Hood and Luke Slater’s Planetary assault Systems, through to the minimal Dubstep of Appleblim and even crazy distorted hip-hop from Starkey and Rustie.

It’s not easy listening, but that’s not the point; however it is uncompromising and ultimately a lot of fun, which is.
If it’s a hard night on the tiles, sound tracked by a man who can justifiably wear the title of legend you are looking for- this is the ultimate mix.

Toby Hemming

The Grid Flotation: Prin Thomas Remix

The Grid: Floatation - Prins Thomas Remix by RichardNorris

Thursday, 16 September 2010

G.I. Disco

GI Disco


GI Disco is a tenuously linked – but very high quality – comp from BBE that purports to chart the legacy of visiting American GIs in West Germany during the late 70s and early 80s. To a country hooked on Euro-pop and hard rock, the appearance of Afro-American soldiers brought to the nightclubs and airways a healthy and much needed dose of NY disco, funk and boogie.Most fans will already have the majority of these cuts in their collection, leaning as it does solidly towards the dancefloor rather than willful obscurity. But if you think disco means drunken sales reps shimmying to KC And The Sunshine Band, there could be worse places to start discovering the joys of ‘real’ disco music.Opening track Rumors by Times Social club defines well the music of this era, as disco embraced technology and moved away from the media spotlight creating a heavier underground groove. Many people may be familiar with Freeze’s IOU, but it’s the darker dancefloor sound of The O’Jays with Put Our Heads Together, and particularly Surface vamping it up with Falling In Love that really make the grade here.As a collection of classic tracks, the uninitiated could do a lot worse than seek this tightly curated compilation out as a window into the roots of today’s contemporary dancefloor music of all genres. A high velocity package from start to finish, GI Disco is a worthy and very enjoyable comp if not particularly innovative in approach – definitely one for any collection lacking the groove.TOBY HEMMING