Chimpo and Fox collaborate with their new project as 'The Eyes' for a heavily reggae influenced Acoustic-step A-side 'Harder'. Fox's strong vocals match the beat well, accompanied nicely with a laid back beat and decent guitar part. It's an upbeat track, sure to have heads singing along as we see out the dwindling summer. Certainly a departure from the past heavy dubstep Chimpo's been known for in the past, this collab is set to see plenty of Manchester support and beyond. It's also refreshing to see such a variation in style and a good release to sit along side the admirable output coming from Estate recordings. 'Come Again' On the flip of what I believe is going to be a 7" bit of vinyl we have a different vibe in the form of some Dancehall swing ting. Fox, on vocals again is joined by Strategy who's on relentless form after the massive success of 'Marka'. I can also see this one going down with the dubheads, Strategys flow in the first part then balanced by Fox and also featuring some curious slowed down jabbering somewhere in the middle!
Overall with the quality of production and especially buoyed by the sheer talent of Fox's vocal chords its another incisive arrow in the Estate's swelling quiver. Manchester can stay proud
Last week we mentioned the release of the "Lets Go Somewhere Quiet" compilation curated by Acidted and Thee Pause. We caught up with Colin of Acidted to find out a bit more about the release.
The compilation curated by you and THEE PAUSE in memory of your son has just been released. How long did it take to put together?
The honest answer is that it took much longer than I expected. In my innocence, I assumed a couple of months, tops. But it's taken about six months in total. And that's only for the digital release. The CD will take a few more months. It's been a lot of work, and that's with the incredible support from THEE PAUSE. It would have taken much longer and been less successful without him.
How did you come up with the idea to put together a compilation?
I've wanted to do more to support research into brain tumours for a long time - and The Brain Tumour Charity is the largest dedicated charity in the UK http://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/. I've had the odd mix tape by generous artists available in return for donations over the past few years. But a proper comp has always been a goal.
Was there a specific sound you aimed for? Or did you collect some tunes and pick your favourites?
A bit of both really. There wasn't a specific sound but I did want something that was more dance than rock. Equally, I did want something that covered more styles than a straight techno album. I'm pleased at the way that the tunes end up working together. It was quite a job to work out the running order. But in this iPod shuffle age, perhaps a slightly futile one.
What was the first and last record you bought?
Ah. My early record collection is a curious mix. There's nothing hip about it at all. It was a source of constant irritation to my post punk / Joy Division loving sister. My first record was ELO's Out of the Blue but my early record set also has the glam pop of Sweet, Sarah Brightman's Starship Trooper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2Tkx6BgRFE) some heavy metal and a bit of early Clash. Confused is the polite way of putting it. The last record I bought was Ukkonen's The Isolated Rhythms of... http://shop.unchartedaudio.com/album/the-isolated-rhythms-of a brilliant ambient techno album. And I bought it on vinyl.
Have you got plans to do anymore projects like this, now you have one under your belt?
I want to see how this one goes first. I'd want a rest after all this effort. Trying to fit it in around work is tough and keeping the blog going at the same time doesn't leave much time for other things. But I admit, I have toyed with thoughts of a remix album.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
That's a hard one. I'm incredibly grateful to all the artists who have given me their work for free to allow money to be raised. It therefore feels invidious to pick one out. The one that is the most difficult to listen, because it's so poignant and close to home, is Stylusboy's Song for Noah.
Favourite tune at the moment?
That changes all the time - I'm terribly fickle like that. But today, it's probably Chameo's Hey!. Hardly an experimental tune, terribly simple but incredibly uplifting http://soundcloud.com/chameo/chameo-hey
I've seen a lot of positive and supportive feedback. Are you happy with how the project has turned out?
Really happy with the album and the tracks on it. But it really depends whether the interest converts into sales. Promotion's the single thing I've found toughest. It's hard to access the really successful blogs and magazines.
Anything you want to add?
Only to say that doing the compilation for brain tumour research is more than simply because my son died of one. It's because it is potentially so devastating but receives only about 1% of the money for research. It's a sad fact that more than a quarter of kids diagnosed with brain tumours will die within 5 years. Brain tumours are the deadliest form of childhood cancer. But the time to diagnosis in the UK is not as good as in other countries. That's why I'm pleased there's the Headsmart campaign to raise awareness of symptoms. http://www.headsmart.org.uk/
Acidted and THEE PAUSE have compiled a selection of tunes spanning across the genres of Downtempo, House, Breaks and Indie to produce a "compilation for hope" in memory of Acidted's son who sadly lost the fight against cancer. All profits from the album will go to the Brain Tumour Trust and CBTF. Acidted kept a diary of his experience online, which you can still read here. The LP features productions from Alex Zelenka, Larry Jeferson and more. The collection of tunes are about life, the struggle and hopefully they will remind you about what life is about. You can preview the album and buy it from Itunes here... Big Ups to everyone involved for creating a great compilation for a worthy cause.
I've been looking forward to this release for a long time, and finally it is here. "I don't Usually LIke MC's But" is the debut solo album from DRS. An artist who has been gracing stages and tracks in the world of drum & bass, UK hiphop and more for over 15 years, DRS has a huge amount of character and talent and he is widely accepted as one of the best in the game. The album features collaborations with a whole host of names. Calibre, Marcus Intalex, dBridge, SPY, Dub Phizix, Jehst, Pete Simpson, Genotype, Lynx, Lenzman, Riya, Jenna G, Fox, Strategy, Skittles, Konny Kon, Rolla, Chimpo and T-Man.
Across the album DRS celebrates his love for music, manchester and even manages to give you some of the wisdom he's managed to collect over the years. In his own words, "This album is a true account of me right now, and that's all I wanted to be." The single "Count to Ten" topped the drum and bass download charts across the sites, and was named as Bailey's drum and bass number one on 1Xtra.
This album is definitely going to go down in drum and bass history. You can stream a mix below. The album is available on CD, Vinyl and Digital from Monday.
June 2012 was the second time Hideout festival rolled into Zrce Beach. Located on Croatia's Island of Pag it is an idyllic setting for a festival, with glorious weather, a huge beach and a few huge outdoor venues for night time activities. The inaugural event last year was a hit and this year the organisers made it bigger and better on all fronts: More tickets, more venues, more DJs & more speakers.
The festival warmed up nicely on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the main event. Wednesday saw the first of the infamous boat parties, one bass heavy with North Base and Mak and the other a more Housey affair with People Get Real and Mike Jones. I sampled the Bass Boat and the DJs were on top form with big party tunes to kick things off nicely. Thursday night saw the festival's newest venue Kalypso hosting the inimitable DJ Marky who played what may have been the set of the weekend before things even started. He covered all bases (pun intended) in a two hour set complete with upside-down scratching and climaxing with the classic summer beach anthem, L.K.
Although primarily a night time affair, Hideout had plenty going on in the daytime to keep people busy. The evening venues hosted daytime pool parties featuring some massive DJs; Redlight & MC Asbo packed out the Aquarius venue on the Friday with a storming set and Toddla T and DRS did a similar job on the Saturday. Whilst Aquarius was shaking, Papaya, the largest venue, provided an altogether sexier affair with the music of Jamie Jones and the Crosstown Rebels guys bringing a more tribal energy to the barely-clothed masses.
Further to the Pool Parties, there were more boat parties than you could shake an oar at. High seas adventures covered all the areas of the musical spectrum but the best of them always came from those DJs that can cut across genres to create a real party atmosphere. I would highlight Mistajam, North Base, Artwork & DRS' Metropolis Boat as a prime example of this, with everything from 70s disco to One Pound Fish and even a rewind of Rod Stewart's 'We Are Sailing' ringing through my ears afterwards.
Once Friday night came around, everyone was sufficiently warmed up for the main event, and this was where the festival truly came into its own and the four venues on Zrce Beach were transformed into a music lovers paradise. The opening night saw Bass music taking centre stage at Papaya, the largest venue. Last minute additions Rudimental got the party started with an anthemic selection and live trumpets. Benga made the most of his Croatian trip by indulging in a bungee jump minutes before his set with Youngman, which culminated in a stage invasion from the ladies of the crowd. Sub Focus played basically the same set that he's been playing out for the past year. Although a very talented guy it's a little tiresome (for the 6th time I've seen him in 2012) and the man is in need of some new material (or some different old material). The highlight of this stage was the sunrise set of Steppa, the Leeds and Metropolis stalwart showed the big names what a proper drum & bass selection should consist of; a pattern which would continue throughout the weekend.
Whilst Papaya was rocking, the second biggest stage in Aquarius, was a more civilised and intellectual affair. Four Tet and Caribou went back to back for three hours and were followed up by Hessle Audio's Ben UFO. All of these guys produced a funky, intelligent selection as you would expect, and kept me well entertained whenever I passed through. The other Aquarius was an electro-house fan's wet dream with Erol Alkan, Tiga and Aeroplane rocking the masses.
The second evening was a slower, sexier affair in Papaya with a house takeover from the likes of Jamie Jones and Loco Dice providing a hypnotic soundtrack through the morning hours, although I can never help but think that most of the crowd look pretty bored throughout such sets (I'm sure they're smiling on the inside…). The bassier side of 130bpm rhythms shone through at the second stage; Annie Mac, Claude Von Stroke and Eats Everything proving you can get a big reaction at this tempo, especially with the latter's excellent remix of Adam F's 'Circles'.
The most indoor of the 3 venues hosted some serious drum & bass on the Saturday, with Andy C, High Contrast and Shy FX all representing, however the room was clearly not designed for such an energetic crowd! It became an absolute sweatbox over the course of the night, making that little bit more room available for the hardcore skankers, and the DJs gave them exactly what they required.
As the final day dawned there were many weary feet treading the beach. Two (to four) sessions of partying day and night would take their toll on even a hardened raver, but most of them mustered the strength for one more day, no doubt helped by the idyllic sunshine that blessed the whole event.
On this final day the Bass Music migrated once again to the second stage, which had fast become my favourite - more intimate than the main stage but big enough to make an impact with audio and visuals. Skream and Chase & Status were the big draws, the former joined on stage by Manchester's DRS and Tonn Piper, and the latter also showing their taste dropping Example favourite 'Blowfish' by Chimpo. Other highlights were North Base's big party selection and th
The main stage was another House affair with grooves provided by Damian Lazarus, Seth Troxler and Ricardo Villalobos in what must have been a heavenly lineup for any Crosstown Rebels fans.
The final evening also gave me many reasons to cross the beach and check out the Kalypso stage; an outdoor affair complete with treetop dancing platforms. This was the stage for SBTRKT to play one of the best sets of the whole weekend with a perfect combination of the popular and unknown venturing through the bass music spectrum. This set was entwinged with others from Rustie and Pearson Sound which provided a lineup even the staunchest anti-commercial fans would take their hat off to.
After 5 days of running round like a loon, I was like one of the Walking Dead by the time the afterparty arrived! Following straight on from the end of the festival on Monday, people in the know headed over to Kaplypso where there festival was going to continue.
We didn't know who would be playing, it was just whoever may turn up from the festivals bigger stages. It turned out that Ricardo Villalobos and Damian Lazarus would end up spinning some tunes, along with a few from a worse-for-wear Skream. Not a bad shout but as I couldn't lift my feet more than a couple of inches I had to call it a day there. So Hideout was over for another year but the improvements made for this event from last year's had taken it from good to great, so if anyone is looking for a Croatian adventure next year you could do a lot worse than seeking out Hideout!
Bonsall Street once cut a swathe through the very heart of Hulme badlands. For some, travelling in from leafy Chorlton to Manchester city centre on the 86 bus route, it also offered a rare glimpse into another world. As they passed through the once-notorious estate commuters might by-chance read, in 2-foot high letters, these lost legends writ large in black anti-vandal greasepaint: KISS MY PITBULL; EAT THE RICH; FREEDOM LEGALISED; FREE VIRAJ MENDIS; ELVIS LIVES BUT THE REST OF YOU ARE DEAD...
A 1960’s housing estate experiment, Hulme slowly shrank (then sank) beneath waves of eviction, demolition & regeneration. By 1997 (when Stretford Road re-opened & the Phoenix burned) only Bonsall Street & the walkways which lay behind remained.
With Otterburn & Ormsgill Close, Settle Walk & Hodder Square all emptied of physical remnants that any lives had ever been lived there, their outer walls all kicked out, as summer began the bulldozers fatefully moved in. Graf writer & one man hip-hop army Zed-9 (now writing as Zisto or Zero / Nero, and ever keen to have the last word), answered back in big style!
By 1998, the Old Birley St. shops (Malarky; Chemist; Bookies; Off-Licence) were all that was left of a failed utopia. Our 30-year socially-engineered living experiment. And it was left. For reasons unknown demolition ceased, leaving behind this marooned, miserable monolith to times passed. Plans were hatched for ‘one last party’, ‘one more SMEAR JAM!’. Smear 4 finally happened mid-July '98. Graffiti artists who painted include Kelzo, Mist-One, Hibbzy, Phew, MKS, Ned, Take & Zisto. A constant techno-nihilist soundtrack was provided by Slamrock Soundsystem. The next day people were pretty messed up! But it was hilarious nihilism; it was so much fun, in fact, that we did it all again a couple of weeks later!
Smear 5 Graf Jam took place (in the same place) early in August 1998. Artists on that day included Mist-One, Forse,Kelzo (of course), Kirs-One, Sham, Takes, APL, Met & Zisto. Later Zisto, Met & Takes returned to the site to have the last word (The Ritten Word). One last time in the sunshine.
Summer rolled out. Old Hulme was gone. Our concrete playground in the sky. An echo of music, a perfumed air, the promise of freedom:
Only memories & dust. Old photographs to pin your tales & testimonies to
18.10.11: Seminal Manchester band the Stone Roses announce at a specially convened press-conference that they are to reform the following summer, and will confound received wisdom that lightning never strikes twice in the same place by performing 3 consecutive nights at Heaton Park. They then humbly expect ‘To shake up the world’
18.01.12: Manchester’s own Spinal Tap outfit HappyMondays make a similar announcement with their original line-up financially placated back into place. An immeasurably complicated man-management manoeuvre considering that Paul ‘Horse’ Ryder had barely spoken to his brother Shaun in over a decade, and guitarist Mark ‘Cowhead’ Day had quit the music business altogether swearing,
The band also confirm their support act will be none other than Madchesterbedfellows InspiralCarpets, recently reformed with their original singer Stephen Holt back in place of Tom Hingley
05.01.12 - 26.02.12: NME photographer legend KevinCummins exhibition ‘Exemplar: Joy Division’ @ Manchester Photographic. Responsible for the iconography of this incandescent group, and many others besides, as his excellent (2009) weighty tome testifies ‘Manchester: Looking For the Light Through the Pouring Rain’ (Faber & Faber)
25.04.12: Ian Tilton: ‘Manchester Maverick’. The other man-of-the-hour & major Madchester documenter, more often than not associated withthe Stone Roses gives an exposition @ Contact
03.05.12 – 29.05.12: It’s that man again. Ian Tilton shows off his collection of images taken at the legendary nightclub the Hacienda as one of three 30th anniversary celebration events ‘Hacienda 30 XXX’ @ Manchester Photographic
03.05.12 – 19.05.12: That same night HappyMondays kick-off their 1st UK tour for 13 years in Newcastle. Next day it’s Glasgow. Day after is their Manchester homecoming gig (they should’ve remembered the songs by then eh?) but unfortunately out of bed again to play Sheffield. 48 hours recovering before Bournemouth, Brixton (twice) & Birmingham. Sunday off; over to Dublin (twice) Ireland; A day off, then Leeds, Nottingham, Brixton (again)
Coming out of retirement may be profitable but it’s also clearly hard work
18.05.12: Peter Hook & The Light @ Factory (FAC251) On the anniversary of Ian Curtis’ suicide his former band-mate & bass player performs Joy Division 3rd LP ‘Still’ with his own band. Last year their posthumous classic ‘Closer’ and the year before that the entirety of debut ‘Unknown Pleasures’ was performed. 3 years, 3 different LPs but the same date, same place (Factory Records former offices), same morbid anniversary
An emotional, touching tribute to a former friend? Or a rather cynical attempt at milking the cash-cow; flogging a dead horse; kicking the rock-pig? (OK I made that one up) You decide. Check out the last 3 years of extensive tour dates on his website
21.05.12: Hacienda 30 X1: You couldn’t make this up, it’s so unbelievable!As first part of the Hacienda 30th anniversary lots of old faces (K-Klass, Graeme Park, Jon Da Silva, Hewan Clarke, Div Arslam) come together for a one-off party in the now underground car-park of the Hacienda Apartments block!!
23.05.12: the Stone Roses @ Parr Hall Warrington. Just two days later the Roses play a surprise warm-up gig. To try to ensure only true fans are treated to this up-close-&-personal performance, and avoid extortionate touting, your attendance was only confirmed on production of an item of Stone Roses memorabilia
(30.05.12) 31.05.12 – 31.07.12: Private View for (guess who?)Ian Tilton‘Set In Stone’ @ Manchester Photographic, replacing previous ‘Hacienda 30 XXX’ exhibition contributions with his images of the Stone Roses & Spike Island, soon to be published by Omnibus
02.06.12: Hacienda 30 X2 @ Sankeys: Celebrating 30th anniversary of its’ opening Laurent Garnier brings his ‘Live Booth Sessions’ to MCR for the 1st time. DJ support comes from Justin Martin (DirtyBird) & Oli Furness
04.06.12: Hacienda 30 X3 @ Sankeys: this Hacienda Classics event boasts original residents from key Hacienda nights: Graeme Park (Nude), Kevin Saunderson (Inner City), Tom Wainwright, Alister Whitehead. Upstairs we got Jon Da Silva (Hot), 808 State & MC Tunes. In the bar Sir Dave Booth OBE (Temperance Club), Justin Boardman (Paper Records / Afficiando), Div Arslam & Peter Crook
12.06.12: the Stone Roses @ Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam. English fans start to get jittery when it is reported that drummer Reni did not come back on-stage for an expected encore leaving singer Ian Brown to explain to the crowd,
"The drummer's gone home. I'm not joking. What can I say? The drummer's a cunt"
Next 2 weeks Manchester sits back & skins up while everyone else (esp. you media whores) holds their collective breath. Most people won’t inhale again until Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’ eases them away into the night
29.06.12: the Stone Roses / The Wailers / Primal Scream / The Vaccines / Kid British @ Heaton Park
13.09.12: However... ‘Manchester Maverick’: Examples from the portfolio of rock’n’roll photographer Ian (Mam!)Tilton @ Contact still on display until this date. Go check out the Manchester myth-makers people!
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