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Posts Tagged ‘UK hip hop

The first ever Ragga Hip Hop fusion did almost not take place. Asher D just has returned from Jamaica to the UK and wanted to record a Dancehall influenced tune with another MC. But the guy backed out at the last minute and instead the Producer brought in Daddy Freddy as a last minute replacement. Daddy Freddy gained a lot of hits and fame in the 80s Jamaican Dancehall scene, toured the USA and went at the end of the decade to the UK.

“Ragamuffin Hip-Hop” is a sort of coincidence and created 1988 a new style of music that was a fusion of Jamaican ragga and hip-hop. The title track was sampled uncountable times and raised the scale of UK Hip Hop and showed off Jamaica’s Ragga scene to the masses. A rough record with strong beats that keep flowing and lyrics that keep going, which are still able to capture you and still deserve attention.

Never stop delivering that impressive Dancehall material. Don’t stop, do it.

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kid-kanevil

Fresh exciting UK flavoured hip hop from Kidkanevil, who is best when he leaves hip hop at a distance and pursues other sonic avenues, other styles and other genres. The eclecticism, the deep and soulful melancholy present at times, the tough-yet subtle beats and the exquisite precision of the production will bring to mind DJ Shadow, but Kanevil is his own man. Yet he released his second full length record “back off man, I´m a scientist” and First Word Records celebrates the release by giving away the first record for free as mp3. Nice and clever move! With guest appearances from some of the world´s most talented vocalists, including Lateef, Andreya Triana, Yarah Bravo and others.

What are you doing if Bonobo says “Incredible!  Like the best moments of R2DJ & Timbaland combined!”? You grab that record and give it a listen (and the new record? It is incredible, go to your record store listen and propably buy, or listen to the official mixtape first).

Yesterday the new Roots Manuva record “Slime & Reason” was released by Big Dada and if you want to be convinced about the pure quality, check out the videos for the singles “again & again” and “buff nuff“. Of course you won´t find the new release here (why?), but if you aren´t into Roots Manuva until today, here is the perfect gateway drug: “run come save me”, his second record. Here are some words I arranged from the officiall Big Dada press kitt, sorry, to busy to write a own review.

In 1999, four years after the release of his first single, Roots Manuva dropped the instant-classic “Brand New Second Hand” to critical acclaim. The Independent called him “”the most significant and original new voice in hip hop” and in 2001 the second full length followed. On that record Hip hop is reimagined as a loose Scratch Perry skank, as electronic barrages of noise, as looped guitar feedback over minimal beats, as “that tropical shit,” as Specials-style lope. The range of the sound is a reflection of the Manuva mindset – seemingly disparate but all pushing in the same direction.

“It’s more focussed than Brand New Second Hand,” Smith explains, “Because I had specific ideas of what I wanted to pull out melodically from that record. I really wanted to just move a stage up to the sickest melodic structures that I could think of. The whole recording process involved more attention to detail and a lot more time to freak out and be totally creative. I was left to mess about. I felt like Quincey Jones! Just there giving Jamie [the engineer] orders – ‘I need this sound, I need that sound, set up these effects’. A total kid in the sweet shop.”

If you expect Smith/Roots Manuva to tell you what the record is about you’ve got another thing coming: “The definitions of the songs grow all the time and I don’t really see them straight away. I don’t always see them even a year after things are made. I listen to things that I made five years ago and go, ‘Oh, I understand where I was coming from.'” On the other hand, listen carefully and it’s all there – while Manuva may switch from seeming nonsense to narrative/anecdote to politics in eight bars and then back again, the fractured pieces still form a picture.

Charming, erudite, personal, experimental but always approachable… this is a benchmark for UK hip hop!

Averaging well over 100 shows per year, ‘Foreign Beggars’ are one of the most prolific and versatile Hip Hop outfits to emerge from the UK. Consisting of MC’s Metropolis and Orifice Vulgatron, Producer Dag Nabbit, Human Beat boxer Shlomo and DJ Nonames.

With roots ranging from jazz and classical training, to years of writing recording and performing hip hop, death/power-metal and drum & bass the group’s varied experiences combine to create one of the most explosive live rap showcases on the planet.

The Second Installation from the Beggar Camp, ‘Stray Point Agenda’ has a more introspective tone than their debut ‘Asylum Speakers’. A darker, edgier beast than its predecessor, with featured production by Stones Throw protégé, Oh No and Ninja Tunes DJ Vadim, the release re-establishes the Foreign Beggars benchmark, but with a lyrical maturity that puts the album in a more progressive context. With rappers Orifice and Metropolis dealing with a variety of subversive topics from conscious socio-political realism to sci-fi horror core, the listener is confronted with their typically schizophrenic approach to life, love, spirituality and death. With featured guest spots from Dr. Syntax, Skrein, Dubbledge, Graziella, Wildchild and Dudley Perkins, the album spans the spectrum of rhyming styles from straight punchline to complex multi-syllabic flow patterns, doing justice to Dag Nabbits trademark versatility of dark electro synthesized basses, intricate sample work and filthy drums on futuristic soundscapes…disgusting!

If you want to hunt out some fresh stuff in the hip hop game, Britain should be on your map and I´m not only talking about Grime & Dubstep, two of the main hypes in the last years. With Manchester´s finest hip hop heads Broke ´n´ English I am going to start, more music out of Great Britain is going to follow.

On the cover of their 2003 Nothing Will Come Of It EP, the image of Broke’n’English (MCs Strategy & DRS) staring comically into a bare fridge containing only a half-eaten pattie and an old bottle of Encona Hot Pepper Sauce rang true across the UK’s streets and beyond. As their MySpace page jests they even state they sound like “some Manc doleys that aint got shit else to do.”

“I was on the dole for so long,” describes Strategy, “they said ‘either you get a job or go to college’, so I was like alright then I’ll go to college! Ha-Ha! I went and learnt music production and the first tunes I made was Weekend Love and Foolish, Giles Peterson played them and 1Xtra played them. Listening back they sound raw and you can almost hear the hunger.” Seriously you can nearly hear their stomachs groaning with the need to succeed and not only was the music vital – check the killer horn blasts on Weekend Love – the tunes had inspired lyrics like “…there must have been something special in my pop’s crotch”.

Strategys talents were respected early on; his first guest appearance being alongside Roots Manuva on the Track Trade Study which featured on the LP From the Country.

Joining forces with Konny Kon amoungst others, he joined up with legendary Mank hiphop supercrew the Microdisiacs and released material with them working from their base up north. Several releases from Broke ´n´ English made soon some noise and helped their status escalate. Slowly but surely the boys have been deservedly gaining recognition and a reputation for having one of the hottest live shows in the country. 2007 their full length debut “subject 2 status” was released, with a self-tribute to the art work of the first EP. This 18 track Manc opus features previous favourites such as Squeeze and last years smash single Tryin as well as more recent bigguns such as Who’s that Kid? and This is our Life. Listen to their music and you can hear the northern accents, but furthermore that besides the big british heads like Roots Manuva, Ty, The Streets etc. there are more ill acts who know how to rock.

Jingle Jangle (re-upped!)


always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

normally I try to post new stuff once a week, quality not quantity, so the front page shows you the posts of the last month, but there is a lot more to discover, just click your way thru the older entries.

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