*Please feel free to send an image to replace this shitty old banger - weekly changes are needed.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


An article i recently wrote for iDJ magazine:

After a few mediocre releases, its good to see the godfather of Grime pull it big for Hyperdub. Jumping in with all guns blazing, ‘Grand Opening’ launches with an epic, militant orchestra sample and crystal clear flows from rising MC Dream Mclean echoing the lazy vocal styles of Trim. Other highlights on the 14-track master-class come from the hip-hop swing of the already popular ‘Bruzing’ VIP and the dreamy, future-step tones of ‘Leave Me Alone’ featuring long time UK mainstay Bruza, its hostility pinned down by clever, innovative and fierce wordplay.

Terror’s productions weed out the pretenders ringing through the speakers of phones on the night bus home; with the quality of production and manipulation of bass, from Grime’s most trustworthy leader, its undeniable that Terror remains one of the scene’s most integral and varied. Its out on Hyperdub soon and when it drops, man's should go and grab it, seen?


Monday, 3 May 2010

Ten Bloody Questions

I was talking to a friend today and decided it was high time to start blogging agin. This is an old post that still makes me smile

This month: Hatebeak.
Hardcore/ death metallers with waldo, the parrot, as lead singer

Introduce yourselves please
I am Mark, also known as Matterhorn to some people. Blake is the other human component of Hatebeak, he drives a bus for a living. Waldo is an African Gray parrot, somewhere around 15 years old, and an incorrigible prima-donna.

That really is a bad bwoy scream.....why use a parrot? did you teach him?
I think he learned it by imitating death metal singers. We would often play music in the background way before we ever thought of doing a parrot-fronted band. I think the music struck a chord with Waldo, or at least the vocal delivery.

Does he have the best scream in the band?
Unquestionably. Blake & I sound like wounded guppies in comparison. He must have learned to shriek in the jungle.

How much training does Waldo put in? Is he easy to work with?
His training essentially consists of complaining for food and then complaining about the food. He does his best work on his own terms. Sometimes we have to leave the mic and recorder running for hours next to his cage to get a good take. I think he's got a lot of pent-up emotion to get out.

With the band, are you voicing your opinions the way you want?
We get a lot of freedom with the music, I think Waldo's pretty content just handling vocals. There are times that he's reacted negatively to some of the stuff we played back for him. Actually, Blake and Waldo didn't speak for almost a month over one particularly hotly contested guitar fill.

Are you making a massive stand against 'fashioncore'?
Absolutely. If hipsters were more inclined to stick feathers to their naked bodies and jump off of rooftops attempting to be more parrot-like, we might be more forgiving.

What bands inspired you?
We're into old Earache death metal bands like Carcass, Morbid Angel, At The Gates, etc, old Relapse bands like Suffocation & Incantation. The list could go on indefinitely. We basically like anything that is brutal and true to the ethics of metal. These kinds of bands are a rarity nowadays. We also like some weird traditional folk music from Western Maryland, but that's more of a nostalgic family thing. Blake is working on a jug-band side project right now. I'm listening to the Twisted Sister Christmas album right now.

With tunes like 'god of empty nest' and 'unlisted', do you see avian creatures to be the alpha survivors of our putrid earth?
I think of birds as the link between the thunder lizards and the hairless apes. Evolution should have stopped with archaeopteryx.

Whats the next release? anything more in the pipeline on relapse records? or are you sticking with reptilian? We've actually had a CD in the can for over a year now. Reptilian will put it out as soon as the artwork is finished. As far as future releases, we'll work with almost anybody that wants to work with us. That is, as long as they subscribe to the philosophy of true worldwide avian supremacy. Thanks from the three of us for the interview, infernal squawks go out from the Mighty Diabolical Flock of the Beak to Seun and Don't Panic too!

Right on, Brother.

Thank to seun at dont panic for setting me up!


Friday, 20 February 2009

Joseph sings the Killers, far better than the Killers

The Killers eh? We all know they're music is self pretentious tosh and the new album is pap....so, even more reason for them to stand aside and let this little soldier sing their tunes. He's far better than that bloke with the moustache, singing about jesus all the time anyway.....

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Buraka Som Sistema Live @ The Scala, 15/02/09

Buraka have had a phenomenal rise to power over the last 2 years, wielding a natural ability to set floors ablaze with a mixture of bottom heavy beats, booming sub bass and enough percussion instruments to shake a wegue at; it’s all wrapped around a street-wise, brash and full-on bulldozer sound. The percussion element comes from Kuduro, a type of West-Angolan, improvisatory music. Portugal’s Buraka, with their African connections, take Kuduro and re-adjust it’s parameters with split rave and urban/grime influences - ghetto-tech for a 21st Century European audience.

So it’s no wonder that the Scala - more like a maze than a venue with its endless stairwells, balconies and post-box red walls - was possibly the fullest I’ve ever seen it (kind of relative when you think that the band sold thousands of copies of their debut single without a deal and a youtube video). Bursting at the seams, with punters literally falling over themselves, it became slightly uncomfortable to say the least, especially when they were half an hour late on stage. However, we were treated to the proto-dubstep, two-step flavours of the warm up DJ, who held the crowd nicely until the stars of the show finally appeared.( cAN ANYONE ACTUALLY TELL ME WHO THIS GUYS FUCKING NAME IS PLEASE? I CAN FIND IT ANYWHERE - NO ONE KNOWS!)

Half an hour of waiting in a stretched-capacity room of sweat and elbows only seemed to make the crowd jump about more furiously, as the warped bassline and live kick-drum of ‘Luanda-Lisboa’ smashed into action, the crowd a sea of jumping, writhing bodies. In fact, for the first couple of songs, the ailing venue had to re-adjust their sound config’s, with the sound of two Laptops and a live drummer melding into one, leaving it all sounding slightly flat, the usual emphasis on Buraka’s killer drops and wicked tones missing. Fortunately this was just a temporary measure, as they literally ploughed through a jaw dropping set list of tunes such as ‘Wegue-Wegue’ and new banger ‘Sound Of Kuduro’. The two MC’s gleefully played the crowd, feeding them from the palm of their hands. And all the while I was thinking “do her dance moves get any crazier?” while watching the dancer flex and grind, her limbs bending to breaking point whilst throwing the most insane, booty shaking shapes.

Although the place was so full of life and energy that the trio had to shout to be heard over the crowd, and the speakers distorted under the sheer bass frequencies, it remained a full-steam party throughout. Forever teasing and coaxing the crowd, DJ Riot cheekily cut in samples from classic tunes such as ‘Show me what You Got’, Benni Benassi’s ‘Satisfaction’, Snaps ‘Rhythm is A Dancer’ and lots of vocal-house-meets-ghetto-tech polyrhythm’s in between. It gave the crowd a real surprise that went down as smooth as a pint of Caffrey’s, with added live drums and vocoder vocals over the top for extra heavyweight clout. When the former’s B-more ghetto-house style seamlessly blended into smash-debut single ‘Yah’, it was game over; the place literally crumbled under the crowd, exploding as the wooden block smacks of the opening bars burst to life; everyone in sight, from the top balcony through to the front of stage was jumping in unison. A great night for Portugal, judging from all the flags proudly thrust onto stage during the encore.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Rinse 08: Alexander Nut

(Rinse) (UK)

Oily hip-hop, spacey soul and disjointed Dubstep make up this journey. A sub-drenched dub mix of 2562 of ‘Brother: The Point’; Roots Maunva getting all steel-drum bashment on heads with Do Nah Bodda Mih and even a Digital Soundboy remix of the irrepressible ‘Night’, with a light syncopated percussion beat for pace. These are just some of the treats that wait upon this unclassifiable collection of stellar soundscapes, as the mix unfolds and melts like spreadable butter. This and the weekly show on a Saturday afternoon are more than worthy of the title ‘Essential Listening’. It’s a testament to a futurist sound, heavily rich in depth, flavour and direction. Buy it.

Catch Alex on the Mixed Nuttz show every Saturday from 1-3pm on Rinse.fm. Alternatively, lock on to some podcast akshun blaaard: http://rinsefm.blogspot.com/2009/02/alexander-nut-14th-february.html

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

School of Language

David Brewis is fast becoming somewhat of an English hero. Lead vocalist and protagonist of successful band Field Music, David is known for a decisively creative and musical approach to his work. But he’s also known under many guises, the one in question here being ‘School Of Language’, his very own solo, and experimental masterpiece. Deep, epic and engaging in a more rock-led aesthetic, it represents David’s embrace of a newfound freedom to create, diversify and follow a different path, as he divulges....

(this interview was orginally published last year, but Im a big fan of David Brewis, so thought i put it up anyway)

When approaching this solo project, what musical ambitions did you have? It’s quite a departure from the field music pop structure, a lot heavier and darker.

I wanted to do something that was put together in a more spontaneous way. One of the frustrations of the last Field Music record was getting the three of us together at the same time and getting all involved. We felt pressured to maintain that with FM at the time. This was more like I’ll do whatever I feel like and be free. I linked that with re-discovering how much I actually love playing guitar. Its more guitar orientated than any of the field music stuff.

Did you record the guitars at a higher level? It’s seems that when you listen to the album it sounds like the guitars were recorded louder to give more resonance.

It’s mainly because I wrote the tunes on my guitar, and the field music set-up was always emphasizing piano and the songs were based around that. There was no pressure to do it any particular way, other than me wanting to do something spontaneous.

Has this been your most liberating project to date then? There’s more of a grungy feel to it all at times.

It has been really liberating but much more like a learning experience, of realising that I can do whatever and whenever. We restricted ourselves by the pressure we put ourselves under with field music. The pressure was always ‘try and make a real record’ but I don’t feel like that at all any more. If I try my best and make something exciting then that’s the best I can do. And if people don’t like it…

You’ve had a busy year it has to be said no?

The first few months was gigging, then spent the whole of March in the US, with school of language, and with band members who I’ve never met before, which was liberating. Then we did UK and European tours and got on with our own thing. I’ve also been recording with various people and writing stuff in between. I’m just totally knackered.

Finally, what with all the sequencing, writing and recording on your own, was it a bit testing and painstaking or did you see it as another liberation?

I don’t find the recording process painful, but a lot of it was definitely painstaking. We’ve been recording for so long, I mean, I’ve got this little four track when I was young and I’ve got about 14 years worth. Also this was the first time I’d recorded straight onto computer, but it was a big help. It was fun more than anything, another learning experience. New ways to mic up, new technical challenges… but a lot of the fun is the challenge. There’s nothing incompatible with recording interesting performances; personally, I love the recording process. It gives you the framework in which to do a performance.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

David Caruso: The man with the greatest glasses

Our man in Miami, David, has never been the sharpest of tools ot even the most fluid of acing talent. Here the legend is on top wooden form, showing us what he does indeed do best....put on a pair of sunglasses, spout a snappy one liner, and walk stage right.