Archive for October, 2007

October 29, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Akala – Comedy Tragedy History mp3

“Wise is the man that knows he’s a fool, tempt not a desperate man with a jewel, why take from Peter to go and pay Paul, some rise by sin and by virtue fall”

Hurray! Akala is back with a new album ‘Freedom Lasso’, hot on the heels of last year’s superb ‘It’s Not A Rumour’ LP.  It was a home-made, independent record that never got the attention it deserved.  Although snatching away the ‘Best Hip-Hop’ award at the MOBOs from heavy-hitters like Busta Rhymes and Kanye West, was the classic British underdog story.

‘Comedy Tragedy History’ is definitely a highlight and a sequel of sorts to his last single ‘Shakespeare’.  The new album has a harder Electro edge, which this track mixes with some addictive high-speed Strings, like a Gypsy troupe hosting a rave.  Over this, Akala has a crack at rapping the complete works of Shakespeare while generally announcing his God-like genius.

Akala – Comedy Tragedy History mp3

Click here to buy Akala albums from HMV (You won’t regret it!).

Click here to visit Akala’s YouTube channel (Highly recommended, check out ‘Bullshit’) and click here watch Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ cut to new track ‘Electro Livin’ (It has to be one of the best fan videos ever).

Visit Akla’s MySpace page to download a freestyle he did over ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’.

Akala Website / Akala MySpace

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October 27, 2007

RICHARD HAWLEY – Serious (2x CD Singles)

Mute CDMUTE385/LCDMUTE385: 15th October 2007
1. Serious
“There’s a kindness in her eyes, there’s no darkness and disguise”
2. Poor Boy
“Ain’t got a crust, ain’t got a cent, can’t buy a jug, cant pay the rent, I got a heart full of dreams and a lot of memories, and that’s enough for me”
3. Water Boy
“Water boy, water boy, can’t you hear me calling, you’ve been down by the river, can’t you hear me calling”
4. Let It Come Slowly Towards You
“Instrumental”

I’ve been a little disappointed with Richard Hawley’s new album because the production is often overblown and syrupy (Something he’s come dangerously close to in the past). Thankfully ‘Serious’ is a relatively minimal recording with an echoey Rock-a-billy sound enhancing a simple, catchy tune. ‘Poor Boy’ is a cover on an Elvis Presley song which sounds hideously cheesy, complete with fiddles and spoons (If Richard is taking the piss, then it’s quite funny). Traditional folk song ‘Water Boy’ is the polar opposite, like a slow funeral march, it’s sumptuously melancholy and totally intoxicating. Last up is a tranquil desert-island-castaway instrumental called ‘Let It Come Slowly Towards You’ (Almost a companion song to another B-side called ‘Kelham Island’).

Click here to buy Richard Hawley albums from HMV.

Richard Hawley – Kelham Island mp3 (Old jaw-dropping B-side)
Richard Hawley – Vickers Road mp3 (New jaw-dropping B-side)

Click here to watch the side-splitting video for ‘Serious’ on YouTube.

Richard Hawley Website / Richard Hawley MySpace

October 27, 2007

DAVID E. SUGAR – Chelsea Girls (12″ Single)

Brikabrak BRK008: 15th October 2007
1. Chelsea Girls
“Did you know that guy, the one covering both his eyes, well yer I knew him too, plastic folders hiding the truth”
2. I Still Like Your Clothes
“Even though you screw up, I still like your clothes, I like your look”

I saw David E. Sugar supporting Example a while back and I was totally blown away by his songs which sounded like classic hits on the first listen. His band was such a tight Funk unit, particularly his feather-in-hat wearing Bass player who cranked out solid Bass-lines one after another. Now when it comes to hearing him on record I have to confess to a twinge of disappointment. ‘Chelsea Girls’ is fantastic in an LCD Soundsystem/Chromeo way but it sounds like a soulful song hemmed in and constrained by affected, monochromatic Electronica.

‘I Still Like Your Clothes’ is much more like it, featuring a dirty Bass line purloined from Deep Purple that’ll make you screw your face up, move your body and play air Bass. It’s six minutes of bliss, complete with a woozy Acapella bit and David’s electrifying squeals of “Ooo!”. Your gonna love this record, but go see him live and hear what David E. Sugar is really capable of.

Click here to buy the 12″ from Rough Trade, click here to download ‘Chelsea Girls’ from 7Digital or click here to download the ‘Coin Op Rocker’ EP from Tunetribe.

Click here to watch the ingenious video for ‘Chelsea Girls’ on YouTube.

David E. Sugar MySpace

October 26, 2007

ABDOMINAL – Abdominal Workout (12″ EP)

Antidote ANTTW1023: 1st October 2007
1. Abdominal Workout (Original / Instrumental / Acapella / Natural Self Remix / Natural Self Remix Instrumental)
“Well they say that ya never get a second chance to make that first impression, if that’s the case man, come on just give me you’re unadulterated attention”
2. Satan Music
“Circle Research, made the beat first, promptin’ these words, to fall like trees burn”

I’ve been listening to ‘Abdominal Workout’ on a constant loop since I first encountered the considerable talents of Abdominal five months ago, so it’s nice to see it get the single release it deserves. It’s one of those tracks where a rapper proclaims his superiority to the competition. They only really work if the skills of the performer justify the bragging, which of course in Abdominal’s case they do. The ‘Natural Self Remix’ has a live-funk-band sound and the production is warmer than the minimal Funk of the original. The EP is expanded with the inclusion of instrumentals of both versions of ‘Abdominal Workout’. Last up on the record is the down and dirty groove of exclusive new track ‘Satan Music’, which is every bit as good as the A-side (Plus it’s got an hilarious Darth Vader wank gag!).

Click here to buy Abdominal’s ‘Escape From The Pigeon Hole’ album from HMV.

DJ Format (Feat. Abdominal) – Vicious Battle Raps mp3

You can buy the 12″ from Phonica Records by clicking here or download the EP from TuneTribe by clicking here.

Click here to watch the wonderful ‘Abdominal Workout’ Video.

Abdominal MySpace

October 22, 2007

DIESLER – When She Was Bad / Restless (12″ EP)

Freestyle FSR053: 1st October 2007
1. When She Was Bad
“Instrumental”
2. Restless Feat. Testament (Original / Lack Of Afro Remix / Acapella)
“Start to finish, I’ll be rippin’ it well, hit you with my old English, like the Canterbury Tales”

‘When She Was Bad’ starts off as a vibrant Latin groove before being set upon by B-boys a minute in.

‘Restless’ is blessed with an irrestisable Piano sound like a 30s house band getting it on. Restless’ has got witty rhymes to rival Roots Manuva and the flow of Akala. If the original isn’t funky enough for ya, then check out the smokin’ Remix from my new favourite purveyors of the Funk, Lack Of Afro. You won’t regret picking up a copy of this EP.

Click here to buy Diesler’s new ‘The Rhythm Station’ album from HMV.

Diesler (Feat. Carla Alexandra) – Into The Woods mp3

Click here to download the EP from Dancetracks Digital.

Diesler Website / Diesler MySpace / Testament MySpace / Lack Of Afro MySpace

October 22, 2007

MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Indian Summer (2x CD & 7″ Singles)

Columbia 88697159332/88697159322/88697159347: 1st October 2007
1. Indian Summer
“If God persists, persists in saying yes, I guess we’ll have, we’ll have to test ourselves, maybe the Summer, will come and clear our minds, and find the impulse, to love the sunshine”
2. Anorexic Rodin
“You re-ignite the Tet Offensive, it’s why you went, it’s so defensive, perfect echoes of your youth, like an anorexic Rodin”
3. Heyday Of The Blood
“We must be so indicted, so detached from all we see, so detached from all we see, in the heyday of the blood, you’re so convinced of your own worth”
4. Foggy Eyes
“I don’t know why we make each other cry, don’t know why we all got foggy eyes, I think about all the things I never do, how I’m such a disappointment to you”
5. Lady Lazarus
“You said so much more than you denied, you secretly wish to be crucified”
6. You Know It’s Going To Hurt
“Instrumental”

The singles from Manic Street Preacher’s new album ‘Send Away The Tigers’ have a tendency to sneak up on you and slowly embroider themselves on your heart. So it proves with ‘Indian Summer’ which didn’t grab me on first listen but by the 5th or 6th had totally convinced me. The chugging rhythm, crashing Drums and shimmering Guitars mix with a wonderfully carefree spirit in the vocals.

‘Indian Summer’ is backed by another generous collection of quality B-sides. ‘Anorexic Rodin’ is a tight little Guns ‘n’ Roses style rocker and ‘Heyday Of The Blood’ sounds like a cousin of classic B-side ‘Patrick Bateman’ but recorded at Sun Studios. ‘Foggy Eyes’ is a cover of a Beat Happening song (Who not un-coincidentally, also have a song called ‘Indian Summer’) and one of MSP’s best ever B-sides, which is mainly down to the fantastic twanging Guitar riff. Nicky Wire’s lead vocals are becoming a familar and welcome event, he may not have the power or frankly, the ability of James but you can truly feel the passion in his voice on ‘Lady Lazarus’. ‘You Know It’s Going To Hurt’ is a haunting and magical instrumental and not unlike the best work of iLiKETRAiNS.

Click here to buy ‘Indian Summer’ from HMV.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Indian Summer’ on YouTube.

Here are three incredible rarities from recent releases to underline how good the Manics are at the moment:

Manic Street Preachers – 1404 mp3
Manic Street Preachers – Fearless Punk Ballad mp3
Manic Street Preachers – Morning Comrades mp3

Click here to buy the new ‘Send Away The Tigers’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

Lastly, here’s the original version of ‘Foggy Eyes’:

Beat Happening – Foggy Eyes mp3

Manic Street Preachers Website / Manic Street Preachers MySpace

October 22, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: The First Class – Beach Baby mp3

“I never thought that it would end, and I was everybody’s friend, long hot days, cool sea haze, Jukebox plays, but now it’s fading away”

I’ve been hearing this track on the radio allot where I work and I’ve totally fallen in love with it. ‘Beach Baby’ has a sweeping, rich, Beach Boys production (With a hint of Simon & Garfunkel) but it’s when everything else drops out and the horns come in for the instrumental brake at 3.05, that it really gives me the goose bumps. It’s like the whole reason for Jason Pierce’s existence. This 1974 single was apparently The First Class’ only hit but I’ll definitely have to check out the rest of their discography.

The First Class – Beach Baby mp3

Click here to buy a best of compilation called ‘Summer Sound Sensations’ from HMV.

Click here to watch ‘Beach Baby’ on YouTube (Sadly without the Instrumental bit).

The First Class Website

October 15, 2007

THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS / STEVEN PERRI & ZAMAUN (7″ Split Single)

Record Kicks RK45011: 1st October 2007
1. The New Mastersounds – Drop It Down (B Remix)
“Instrumental”
2. Steven Perri & Zamaun – Street Scene
“Instrumental”

The New Mastersounds’ contribution to this fine 7″ is a funky Led Zeppelin riff monster with big beats and some stone cold Jimmy Smith Organ sounds remixed by DJ B (aka Barrie Gledden).  On the flip Steven Perri & Zamaun turn out some even funkier Blaxploitation style chase music (Check out the wild percussive outro).  You need this 7″ but both tracks can be found on the ‘Soulshaker Vol.4’ & ‘The New Master Sounds Re:Mixed’ Compilations respectively.

Click here to buy the 7″ direct from the Record Kicks Website.

The New Mastersounds MySpace / Steven Perri & Zamaun MySpace

October 15, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Wojtek Godzisz – A Rush & A Push & The Land Is Ours mp3

“Hello, I am the ghost of Troubled Joe, hung by his pretty white neck, some eighteen months ago, I travelled to a mystical time zone and I missed my bed and I soon came home”

Covering The Smiths is never an easy task, many have tried, many have failed. t.A.T.u did a fun cover of ‘How Soon Is Now’, Billy Bragg recorded an essential version of ‘Jeane’ and Mark Ronson recently scored a hit with an excellent, if slightly misguided, cover of ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’. However, Wojtek Godzisz’s cover of ‘A Rush & A Push & The Land Is Ours’ is an unqualified success, retaining and enhancing the odd Reggae/Gypsy rhythm of the original while his vocals even rival Morrissey’s (No mean feat). The fact that ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ has tragically never been properly remastered (Along with the rest of The Smiths’ catalogue), also gives Godzisz’s version a sonic advantage.

The track is taken from Filthy Little Angels’ latest covers album ‘Nineteen Eighty Seven’. It’s a compilation of covers of songs from, yep you’ve guessed it… 1987. It is totally free and features other superb recreations of classics like ‘Got My Mind Set On You’, ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and ‘Hip To Be Square’.

Wojtek Godzisz – A Rush & A Push & The Land Is Ours mp3

Click here to buy Wojtek Godzisz records from HMV including his fantastic forthcoming 7″ ‘The Moon & The Yew Tree’.

Click here to watch the rabid video for ‘The Moon & The Yew Tree’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy The Smith’s ‘Strangeways, Here We Come’ from HMV.

Click here to watch Morrissey perform ‘A Rush & A Push & The Land Is Ours’ in Manchester via YouTube.

Wojtek Godzisz MySpace / Filthy Little Angels Website

October 15, 2007

THE NEW ROYAL FAMILY & KEITH TOTP (7″ Split EP)

Filthy Little Angels FILTHY011: 24th September 2007
1. The New Royal Family – Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?
“Anyone fancy a chocolate digestive? No thank you, it sounds suggestive”
2. The New Royal Family – The Cornflakes Family
“When it comes to noughts you’re number one, when it comes to brains, you’ve got none, you’ve no imagination, you’re face is haggard, you’re as cardboard as a cornflakes packet”
3. Keith TOTP – I Hate Your Band
“Once in a while you could smile on stage, the world really won’t end, maybe try takin’ off your skinny tie, start a new trend, I hate your band”
4. Keith TOTP – Girl
“Girl, you fill my mind with doubt, have me doubting what I know is true, why the hell did I believe in you”

Right from the Johnny Rotten style “Hello… are you ready kids?” you know ‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?’ is gonna be fun.  I raved about The New Royal Family’s song back in July when the video popped up on YouTube.  It’s a quite preposterously silly and wonderfully addictive sing along.  It comes backed with a equally catchy B-side in the shape of ‘The Cornflakes Family’.

Keith TOTP’s songs make up for what they lack in fidelity, with wit, a touch of obscenity and a certain world weary charm.  ‘I Hate Your Band’ channels The Velvet Underground into a bit of anti scenester fury.  ‘Girl’ is like Slayer covering The Beatles with a lyric that suggests Keith has been sorely wounded, ending as it does with a mumble of “Bitch”.

Visit Filthy Little Angels.com to buy the EP direct (Plus they’ve got a zillion free mp3s).

Click here to watch the brilliant video for ‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive’ on YouTube.

The New Royal Family MySpace / Keith TOTP MySpace