Saturday, 29 March 2008

Roots Manuva - Brand New Second Hand (1999)

At it's time of release BNSH was seen as the most innovative hip-hop album in years and too this day it hasn't lost one ounce of it's individuality.
Heavily rooted in dub-reggae beats and Rastafarian culture, Roots Manuva (Rodney Smith) takes each beat and makes it his own with his engaging flow, operating like an extra instrument with the twists and turns of his complex rhymes.
First and arguably best track, "Movements", combines a dark and mysterious synth with a pulsating beat, simple yet effective, and providing the perfect canvas for Smith to complete with his words painting a vivid picture. On the chorus you hang off each word, "left...right", appreciation of the sheer perfection of this track.
The album title is a nod to Smith's modest upbringing and a phrase his mother used to use, but the themes of growing up, strength and battling inequality shine through amongst the most 'English' of lyrics,

"I'll slap the bacon out your mouth, dance upon your sarnie"

Such words provide the laughs amongst some serious content always spoken with utmost integrity, and an album which has and will, stand the test of time.

look buy

Roots Manuva - "Movements"
Roots Manuva - "Wisdom Fail"

Thursday, 20 March 2008

New Music: Rotary Ten

(photo courtesy of the band's Myspace)

Rotary Ten are a four-piece who find themselves sat happily between the spiky rock of bands like DCFC and gleeful guitar crescendo's of Explosions In The Sky. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch them in Leeds, at a gig that was unfortunately very poorly promoted. However, the band who hail from Sheffield/Lincoln, managed to illuminate the faces of all present with their delightful intricacies, airtight rhythms and enthusiasm, especially in front of what was a surprising crowd for them. Having played together for over 5 years the band are far more comfortable in the live setting that many established artists.

Now signed to Xtra Mile records, home of artists such as Frank Turner, the band deserve, and should have, a bright future. Single "Time is not a Line, and I am not a Rock" is an immediately like able, yet refreshingly rewarding song and it is the perfect way to introduce you to, Rotary Ten.

look myspace download

(Apologies for low sound quality)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

New Death Cab song leaked!

Yes, long awaited new material from the much-loved Death Cab For Cutie has been spreading like wild fire over the past few days. "I Will Possess Your Heart" is a clever release and it definitely finds DCFC at their most creative, a real testing listen for those who are more like single fans than hardened vets.
The spiky bass riff and minimal guitar certainly take their time but those who stay around for the vocals will not be disappointed making this even the more satisfying, even on first listen. Enjoy!

From the forthcoming album, "Narrow Stairs" - May 2008, Death Cab For Cutie - "I Will Possess Your Heart"

Panda Bear - Person Pitch (2007)

We all make mistakes, and I made one at the beginning of this year. Failure to include this record in my best of 2007. Infact, a little secret, I made a mistake long before. Failure to listen to this record in 2007!?

Okay, stay with me. Back on topic. Panda Bear (or Noah Lennox) has created something special here, an album which has caught the imagination of music lovers worldwide. Cleverly recorded using a multitude of samples, from the smallest of birds to the repeated percussive sounds that hold the songs together, the tracks flow seamlessly from one to another, creating a mood, far stronger than the songs them self.

Each listen gives the you chance to unearth more from this musical box of treats. For me, the centerpiece is the 10minute+ "Bros" which blossoms into a beautifully deep song, topped with Lennox's echoed vocals. Sounds are as diverse as you will find in modern music, an example being the leap into the choral vocals in the following track, "Im Not" which is almost built on vocal loops alone with only subtle percussion in support.

The special thing about this album is, it allows you to escape and it gives to the listener on every single spin.

look buy download

Back in Black...and white, and red...

Yes, the blog is back. Comment and request through the posts and if you want links, and vice versa...give me a message for that too.


Saturday, 1 March 2008


As of March I'm going to be looking to take the blog in a new direction, change the layout and styles along with the kinds of posts. Gone will be most full album downloads, unless they are requested by people, and in will be single's and mixtapes. In that case, I'm looking for anyone who wants to contribute, wants photos up etc in order to try and move the blog forward.

+ I need to put more effort in!

Stay tuned,
Josh x