Jam of the Week: People Under the Stairs – Nobody Cares

People Under the Stairs press photo 2015 (750x422)Unless you’ve locked yourself away from the internet and the outside world for the last seven days, you can’t fail to have noticed we’ve been through one of those ‘weeks that changed the world’. As the media, politicians and, most importantly, ordinary people gradually come to terms with the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut and, just yesterday, Nigeria, it is heartening to see musicians, such as Thundercat, producing music in tribute to those that sadly lost their lives and to remind us of the need for unity.

Today’s jam comes from one of the most underrated west coast’s hip hop duos, People Under the Stairs. It isn’t a Paris tribute, but it is about community and what happens when the places that help strengthen the bonds between us are neglected. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: Etta James – At Last!

Argo Records, 1960Etta James, The Chess box, by Jazz Guy (752x423)Listening to Etta James can bring you as close as it’s possible to get to heaven without leaving your physical body behind you. Take the title track of her phenomenal debut album, At Last!: when James’s pure voice rises in perfect concert with the nuzzling strings, it’s as if flowers have spontaneously sprung into bloom, the clouds have parted and, for three glorious minutes, all is well with the world. Continue reading

Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators – Happiness in Every Style review

Nicole Willis, promo photo 2015, 01, by Jimi Tenor (1920x1080)You can’t make a case for the classic soul album in 2015 without mentioning Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators. The Brooklyn-born singer and the Finnish soul purveyors have now released three studio albums together in the last 10 years. Their latest effort, Happiness in Every Style, is overflowing with luminous textures and smooth sounds that underscore this segment of music’s influence and its endless ability to enchant. Continue reading

Destroying the Death Star: the Star Wars games of our generation – part four

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, key art 01 (1280x720)In the final part of my Star Wars games round-up we look back on the last decade of titles, including the oft-forgotten Republic Commando, the family-friendly adventure that started a global children’s craze, Lego Star Wars, the penultimate epic from LucasArts, The Force Unleashed, and look forward to EA’s Battlefront reboot. This lightspeed retrospective has shown me just how strong the Force was with some Star Wars games – and how nonexistent it was in others.

Enjoy the final part, and by all means share your own memories of Star Wars games if you’ve got ’em. I’m @dk33per on Twitter. Continue reading

Destroying the Death Star: the Star Wars games of our generation – part three

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, 01, Boba Fett (1280x720)In the penultimate edition of my Star Wars games round-up, we find ourselves leaping between LucasArts mostly-middling Episode II-related titles, the original Star Wars MMOG, and BioWare’s celebrated RPG, Knights of the Old Republic. Now, allow me to dispense with the pleasantries and get stuck in, before Vader’s comes a-knocking to put me back on schedule. Continue reading

Destroying the Death Star: the Star Wars games of our generation – part two

Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles, screenshot 01 (625x352)Part one of my round-up was dominated by space sims. In the next wave, the variety opens up with a fair few oddball titles in between a flock of games for the prequel trilogy, starting with Episode I. Continue reading