Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos review

Kate Tempest_press_photo_2016_01_5404x3040For those who have been living without internet access for last three years, here’s a brief update on the state of the planet to put British rapper and spoken word artist Kate Tempest’s second album in context: the Earth is in a dire state. Rising divisions between rich and poor, and intolerance and miscommunication are everywhere. Meanwhile, the rise of big business continues, while the culture of the self quietly keeps the “modern revolution” – helpfully prophesised by voting-sceptic Russell Brand, among others – pacified.

Kate Tempest came to the attention of many in 2013 with her Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, Everybody Down, an effecting concept album that focused on a young couple, their troubled relationship and hard-bitten city living. With her second album, Let Them Eat Chaos, Tempest has built on her experiences to produce a powerful reflection of life in Britain today, from the high-stakes city workers to the down-and-outs living on the breadline. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Golden Rules – Night Shifts at Christmas

Golden Rules, Lex press 02 (870x489)South London producer Paul White and Florida rapper Eric Biddines teamed up to release one of 2015’s funkiest hip hop records, Golden Ticket by Golden Rules.

Now the duo have released a whimsical, festive-themed hip hop single to keep us going through these dim December days. A great track that reminds me of the sentiment of Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: Danger Doom – The Mouse and the Mask

Lex Records, 2005Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask (800x450)Danger Doom’s album is high-wire fun that’d be an offence to anyone who takes themselves too seriously. So you can bet it’d go down well with smiley Liam Gallagher and today’s hardline extremists, right?

A collaboration between enigmatic super-producer, Danger Mouse, and equally reclusive masked rapper, MF Doom, The Mouse and the Mask is a marvel of audacious jams and masterful short stories, spliced with animated skits and more humour than a Hanna-Barbera classic. Continue reading

I Speak Machine – The Silence review

Tara Busch, I Speak Machine - Silence live, 02 (944x559)The Silence is not an album to listen to while walking around your house in the dead of night – unless, of course, you enjoy giving yourself a good scare. This moody, instrumental affair comes from LA-based synthesizer enthusiast, Tara Busch, who, along with filmmaker, Maf Lewis, goes by the name of I Speak Machine, and has been produced as an extended soundtrack to their short film of the same name. Continue reading

BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul review

Ghostface Killah, BBNG - Sour Soul, press photo 02, (1200x675)An album with a consistent mood can spawn a legion of imitators, all eager to replicate the aural nectar the originator has managed to bottle. We saw it with Massive Attack’s Blue Lines and the xx’s debut. And BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah’s Sour Soul could well be next, because the alchemy at work here is mesmerising. Continue reading

Music acts to watch in 2014

Any avid gambler will tell you that you can never have too many good tips. And while, in this case, tip-offs about 2014’s likely breakthrough artists come a dime a dozen, here are a selection of bold, up-and-coming artists that deserve your attention.

Sampha press photo 03 (724x408)1. Sampha
The buzz around this 24-year-old south Londoner has reached a new high. Already a runner-up in the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list and many others, new single ‘Too Much’ confirms the excitement is warranted. Continue reading

Does liking rock music make you ‘less black’?

Shingai Shoniwa of Nosiettes, by Kmeron (Oct 2009) (1448x815)So it turns out I’m wrong. Musical prejudice is alive and well here in 2013, despite the internet and its supposed ability to make the digital age a more progressive one. Continue reading

JJ Doom @ Fabric, London

JJ Doom @ Fabric, London (Jun 2013) by Aaron LeeBewilderment and unease rippled through the crowd when the masked figure proclaimed that he would be this evening’s entertainment.

“Y’all here for JJ Doom?” he asked through a suspiciously familiar east coast drawl, a slight panter in his voice from his hurried on-stage arrival.

“They can’t be here tonight. But it’s alright, I’m their replacement: Gone the Hero.” Continue reading