Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Get Involved...

I made the decision today to 'expand the blogs horizons' (if blogs have horizons(?))

So what does this mean?

It means that i no longer want the blog to be about just music, but more about independant creativity as a movement and a culture.

At the moment, the blog is a bit one sided (albeit - due to my initial idea of what i wanted the blog to be) towards Hip-Hop, but i want to take this oppurtunity to remind everyone that it is for all genres of music.

I want this to be a place where unknown, non famous, unheard of but talented people can share their work and gain some helpful constructive criticism, a little bit of exposure (I'm not sure exactly how many - if any - people regularly read the blog) and hopefully a new fan or two.

Going back to what i said about 'independant creativity.' This basically means anything. Any form of creativity that you have made a conscious decision to do. This could be -

Film making

Obviously, i wouldn't necessarily be able to review things that came under these areas but i would certainly offer my opinion and post your work.

I plan to do alot more networking (a much more sophisticated way of saying i'm going to get people to put my link on their website) in the near future to get a bit more traffic. I had a thought on the way home from work tonight that i might get some stickers printed up in white with just the blog address on it and just start slapping them on the inside of tube trains.

Sidebar - A nifty marketing tip for you if you work in the city or travel on trains or buses to/from work. Pick up the nearest free newspaper (Metro/London Paper/London Lite) and in every and any free space you can find - write your MySpace/website/blog address. I've been doing this for the last 3 months - mainly out of habit and a few weeks ago i actually had some people add me on MySpace who said they'd got the URL from my newspaper scrawlings!

So - if you're an Emcee, BeatMaker, Producer, Instrumentalist, DJ, Singer, Band, Photographer, Artist (of any kind) FilmMaker, Writer, Actor/Actress, Comedian -

Drop me an e-mail - what have you got to lose?

Monday, 26 January 2009

Milkman - Apollo

Milkman is a beatmaker from California who was brought to my attention on the excellent (and frequently mentioned) CrateKings website/forum.

his debut BeatTape 'Apollo' is a nice mix of instrumental work and remix's which help to break up the structure of the tracklisting and throw a bit of variety in there. I was mainly impressed by the work on offer here as the description given by Milkman that Apollo is "basically the first beats I've made since I got the MPC in August."

For just under 6 months of what must have been a pretty big learning curve for a newcomer to the wonderful ways of the mighty MPC - the work displayed is exceptional.

The overall style could be described as 'back to basics,' but there is nothing basic about each and every beat as all sound like they've been carefully crafted with each kick, hat and snare matched perfectly to the varied and well chopped samples.

Stand out tracks for me are 'Theme' which had me nodding like the Churchill Dog! (only UK headz should get that reference, for everyone elses benefit - ENLIGHTENMENT)

The Shimmy Shimmy Ya remix was crazy and dare i say it - on par with the original.

'Kick The Truth' was a collaborative effort with another CrateKings regular 'GrimeShine' - the result is sublime, so smooth.

Finally - a One Love remix that is as beautiful as it is banging.

Start to finish, 'Apollo' is a sterling piece of work and hopefully an indication of what we can expect form Milkman in the future.

Download it HERE

Add MilkMan on MySpace HERE

Or, come and visit MilkMan, GrimeShine and Me at CrateKings

Friday, 23 January 2009

Celtic Underground Session 3

Volume 3 already!! Jee4ce has rounded up some the finest tracks from the Celtic underground scene and put together another master piece.

One of the main things that stands out (for me) in Hip Hop from these shores is the regional accents, its something we (as UK Hip Hop listeners) should embrace and be proud off because it separates us from the rest of the world, plus most of these artists are from the 'sticks' and they are so fucking hungry for the culture that it keeps that raw element that Hip Hop is build on.

Theres a whole heap of names you will/should know i.e. Respek BA, Ralph Rip Shit, Dubbledge, Loki, Jee4ce, Evil Residents, Hoax MC, Terawrizt, etc etc

Its a banger..Its full of heavy beats...Its filled to the brim with talent...Its FREE!!

Check out Jee4ce myspace for links for the other artists HERE

Celtic Underground Session 3 Mixed by Jee4ce

Free Download. Hiphop from Ireland, Scotland and Wales

01. Capital 1212 ft. Mikey Krummins - Shootin Stars (Scotland)
02. Terawrizt ft. Jambo - End Of Dayz (Ireland)
03. Qred ft. Joe Blow 4dee and Skamma - Lunar Burn (Wales)
04. Respek BA - OH (Scotland)
05. Jee4ce - On The Rise (N.Ireland)
06. Ralph Rip Shit ft. Dubbledge - Kiss The Guns (Wales)
07. Evil Residents - Demonic Soldiers (Scotland)
08. Rubberbandits - Pure Awkward (Ireland)
09. Sweet And Tender Hooligans - I Have Seen (Wales)
10. Intox ft. Jonnyboy - Take Me Back (Ireland)
11. Skribbo ft. Loki - Heavyweights (Scotland)
12. Nugget - Loser (Ireland)
13. MasterSystem - Its Time (Scotland)
14. Werd & Deeko - Mad World (Scotland)
15. Cullo - Who Am I (Ireland)
16. Dave Gunn - Under The Forgotton Page (Scotland)
17. Lineage ft. Maverick Sabre - Cambia Tu Fortuna Remix (Ireland)
18. Hoax MC - Rhymin Son (Wales)
19. Holmes - HipHoperation (Scotland)

Download or stream as one track

Download with tracks separated

PS: That's not the real cover for it (as you can see how unprofessional it looks)
i stole it from another site and added the title!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Figment/Mash-Up Productions Beat Sampler 0.3 - Abstract

The latest edition of my series of beat samplers.

Part three - Abstract, is a (small) collection of instrumentals i made using some experimental techniques, and just having fun.

Download it HERE

Monday, 19 January 2009

Skillit - Talk Of The Town

To start with - this album is DOPE.

Beginning nicely with 'I'm Badder Than You,'' with a nice catchy, sing along beat and plenty of punchlines, it's a sign of things to come as the whole album has a very 'feel good' element to it which is a nice change as it's common for alot of independant albums to get bogged down with too much 'real talk' but Skillit manages to keep a good balance.

The albums title track 'Talk Of The Town' is probably my favourite, the beat has some nice xylophone samples over a nice bassline and some layered strings. Again, filled to the brim with slick punchlines and perfect flow to fit the beat with lines like - ''make some decent music, i would say your shit but nature beat me to it.''

"Tag Team" is another one of my favourites. Produced by Capital B (who also produced 3 other tracks on the album) who has managed to combine some real laid back jazzy horn samples and a sinister sounding bassline. Pyro features on the track and the two emcees mix well together, especially on the hook -

"Skillit and Pyro, hittin you with tight flows
blowing up like nitro, you'll see when time grows
pyro and skillit, we rhyme and we kill it
and shine in our lyrics, don't abide by the gimmicks."

Good stuff.

Production credits go to Capital B, Cable, K-Nite 13 and Loudmouth
Features guests - Pyro, K-Nite, Loudmouth and Mentalist.

Get the album HERE
Check Skillit out on MySpace HERE

Friday, 16 January 2009

Dialektiks - Intelligent Design

Dialektiks are a UK Hip Hop duo based in Edinburgh, comprised of Rapper Newspeak and DJ/Producer Decksterous.

"We try to capture the old school sound of the hip-hop we love, but put a modern twist on it".

'Intelligent Design' is a solid effort with all involved showing that they're more than comfortable on the beat - flow is switched up consistantly and there's a nice variety of topics and themes being spoken on, but it's only let down is the sound quality. I try not to let mixing and mastering play a part in my opinion of an artists work but in this case it is difficult to hear some of the lyrics in places. That being said, i enjoyed 'Intelligent Design.' It got my head nodding, got me rewinding - and etched the name 'Dialektiks' firmly into my subconscious. What more could one want from a free album?

Get it HERE

Check out the MySpace HERE

*EDIT - You can check out an interview with Dialektiks over at the Certified bangers Blog (link in the 'Places of Interest' section to your left). Check the interview HERE.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Jay-Z/Mash-Up Productions - Prohibition Gangster

As promised,

If you didn't see the post just after Christmas, -

"I know i'm VERY late with an American Gangster remix, but i hate doing shit when everyone else is doing it.

The idea behind the project is basically American Gangster remixed with new beats sampling 40's jazz and with a more old school gangster feel."

I only remixed a handful of tracks; those that i felt needed to be redone.


American Dreamin'
Blue Magic
Party Life
Ignorant Shit

You can download it free (of course) HERE

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Dan Bull - Safe

Dan Bull is a hip hop musician from the UK.

Musician really is the best way to describe him as the album see's him dabble in acoustic guitar, drum programming, rapping and singing, this is not a man to be confined by genres.

'Safe' is a concept album that tells the story of a young man who attempts suicide during a global thermonuclear holocaust and awakens in a new, ambiguous nirvana. Along the way, Dan Bull covers such topics as summer sunshine, friendship, love and loss, alienation, politics, death, religion, suicide and insanity.

Described as ''The Streets meets Morrisey'' Dan covers a wide range of topics throughout the album with a competent flow that is easy to follow but impressive nonetheless, over music that ranges from dramatic orchestral strings on 'My Catharsis' to upbeat guitar melodies and vocals on ''Cut'' where the arrangement switches from this upbeat moment of Dan realising love to a more reflective rap section where the newfound love seems to fall apart. I was impressed at the attention to detail, especially at moments like this where such effort was put in to make the music and words follow eachother and alter the mood.

"Misfit" is a dark, introspective track which sees Dan pondering his place in the world over a simplistic drum track and equally simplistic but haunting melody.

"Afterlife" was another stand out track for me where Dan effortlessly describes the processes of Algamortis and Rigormortis with the foundation message of ashes to ashes, dusk to dusk.

Overall - dark and relentless, at times 'Safe' can be hard going but lighter tracks like 'Summer' elevate the mood. I would recommend this album to anyone bored of the usual music marketed at the moment - hip hop or otherwise and i would definitely be interested in hearing anything else Dan Bull comes out with in the future.

So if you're curious to hear what talent sounds like, or if you want to provide your ipod wth a welcome change;

Download the album HERE

More info on Dan can be found on the Freshnut website

Check him out on MySpace HERE

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Kid Konnect - The Epic

Beatmaker 'Kid Konnect' has just finished his first beat tape "The Epic'' and let me just start off by saying well done, because For a first effort, it's a good lesson to beatmakers looking to do the same. Konnect has kept it short and sweet, blessing us with only 5 beats - not enough to give too much away and just enough to leave us wanting more.

It's hard to define 'The Epic' or confine it to any one genre of instrumental. All you need to know is that it bumps from the outset. The fact that a beat tape consisting of only 5 beats can have this effect as it's so diverse - is another acheivement in itself.

01. "My Lord" - I knew this was my favourite before i heard any of the others. A great way to start the beat tape off, with a banger of a beat. The samples chopped really nicely and has contrasts between really hard hitting sections and some nice jazzy George Benson style guitar bits in there too. First class beatmaking right here.

02. "I'm Sure" - So nice. The sample is so nice and the drums fit perfectly over it. Impressive that a beat this smooth can follow one so hard and still be just as hot.

03. "Knocks" - switches it up a little here with something more synth sounding. This one probably won't be for everyone but it's a good piece of Hip-Hop all the same and nice as a change of pace.

04. "Never Hear" - starts with some really nice vocals and kicks in to yet another banger. Drums are nice and tight and the bass compliments everything perfectly. I recognise the sample as it's from quite a recent track (i think) but i would never have thought of flipping it like this. Perfect.

05. "Smoker's Delight" - another smooth joint (excuse the pun) which i could honestly loop forever. The bassline is perfect with a westcoast feel to it.

If you're an emcee looking for a beatmaker to get at, download it.

If you're a fellow beatmaker/producer/dj/whatever - download it and take notes.

If your neither of these. Download it.

Get it HERE
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