Thursday, 10 June 2010

We've Moved!

You can find Strictly Independent with a new look and a new name HERE

See you there!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

DJ Lok - Mystro; F.D.T Mini Mix

Super DJ Extraordinaire DJ Lok (yes - that title is deserved; I've seen him in action!) drops this gem of a mini mix on us and proves his talent as a DJ by showing just how important timing is when mixing.

Lok gives us just long enough with each track to start nodding our heads then before we get too comfortable it's on to the next, leaving us wanting more and wondering whats next.

If you slept on Mystro's superb E.P - 'F.D.T' the first time round;

a) Shame on you
b) Get the full version HERE
C) Listen to DJ Lok's mini mix HERE and get the express version.

You can follow Mystro on twitter HERE
Likewise with DJ Lok HERE

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Electric Wizards & Dusty Scientists

Your favourite beatmakers over at (including yours truly) decided to get together and bring you 25 instrumental gems for your listening pleasure.

The work on display really is phenomenal and no matter what you would use instrumentals for; whether your an MC looking for something to spit on for your next mixtape, a DJ looking for some loops to scratch over - you need this. It's free so why not download it for the sheer hell of it?

Put together and conceptualised by a superb beatmaker and bass player extraordinare Matty Melks A.K.A The Crate Worm. You can see more of his beatmaking on his YouTube channel HERE (I highly recommend you subscribe)

Spread the word - the best of the best of the BEST is right HERE

Monday, 17 May 2010

Subtronik - Recalibration Log Files Volume 1

Recalibration Log Files Volume 1 is a mixtape from Toronto-bred, hip hop instrumental artist SubTronik. The 7 track, free download contains remixes and beat breaks hand crafted with love by the Gundam themed producer in her studio appropriately called "White Base."
"I usually don't make beats for emcees, I find they are too busy to rhyme on, but I really wanted to complete the vibe and showcase my work."
The mixtape is laced with a variety of sounds compiled in an old school, abstract manner, while still maintaining a true hip hop core and pays homage to a few of SubTronik's favorite bread and butter drum breaks. The best way I can describe Subtronik's sound is if Q-Tip went 50 years into the future, spent a year making beats, came back and made an album for MF Doom. It's mainly the little snippets of cartoon sounds and vocal soundbites that remind me of a Doom album which in turn draws comparisons to Madlib as the whole mixtape had a Madvillainy type feel to it for me; most notably on track number 5 - a remix of GangStarr's 'Just to Get A Rep.

"I'm not really trying to go back to the 90's although it is most definitely my favourite era of hip hop. I'm just trying to make my own sound, borrowing from the whole vibe and soul of past eras but still adding my own personal touch; My feelings and where I'm at currently."

It  also features verses from Mic Geronimo, INI, Pete Rock, Guru of Gangstarr, Crooklyn Dodgers and SubTronik's bandmate Seiko Romansu (the two come together to form the group "Lover's Anonymous").

The mixtape is available for free download at Subtronik's BandCamp page You can also follow SubTronik's blog HERE and stay up to date on the progress of the Lovers Anonymous album.
"It's going to be a pretty cool album. A lot of instrumental tracks with Seiko rhyming every so often where it fits. Nothing forced. We have the ideas pretty much done and we are waiting to see if we will be accepted for a community arts grant. Hopefully we get it, that way we can get some better equipment and really make a solid product. If the grant doesn't come through, we will still release it, but it will take a bit longer as we will then be upgrading White Base out of our own pockets."

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Suspect Packages Live - Friday 14th May

Delusionists will be supporting Phi-Life Cypher at Vibe Bar, Brick Lane next Friday the 14th of May from 8pm - 1am.

With their new album and the first official release from the Delusionist's label 'Beats Laying About' (The Prolusion Plus) just released - now would be a good time to get yourself down to Brick Lane next week and see what all the fuss is about. Strictly Independant will be there in person (I'll be the one handing out beat CD's - come and say hello) If you need convincing, see the reviews of Delusionists first album The Prolusion HERE and the review of Prolusion Plus HERE.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Delusionists - The Prolusion Plus

Delusionists are back; gracing us with a revisted version of their earlier release 'The Prolusion.'

Prolusion Plus features tracks from the original Prolusion as well as several additional tracks and remixes raising the track count from 7 to a meaty 12. Also featured is Some guest production from the likes of Kelakovski, Jon phonics, Ed Strong and the man responsible for this years fastest banned mixtape (Wu Vs Beatles) Tea Sea Records founder Tom Caruana.

'Pro-Plus' opens with an alternate version of 'Who's That,' the intro track present on the first offering of The Prolusion. A chopped up vibe to the beat and a slightly darker sound with a nice bassline give the track a whole other feel - a proper remix.

The first new addition is 'Digital Connects' produced by Jon Phonics, and the production here is ON. POINT. Some computery type shimmering blips and a stuttering drum track provide a perfect back drop for Mr. Black to name drop a who's who of UK Hip-Hop blogs (including yours truly - Cheers Ben!)

'Trunk Rattle' gets a well deserved second feature on Pro-Plus although I'm slightly disappointed to see that it's not the star studded remix that NEEDS to get done. Nonetheless the track is still one of my favourites of recent times and gets my head nodding everytime.

'The Low' is another new addition which was featured earlier this year on Certified Banger's 'On The Radar Vol.5.' It acts as Black's homage to his home town of Lowestoft. Citing mainly the negative aspects of the town Ben surrenders that he 'Appreciates the high's but I love the Low.' The beat is solemn with some nice keys and a haunting vocal sample pitched up to perfect effect.

Noteworthy lyrics include;

"I was a small town boy with them big city pipe dreams
The only kid in class who didn't wear tight jeans
And when I was busy thinking up rhyme schemes
You was on them petty crime scenes nickin' ice creams."

Yet  another new addition next with the Kelakovski submission '12 Letters.' Everything about this track smacks HARD. With some lo fi digital chords that had me thinking I'd just reached the final level on Castlevania, a hook that sounds like Stephen Hawking was an uncredited collaborator and the kind bassline and drum track that snaps necks - whats not to like?

"Work" is a lovely instrumental track with some 93' sounding drums and a very nice set of string samples that serves to break up the repertoire nicely.

"Movement" is another supremely well crafted track produced by Delusionists mainstay Slim Pickens. The sample here is complimented by some hard drums and nice wordplay from Ben like;

"You could masturbate until your phallus aches
And still wouldn't come as hard as this - it wont happen mate"
'Game of Soldiers' reprises it's role on Pro-Plus and it's worth mentioning that you should look out for this track to appear on my upcoming remix project which also features...

...Supa lyrical Excursion. Featured here is the Tom Caruana remix which is odd (in a good way) jerky (in a good way) and unlike anything I've heard before (DEFINITELY a good thing) once again, the remix gives a whole other perspective on the track which in my eyes is the stamp of approval for a good remix.

I've tried not to say too much about The Prolusion Plus, firstly because I've already reviewed the tracks from the first Prolusion HERE!  Secondly because I want you to get it yourself and make your own minds up and thirdly because I know you'll love it regardless of what I think. Certified Banger are quoted as having said "“Are Delusionists the mystery saviours of real Hip Hop from the UK? It's a very strong possibility.” To say I agree with that statement is putting it lightly.

Buy it from ITUNES or direct from the The Delusionists WEBSITE

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Mystro - SB.TV F64

Check the below video for your latest Mystro fix. Dude is KILLIN it right now, he makes it look easy. Massive bars...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

HypeDog Presents - The HeadSpace MixTape Volume 1

The Headspace mixtape series is a collaboration of minds between the Basement Sessions podcasts and online Hip Hop community and the Hip Hop Hype Dog blog alongside UK Hip Hop Mixtapes.

The idea of Headspace was to create a project that mixes well known names with up and coming talent. All of the artists involved represent the positive and united UK Hip Hop scene that both Basement Sessions and Hype Dog are working towards.

In addition, the mixtape was also created to celebrate one year of the Basement Sessions podcasts. the first show being an interview with London based Dj Venom on the 5th February 2009. So one year on, February 2010 sees the show going from strength to strength, with incredible collaborations building all the time, most importantly with Hip Hop Hype Dog, one of the most important UK Hip Hop blogs to date.

Basement Sessions and Hype Dog are also lucky enough to be supported by Soap Box, a unique and incredibly talented design team and clothing company based in Birmingham, UK. All of the artwork for Headspace are designed courtesy of Soap Box. Please be sure to check them out and look out for future collaborations and new clothing lines coming in 2010.

Here's the tracklisting so you know what you're letting yourself in for;

01. JVF Clique - Headspace Intro
02. K.I.N.E.T.I.K. - It Ain't Hard To See f. Jamieson
03. Asaviour & IQ - No Days Off f. Sir Smurf Lil (Akira Kiteshi Remix) (Headspace Exclusive)
04. Fallacy - Rap folly 2 f.Aggi Dukes
05. Lowkey - I'm Back (Dyson Remix)
06. Stig Of The Dump - Braindead f. RA The Rugged Man (Jehst Remix)
07. Skandal - Gluttony (Headspace Exclusive)
08. d.C. & Pennjamin- Fast Cars (Headspace Exclusive) DONE
09. Ben Black of The Delusionists - Supa Lyrical Excursion pt.2
10. Remus - Brap Brap f. Farma G
11. Brotherman & DJ Flipz - Born in the Ghetto
12. Yarah Bravo - Freedom Fighters
13. DJ IQ & Joker Starr - Sunshine
14. Oliver Sudden - C.C. for Life (Headspace Exclusive)
15. Tactical Thinking f. 3 Amigos, Jay Madden & Mic Dyson - Stampede (Lord Balrog Remix) (Headspace Exclusive)
16. Norrin Radd - Do You Understand f. Booda French (Mixed by Cross Bone T)
17. Juice Aleem - Hologram (Si Beggs Lost In The Hologram Mix) (Headspace Exclusive)
18. Obba Supa - Wet Dreams Over Nightmares (Headspace Exclusive)
19. Alphabetix - Slug Life f. Verbal Contact (Produced by Fidgit, mixed by Vice) (Headspace Exclusive)
20. Prose - Go On... (Headspace Exclusive)
21. JVF Clique - Flow Nutters (Headspace Exclusive)
22. Figment - Floor By Floor
23. Ty - Don't Cry (Headspace Exclusive)
24. London Zoo - Piece of Mind (Jed Mix) (Headspace Exclusive)
25. Jack Flash - Harass The City (Headspace Exclusive)
26. Chima Anya - KOS (remix) (Cuts by DJ Slipdisc) (Headspace Exclusive)
27. Redbeard - Sick On My Jumpa f. Sonny Jim & Kosyne (Wizard Remix) (Headspace Exclusive)
28. Blacksmith & Jagos - Edge of Breakthrough (Headspace Exclusive)
29. Mystro - Maintain (Produced by Earth Hip Hop)
30. Genesis Elijah - I'm Doin It
30. Skuff & Inja - Sunnicide
31. Just Muz - Soulful Stuff

Get the 32 track Mixtape in two parts HERE and HERE

Check out the following links of interest too;


Sunday, 31 January 2010

HypeDog Presents - Obba Supa VS Billy Paul (Promo Video)

Check this promo video for an upcoming 10 Track remix ziptape from Obba Supa sampling records from American soul singer Billy Paul. The ziptape will be available for download from fellow blog Hypedog so keep em' on ya radar.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

#SecretRemixProject tracklisting

You may remember some time ago i posted an advert of sorts on here calling for all UK Hip-Hop artists to send me their accapellas for a remix project i was planning on doing. Or, if you follow me on Twitter you will have seen me posting updates on the progress of the album with the hash tag #SecretRemixProject. Anyway, the following is a final list of artists and their remixed tracks that will feature. Its not a tracklist as such as they may not feature in this order but this is what you can expect once it drops.

Jai - I Rep
Stig of The Dump (ft R.A The Rugged Man) - Braindead
Delusionists - Game of Soldiers
Asaviour - The Aim
Klashnekoff - All I Got
Blokeyman - Recycled Rhymes
Delusionists - Supa Lyrical Excursion
Seedy Ron - Waitin'
Lost Souls - Everyman
Boiler Room Collective - Seven
Lewis Parker - Rise
Mystro - Banishment
30,000 Bastards - Microphone Mussolini

Not long now until it will be finished and ready for download. I'm keeping the 'secret' element a secret for a little while longer and will probably reveal the actual concept of the album when it drops. There's no real reason why i'm deciding to keep it secret for now, just that I think it leaves a little incentive for people to follow the progress.

I'd like to thank all the artists mentioned above in advance too for trusting me with their accapellas and helping me do this when i've barely even met most of them and none of them have heard of me. Special thanks especially to Mr Ben Black of The Delusionists as he's pretty much been the co-producer of this by providing some much needed advice throughout!

Further special thanks to Short Term The Crate Worm who is playing bass on all the tracks. This man is incredible with the bass and has added an entirely new dimension to all the tracks - you'll all be very impressed when you hear it.

Thanks to everyone on Twitter who has shown support too.

So, the next update will probably include a link for you to download this thing i've been going on about for the last few months.


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Kensaye - Introspective

Kensaye is a Hip-Hop/Soul Producer from the U.K. He is currently working with two groups - 9dots and K.I Project aswell as Archa, Mensa and Speech Debelle. His music has been played on Westside Radio and Mystic FM, has featured in Hip Hop Connection Magazine, The Mercedes-Benz Mix Tape 27 and BET awards UK Cypher.

He's taken the time out from the above mentioned projects to bring us 'Introspective,' a 25 track, head first introduction to the inimitable style that defines Kensaye. There's a wealth of variety for the listener, from the soulful vocals and synth stabs of "What Can I Do" to "Send You An Invite" which to my ears is reminiscent of Thriller era Michael Jackson.

One thing that stood out with all the tracks was the sheer energy that every single beat exudes. It's pretty much impossible to listen to this beat cd without getting hyped. The instrumentation is done very well, all synth sounds and samples used merge victoriously creating modern, monstrous anthems. The mix is very clean resulting in the kicks bumpin nice and firm but crisp and on tracks like "On The Couch" the percussion is panned just right creating an excellent sense of space in the headphones. To me, the mix is extremely important on instrumental projects as there's no lyrics or vocals to distract the listener - every kick, snare, hat, bongo, cymbal, synth, bass and sample has to be knockin just right or personally I switch off. Maybe not intentionally but subconsciously it's difficult to pay attention when someone has clearly not put 100% into their craft. This was completely the opposite with Kensaye - the perfect arrangement and mix had me listening more intenently than ever and the little vocal snippets of artists like Jay-Z, Eminem and Busta Rhymes had the same effect. One thing I ALWAYS criticise with BeatTapes is the length of the beats because often I find producers get too over indulgent and put out cd's 30 tracks deep with each track clocking it at well over 2 minutes but Kensaye has stuck to my preferred method of keeping each track short, sweet and to the point. The vocal samples in "I Want To Say" come in at the perfect points of the beat which is very nice. Consisting of a nice gated rising and falling synth, some keys and vocals in the background and simplistic drums. It's at this point I usually pick my favourite but i honestly can't! I think it's 'Paranoid'...then again, could be 'My Provider' or "Balance" which is very minimalistic but has such a great atmosphere to it - very Dilla sounding. Lose You is another favourite. Some rolling guitar strumming, sparse vocals and some beautiful piano playing the drops at the perfect moment all convolute effortlessly. "All About The Moon" is a favourite too - I did not expect that horn to come in!

I was extremely impressed by every single track on this and if I remember correctly I think Kensaye said this was his 1st Beat CD. If so you can triple my level of Impressed! A beat CD is a surprisingly difficult thing to put together. Most producers and beatmakers by nature are very particular, have a great attention to detail and would all describe themselves as perfectionists. If these are all your personality traits and you are trying to put together seamingly unrelated instrumentals to create something you can call a finished product, a 'whole' then already it becomes something very difficult and to pull it off as well, as professionally and as damn fuckin' heavy as Kensaye has here is a massive achievement in my eyes.

I'm sure I don't need to say much more?

Get it for FREE HERE where you'll find links to download it from RapidShare, MegaUpload and DepositFiles.

You can catch Kensaye on Twitter HERE
Or on MySpace HERE

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Yelé Haiti

The world's first black-led republic and the first Caribbean state to achieve independence, Haiti's pride has been dented by decades of poverty, environmental degradation, violence, instability and dictatorship which have left it as the poorest nation in the Americas. And now Haiti is on the verge of collapse

Yelé is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005. The purpose of the organization has been, from its inception, to restore pride and hope to the Haitian people through projects that will allow citizens to ultimately help themselves, such as the creation of scholarships, support for the arts, food distribution and emergency relief.

Yelé reacted immediately to the earthquake in Haiti which struck on January 2010, the teams were responding to the crisis within hours of the earthquake, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives and devastated swathes of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Assessments on the ground to identify urgent needs and co-ordinate responses are taking place with preparations for more aid to be delivered to the poorest country in the western hemisphere ongoing.

Yelé used their experience gained in years of working in Haiti after the earthquake in Port au Prince, the team have specific responsibility for caring for the many traumatised earthquake survivors.

Yelé has launched an emergency appeal for victims of the Haiti earthquake. Thousands of people are already feared dead and many more are believed to be critically injured. Countless are thought to be homeless.The quake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, struck 15km southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince just before 5pm local time, and was shortly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5.
Launching the appeal, Wyclef Jean, the founder, said:

“Haiti today faced a natural disaster of unprecedented proportion, an earthquake unlike anything the country has ever experienced.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake – and several very strong aftershocks – struck only 10 miles from Port-au-Prince.

I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now.

Many people have already reached out to see what they can do right now. We are asking those interested to please visit and click on DONATE.

The internet has become a more and more important resource for the charity - both with regard to communication with projects around the world, but also with internet fundraising. Yelè launched its Haiti appeal on internet immediately after the earthquake struck the country and have already raised one million dollars but Haiti is on the verge of collapse. Yelé need an enormous help now.

To make a donation to Yelé visit

Friday, 15 January 2010

Dyson - The Personal Statement

After the short intro, The Personal Statement opens with a remix of "I'm Back" by Lowkey. The track is fast moving an energetic and is by far the best use of AC/DC's Back In Black being sampled I've ever heard. The track is a shining example of a good remix in that it sounds like it could be the original.

Personal Statement moves on to "Ohh!" featuring Bess and a nice vocal sample (I'm sure you can guess what the sample says from the song title!) The track knocks hard and Bess manages to create a catchy hook with just 'Ohh' as a concept! Although the track bangs, it's pretty slow in comparison to the first track and this works well here, showing versatility early on and switching the style up to keep the listener interested.

The style is switched furthermore and pushed more laid back next on a reggae vibe for "Testify" featuring Nutty P. I was very much surprised here because ordinarily this vibe really isn't my thing but 'Testify' is one of my favourites on the album and it's always nice to be surprised! P comes with some very nice bars such as:
"No lie, gotta give praises to most high, that's the kinetic energy flowing from every friend and enemy open your eye and see the light - you will eventually."

I think my favourite has to be "Do What You Gotta Do" with a catchy and soulful hook and verses courtesy of The Peoples Army. The track is basically 4 minutes of sickness. Nuff said!

"Whisper" comes in at a close second for my favourite. The beat is extremely simple - just some nice rolling piano keys and some jazzy, shuffly drums. Lyrics by Brotherman are perfectly suited to the beat which ordinarily you would expect to lose interest in but it's done too well here between Dyson and Brotherman - a perfect union of beat and MC.

We're back with Bess and Brotherman again next with "My Life" sampling elements of "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" by Roy Ayers, a classic track which Dyson flips wonderfully, looping some nice vocals and dropping the "My life, My life, My life, My life" section every so often to break the beat up.

"Take It Slow" is a nice track to finish with, nice and mellow with some smooth vocals bringing the beat in as The People's Army drop some verses on that great mystery of the universe (women) over some nice saxophone's and simplistic drums. Like I said - this is an ideal track to close the album with and really insures that there's something for everyone.

The Personal Statement is definitely up there as one of the best projects I've heard recently. Dyson shows a good ear for sampling and drum programming aswell as fantastic versatility and overall a nice clean, professional mix. The artists involved have been matched up to suitable beats perfectly and help to create an impressive piece of work that you will want to listen to more than once.

'The Personal Statement' is available free from any of the following download links;


You can follow Dyson on Twitter HERE

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Dam-Funk Interview

Before you get excited, I didn't get to interview Dam-Funk. I found this video on the SpineTV website (home of 'Mystro Investigates.)

I especially like how he talks about remembering the feeling of a particular day or moment to help inspire him to make music.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Mystro - 2009 UK Rap Up (Produced by Black Einstein) - Official Video

The official video to the earlier featured 2009 UK Rap-Up by Mystro (produced by Black Einstein) is now available for your viewing pleasure. (See below)

This man is kind of amazing me at the moment! Not only is he everywhere at once, giving interviews left right and centre but he gives us The F.D.T EP and follows it up with an amazing end of the year tribute in the form of the 09 Rap Up AND finds time to shoot a video to accompany it!?

Mys - you gonna have no nose left if you keep it to the grindstone much longer!

EDIT: - A little thank you note from Mr. Mys Diggi himself;

Thank you so much for supporting this track. I honestly didn't expect it to make as much noise as it has & can't thank you enough for helping to make it happen. It's very humbling.

Happy newy years in case i haven't said it already and trust - there's a lot more to come!!

This is just the "Tip of The Mysberg" MUTHA LUVAZ!!

E. Daney

E. Daney is an unsigned artist from Harlem, NY. There's two tracks of his on offer for you today;

"Turn It Up" has a nice beat of some synth chords, piano keys that come in and some pretty simplistic drum programming which works well with the rest of the track. I have to say that honestly this type of track usually isn't my thing but I was feeling this one. It reminded me a little of Jay-Z's "What We Talkin' Bout?" from The Blueprint 3 and i think this track would work well in the same way, placed at the start of an album.

"Hoodlife" is more downbeat but manages to hit just as hard with a nice catchy hook as E. Daney speaks about his motivation over a beat of piano keys, some strings and once again - pretty simple drum patterns which is a good move here in my opinion as it allows for the verses to take centre stage. My only criticism of this track is that it's perhaps a touch too long weighing in at 4:10 but that doesn't take anything away from the quality of the track which in terms of audio quality, lyrics and music, is very high.

I was very impressed by both tracks and hope to hear more from E. Daney in the near future.

Get "Turn It Up" HERE
Get "Hood Life" HERE
Add E. Daney on MySpace HERE
Follow E. Daney on Twitter HERE
Related Posts with Thumbnails