Monday, 31 October 2011

Mazzy Star - Common Burn

Mazzy Star - Common Burn by weallwantsome1

Last week I featured a remix of the song for which anyone with even the slightest resemblance of a relationship with the world will know Mazzy Star for. Since then they've been rather quiet, probably basking in the glory of that record or stuck deep in a depression with the thought that they, or even anyone else, might never be able to make anything of such beauty again.

This new single however, released on their own Rhymes Of An Hour Records, might just be getting close. Imagine the aftermath of Dorothy returning to Kansas. Having just clicked her pretty red ruby shoes together, she lands on a hay bale looking out upon the baron prairie. It is vast and magnificent in it's emptiness, the wind moves through the hollowness and creates beautiful sounds, like nature blowing on a giant empty milk bottle. As the sky shifts and the hills speak, she starts to wonder if the whole yellow-brick-road-thing was not just one big trip, she's pretty sure she didn't spill any LSD on her fingers when she was making tabs for grandma but she can't be sure. She especially suspicious considering that Toto doesn't look the slightest bit bothered, in fact he looks a bit bored, like he's been sitting starring at his owner chat rubbish about tin men and wicked witches for hours.

Horsementality EP1 - Out Now

Horsementality EP1 - Out Now by Renegade Hardware

The first release from The Noble Lion of drum and bass Loxy and his brother in arms Ink, from a larger 30 track project, which will feature tracks from over 30 artists influenced by the original Horseman project.

This is typically dark Renegade Hardware fair full of deep sub bass and industrial influence that still holds a rhythmic, rolling character to it. Stand out track for me is Arclight's Judas, as it exemplifies the aforementioned elements but it also has this wonderful, robotic groaning noise, like the sounds the invaders would make in War of The Worlds as they scope the landscape looking for survivors in the battle ravaged remains of earth.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Gardens and Villa "Black Hills"

Gardens and Villa "Black Hills" by LightsOutPR

It might at first sound like a phone is going off somewhere in your house, but ignore it, they will call back later if it's urgent. Once you get past this it develops into a lovely, wistful track full of character and depth; I love the singers voice, an example of how a vocal can act as another important instrument.

Gardens and Villa released an album at the beginning of this year and considering the strength of this track it might be well worth a second look. They also have a UK tour starting at the beginning of November so go to to find out when they'll be in ant own near you.

Ra Shawn - I Got It

Ra Shawn - I Got It by iAmRaShawn

There are not enough guitars used in hip hop and for no good reason, as the distorted guitar (ala Black Keys Black Roc) works really well in this track. Along with the equally moody but still melodic base line, it helps to compliment the neat, tight rhymes of Ra Shawn. The use of the almost wooden sounding percussion gives the tune that final, garage-esq, street dwelling attitude and provides a beat to which you can't help but bop along to.

This is all the more extraordinary considering that this yoot is but 15 years old, he's is getting a lot of love on SoundCloud already so expect big things. He is already quite prolific, realising a track on SoundCloud almost every month, so check out his page here to keep up to date.

Open Your Eyes, the World is Shit-Dust Congress

Open Your Eyes, the World is Shit-Dust Congress by BestNewBandscom

When you first hear this you instantly mould into the character of Henry VIII, putting down your comically oversized drumstick and wiping the thick gravy off your fat chops. You rise from your position at the centre of the banquet table with some difficulty. You reshuffle your large, smock like cloak, covered in ridiculously expensive jewels and gratuitous flourishes of gold. You begin the long, tiresome walk around the banquet table to the dance floor in front, minions scuttling away in fear as you do so, the goblets of wine rippling like that scene in Jurassic Park from the weight of your footsteps.

After an awkward eternity where all your guests try horribly not to stare at this hideous sight, like a three carriage pile up, you make the dance floor and approach that lady who you've been making eyes at the whole meal. You've already decided you'll marry her over at Hampton Court, you'll play some real tennis in the morning, grab a hot bath and a scrub down and wed in the afternoon. You'll get that hog roast man in and the jester with the burnt face who you find so pitiful and funny. Once the festivities are over you'll whisk her to the marital suite, where she will conceive you a perfect, arian male heir.

There's a problem however, you've seen this complexion before in the whore houses of western France, she's not a virgin! In your anger you order her impromptu and summary execution. The bloke with the black hood, who you insisted come to these dances precisely for this reason, looks relieved at no longer having to look civilised.

Later on in your chambers, after many more goblets of blood-red vino, you start to dwell on what you've just done, transforming into a blubbering, drunk, melancholic Shane MacGowan, who with the help of the rest of The Pogues, enable you to illustrate your sorrow, not at the loss of that wench's life but at the cruel cycle of violence your life has entered in the search to continue your legacy.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Disrespected Snares - Contamination [Unmastered]

Disrespected Snares - Contamination [Unmastered] by Disrespected Snares

Listen to this masterpiece, isn't it just beautiful? Isn't the use of fluctuating drum tempos and nerdy samples so clever? Don't your eardrums feel so rosy and pleasant? What? They hate you now? Thought so. This is god awful and in some respects, I think that's the point.

This music is made for you not to like because if everyone liked it, then it would be 'mainstream,' and 'mainstream,' is bad! Maybe I just don't get it and I am willing and happy to accept that, but part of me thinks this is a cry for identity, a call to be recognised as different. Different in being able to recognise an unpalatable garble of noises as being something more meaningful. Yes, yes your angry we get it.

Breakcore fans (although they'd hate the colloquial application of 'fan' here and would probably prefer something more like follower or disciple) are effectively goth's who've failed to grow-up, discovered dance music and gone clubbing. Heavy metal fans who were intimidated into buying pills at a gig one night and needed to hear some music that went on past eleven.

Just like it's slower tempo, non electronic counterparts, this scene has a 'holier than thou,' feel about it, 'you don't understand it because your part of the system man.' Their understanding to your bemusement is the equivalent of a goth sulking around outside the shopping centre, scowling (with an air of superiority) at you as you enter HMV.

The bastard inside me wants to organise a flash mob of middle age suits to attend a breakcore night, just so I can watch their faces contort in horror as they dash from the club under the pretension that breakcore has become popular. The next day you'll see them (in HMV) having ditched the black T's and chains, buying Adele and Coldplay CD's, feeling smug in thinking now, they're being so different.

Skittles- Dot2Dot

Monday, 24 October 2011

A New Dynasty

A New Dynasty by Onra

Mazzy Star - Into Dust ( Savager Remix ) Free Download!

Mazzy Star - Into Dust ( Savager Remix ) Free Download! by Savager

When this tune drops it does flirt with some annoying dub step sounds but the quality of the production and it's otherwise subtle approach, which allows the incredible original do most of the talking, means it gets away with it, serving as an epic and moving remix.

Mazzy Star has a new single coming at the end of the month and you can preview the track here and stream the B side here which I well recommend doing.



Fools Gold (BTV refix) - Stone Roses

Fools Gold (BTV refix) - Stone Roses by Dirty Loyal

This track is in honour of the news that the Stone Roses are getting back together, a decision driven clearly by the love of the music and not the costly business of Mr Brown falling out of love with Mrs Brown. Of all the Roses remixes out there this is one of the best, there is even a Trentmoller edit just gone up but it's a pretty unimaginative effort in that he's just smashed a sub base drum all the way through 'I Want To Be Adored.' I have also posted a mash up of the Roses and Oasis above and surprisingly, it kind of works.

I always said that if there was one band I could travel back in time to see live it would be The Stone Roses, so you'd think I'd be first in line to snap up a ticket. However I'm not. The reasoning behind this is in the statement it's self; I was clear that I would have to go back. Back to the context of when they were most relevant, in the context of Factory Records and the Hacienda. One of the main draws of this silly game of fantasy is that not only can you desire to go back and see a band, which up until now was defunct, but you can go back to a time when the music being made was shaping a movement in music it's self. That's exactly what The Stone Roses were doing in that period. Along with other bands such as The Happy Mondays, they collectively embraced dance culture and moulded it with a traditional band structure to form a model for much of the pop music made today.

So as great as it would be to see one of my favourite bands, I think the experience of going to see them would be spoilt by my own fantasy. No doubt they would be fantastic but I would be standing there, with middle-aged men scuffing me with their Parkas, disappointed that it's just not living up to my fantasy. In the immortal words of Philip Larkin in Deceptions, i'd be 'stumbling up the breathless stair/ To burst into fulfilment's desolate attic.'

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

First CloudToy mix

First CloudToy mix by CloudToy

Here it is, the inaugural CloudToy Blog mix. It is an extremely shabby affair but I promise it will get better once I've brought myself a MIDI mixer; I wasn't able to preview the tracks in headphones so I was syncing it very roughly as the mix went on. Anyways there will be more of these to follow, made up from tracks that didn't get individual mentions on the blog.
The track listing is a follows, as you can see and will hear, it has a definite female theme going on.
1) Nap on The Bow - New Look
2) Ain't Nothin' Goin' on But The Rent - Gwen Guthrie (DeeJ. Valavanis's finacial times edit)
3)212 - Azelia Banks - 212
4) Circulars- Still Corners
5) Always (Laxx remix) - Submotion Orchestra
6) Coraline - Polka Wars
7) Don't Tell Me - Lioness (check her out in the Soundtrack for upcoming, film Sket)
8) Bro Die Young (Perry Band vs Run DMT) - DOSVEC
9) Video Games - Lana Del Rey (Chase Manhattan's Seein Stars Bootleg)
10) Chasin Paper- Silky Johnston
11) Paradise - G Side (3:33)
12) Crystalline - Bjork

Really love the first track by New Look, the whole song just builds up beautifully including that sublime vocal. I brought the whole album off the back of listening to this one track, so I am really looking forward to hearing the rest. Also well worth a mention is Polka Wars, from Jakarta, although you'd never think it listening to them.
An absolutely massive grime come dub step track from Lioness, off her album Roarness. She features on the Soundtrack to up coming film Sket, which is released at the end of the month and promises to be a female, no-holds bared version of Kidulthood. Mixed oh so well into that, even if I do say so myself, is a track by DOSVEC, again some roaring dub step juxtaposed with beautiful vocals. Finishing off with some Bjork, there is just no stopping her and she really can do what she likes, this is fantastic. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Friends - I'm His Girl

Friends - I'm His Girl by LuckyNumberMusic

The dark almost funky baseline in this just screams attitude, you'd fancy listening to it walking down some alley in Brookland, a pair of Wayfarers on, hair slicked back, getting ready to do battle with the people who claim your batting above your average. Like an elaborate piece of entry music, more relevant to the real world rather than the boxing ring, the attitude from that base encourages other elements of the song to build around it like your confidence growing. As I'm always looking to bolster my confidence and perpetually batting above my average, I can't wait for this album to come out at the end of the month.

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

Lana Del Rey - Video Games by PurplePR

This young lady is causing quite the stir in the musical world at the moment and for good reason, this track is as an unequivocal beauty as is Del Ray herself, which is sadly where a lot of the fuss seems to stemming from. One can almost hear the voice of the perverted Dad resonating through any article written about her by journalists of a certain age and gender.

Luckily for Del Ray her music has the credibility to stand up against all this lecherous nonsense and discussion over whether her sex appeal is just a marketing ploy. Because frankly who cares, this track is something of incredible warmth and beauty. With a slow funeral march piano, beautiful strings, harp flourishes and that deeply set vocal, this track has the power to invoke the most powerful of human emotions; nostalgia.

Never has the idea of settling with someone in a boring yet loving domestic situation, accepting the banality of the safe and easy, been made to seem so beautiful and romantic. Even though we might never had been in this situation ourselves, we are made to look back on it here with longing. It is through that sense of longing that we are able to appreciate that Del Ray may well have sacrificed this life to follow her own musical ambitions, and doing so, could not have been an easy decision.

So to all the middle age journalists out there who are getting their briefs with brown piping in a twist, I wish to remind you that your meant to be engaged in the music, not whether or not someone, who is probably the same age as your daughter, has been sent as a honey trap to insnare you.

Monday, 17 October 2011

A wee rant

In a moment I'm going to post a link to an article I read in the Guide section of The Guardian. I feel it wonderfully illustrates two (amongst many) problems with the current state of pop music in the UK. I've had this angry feeling inside me for a while now but I don't think I was really able to articulate it in till I read this piece. The problems can be seen as this; 

The fad of boring, boring artists who wait, get this, write their own material! As if this is some kind of new, magical development in the world of music, pop acts who are able to write there own material are heralded as innovators. The mere fact that they've been able to pen a song themselves or even play their own instruments (wow), seems to earn them airplay without questions over the actual merits of the songs being raised. Don't worry if the track is as dull as listening to James Corden talk about James Corden, he wrote it himself on a guitar he can play god dam it!

These records are so overly polished that any of that rustic, 'acoustic' charm that it claims to have, has been worn away to leave a safe, dull, egg-wash finish. Its like replacing a leather ball for fear the rough stitching might hurt a child, with one of those horrible, cheap plastic ones that when you kick just floats off mindlessly into the air.

These artists see themselves as poets, heartfelt romantics, spokespeople of the everyman. Err no, don't think so. By the time the song is finished, you feel absolutely no affinity with the mug who sang it, they haven't said anything profound, moving, expressive, poetic, or even funny; with crass, excruciatingly twee lyrics, he or she has achieved nothing. The only thing I do end up feeling is rage, I dream of ripping out the car stereo and repeatedly smashing it against the artist's head in-till any notion of 'songwriting' is dislodged from their brain and we are spared another three and half minutes of pure dull mystery.

It is the terrible radio in the UK that is responsible for insighting this anger, they provide these artists with the promotion and accolades, it is they who tell us that this is fantastic and that they really are so clever being able to write their own songs and all. What's worse is that during the day time, we are forced (well we could turn it off but that ain't the point) to listen to these songs over and over again thanks to the dreaded 'playlist'.

Who ever came up with the playlist format should be placed against a wall whilst we all repaetedly kick the aforementioned plastic footballs at them just so they understand what it's like listening to their invention; a painful barrage of cheep, identical, lightweight sacks of air. One of the greatest things about music is that there is so much of it, so why have a system where only the same twenty song are played? What is worse is that every commercial radio station in the UK has adopted this unimaginative practice, as if the playlist alone is the secret to success. I remember my time on which labelled itself as 'Leeds's alternative radio satiation,' and thinking that was quite a claim considering, them, like everyone else, had a playlist (as well as 'breakfast' and 'drive'; do students even drive let alone at normal working hours?!).

In my opinion, which may well be wrong and I'd be welcoming in hearing the truth behind the playlist reasoning, is that some sort of sickly, creepy arrangement has been established between the record companies and the radio stations. That is, certain labels will get their artists tracks on the playlist, with no vetting what so ever, in return for interviews, live performances etc. The playlist is therefore one long, constant advert for the record companies, providing their artists with constant exposure and a steady source of royalty payments. This seems particularly perverse when the worst offender, Radio 1, is paid for by public money. 

It may be slanderous to suggest that this system exists and I admit I am heavily speculating, however it can't be denied that playlists are just adverts for the those artists chosen to be on it. It also can not be denied that the content of the playlists are often terrible. Considering these two facts it seems suspicious that for no apparent reason bad tracks from established artists who hail from established imprints, seem to get president over actual quality releases.

What I suggest is someone have the balls to scrap this system. By all means play a track if it's good but not solely because the artist is either from a certain label or established. This may mean more work in terms of research and production but so be it if that's what quality radio requires. No need to play tracks all day everyday either, sure you can play it more than once but try a bit of variety. If radio fails to do this than they threaten to loose listeners to the internet which does provide us with variety and spares us from having to listen to Fern Cotton and Co talk about themselves all day.

With the rant over here is the piece, well worth a read as it's funny as well as truthful. Sorry adele, but Someone Like You ushered in The New Boring. 

Massive attack & Burial - 'Four Walls'

Massive attack & Burial - 'Four Walls' by Alan Anthony Doyle

Out today is this unbelievable collaboration between Massive attack and Burial, although it seems to be a lot more Burial influenced, with his stereotypically crackling vinyl sound, subtle wooden percussion, low fluid base and those mystical, electronic arabic sounds.

It's like the last woman alive is wandering around in a post apocalyptic world, ravened by Aliens, hallucinating off solitude and the memories of what she's seen happen to the rest of the human population. The track is something like eleven minuets long which only adds to the atmosphere and sense of space created as the protagonist, who through lack of sleep, sees this war destroyed world, dusty and baron as beautiful, experiencing that form of euphoria that is soon accompanied by death. This is a truly stunning piece of soundscape that is being released as limited edition (1000 copies only) 12 inch so get your copy fast.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Sabre, Stray Halogenix - Askari

Sabre, Stray + Halogenix - Askari by straydnb

Just getting myself in the mood for what will no doubt be an unbelievable night at Shogun Audio tomorrow night. Stray is the focus of my post today and this stomping collaboration with Sabre and Halogenix will no doubt have dance floors pounding whenever it's dropped.

Currently working from my home from home, Leeds, this young producer is destined for big things, with releases already on Hospital side project Med School, Exit, Critical and a fantastic minimal sounding release on Nosia's Invisible Label.

I am currently doing a bit of work for, which has a guest mix and interview with the man himself. Worth checking out as it's full of insight and the mix is littered with dubs. You can also get a better taste for the flavours of Stray over on his SoundCloud page, with some excellent remixes present there also.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Flowers and Sea Creatures / 'Flowers and Sea Creatures'

Flowers and Sea Creatures / 'Flowers and Sea Creatures' by buzzinfly

All tracks on this album have a similar, beautifully futuristic, melancholy feel to them however I think number three, A.M. the Ewan Pearson re-edit, demonstrates their style best. 

This track is a scene from Blade Runner that never existed but should have. Imagine you are Harrison ford in the stylish dis-topia so brilliant realised by Ridley Scott in the film. You have just found out that the girl you've been hitting on for the last few weeks is one of the Replicants you've spent your whole life trying to destroy.

Your going to have to kill her but with it ever-present and haunting in your conscience you decide to take her out for one final day together. You take her to a futuristic fairground but the sounds of joy are distorted by the reality of the task ahead of you. As you await the arrival of your superiors, you enjoy a picnic in a meadow, watching the sunset purple in the polluted sky. You turn to her and fain a smile, you hope she buys it, you've put your best brave face on despite the fact that time is trundling ever-closer to that inevitable moment when your going to have to dispatch her.

This is the closest we'll ever get to picturing this scene and although this track is over 8 eight months old, the effect never lessens.

Drum and Bass "Neutronic Beats"

Drum and Bass "Neutronic Beats" by Manga UK

This is another interview which I helped with over at Kmag.

Neutronic Beats is a new label set up by DJ Manga that also features the likes of DJ Assassin, DJ Upakut, DJ SLB & DJ Shocka. Heavily based around the jump-up sound at the moment with four releases to date, the London-based collective are also planning to go a bit deeper in the future. Kmag caught up with Manga to find out more...

How long have you been working on setting up the new label?
The label was in the planning for two years before I thought it was time to launch it. I worked with other labels such as Cyntax Error and Cutterz Choice beforehand to make a name for myself. The reason for this was to try and push the name so people would recognise it even before they heard the music. Also working with the labels mentioned above, I was able to see and learn how the industry works. We have now been running for almost a year and I have enlisted the help of DJs Upakut from Kool London, S.L.B. from Nakedbeatz, Assassin, and Shocka. 

Tell us about which type of sound you were trying to achieve?
That’s an easy one to answer - Neutronic Beats is futurist music. We live in an electronic dance music era, so it would be pretty silly of us to go for the older types of sound that you would have heard back in the 60s. I’m a big fan of jump-up and wobble when it’s done correctly and I also like industrial tech sounds; I used to buy a lot of Formation, TOV and Renegade Hardware tracks a good few years back and still do.

Tell us more about the first release...
Evil Residents & Battle Groundz was our first release at the beginning of this year. I was only testing the waters with but to my amazement not only did it get into Drum & Bass Arena’s Top 20 chart but also Nu-Urban’s Top 10 as well. This showed me that with a good level of promotion, anything is possible. We have had a string of releases since then, War God and Screw Face Malarkey,Geno Cyber EP, Sound System Punishment EP and the AnimationLP that we released solely on our website. All of our releases have featured in the drum and bass charts at some point and have been available on a number of the world’s best drum and bass download stores. We’re just getting ready to release the Familia EP with tracks from High Octane, Gusto & Toxin as well as the Silver Eyed Witch EP.

What was your target audience?
This year has been all about good jump-up and drum-step. The upcoming Familia EP is best described as a smooth roller and next year we are looking to test the waters with some tech-step and liquid, whilst still releasing our known jump-up beats.

Do you have any details about upcoming live performances etc?
Everyone on the label has dates coming up. Manga and S.L.B. will all be playing at Show Me Your Bass Face on October 21 but if you miss that you can catch them, along with Assassin, at Drumatics on December 10. Upakat will be celebrating 20 Years of Kool With A K on November 20. We are all doing a fair bit of DJ work and combining this with being busy in the studio in the hope that it will influence the sound and push things forward in the future.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Warrior One - "The Yang" EP (Black Butter #12)

Warrior One - "The Yang" EP (Black Butter #12) by Black Butter Records

Here's a little piece I did for Kmag on this forthcoming release from Warrior One.

Having worked with vocalists like Lady Chann, Serocee, J2K, Rubi Dan and delivering no less than 16 remixes in 2010 alone, Warrior One - AKA Carl Faure - returns with the release of The Yang EP onBlack Butter Records.

Warrior One begins the EP by building upon his collaborative successes, producing a track featuring grime MC Dirty Goodz, who is often cited as one of the best in the game. The tightness of Dirty Goodz flow gives opening track The Jump Off an added energy and attitude atop a bass fuelled, ragga influenced break. The EP also features a collaboration with dancehall legend Royston Williams and this musical influence can not only be felt in this bass heavy ode to the genre but throughout the rest of the release as well.

Throughout the record Warrior One explores the use of differing breaks from classic hip-hop kick-snares through to tight, jungle-esq break beats. On the instrumentals Warrior One plays with samples and experiments with wobbly but progressive bass lines, unafraid to incorporate those rolling sub-bass notes as well.  The result is a well-balanced yet rich sounding EP with a groove that is near on impossible not to get down to. The EP is released on Black Butter Records on November 1.

Mainly because I like the cut of his jib and nothing to do with him posting a nice comment under an article I wrote, I would like to draw your attention to the Silver Conductor.

I ask you to go over to his website and listen to his single Infectious; which it really is. I like the many influences on this track which unite to form a pleasant little groove. It is what, in an ideal world, your car would sound like if you accidentally filled it up with marsh mellows rather than petrol. Off it'll rev, happy as larry with it's unusually sweet treat before the sugar and e numbers begin to take hold and it's starts to get hyper, loose track of where it's going, cross lanes and ultimately, in the happiest way possible, hallucinate. Nice one you silver fox.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Bitter Lips

Bitter Lips by Queen Kwong

Sounding like a cleaner better produced version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bitter Lips is the lead single taken from Queen Kwong's forthcoming album.

It begins with a strong, Black Rebel-esq baseline, keen to stamp it's authority early on before the whole tune evolves with ounces of menace and distorted gusto into this rousing anthem. The kind of song you romantically picture narrating your younger-self as he or she stumbles home after too much cider on the bench, drunk in the loved up euphoria of youth, feeling mystical, although you have no idea what that means. I pine for those days when alcohol made me feel good. Although nothing with proof has passed my lips today, this track makes me feel drunk and dam right positive. Is Queen Kwong the key to sobriety?

Monday, 10 October 2011


Peculiar by Man Like Me

Here is the latest offering from the aforementioned Men Like Me. As testament to how strong this track is, just go on their SoundCloud to see how many artists have already remixed it.

Man Like Me - Lovestruck

Man Like Me - Lovestruck by Man Like Me

Some friends and I stubbled upon this Band playing at The Nest in Dalston back in August. We had gone along to the venue the previous week and been the only ones in the audience heckling this terrible band; everyone else was trying to look cool in pretending they liked The Animal Song and My Hole Is Your Hole. Seriously I felt as if we had walked into the filming of a spoof, mocking via hyperbole a typically scene and pretentious night out in East London. The band were wearing Ziggy Stardust style make-up and kept repeatedly using the word 'conceptual'.

We had returned the next week in hope of offloading some of our intoxication on the next load of Dalston drivel but we were left opened mouthed and silenced. With a blend of bouncy electro beats, old school garage and grime MCing, the whole club was physicaly shaking and in contrast to the week before people were genuinely and inescapably, loving the music.

Where this band scores highest is undoubtedly their live performance. The energy that night was just infectious, as the lead singer waded into the crowd you could feel band and audience uniting under a shared momentum. Lines were delivered with near perfection, intensifying the storm already being brewed. The use of brass instruments gave the whole performance a carnival, street party atmosphere; if you get a chance to see them live, take it.

Lovestruck has a funky, Whisky Cats feel to it, full of Brass and Urban Character like a grimey The Specials.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Meeting of Styles returns to London on Saturday October 8  with a daylong celebration of graffiti and street art featuring DJ Sets, workshops and free running displays.

Now in its fourth year, Meeting of Styles hopes to provide a platform on which to raise awareness, showcasing some of the finest contemporary street artists around today. Spraying live will be notorious 80s graffiti artist Inkie, alongside SheOne who is heavily praised for his bold, abstract yet expressive style. Also contributing to the live art will be Zadok and Ghetto Farcuer - these French guys have been heralded as the future of graffiti and tore apart the event last year.

The UK’s premier free running team Storm Free Run, will be putting on displays as well as running free workshops. The soundtrack for the day will be courtesy of performances from DJ and MCs Lazy Habits, Phi Life Cypher, Joe Driscoll, Bugsy and Wrongtom. If all this sounds like hungry work don’t worry, there’s a BBQ as well.

The event is being hosted in The Studios, Islington, for more information please see the Facebook page. Running from 12 - 6 the event is free to enter as is set to be a great day of contemporary, urban art.

08 Spider

08 Spider by butterburstudios

donkey kong

donkey kong by butterburstudios


Want some fun do you? Well listen to this. Firstly theres the 80's clown beat that sounds like Mr Blobby trying to tackle a particularly hap hazard set of stairs in the west wing of Crinkly Bottom. As he's doing so you can imagine Noel, sitting upon a Deal or No Deal box at the top of staircase, goading him with a stupid, wet sounding melody bashed out on a Fisher Price Keyboard.

Suddenly Noel is transformed into that old man pedophile with a Zimmer frame from Family Guy who whistles in a castrati pitch whilst he talks. In that high, suggestive voice that has developed a slight funk twinge to it, he begins to confess his love for another oversized, pathologically violent, ill tempered and mute character; Donkey Kong.

Unable to conceive that there is now another object of Noel's affections, the song enters into high-pitched hysterics as the now blubbering Mr Blobby, who after years of sick torment from Noel has finally broken, emits in despair a hail storm of pink and yellow tears that washes him off his ill-proportioned feet. We can only hope that Noel in an attempt to console his fat, thimble shaped friend, is killed in a Leny-esq fashion by the might and stupidity of a Blobby Hug.

Next time your playing computer games just think of that little paedo Noel, his head rising slowly from behind the screen, narrating the action of the game in that sleazy, high-pitched whistle. You'll be outside in a flash, never to return. When people finally come to realise that Deal or No Deal is a game of chance and Edmond's career is finally over, they should use this reformed Noel in a campaign to encourage/ scare kids to play out more.

There are plenty more tracks of this nature on the butterburstudios's SoundCloud page so check it out; I have added one of my favourites, a poem about a spider, above.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Total - Tell Me (Languid Rework)

Total - Tell Me (Languid Rework) by L▲nguⓘd

Check out these two tracks from Languid, who has made these truly soulful beats from a collection of samples. All of his tracks have a distinctive old-skool cut and paste feel to them and the beats are surprisingly smooth considering that it's a mash up of multiple samples.

It is the audio equivalent of throwing the sound from several 80's boom boxes and a couple of soul records into a lawn mower and listening to what collects in the receptive at the back; a lush pile of off-cuts that work together to induce a sweet tasting nostalgia that is based in memories of summer.

We Should Create Love

We Should Create Love by L▲nguⓘd

Monday, 3 October 2011

Psyek - No Funky For Old Men / Deafmuted Records

Psyek - No Funky For Old Men / Deafmuted Records by psyek

Psyek - Unspoken / Unsigned

Psyek - Unspoken / Unsigned by psyek

Just a little feature on Drum and Bass in recognition of the incredible week that was Sun and Bass 2011. More about the festival in a second but just a quick note on this track, which is the latest offering from  Manchester DnB producer Psycek, who's had previous releases on Deafmuted Recordings. (Check out the aptly named No Funky For Old Men bellow)

Psyek's style of Drum and Bass is the just the sort of deep, dark rolling style that I prefer. Fluid yet techy in composition, full of punchy, industrial sounding drums, dark baselines and a fair assortment of unusual sounds. In a recent conversation with a friend we highlighted 'unusual noises' as one of our favourite features of the genre for it's ability, on what we conceded was a basic and infantile level, to make you smile. Psyek music is full of these moments of juvenile bliss, yet at no point does it do damage to the credibility of the track, rather it adds to the metallic framework built around the fluid, dance-friendly body within.

It was to my delight that this was precisely the style of D&B that was favoured in Sardinia. It was as if there was an unspoken rule, a tacit agreement to unify under one corner of the Drum and Bass umbrella. It is of course something that is influenced by the carefully considered line-up, however I do believe there was another, subtler factor at play; the landscape itself.

Sun and Bass festival slots almost effortlessly into the small town of San Teodoro, Sardinia, with multiple events taking place at separate venues across the town. The venues themselves are breathtaking, I would rate them as some of the best clubs I have ever been to, making you feel as if your an extra in a Timberland Video.

This level of style is in perfect keeping with the surroundings that illuminate, with help from the stunning weather, the gorgeous people within it as if they were a natural feature themselves. This has to have an effect on the mood of the DJ's and as a result the jagged mountains, rolling hills and lolling sea all seem to serve as a reflection of the music being selected.

It is the way in which Sun and Bass blends in so naturally with it's surroundings that impressed me most. For a musical genre that is normally perceived as loud and intrusive, Drum and Bass is part of the scenery in San Teodoro. There were plenty of locals enjoying the festival; the set up permits that once you have a wrist band, you can take and leave, come and go, as much as you like. This just helps to add to the relaxed atmosphere; there is no pressure to do anything but plenty of reason to do everything.

The nights are busy from when they open at 11 in till they close at 6 and despite the late nights, revellers make the effort to attend the pool parties and secret locations that are layed on during the days. These long event times add a social aspect to the festival allowing you to punctuate dancing, with relaxing and chatting. You can head outside and talk to one of your heroes from the scene, buy them a drink, buy yourself a drink, make some friends, burn some bridges, fall in love, fall off podiums, enjoy the German shuffle, laugh at the German shuffle, stalk some girls, write some letters, apologise, be forgiven and do all this whilst never missing the music. I have never had so much fun on a night out.

Highlights from the week for me included sets from Consequence, S.P.Y., Klute, Lynx, Marky, Dom and Roland, I vaguely remember Black Sun Empire being good, although a weeks worth of potent cocktails had caught up with me by this point. There was also a really inspired Hip-hop set from A-sides worth noting; yes, it's not all about the Drum and Bass.

I could not recommend this festival enough in terms of atmosphere and value for money gained from your ticket. There however some drawbacks, namely the cost of the whole holiday. Sardinia is not cheap and this is not a cheap holiday, drinks alone cost 8 euros in the clubs, although they are lethally strong. Flights and accommodation are pretty dear as well but this serves a purpose in itself; it weeds out all the annoying rave kids and rude boys.

What is left is a collection of loving, like minded people looking for a good holiday and some amazing sets. By the end of the week you feel as if you've shared something special with your new extended family and just like every good family you say your loving goodbyes, knowing you won't seem them again for another year.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Article for (friend of CloudToy)

SoundCloud logo
The world is in the midst of a revolution. No, we’re not talking about the Arab spring. Fans of music are celebrating the removal of their very own tyrannical dictator. The evil despot in this story can be seen as the record companies. And its liberator? The internet – armed with it’s finest and most effective foot soldier; SoundCloud.
In an almost unimaginable time before the internet, music fans were confined to the record shops and the radio in order to source new music. Although there was and still is, a vast selection made available to the consumer, we must understand that these releases are carefully controlled; we have a choice but only within the parameters set by the record companies.
Although it is sales, which ultimately defines success and popularity, a record can only sell if it’s made available for sale. It is the record companies that decide who gets record deals, so they are therefore intrinsic and necessary in denoting what becomes popular and what doesn’t.
Although popularity is also quantified from radio airplay, this too is restricted to the releases made available to the stations and as a result we have seen them begin to play to the record companies agendas.
With the horrible feature that is the playlist, radio stations provide the record companies with a constant daylong advert for their most profitable signings. It has now reached a point where new releases from certain labels seem to get position on the playlist with seemingly no vetting what so ever.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of radio and I love the experience of trawling through record shops looking for deserving releases. However this is all done with the uneasy feeling of having accepted the influence of a necessary evil.
I do herald it as a great shame that in recent years there has been a huge demise in record shop culture but I see this as an obligatory sacrifice required in order to secure our musical freedom.
We have in so many ways been liberated by the internet and this is no more true than with music. With sites such as SoundCloud we are able to circumvent the influence of the record companies, gaining access to never before audible demos and an almost endless supply of new music.
For those not familiar with SoundCloud, it serves as an audio platform on which users can upload sounds for free (or a very modest fee, depending on data requirements) to be listened to by anyone who wishes. The sound is displayed in a neat or ‘pretty’ waveform on which the site has functionality to leave comments at appropriate sections along its length.
What we have now is an intuitive and easy to use platform that provides artists with an inexpensive medium on which to gain global, 24hr exposure. The interactive social media aspect of the site, provides those artists with immediate feedback, directly from the fans and it is this feedback that fuels that movement of power from the man, to the people.
Although we are still reliant upon the record companies for physical releases, the process of release selection has begun to be pried from their hands. Getting hits and listens on SoundCloud, which now boats over 7 million ‘creators’, is by and far the best way of gauging an artist’s possible success. This constitutes a shift in influence, from the dictatorial opinion’s of a handful of men to a democracy of millions.
Music fans are seizing control over the whole record process, by popularizing and appreciating independent artists online, they directly influence the record deals themselves. If the record companies fail to register the mood and opinion of the online masses, then they could well loose a potentially lucrative signing to another label, or the evermore popular, independent digital release.
As music fans we have never been freer. I urge you not to waste this freedom but to exercise you diplomatic right, whist harnessing the fantastic resource that is SoundCloud to expand your music library.
To get you started I have posted some of my best finds on SoundCloud so far. If you’d like to discover more, please visit the Cloud Toy Blog, ( which will be updated regularly with fresh and exciting new tracks.
Happy hunting and viva la revolution!