Sunday, 30 December 2007

Laura Groves, so fresh, so clean

This is the favourite music video of anyone from BD18, apparently it's getting played on topshop radio, minter:

Saturday, 29 December 2007

NYE Brapppford style!

This is one of the biggest NYE nights for B-line heads at Dreams in Bradford. Cameo, TS7, Murkz and Subzero. They've also got a Skepta album launch in Leeds in January. Is Grime going northern-centric?! Doubt it but NYE should be big!

Grindcore, Techmetal, Avantgarde...Whatever?!

I've just got the new That Fucking Tank 7" 'The Awesome Magnet' from On the bone records in Leeds. It comes with a free tour dvd of when they went over to europe. They make so much noise for a two piece and now they've enlisted Giles Bailey, the vocalist from Dananackroyd as well just to spice it up. They're two of my favourite bands and they've worked together previously with Kill Yourself before half the band went to art school in Scotland.

There's new interest in this heavier stuff with Gallows and now Rolo Tomassi getting some exposure, it's almost as if Tank and Dananackroyd aren't hard enough?!

Rolo Tomassi are operating on another level at the moment i'm going to see them in Sheffield with I Was a Cub Scout. I feel sorry for IWACS already because the noise these guys make is brutal. Their tee shirts and bags are mint as well (see pic), none of the drab macabre images just some simple brilliant design! There are no M and L left so i'm gonna have to nick one at the gig (or just buy one).

My amigo Super G is gonna do a piece on UK Grindcore charting it's history, influences and where it's going now after the emergence of bands like Rolo Tomassi and the departure of massive bands like the now defunct Narcosis. Watch out for that one.

Here's a video of said Tank with mr Bailey:

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Pure Sulfur

What is this?! Seriously how does this exist?

I come home for christmas have a shower and i see this thing looking at me from the cabinet. Bright yellow Sulfur gel which apparently relieves dandruff?!

It'll probably relieve you of your life as well as it seeps into your brain and turns you into an extra from the Simpson's movie.

How this gets into the mass market is beyond me. Infact no it's not, my dad got it from Nigeria which actually makes it seem pretty normal.

I'm gonna try collect as many of these things as i can, i thought afro sheen was bad because it smelt like fag ash?! At least it's not bright yellow gunk that burns your head off!!! Grim

I thought you were from Caracas?!

This is some bad footage of Devendra Banhart his band and Sir Richard Bishop playing 'Be Kind' after his gig at the City Varieties in Leeds a couple of years back. It was August 2005 just before things went a little wrong and the bad bad cover versions started raining down.

It was a bizarre night and i remember seeing a guy there who was arguing with his girlfriend because he hadn't heard his favourite song off the first album. I mocked him at the time but when i saw mr Banhart a year later in Newcastle i had the exact same morngy expression emblazoned upon my brow when he didn't play 'This is the way'.

I also remember this fool who kept trying to get him to sign things (you can see him accosting dev at the end) and Devendra gave his guitar to this massive native american guy and muttered something like "It's a disgrace what we've done to your people!"

what?! i thought you were from Caracas?!!! Didn't know you killed all the Bison

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Tis' the season to be!

I know the bar at the top gives the impression that this is just about dance based music, but as a Bradford boy i could hardly ignore the resurgance the city's guitar based music has had, mainly thanks to one or two resourceful promoters.....

One of the annoying things about coming from Bradford is that it's seemingly one of the uncoolist placest in the country.

I don't think that idea is going to go away anytime soon but the line-up for Granadaland's 2nd birthday shows how far the place has come.

It is quietly becoming one of the best small nights in the north and in recent times they've even started nicking gig goers from Leeds, which is about as crazy as Leeds United supporters joining the ointment.

Mark Husak, who runs the night, is the force behind it. He's got the ability to put bands on that become massive, like when he put on Los Campesinos a year ago. But it's not just the bands, the whole thing feels right and that is weird when you consider what the live music scene in Bradford was like two years ago. Coming back from university in Liverpool Bradford seemed like a clueless mess, there seemed to be no connection between the kind of music that was popular and what you heard when you went out. Mark and Granadaland changed that by actually putting on topical, interesting and brazenly 'cool' bands, you could actually get excited about going out in Bradford. But...

Everything seems to be a battle, from dealing with the club owners to convincing bands to play Bradford. The whole thing is like an episode of Grand Designs where the poor idealistic fools have saved a tenner to build a 16 room post-Bauhaus bunker.

Granadaland has almost become a residence for the brilliant Laura Groves, who is gradually becoming as big as she should be. Her release on XL records sublabel Saliva 'I am Leaving' is a chunk of folkish pop that could turn the most cynical metal fan doe eyed. She's getting about as well i saw her in Newcastle supporting electrelane and she was amazing, confident, composed and genuinely sentimental. Her video for 'I am Leaving' was made by Mark Husak and Michael Connolly (formerly of Kenosha) and features all the famous landmarks of Shipley like the underground market and the clock tower.

Laura Groves

Bradford still needs more venues though, the boathouse in Saltaire was looking decent but as things always seem to do in Bradford there was disputes over money and it ended almost as quickly as it started. 1 in 12 is good but you can't imagine anything established happening there. So for now we've got Granadaland, Rockers and Rollers at the New Beehive, Dogs on Wheels and the sporadic Blank Generation.

It's not that bad though, because now a younger generation are running nights. They might not have that much experience or a marketing degree, but they will not compromise on the bands they book and the music they love.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Mashit, Ma-shit, Mash-it

Dj C

The first time i heard about Mashit was about two weeks after John Peel died. Rob da Bank played Dj C's remix of EOSS - Wacko Macko is Backo and the walls of my room almost started dancing. That was in 2004 and since then Mashit and Boston Bounce/Dancehall has got bigger and bigger.

They've even started selling Mp3's rather than just giving them away for free online. DJ C is the man most of the stuff revolves around, his dj sets which are available either from or have every tune worth listening to on them.

Aaron Spectre

Aaron Spectre is probably the best dj, his mixes are crazy moving through grime, dubstep, dancehall, ragga, bashment, jungle and breakcore, it's hardly easy listening but put it on before you go out and you'll be ready for most things.

He's released stuff on Deathsucker and Ad Noiseam and Cock Rock Disco, using dancehall acapellas and cut up breaks. He's also remixed for Mashit rehashing DJ C tracks and making tunes that are harsh even more diabolical.

They've started becoming more and more user friendly even going as far as putting up mash ups of the week and including more and more mixes from djs like Dev/Null and Murderbot. Dubstep is seeping through djs like kid kameleon who seems to try most things mashes up Kode 9 tunes with stuff like Boxcutter and Sky City Rising.

I'm trying to get an interview with DJ C or Aaron Spectre sorted in the next couple of weeks and i'm off to interview TS7 the 17-year-old kid who is making the best tunes in Bassline, it's just a matter of time beofre the mashit boys get onto bassline and that will be crazed-standard.

Thursday, 13 December 2007


Here are a couple of reviews i got in this month's Stool Pigeon, it's one of the best sources for alternative music they're always covering stuff that bounces and hopefully some b-line in the next edition. BOOM

DJ ZINC/SKREAM/HIGH CONTRAST: Tuesday club, Sheffield, 30/11/07

“DJ ZINC IS A BASTARD!” One ironic reveller spat down my ear while flexing his first two fingers at the decks. You could see his point as Zinc conjured a rare ‘freestyle’ set moving through, dancehall, bashment, 2-step, grime, dubstep and straight up bassline without morals or fidelity. The set left no sub genre unpilfered and no ear drum unruptured turning the room into a maelstrom of pulsating torsos and hoisted index fingers.

Skream seemed to simply emanate from the ether as he appeared behind the decks, sporting a lopsided grin that didn’t once leave his face. Skream’s prolific nature is well known and he ciphered through easily the deepest and best back catalogue in dubstep. His respect and knowledge of the genre that he has pushed to a new level was blatant, as he mixed squashed up bassline driven bangers, through to more refined dub influenced tracks. Tuesday club had that old-rave feel: dark, sweaty and with an atmosphere built up by pressure from the Dj and the mcing of Tonn Piper, who stood over the crowd like a modern day Mephistopheles. The crawling bounce and bass of Skream kept the room hopping and skanking between their tip toes waiting for the bass to expand and blow up – and it did, time after punishing time.

After the tension of Skream and the almost slow motion dance moves and gestures that dubstep brings, the threat of drum and bass rattled through the crowd as High Contrast emerged. Lincoln Barrett with his elegant, hedonistic production is the freshest thing in drum and bass, and being on a label like Hospital that isn’t easy. His djing is as renowned as his production, ever since he put on his monthly nights in Cardiff at Moloko bar. Since then he’s tightened and cut creating sets that bring as many smiles as rinsed out screw faces. This set was just as eclectic starting off with whiplash inducing violence and holding the crowd by the throat for the first part of his unremitting set. But when he played his own classics such as ‘Racing Green’, ‘If We Ever’ and ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ the smiles came and the energy usually reserved for bassline bangers and high rollers was injected into the crowd. The cups of water from the bar were snatched by ravers like marathon runners desperate to quench a never ending thirst. As they returned to the dancefloor High Contrast brought in the next track that sent arms, knees and endorphins in impossible directions.

After the final snare drum reverberated around Tuesday club, the crowd was still buzzing from what they’d seen – like kids around a smouldering wheelie bin in Barnsley.

Vitalic: Sheffield, The Plug 13/10/2007

The concept of live dance music is a hard one for some people to understand. Images of live PA’s or two blokes stood behind laptops spring to mind and ruin your day.

However, Vitalic the enigmatic French producer is a different prospect. One table full of wires and paraphernalia dominates the stage at Plug and as the crowd is warmed up by the DJ opposite, Vitalic quietly makes his way onto the stage.

With a set up that looks like it should belong to an avant-garde ‘noise’ group; not the producer of some of the most memorable and distinctive tracks in techno, no one was sure what to expect.

But as soon as the crunching, tense, bass-laden kick drum of ‘My Friend Dario’ starts it feels like the train has departed and it’s far too late to get off. Unremitting beats and tight, terse mixing builds the tension further. This is what techno sounds like in its purest form: no samples and minimal vocals.

The crowd was a mix of techno-heads, indie kids and curious parties, all drawn in by what they saw on the stage. You could see people standing at the edges of the dancefloor slowly getting into it. First the head would nod, a rye grin would appear then after a breakdown uncontrollable dancing. It spread, as Vitalic’s back catalogue was ripped through: Poney Part 1, Repair Machines and an epic 10 minute reworking of La Rock 01 had some of the crowd on their knees.

Sceptics of ‘live’ dance music always talk about the lack of energy that only a live band can create. Well they can ask anyone of the crowd who saw Vitalic if the gig lacked energy and they’d get the same response: What do you think?

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Heartbroken, but that's not why our eyes were watering

Pic by Chris Ratcliffe

Last Friday at Plug was Reflective’s biggest night in seven years. There was some mix up and TS7 was at vibes the night before.

Jodie Aysha was at Reflective doing a p.a, she got a massive response, i was wondering if there might be some boos but it was nothing but love.

I was relieved when she did show up cause the emcee kept shouting “Is anyone heartbroken?” after every other tune. Miss T and D No were playing some decent stuff and Mr V smashed it playing bassline dubplates with emcees over the top, it had a grime feel to it and had most rudeboys pogoing like some double dropping punks.

It was a class night til some nutter dropped what i think was a tear gas canister in the place, nice one.

I’m hoping that these aren’t gonna be the new accessory for b-line heads like rockports and stripey jumpers were about five years ago, my eyes are still stinging.