Finally… A blog that highlights the invisible conversation between hip hop and pre-16th century art. Don’t act like you haven’t been waiting.
Your Not So Typical 12 Days Of Christmas
DAY 4 is brought to you by Caetano Veloso If reggae tends not to invoke immediate Christmas sentiments, neither does stoned immaculate Brazilians such as Caetano Veloso. Veloso was one of the pioneering Brazilian psychedelic Tropicalistas in the late 60s who bought new twists to samba by merging rock music with traditional rhythms. Brazil at the time was under military rule, and the new music and its lyrical content was considered a little too much. Subsequently, and sensibly, many of the founder members went into a short period of exile for their own safety (at least that’s one way of telling it, maybe they were deported). Caetano ended up in London where he created a stunning English language album which stands with the best of the psychedelic acoustic masterpieces made by people like Syd Barrett, Skip Spence and Pip Proud. And that’s pretty high praise but well deserved for things like London, London (yes we bet you were looking for flying saucers). Maybe London was the inspiration for sliding a quick Christmas tune in, and featuring a bit of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” but Caetano stuck with Brazil’s weather for his not overly Christmas-y (but still excellent) ode to dope paranoia. The vocals alone have a unique “I’ve been caning it for  a fair while and it wasn’t the office party” touch.
TGIF with Yolanda Be Cool
Back in 2010 Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP smashed the charts around the world with their dangerously catchy collaboration We Speak No Americano. Unfortunately, the group left us hanging until now for a new track, but they’ve returned in a big way with yet another monster tune in the shape of the Rodriguez sampling Sugar Man, and I think we can all forgive them for the wait considering how sweet it is… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, we were pretty lucky to get Yolanda Be Cool to play selector for TGIF, cause when it comes to putting together a banging playlist for your Friday shenanigans, these fellas can’t be beet. Alright, enough is enough, without further ado, you can stop searching (OK we’re done… we promise) Yolanda Be Cool’s TGIF playlist is here and we even got a little scoop as to why each track made the cut. TGIF WITH YOLANDA BE COOL Benoit & Sergio -  $100 Bill "$100 bill in my back pocket and i’ve already forgotten that iv’e got a girlfriend because the night is young and…" Party starter for sure! Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP - Sugar Man Everyone’s looking for a sugar man at the party and this one def been working for us :) Katia & Julinho Rasta - Rap Da FelicidadeThis is old school baile funk and is all about love in the favelas as opposed to violence and sex. Drop it and watch the Brazilians run to the front (and that’s always a good thing). Notorious BIG - Juicy Could be any Biggie song really - “Birthdays was the worse days, now we sip champagne when we thirsty.” Genius! Justin Martin & Ardalan - PrincessOn our all time fave label (apart from Sweat It Out of course) - Dirty Bird - this is so weird and musical and crazy all at the same time. It’s like if Mozart grew up now in East London and went clubbing. MK vs Kant - Ey Yo We loved the original Busta Rhymes joint so when MK remixed the Kant version (which we loved) into a house banger…job done! Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo - RhymesJackin booty house that would work as an instrumental but with the Daft punk referencing hook, it goes off!!! Stefano Ritteri - The PartylifePool party music by our best Italian bud Deep & Disco - Hitney WhoustonDope n deep nu-disco until about the 3 minute mark when Whitney chimes in with the chorus “I wanna dance with somebody.” Party steps up. Nelly - Hot In HerreNeptunes at the top of the game with this. Still not tired of it, cheesy as it is. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP’s Sugar Man is availiable now where all TUNES are sold | streamed.
Songs The Venue Collective Liked In 2014
We were just about to make a list of all the best jams from 2014 BUT then we found out the legends at The Venue Collective had already gone and saved us the hassle. Featuring over 140 artists and clocking in at an epic 9 HOURS, you’d be doing well to find a more comprehensive playlist of the year that was.
Your Not So Typical 12 Days Of Christmas
DAY 5 is brought to you by Gregory Isaacs & Mutabaruka It’s fair to say Reggae and Christmas don’t seem too natural as bedfellows. Reggae mostly coming from Jamaica, and Jamaica averaging about 30 degrees in December. And Rastafarians, whilst they do celebrate the “birth” of Christ do it on January 7 with the Ethiopian Church and not December 25. But no one ever turned down a fast buck in the world of reggae so it won’t surprise you to hear that there are version after version of Christmas songs. And mostly not too bad and quite appropriate. Here are a couple of the less obviously festive turns though. First up is the cool ruler Gregory Isaacs with the miserably titled Christmas Behind The Bars which leaves you to wonder if Santa could even get in or not? As Gregory could sing the phone book it turns out pretty good. And then you’ve got Mutabaruka offering to Postpone Christmas  Which is full of little Christmas song references, but surprisingly there’s no reference to the Rasta dates. It definitely doesn’t pack the usual Christmas cheer being that it’s more about the Grinch… Hot and not so merry.
<3 All the hearts for Seamus Gallagher’s illustrations <3
Let's Make a List
It’s that time o’ the year where everyone racks their brains and tries to reminisce over their favourite releases. There’s certainly a sense of it being a harrowing time for some, either trying to whittle it down to just ten or in my case remember one that really stands out. I suppose spending half the year in the Himalayas excuses some of my 2014 ignorance and so rather than another generic top albums of the year list, I’m going to hit you with a couple of obscurities which made my year an interesting one albeit one lacking a quite outstanding release. Dub Phizix & Strategy There’s a quite distinct scene appearing out of the UK over the past couple of years, one that combines Hip/Hop and Grime with gnarly Trap beats and for Dub Phizix and Strategy in particular; some quite outrageous videos.. Who could turn their noses up at a song about Buffalo charging and a clip where said Buffalo spit bars at a supreme rate of knots. Music can be taken far too seriously sometimes and these guys have taken a giant step back from that and produced a comical yet hugely important work of art in an attempt to show the industry that not everything has to be murder and heartbreak. If this ticks your boxes hit up Marka for more manic mcing and this recent release from Icicle and Skittles which sends out another quite poignant message regarding ‘the system’. Kimyan Law It’s been another big year for UK dance and every day we see breaches from the underground. Introducing; Kimyan Law AKA Nico Mpunga. he belongs to the African Diaspora. The son of a Congolese father and Austrian mother, Mpunga resides in Vienna, unable until recently to return to his homeland due to the devastating Congolese Civil War.Deep explorations into his African roots have led him to create complex mosaics of ancient sound with modern aesthetics. A true ‘artist’ rather than the all-too-common ‘engineer’ found in modern electronica, Mpunga constantly talks of the meaning and imagery in his music, referring to his tracks as ‘portraits’.  Interested? I certainly was. This young man’s take on production is quite something, incorporating a firm roots for Jungle and Drum and Bass but travelling far beyond the confinements of such genres and drawing on what can only be described as extraordinary life experiences. Whilst there are clear arcade sounds in his music it strikes me as anything but a game and may the whole drum and bass world rejoice at this release. It is a quite revolutionary moment in the shaping of the future of the genre. Dean Blunt Finally Dean Blunt. Where to start with this maverick. Known to have a huge amount of disdain for press whether it be negative OR positive here is one fellow who certainly can’t be accused of being in it for the wrong reasons. Formerly one half of Hype Williams his 2014 and third solo release is neither here nor there, a mixed bag of dream pop, dark post punk and beats and whilst it sits nowhere in particular there are some utterly defining moments of brilliance. His ‘fuck you’ to the world seems to have become less apparent with ‘Black Metal’ and a more pop induced jumble of songwriting. He has and always will have a number of negative critics on his back - largely down to his inability to work with them - but it seems to spur him willingly on to create for a select few who will certainly do all they can to pay his bills. Get down and dirty with Dean and who knows maybe he will make someone’s top 10? -Stan R
And Now For Our (Golden) Feature(s) Presentation...
This year saw Golden Features emerge from the darkness, seemingly from out of nowhere to bring us his deep eponymous EP. A dark deep house affair that has sent him on a steady trajectory to become of this countries breakout dance music artists. Golden Features year has culminated in a Porter Robinson sanctioned remix of Years Of War. Robinson, a fan of Golden Features work posted the track to his Facebook page yesterday and it’s surly a late contender for one of the best remixes of the year. Stream it below or better still head over to GFs Facebook page to cop a FREE download. Bonus beats: Golden Features programmed an hour of beats & drops for triple j’s mixup over the weekend and it’s up for your streaming pleasure now!
Your Not So Typical 12 Days Of Christmas
DAY 6 is brought to you by Tom Waits Just putting a drunken man’s version of Silent Night on as an intro… Won’t make these lyrics: Hey Charlie I’m pregnant and living on the 9th street Right above a dirty bookstore off Euclid Avenue And I stopped takin’ dope and I quit drinkin’ whiskey And my old man plays the trombone works out at the track He says that he loves me, though it’s not his baby He says that he’ll raise him up like he would his own son He gave me a ring that was worn by his mother He takes me out dancin’ every Saturday night Hey Charlie I think about you every time I pass a fillin’ station Account of all the grease you used to wear in your hair Still have that record, little Anthony and The Imperials Someone stole my record player now how do you like that? Hey Charlie I almost went crazy after Mario got busted I went back to Omaha to live with my folks Everyone I used to know was either dead or in prison So came back to Minneapolis this time I think I’m gonna stay Hey Charlie I think I’m happy for the first time since my accident I wish I had all the money that we used to spend on dope Buy me a used car lot wouldn’t sell any of ‘em I’d just drive a different car every day, dependin’ on how I feel Hey Charlie for Chris sakes if you want to know the truth of it? I don’t have a husband he don’t play the trombone And I need to borrow money to pay this lawyer And Charlie, hey I’ll be eligible for parole come Valentines day any more festive… But nice try Tom. Still… Great song though.
Choice Cuts
Feature track
Jack Ü - Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza)
Feature video
Craft with Kit (Ep 1) starring GROUPLOVE