Tag Archives: hyperdub

2014 part 2: Feelin’

Of 2014’s new music, I was particularly taken by Dean Blunt’s album “Black Metal” and The Bug’s “Angel & Devil’s.” Fatima Al Quadiri’s “Asiatisch” album really stuck to the shadows of my brain (particularly Shanzai).


Of the pre 2014, there was lots of CAN, lots of PJ Harvey, some Leonard Cohen and loads of King Krule. There’s something kinda ugly about his voice, which is what I like about it.
I was also, blessed with an introduction to Bwiti music this year.

Of the stuff that sits in-between pre-2014 and 2014, it was Hyperdub’s Next Life + all four of their “Hyperdub 10” compiliations that got me; each offering a unique journey through the Hyperdub soundscape.

Of the live shows and DJ’s it was Dean Blunt and Kode9 at Corsica Studios, Francis Redman DJing at our friend Edith’s house on NYE 2014 and Oneman at Hideout Festival in Croatia. I loved meeting Rosi Lalor this year and experiencing her magical songs and personality and Duke Bradley with his Johnny Cash meets Nick Cave style.

Breezy’s parents punk band Lost In Space were a repeat prescription in 2014 and it felt so right to play alongside them at a gig with my own band (our third ever). They’re all 50+ and I can honestly say they kick it harder than many bands 20 years younger than them. Raw, honest energy with the most genuine PUNK spirit I’ve ever felt.

Kate Tempest’s launch of her new album Everybody Down at Brixton’s Hootenanny was also full of energy. It was beautiful watching her look so overwhelmed and surprised by the amount of people that had turned out to see her and her band, in a local haunt that she’s played on a number of occasions to far smaller crowds.

Hosting a couple of Oliver Sudden’s Vintage Fly night’s at Antenna Studios Cafe was great fun. I heard some great tunes and met some brilliant people at both of them, such as Hark1karan Gill, who runs this ultra fresh, positive culture website of the same name.


The Fireflies (Nina Walsh, Franck Alba & Dani Cali) have been a pleasure this year. Poet Joe Duggan joined them on the mic at the Crystal Palace Festival x Antenna Studios programme that I curated in June. I had a another great time at Weatherall’s A Love From Outer Space night just before Christmas, followed up by a session of beautiful music from Bear Phillips and Fireflies’ Franck & Nina and her dog Droogy at their house.
I’m incredibly lucky to know so many talented people and some of them appeared in music documentaries such as Channel 4 and Dazed’s “Music Nation” series. It was insanely refreshing being able to see and hear the story of Garage, Bristol Bass, Jungle and other genres and scenes on mainstream TV, particularly when parts of those stories cross over with your own story.

Other great music documentaries or films, included Tim & Barry’s feature length “I’m Tryna Tell Ya” (about Footwork), Rollo Jackson’s “Slimzee’s Goin On Terrible” and docs that I contributed images to including Mikhail Mehra’s “Skream- Come With Me,Mala’s “John Peel’s Record Box” and another Rollo Jackson production “London On a Regular.” The last three are very poignant at this very moment, as they all mention Forward>> which happened at the club Plastic People, which as announced this week, is set to close, forever.
12dc0e8329d1bf9540405e4ec27a84caI really must also mention 20,000 Days On Earth, featuring Nick Cave, “The Possibilities Are Endless” about Edwyn Collin’s,  “Diana Vreeland- The Eye Has to Travel” and Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin.”  The last two break the (perhaps obsessive) pattern of films about music, by being about an eccentric, life-loving fashion editor and an alien woman in Glasgow respectively.

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2014 part 1: life, death and 10 years of… !!!!!!!!!

10 YEARS OF HYPERDUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strobes

My favourite label Hyperdub provided me with my favourite live show of the year and one of the only London night’s that I brought my camera to in 2014 (click on image for the gallery). Which was no mean feat as it involved strobes on an otherwise pitch black dark floor. Check out this guy in the centre, blinded. That was all of us in the room. What you can’t see or hear are the high pitched sounds that accompanied this particular part of Dean Blunt’s compelling and heartfelt set. An immense experience.

Spectrum

I’d like to say a big thank you to Hyperdub for a decade of music that is beyond great. The four Hyperdub 10. compilations that came out this year highlight their varied contribution to the sonic landscape, which includes the aforementioned Dean Blunt, Burial, Darkstar, Scratcha DVA, Cooly G, Ikonika, Kode9 and of course, DJ Rashad and Spaceape, both of whom very sadly passed away this year.

Spaceape Polaroid ©GC

While I reflected on Rashad here, I never managed to post a proper tribute to Spaceape. I none the less felt his passing quite deeply and have been reminded repeatedly of his talent, this year. Most recently, it came up while re-watching the punishingly emotional dystopian epic that is Children of Men (watch it!) , which features his and Kode 9’s Backwards Mala’s John Peel Record Box, closes peacefully with his track Sine of The Dub, again produced with Kode9, but this time under Spaceape’s earlier moniker Daddi Gee.

I was lucky enough to hang out and photograph him, in his different guises as well as his regular (happy and incredibly clever) Stephen Gordon self on a number of occasions. His early DMZ sets and his ability to instill a nameless dread over the chasms of Kode9’s music, is a memory deeply embedded in my psyche and undoubtedly, the collective psyche of music lovers worldwide.  Rest in Peace Spaceape aka Steve Gordon.

10 YEARS OF BLACKDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the maddest things about Hyperdub’s 10th birthday is that it’s sort of all of our 10th birthdays – all as in everybody that was around on the dancefloors of FWD>> and DMZ 10 years ago.  Ever the torch bearer shining light on the underground, Blackdown also celebrated his 10th birthday this year and wrote a lovely piece to mark it, in which Drumzofthesouth (and the name that Sgt Pokes beset upon me, “Soulsnatch”) got a few mentions. Following the post, there was a nice bit of reminiscing on Twitter between myself, Blackdown, Bok Bok, Dan Hancox and Seckle. All good guys, all involved, all progressing. Bok Bok was on the cover of DJ Mag this year and Hancox published some essential articles about gentrification for Vice. Blackdown himself is forging ahead with success with his label Keysound. Happy Birtday Blackdown.

10 YEARS OF DRUMZOFTHESOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s funny, that considering that as a photographer and blogger my career is built on sentimentality, I did not manage to get my self together to publicly celebrate 10 YEARS OF DRUMZOFTHESOUTH, which as the story so far goes, “was born in 2004 with Quark and photocopier in Streatham Hill before becoming a blog.”  TRUE STORY. 10 YEARS! Who even knows what Quark is these days? (The above pic is my old bedroom in Norwood where I blogged from). While I’ve been away from the blog a lot, distracted by Trees and crafting stories for FACT among other reputable media, my heart’s still here. I’m still interested in what’s happening underground and even though I often feel old at raves these days, or that I don’t want to take my camera out cos it’s heavy, my ears are still open.

So send me stuff or get in touch if you would like to contribute to drumzofthesouth in 2015, which as it goes will mark 10 years of DMZ (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) And in the meantime, I’ll be posting up a few other bits about 2014, including photos and a “Currently Feelin'” post, which as old Drumz’ readers know, is NOT simply stuff that’s been released recently but stuff that I’ve found and would like to share cos, well, sharing is caring.

Until then, HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR !

In a good place

Currently Feelin’ (music)

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Since Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr, make it so easy to shout about likes and dislikes, my currently feelin’ posts are fewer and further between, but it’s always nice to gather them all in one place aint it? Also, there’s either an absolute harvest-like glut of good music out there at the moment, or as a result of being back in South London & organising events again, or both, I’m particularly tuned in at the moment.

This one’s dedicated to fellow music blogger Martin Blackdown Clark, cos he used to appreciate my Currently Feelin’ posts AND he’s released a new album called Dasaflex with his partner in Grime, Dusk that I’m definitely feelin’. So much so, that when I received it, it was pumped out very, very loudly in my café, boings and all. Which is great since as the café is part of Antenna Studios, nobody really minds, but also, a bit risky as we’re on a very quite road and Blackdown & Dusk’s edgier tunes such as Hypergrime have the ability to scare our milder-eared neighbours into never returning for a slice of good organic, locally made cake again (I promise, this is not a sneaky way of advertising the café, merely the truth!).

That sad, the LP’s opening track Lonely Moon feat. Farrah is outstanding in it’s beauty and delicacy and would hopefully entice them back again. What I like particularly about this album and funnily enough some other bits and bobs I’ve been listening to recently, is that it sounds very much like a culmination of a good few years spent living in LDN, dancing to various underground genres, absorbing the vibes of the city, so for me it’s full of recognisable sounds, things that remind me of the likes of Wiley and early dazed DMZ, albeit with a heavy dose of House and Techno vibes, something that I’m personally not quite as familiar with but definitely appreciative of

Mala in Cuba and LV’s Sebenza are two more albums that have been pumped out of the café system; the latter of which I hope LV don’t mind me saying, is incredibly sexy and make me want to dance seductively in a club in front of a man that I fancy. Would be quite cool if that man was Okmalumkoolkat actually, who voices eight of the tracks on the album and who I’ve had a distant crush on ever since he got his belly out in the Boomslang video. There are so many good tracks on this album, all of them made even more interesting by the team of South African MCs such as Spoek Mathambo, Ruffest and the aforementioned Okmalumkoolkat, who introduce to my ears, a whole vocabulary of words like the title Sebenza (“work,” in Zulu) and Pantsula (which as this article explains is a type of dress, a cultural expression and a dance).

Mala in Cuba is an incredible album from a consistently solid producer; like most of Mala’s production, it’s both astoundingly deep and really edgy- some of then tunes, like Changuito have got the marching style of many of Mala’s productions, making you wanna bounce and contort your face at the same time  others, such as Calle F are sunnier and percussive and are clearly made in Cuba; as Laurent Fintoni described somewhere on t’internet, the whole album is very much South London meets Cuba via Belgium, where Mala currently resides. What’s more, it’s been getting Mala lots of press and attention (my own Mum was happy to see him in the Sunday papers a few months back) which is well deserved, being that he has always kept his music fresh, pioneering and unstuck. Very much looking forward to the Mala in Cuba Live event in November:

Other Current Feelin’s come from acts that have or are due to play at the Café Thing @ Antenna Studios; putting on a fortnightly live music event takes quite a bit of research, being that we’re striving to offer original music from musicians who may not normally play in Palace. There is of course, an element of luck and synergy involved in finding acts to play, Cloudier Skies who played our 3rd Café Session for example, did so because one half of the duo, David, came in for a coffee one day and gave me their Sound Cloud link. Their live set, surpassed all expectations and was, for a number of reasons, my favourite act to play a session thus far.

This Saturday’s (6th October) Jono McCleery gig, came about also, slightly through chance, myself and The Antenna crew bumped into him at a party; I’ve since been listening to his tunes a lot, trying to work out exactly which one is my favourite and trying to pin his style down so that I can write about it correctly. I haven’t managed to do so and I’m still undecided. Sometimes it’s Stand Proud, sometimes Gymnopedist and sometimes Tomorrow (above), the album version of which has an almost celestial introduction.

Quadron 2

Quadron are on the list because, I had the privilege of seeing them live at The Jazz Café last week; where Coco (the singer) performed an outstandingly beautiful acappella that had us all on the verge of tears before launching into the gorgeous motown sounding Pressure, lifting the whole audience up into a whoop of relief.

And last but not least, of the music that I’m currently feelin’ are South Londoners Yola Fatoush whose music and website are ridiculously interesting and ever so mysterious and Chet Baker, who I’ve never otherwise listened to before and whose voice is compellingly spooky. The contrast between his singing style and the lyrics of the song, My Funny Valentine (above), absolutely kills me.

Fo Shizzle my 9izzle

My best dream friend (seriously) is finally catching on…

Soirée HYPERDUB PARTY #1 feat. KODE9 / KING MIDAS SOUND / IKONIKA @ La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris – 18 Février 2012

HYPERDUB ARE COMING TO PARTY IN PAREEEE WHOOP WHOOP!

Soirée HYPERDUB PARTY #1 feat. KODE9 / KING MIDAS SOUND / IKONIKA @ La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris – 18 Février 2012.