An Ode to Dummy

On this day in 1994, an album was released that encapsulated what was known back then as “the Bristol Sound”. Trip hop was in its infancy and I don’t know if the term had even been coined at that stage – even though the main players all hated it when it was – but it existed and it drew on elements from multiple genres, including hip hop, funk, dub and sprinkle of psychedelia.
When Dummy was released I honestly didn’t know what to think of it. I was 14 and already well into hip hop, so there was plenty of stuff within the record that intrigued me, like the scratching on Mysterons or the beats on Strangers and Glory Box. But for the most part I was unsure. I think it probably took another year or so for me to fully appreciate its importance; then as with most things like that, I got obsessed with it. This was pre-internet so all my knowledge came from the liner notes and Geoff Barrow’s interviews.

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Henry Canyons: Interview

Its been a few months since I dropped an interview on here, so I am pleased to be able to present a recent conversation I had with one of my favourite MCs, Henry Canyons. Having blessed us with two new projects this year – La Côte West and Cool Side of the Pillow – as well as touring North America and Europe with PremRock & Fresh Kils, the Backwoodz MC has already made 2018 his own. We spoke about making Cool Side, how much jazz has influenced his career and his recent artist’s residence in Biarritz, among other things. Continue reading “Henry Canyons: Interview”

An Ode to Skelethon

Is it worth me celebrating six year anniversaries? Not really but its worth me reminding you lot what’s good or even introducing you to some new oldish shit you never heard before. I had been an Aesop Rock fan since Labor Days but this album was a change of lane for him as far as I was concerned. It was the first project where I felt like his production came into its own; it all seemed less convoluted than on previous jawns. It’s also sounded a lot more reflective and personal than his earlier efforts. I think it was his first album since Camu died, which would obviously have an impact. Lines like “Here is how a great escape goes/When you can’t take your dead friends names out your phone” resonated a lot with me back then and still do today. Continue reading “An Ode to Skelethon”

An Ode to Run the Jewels

Five years ago today this album was brought to life. I don’t think anyone at the time realised how big Run the Jewels would become in the years that followed, least of all El-P and Killer Mike themselves. The album was made for fun, according to El but it lead to them becoming one of the most popular hip hop acts in the world, with countless worldwide tours, a legion of die hard fans and even their own computer game characters. It also bred two more albums and hopefully a few more that are still to come. Continue reading “An Ode to Run the Jewels”

An Ode to Music For The Mature B-Boy

I hadn’t listened to Music for the Mature B-Boy in a minute, but as soon as I put it on earlier today, I remembered exactly why it was in heavy rotation in my house for years after it dropped. It was my first encounter with DJ Format and I think it was sold to me on the J5 feature on We Know Something You Don’t Know, but that turned out to be just one of the high points. Continue reading “An Ode to Music For The Mature B-Boy”

An Ode to Brand New Second Hand

I have been reminding myself of the abundance of good tracks that are on Brand New Second Hand. It was one of the first UK hip hop albums I was obsessed with, after an ex bought it for me back in 2000. Before that I was pretty much only listening to US stuff, but that album changed a lot for me. Roots Manuva put me onto Skitz, who reintroduced me to Rodney P’s music – having rinsed London Posse for a while a few years earlier – then from there I got into Low Life and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Continue reading “An Ode to Brand New Second Hand”

Alaska: Interview

Alaska – he of Hangar 18, Atoms Family and more recently Words Hurt fame – released his new album today. This time he has teamed up with the producer PJ Katz and the pair have concocted a jazz-fuelled journey, with a whole bunch of different guests making their appearances along the way. I last spoke to Alaska back in 2016, when I interviewed him for Grown Up Rap, so I thought now would be a good time to have another chat about a few things, including the new record and reflecting on the past. There is also a new video from the album, which you can watch below.

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Jehst: 2007 Interview

An old interview I did with Jehst back in 2007, making it one of the first interviews I ever did. It’s quite good though, the cringing moments are minimal. I thought it was gone for good, but found a random cache of stuff archived online. It was originally on the now defunct site, style43.com I should have a more up to date one with him coming this year, so stay tuned for that. Shouts to YNR. Continue reading “Jehst: 2007 Interview”

Lee Scott: Interview Pt. 2

Here is the second part of my Lee Scott interview. I was beginning to think it was cursed due to how many problems it’s given me. But here it is, finally. To give you a bit of background, we had been planning to do an interview for a while, but timing had never been right. Then Lee messaged me one Friday night while I was on the way to my girl’s house. He said he’d been up since 5am and so it would be a good time to chat shit. So I rang him and we spoke for an hour about all the stuff you see below and in the first part (which you can find here). Loads of stuff about the early Blah days, meeting Milk for the first time and what projects he has lined up for the future. Continue reading “Lee Scott: Interview Pt. 2”

Ill Move Sporadic & Big Toast: Interview

Ill Move Sporadic and Big Toast are already well established and respected entities within the UK hip hop scene, thanks to a number of projects that have emerged from both camps over the past few years. Most recently, IMS joined forces with Tenchoo for the incredible Panic Room EP, while Toast has enjoyed success with his Save Yourself Kill Them All collaboration, alongside Sofa King and also thanks to his part in UK supergroup, Gatecrasherz. Now the three of them have joined forces for You Are Not Special, an album which promises to deliver the best of both their worlds in one tidy and maybe slightly disturbing package. The album is due for release in August, so I had a chat with them to see what we can expect from the album and to find out a little bit more about what makes them tick. Continue reading “Ill Move Sporadic & Big Toast: Interview”