High Focus recently announced the official digital release of King Kashmere’s 2006 album, In The Hour Of Chaos. Originally released on Receptor Records, the album further cemented Kashmere’s position as one of the UK’s best, thanks in part to storytelling raps like Veronica R.I.P. Just in time for Halloween, it tells the story of a doomed love affair between Kashmere and a visitor from the spirit realm. The track was produced by the man FKA as Chemo. In The Hour Of Chaos is available now via the usual platforms.
What’s In A Name? (A Q&A with Forest DLG)
Name changes within the music industry are pretty common, with artists offering up a variety of reasons for their decisions. Prince’s infamous transition into ‘The Symbol’ was prompted by his legal dispute with Warner Brothers, while Mello Music’s Chris Orrick, changed his name from Red Pill to distance himself from growing connotations with the ridiculous men’s rights movement.
More recently, Chemo, veteran UK hip hop producer and travelling man, announced he is changing his name to Forest DLG. I knew he was a fan of the outdoors so the choice did not surprise me. In fact, it made perfect sense. So, I decided to pay a virtual call on the man himself and ask about his decision, and more importantly, as we both share a love of nature and the woods, find out some vital information about his woodland preferences.
Continue reading “What’s In A Name? (A Q&A with Forest DLG)”
TrueMendous: Out My Face
Out My Face is the latest video from TrueMendous and her recent HUH? EP. Featuring production from Chemo and visuals from Leon Matthews, the track marks another win for the Birmingham rapper. HUH? is out now on High Focus.
Kid Acne: Fresh To Death (Stream)
New arrival from Kid Acne, as he rejuvenates some of the choice cuts from his 2019 Have A Word LP, with a blinding selection of remixes from some of the UK’s finest beat fiends. Fresh To Death features a handful of tracks from the original album – produced in full by Spectacular Dianostics – which have been tantalisingly reworked by some of my favourite producers. On the bill we find new sounds from Theorist, Hashfinger, Chemo, King Kashmere, Norm Oddity, Percy Filth and Nappa, as well as vocal features from Juga-Naut and Juice Aleem, who both appeared on the original album. Each producer brings their own flair to the proceedings, allowing them to make the track their own, while still keeping the original flavour alive. Fresh To Death is available to download now via Bandcamp, and there are also a limited run of cassettes available, which all come signed and numbered. The run is limited to 150 though so be quick if you want in. You can also hear the project for yourself below. Continue reading “Kid Acne: Fresh To Death (Stream)”
Helsinki Booze Merchants: Film Poster Whips
New music from Helsinki Booze Merchants, as they announce the release of their debut album. While the name might not be familiar in this form, their individual IDs will no doubt be, as the crew is made up of Luca Brazi, Benny Diction and Mnsr Frites, who have worked as solo artists and on plenty of collaborations together over the years. This latest offering is entirely produced by Brazi, as well as two remixes from Chemo and Chuck Enzo chucked in for good measure. You can sample a couple of the tracks below, including that Enzo remix, and then get set for the full release of the album, Film Poster Whips, on 1 August. There is also a Qrates push to get a vinyl edition made, so get involved with that if you can. More info here. Continue reading “Helsinki Booze Merchants: Film Poster Whips”
Mr Key: Kids Story 2 (Live Session)
I forgot to post this when it dropped a couple of weeks ago, but always better late than never. You might remember that Mr Key released a follow-up to Kids Story not long ago, featuring joint production from Dike and Chemo. Well now the Contact Play MC has returned with a live version, performed from his base camp in Granada, Spain. As you will see in the footage, Key is ably assisted by Katryna Abel on keys and backing vocals, and Eliot Rivv on guitar. Mr Key and Greenwood Sharps’ latest project is out now on High Focus.
TrueMendous: Sweetheart + EP Stream
Today is the day that TrueMendous delivers her new EP into the world; her first release since joining the High Focus ranks a couple of months ago. We had already been treated to a couple of singles from the EP and today, to coincide with the release, High Focus have dropped another new video. Sweetheart finds the Brum MC at her sharpest, as she obliterates some grimy yet slick production from Chemo. The production remains strong throughout the EP, thanks to further contributions from Pitch 92, Illinformed, Winchester and Marcus Jakes. All in all it feels like the perfect vehicle for showcasing TrueMendous’s talents and one that will hopefully get her the shine she deserves. You can hear HUH? in full below, with downloads available from the usual spots. Continue reading “TrueMendous: Sweetheart + EP Stream”
Mr Key x Dirty Dike x Chemo: Kids Story 2
A stunning collaboration here from the High Focus camp, as Mr Key emerges from the shadows to deliver this new loosie. For Kids Story 2, the Contact Play MC has connected with two familiar production talents, Dirty Dike and Chemo, who co-produced the track together. That production is fortified by some beautiful violin playing from Julianna Napier, adding further weight to Key’s all-too familiar tale of a kid who begins experimenting with drugs, before things take a darker turn. The track is follow-up to Key’s 2015 song with Greenwood Sharps. You can download and stream Kids Story 2 from the usual spots.
Jam Baxter: The Stump
A brand new video from Jam Baxter, for the next track to be taken from his recent Off Piste EP. The Stump is the EP’s closing track and features some masterful production from frequent collaborator, Chemo, and also Last Japan, the man behind the beat on Vulture. It’s by far the high point of the EP and I’d argue a high point in Baxter’s entire catalogue. The video for The Stump was made by This & That Media and Off Piste is out now on High Focus. Continue reading “Jam Baxter: The Stump”
Jam Baxter: Off Piste (Stream)
Surprise new EP from Jam Baxter, as he continues to celebrate the success of his recent publishing debut. Off Piste features four tracks from the Contact Play MC, on which he is joined by Lee Scott and Datkid. Production comes courtesy of Dirty Dike, Chemo X Last Japan, Zygote and Lenkemz. The EP is ready to stream in full below and downloads are available from Bandcamp. Continue reading “Jam Baxter: Off Piste (Stream)”