Happy April Fools Day! Festival season is round the corner and in the Swing scene nothing announces it better than the highlight of the year, the biggest festival going – Swingamajig in Birmingham. The lineup is once again next level – just check out the poster above, and if you fancy checking me out I’ll be doing my Silver Screen Soundsystem VJ show in the early hours of the morning. Find out more at Swingamjig or on their facebook.
Right. Let’s hit the music.
Great start with this freebie from those Flatcap boys:
New version of Sing Sing Sing:
Thanks to Emma Clair for inviting me to join them in Manchester for Prohibition last week. When not organising her own nights she’s been busy putting this nice freebie together:
Been loving this. Great vocal, big horns and free!
Hold tight, have I got 2 AWESOME releases for your aural enjoyment today!
Breakbeat Paradise Recordings – Yum Cha – Roll Dem EP
AsBreakbeat Paradiserecordings approaches the big 100, we have this offering from new-ish act Yum Cha from down under. Lovely reggae grooves with A-Skillz-y type Bass Funk ideas. Especially in the title track Roll Dem.
Ever-dependable Ghetto Funk with their 13th digital release here. Crazy Pavers is a massive aggressive, yet jaunty bass-pig sniffing around out of the speakers. Gunfunk is a tad more friendly with a nice vocal. Both top-notch Mid Tempo Funk grooves, as usual!
Out 29th Sept, stay tuned to the Ghetto Funkblog andFacebook page for release info.
Well it’s that wonderful time of year again and the festivals are coming thick and fast. Top of the pile in the swing world goes to the mighty Boomtown which has an absolutely cracking swing lineup once again. If you haven’t been before, get in there quick because you truly won’t regret it. Instead of paying over the top for over-rated pop stars and indie bands, Boomtowns policy is all about strength in depth. They have one of the biggest lineups of bands and DJ’s you’ve ever seen and the sheer effort they put into the setup of the site and their production values simply has to be seen to be believed. Come down, check it out, and if you find these blog posts useful come tell me after I play in the Ballroom!
It’s been sad to hear that Dutty Moonshine have lost one of their founding members with Alex Furley moving on to other projects. You’ll be sadly missed sir and good luck for the future. (Do realise though that if you quit now you’ll never to be able to snog our best friend again like happened last year at Swingamapig. Apparently he said that doesn’t normally happen to him but I don’t believe a word of it… )
Finally Bertie Dastard happened to mention that if I advertise this Roundup as always coming out on the 1st of the month, I should deliver. Well, this one just about squeezes in but I’ve still got a few more tracks to include so I might do an update in a day or so!
The Jenova Collective seem to be going well at the moment with a great looking live show and a regular stream of releases. They’ve chipped in here with a nice little remix of Caravan Palace.
Like this. Grant Lazlo with a deep electro blues groover:
Great little balkan groover here from Savages & Suefo:
Another month, another remix of I Heard It Through The Grapevine? Yep although do quite like this.
Kiwistar seems to be heavier. I reckon this is a new genre – Horn n Bass?
This is back on gentler ground. Sophisticated swing and beautiful singing from Elle, The Bells & The Trick:
Morning breakers! Couple of belting releases for you this week, and in a new addition to this column – I flick back through my breaks vinyl to highlight a tune from what I consider to be the golden age of breaks. Not to take anything away from the releases these days, but I seem to hear a lot of older mixes cropping up again online, and the tunes still do the business. Nothing wrong with looking back and reflecting how we got to where we are today!
Gotta be careful about not putting too much Finger Lickin records stuff in here, but it’s hard. Looking at my collection, I have loads and loads of their records, white labels too. Part of what makes these records so awesome for me is the great artwork by Jem Panufnik. Serious talent. If I had my way, my flat would have every one of his covers framed up on the walls. Not sure what Mrs. B-Roll would think about that! Both tracks are absolute corkers, Foxy Moron is a serious acid-tinged banger, but you they both still hold up real well.
Buy it here.
While we are on the subject of Jem Panufnik, here is his tasty release from his musical alter-ego – Jem Stone. Its a tip top, Hip Hop /Ghetto Funk extravaganza with a slick vocal from Mouthmaster Murph & MC Goldseal. Definitely one for the funked up party floors. With remixes by the one and only GF master Featurecast , you need this in your box. Digital exclusive, available from Juno here.
Janette Slack & Some DJ Feat. Tuhin Chisti – Kut Me Sum
Renowned breaks DJ Janette Slack recently upped sticks and shifted to the other side of the world. London’s loss is Hong Kong’s gain though, and here we have her first EP release from that side of the pond. Solid package here. Original track is a nice rising breaker, but there are some super remixes too. Funkanomics turn in a trap-esque re-work, while B-Side brings it to the Ghetto Funk side of things. The Chamber version though, is the one that sent shivers down my spine. Deep rolling bassline, total winner.
For those not already aware, as well as djing and producing under my funked up Dastardly Kuts moniker, I also produce tunes with a good buddy of mine who, as well as being an all-round good bloke, is also a bonafide bass fiend and quality Ableton head who goes by the name of Aditup and together we produce under the guise Ad’N’Kuts (real original I know). We recently had an EP release thru Grits N Gravy records where we teamed up with San Fransisco MC/ producer Kidd Linus to drop a tune with some straight up ol school breaks flavour and with remixes covering a diverse range of genres from deep bass, ghetto funk and glitch hop from the studios of some of Australia’s best up and coming producers, I can honestly say it’s the release I am most proud of in my career to date. You can listen to and purchase it from Beatport right HERE.
Now as an added bonus we also have a free remix to give away from one of my all-time favourite aussie producers, DJ Axe, who’s version is a sublime booty breaks rump shaker that is sure to get your hips moving. Just head on over to the Grits N Gravy Facebook page, get liking and the download is all yours.
Happy summer everyone! The suns out in the UK so it’s time to come through with another selection of fresh swinging beats.
The big news here is that I’ve moved into a new house – Swing Towers 2 – which is perfect in every respect except it’s going to take 30 days for the truly rubbish broadband provider to bother to get it turned on. That means this Roundup may be a bit briefer than usual since it’s not easy doing this all through a mobile!
Dimaa mixing up the glitch and swing. Download from here.
Bouncy house with a bit of a swing style bump from Tomahawk:
Bass heavy remix of Bart & Baker:
All sorts of flavours mixing together on this from Cheshire. Quality freebie.
More considered and laid back this. Nice old style swing from Leeds After Hours Quintet:
The production in general on this EP is insane! The tracks are so loud yet still dynamic, and the tone of each track is consistent, but very true to the genre it fits into.
The title track, “Birds Sing” featuring Late Day Breakers starts with the suitably calming effect of birds singing and quickly drops into a lovely festival style reggae skank with an uplifting indie / reggae male vocal. This in turn builds to a 110bpm electro / dub step club banger bass drop. The originally simplistic vocal lines gradually get denser throughout the tune and really pull the listener in to connect with the sentiment of the track. The rise up to the 2nd drop is huge, and gives yet another lift with some lovely bouncy beeps over the dirty funky basses. Definitely a Breakspear recommends track!
Track 2 on the EP “Shadow Dance” quickly switches the vibe to a more melancholy feeling, with classic almost 80’s disco style female vocal stabs. It’s raining strings right up to the drop, which when it comes has a lovely tripletty kick pattern and 808 bass sounds with a nice twist on the bashment style. The top synths are nice and ravey and really push the track along keeping it interesting throughout. Another massive rise to the 2nd drop, and this time the boys drop it with a 4×4 beat, and yet more intensity in the synths. Boss.
Track 3 “Requiem” featuring Kate Mullins has a male / female (possibly some clever melodyne going on here) vocal duet in the intro with renaissance style strings and chordal movements, again, fairly melancholy but still uplifting for the horror soundtrack fans out there! The build up suggests we’re gonna get DNB, and the track doesn’t disappoint! The groove of the drop is quite interesting, almost like a double speed drum step track, very straight. There’s still plenty of danceability in there though, and their neuro bass sounds really work well around the beats. The intro vocals get re-introduced a few times throughout the track to good effect. Thumbs up on this one!
The final track on the EP “Jericho” featuring Million Dan is a remix from Dodge and Fuski. The vocal is sat in some huge horn stabs, and a sample from The Horn Track is pretty prominent in the background. Million Dan’s vocals are typically hyphie and used well give you a nice run up to the drop. Wicked groovy beats and large bass from D&F “raise up the bar” for a wicked jumpup dubstep at 100bpm kinda vibe! All round another corker to make this EP a definite one to check! Bo!
Following the success of their 2013 release ‘Delta’, elemental soul outfit Shapeshifter will be performing a series of UK dates this spring, beginning at The Bongo Club in Edinburgh on 9th April 2014.
The tour will then move on to Brighton’s Concorde 2 on the 11th, before concluding in the capital with a show at The Forum in Kentish Town on the 12th.
NZ Shapeshifter boast a stadium-sized sound which adds layers of depth-charge bass, jazz, funk, rock and electronica to barrelling breakbeats, capable of morphing from rolling drum ‘n’ bass to pummelling guitar-driven jams to horizon-shifting electronic soundscapes.
‘Delta’, their fifth and most recent album, is their most fearless release yet – embodying the spirit of experimentation in its innovative all-analogue instrumentation of vintage synths, horns and guitar. These are showcased beautifully in the sublime opening chords of ‘Arcadia’, through to the junglist jabs of ‘Shadowboxer’ andd elevated trance progressions of ‘Diamond Trade’. Having morphed through elastic electronic textures to bedrocks of soul and rave, their sound is constantly evolving to motivate dancefloors worldwide.
From the taste-making Bongo Club, an independent all-round artistic hub with an international reputation, to Concorde 2 – Brighton’s premier indie venue – as well as The Forum, one of London’s major live entertainment stages, NZ Shapeshifter have picked the perfect platforms for showcasing their multi-faceted brand of music.
With record-breaking tours in their home country of New Zealand, scene-setting appearances at festivals like Glastonbury, The Big Chill and Parklife, sold-out European performances, four EPs and five LPs (three with platinum sales) under their belts, this multi-award-winning electronic outfit packs a serious punch – and this UK tour promises to deliver more of their trademark energy.