hip hop & beats & soul // Manchester and beyond Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:30:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New mix from Daisuke Tanabe for i-D magazine Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:49:20 +0000

Daisuke’s Soundcloud is here.

Daisuke Tanabe’s new album Floating Underwater is out now and available


Check another great mix from Daisuke, for Bonafide magazine, over at Original Cultures here.

The National Jazz Trio Of Scotland – With Me Tonight [Karaoke Kalk]
Takako Minekawa & Dustin Wong – Circle has Begun (yorokobi humming) [Plancha]
BRAIDS – Ebben 1 [Arbutus Records]
Kohei Kawakami – Spin / [demo]
The Godz – The Mind [Base Record]
Linda Perhacs – Chimacum Rain [Wild Places]
hasymo – The City of Light [commmons]
Tortoise – Falls Lake (by Nobukazu Takemura) [Thrill Jockey]
seefeel – Crowded [Warp]
Christopher Willits – NOW [Ghostly International]
Young Wonder – Orange (Sun Glitters Remix) [Feel Good Lost]
Tycho – Awake (Ametsub remix) [ Ghostly International]
Shigeto – Ritual Howl [Ghostly International]
FaltyDL – Untitled 12 [Ninja Tune]
Daisuke Tanabe – Paper Planes [Ki /cat eat mosquito]

]]> 0 Interview and preview: SheBeKeke – Abecedarian EP Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:39:06 +0000 Entrenched firmly in Manchester’s creative community, Keke Thompson is a multi-talented artist and performer who’s lining up her debut, self-released EP.

First published as a poet at the age of 10, Keke has since been published in various antholgies and is a core member of Manchester’s youth writing groups Young Identity and Inna Voice. She’s opened up for the likes of Saul Williams, Amiri Baraka and Kate Tempest and performed at such illustrious venues as Glastonbury’s Poetry and Words tent and Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, New York.

She’s currently hard at work prepping her solo show I Wish I Had A Moustache, more of which you can find out about below.

Abecedarian is her debut EP, released under the pseudonym SheBeKeke – six tracks which constitute a fusion of poetry and music. Playing around with her loop pedal to create sounds to give her signature poems a new vibe, rather than the original acapella versions. Producer  Yussuf M’Rabty (aka Dyslexis) was enlisted to bring his own perspective to the rough experiments.
Keke says that the tracks (including one cover)  have been given one-word titles that can be read as a Hemingway-esque short poem: Fickle Mantra Hush Sweet Skin Sun. Two of the tracks (Mantra and Sun) feature bassist Ben Price.



Abecedarian is out 24th September 2014 on Bandcamp.

Can you summarise the themes of the EP?

I’ve called it Abecedarian because it describes someone who is learning their alphabet. It seemed like the perfect word because this is my first EP and the featuring pieces were written when I was exploring my voice as a poet. The collection focuses on what I learnt about myself through my experiences with various men in my life. It happened to be a major topic (not the only topic, I would like to stress!) from that period of writing.

Am I right in understanding it comprises new versions of your own material?

Yes, so the poems were not written specifically for this EP. They are some of my favourite and most popular performance pieces. I wanted to play with them – come up with sounds and hooks that could transport them into the realm of music. Some tracks feature more than one poem, I’m not rigid about my material. There is one cover in there that popped into my head whilst I was playing around with my loop pedal. I sent my ideas to producer Yussuf M’Rabty and then we recorded and tweaked them from there.


How long have you been experimenting with sound and recording?

Hhhmm… the word ‘sound’ is bringing up childhood memories for me. I was involved in quite a few musical activities (African drumming, Indian music, soul choir, steel pans) but recording, it took me ages to get into recording. I would go in to studios and freak out and lose my voice, ha. I started playing with loop pedals for performances with my poetry group when I was about 18. I got my own pedals when I was about 20. I wish I could drill it every day and become a mega looper! But I’m intuitive with these things. A hook will come into my head and then months later I’ll find that it compliments one of my poems, then I’ll get the pedal out and play around. I think I’ve answered the question…

keke saquib
Performing at Contact theatre. Photo: Saquib Chowdhury


How has your style developed over the years?

In a range of ways. At first I would just sing gospel choruses to compliment my poetry but now I write my own. My poetry is definitely more personal and honest since I’ve started performing. I love playing with polysyllabic rhyme these days. When I was younger I was like “poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, you know” but I’m a poet and I love rhyming! I think I’m less hard on myself in regard to rhythmic ideas. It’s good to be critical but I used to think everything I came up with was too clichéd but now I’m more like “If that’s how it has come to me, I’ll take it. I’ll critique it and play with it but I’ll take it.”

What is the poetic community in Manchester like? What have your experiences been?

It’s huge and I love it. It’s a beautiful circuit, loads of interesting and talented people. There are always poetry events going on. My experience has been great. I think once you put yourself out there, send your poems to people or jump on an open mic, then opportunities will come.

When I was 16 I was commissioned to respond to Emory Douglas’ exhibition at the Urbis, still now when I think about it, it was just amazing. It all comes down to having encouraging older artists in your community and in Manchester were are privileged to have so many.

So you sing, dance and act too… what have been memorable experiences for you?

I’ve had quite a few interesting gigs with Manchester Soul Choir and Urban Voices. We’ve done beautiful venues like Bridgewater Hall and The Lowry. But we’ve also done some random gigs like Sports Personality Awards and a few David Guest shows. I always had fun being a part of Contact Playback, never a dull moment when you’re improvising for about two hours straight.

Can you reveal anything about your upcoming solo show?

Well, it’s called I Wish I had a Moustache and it’s about beauty, gender anxieties and the taboo of body hair. I’m taking it back to Contact next year as a part of the Flying Solo Festival and I’m performing it next month at Camden People’s Theatre. It’s a wacky show: poetic, comedic and little bit disturbing. Oh yeah, the EP will be on Bandcamp – for free. I’ll pop it on my Soundcloud too – soundcloud/le-keke keke tache

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Video: Okmalumkoolkat – Allblackblackkat Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:33:49 +0000 OXYGEN
Been diggin’ the Holy Oxygen EP the last couple of weeks – here’s a video.

Grab the EP.


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New music: Alphabets Heaven & Deft – Pride & Joy Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:19:39 +0000 staysCanadian label King Deluxe release the new Alphabets Heaven EP Everything Stays The Same digitally today, and there’s a stonkin’ video to accompany his collab with Deft. Look!

Alphabets Heaven & Deft – Pride & Joy from King Deluxe on Vimeo.

You can also buy the EP on real life vinyl here.

Devised, directed and animated by Thomas Knowler

Musical collaboration by Alphabets Heaven & Deft

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Download: Show N Prove – Instrumentals Vol 3 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:02:23 +0000 Show N Prove - Instrumentals Volume 3 FRONT

One of the top UK producers knocking about at the moment, Show N Prove offers his third volume of instrumentals, featuring beats made for Big Narstie, Meridian Dan, Tinchy Stryder, Benny Banks, Ghetts, Amplify Dot and more. 

Download via the Facebook


01. Intro
02. Get Down (103 bpm)
03. My Different (140 bpm)
04. Get Busy (84.5 bpm)
05. My People (145 bpm)
06. ESG (82 bpm)
07. Trouble (104 bpm)
08. Wanna Go (150 bpm)
09. California Love (86 bpm)
10. Respect Me (100.5 bpm)
11. Outro

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Download: Trim – Notice Now (Antony Abstruse aka DJ X-Kutz Remix) Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:39:23 +0000 trim antThe Croydon-based artist formerly known as X-Kutz remixes Trim and presents it to you as a free download here. This one’s a klaxon of a tune and  all too brief.

He’s been banging out bass heavy remixes of the likes of Jadakiss, Cormega and Mobb Deep that are well worth your while which you can grab at that very same link. Follow him on Twitter.






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Interview: DJ Yoda previews Breakfast of Champions at Band on the Wall Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:15:13 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 20.17.38This Friday night will see the culmination of a week’s residency between DJ Yoda and a lucky team of collaborators working at Band on the Wall. Potential partners were asked to apply for the residency, but places were already cemented for Manc rappers Truthos Mufasa (Ape Cult), Sparkz (Voodoo Black) together with Rex Domino.

Find details on the collaborators and keep an eye on the process over at Brighter Sound. Day One is already up here.

I caught up with Yoda ahead of this weekend’s performance. All pics of participants are by Brighter Sound.

Buy tickets for the event over at BOTW.

Pic: Brighter Sound
Pic: Brighter Sound


Breakfast of Champions is gonna be the start of a movement… 


First off, this is an unusual project in the grand scheme of things – have you done anything similar in the past?

I’ve always tried to work on interesting collaborations – from orchestras to beatboxers to brass bands – but this is the first time I’ve actually put together a band from scratch to make original music. It’s a lot more work, but also much more satisfying!

Alan Keary

Claire Northey


Gareth Rowntree

Who’s behind the project? Why do you think they approached you in particular?

Band On The Wall in Manchester put on an “artistic residency” once a year (here’s a little info on last year’s with Snarky Puppy)- they approached me and asked if I’d be interested in putting together a band. I can’t say why! It’s an interesting idea to have a DJ be the driving force behind something that sounds musically bigger than just playing records.

Were you integral in deciding on your collaborators or are their talents going to be a surprise?

I was absolutely integral. They put a call-out to emerging musicians, and we had tonnes of interest. So I then had this “X-Factor”-style day up in Manchester where I whittled the selection down to the kind of group I would like to work with.

George FellJacob BrookmanJames Breen

How are you preparing? What form will the final performance take or is that a complete unknown at this point?

I’ve produced an EP’s worth of music that we will translate to a live band performance, and then we plan on creating about the same amount again of totally original music during a week’s jamming, rehearsing and drinking tea.

What are the overall objectives of the project?

To do something different and new! That’s pretty much the goal with everything I try.

Have you had a chance to meet Sparkz, Truthos and Rex yet? How will your relationship with them play out over the five days?

Yep I put these guys together from the start, and we’ve been working on music all this time – I’m really excited about getting to share the results of these sessions!

Sparkz, backed up by Dubbul O, David Insua-Cao and yours truly a couple of years back at In The Loop.

Why should we come and check out the gig?

Because there’s a lot of people working together to make something really unique – Breakfast of Champions is gonna be the start of a movement!

Johnny BursnellMaya LadNeal CoghlanPhil Davids


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Download: Run The Jewels enlist Jones from Police Academy for Oh My Darling Don’t Cry #RTJ2 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:40:25 +0000

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 19.35.31Having received the nicest promo email in the world from El-P and Killer Mike earlier today, announcing pre-orders of RTJ2, I’m proper excited for the release of the album.

Adult Swim have a preview of the LP (no pun intended) on their Soundcloud with a free download of Oh My Darling Don’t Cry, and it’s fat as fook (and also features robot voice from Police Academy’s Michael Winslow aka Jones).

RTJ2 will be released on October 27/28 – this time on Nas’s Mass Appeal label.

The duo hit Manchester on 11 December at Gorilla – check tour dates here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 19.35.19

You can pre-order the album, including a number of exclusive, one-off bonus packages (I’m going for The Meow The Jewels package – Run The Jewels will re-record RTJ2 using nothing but cat sounds for music. You are free to profit from this album in any way you see fit up to 100k in net global profit or 3 years).

The album will also be a free download at the same link – but you know you want the vinyl.

Keep your peepers on


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New music: Mocambo remix Lee Fields’ Just Can’t Win Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:18:33 +0000 bacao lee fieldsPlaying with Lee Fields and the Expressions recently has obviously been fruitful for Hamburg-based Mocambo Records, whose live incarnation, the Mighty Mocambos, are one of the tightest live funk outfits around.

Juno has a preview of their upcoming 45 as the Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band remixing Lee Fields’ Just Can’t Win on a steel pan flex, following their recent Truth & Soul release Bacao Suave/Round & Round. Check Lee’s O.G. version here.

I chatted to Lee Fields a couple of years back.

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New music: Big Lo – More Like 2.0 ft Junky Goods, Stess the Emcee & Mel Funk. Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:00:39 +0000 magnum opiatesSome dopeness out of Florida courtesy of Big Lo, with help from Junky Goods, Stess the Emcee and Mel Funk, produced by Timeless.

It’s from his album Magnum Opiates, available on iTunes here.

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DJ Rasp’s Scratch Jam returns to Manchester September 20th Sun, 14 Sep 2014 22:56:47 +0000 sj

Facebook event

Rasp brings back the Scratch Jam to Oxford Road’s Contact Theatre this coming weekend. Whether you’re popping along with your own scratch tools or just want to soak up the atmosphere and check the talent on display (whoot-woo), all are welcome. It’s a friendly do so spread the word!

Remember, donations mean that Rasp doesn’t have to foot the hire bill himself!

Rasp says…

To all Scratch Nerds hailing from the Northwest of England I am pleased to announce Scratch Jam is back for the fourth time!!!

After a bit of negotiating, a couple of meetings, a fair amount of phone calls & a little bit of blagging I’m pleased to announce that Scratch Jam is back in Manchester at the Contact Theatre on Saturday the 20th September!!!

It is a free event (donations are very welcome tho) so come along & get involved in a friendly turntablist/freestyle scratch event. All skill levels are very welcome from seasoned pro to beginner (or anything in between) cut it up over phat beats, meet new peeps, support the scratch scene & have lots of fun doing so

We have a very special performance from the legendary Dave the Ruf too :)

3pm til 7pm

Contact Theatre

Oxford Road


Spread the word & get involved!!!



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POLITIKA launch: Art & the Affairs of the City – 19th September, Manchester Sun, 14 Sep 2014 22:31:42 +0000 politika



Along with Endless City, Mind on Fire and Onefiveeight, I’ll be providing a musical background to the launch of the POLITIKA exhibition at Upper Space this coming Friday. I’ll let the press release speak for itself below. Check the Facebook event out here.

To summarise:

Private View: 6pm – 8pm // Launch Event: 8pm – 12am

The Engine Room, Hope Mill. 113 Pollard Street, Ancoats, M4 7JA

  • The first chance to see provocative artworks by urban interventionist artists from nine different countries including previously unreleased works by major artists.
  • The newly renovated grade 2 listed building hosting the exhibition is in the heart of Ancoats, the world’s first industrial suburb. Politika includes mixed media, digital, sculpture and visual art installations.


  • A Samba band procession from Stevenson’s Square in the northern quarter to the gallery in Ancoats, arriving in time for the launch. Time TBC.

In the Bar:

  • Select teas and cold coffees from Manchester’s own North Tea Power.
  • A live installation by Manchester based artists Shift//Delete entitled ‘Molotov Cocktails?’. Come forth and consume specially commissioned alcoholic drinks laced with a dash of espionage. Prepared and served by our very own Sunny Wray.
  • Local brews from Moss Cider, IPA and a range of other drinks available at affordable prices.

Music provided by Mind On Fire, OneFiveEight, Endless City & Groovement.


19 provocative artists from 9 different countries exhibit works as part of a diverse programme of free workshops, talks, screenings and live interventions. 

The exhibition launches a new cultural space in the heart of Ancoats, the world’s first industrial suburb. 


Peter Kennard (UK) // Epos257 (CZ) // Ztohoven (CZ) // Chim-Pom (JP) // VOINA (RU) // Shift//Delete (UK) // Brandalism (UK+) // WochenKlausur (AT) // Bill Posters (UK) // Franck Allais (FR) // Leah Borromeo (UK) // Steve Lambert (US) // Robin Hood Minor Asset Management Cooperative (FI) // The Vacuum Cleaner (UK) // John Beieler (US) // Papas Fritas (CHI) // Tracey Moberly (UK) // Peter McCaughey (UK) // Ben Parry (UK) // Ed Hall (UK) + citizens of Manchester.


Manchester is where the world’s first manifestations of industrial Capitalism took shape. If the city is both the producer of citizenship and the generator of innovation, it is the soil in which democracy lives. Without the city and maximised exchanges, democracy loses strength to create potential futures.

Is there scope to generate another answer, another view, in order to sustain another ideology against consumerism and the disempowerment it represents? Politika presents opportunites for people to transform themselves from passive consumers into active participants – active citizens.

Politika sees a merging of the intersections between art, social justice and activism as artists and the citizens of Greater Manchester assert their right to the city.

The diverse program includes an exhibition of provocative art works, live urban interventions across the city, public workshops, talks, documentary screenings and debate to offer the public the opportunity to rethink the role of art and artist in contemporary society.

The exhibition is situated in a grade 2* listed cotton mill and launches a new contemporary cultural space – The Engine Room, in Ancoats – the world’s first industrial suburb.

Exhibition Opening: 8pm // Friday 19th September 2014
featuring DJs from OneFiveEight, Mind on Fire, Endless City and Groovement.

For more information please visit:

Contributing Artists:

Full programme:

Maps and travel routes to Politika:

Politika is kindly supported by Arts Council EnglandEsmée Fairbairn FoundationNow Then ManchesterHope MillEmergencia

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Download: 1991 – 199X EP from Chile’s Dilema Industria Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:30:43 +0000 Región Metropolitana, Chile

Dreamy  lo-fi beats on 1991’s (aka Daniel Klauser) debut EP for Chile’s  Dilema Industria, infleunced by recent trips to Colombia, Switzerland and Germany.

Download – also download from Bandcamp


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New Music: Paper Tiger release Laptop Suntan Remixed ft SertOne, Werkha, LV, Murder He Wrote, Scrimshire and an anagram Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:19:24 +0000 Sultan Ant Pop is Laptop Suntan remixed, or indeed anagramised, and is out now. The space jazz/hip hop/blip hop outfit combine live band expertise with killer production, and released their debut long player on Wah Wah 45s last year.

This, then, is the sequel. containing not only remixes but new original music too.

Go and buy it (listen below), and look for them gigging near you in the next few months.

Also check out this improvised live mixtape, Sonic Boom Head Zoom 2.

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Download: Aphotic mix for Astral Black Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:01:16 +0000 aphotikThis is EXACTLY my kind of mix. No pretensions and no bullshit (and no house…), just out and out great tunes – spaced out weirdy sounds with plenty of hip hop, a smattering of footwork and plenty of soul.

Expect Julianna Barwick,Ash Ra TempelTehbisEdan, Batsumi, Budgie (Livin’ Proof)Lamont,Outkast, Michael Anthony, Captain, Triad God and more…

Tell him you love it at his Twitter and follow his Soundcloud.


Aphotik is one of the minds behind killer collective and club night Tempo Clash – keep track of their Soundcloud below!

The homies Astral Black still have their amazing Frass Fm comp available for free download here.

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Download: Blue Daisy’s new EP Mermaids Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:37:20 +0000 bd
Photo: Georg Gatsas ( )

Noisey have premiered the new EP from Blue Daisy, and it’s a freebie.


Ages ago we had some Unknown Shapes stuff as exclusives, listen to them here and check our chat with the big BD here.

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Listen: Kalbata and Mixmonster with Clapper Priest (RBMA @ Notting Hill Carnival 2014) Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:14:01 +0000

My pal Mixmonster, of Tel Aviv funk monsters The Apples, was over in London last week to perform with Kalbata at carnival. They asked along Clapper Priest too…



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Diggin’ In The Carts: Unearthing Japan’s video game composers Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:43:51 +0000 Every Thursday for the next few weeks (up to Oct 9th), RBMA will be posting a new episode of this documentary series, exploring the legacy and foundation of Japan’s most vital video game music composers. oh no Junkocute This first episode focus on early eighties Nintendo and some of the earliest Famicom/NES games. The likes of Oh No, Flying Lotus, J Rocc, Havoc and Kode 9 add varied levels of  waxing lyrical about musicians such as Junko Ozawa and Hirokazu Tanaka, who in turn reflects on unexpected influences such as Jah Wobble. hip The games Balloon Fight and Wrecking Crew has the rhythm of Sly Dunbar  – Hirokazu Tanaka

Oh yeah…

Check his cartography (?) here.

Props to producers and directors Nick Dwyer and Tu Neill – the film is shot amazingly. I look forward to next week’s instalment. Completing the cycle somewhat, Daisuke Tanabe has composed the theme for the documentary. Watch out for his LP, Floating Underwater, previewed here.

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Homeboy Sandman releases Hallways Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:07:42 +0000 Homeboy Sandman’s second album for Stones Throw, Hallways, is out now. 

Sand’s one of my personal favourites out there and I was lucky enough to interview him a couple of times in written words and spoken words.

My bad I don’t give a shit when you try and show me your iPad…

Hallways sees him work with a range of producers including Spinna, Jonwayne, Oh No, Knx, and J57 to name a few. I love Sands prolific ways – he never lets up, his productivity yielding only quality results. First Of A Living Breed was only the opening salvo, with a range of EPs also seeing release under the nurturing gaze of Stones Throw.

Listen and buy on Stones Throw or iTunes



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Preview: The Scorzayzee LP / Download 100 Bars Mon, 01 Sep 2014 22:31:36 +0000 10606145_10152513288176284_4332262644871314889_n

Download 100 Bars

A different kind of preview here, as this one isn’t made yet…

The story goes that three obsessive Scorzayzee fans are on a mission to release the debut album from one of the UK’s finest. Pledge £20 or more and get an exclusive-to-campaign vinyl album and your name in the credits!

It’s put fire in Scorz’s belly and he’s looking forward to laying it down, so go and support after watching the video below.

Only 24 hours in, and hip hop fans have stepped up 44% of the target… looks like we might be on to a winner!

Read the gumpf and find out more… 

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