Posts tagged ‘London’

Burning the midnight lamp for Jimi Hendrix

It’s past midnight and I’ve just been listening to ‘Voodoo Chile‘ – the soothing sounds of ‘Little Wing‘ are just coming out of my speakers.

On the wall next to me is a sketch of Jimi Hendrix, a little hazy looking. His guitar stands out and almost seems like an extra body part. You get that impression o almost all the performance images you’ll find of Hendrix. Why? Because this quiet and humble kind of geezer was able to express himself extremely well through his beat-up Fender Stratocaster. Definitely fascinating, unbelievable even.

Barrie Wentzel took the photo below in Jimi’s London flat at 23 Brook Street, his very own beat bungalow… It’s the place where he the Seattle-born artist lived with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham from 1968 til 1969. It’s also believed that it’s the place where he wrote most of the songs to ‘Electric Ladyland’. The street has quite a bit of musical history because the house next door used to be the home of Baroque composer Friedrich Händel, whose ghost my favourite guitarist with the cosmic sound is rumoured to have seen in the mirror while shaving… You can watch a clip of the flat at the BBC.

If you’re in London this month, you can take a walk around the flat and see some personal song sheets, photos and rare film footage of the legendary psychedelic soul brother at the ‘Hendrix in London‘ exhibition. If you’re not bothered about any of that and just listen to his music, fair enough, go ahead and turn it up in memory of the man who died 40 years ago today.

James Marshall Hendrix was only 27 years old when he died but in that short time created some amazingly far-out sounds – for me, someone who has no real connection with the 1960s whatsoever, he will always stick in my mind as the musician who made me really appreciate music. When I was 14, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was playing heavily on my stereo and I found those sounds nothing short of spell-binding. Many thanks for that, Mr Hendrix.

September 18, 2010 at 00:38 Leave a comment

Age of Aquarius: Mystro introspective

London MC Mystro has been around the block a few times. In fact, one of his first singles was the 1999 Deal Real release ‘Kiss that Arse Goodnight’ – a battle track that made a lot of UK rappers run home and cry themselves to sleep. That was just the beginning.

Since then, Digmund Freud aka Mys Diggi has worked with the good, the bad and the wicked of UK hip hop, always injecting a good dose of humor into the music, tellin You. At the same time he doesn’t shy away from talking about serious topics as on ‘Aquarius’, a track that fits this Natural Born Spitta tight like a boxing glove.

In the Beat Bungalow interview, he speaks about his Isaac Hayes cameo on Spine TV, the music biz and also clears up a few rumors about being Australian. G’day mate…


What’s up Mystro, can you introduce yourself?

Mystro aka MysDiggi or Digmund Freud from the Natural Born Spittaz, the one your favourite rappers doesn’t want you to know about haha!! 

Your lyrics always have a lot of funny images and phrases in them.

Are you a story teller first and foremost?

Actually in school I wasn’t the greatest story teller/writer but I learned more along the way I guess.

I’ve always been in to comedy so the humour was pretty natural for me although projecting it in rhyme form isn’t the easiest thing till you’ve cracked the code, so to speak.

Tell us about your ‘Around My Way’ track? What’s it like around your way?

‘Around My Way’ is a single from the ‘Digmund Freud EP’ which is dropping on September 13th, it’s basically how Digmund Freud would explain how hood his area is but in a less offensive way than the normal “My hood is so gutter” type track. The video idea was to take it to the streets and see how the general public would react to it.

Are there any other artists featured on there / natural born spitters? Do you still work with Harry Love?

Yeah the featured artists on ‘Digmund Freud EP’ are Stig Of The Dump, Skandal, Sharlene Hector, Baby Sol, Ramson Badbonez & Chazelle Bingham, with production from DJ Swerve, Jehst and DJ Flip. Jargon‘s not on there but we’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to come from NBS so hold tight for that, I haven’t worked with Harry Love for a while, but I’m sure the time will come no doubt, he has production on my album I’m hoping to drop next year.

‘Aquarius’ is about the frustrations of that right?

More like the reality of life, which I guess when you look at it can cause frustration sometimes.

That picture of you with the Isaac Hayes kinda look cracked me up. What are some of your favourite Hayes tracks or albums?

Haha! Actually that pic was from an episode of my on-line show with Spine TV , it’s a monthly show.

Of course ‘Shaft In Africa‘ is a favourite of mine, and I was well into ‘The Isaac Hayes Movement‘ as well.

“Fuck the Taxman”: You do your own promotion and have a pretty solid DIY attitude, from what I gather. How important is it do be your own manager? Was it hard to get into that whole business side of music?

Yeah it’s very hard actually, you get a lot less sleep than usual and it also cuts in to your creative time, I did it out of necessity to be honest, Low Life had up and left us all with out any accounts owed and I just felt it was time to grab the bull by the horns myself and try it out, started a label called Don’t Bizznizz and being that Beer + Rap didn’t put the EP out properly I sorted out a digital distributor and sold the ‘F.D.T. EP’ myself.

I’ve still got a lot to learn but all I really want to do is make music so I’m hoping I can find a decent business partner so I can just focus on the main thing that creates business.

I read that you’re half-Australian and have been out there a few times to do shows. What was that like compared to the British / European scene? What are some of your favourite Australian expressions, any funny ones you’ve picked while out there?

Actually I’m not half Australian, that was something some ‘know not’ decided to put on Wikipedia for some unknown reason.

I started going out there in 04 and just built a little following enough to keep going back there and New Zealand every year, sometimes twice a year, to the point that people thought I lived there (or was half Australian come to think of it). When I first went out there it felt like it was just about to reach that tipping point where the homegrown was getting more popular than the imported US/UK material, similar to how it was here from say 99-03 sort of times.

Now the Aussie scene has made a name for itself and seems to be pretty strong bar the obvious struggles with file sharing etc. There are too many phrases to choose from but I particularly like when you ask someone a question and the answer with “Yeah, nah, yeah…” , cracks me up.

errr…What do you find inspiring?

I’m easily inspired so there’s a lot out there for me. Honestly I keep no boundaries, I’d make a song about damn near anything.

This question is a bit introspective: You’ve said you try and do something new every year. How have you changed as an artists / person since the days of ‘Kiss that Ass good night’ or ‘Tellin You’. What aspects of Mystro have we seen so far, what’s still to come?

Obviously I’m a bit older, I’ve learned that no matter how successful, older someone is they can still make mistakes so never be fooled by words. I’ve learned that the music business is exactly that, a business so it’s very important to learn the business if you want to maintain. Also no matter how good or talented you are, it’s your work ethic that gets you places in this day and age. My attitude hasn’t changed in terms of the music I make but you’ve definitely seen a progression if you’ve followed my work since my first release as you mentioned.

So barring the singles+features I’ve done over the years, ‘Music Mystro’ was the punchline / fun stuff, ‘F.D.T.’ Was the angry / hardcore stuff and now I give you ‘Digmund Freud’ which is more dealing with social issues and self help type material similar to ‘Aquarius’. I think these are the 3 sides of me you’ll come to know, after this EP it’s all about albums, I’ve never dropped a proper album yet so I class it as my debut entitled ‘Mystrogen’ .

Any last words or shouts?

Yeah thanks to yourself for reaching out to a spitta! shouts to my brother Jargon, my assistant manager Jesse Peters, also Black Einstein producer from another planet. All the twitter heads can follow me here or contact Digmund Freud on facebook. And of course all the REAL heads out there who still have a passion for their craft no matter what it is. Hip Hop LIVES.

‘Digmund Freud EP’ drops on September 13th 2010 (Don’t Bizznizz/Self Destruct Music
 Sent Using Universal Mind Control).


July 23, 2010 at 15:28 Leave a comment

Raps by the pound – classic from ’95

June 6, 2010 at 18:06 Leave a comment

Supa time: a little deepness from MC Tek D

Obba Supa have been making music together since the early 2000s. Quite often, the London duo are on a philosopical, transcendental tip and you’re in for a surprise if you haven’t heard them yet.

Obba Supa’s music is atmospheric, sometimes sinisiter, other times soulfully deep. Heyzeus and Teknikal Development always try and push that envelope: there’s a message in the music, listen closely…especially to those Billy Paul-inspired tunes.


Your home city, London town: which five words would you use to describe it?

Monotonous, Unbalanced, Tense, Corrupt, Secretive.

What part of London are you from? How do you know each other?

I am from North London Edmonton N9, we from the same area…we tudied at the same college & knew the same peoples.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to making music & writing lyrics?

You gotta listen to what the mind is saying. Express WHAT YOU WANT. There is no limits to what can or cannot be put on a piece of paper. Just write the words man, someone will resonate with what you sayin…somewhere.

Which records do you never get sick of hearing?

There’s a whole load of records to mention, most of all that 90s era: Wu’s 36 Chambers, Xzibit’s ‘At the speed of life’, Nas ‘Illmatic’, GhostFace Killah ‘IronMan’,

you know where the list is going…

You’ve been to Berlin, haven’t you? what did you get up to and what were your impressions of the city, music etc.?

Yes, we chilled out in Berlin, hit the radio, done a set…we took a little look around the city, it was all live. It seemed life was slower in Berlin and we had a lot of quiet times. It was kinda old school, graf still posted up on run down parts of the city…keep it going peoples.

Do you like Killah Priest’s ‘Heavy Mental’ by any chance? Any other ‘deep’ lyrics that you don’t get tired of?

Killah Priest is always droppin jewels… there’s so many dope lyricists who bring a touch of ‘deepness’ to their work, but to name a few: I never get tired of what peoples like Herrotics, Wu Tang Clan, Dead Prez, 2Pac, Vague, KRS One, Masta Killa, DNT, Last Emperor or Tesla gots to say…

What UK talent is worth checking right now, apart from yourself?


Anything else you’d like to say? shouts?

Would like to say PEACE TO ALL PEOPLES…shouts out to: RDL that’s the family, Project Mooncircle, HHV, Evil Ed, Hiphophypedog (HHHD), Suspect Packages, Sleaze, Gallant, Tom Brown, OB…….list goes on.

Shouts to ALL who are down with what OBBA SUPA be doing. PEACE

May 17, 2010 at 21:27 Leave a comment

Ranking for Prime Minister!

01 Dub college volume 1: Ricky Ranking Mix Tape by Banana Klan

May 8, 2010 at 07:40 Leave a comment

Sippin’ Phonic tonic – interview with Jon Phonics

If you’ve heard the first installment of Half Past Calm, you’ll be excited about this one. Jon Phonics has been around the block a few times since his full-length debut dropped in 2008, featuring tracks with some of the nicest UK MCs. This new album has some proper, off-the-beaten-track goodness on it as well – be sure. In the interview he talks about clocking in at the lab, playing live instruments and Guru’s death, among other things…
1. What can you tell us about yourself? What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Hey, I’m Jon Phonics, I’m 23 and I currently reside in South London. I haven’t watched anything recently, but I’m currently reading ‘Keep the Apidistra Flying’, and loving every second of it.

2. What’s your favourite spot in your city?

My fav spot to be at in London is the studio. Apart from that you might catch me in Sounds of the Universe or in the back of Plastic People smoking a zoot behind the speaker doing a 2 step.

3. Half Past Calm was a banger and got a lot of heads’ attention when it came out in 2008. What can people expect from the second one?

Thanks. The second Half Past Calm is really a continuation of the sound I came with on the first. It’s intended as an accompaniment for that late night journey home, headphone music that you can get lost in.

With these albums where I am working with various rappers I want to show the whole spectrum of what we have to offer to Hip Hop in the UK, whether that be punchline rap or creative road bars, I would say my sound has developed in a natural way. There are a few tracks on this record without samples, and I’m playing a lot more live instruments on this one, where as the first record was completely sample-based.

4. Do you see yourself as part of a new kind of hip hop movement in the UK? If so, why?

I guess so, I try not to think too much about stuff like that because I feel once you start to see things that way, you might slow up your work rate or begin to rest on your laurels. My ethic is just to keep my head down an work, and hopefully by the time I look up for a breather I might be somewhere with this shit.

The UK has a lot of dope artists right now though, some crazy producers (shouts to my Louis Den family) and all angles covered MC-wise. I think we’re in a place where people are beginning to realise their vision and everybody’s sound is falling into place, just how they want it. There are gonna be a lot of albums this year that will once again take the levels up – which, in my opinion, is definitely a positive thing.

5. What are your thoughts on Guru’s death?

Guru’s death is a true shame and the aftermath of it all, with that guy that made his records acting like that (I ain’t airing his name – but you know who I mean) just goes to show how friendships can be chewed up and spat out through the music business.

6.What are some of your favourite records? have you got any rare vinyl in your collection? Which ones?

Some of my favourite records are Marvin Gaye ‘Trouble Man’, Teena Marie’s ‘Starchild’, Cannonball Adderley and the Bossa Rio Sextet with Sergio Mendes is my SHIT.

7. Any other message you’d like to get out there? shouts?

Thanks to Beat Bungalow, big up Brixton Basement Press, YNRPapa Chemo, Louis Den and anyone supporting the album – stay tuned folks! Peace.


May 6, 2010 at 14:33 Leave a comment

Purple & the Brain: more goods from Paul White

Paul White was very busy in 2009 and only a few months into the new year, it’s looking like we can expect a few more releases from the South London producer. He’s been grinding hard. ‘Sounds from the Skylight’ was dope, so was his recent remix for Tranqill and all the other good stuff that’s been oozing out of his musical brain. His new release ‘…and the Purple Brain’ is a reworking of Swedish psychedelic rock, so put your explorer’s helmet on, take a walk inside your mind and see what you’ll find..

It’ll be released in June on Stones Throw spin-off label ‘Now and Again‘ (for the first single ‘Ancient Treasure’ click on the woods photo above).

“A collaboration of sorts, the entire record is based around and inspired by the work of little-known Swedish psych-rock guru S.T. Mikael. Heavy on Eastern influences and otherworldly concerns, Mikael’s music ranges from searing electric guitar-led dirges to dreamlike ballads to ghostly atmospheric experiments and has been issued in tiny quantities since the 1990s on the Subliminal Sounds label.

“Having been granted access to S.T. Mikael’s back catalogue, Paul White found a unique source of inspiration and challenged himself to create an album using the Swedish multi-instrumentalist’s work as the sole basis for his output. The result is Paul White & The Purple Brain.”

pause. rewind: here’s some of Paul’s earlier material:

April 9, 2010 at 08:31 Leave a comment

Sonic organic: tight_face serves up «root veg»

I recently got word about this production from Mr T in London: tight_face put together this well-seasoned burner & yes, “root veg” is a collection of organic sounds that makes you feel all good inside. no slick packaging, just the raw stuff. You can download the 29-track album by clicking on the turnip pic above, or here.

actually, let’s exploit a few silly cooking references. here’s how you could describe this…it sizzles at the beginning and the heat is turned up as you go along. For me, one of the best tracks (‘toy crush’) comes at the end, but there’s plenty of good bits in between. From the back-to-basics ‘my way’, to the synth sounds of ‘feel this’ and the upbeat ‘dodatdat’, it definitely has lots of flavour.

It’s not just remixes of Kweli, Nas, Jay-Z and Ghostface tracks that you’re getting, there’s a fair amount of fresh and original savoir faire on the menu.

damn it, all you TV chefs take note: use this as background music in your shows and it would improve things a zillion. here’s what I prepared earlier…the ‘being ill’ interview.

April 7, 2010 at 08:59 1 comment

Banana Klan man: Ricky Ranking «ceasefire»

More supreme rebel music from Roots Manuva & fam here

February 23, 2010 at 12:33 Leave a comment

hyped up & under pressure: Grime revisited

Lately it’s been eclipsed by the hype over it’s younger brother dubstep, but this gritty style of music still has fire. Grime has the effect of waking you up like a happy-slap to the face.  Think of the pirate radio DIY ethics, the lyrical energy, story-telling with an ear to  the streets of London, Birmingham, Manchester… it was all relevant and still is. Dig around and you’ll find some raw unpolished tunes in the manner of Jammer, JME and Wiley.  One example is ‘Mr. T’ from Rinse FM DJ Silencer’s mixtape.  In the mean time, peek this:  photographer Peter Beste did some early portraits of the scene and the futureshorts documentary is still a goodun’.

Best be off,  it’s grime time…

February 7, 2010 at 12:05 Leave a comment

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