Wednesday, June 14, 2006

hk podcast #2

this installment neatly precedes hi karate's appearance at the skye music festival on friday 16th june.

to download directly, right click and save target as, or left-click to stream, on the mp3 file below. to subscribe, and keep up to date with our podcasts, right click on the podcast icon and then copy the URL into your podcast subscription software (such as iTunes) to schedule updates. beware swearies, workers and parents.

hi karate podcast 2 - mp3

silver air - mercury
david vorhaus - snide rhythms
big will rosario and drumz - sound effects
fresh 4 (children of the ghetto) feat. lizz e - wishing on a star
skinnyman and dj flip - not bonny and clyde (instrumental)
biz markie - turn tha party out (instrumental) / kanye west - diamonds from sierra leone (acapella)
amerie - talkin about
abaco dream - life and death in g and a
flying fish - mr matatwe (keep it up)
kurtis blow - the breaks
banbarra - shack up (touche's bonus chops)
gnarls barkley - crazy
the great raspberry rip-off - concrete puppy
nas - halftime
common sense - soul by the pound (thump mix)
a tribe called quest - jazz (we got)
grand puba - ya know how it goes (t-ray instrumental)
madvillain - money folder (fourtet remix)
the beat konducta - the come up (the come down)
lupe fiasco - kick push
omega watts - that sound (inst) / q-tip ft busta rhymes - for the nasty (acapella)
jack daugherty and the class of 1971 - number nine
ike turner and the kings of rhythm - up hard
stereolab - cybele's reverie

Thursday, April 27, 2006

beat this! a hip hop history (bbc 1984)

arcane, sublime and ridiculous, see malcolm mcclaren, kool herc and sha rock amongst the theatrical intergalactic zulu nonsense. perhaps one for hip hop fans only, who will no doubt enjoy it merely for the sake of sample spotting (largely from gary byrd's excellent rhyming narration). but then again, it's surely a curiosity to behold for anyone wih a passing interest in the genre, in the new york of the early 80s, or in the bbc at its best, in its pivotal, tipping-point cultural role.

so hip hop broke through for many in the UK when the bbc broadcast the 'buffalo gals' video on top of the pops in 1982 (causing outbreaks of breaking in school playgrounds up and down the land); or when, like me, a few years later, they heard ll kool j on john peel. where this documentary fits into that, i'm not sure - i've never heard anyone cite it as an founding influence (perhaps it was late night, midweek, bbc 2, tucked away where no one would notice it) - and i for one only saw it a good fifteen years after its broadcast. but there it was, and here it is.

update: this video can now be found here. thanks crawf.

(with props to andrew for the initial tip-off.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

back from the dead: hkpodcast #1

apologies for slipping into darkness for a month or so there: blame the new job and a trip to morocco; pix from that one coming later ...

but to make up for it, here is the first in a regular series of mixtape podcasts done by myself and dj partner crawford tait. back in the day we did a club in glasgow called
... of which the legendary record collector and bon viveur mr 'andrew' divine was also a large part. it indulged our passion for hip hop, breaks, funk, reggae, disco, cut-ups, and whatever else, and being the types never to quite give up on these things, we never quite gave up, as will be borne witness to here and elsewhere over the coming months.

to download directly, right click and save target as, or left-click to stream, on the mp3 file below. to subscribe, and keep up to date with our podcasts, right click on the podcast icon and then copy the URL into your podcast subscription software (such as iTunes) to schedule updates. as ever, beware the swearwords if yer at work or near children (although there's not as many masturbation references as in the jay-dilla tribute ;) )

hi karate podcast 1 - mp3

1. les crane - independence: a different drummer
2. ahmad jamal - genetic walk
3. rare earth - crazy love (re-edit)
4. cozy powell - el sid
5. jay dilla - two can win
6. c-swing ft krs-1 - my thing!
7. eddie senay - zambezi
8. red astaire - rockin with the...
9. gorillaz - dirty harry (instrumental) / soul 2 soul - back to life (acapella)
10. gringo starr - made you look (apache remix)
11. missy elliot - we run this
12. katalyst - showtime
13. lefties soul connection - organ donor
14. hai karate - linguistics baby (smalltown djs remix)
15. the younger generation - we rap more mellow
16. dennis coffey - son of scorpio
17. hero no. 7 - better learning thru chemistry
18. black sheep - strobelight honey (def mix (re-edit))
19. restless soul - namby it ain't (instrumental)
20. sound directions- the horse
21. charles pryor - what they doing (funky junky)
22. alton ellis & tupac - nothin like rocksteady
23. sizzla - one of those days

casting my eye over that tracklist, i felt the UK may not have been as amply represented as is appropriate, so to compensate, here's a bonus track featuring a british reworking of one of dilla's best. dirty diggers are also responsible for the epic 'for the haters', but here are in more tongue-in-cheek mode, so download and get the drinks in ...

dirty diggers - let the pound get around mp3

as ever your comments on the mix (or diggers track for that matter) are greatly appreciated, so let us know what you think... and i promise you won't have greyed too much before the next installment.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

it's my birthday in july ...

.. but it's not too early to buy:

unbelievable- everyone can have their own two-foot-high b-i-z! well, 1000 people can. it can beatbox. it can pick its own nose. it comes in a cereal box. it's diabolically good!

if you're still not convinced to part with $69.95 for the pleasure, just watch the ad. like i said, diabolical.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

my lips is like the oowop as i start to spray it...

at the end of a piece by joey from straight bangin, another controversial occurrence of the n-word:
there was one notable crowd event: during the house DJ's set that was spun before the performers came on, said DJ threw on "return of the crooklyn dodgers," a song that, like many others, contains multiple invocations of the n-word. like every other hip-hop show ever, the crowd was rapping along to its favorite songs, "return" being one of them. as chubb rock spit his verse, a white guy standing next to me used the n-word while rapping along, just like most everyone else there. a black guy and his two friends who were standing next to this white guy took offense, and the black man said to the white man "what did you just say?!" the white guy got all nervous and apologetic and said "look, i was rapping along to the song. i didn't mean to offend anyone and I am not looking for a problem."

the situation was defused fairly quickly (although the black guys kept joking about the white guy among themselves for the rest of the night), but it got me thinking: should non-blacks be using the n-word when reciting rap lyrics? it's a complicated question.

this reminded me of the furore and subsequent, highly illuminating discussion around the MLK n-word episode of US cartoon series the boondocks. martin luther king comes back from the dead and ends up referring to a particularly stereotypical group of underclass blacks as 'ignorant n*****s'. the following uneasy denials, affirmations and soul-searchings from a variety of black thinkers, with as great a variety of positions on the word and its use, only served to underscore how culturally axiomatic the n-word is, and how many isues of ownership, appropriation, difference and prejudice are unpacked when it comes into such public focus.

for me, the asterisks in the above quote probably serve to show my own views. like the guy from joey's gig anecdote, i'm a white man who loves hip hop - one of the many whom hip hop itself is often in such denial about - but unlike him i'd really be thinking twice about articulating the word in public. at home, on my own, my lips will make like q-tip's and i *will* rap along no matter the language - and who's there to complain? but ultimately, in terms of public space, it's not my word to use - and i'd be keen not to reduce the complexity of my reasoning on that, keen *not* to make it a 'simple question'. the white guy from the story felt hellish uncomfortable, no doubt. but so he should have. the fact that the next time he might not use it, that he might even think about the political and historical implications of him saying it, will do some justice to the contradictions of race, language and history that the word represents.

two more points. there's a different n-word where i live. in glasgow, scotland, the underclass is white - very white, we're talking about a city covered by a perpetual raincloud - and wear lots of sportswear and burberry. they hang out in similarly clad groups on street corners, wind people up, drink tonic wine, smoke hash. they are the uneducated, unrespectable working-class youth - the 'neds' - the n****** of scotland. people who are not neds love the word 'ned'. they use it to laugh at these kids, to despair at their pointless lives, to articulate their fear of them. they don't notice their energy, their style, the way they're reinventing the english language. they don't pay attention to the cultural and economic conditions which have created them.


oh, 'neds' don't refer to themselves as 'neds' - yet. see the parallel? in their honour, and in anticipation of the day they take the word for themselves, for me they are now n***.

final thing. where do women fit into this? no matter where you stand on either n-word - n***** or n** - you would probably stop short of using it to describe a woman. in glasgow, the clumsy term 'nedette' has emerged. i have also heard this suffix used on n*****. aside from that, black women are faced with the ever-predictable b-word or h-word... what kind of a choice is that? tell me ... but before you do, consider this. language has always excluded and silenced women more fundamentally, more comprehensively than any other grouping. whether your n-word is for a black person, white person or whatever colour, whatever class, think of the way the 'person' is assumed to be male and wonder, uncomfortably, like the white guy from the story, how many more silences and asterisks might have to creep into your discourse before you've thunk it through properly.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

the last word in dilla tribute mixes?

oh, definitely not. in fact, given the amount of unreleased dilla material, any idea of somehow summarising his life's work to date in an hour or two is a futile (if joyful, necessary-for-the-moment) enterprise:
j dilla leaves behind a body of work which will be loved and rediscovered for years to come. his most recent album "donuts" on february 7th, the day of his 32nd birthday. two other projects, "the shining" and "jay love japan" are completed. other production work has been completed for artists madlib, busta rhymes, ghostface killah, A.G., visionaries, truth hurts, phat kat, MF doom, skillz, and frank n dank.
link - stones throw
however, apart from my little tribute in the previous post, the number of in-depth and high quality mixtape reminiscences made for dilla in the past week serve as a mark of the respect in which he was held (see here for links to many of them). in the uk, last thursday night's deviation tribute by benji b will probably stand as one of the deepest explorations of the dilla ouevre-to-date, put together so lovingly by a DJ who genuinely rates jay dee as the greatest producer ever - and, as a result, has more than a few choice rarities to sneak in. it won't be up forever, so get it while you can.

meantime, i hear of the passing yesterday of ray barretto, the legendary latin percussionist responsible for ridiculous break-heavy dancefloor workouts like 'hard hands' and 'soul drummer' in the late 60s. then, more tragically because of his age - 31 - british soul singer lynden david hall also died this week, after a two-year battle with cancer.

fuck. mortality.

bring on spring.

Monday, February 13, 2006

jay dee tribute mix

it was two things: listening - all thoughts-of-mortality, tanning red wine - to semtex's tribute mix on 1xtra and thinking about what i'd've played instead; and checking the discography which emerged soon after he passed, and realising how much of his music i owned without knowing it. so i thought i'd lace something together, as a celebration of the diversity of his creative output, and as a reminder of how sorely his beats will be missed. madlib, edan, c-swing, harry love, all the hip hop producers right now who are pushing the tradition like jay did, watch your health and watch it when you're crossing the road, because we can't afford to lose any more of you.

left click on the podcast logo to stream in a new window, or right click to download. contains swearies and other objectionable lyrics, in case you are sensitive or inna sensitive environment (i.e. work!).

1. de la soul - much more
2. de la soul - stakes is high
3. a tribe called quest - find a way
4. common - come close (remix)
5. j-88 - the look of love pt 1
6. slum village - i don't know
7. slum village - 2u4u
8. t-love - when you're older
9. pharcyde - drop (inst)
10. pharcyde - runnin' (remix)
11. the roots - dynamite
12. busta rhymes - woo-hah (jay-dee other shit remix)
13. steve spacek - dollar
14. dabrye ft jaydee & phat kat - game over
15. jaylib ft quasimoto - react
16. jaylib - raw addict
17. oh no ft j dilla & roc c - move pt 2
18. four tet - as serious as your life (jay dee rmx ft guilty simpson)
19. slum village - fall'n'love

Saturday, February 11, 2006

j-dilla RIP

a shock to the system, the passing of a man who's shocked my sound system more times than i can recall.

a loss to music, not just to hip hop.

t3's tributes

Monday, January 30, 2006

a history of cut'n'paste revisited ...

... and another mangled albatross squawking its last? maybe ...

anyway, i've just added pdf versions of my extended history of the cut'n'paste genre, which was published by (the now sadly defunct) big daddy and grand slam magazines between 2002-3 (see below to get the downloads). the articles got an incredible response, were translated into japanese (for collider magazine) and variously (maybe appropriately) 'bootlegged' across the interweb. however, the full piece was never seen again, and due to the emails i *still* get about one part or another, i thought it was time to make it properly available once more.

thinking back to the number and range of artists i interviewed for the history - steinski, albert cabrera of the latin rascals, danny krivit, omar santana, coldcut, dj shadow, dj format, kan takagi of major force, amongst others - i remember what a true labour of love it was, and at the same time, how little i wanted to deal with it after it was finished. a certain artist wanted a 'part 4' to dispute some of the information his partner had given me in interview; more positively, others encouraged me to expand it into book format. but to me the final edit had been glued firmly into place, and the reel was back in its tin where it belonged.

the pdfs lack the pictures which appeared in the magazines, but i'll endeavour to get some of them up here before too long. in any case, the folk at the mags managed to get most of the captions wrong if i remember correctly! but god, do i miss those publications. remember the sub-line for big daddy? 'in depth hiphop, funk, soul, graffiti and b-boying culture'. not to mention the weed review pages! i stopped buying magazines after it got f***ed. and no bloody wonder.

  • cut up or shut up - a history of cut'n'paste part 1

  • a history of cut'n'paste pt 2

  • a history of cut'n'paste pt 3

  • the cutography - a cut'n'paste discography
  • a trailer, a movie, a gig, and a dj set from me

    so, this is the trailer for a film about glasgow band quinn, who discovered they were highly popular in the war-torn land of serbia, went there, played a few gigs, and found life could never be quite the same again. this friday 3rd february the film of the trip is showing at the east kilbride arts centre, after which there will be a set from quinn themselves, then a dj set from yours truly. hey, the 'rebirth' continues apace!

    actually, it was through an earlier incarnation of the band that i first started djing, after plaguing bal (the drummer/producer) for months. he had a pair of shady belt drive turntables and a mixer, and i had the records and the arrogance to think i could beat-match on them. several years and further collabos in such salubrious spots as galashiels, dundee and perth later, and we're still working together ... beautiful.

    after feeling like i got a bit too thugged out at the last quinn film showing, it may be time to indulge in a bit more of a freestyle set, perhaps sequencing some kind of tribute to the great rock pioneers of east kilbride - the jesus and mary chain, early primal scream, eh ... well, surely that's enough for any small town. but given i'm doing the last slot, there may be pressure to try and keep people in the building. dammit...

    more info on the gig here.

    Saturday, January 28, 2006

    i don't like it unless it's brand new ...

    ... which this certainly isn't. putting this mix together as a christmas present for friends in december '04, i didn't realise it would signal my last sustained outburst of creativity for over a year. i am but now slowly slinking out of its shadow. the first time i stitched together turntable routines with a few of my own edits and remixes on the pc, all my previous mixes being onto cassette, it all just seemed to have the perfect dynamic. as a dj my cutting and juggling skills will always be more coarse than sophisticated, but maybes i make up for the inadequacies in the forgotten arts of selection, sequencing and timing.

    well anyhoo, i put it here wondering if the late '04 reference points will date it or whether there's enough gold in there to keep it shinin. up it goes. a chance then to move on, and shine up some new records, and new old records, and old old 'n all, and get on the mix again.

    left click on the podcast logo to stream in a new window, or right click to download.

    Friday, January 27, 2006

    the here and now

    ... not fanfaring the loss of my blogging cherry with anything other than saying benji b's 'deviation' is just about the dopest radio show out there. proper freestyle underground with soul. don't sleep - i'm not right now and i'm blaming benji.

    should be taking advantage of this during the wakeful hours, but it just sound so much better on the dab.