Saturday, October 29, 2005

Big up Benny

Originally uploaded by Blackdown.
Whoah, out of the blue comes an email from Benny Ill aka the mastermind behind Horsepower Production and responsible for a very large part of dubstep as we know it.

Why is that remarkable? Well one, for the four years I've known Ben he's never had a mobile let alone internet access. And two he's escaped Purley to live in NYC.

Seems like he's linked old dubstep friend Dinesh (aka Goldspot - who remembers the lush Vehicle records release? The first ever US dubstep 12") and become a studio engineer.

Now seeing as most of the amazing Horsepower back catalog was made on an antiquated set up - proof it's ears & skill not plug-ins and money you need - I can't imagine what Ben could sound like with some serious kit at his disposal.

I hope Ben doesn't mind me quoting his email. NYC, if you want to get some of the best ears in the business on your production side, read on...

"I am living here in Manhattan now and working as a studio engineer / producer. Why not check out my new studio in NYC, Pictures are on our site: If you know anyone who might be looking for studio time out here please get in contact special rates are available for dubsteppers! Our equipment is top of the line Protools 24 bit / fully air conditioned / full lounge w/ cable tv/
refreshments / roof garden available. You can contact me at


Benny ill aka Kid Deli aka Broke Legendz aka aka aka..."


"We just updated the studio here and we are now running Pro tools HD 3 (sick!) 192 hz 132 channels. We also got a lot of mad plug-ins for that shit, so expect to here some dope shit coming your way soon!

Anyone that might be interested about the studio, we are able to do remixes / production / mixdowns / editing / post-production and all that shit, so u.k. peeps can even send their shit out here, to be worked on and get that fat sound on their tracks !!! If you send me your tracks, ( seperate audio parts ) we can do a hot mixdown for your shit, make it sound dope, for the folks back home.

Benny ill"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005



Following tip offs London’s Scala has had to comply with the request of the Metropolitan Police to shut down the venue on Thursday 27th October and therefore cancel Kano’s sold out show.


We have been instructed by the police that we cannot go ahead with the Kano concert at the Scala on Thursday 27th October.

The police have acquired intelligence that unsavoury characters intended to cause trouble at the concert. This intelligence was received from Operation Trident.

The police have stated that this is no reflection on Kano and have had no problems at previous events that he has performed at in London

There are no plans to reschedule the show at this time and customers are advised to obtain a refund at point of purchase.

Metropolis Music

Statement from Kano:

“I have performed in London practically my whole career and there have never been any problems. It’s where I started out and for me there’s no better place to perform. It’s a shame that on my first ever UK tour I am unable to play to my home town. I am sorry for my fans that the show couldn’t happen this time round. I’ll be back.”

I've written about this before, with most profile in the NME, but it's the case that ever since the shooting outside the Romeo Birthday Bash at Astoria in 2001 there's been a rumour that the Metropolitan Police have a garage blacklist, used to pre-emptively shut down garage events in Westminster, depriving grime MCs of a vital revenue stream.

In fact this is probably a factor why proto-grime was forced out of clubs and onto radio, and why - freed from the dancefloor - it was able to evolve so experimentally.

But pre-emptive club closing in an entire borough? Surely that's descrimination not just against a major-backed MOBO winner but a whole social group.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

word is born

There's something odd in the garage air, i can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's just personal over-saturation, but it feels like we might be in a mini lull.

i'm not the only one who feels this. quite independently, i've heard the same from three other of the dubstep headz. but, to use a maths analogy, if you're at the bottom of the curve, the rate of change is the greatest.

grime's not sitting 100% right - but that a whole nother post. dubstep, after a massive renaissance this year, feels like it's paused for a second, though i'm tipping Oris Jay's 'Mighty Wan' as a potential breakthrough record.

Perhaps this lull is no bad thing. Man can not live on Youngsta and Roll Deep Rinse sets alone, - believe me I've tried.

speaking from strictly personal experience, enthusiasm can never nor should never be faked. to this end i've been trying to actively expand my daily music consumption boundaries.

a lot of the usual dance suspects - d&b, broken beat, breaks, techno, house etc - leave me cold. or cross. or feeling like i'm going backwards.

I've been checking Silverstar and Robbo Ranks' shows on 1Xtra to up my dancehall knowledge, though only Sizzla and Vibes Cartel consistently do it for me. if anyone else knows any incredible dancehall shows, lemme know.

i've also made an effort to learn about bhangra, a genre with vast history i know virtually nothing about.

Lata Mangeshkar and Pannal al Ghosh are two classical asian artists I've been checking recently. And I've long since loved the Asian influence in dubstep. Skream's Indian remix. Horsepower's 'Sholay'. Kode 9's 'Fukkaz/Subkon'. All stone cold classics. So bhangra made sense.

To find out about a scene you know nothing about - when your asian mates don’t answer their persys - you need an entry point. The BBC Asian Network provided that for me, particularly the hilariously entitled Markie Mark.

Within a few weeks he recommended 'Word is Born' by Specialist 'n' Tru-Skool as a classic LP, even though it was only one year old.

Contained inside this £8 CD (stuff your £9 1-sided grime 12"s, now that's value!), are some hooks so deadly i nearly crashed the car on the way to Forward>> this week - and that was 30 feet from my house.

The last CD that did that to me was the first Logan Sama free mix CD last year. How i took that right-angle corner on a dark country road at 70 mph and keep the right side of a tree i don't know.

'Word is Born' slams in with some heavy riddims, laden with the energy and hype so missing from garage sometimes. 'Sanehvaal Chounk' should be a number one record.

'Nashia Tho Dhoor' takes the same riff as the recent Nas hit 'Get Down' and freestyles in some mad asian dialect over it. It's infectious in any language.

Littered throughout the album are patches of melodic genius intermingled with, to these ears at least, glorious dissonance, just like Kano and Wonder's 'Lately' but more severely bi-polar.

But the album's backbone is built from hip hop and bhangra, asian and afro-american vibes. How sad then, in the very week i discover this CD, where the cultures blend so seemlessly, things should turn so ugly in the real world between the british black and asian communities.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


random voicemail on me persy this week. "bonjour Mr Clark..." It could only be from the infamous Skream then. the message reports that finally, and out of the blue, Big Apple 007, Skream's lost 12" has been pressed and is available in Mixing Records (Big Apple Records the shop, as was). No sign of it on the website so we'll have to take Skream's word for it. Not his best 12" but one of his most sought after (hold tight Deep Thought. your time).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

feeling Pitchy?

New Pitchfork update on Doctor, LDN accents, Loefah, Distance and more.