Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rinse June ft Vibezin

We were back on Rinse FM in June with special guest Vibezin.

Audio here.

Dusk & Blackdown ft Vibezin Rinse FM June 2011

Trim "Singer" ["Ghost Writer v Autotune" CD]
Matt IQ "Moodz" [IEQ]
Walton "Power" [unreleased]
Dubbel Dutch "Open Up" [unreleased] 
Eastwood "Toilet Blocker" [forthcoming]
Brenmar "So High" [forthcoming Grizzly]
Brenmar "Want Me" [forthcoming Grizzly]
Carnaeo Beats "Funk the Sound" [free download]
Funkystepz ft Rhian Moore "No More" [unreleased]
Visionist "Rock the Flock" [Diskotopia] 


Vibezin [Keysound] in the mix

Vibezin "Untitled" [unreleased]
Vibezin "The Sweetest" [unreleased]
Vibezin "The One" [unreleased]
Vibezin "Crazy" [unreleased]
Vibezin "Hot 4 U" [Keysound]
Vibezin "A Little Higher" [unreleased]
Vibezin "Yearning" [unreleased]
Vibezin "Blacker Than Thou" [unreleased]
Vibezin "I’ll Make You Hot" [unreleased]
Vibezin "Mad Sick" [Keysound]
Vibezin "Lovers' Hideout" [unreleased]


Admin "Pink Gloves" [forthcoming B.YRSLF]
Presk "Mold" [unreleased]
Silkie "Feel" [Deep Medi]
Silkie "New York City" [Deep Medi]
Mirror State "Unsettled" [forthcoming B.YRSLF]

Amen Ra v No Fixed Abode "So Much to Give" [unreleased]
Arkist "Rendezvous" [Apple Pips]
Wiz Khalifa "Black & Yellow Mystic Mark refix" [unrealased]
Baobinga & Hyetal "Wang it?" [Build]
P Money "Blackberry" [ibeathetune.com]
Sduk "YouNyt (Hellfire Machina Remix)" [Slit Jockey]
TRC "Back to Fluff"  [unreleased]
Filthy Beatz "FlipSide" [unreleased]
El-B ft Wiley "Romp VIP" [unreleased]
SRC "2FL003" [unreleased]
Visionist "02" [unreleased]
Trim "I Am (Mr Mitch remix)" [unreleased Butterz] 
Trim "Offbeat" ["Ghost Writer v Autotune" CD]

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vibezin production showcase for XLR8R

I've always struggled to find the words to pint point Vibezin's production style but he undeniably has one. Maybe it's the sharp zaps and marimbas, maybe it's the rolling percussion, the stolen sampledelia straight from the spirit UKG or the offkey synths from grime. I dunno, it's all just Vibezin really and this mix is the best summation of his flex I've heard yet.

Vibezin XLR8R production showcase


01 A Little Higher
02 Temptation
03 I Can’t Do It Alone
04 Lover’s Hideout
05 Work It
06 I’ll Make You Hot
07 The Sweetest
08 Blacker Than Thou
09 Crazy
10 The One
11 Illusions
12 Deeper
13 Pressure Point
14 Ultra Funk
15 Get Fucked Up
16 Hot 4 U
17 Show Me

Download it free at XLR8R mag.

Vibezin "From the Crates EP" digital out now, vinyl shortly. Hear it here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

FWD June 30th

Been giving a lot of thought to what we should play... some rolling UK funky & 130, some of that re/nu dark swing vibe, maybe some synthy/grime stuff, some of sully's juke selection, some of the dubs Dusk & I have made but not played on radio... or maybe a selection of all the above.


Monday, June 06, 2011


Over the weekend I stumbled across the video above on Grime Daily and found myself transfixed. Over 40 minutes, south London MCs SAS tell the most open, vivid and almost unbelievable tales about their experience in the music industry.

I remember SAS from about ten years ago and I vaguely recall remember them getting “signed” to a US major of some kind and thinking “why them?” Through tales of moving to Staten Island as teenagers to play basketball, getting into “road stuff”, to being shot and stabbed in the neck, battling and winning against US MCs in some of the roughest projects to hanging out with Kanye, Beyonce and Jay-Z in the studio when the latter was writing “Blueprint II,” it’s a pretty amazing tale. It’s also pretty unique.

The history of the last decade of London based MCing has a few major clusters. Of those that are influenced by US rap (rather than dancehall), they fall into two loose camps: those that see hip hop as a lyrical style to be adopted (UK hip hop/road rap) and those that see it as a framework to be adapted (grime). Both groups usually eventually become preoccupied with “breaking the US” at some point and this usually takes two general approaches: go to the US and build from the bottom up (pretty much unheard of) or get massive here first then attack (more common). SAS fall firmly into the former camps in both cases.

I guess from my writing about grime over the years, it’s probably pretty clear that I think adapting hip hop (and indeed dancehall) into your own local framework is much more creative and promising than acting like a reverent outpost to the mothership. But if you are going to try the “build from the bottom up” approach with rap, then MCing in Marcy Projects in a way the local top boys have never heard nor will ever recognise, is probably not a good idea.

So as the pair describe in detail their path from promising Brixton basketball players to Staten Island high school students, local gang affiliates with road enterprises, to MCing with the best in top New York ghettos, it just seems so remarkable. This is what every garage, drum & bass, UK hip hop and grime MC in the last decade dreamt of. And they seemed to get within a hairs’ breadth of what those MCs wildest dream consisted of, as Busta appears on the video to big them up or they talk about recording in hotels with Ruff Ryders. The Atlantic is littered with sunken ships launched with the best intentions of sailing into the top of the Billboard charts. So Solid had a number 1 single and sold millions of units, but never broke the states. When Dizzee went out after “Boy In Da Corner” he wasn’t MCing in Marcy projects, it was hipster press and festivals.

Despite all this, I don’t really know why it all didn’t work out for SAS. It looks like they had to return to the UK because of “cases” and by their own admission all the people they knew were soon inside, some of them for murdering two FBI agents; never the most advisable career move. But brushes with the law are nothing new for hip hop, in fact in some cases it thrives on this kind of hype and drama.

One thing that is remarkable about this interview is the vivid pictures they paint and the candour with which they describe the fights, guns, robberies and rivalries they became embroiled in. In my experience of interviewing MCs, this is how they speak off camera. On camera/tape, it’s all “certain man” and “certain situations” or endless non-specific bragging about themselves. Sure, a lot of the interview here smacks of bragging (paraphrasing: “I hit the guy, got blood on my designer shirt, took it off, gave it to the girl, knocked the guy out, got the girl’s number, then left...”) but there’s far too much detail for it to be entirely made up (and in some cases, like being shot, they show the local press cuttings!).

Reputation rules the roads, it’s a reputation economy and names are the most powerful vectors of reputation, hence why grime MCs speak in indirects and brag about themselves, rather than naming names until they have to. Perhaps for SAS they’re safe, since everyone involved are either on another continent or doing “football numbers” in correctional facilities, but still, the whole interview seems exceptionally honest and direct. Bigup Grime Daily.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Vibezin “From the Crates EP”

Vibezin “From the Crates EP”
Keysound Recordings
Mastered by Transition

Keysound Recordings are proud to present the “From the Crates” EP from Vibezin, a longtime stalwart of the London pirate underground. He’s best known as one half of United Vibez, a DJ partnership between himself and Amen Ra of the shadowy LHF collective. Their Sub FM show occupies the hallowed 9-11pm slot and swerves between tightly mixed UK garage and rolling early “roots of...” dubstep, before heading into the second hour, a dazzling, bewitching production showcase.

Vibezin’s previous two releases “I Need You” and “Digital Funk” have appeared on future garage’s flagship label L2S, but fresh from supporting us (Dusk & Blackdown) on our 2010 live tour, his new EP ups the game, showcasing his sample-scattered production approach. It’s as much influenced by UK garage’s magpie-like approach to fragments of great records past as dubsteps reverence of weighty sub bass, all dug and inspired by his vast “crates,” a vinyl collection co-owned (!!!) by Vibezin and Amen Ra and used to drive their weekly radio show.

“Hot 4 U” is the most high octane cut on the EP, layering crashing drums and strange funk samples to create a soundscape that is both of its time but also evokes the rich history of black music past. “Mad Sick” rolls into darker, Jamaican dread territories while “Vicious” recalls classic jungle in spirit but with a brooding halfstep exoskeleton. “From the Crates EP” is out on 12” and digital in June.

Keysights (above) by me...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pitchfork May

My Pitchfork column this month featuring hype tracks from P Money & Royal-T, Eastwood, Untold's new project, Kid Smpl, Krept and Redinho.

Hold tight for my NME column, out next week.