Sunday, 26 February 2017
Saturday, 28 January 2017
Here's a couple of videos from UK radio legend, Tim Westwood (forget the second one's Eminem title which is very misleading).
Filmed fairly recently he talks about his past and how he got to where he is today via his clubbing days.
The guy is nearly 60 years old and is doing well for his age. As for his music choices now, he plays strictly for the clubs and according to Westwood himself that has always been paramount regardless that he once was the go-to guy for those rap exclusives in the early 1990s and led the way rather than be told what to play.
Good to see that he acknowledges the UK pioneers but overall he comes across as odd in these clips - to me at least.
What is it about Westwood? My feelings for the guy change all the time. His attitude to the heyday of the UK sound are very much 'been there, done that, leave it in the past'.
I've long thought that someone of his stature could host a regular BBC Radio 2/BBC 6 Music show of classic hip hop in the evening. Imagine, two hours of all the sub-genres of hip hop where Westwood could play from three decades and drop some of the rarely-heard interviews, jingles and mixes from his old shows, the Marley Marl New York hook-ups as well as the Break To The Beat Version Excursions - remember them?
Aaah, it's all pie in the sky, rose-tinted specs stuff. But wouldn't it be great?
Wednesday, 11 January 2017
So here we are, 2017. Another year older and if I'm honest, another year more disillusioned.
This is the ninth year that I have been blogging and as much as it would be a blast I don't see me making it to ten. No I haven't got some incurable disease or anything, it's just that I have been having a period of introspection lately.
For the past three weeks I've had a really nasty bout of flu which pretty much wiped me out all over Christmas (and my much-awaited NYC trip). This meant much bed-time and amongst the seriously-strange hallucinatory nights I began a time of thinking about stuff.
What does ABU mean to you?
I bet it means a lot less than it used to. It certainly does to me. These days it has become a place where I advertise my latest DJ-ing gig. Who really wants to visit the blog to be told that? No one living anywhere more than 20 miles of Norwich that's for sure.
I feel like I have nothing left to offer you any more. Blogs are dead. I'm surprised ABU has shuffled on this far into the millennium. Facebook (cough) and other social media sites seem to be where it's really at nowadays rather than some antiquated Blogging platform - sorry Blogger, but you really are looking old. I even dabbled with a few Wordpress templates which looked nice and fancy but that would've been starting again from the ground up. Hey, no probs I like a good challenge but at the end of the day again, what is it all for?
I need to think about whether I stop the Blog for good or do I just start something else?
Moving on to another point. The podcast.
I love making the ABU podcasts. Trust me, the little, iddy-biddy pieces of editing that I do that I know no one but me knows that I've done it is just the sort of geeky delight which floats my proverbial boat. In truth though the shows take a lot of time but that's mostly due to my perfectionist nature. I could bang out a show in a couple of days but I want each one to be as good as I can make it which usually means beginning the next as soon as the last is complete. Many late nights contribute to them and much focus is taken away from my family to do them.
When my youngest daughter once drew a picture of our family and I was shown as the figure in the corner hunched over my laptop then this was the wake-up call I needed.
Going through the figures on Hearthis.com tells me that I get listens from as low as 71 to as high as 131 for some shows giving an average of around 95 plays per show. Add the monthly live stream listeners from Disco Scratch which amounts to something like 20 and I suppose the results are okay. Not brilliant but again not some I'm-putting-my-head-in-the-oven statistics.
I missed the December podcast slot as I was away. This month's excuse is that I'm still not 100% back to normal health. I'm thinking about scrapping the regularity of the shows anyway and perhaps the surprise of one day seeing a teaser poster for an upcoming irregular ABU podcast may be the kick up the bottom it needs to send listeners into a frenzy. Maybe? Maybe not.
ABU was never a vanity project for me. If anything it was an outlet to pour out my scribblings of what I liked about hip hop at the time, sometimes uploading albums when I felt like it such as the Electro series and the odd Mike Allen cassette rip. The podcast came after doing one for a college project and enjoying it enough to do it for real.
Thank you to anyone that has ever been a part of ABU in any way. There have been many supporters over the years and I want to send heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. Some of you have been there from the beginning and are still here now while some have drifted off along the way for whatever reason. One man, Ramses has supported from year zero and although just the occasional comment left on a post still means you're around. Thank you.
Of course it goes without saying that the mighty Disco Scratch and Style Warrior have been solid stalwarts in my corner and staunch supporters of all things ABU - Waxer & LG, thank you.
By the way whilst typing this I am listening to one of the greatest DJ mixes I have had the pleasure to hear - DJ Super JB's mix for The Hip Hop Sessions. An hour of electro funk mixed with the finesse of Mastermind on the GLI. He has remastered it especially with the goal of it appearing on the next ABU podcast. You will love it. The Chuckles won't.
Anyway, to paraphrase Public Enemy, the future of ABU is in doubt.
Since I initially typed this out at the weekend it has laid dormant for a few days whilst I have been thinking about hitting the 'Publish' button.
Since then however..... breaking news...... Both Disco Scratch AND Style Warrior have decided to shut up shop this week. Yep, these two mighty components of musical masterpieces in the UK scene are disbanding. No more Thursdays hunched around the radio at 9pm. No more interaction in the chatroom.
This is all a bit bizarre and actually has pretty much made my mind up for me now.
Here are their statements:
Disco Scratch: http://discoscratch.co.uk/2017/01/11/stick-a-fork-in-me-im-done/
Style Warrior: http://www.stylewarrior.co.uk/farewell/
Saturday, 24 December 2016
As Christmas Eve begins to draw to a close I thought it only right to wish you all a very Merry Xmas.
All the readers, supporters and listeners to ABU! who've been there throughout the year, from the bottom of my heart - and more importantly - the heart of my bottom, thank you all.
I'm having a bit of a break and flying off to NYC with Mrs Repo on Boxing Day but don't worry, I'll be sharing my holiday snaps soon enough with you asap - is that a threat or a promise? I'm high on Christmas booze so you decide.
Take care and have a good one,
As a special bonus here is a brief Christmas show from Waxer (Disco Scratch) that he put together yesterday.
It's a collection of all the festive voicemails received recently on the DS Hotline along with some superb Duck Alert beats.
You must check it out!
P.s.s. while I'm still here, best to let you know that there will not be an ABU show this month. The Podcast returns to burn in 2017. Watch the riiiiiiiiide!
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Tonight is the The No Half Steppin' Xmas Jam 2016.
On the bill....Chrome and Illinspired (with DJ Super JB), Uncle Mic Nitro, Heavy Links, The Juice MCs, Sinista and Morph (POTF) with DJs Just-1, Repo and Palma. The night will be hosted by Illinspired.
Doors open at 7pm with free entry all night.
It will be dope. Be there!
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Originally broadcast on Thursday 8th December 2016 on Disco Scratch Radio (http://discoscratch.co.uk).
Polystylism is a monthly, hour long, open-genre music show where anyone can decide where the listening experience takes you with their own playlist.
As I'm a lifelong fan of music and film I decided to dedicate 60 minutes to television and movie soundtracks. The majority of my selection is focussed on my childhood viewing habits so there are a fair few themes from the late 1970s and early 80s.
Plug in some headphones and relax in the nostalgic glow of the ABU Polystylism experience.
The tracklisting is in the comments but I recommend not looking until the show has finished for maximum enjoyment.
Squadron Leader Reepz
Saturday, 26 November 2016
November's Podcast is now in the bag. If you didn't reach on Thursday night then you can check it out at your leisure - obviously it would be better if you got off your lazy arse and tuned in when it went out live, but I don't mind. Not at all.
Just be aware that I know where you live. I know your secrets. I know you still have Freddie - your childhood bear - in close proximity. Just tune in on the last Thursday of the month and we shall say no more.
Lovemaster Repo B
If you want to know what's coming up in the show instead of waiting for the surprise then here it is. Go nuts, dude.
01 The James Gang - Ashes, The Rain And I
02 Lex Horton - The Theme from Vice City
03 Freshco & Miz - We Dont Play
04 Jorun Bombay - Hip Hop Family Tree Pt 1
05 Divine Styler - Ain't Sayin Nothin
06 The Fabreeze Brothers - All Out War
07 Remark - The Remarkable 1 - Soul
08 Grandmaster Melle Mel And The Furious Five - Beat Street Breakdown
09 Sir Ibu Of Divine Force - I'm The Peacemaker
10 Vic's Club Singer Quiz!
11 A Tribe Called Quest - We The People (We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service)
12 Eric B And Rakim - My Melody
13 Ice T - Ya Don't Quit
14 ODB - Shimmy Shimmy Ya
15 Jan Hammer - Crockett's Theme (Extended 12'' Mix)
16 Gang Starr -Take It Personal
17 Gang Starr -Jazz Thing (Video Mix)
18 Mister Jason Presents Frankensteez - Mister Jason Has A Posse (DJ Format´s A-Z Of Classic Breaks Remix)
The Funk Trunk
19 DJ Mark N - Live 7" Throwdown Vol.1 (Breakbeats)
20 Rammellzee - Paint To Pave The Road (Sam Sever Remix)
Roots Of The Roots
21 Colonel Abrams - Trapped (
22 Public Enemy - Shut Em Down (LP Version & Pe-te Rock Mixx)
23 Flipout - Flippin' Bob Part 1
24 Diamond D - Check One, Two
Also check out:
Friday, 25 November 2016
|Gene Simmons: "I am looking forward to the death of rap"|
I think we're all aware that not everybody likes us - but we don't care.
Ageing old rockers declaring that they think 'rap is crap' has been going on since the days of the Sugarhill Gang and isn't anything new at all.
However, bucking the trend are 5 rock stars who DO like hip-hop as well.
So read on and let's cheer those with sense and hiss & boo those without.
Labels: READING MATERIAL
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
This Thursday (24th November) is of course, the ABU Podcast.
At 9pm be sure to be at http://discoscratch.co.uk/radio/
And there is a brand-new, spanky chatroom over at Disco Scratch Chat
which, if you haven't used before, will require you to login. It takes seconds. Do it.
This is probably our bestest show we've ever done. Ever. Honest.
At least until next month.
Love and stuff,
Monday, 7 November 2016
"Can't Deny It, 'Cos There's More Than Meets The Eye"
There is a sense of heavy urgency with a huge, busy beat helping the song to convey it's message in this full-on sonic assault.
The a-side, 'Soul' is a return to form from Sublime Wizardry MC, Remark aka The Remarkable One as this 7" offering (a self-released, totally independent exercise) shows.
The layered samples are reminiscent of Public Enemy production circa 1990 (the "I know you got soul' vocal sample is a subtle nod) and work well in this isolated aural paranoia where the one lone voice is screaming out a message of sanity.
At points there is so much going on in the mix that Remark's voice is almost enveloped by the production which is a shame as 7" Soul is one of the more salient pieces of wax in this increasing world of fluffy, throwaway rap.
'Being Human' on the flipside begins with more great cuts from DJ Tones as he rips up the legendary pop-ska group, Madness. This is a much smoother track but not easy like a Sunday morning kind of smooth. Still keeping that wicked flow over an almost dub-heavy rhythm with crashing, full-flavoured reverby, as-fat-as-ya-like snares.
As much as I love both tracks I really do like the production on Being Human more and I'm not sure why. It's very subtle but maybe it's just the little touches like the reversed keys at the intro or the extra crunching drums that come in just at the right time.
Remark always has that experimental steez with non-compromising lyrics destined to make you think while you nod your head and clap your hands to what he's doing - always on tempo, Jack.
In the background providing the extra sheen is DJ Tones polishing that wax like Mr Miyagi. Super-quick and clean cuts just elevate Remark's vocals and give the songs that further stroke of professionalism.
As well as producing this fat slab of wax The Remarkable 1 has also overseen a music video for each cut. Taking that Roy Castle approach and bringing the dedication because that's what we need.
This release is available now on limited edition 7" vinyl and digital download. Go HERE to get your copy but hurry if you want the physical.
Ever forward, ever upwards.
Listen, I don't care who you are. Go out and buy. This. Record.
Food for ya cranium lets you see the essential, chomp it all down and release your potential. Don't be another flunky bowing down, deferential, this is what you need to become influential.
Support UK rap.