Archive for ‘Reviews’

September 11, 2017

Reading Festival 2017 Was Another Year of Triumph [Review]

Reading Festival as always brought hoards of festival goers over to the Richfield site. Still clinging onto to it’s Rock roots, the festival now also caters to pretty much all music tastes from Grime to Hip-Hop, Indie, House and Drum & Bass, it’s a festival where no one can adhere to one genre.

 Arriving quite late on the Friday, we managed to catch a bit of Sub Focus, Shy FX and Mist over at the NME, Dance Stage and BBC Radio 1Xtra stages. Sub Focus had the stage packed dropping their own classics such as ‘Endorphins,’ whilst Shy FX as always impressed with his D&B sounds playing his own classic bangers including ‘Feelings,’ and Congo Natty’s ‘Junglist.’ Mist smashed his performance full force with his hit single ‘Karla’s Back’ amongst others.

 

Saturday began in the BBC Radio 1Xtra tent watching South London artist Cadet who hyped the crowd up with his DJ first then exploded onto the stage with a mad energy. 67 were up next and the crowd seemed to know all of the lyrics to the Brixton Hill rap crew’s tracks.

The highlight though of Saturday night had to be Major Lazer on the main stage and of course Eminem. Major Lazer brought a pure carnival theme to their set for everyone who was missing out the fun at Nottinghill over the weekend. As darkness descended we were treated to their full electronic party sound, which had all of the fields of the outdoor Main Stage dancing whilst the lights flashed across us. The dancers on the stage gave festival goers extra ammunition to party harder too.

 Around 80,000 people flooded to the Main Stage to watch Eminem the headliner of Saturday night. He got everyone to chant ‘Fuck Trump’ before playing a quite large set list including ‘White America,’ ‘Solider,’ ‘Real Slim Shady,’ ‘Stan,’ and much more. He walked off stage and some people left, whilst others are crying for him to reappear which he did ending his set on ‘Lose Yourself.’ The rap icon will never disappoint.

Sunday began with Birmingham Grime emcee Jaykae at the BBC Radio 1Xtra stage who impressed us with his energy and passion at his early set of 1.30pm. He performed his well-known tracks ‘Pull Up,’ and ‘Toothache,’ which was recently featured on TV show Power.

The king of Sunday had to be Giggs though who performed on the Main Stage at 5.30pm. He opened with ‘3 Wheel Ups’ spitting his verse of the Kano tune and JME’s ‘Man Don’t Care’ getting the crowd really buzzing. Then out jumped Drake for ‘KMT’ and more people had run across the field to catch the Canadian star. It was a big moment, but Drake hopped off the stage letting the main man Giggs take care of his set that led onto his old skool tracks ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’ and ‘Talkin The Hardest.’

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September 3, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @lottoboyzz_ @HardyCaprio @Heavytrackerz @JorjaSmith @Preditah ‏@EttaBond

Lotto Boyzz – No Don Remix ft. Chip & Not3s

Birmingham’s Lotto Boyzz drop the wavy new video for their remix of ‘No Don’ which features one of the UK’s hardest lyricists Chip, and artist Not3s who brings his singing touch to the track. ‘No Don’ has already been a smash across the rave, radio and festival circuit for the boys, and now the remix is only due to ramp the track up to a higher level.

 Hardy Caprio – Super Soaker

After the success of ‘Unsigned,’ Hardy Caprio brings us ‘Super Soaker,’ a vibesy, fun-filled, summer track. The Croydon emcee is joined by his boys and lots of gal at a pool party having a drink up, he even puts henny in his super soaker. He spits some cheeky lyrics in this one which sees cameos from Young T & Bugsey and One Acen.

The Heavytrackerz – Control ft. JME, P Money, Donae’O and Kurt

Production outfit The Heavytrackerz made up of duo Tank and Tee bring to you their video for ‘Control’ taken from their debut album ‘Odyssey’ released this week. The video sees Grime royalty JME & P Money take control of the mic duties for the track and Donae’O come in powerfully singing about being victorious. It’s a commanding and authoritative track that makes you feel powerful after listening.

Jorja Smith x Preditah – On My Mind

British singer Jorja Smith joins forces with Birmingham producer Preditah for ‘On My Mind’ for a UKG banger which sees her effortlessly sings over the 2-step beat. The video shows Jorja bouncing to the music in a underground car park, with another setting in a tower block flat with mockumentary garage crew Kurupt FM.

Etta Bond – Addiction

Kick back and relax and zone out to the beautiful soul sound of Etta Bond’s new one ‘Addiction’. This is an intimate track, with the visuals matching the tone, showing Etta getting her head shaved and smoking a joint. It’s soothing, beautiful and calm, just like Etta herself.

August 7, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week

Skepta – Hypocrisy

Skepta has released the trippy and colourful visuals for new track ‘Hypocrisy’ after we heard the audio on his Soundcloud in July. It shows Skepta on a French TV show wearing some very French looking attire, to dancing on a checkered dance floor and a room full of flames. As well as producing the beat also for it, he also co-directed the video too..

Laughta – Pree My Ting

Grime emcee Laughta returns with a brand new, hype single ‘Pree My Ting’ produced by the legendary Boy Better Know member and veteran of the scene Jammer. The nostalgic Grime beat allows Laughta to deliver punchy bars full of heavy lyrics directed at the haters and people preeing her.

D Double E – Shenanigans 

East London Grime legend D Double E gives us a fresh new track titled ‘Shenanigans’. Swifta Beater is on production duties for this one, and he brings a beat that reminisces on the old school era. D Double E brings the heat with his trademark adlibs that every Grime fan knows, whilst talking through shenanigans people get up to.

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Maleek Berry – Been Calling

South London Afrobeats artist Maleek Berry has just dropped the fresh visuals for ‘Been Calling’ which is set to be a smash. It’s an infectious track, perfect for those summer nights. The video sees him and a love interest heading out into the desert looking very much in love whilst revealing how he has fallen hard for her.

Artan – Circus Show

Artan returns with a new release ‘Circus Show’ showcasing his versatility as an artist, as gets deep and introspective, completely different from his summer release ‘Opposite Interests’.  The melodic, laid back production comes from Katmandu creating the vibe for Artan to sing and rap over as he reflects on friendships, his journey and more. Artan is one to watch out for!

July 20, 2017

The Sounds Of UK Rap ft. @KokeUSG @Official6ix7 @fredo @ktrap19

K Koke

K Koke has always been one of the hardest in the UK Rap game, and he is back on his A game with the release of ‘Pure Koke Vol.4’ – a 20-track project which sees features from the likes of Big French, Stefflon Don, Joe Black, Loick Essien and more. He has gone on to release a visual from their titled ‘Listen Likkle Man’ taking shots at his enemies, and more so evidently Church Road rapper Nines, “man knows I’m busy and that, man said lay down your weapons to the kiddies and that. I never laid mine down,” a response to Nines bars in his track ‘Trapper Of The Year’. K Koke is taking no prisoners on this track. This track and the mixtape shows that he is back with a vengeance, not letting anyone take him down lyrically. We are happy to see K Koke back doing what he does best.

67

67 have released their highly anticipated EP The Glorious Twelfth. The Brixton Hill crew have stormed back with their new project after the release of ‘Lets Lurk’ in September last year with this 11-track EP. To mark the release they also dropped the visuals for the title track of the project telling i-D Magazine about the track: “Here we just took it old school. Glorious Twelfth is us back in our natural mode. This track is letting everyone know it’s that time again — pure 67. It’s giving fans what they love, it’s hype, it’s the product of us back in our natural studio setting — pure weed, hella goons, a good atmosphere.” Taking it to the countryside for this video, dressed in shooting apparel with some artillery also seen, the crew are out on the hunt, whilst rapping about the streets.

Fredo

Since his release from prison, Fredo is keeping things moving by dropping his 2nd video ‘Like That’ which sees him and his boys including rapper Ratlin out on the block clad in white vests in a basketball court, driving around in a white convertible and having a street party. He raps with pure confidence, “Summertime so the roof peel right back, I’m living luxury and last month I was living up in custody, not police then these models want cuffs on me.” He also goes onto to rap about friends and foes and knowing who they actually are, deals, music, being real and more. Fredo has also announced a tour which will come to London’s 02 Academy on the 28th September. We’re happy to see Fredo back to business and can’t wait to hear to even more.

K-Trap

K-Trap recently dropped one of the coldest mixtapes of the year in June called The Last Whip, with features from Blade Brown, Youngs Teflon, Potter Payper and more. He has also just released the visuals for the title track of the project too. Over a hard, trap beat, he raps realness about his life on the roads, “bae keeps talking bout some dinner date, I’m round the table talking grub and that’s a dinner date. I finish first and I put seconds on my dinner plate, I get to work and then I chop it with some Gillette blades.” The masked rapper has certainly been building a buzz with his raw raps and unique flow. Check out the video below.

July 16, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week

Dave – Tequila

Dave heads from Boomburger in London, to a plush house overlooking rolling hills in Beverly Hills for his new video ‘Tequila’. Produced by Fraser T Smith and 169, the track opens with a Spanish sounding guitar riff, and when the beat kicks in Dave takes control and begins to flow about women.

Chip ft. 67 – Honestly

Chip is getting fans excited for his forthcoming album ‘A League Of My Own 2’ by dropping the second visual from their titled ‘Honestly’. Produced by Canadian artist Tre Mission and featuring Brixton Hill Crew 67, the track seems totally organic and natural. The new material Chip is dropping shows how is having fun with his music, but also his maturity.

Faze Miyake ft. Reeko Squeeze & Capo Lee – Chase The Money 

Faze Miyake has released one of the video’s off of his latest project ‘Infamous’. The producer lays down a hard, ominous trap beat, paving the way for South London’s Reeko Squeeze and North London’s Capo Lee to trade verses about money.

Tanika – Kingston 13

 Tanika is back with the visuals to ‘Kingston 13’ taken from her forthcoming EP release ‘Birthdays In Jamaica’ with the material being written and recorded in Jamaica. This is a sexy, sultry one from the British singer who is seen in some shots with her man, changing her hair from blonde to pink.

J Fresh ft. Koder – Special Powers

Taken from his ‘Banana’ EP, J Fresh unleashes the video to ‘Special Powers’ featuring South London Grime emcee Koder. J Fresh provides the raw grime vibes on production, whilst Koder goes in vigorously on the verses before mellowing on the hook.

July 9, 2017

Pixies Tracks of The Week

Snowy – Going On

Nottingham MC Snowy has just dropped the new visuals on JDZ Media for his single ‘Going On’ which was released in February on Mike Skinner LTD. The creative video shows Snowy in a video game setting riding around on a kart and jumping on boxes full of apples. Produced by Lamont, Snowy dives through a range of topics from peng tings to being on the mic, music money and more.

Mura Masa – All Around The World ft. 67 & Desiigner

 Mura Masa shake things up on single ‘All Around The World’ with the original video being released in May. Now they’ve added 67 to the line up who put their distinctive stamp on the track with their trademark flows. The visuals see 67 travelling all around the world doing shows fitting the theme of the track perfectly.

Dizzee Rascal – Wot U Gonna Do

The anticipation for Dizzee Rascal’s new forthcoming album ‘Raskit’ is steadily building, and we saw him release the 2nd video from it ‘Wot U Gonna Do’. His new music sees Dizzee going back to his roots, and the visuals are kept simple and clean, showing him flickering between a glitchy/animated Dizzee and back to normal with red and black backgrounds. The lyrics show Dizzee questioning and talking about himself, listen and enjoy!

C Cane – Bad To Da Bone

Rapper, singer and songwriter C Cane releases a banger of a track ‘Bad To Da Bone’ which sees her provide sweet, melodic vocals throughout the hook and lay down feisty lyrics on the verses with her trademark flow, providing us an insight into the music industry where she describes a lack of loyalty and respect.

Shystie – Wake Up

Shystie has burst back onto the scene with ‘Wake Up’ a heavy D&B track that has already begun to turn heads. It’s already been Record Of The Week on 1Xtra after Mistajam took the premiere. The powerful, cinematic visuals show modern day slavery and human trafficking, something Shystie feels strongly about. Shystie provides sweet, soul filled vocals over a tropical beat.

June 29, 2017

The Sounds of UK Rap @BiggHypes @AbraCadabra @lanceyfouxx @YoungsTeflon @MargsMT

Hypo ft. Suspect & Rich The Kid – ‘Buss It Down’

Hypo is one of the Kings of UK Rap. He is behind one of the founding crew’s Mashtown, and has now delivered us the visuals to his brand new epic single ‘Buss It Down’. It features two rappers from both sides of the pond: Suspect from South London and Rich The Kid from Queens, both respected rappers in their respective countries. The Beat Boss delivers the minimal trap production for this international link up, which brings together old school UK Rap flows with a trap sound that makes the track very flavoursome. Hypo is set to push the UK Rap sound to the point of no return. Look out for Mashtown’s album, also dropping this year featuring the original crew.

Abra Cadabra – ‘Stay’ ft. Danzey

North London artist Abra Cadabra hits us with another banger, ‘Stay’ featuring Danzey. The track’s beat is a lot smoother and melodic than what we’re used to from Abz, with his smooth, distinctive voice gliding over the beat, along with singer Danzey who provides a verse. Abra Cadabra is seen in a drop top Jeep cruising around his ends of Tottenham, representing the area he grew up in. The lyrics reflect the video well with him rapping, “I ain’t playin’ no games, no way, cos I’ve been trappin’ for the money all day,” whilst the video moves to a club which sees him, Danzey and his friends all having a good time and popping bottles.

Lancey Foux – Left Home

Following up from ‘Goat’, 21-year-old East London rapper Lancey Foux is making a name for himself with new track ‘Left Home’, produced by Nova. He’s been teasing this track since November, building up the anticipation and appetite for it with his fans. It’s an upbeat, infectious new track where Lancey talks about how he’s doing better and how he came home better than he left, amongst other things. This could very well be a big summer smash. Lancey has a lot of potential and is already turning the right heads…

Youngs Teflon – ‘Lifestyle’

One of the best UK rappers in the game, Youngs Teflon drops a brand new cold track ‘Lifestyle’ complete with some very colourful new visuals to boot. It’s a perfect summer track from the ever-creative and inventive artist, who flows about his lifestyle, women, music and more, even addressing why he has remained an independent artist: “They still wanna know why I ain’t got a deal, but the phone’s been booming yeah the line blown.” Tefs is seen with a nice swagger in bright shirts, gold chains and sunglasses in some shots that add to the flamboyance of his lyrics when he talks about money and stacking it up for his unborn children and mother, and bringing “it back to the gutter.”

Margs – Trenches

Margs is stating his position in this brand new lyric-heavy track ‘Trenches’, where he brings us some fully loaded punchlines. It’s an authoritative track with lines such as, “This rap game’s full of d******’s, that’s why I don’t wanna hear about gang. North South, East, West, everybody know about man.” The video matches the lyrics with some menacing looking friends of Margs – some clad with masks accompanying him at a pool club. We also see rapper Joe Black in the video too. He isn’t taking any prisoners with this track that’s for sure.

June 25, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @tempa @IzzieGibbs @BigFris @jfreshofficial @Iamuiamu

Tempa – Gimme Respect 

Birmingham emcee Tempa has just dropped the brand new visuals for ‘Gimme Respect.’ Flowing over a Swifta Beater production, Tempa drops some catching bars about demanding respect in the industry. Tempa said ““It all fell into place, Swifta sent me over some beats and once I heard the beat respect was made, it was a natural move, the beat warranted respect”.

Frisco – It’s Changed

Frisco spits some real, truthful bars on his new dark riddim ‘It’s Changed.’ The veteran Boy Better Know lyricist spits about the music game, fake people, going in harder, other MC’s and more. The seasoned emcee goes in with his razor sharp flow over a simple beat, with the video concentrating on Frisco and his words.

Izzie Gibbs – Outta Da Hood

Izzie Gibbs along with releasing his brand new impressive ‘Yin Yang’ EP also dropped the video to ‘Outta Da Hood.’ It’s an insightful and impressive track from the Northampton based artist who displays his emotions in this though provoking new record. Izzie digs deep and speaks from the heart, displaying how he is beyond his years in his lyricism.

J-Fresh x Tubby Boy – Refills On Deck

Producer & DJ J Fresh returns with ‘Refills On Deck’ with Tubby Boy who provides the perfect lyrics with his quick time flow over J Fresh’s nostalgic grime riddim. Premiered on Link Up Trax this is the first track to be heard from his forthcoming ‘Banana’ EP. 

IAMU – Falling Stars ft. Bluey Robinson

Producer duo IAMU premiered their brand new visual for ‘Falling Stars’ on Red Bull which features the vocals of British singer/songwriter Bluey Robinson. IAMU is the brainchild of two producer/songwriters who wish to remain anonymous for this new, mysterious and philosophical project. Over the coming months they will release a string of singles and build to the release of their EP. Their first release is free-spirited and emotionally fuelled. 

 

June 4, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @Not3sofficial @Santandave1 @KillaPmc @lastjapan @ARTANLDN @Callmecadet

Not3s – Aladdin 

Not3s follows up his smash record ‘Addison Lee’ with this new one which sees him state that he’s ‘fly like Aladdin.’ He takes us round a destination abroad, full of sun, sea and yachts. Not3s has big things ahead of him and this track full of summer vibes is going to be spread like a wave.

Killa P, Last Japan – DEAD EM

Lyrical badman Killa P and producer Last Japan seem to make the perfect team with their latest track ‘Dead Em,’ that has a nostalgic grime feel taking us back to the early days, with Last Japans metallic synth production and Killa P’s fast pace, raw flow.

Dave – 100M’s

Dave is a versatile artist providing us with deep, thought provoking rap lyrics, but can also put his hand to grime proving this last year with ‘Thiago Silva’ with AJ Tracey. He is now back on his grime flex with 100M’s which sees him working in a local shop, to doing road with his friends. He spits about his hopes such as Grammys and having a plan in the game.

Artan – My Brudda

Artan hits us with a brand new visual ‘My Brudda’ taken from his recently released debut EP ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ which he dropped for free last week on Mixtape Madness – http://www.mixtapemadness.com/mixtape/artan/breaking-stereotypes-ep. ‘My Brudda’ mixes soulful lyrics and melodies with a slice of Hip Hop to give it a refreshing and unique sound.

Cadet ft. Konan – Instagram Girls

This is the one fans of Cadet have been waiting for…and it’s officially here! The video for ‘Instagram Girls’ has dropped featuring Konan on the hook. The lyricist speaks the bitter truth about social media with elegance hinted with playfulness. The underrated legend won’t stop here though as he is leading up to drop his EP ‘The Commitment 2,’ so stay tuned for more to come. 

June 4, 2017

We Are FSTVL kick-started rave season with help from Giggs, Dizzee Rascal and more

We Are FSTVL kick-started rave season with help from Giggs, Dizzee Rascal and more

We Are FSTVL kicked off the UK festival season in style.

It was a big one for the festival, which is now in its fifth year, as they opened the gates on Friday. They also added a campsite which encompassed thirty thousand ravers heading to the site in Upminster, Essex.

The site itself had changed from previous years and it definitely felt larger with more people in attendance and nine main stages on the site. They added a Terminal 1 stage right in the middle that towered over everything else, complete with 1200 lights and 10 lasers and fantastic production on stage that played host on the Saturday to MK, Craig David, Kurupt FM and more.

The sound system this year was spectacularly better than any other year I had been to – and I’ve been to them all. You couldn’t pick up sounds from other tents, and there was much better clarity. At the UKF tent (which was my favourite tent on the Saturday), the bass and music could be heard from all around it.

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The intimate Relentless Stage which was often heard blasting out Drake, had a feel good presence about it as revellers enjoyed the music in the sunshine and raved outside on the grass whilst looking up at the DJs who seemed to also be having a good time.

Kurupt FM played an entertaining hour set at Terminal 1 to a packed out stage. They were full of energy and predictably worked the crowd and played some garage classics.

Craig David’s TS5 set was a favourite on the Saturday with him DJ’ing and singing to an absolutely rammed stage. He mixed garage classics at first such as DJ Luck and MC Neat ‘With A Little Bit Of Luck’ and then headed over to a hip-hop side, playing Dr Dre and Eve’s ‘Whose That Girl’ then moving on to new tracks including J Hus’ ‘Did You See’. He mashed up the production singing his own lyrics over them before bringing some nostalgia with tracks from his first album too, which had everyone singing along.

Section Boyz killed their performance at the UKF stage, bouncing onto the stage with their DJ playing a mash-up of their tracks, the crew worked the audience like pros. They came to the front of the stage interacting with the audience performing tracks such as, ‘Trapping Ain’t Dead,’ and ‘Lock Arf.’

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Preditah was also at the UKF tent and had the crowd bubbling with a nice weighty set with some grime at first, and then moving slightly into the house direction. He played some classics such as Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Pow’ and Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’.

It was another successful year for the festival who cater for a wide varied music taste spanning from UK rap artists such as Mist and Giggs to house such as Carl Cox and MK; drum & bass tents hosted by UKF and Hospitality and grime acts such as Bugzy Malone and Wiley.

We Are FSTVL started the season in style.