In the famous words of one Snoop Dogg, ‘Bam Bam blam to them both’ it’s Future Flavours back again. Snoop funnily enough starred in some wrestling match up with Hulk Hogan. In it, a stick thin malnourished Snoop weighing all of a bag of rice proceeds in wrestling drama to throw an eighteen stone man out of a ring-if you thought wrestling was real that act right there obliterates all those notions-I mention it because it was funny check the video-(2.37 if you don’t want to waste time).
Anyway it’s time to charge headlong like Vladimir Putin racing to hit the nuke button amid the Ukraine Crisis because he feels overly sensitive. The forthcoming motley crew of artists have been through a rigorous process where I listened and then said; ‘damn they are a future flavour’
So we go with the grizzled intensity of Jim Johnson, the nostalgic reggae ska amazement of The Skints, the soulful yet stripped vibes of Elle, acoustic vibes of Ethan Ashe, disco inferno of Midas Hutch and lastly BASS with Superpoza.
Here’s to you-Jim Johnston
At the get go I am going to say that Bristolian, Jim Johnson (love the fact he uses his very normal government name) will not be everyone’s cup of tea but I definitely like him.
There’s a gnarly, untainted, un-pretentious feel about his music as guitar riffs serate in that audible fashion through folk come rock as his distinctive vocals sound the bugle call that you should come and savour Jimbo.
He’s not new to the music world having been part of the successful band Monk and Canatella who put out the brutal bit of trip-hop greatness with their album Care in the Community (2000) which featured cover artwork from the elusive Banksy. It was an album that managed to mix something akin to NWA’s, 100 Miles and Runnin (1990) while rock, deft samples and DMC type scratching added to its whole rather anti-establishment type of feel.
Monk and Canatella evidently split and in some respects that’s a shame but after a period in ‘the wilderness’ Jim drops an illustrious latest album.
After All the Wishing is something like a concept album that is a musical feast blessed by the most interesting interludes I have heard for a long time. The interludes feature poetic narration from the Irish poet Damien Moran –his narration is so evocative that I honestly could take the interludes out and listen to them individually.
It reminds me of that great Guinness advert from 1998. It’s the type of narration that’s needed to describe the battles between Captain Ahab and his nemesis Moby Dick- brilliant. In fact it’s so obviously brilliant it would be like saying that the Nigerian elections (won by Muhammed Buhari former military general) were rigged-well of course they were!
So while Damien entices Johnson captures with some great numbers that just draw you into this unique album and indeed Damien’s world which is rich, spooky but aurally encompassing-‘here’s to you captain Jim’
One Elle of an artist.
Forgive my Sun newspaper tabloid title but hey that cheesy introduction aside 26 year old, Leanne Miller aka Elle is a fresh name to add to that type of sound made popular by names like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean.
I was pointed in the right direction of this lady after the presenter for the show I work on Quality Control said someone was trying to see if we would put her on the show-why of course?
So let’s delve into her fresh material and well the only material in the shape of her debut ep Carousels and Hurricanes a project that is in the main contemporary rnb with hints of jazz. It’s a mature debut and while the subject matter of love and relationships as a motif for musical projects is not new, South Londoner Elle conveys her own emotions with clean and simple tracks while she brings her rather sonorous vocals nicely through.
Production comes in the shape of CKtrl aka Bradley Miller whose stripped back production bridges that gap (for me) between electronic music and of course rnb while giving it that hint of FKA Twigs (forgive me opting for the need to compare her to another artist). The tracks run to four in number but stand out numbers are Magnets which was premiered on ID magazine and (for me) the title track Roses which again sets a brilliant standard-the vid is magnetically simple.
In fact it’s so obviously brilliant it would be like saying that Boris Nemtsov a man who in public opposed Vladamir Putin and his government who was subsequently gunned down outside the Kremlin with a rather gorgeous female acquaintance was killed by nefarious government linked individuals-well of course he was!
Politics aside Elle is a name to keep a Sherlock Holmes like close eye on!
So a male singer with a guitar well that’s not really new is it?
The singer with an acoustic guitar has been played out due to the ubiquitous talent shows: ‘I think you’re a real talent’-“WHATEVER”. Indeed I have had enough of those frigin judges with their compliments which are fuelled by multi-million pound contracts-‘spin on this!’
So as you can imagine I was not necessarily keen on checking out Ethan Ash-that said I check everything as best as I can.
I pressed play on the soundcloud link with the type of trepidation reserved for injections but Ethan (with a guitar) was a refreshing type of acoustic guitarist who embraces nostalgic music.
He does pop tracks for sure but I think he really comes to force when he allows his voice to bless some real bluesy, country type tracks. Check out this earlier cut from a Mahogany Session he dropped
I checked out Ethan’s earlier material and there has been a definite progression in his delivery and of course his sound and that’s cool. So with his latest project Face To Face Ethan sounds completely settled with the type of artist he wants to be.
Subject matter dwells in the area of relationships focusing of course on emotions (which is not new) but I like what he does. Ethan drops music that comes from a bygone era without it feeling like he is in completely the wrong time-he is reminiscent of Joe Cocker and it works.
Tracks that work like oil on a squeaky door- Chasing Your Love which is reminiscent of Paul Simon’s popular track Call Me Al (1986) an up-tempo unadulterated and unabashed celebration of good intoxicating love. Seems Like Love Has Died is the stand out number from the slow tempo offerings-it instantly transports you to a time when Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton ruled the country music stage-I like.
Facts are Ethan’s music is easy listening, very radio friendly music that should and surely will guarantee that festivals and a mass audience of lovers of this young guy’s music should be supporting him in droves-tidy.
FACE TO FACE OUT NOW
The Skints-pon de beat!
So if Ethan went back a bit with sounds that make you think of Dolly Parton and her pneumatic chest and Kenny Rogers with his immaculately shaped beard crooning about ‘We got tonight’.
The Skints come straight out of the UK dub, reggae scene where chatting on a fresh dub-plate was all the range.
In a huge amount of kudos, David Rodigan the only bald white man with the eligibility to two freedom passes and the right to shout ‘haile silassie’ with a big phat blue skin spliff, has rated them highly.
The facts are that maybe in my own preconceived boundaries this young foursome seems incongorous when they drop this type of music but preconceived ideas aside it’s obvious that this is a group to love. It’s so obvious it’s like stating that the West and indeed a swathe of Zimbabweans are wondering when/if Robert (I will govern for eternity) Mugabe will eventually die-‘bring me some fresh virgin blood please’
Now The Skints hailing from East London are not new far from it they have been pushing this brand of reggae, dub ska niceness since 2008 with two albums. In 2015 their third album FM dropped and as the press release proudly states: ‘this is their strongest to date’ and I defo have to agree as the quartet engulf you in the feel good vibes of their sound that pays homage to great sound systems like Saxon.
The cut This Town featuring Tippa Arie from the album FM evokes images of a; blazing summer time, in Ladbrook Grove, old men playing dominoes and kids having water fight while a group of women stand talking-it’s hard. Tippa Irie that great name from UK reggae adds the exquisite final touch-absolutely feeling this and indeed the whole album that has to go down as one for the best albums for the year-it’s actually at the time number 7 on the Independent Album Chart.
This album will undoubtedly take them from UK names to globally established names. Tour dates set for the UK, Europe and then America-tidy!
SOME TOUR DATES-13.04.15 Norwich Epic Studios//14.04.15 Leeds Stylus//16.04.15 Edinburgh Studio 24//17.04.15 Manchester Gorilla//18.04.15 Birmingham Library at the Institute//19.04.15 Bristol Circus of Boom//21.04.15 London 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
FS Green has the Midas Hutch.
Next up we take a time ship to the 80’s and the rather good productive flair of Amsterdam native FS Green (who collaborated with Major Lazer) and his sweet project called Midas Hutch.
The 80’s a time where men could wear shoulder pads with no fear of verbal repercussions that focused on their sexuality or indeed a time where a perm juice stain left on a sofa was an accepted hazard of your ‘black-friend’ coming to your house!
In the tsunami of musical releases it’s important to make your self-stand out. The project evidently shows that Green relishes 80’s electro, disco music and his production is bloody brilliant. He so obviously brilliant in fact it’s like stating the obvious and saying that America finds China’s continued financial power and ability to ‘defy’ their brand of ‘democracy’ irritating-why of course they do!
So music that manages to transport you back to a time where Computer Love (1986) prevailed well there’s his latest remix which actually borrows heavily from the aforementioned classic. Midas makes over Michigan femcee Dej Loaf’s Try Me and transports it into a yesteryear era and it works like a plug for a bath tub. The Amsterdam Native has made a dearth of up-beat tidy remixes-previous gems to try-the remix of BSmyth’s rnb banger Twerkoholics-
or how about his remix for 24 hours by Teefli transforming the original from a dance /rap amalgamation into a party up disco inferno something?
I am feeling this project and cannot wait to see what else FS Green and of course his alter ego Midas Hutch drops-tidy!
Last up is the French producer Superpoze (who can count Gilles Petersen as a fan) with all the deep bass and intensity you could wish for he is brilliant.
He is so obviously brilliant in fact it would be like saying that Jeremy Clarkson being sacked was always going to happen to the misogynist and at best racist bully-it was bloody obvious.
He’s part of a French clique of producers dropping some amazing sounds and while he’s been doing the circuit and building a fan base in his home territory (ostensibly) with his debut full length album Opening, he’s sure to make some waves here in the UK.
Debut single from the album was Unlive which builds, grows, captures and mesmerises in equal measures-it’s what I love to call (as a genre) melancholic joy with the added bonus of soul searching bass. The follow up single Overseas blessed with a soul searching violin intro is equally supreme-tidy!
OPENING released on 8 06 15
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