Jamie T & Skream – Jason & The Argonauts

For some reason Jamie T has been on my mind lately. I went for a run the other day, and both his albums soundtracked that run….

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Skream ft. Example – Shot Yourself In The Foot Again

I’m quite looking forward to hearing more from this partnership in 2011. Apparently Skream has been working on tracks for the next Example record…..

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Magnetic Man – Mad

The Magnetic Man record has probably, maybe with the exception of the Arcade Fire record, been the one I’ve been looking forward to most this year.

I saw them a good few times over the summer and live they are fuckin’ immense, so I was a little bit concerned as to whether they’d be able to transfer the intensity of their live show over to wax…..well digital wax anyway.

Of course in reality that’s a pretty impossible feat. I mean live, in a room full of sweaty people screaming, with all sorts running through your veins, is a very different prospect then sitting waiting for the 29 bus, so no of course this record isn’t as good as the live show. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a complete failure. Far from it.

Coming a few weeks after Skream’s Outside The Box record, it’s very easy to make comparisons. While Skream may be the mastermind, actually that’s a disservice to Benga & Artwork, but in my head for some reason, I always assumed he was the sort of leader, anyway I’ll leave party politics to which ever member wants to correct me, but one would assume that if you were working on your own solo album, you’d keep all the best bits for yourself, not the case here.

While Outside The Box had it’s moments, Listenin’ To The Records On My Wall & Epic Last Song, being my standouts, Magnetic Man is a much stronger effort. The 2 Katy B tracks sit head and shoulders above them. The return of Ms. Dynamite is pretty breath-taking. And Mad, perhaps my favourite track, well if it’s an attempt to bring dubstep into the mainstream, well then it’s as fuckin’ good a place to start as any.

On a whole, while I enjoyed it, it merely made me long to see it in the flesh again. And at 14 songs, it did drag on a bit, but aside from those minor squibbles, it’s been worth the wait.


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….AEaDJ needs an album review section, me finks.

There’s a whole load of great/average/middling/poor albums floating about at the minute, and I’ve been listening to many of them, so I thought I’d do a short 50 word review on a few that have been on heavy rotation round mine of late. Actually not even on high rotation, just felt I had summat to say about them. Some I’ve been sent, some I’ve bought and some I’ve illegally downloaded. There, I said it, let’s not pretend no-one else does it.
You might have noticed, of late I’ve actually tried to write a bit about stuff, rather than just the usual “This doesn’t suck, here’s the download link”. Well yeah, it’s evolution I suppose.

Professor Green – Alive ‘Til I’m Dead

I was a little bit dubious about this record, as the singles have all been very sample-y, but it’s paced out really well, with all the pop bits at the front, the better quality in the middle and more down-tempo introspective bits towards the end. Bought.

RPA & The United Nations Of Sound – United Nations Of Sound

If this record contained 30% less Richard Ashcroft, it wouldn’t be as shit as people make out. Like if he’d made it like a project, rather than an ego trip. There’s still some great songs here, just too much RPA. Which reminds me of pints of bitter. Got sent.

Best Coast – Crazy For You

I love this album, and I just got tickets to see here next week, so I’ll probably be talking about them more and more. It sounds like it was recorded in a toilet, but in a good way. With a doo-wap band in the other cubicle. And an orchestra handing out chewing gum. Illegally downloaded. Then bought.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

I’ve given this record so much time, 14 listens on the last count, and I still just can’t love it. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, just…..I dunno it’s clearly not coming from the same place as Neon Bible, and I think I liked Win when he was in that place, rather than here. In The Suburbs. With a Volvo. Illegally downloaded.

K Anderson – The Overachiever

At first I thought he sounded like a more grittier Paolo Nutini, but then I thought that’s absolutely ridiculous, what could be more grittier than Paolo Nutini. There’s a line that goes “….No one’s ever going to fuck you like I used”. I can empathise. Last song he dumps the girl cos he prefers gingham. Got sent.

Skream – Outside The Box

After his set at Benicassim, I just had to check this out, and while it’s good, I’m more excited by the stuff that’s coming out with Magnetic Man. Epic Last Song I can confirm is both epic, and the last song on the album. It’s also a fuckin’ great album closer. Illegally downloaded.

The Coral – Butterfly House

Took a while to get into, but it was only after I stuck on their first album, for some reason, that I really got it. It’s warm and inviting, but at the same time is a challenging listen. That’s a pretty wanky thing to say, bascially it hasn’t got any great singles on it, but is still a worthwhile addition to the Corals cannon. Got sent.

MIA – /\/\/\Y/\

I really just can’t get into this album. The majority of it sounds like a detuned radio, and the melodic bits to it are just flat. I wanted to like it, gave it a good go, but I’m sorry, it’s just not working for me. We should probably see other people now. Bought.

Heinali and Matt Finney – The Lemonade EP

Found myself oddly compelled to this collection. It’s industrial, haunting and shoegazy, but at the same time has a warmth to it that when you consider how it’s put together, is a surprise to discover. Reminds me a bit of UNKLE. First album, ie the good one. Very worthwhile. Got sent.

Les Savy Fav – Root For Ruin

I listened to this record 6 times yesterday. I didn’t think I’d even get to the end at first, but fuckin’ hell it’s brilliant. Best line “…out on the fringe, we get high and unhinged. And the outcasts are in, and the outcasts are in.” Like a more tuneful Pixies and less anthemic Hold Steady. Illegally downloaded. Will being seeing them live, buying t-shirts etc.

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FIB 2010 – I suppose you could call it a review, of sorts.

I’d like to think the more keenly eye’d amongst you would have noticed it a bit quieter than normal here that past fortnight. Well I’ve been festivalin’ it in Spain. The following are some of my findings, musings, and general opinions on said festival, at this exact moment in time.

So you all know I do love a good list, so I’ll start off with a brief list, of no discernible length….well it will be a certain length, just now like 5 or 10 or 100. Probably just 7.
Best performances:

  1. Magnetic Man
  2. Dizzee Rascal
  3. Calvin Harris
  4. Skream
  5. Ash
  6. The Courteeners
  7. DJ Shadow
  8. Gorillaz
  9. Ian Brown
  10. Mumford & Sons

Well what do you know there was 10. So yeah Magnetic Man we’re a real highlight, and they were on the first night!! I even said it then, it would take something really special to surpass that performance. Perhaps it may have had something to do with my state of mind at the time, I may have been under an influence, but nonetheless it was a real experience.
Big shouts also go to Calvin Harris, which I didn’t think I’d particularly enjoy, but was happily convinced other wise. Some guy even fell out of a tree watching him, it was proper faceplant/lolsome. The Mumford Sons, well I’ve made my feeling about them pretty clear, but yeah they pulled off a great show, and well I went hoarse screaming every word back to Ash cos they rocked, and I don’t care if you disagree.
As for Kasabian? Well they were just…I dunno a shorter set would have done them a world of good. Which I found out last night for The Courteeners who I saw in Camden, playing a 85-ish minute set, Sundays 60 min one was much better.

Oh Dizzee Rascal will be headlining festivals next summer, and for every summer until we all die. His set was a much more stripped down affair, he opened with mostly old ones, and he refrained from the old Jay-Z trick of making himself more accessible to a rock audience by littering his set with mash-up Smells Like Teen Spirit type things. Nope, this time it was just him, Semtex and the other fella, and they still slayed it.

Then there is the festival itself. It makes me never want to go to a British festival. I lost count of how many times I described a British festival as being like an Endurance Test, where as this was an absolute joy. British festivals expect the customer to adapt to it’s schedule, bands start at 11, they all clash, don’t like it? Fuck off, that’ll be £15 for a beer. Beni caters for the fan like nothing I’ve seen before. I mean sure, it’s a corporate affair, with plenty of branding and the food isn’t THAT cheap, but at the same time, less is more. How about fewer bands, better timed, running longer, across a smaller space? What a novel idea.
Plus you got the weather as well, which we don’t have, but then Mr. Eavis, stick your festival on in July (though looking out the window, that’s still no guarantee). And then the basic camping facilities? 24 hour bar, plenty of showers, phone chargers, cigarette machines, and food, all on site, and operated in a controlled manner. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be Spanish and coming to V, Christ you’d kill yerself.
Anyway that’s all I have time to go on about it, to be honest I’d still pretty knackered, have to take a siesta every day round 4, I’m in the habit now. As for Benicassim 2011, would I go back? I doubt it, I like to do festivals 2 years in a row, then go somewhere else, thinkin’ EXIT next year, but would I recommend it? You betcha.
I’ll leave you with an abiding memory, last set of the first night, Skream has just slayed the Fib Stage, a 500 person stage invasion ensues. Hasta Luego, et Muchos Gratias!


Photos by Oscar L. Tejega via Fiberfib.com.
Oh special mention to whatever cunt thought it would be funny to shave a stripe in my head while I was passed out. I will find you. And now I’m bald, I look mean and scary.

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