Fire destroys a Sony warehouse in Enfield in north London (Pic: Reuters)
A Sony distribution warehouse used by PIAS UK – leading independent label distributor was burnt to the ground last night in the UK Riots!
The 200,000 square-foot center housed many labels and artists such as Ninja Tune, Beggars Group, FatCat, Rob Da Bank’s Sunday Best record who have lost their stock.
Utter devastation! my thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this … If you know or have any details please contact your local authority.
When I discovered Electronica, my Hip Hop, R’n’b, Rap collected started to fade out, then I realized that there wasn’t much mean or depth in what I was listening to.
Subjects like guns, drugs, hoes and sex being talked about, having a negative impact on society. We already live in a messed up world, and a powerful tool such as music can have a massive impact in changing the mindset of a person either into something inspiring or destructive.
Earlier this year I aired my views on my Facebook status on the matter. My friend Raghav Bhatt then pastes a link on to my wall … “Check this guy out, he’s different” … I thought … “Yeah right” … but how wrong was I! …
I was introduced to an artist who has been dubbed as the KRS One of UK. Akala, a MOBO Award-winning British rap and hip hop artist from the Kentish Town, London is what I believe is missing in the Hip Hop world today. Touching on topics of race, class, sexism, history, war, hip-hop culture and what it is to live in a world one knows to be inherently unequal, yet rounds it all off not with accusations or anger but inward self-analysis.
Listening to Akala you get the feeling he is not just great at stringing words together to make it sound good but he understands different philosophies and has the ability to repackage it to make it accessible to the wider audience. Indeed, Akala’s refusal and inability to conform to prevailing stereotypes means that his records are largely ignored by the sections of the media that speak authentically of the “urban experience” … not surprising as now a days it feels as if we are being dumbed down by what we see, read and hear through different medium.
Akala (the name meaning “immovable”) is a teacher himself. He set up the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company which is supported by the BBC and was opened by Sir Ian McKellan – this project is Akala’s brainchild – going to various cities in the UK trying to get the ‘troubled’ youth into reading and learning via performing Shakespeare plays.
More recently the latest album from MOBO Award-winner is Doublethink is inspired by Orwell’s “1984”, Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Zamyatin’s “We”.
Here are a couple of facts about Akala:
- He used to play football for Wimbledon and West Ham,
- Got straight A’s and A*’s at GCSE,
- His sister is Ms Dynamite,
- He is a vegan,
- Founded his own record label company which he is on called ‘Illastate Records’
Really looking forward to more from Akala … this is was I love, making a difference in the world rather than just making it go around. Nuff respect!
<next post will feature a four part interview on his latest album>
Coming to you all the way from London, Mumbai and Chennai are the sounds of Bombay Dub Orchestra.
This genius collaboration between two composer/producers, Andrew T. Mackay and Garry Hughes have contributed much to global music. From main-stage performances at the UK’s Big Chill Festival, DJ-ing across the world, scoring feature films to remixing the likes of Bebel Gilberto, Bob Marley, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Ceu.
Forged back in 1998 the pair have worked with many well known names. The renowned Bansuri player Aswin Srinivasan, vocalist Hamsika Iyer, and Santoor legend Ulhas Bapat, not to mention recording with 48 Indian session musician on the first, self titled album and over 75 on their 2008 release, 3 Cities.
Tracks filled with improvised Indian ragas mixed with carefully engineered western classical string arrangement, not forgetting a prescribed amount of smooth deep dub ambient grooves with tasty bass lines.
So what next for BDO? Well, they’re currently working on the untitled third album due for release in 2011 as well as several feature films! so keep your ears close to their sites for the latest news!
Compassion – BBC Electric Proms Version – FREE DOWNLOAD.
A reworking of the track ‘Compassion’ from the self-titled debut album released in 2006. This version was the one performed at the first BBC Electric Proms featuring the voice of Meneka, wonderful guitar by Dave Rainger, tabla by Sirishkumar and the usual shenanigans from Andrew & Garry of BDO
For Free Ringtone go to the Bombay Dub Orchestra Facebook page.
Below are BombayDubREMIXES for you to enjoy:
Bombay Dub Orchestra Remixes & Vers. Vol.1
Bombay Dub Orchestra Remixes & Vers. Vol.2
Bombay Dub Orchestra Remixes & Vers. Vol.3
People! Shaanti marks 11 Years in the Music Industry with the celebration of their residency at Cargo
The night will include some fantastic names like:
Time: 8.00pm til 4.00am
Address: Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch. London EC2A 3AY
Price: Doors Open at 8, Free before 11, £5 before 12.00 and £10 after all night.
Info: 07968 366878 // 07968 260276