Monday, 27 August 2012

Catching up...

No featured artists in this post, more on them in posts to come, but this one is simply to allow those of you who are interested to catch up with my radio shows just in case you haven't been able to listen to them live.

I've been told one thing then another and another, but it seems that my 'regular' show, entitled 'Variable Wavelengths', is now on Sunday nights (Monday mornings) from midnight till 2am (UK time), with occasional shows on Saturday nights (Sunday mornings) at the same time.

Anyway, please find below the shows that I remembered to record (I really should be more organised by now) and their track listings. Hopefully you'll find something you enjoy among my selections:



Sunday 29/07/12

1. Deja Vu - A.B.'s
2. Liberation - Outkast
3. Heaven Must Be Like This - Ohio Players
4. Pretty Wings - Maxwell
5. La Costa - Natalie Cole
6. Where I Wanna Be - Donell Jones
7. Hush Hush - Kruez
8. That's The Way Of The World - Earth Wind & Fire
9. More Love - Roger Robin
10. And God Said To Man - Earl Zero
11. It's Me Again Jah - Luciano
12. Fight Dem Off - Doniki
13. Get To Love In Time - Dennis Brown
14. In Loving You - Junior English
15. Waiting On You - Foster McElroy
16. Starlight & You - Lonnie Liston Smith
17. Say Yes - Whispers
18. Pass Me Over - Anthony Hamilton
19. Thank You For The Many Things You've Done - Betty Wright



Monday 30/07/12

1. Black Family - Roy Ayers
2. All School - KRS-One & Marley Marl
3. Got To Give - Brand New Heavies
4. Spread The Word - Kindred The Family Soul
5. If I - Kindred The Family Soul
6. You & Me - Omar
7. Me feat. Erik Rico - Ty
8. Nobody But You - Juicy
9. That's Just My Way - Eric Benet
10. What You Won't Do For Love - Peabo Bryson & Natalie Cole
11. Jamaica - Leontre
12. Tell Me This Is Real - Private Collection
13. Let's Go Dancing - Danglin
14. Mama Mama - Freddie McGregor
15. Who Feels It Knows It feat. Etana - Romain Virgo
16. Feel The Feeling - Bob Andy
17. My First Love - Anthony Hamilton
18. Everlasting Love - Glenn Jones
19. Do You Get Enough Love - Shirley Jones
20. I Choose You - Paris
21. Cry Baby - Nadine Charles



Sunday 05/08/12

1. Sky Islands - Dianne Reeves
2. Life In The City - Melvin Hudson
3. You're Special - Commodores
4. Behind The Bush - Jungle Brothers
5. Black Hand Side feat. Styles P & Phonte - Pharoahe Monch
6. Aquarius - Mystro
7. Baby Don't Break Your Baby's Heart - Kashif
8. Children Of The Ghetto - Real Thing
9. Work It Out - Breakwater
10. Peace On Earth - Hi Tension
11. Blind Over You - Black Ice
12. Call On Me - Trevor Hartley
13. Woman Of Moods - Trevor Dixon
14. We Need Love - Rudy Thomas
15. No Tears Woman - One Blood
16. Dial My Number - Barry Boom
17. Pretty Little Girl - Maxi Priest
18. Portuguese Love - Teena Marie
19. This Masquerade - George Benson
20. While I'm Alone - Maze
21. Rivers Of My Fathers - Gil Scott Heron



Sunday 12/08/12

1. Lush Life - Wayne Henderson
2. Self Saviour feat. Chace Infinite - Talib Kweli
3. I'll Be Good To You - Brothers Johnson
4. Another Star - Stevie Wonder
5. What We Are feat. Quiana - Little Brother
6. Second To None - Atlantic Starr
7. She's My Shining Star - Fatback
8. Giving You The Best That I've Got - Anita Baker
9. Angel - Anita Baker
10. Time For Love - Rudy Thomas & J C Lodge
11. I Love You - Sanchez
12. Sandy - Sugar Minott
13. I Have Been In Love - Delroy Wilson
14. Love Between A Boy And Girl - Chosen Few
15. Lately - Natural Ites
16. Next Time It's For Real - Kleeer
17. Keep Love New - Betty Wright
18. We Got The Love - Plush
19. Sunshine Lady - Willie Hutch
20. I'm So Glad feat. Chuck Stanley - Alyson Williams
21. Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
22. So In Love - Leroy Hutson



Sunday 26/08/12 (Recording starts at track 7, sorry about that)

1. Sun Goddess - Ramsey Lewis
2. You're The Best - Emotions
3. Hard To Get Around - BB&Q
4. Ain't That The Truth - Frankie Kelly
5. Subtraction - MC Mell'O
6. T.R.O.Y. - Pete Rock & C L Smooth
7. The Days Of Old - Paris
8. Runnin' - Pharcyde
9. Never Had A Love Like This Before - Barbara Mitchell
10. Love You Anyway - Cameo
11. Get Myself Together (Foundation) - Dennis Brown
12. Leave Yah - Freddie McGregor
13. Christopher Columbus - Little Roy & Ian Rock
14. Bucket Bottom - Prince Alla
15. Rasta Tell You - Judah Eskander
16. Jah Love Is Sweeter - Lacksley Castell
17. His Majesty Is Coming - In Crowd
18. Investigator - Cornell Campbell
19. You Know You Want To Be Loved - Keith Barrow
20. It's My Turn - Bobby Glover
21. Whisper Of The Heart - Body
22. Give It Up - The Jacksons
23. Love Has Arrived - Everis
24. You Oughta Be In Pictures - Lamont Dozier
25. Move Me No Mountain - Love Unlimited
26. This Feeling's Killing Me - Jones Girls
27. Family - McKoy
28. I Should've Known Better - Mica Paris
29. Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up - Patrice Rushen
30. Best Of Your Heart - Rufus
31. Doin' Alright - O'Bryan
32. Share My Love - Betty Wright
33. Fool's Paradise - Me'Lisa Morgan
34. When You Smile - Barry Boom
35. She's My Lady - Administrators
36. Keep It Like It Is - Louisa Mark

There's a couple of shows that I didn't record or write the track list down but I'm sure you can live without them. So until next time, enjoy your Bank Holiday and I'll see you around.

One Love, Spy!

Monday, 23 July 2012

I know you got SOUL...

It's been a long while since I left you without a dope post to get through; mainly due to laziness on my part (after all, there's been a lot of good music released over the last few months) but partly because I was waiting to make an announcement, which as time went by seemed less and less likely to be made. However, I didn't lose hope and now I can officially state that I am one of the S.O.U.L. UK Radio family.



Those of you that know me will know that I'm not keen on the use of the word 'urban' as a euphemism for Black/African but it is what it is. Apart from that small niggle I really think that this station has potential and, from what I've observed so far, will achieve most, if not all of it. The challenge for me is to keep up!

If you're reading this post at the time of publication, you can listen to me live now, otherwise you can catch a recording of the show at your convenience. Either way, don't expect 'Friday Night Raw' type content, not on this station and certainly not at this time of day. I'm toying with the idea of recording separate podcasts for the hard core crew (myself included) but we'll see how it goes.


Anyway, enough about me, above is the video for K-Nite 13's 'Long Road', which was taken from his new project, released today, called 'According To Plan'. Now, you've probably noticed by now that I'm a fan of the 'Stow Boys' both individually and collectively. I haven't heard everything they've done but I have yet to hear anything by them that was shit, so even without hearing it I doubt you'll be disappointed by what K-Nite 13 has to offer.


Insane Macbeth has been busy in the studio working alongside the likes of Karl Hinds and Reveal to produce 'Can't, Couldn't, Could Never' and 'The Strongest Endz' respectively. The mad king is currently working on a third release, 'Likk Off Banks', featuring Big Ripz, Dave Courtney and possibly Demolition Man. I'll return to this when I know more.


My friends over at Associated Minds recently released 'Hold That' by P.L.O. and Ralph Rip Shit. A moody, guitar laden production that's typical of the quality that I've come to, ahem, associate with P.L.O. Nice work lads.



I'm sure all the heads have it by now, but I can't go without mentioning what is, in my opinion, the best complete project Nas has done since the seminal 'Illmatic'. If you haven't already purchased it I suggest that you go for the 'Deluxe Edition' with the four bonus tracks. The only let down track on the album is 'Summer On Smash', although that might just be me showing my age. However, with tracks like 'Daughters', 'World's An Addiction' and 'Stay', you'd be a fool not to grab it.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Life in a jail house nuh sweet...

Lots going on this week so I'll type as fast as my poor, cold little fingers will allow. Let's start with something as sweet on the ears as it is on the eyes.


Nadine Charles is, as you can see/hear, a proper singer. Not only can she 'sang', she also has a charming, even alluring, stage presence and a wicked sense of humour, so if you ever get the chance to see her perform live grab it with both hands and don't let go.


Not so sweet, but just as tasty, 'Reign Of Fire' is the latest video from Genesis Elijah's 'I Ain't Even Charging Bruv' EP and was shot while he was on tour in Switzerland. You'd have to be cuckoo (clock) not to download it, after all, he ain't even charging...


Speaking of freeness, be sure to check out Rapsody's new release courtesy of DJ Booth 'For Everything'. On point as always, this is Rapsody's third full length release this year and would be a bargain at almost any price, with production from 9th Wonder, Amp & Khrysis and features from Freeway, Kendrick Lamar and more.


Cappo's back with a new EP available as either a digital download or physical CD called Gusto Grizwold: International Vacation. If you purchase the CD you get the download version for free while you're waiting. This is just a precursor to the album proper due for release next year (which isn't that far away now).


Filmed by Grillaras Pictures, 'Jail House Rock' is the latest single from Leontre and the Gully Bank Musik crew. Good to hear that reality music is still alive and kicking in the Jamaican music industry. Hopefully, this attitude will rub off on Reggae's nephew Hip Hop and all the chopping up Maybachs and such will disappear up its own arse. We shall see...


Dukus has let fly a new EP produced by Crankz called 'Disturbed' and, as the name suggests, it's not one for fans of My Little Pony. I must confess that I know very little about Crankz, but I'm definitely going to find out more after this.


Scram Jones has a new, free 16 track 'mixtape' called 'The Hat Trick'. It's a mostly solo effort but he does enlist help from Mike Maven and Alchemist, which is never a bad thing.


A quick reminder (or heads up, if you were previously unaware) that Skillit's Birthday Bash is happening tomorrow at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD. Featuring live performances from Skillit himself plus music from DJ Locky Stylez & Chris P Cuts. In the meantime 'Jump Up & Down' to his new video on a track produced by Jukeboxx and directed by K-Nite.


Another event of note (although there's been mixed reaction to this from the group themselves) is the UK premieres (yes, that's plural) of ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest’ featuring a live performance from Phife Dawg after the film. The two nights, 21st and 22nd, are hosted by Spin Doctor and, if you hurry, you can still get tickets for the second night.

"Enough!", my fingers cry (or would if they were able to speak). I bid you adieu till next time.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Heavy Smoke

This week has seen the passing of two iconic figures from the African American world of entertainment; Heavy D, rapper, producer, A&R and, more recently, actor and probably the only man to strike fear in the heart of Muhammad Ali, 'Smokin' Joe Frazier.


Now I won't pretend that I am one of Heavy D's greatest admirers. To be honest most of the music I heard from him was a bit too twee for my liking, but I do acknowledge the effect he has (had) on his fans and offer my genuine condolences to all the family, friends and followers of the 'overweight lover' that are left behind. And to think that he was the same age as me...


Joe Frazier was a boxing legend, from the days when it really was a sport worth watching and the phrase "heavyweight champion of the world" was almost held in as much awe as "President of the United States of Amerca" (although it must be said that the latter has lost a lot of its shine too). Frazier was one of the few prominent people to publicly back Ali in his fight to be reinstated by the boxing board following Ali's refusal to be drafted into the US Army. Frazier even petitioned the then president, Richard Nixon.

Once he was cleared to fight again, Ali went on to 'accuse' Frazier of being an Uncle Tom in the build up to one of their infamous world title bouts. This was a step too far (and one that Ali later public displayed remorse for) as far as Frazier was concerned and led to an irreparable rift in their relationship.

I will always be a fan of Ali, but I never took props away from Frazier. They even made records about his legendary clashes with the likes of Ali and Foreman. I can't think of any modern day boxers (or any other sports people) that would inspire musicians to make music about them.


Fortunately, it hasn't all been sad/bad news over the last few weeks. For example, English Frank's latest release 'Road To Riches', which features the vocal talents of Cerose, is available on iTunes for the paltry sum of seventy-nine English pennies and, as you can see/hear, is really rather good old bean.


Alternatively, you can grab yourself a whole EP of quality baps and booms for free - 'BEHOLD!' is the result of a collaboration between Superior Thought & OphQi, collectively known as S.M.R.G.. The EP features guest appearances from Young Prince, Big Frizzle, Iron Braydz and more and is further proof that Hip Hop music (and culture) has not put its foot anywhere near a bucket.


You may recall the God Loves Grinders 'mixtape' released by Grand Central earlier this year. Well, if 'God' exists at all, he/she/it must really love Mr Drastick & K.I.N.E.T.I.K. because they haven't stopped putting in work and are due to release 'GLG vol. 2' early next year. In the meantime, they've given us the teaser above to sate our appetites. Sorry lads, I'm still hungry and greedily looking forward to the whole set.


Crossing over to the other side of the Atlantic, I'm very pleased to announce the return of Line For Line with their new album 'Showcase'. You'd think that with so many members of the group vying for attention that there wouldn't be any features on this album, but they still managed to squeeze in the talents of General Steele and LaWanda Michelle on to the 15 track set. Check out the first single, 'Clap Your Hands' for free.


Staying in the US, a duo of emcees/producers known as the Architect Lordz have a new thang too, the 'Smoking After Dark' EP, which is available as a digital download for whatever price you choose starting at $1.00. It appears that the old saying is true, big things really do come in small packages and certainly at a small price.

Right then, I'm off to shake two foot with my missus to the sounds of Loose Ends at the Jazz Cafe. See ya next time.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Many are called...

Nice and raw, two words that aptly describe the latest offering from the prolific pen of Cyclonious. His new mixtape, 'The Chosen', is 13 quality tracks which include collaborations from TB, Dark Matter, Nate and more, although my personal favourites are the Wu-ish solo effort 'Out On Sight' and 'They Don't Care About Us'.


One of the 'more' in the previous paragraph is Raggo Zulu Rebel, yet another member of the seemingly endless People's Army. I first was aware of him through some of his collaborations with bigCakes but, as you can see from the example below, he has a catalogue of works in his own right.



Sticking with the Army, due for release at midnight tomorrow is Lowkey's official album Soundtrack To The Struggle. Containing tracks such as 'Terrorist?', 'Obamanation' and 'Voices Of The Voiceless', which features Immortal Technique, this album has been looked forward to by Lowkey's remarkably loyal fans for some time. Pre-order it now from iTunes and attend the launch party in Islington next Friday.


Apparently, I have some (but not much) Klout, which is nice. So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my Twitter and Facebook fam for your continued support and friendship.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Foundation

Here in the UK, October is designated 'Black History Month'. Personally, I'm quite ambivalent about the whole thing. On the one hand, I totally understand the reasoning behind it. As an Afrikan (my preferred expression for 'Black people') myself I am well aware of the injustices and disparity suffered by Afrikans throughout the ages and that things have hardly improved even today. I also have personal experience of the so called 'education' shitstem in this country and, from this experience (and I accept that this was a good few years ago), I know that in History lessons Africa and its inhabitants were only referred to in connection with slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa'. Perhaps things have moved on since my school days but I seriously doubt it.

On the other hand, by adopting this one month per year to highlight the historical achievements of Afrikans, we're almost giving permission for 'Black History' to be ignored for the other eleven months. Also, those that have a genuine interest in 'Black History' will seek it out regardless of what the calendar says, and those that have an interest in keeping Afrikans down will use 'Black History Month' as fuel for their Fascist fire - "Why do the niggers get their own month?" "What have they done to deserve it?" et cetera, et cetera...


Anyway, regardless of my personal misgivings, I'm still pleased to see a group of (comparatively) young folks making the effort to change history back to mystory. I would have been even more pleased if they'd managed to include contributions from some of our sisters but you (or me in this case) can't always get what you want.


On a completely different subject, you may recall me telling you about Dray Delta and his Flow Reel Two mixtape earlier this year. One of the tracks on it was an amusing beseech by Dray to the women who wear ill fitting Ugz (or however it's spelled) to stop it. Fdot1 took it upon himself to inject a layer of quality into the production that was lacking from the original mixtape version, which leads us neatly to the video above.


I confess to being very ignorant when it comes to Scottish Hip Hop, so I have no clue whether Madhat Mcgore is a big name, small name or no name at all up there. However, I don't really give a fuck about a person's reputation, especially in the music game. While I don't think that this is the best thing I've ever heard, it is very far from the worst and, IMO, is at least worth a listen or two.

Enough from me for another week, but please feel free to keep me up to date with whatever project you're working on by hitting me up on Twitter or Facebook.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Heat

No, I'm not referring to the recent improvement in the weather pleasant though it's been. I'm talking about the new video from Configa featuring the vocal talent, and I do mean talent, of Jaz Kahina. The track's called 'We On Fire' and is taken from Configa's 'Calm Before The Storm' project, as mentioned last week, which proves that whatever, whoever says Hip Hop ain't dead.


Late as usual, I first happened upon Jaz on her combination with Illaman 'Talkin' 'Bout God' and have been one of her fans ever since. If you feel the same way, don't miss out on 'DJ Slademan Presents Gone' (feat. Agallah) for more goodness.


On a different tack for a minute, allow me to remind you of a prodigious singer/songwriter who celebrated her Earth Strong this week, Leontre. You already know that I grew up with Reggae as much as (if not more than) Hip Hop and will love it till I die, so it's always a pleasure to hear real authentic Reggae still being made. Everything I've heard from the album (not that it's finished yet) so far has been stellar. So, Ms Roberts, there's no point in wishing you the best as you already have it.


Back to the Hip Hop, this week's seen the release of J Live's 'S.P.T.A.', pronounced "spitta", it's short for said person of that ability, which aptly describes this educator to a tee. It's still possible to get a signed copy of the album on CD. How's that for reaching out to your fans?


Also new is Charity Starts At Home by Phonte of Little Brother and The Foreign Exchange fame. Once again this is further proof that Hip Hop is far from the Reaper. Don't hesitate, just buy this shit now!


Back to the UK, here's the latest video from People's Army veteran Genesis Elijah. Known for producing more bangers than the Wall's factory on bonfire night, Genesis spectacularly fails to disappoint us once again.


Next week the NHS is teaming up with ACLT in a drive to promote donating blood and bone marrow. If you're in London West End, Croydon, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol or Leicester and you're able, please feel free to call ACLT office on 020 8240 4480 to book an appointment.

If you're one of those people that changes your mobile on the regular, please consider assisting ACLT by donating your old phones in an envelope marked 'Free Post ReCyclewise ACLT'. All phones (not stolen, of course) regardless of their condition will be gratefully received.

One Love, Spy!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Feed your mind

You're probably aware by now that I'm a fan of the Associated Minds crew and their philosophies on Hip Hop and music in general. Well it seems that I'm not the only one (of course I'm not, but I'm just making a point here) as their recent collaboration with Eatgood Records shows.


'The Highball EP' features, as you would expect, just about every emcee, composer and producer from both cliques in a concentrated mass of musical mayhem.


Another, smaller, but equally potent crew that I'm a fan of is the Quaranteam, of which Skillit is a member. Taken from his 'As Seen On TV' EP, 'Tom Shanks' is Skillit's latest single and, to my ears at least, is a parody of the violence so often promoted in Hip Hop and Grime these days. Maybe I'm reading too much into it? Maybe Skillit is just a violent motherfucker? But, having met him and seen him performing, I don't think so.


This is a previously unreleased track from M9 who, literally, gave us the excellent 'Orion's Stencil' last year. Fortunately, for me at least, there were some physical CD's to purchase of this project too but they don't seem to appear as on option on the download site anymore. I'm glad I bought mine when I did.


Not exactly new (released in August) but still worth a mention, especially given my absence from the blog world in recent months, is Configa's 'Calm Before The Storm'. Once again this Toon producer adds boom to baps and comes up with a tasty sandwich with all the trimmings. Unlike his previous release, 'Pac To The Essence Vol. 1', this one is only available as a download but I'm hoping his upcoming album 'Inside The Echo Chamber' will be available in a physical format. We shall see.

Before I go, a quick heads up on a forthcoming event; ELZHI will be appearing at the Jazz Cafe on Thursday, 3rd November with a live band plus support from Yungun, Mr Thing and Spin Doctor. For more details and/or to register your interest check out the Facebook page for the event.

One Love, Spy!