Tag Archives: Hip Hop

Etch Gems 01 : DJ Spooky – Songs Of A Dead Dreamer

11 Feb

ImageSo I haven’t posted on here in quite a long time, for various reasons (the main being I forgot my password), In recent time i’ve been sitting on public transport, trains, coaches, more and more often listening to music and writing loops and rough drafts of tunes to work on later, but between that I’ve also been writing a few little bits on some of my most inspiring, important and generally underrated albums/ep’s/12s etc… I’m gunna start uploading a few to here instead of letting them go to waste.

I first heard this album when I came home from a club at about 7am one time while I was in my first year of college. In that year me and my mates would go to a club in Brighton called concorde2 with extremely shoddy fake ID’s (0’s on our passports taped over the 2 in 1992 or 1991, our year of birth) which somehow seemed to work flawlessly. And typically at the end of the night I’d walk all the way back to my house, roughly 4-5miles out of Brighton, taking shortcuts through cowfields and such, they were pretty profound experiences as the sun was rising. So anyway I got back home with the average comedown, couldn’t get to sleep but was really tired but also pretty relaxed, so to kill some time I went and got lost in the internet looking for new music, links lead to links lead to URL’s lead to dodgy Russian sites (this must’ve been around 2007/8) and I stumbled on this, I’d heard of DJ Spooky before via his tune “B-Side Wins Again” being featured on the soundtrack to Need For Speed : Most Wanted (I think), but it was nothing quite like this.

An extremely hazy mish-mash of dub, hip hop, musique concrete and trip hop, I hadn’t heard anything quite like it. Obviously white noise could have sounded profound to me in that state of mind, but I kept coming back to this album and to this day it doesn’t feel one bit aged. DJ Spooky was a leading light in the long forgotten, little know New York Illbient scene. Spooky himself jokingly described it as “UK Ambient going to school and getting shot”, fusing the deepest darkest corners of Dub with the crusty darkness of hardcore Hip Hop. I feel it was probably overshadowed quite a lot by trip hop that was big at the time, this album itself came out in 1996, amidst critically huge albums from the likes of Portishead, Sneaker Pimps and Massive Attack to name a few. Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky (That Subliminal Kid) named after a character from a William Boroughs story, was onto something special, his future albums Riddim Warfare and Drums Of Death were also prime examples of these fused sounds, however none quite reached the mysterious, floaty realms of Songs Of A Dead Dreamer. It’s tracks were featured extensively in hip hop classic, a film titled ‘Slam’ which came out in 1998, starring Saul Williams (another guy who’s music is well worth checking out, particularly The Inevitible Rise & Liberation Of Niggy Tardust!) as a young MC sent down when his drug dealer is gunned down, he then rises the ranks in the prison as the best rapper in there. Despite it’s pitfalls the film is a brilliant visual embodiment of the sounds DJ Spooky creates.

For those interested in Illibient and DJ Spooky as a whole you should check the compilation album released on Asphodel called “Incursions In Illbient” feat. tunes from DJ Spooky, The Ummix and a few others. Also DJ Spooky’s entire discography is crazy, he’s also a lecturer now i believe? at some university in the US, pretty sure he’s also released a few books on philosophy and science fiction.

I’ll be writing in here a bit more often now, got a few more of these backed up to put on here too very soon. Hope it’s opened a few peoples eyes to some good new music!!


10,000 Soundcloud Plays

20 Jan

In celebration of reaching 10,000 plays on youtube, i’ve put together a pack of old tunes by me to let out. Some of these being nearly 4 years old.




Summer Rain

Ashanti – Call (Remix)

Stavrogin – Tilted (Remix)

Boards Of Canada – A is to B is to C (Remix)

Teej & Tom Caruana – Glastonbury (Remix)



Serene Feat. Josh Trinnaman


Enjoy, cheers fo’ da support thus far!

Tune Of The Week

15 Jan

Been another long while since I posted. But here we go >


Big big classic hip hop tune, produced by the one and only DJ Premier. Ticks all the boxes for me.

My Top 50 Of 2011

22 Dec

So yeah, I haven’t done a tune of the week for a while. so to make up for it, here is my top 50 tunes I’ve heard this year, not really in order coz I find it hard to pick favourites.

50. The Weeknd – What You Need

This goes without saying, I think anyone who actually listens to music fell for The Weeknd at some point in 2011, particularly this song.

49. Julio Bashmore – Battle For Middle You

Definitive tune of the summer, echoed across the crowded excitable fields of pretty much every festival this summer (apart from Reading probably coz it’s a shithole)

48. Blawan – Getting Me Down

Another tune that completely tore up 2011, featured in so many mixes and club sets throughout the year but never lost it’s originality, Blawan has to be my producer of 2011

47. Boddika & Joy Orbison – Swims

Despite still not actually being released, I think in 2012 this tune will become a bit tired. Similarly to the Blawan tune, has literally echoed throughout this years dance music scene crossing pretty much all underground genres

46. Bok Bok – Silo Pass

Absolute stomper from Night Slugs labelhead Bok Bok, gotta be one of my fav grime riddimzzzz

45. Darq E Freaker – Cherryade

Producer of the infamous Next Hype by Tempa T, Darq E Freaker brings back some dancefloor fire with Cherryade, Cannot stop moving when I hear this tune

44. A$AP Rocky – Acid Drip

Newcomer A$AP Rocky has caused a RIDICULOUS amount of hype in the past few months, and his mixtape dropped for free download last month each tune as amazing as the other, produced largely by Clams Casino. This is definately my pick of the mixtape though

43. SP:MC & LX One – Hunted

In terms of straight up dubstep there hasn’t really been much interesting stuff about since it’s hayday minus the obvious things from Mala, Coki etc… However this tune kills it in every way, heavy and dark.

42. DJ Champion – War Dance

Some standard UK Funky fun right here from DJ Champion

41. Kahn – Like We Used To

Definitely initially went under the radar this one, garage tinged vibes from Bristol’s Kahn

40. Burial – Street Halo

Any new Burial material is generally met with wide acclaim, this is no different, it’s also a much more dancier vibe from Burial, which is always nice (Speedball2 😦 )

39. Blawan – Shader

With Blawan now producing Techno pretty much full time, it’s always nice to hear the mad percussive beasts that I got into him for

38. A Made Up Sound – Take The Plunge

One of those tunes that kind of makes you feel like you’re about to explode in a club but you’re not quite sure why. Mental tune.

37. Airhead – Lightmeters

As always, astounding emotive work from Airhead, who i still solemnly stand by as being one of my favourite producers ever.

36. Lone – Rapid Racer

Lone’s productions in 2011 were absolutely on point, taking a strong influence from the golden age of rave and hardcore. This is my fav of the year, absolutely swimming in MDMA.

35. Swindle – Mood Swings VIP

Ridiculous production here from grime producer Swindle, def worthy of being called “epic”

34. Shlohmo – Just Us

If I could pick the whole Bad Vibes album, I would. But this tune is my pick of the album even so. Shlohmo blew everyones mind this year with this release, and his mix for FACTmag was also something else.

33. Aubyn – OCD

My personal pick off of the recent Stray Landings compilation and definately a tune to end the year. Fellow Brighton producer (and collaborator) Kane Aris (Aubyn) blasts through all expectations of a house tune and creates this wonderfully euphoric piece

32. Dub Phizix & Skeptical Feat. Strategy – Marka

Need I say more?

31. Enei – Danger Dance

Despite kind of loosing interest in Drum & Bass around 2009, some things can’t be ignored, particularly this and some labels such as Shogun Audio, Invisible, Critical and Metalheadz (of course)

30. Tyler The Creator – Yonkers

If I said I didn’t get sucked into the Odd Future hype earlier this year I’d be lying to myself, and so would you. Despite being everywhere you turned your head in 2011, Yonkers is still pure genius.

29. Dirty Dike – Hi I’m James

I gotta rep Brighton’s music scene (particularly hip hop scene) everyday, not coz I feel I have to, but because it is fucking on point. Dike’s album Constant Dikestar encompasses everything Brighton and lets be honest.. fun. Smashed this one out over summer, pure vibes.

28. Ifan Dafydd – No Good

Peculiarly being released in time with Amy Winehouses death this tune caused a stir in the bass music scene this year and was endlessly accused of being a James Fake (which i do agree with) but ripping Blake’s sound or not this tune stands on it’s own two feet as being amazing in it’s own right.

27. George Fitzgerald – Shackled

Definately my favourite Fitzgerald beat, mad vibes on this one.

26. Urulu – Untitled01

My boy Taylor Freels (Urulu) released 3 Untitled tunes this year for free, definitely my freebie’s of the year, this is my pick of the 3, house done proper. Download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?qbe4hpd44ott3ra

25. Piff Gang – Bow Down

The 808 was absolutely rinsed this year (and last year), here is a prime example of it being used at it’s best, Piff Gang’s album is definitely one of the best produced hip hop album’s i’ve heard this year

24. Breton – RDI (Girl Unit Remix)

This is probably one of the BIGGEST dancefloor destroyers ever, that bass. those air-raid sirens, it’s ridiculous. Girl Unit knows wassup, been obsessed with this ever since I heard Ben UFO drop it in a boiler room set

23. Joker – Milky Way

Joker is another one of the original dubstep Pantheon who made it huge this year with his album, this is my pick from it, beautiful synth work as always from the originator of Bristol’s “Purple Sound”

22. Zomby – Natalia’s Song

Been in awe of this since Burial & Kode9’s 2010 Mary Anne Hobbs mix and finally in early 2011 it dropped on 4AD followed by a brilliant album and recently EP from dubstep’s most infamous character.

21. Sbtrkt – Trials Of The Past

I don’t think I’ve met anyone that hasn’t liked Sbtrkt’s debut album this year, it deserved every inch of praise it received, this is still the pick of the album for me, sends chills down my spine, Sampha’s vocal work is something else

20. Andy Stott – Execution

Andy Stott’s album Passed Me By is possibly the most evil album in the world, I can’t listen to it without being scared of getting posessed, pure dark, bass ridden, claustrophobic techno, how it should be done.

19. Objekt – The Goose That Got Away

One of the most unforgettable tunes to come out of bass music this year, ridiculously polished production and techno tendencies. Objekt is a producer to keep your eye on.

18. Run DMT – Dreaming

lo-fi folk/music in general has always been something close to my heart, I know anyone can simply make something in a low bitrate and make it sound broken down in many ways, but it creates a sense of nostalgia and adds a unique vibe to the sound similarly to Boards Of Canada’s productions, this is  good example, fused with psychadelic sounds of the 60’s it creates a colourful soundscape.

17. TRC – Oo Aa Ee (Royal T’s I ❤ Garage Remix)

Garage has made such a massive comeback in the past 2 years it’s been hard to focus on any one artist bringing forth fresh sounding music (and to sift through the Burial rip offs), but Royal T brings his grime tinged stomper to the front of the crowd, proper dance destroyer.

16. Coki – Lower Octave

Despite completely turning my back on the screeching high pitched aggressive sounds of tear out dubstep around the end of 2009 when the mephedrone wore off, Coki’s evil aggressive brain manglers always have a place in my heart, this released on his latest EP on DMZ is no exception

15. David Lynch – I Know

I am a self-confessed Lynch bum boy and have been for some years, but when I heard he was making an album, I gotta admit I kinda face-palmed and was expecting it to be extremely gimmicky. But to my surprise it’s a wicked little album. This cut is def my fav, reminds me of Portishead.

14. Balam Acab – Apart

This is still one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard all year, maybe more?, Balam Acab’s Wander/Wonder is def album of the year for me overall, I don’t even know what genre it is, it doesn’t matter, it’s just fucking amazing. get it.

13. Clams Casino – All I Need

If Burial did Hip Hop, Clams Casino’s instrumental mixtape released earlier this year was out of this world. It’s free too, go get it.

12. Chris Brown – Look At Me Now Feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil’ Wayne

Think what you want, but this tune is HEAVY and Busta Rhymes’s verse is just ridiculous, tore up many a dancefloor and festival this summer.

11. Mosca – Done Me Wrong

The flipside (Bax) got all the hype this year down to it’s catchy synth line and don’t get me wrong it deserved it, but in my opinion this is THE ONE, got dropped in almost every DJ set i saw this year.

10. Sepalcure – See Me Feel Me

Sepalcure destroyed it this year with their self-titled album. beautiful vibes on this one, this is my pick of the album

09. Elgato – Music (Body Mix)

Smooth roller from Elgato, released on Hessle Audio’s MASSIVE 116 & Rising compilation earlier this year

08. GonjaSufi – The Lows

I’ve been eagerly waiting for new GonjaSufi material since his debut album A Sufi & A Killer blew my mind, and this recent EP (The Ninth Inning) has satisfied me for now, this is my pick of the EP

07. LV & Josh Idahen – Primary Colours (Extended Mix)

LV’s album Routes, released on Keysound earlier this year was an amazing hazy garage tinged bass exploration and an album so specific to London’s inner city hustle bustle it’s reminiscent of Burial’s album’s. This wasn’t actually on the final cut of the album, but sums it up pretty well.

06. Sully – It’s Your Love

Another full length on Keysound released this year, shows they have been extremely busy. This one from Sully one of the most underrated “future garage” (eugh I cringe even looking at it) around at the moment, and definately one of the best. This is the opener for the album and is def my fav track on there. dark edged garage

05. Martyn – Ghost People

Vibelicious treat from Martyn’s album Ghost People, garage, techno, house, dubstep all rolled up into a ball of perfection.

04. Black Chow – Wonderland

One of the many ventures of Kevin (The Bug) Martin, featuring vocals from Kiki Hitomi who is also part of group King Midas Sound with Kevin Martin. They cook up a typical vibed sound with heavy bassline pressure and hazy atmospherics, wicked release

03. XXXY – Kerpow

Dancefloor tearing release from XXXY, was released for free with ridiculous about of other sick tunes via Adult Swim’s Unclassified compilation, go get it!

02. Actress – Harrier ATTK

Actress re-defining the meaning of chill on this one, excellent release on Non-Plus earlier this year

01. Kahn – Azalea

Second helping from Bristol’s Kahn in my top 50, also completely different from the other tune. Kahn take’s dubstep backs to it’s dark, baron half stepping roots with this. Definately my favourite tune to hear on big speakers this year.

Tune of The Week

24 Nov

Heard this a while back in Tyler The Creator’s Summer Camp Mix, never knew what it was until I heard it again recently, I never delved into T.I. brushing him off as rubbish commercial RnB in the same vain as Jason Derulo and all them dickheads. But he’s actually a great artist, and this tune is on point, such a summer beat!

Tune(S?) Of The Week

18 Nov

I had to do 2 this week simply because I have been rinsing both the albums these tracks have come from so hard this week I couldn’t just pick one:


Balam Acab – Now Time From Wander/Wonder

Truly a beautiful piece of music, similar in vibe to Burial but a lot more uplifting as opposed to downcast and slowed down to a sluggish hip hop tempo. I think this kinda gets lumped in with that not-quite-there-and-not-quite-necessary genre ‘Drag House/Witch House’?? Who knows, either way I like it.


Clams Casino – All I Need From Clams Casino Instrumental Mixtape

I’ve been sitting on this album for quite some time without genuinely delving into it properly, until hearing the recent A$AP Rocky mixtape and learning a lot of the beats on it were made by Clams Casino, I then went back and listened to the instrumental mixtape and instantly fell in love with it. Similar in vibe to the Balam Acab track I posted, but a lot more mournful, perfect wintertime music.


MF Doom Red Bull Music Academy Lecture!!!!

7 Nov

Lecture: DOOM (Madrid 2011) from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

The notoriously elusive MF Doom drops some knowledge via a lecture in this years Red Bull Music Academy held in Madrid. Never thought i’d see this! next year = Burial (fingers crossed haha)