Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Diplo mix / Check the Technique

New music anyone?

* First up, head over to FiftyOne:FiftyOne for a cracking mix from Diplo which he whipped up for Radio 1's Essential Mix show. Plenty of tunes crammed into two hours with everything from M.I.A. (natch) to Bart Simpson (remember this?) with Joakim, A Tribe Called Quest and Nirvana in between. Quality.

* A tip from my law-talkin' sister led me to Drop It In Their Laps, the latest LP from The Cops. Taking musical cues from Chic, Talking Heads and David Bowie amongst others, Drop It In Their Laps is an certainly an eclectic affair. While not every track works, there are more hits than misses, each bullseye a showcase for the band's pop sensibilities. Hot Weapon is just one example, complete with an ending reminiscent of Bowie's Modern Love. Hey, what's not to like?

The Cops - Hot Weapon

* The Lock Tavern family of 'tarted-up boozers' (their words, not mine) is expanding again with the opening of The Amersham Arms in New Cross. Set to carry on the spirit of the pub's recent offerings before being taken drafted into the Lock family, expect plenty of live nights, comedy, art exhibitions, great DJ nights and damn fine bood and beverages. For their opening night on October 12 they've managed to call in a few friends to help celebrate. Deckwork will be provided by Hot Chip, Sinden, Filthy Dukes, El Plate, Casper C, Nasty McQuaid and Ben UFO. Not bad huh, and it's just 7 quid (a fiver if you're one of those studenty types) to get in. Plus, expect David E Sugar, XX Teens, Kevin Rowland, Don Letts, Fourtet and Findlay Brown to strut their stuff in the following weeks. Splendid stuff, and they serve Glasto cider too!

* Pinback are coming to town. Yes, Armistead and Rob are finally coming back to the UK in November, with a London show on November 22 at 229. Tix here, and given the strength new album Autumn of the Seraphs (one of 2007's best) it's a fair bet that it'll sell out too.

Pinback - From Nothing To Nowhere

Old music anyone?

* Hands up who thinks tomes on hip hop history are few and far between? Considering the movement is only three decades young, it's obvious that it'll take some time before more books like the essential Can't Stop Won't Stop hit the shelves to satisfy readers hungry to learn more about the four elements.

In particular, hip hop writing suffers from a lack of documentation of the movement's classic records and the people behind them. Maybe it's because of the early focus on the single (especially in regards to deejaying) than the album that there aren't any essential books dealing with the minutiae behind albums such as Raising Hell, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Criminal Minded, or Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (kidding). Until now that is.

Check the Technique makes up for lost time by focusing on 36 classic albums and the people behind them. Pieced together from countless interviews with the artists themselves, producers, DJs, label men and managers, Brian Coleman's book is a thorough look at how some of the best albums in hip hop history were made. It's perfect to dip in and out of, and provides new information on records that you've heard hundreds of times, or not at all, straight from the people that made them. One for the Christmas list, and the library too.