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Showing posts from November, 2012

"Prove you ALL wrong, fuckers!" - The RZA, interviewed by me, for Bang Magazine, 2003

Royal Trux, Two Features

SEX PISTOLS, Never Mind The Bollocks / Spunk/ Filthy Lucre Live, Album reissue reviews, 1996, Melody Maker

(Melody Maker. 27th July 1996)
First, the reissue of the one great album, complete with demos, then the arrival of a live record of Finsburv Park. Now much do you need to hear of THE SEX PISTOLS? Never Mind The Bollocks / Spunk (Virgin)Filthy Lucre Live (Virgin)And so they’re slotted in, the punk chapter in every Big Book Of Rock. Flick through the index and they’ll be there between Santana and Del Shannon in bold type; the next time they do one of those 100 Best Albums Of All Time radio votes they’ll be nestling neatly at about number twenty-six, betwixt Blonde On Blonde and Dark Side Of The Moon, processed, placed, understood. McLaren, born smirking and uncaring, will recline with a cigar and a smug sense of vindication and wait for his cheques. The band will stand another round in the local. Lydon, who you hope is past caring, will fly home and feed his plants and die. The Sex Pistols are history, meaningful figures, boring, everything they resisted, everything it was inevitable they…

"Surprisingly moist" - HELMET LIVE REVIEW, 1995 Melody Maker

HELMET/KERBDOG WULFRUN HALL, WOLVERHAMPTON GRUNGE is dead? Oh grow up, for f**k’s sake. Journos who offer up post-structural cockamamie with one hand still have the other down their thermals wanking over their youth, fantasising the centre of a pop they can no longer find. “Grunge Is Dead” or “Britpop Is Back” they shout from pages covered in exclamation marks and super soaraway headlines, with their simplifying desire to pin down pop to a fixed trend, to tie it in with demographics or history rather than let it create its own messed-up mythology. The pop world that bounced you from cradle to classroom to club has gone for good – GET OVER IT! Grunge didn’t die with Kurt, it’s just undergoing therapy.    So in London, the post-Nirvana consensus may be crumbling but our cheap talk is broken, BLAMMO, by the 12-year old kids motormouthing in soprano, sharing cigarettes, wide-eyed and loving every minute, by the sweat that bullets my eyes with every crushing beat. We don’t need to patronise…

"Prime thugporn wanking material for Morrisey . . . " - SKINS, Gavin Watson, Review from Plan B

"acid & mushrooms & amyl & anger" - everything I done writ about LOOP

(from 2006 Plan B Mag) Loop Heaven’s End/Fade Out Chapter 22
What a world what a world what a big world to be drowned in: Loop were always just a little bit more engulfing, hostile, darker, scarier than Spacemen 3 and other space-rock kosmonauts of the late 80s– these reissues of their first two albums remind you of just how unearthly the fuzz and scrape and wah and throb they stacked up really was in those skinny tight times. ‘Heavens End’ is outright hostile-to-reality, an instant acid-hit to the temple, the album that ‘Psychocandy’ could only play at being: by the time of ‘Fade Out’ they were finding silence and funk in their whorl of sound – stick ‘Black Sun’ on and groove on the motorik-genius of the drums, their lightness and space. The best Loop tracks aren’t here (their unbelievable covers of ‘Thief Of Fire’ & ‘Mother Sky’ can  be found on the essential ‘Black Sun’ & ‘Collision EPs’ or find the mighty ‘Eternal’ singles-comp on vinyl) but see these reissues as a launchpad…

"a brief brilliant wonka-vite birth/perfection/death cycle" - WC AND MADD CIRCLE "CURB SERVIN’" - album review, 1995, Melody Maker

Payday JUST when you thought it was safe to go back in a hip-hop club . . .    If G-funk has died on the vine this year, it’s really because what made it great was a certain time and place (summer 94) and the feel it had of being a one-shot deal: a moment in which the normal speed of pop development accelerated into a brief brilliant wonka-vite birth/perfection/death cycle. It threw up a handful of great LPs and then vanished in ’95 with just the dull likes of Twinz, Bones Thugs and Coolio to sniff around its scorched gunpowdered fingers. At least until now. This LP is absolutely stunning. Where most G-Funk is getting samey because of its leanings towards the cleaner R&B-fied side of Parliament, WC have unlocked something closer to Funkadelic’s warped funkativity. Sure the trademark oozing bass, like Porsche tyres over hot black tar, is still here but the samples riding it are more twistedly bitable, less economically piercing than Dogg Pound or …

"burns yo'ass like the map on Bonanza" - THE STOOGES, "The Weirdness", album review, 2007, PlanbMag

The Stooges The Weirdness (Virgin)“Rock critics won't like this much” drawls the Ig 30 seconds in and he's gottabekiddin. Critics cream themselves insideout over restaged battles & this biz we call show is now half-run by the fantasy-pop parlour games of daydreaming fanboys. Nowt wrong w'dues & mortgages being paid – s'just you'd sooner take it in with some supper and a free refill when it hits Vegas than actually carry it around with you, let it in. Hey sug, the moment's past. It was fun while it lasted but we've both got to move on.    3 songs into 'The Weirdness' and you feel a hot-flush, menopausally vexed that this old flame can still get you so horny. It's been so long since you first hooked up to the same powerlines, buzzed on that repetition, cut your arm on those violent angles, saw that truly modern vision of beauty that still burns yo'ass like the map on Bonanza . Openers 'Trollin', 'ATM ' and 'You Can’…

"Heart-explodingly good" - COME, Live, Camden, 1994, Melody Maker review.

If only cos I find myself writing about Come again for the next installment of New Nineties. A blast from the distant past. My favourite band of the 90s fullstop. 

"Eternal youth forever" - VARIOUS ARTISTS TIGHTEN UP VOLUME 1 – DELUXE EDITION - album review.

(Trojan) Dissolve. Into the ether. Surveying pop history like Jesus on the hill, wondering who to bless with a pentapeptide spillage of immortality. Eternal youth forever so fuck the artists, fuck the bands, the perishable liaisons and fading friendships, the reunion-tours waiting to happen - here's to the factories, the immutable galvanization that only raw commerce can create, the production lines, the white-hot centers of excellence that blaze new trails, the ferociously competitive local vipers nests whose sparks fuel the fire which burns the rocket fuel to the firmament. Atlantic. Motown. Stax. Tin Pan Alley. Def Jam. And of course Trojan and the Jamaican scene it peddled to Brit skinheads. What's always made the music on the Tighten Up comps such a great introduction to ska and rocksteady (and onwards to roots & dub) for the wary is their sheer irresistibility as pop music – the strength of songwriting nous, sharpened by a thirst for precisely the sweet deep fizz comi…

"up there with Gucci Mane, Wacka and Gorilla Zoe in the current glut of gobshites" - HIP HOP COLUMN END OF MARCH 2010, DJ MAGAZINE

Dubbleedge The Trilogy/Choices Choices Hidden Agenda 8/10 Love DJ IQ’s loopadelia ‘neath ‘The Trilogy’ – sounds like a shard of prime Algerian psyche from the late 60s, rotated atop a thumping, sweltering beat that pushes the heat into yr lungs. When the music’s this freakin’ great, it’s a Christmas bonus to have the D dropping his mess all over it, his freewheeling bemusement at his own skills always totally compelling. On the flip ‘Choices Choices’ lashes Jaques Demy, Roots Radics &  Premo into a dream collabo none of them ever envisaged. Fantastic stuff from one of the UK’s finest MCs right now.

SINGLE OF THE MONTH Fliptrix You’ll Never Change High Focus 9/10 Ok, I’m assuming you’ve heard the stunning ‘My Soul’, ‘Madness ft. Kashmere’, ‘Dream Coat’ , ‘Get Involved ft Jehst’ & have been peeping the vid for ‘He Who Dares’? If you haven’t drag yourself away from all that illegal downloading you’re doing and hear one of UK rap’s most thrilling new voices. Fliptrix’s flow is an engrossi…