Rambling Free

Before we head off on another long (and messy) weekend to Glade Festival, I do believe we promised to tell you all about some of last weekend’s exploits.

The weekend, like most at the moment, started on Wednesday night with Prefuse 73 at The Globe in Cardiff. Not one for the casual observer / listener as unless you immerse yourself within the full frequency assault taking place I’m sure it just comes across like a noisy tonal mess, certainly a few people present thought so. For me though it’s kind of like taking far too many mind altering substances and ending up in rather a dark state of confusion, then shining out of the chaos comes the answer to life and suddenly it all becomes bright and satisfying. Of course there’s less disappointment when it’s over so it could well be the healthy alternative to drugs, maybe FRANK should take note.

Thursday night we headed down to London for the DMC UK Championships. The only one who really caught our ears was Johnny One Move, unfortunately he messed up a a few times and slipped into third place. Who the others were I couldn't even tell you, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter, there were none there that will change your life should you look them up. Shame really, it does look like a rebirth of turntablism could be on the horizon, and certainly there were signs that the tune selections were being updated well, but the next QBert, Craze or A-Trak looks unlikely to be stepping out from these shores any time soon.

Not to say the night was a complete disappointment however, Inja stepped out of hosting duty for a moment and ripped up the stage with a few new tracks that are sounding hyper than ever. With the bass heavy in the beats and that rather annoying whiny voice he had in the Delegates Of Culture days seemingly lost, seems that the lower frequencies are helping to push Inja ever higher. He was also joined on stage by Skinnyman for an impromptu version of our current chart number one Hats High that was pure fire! Although it wasn’t the Mr Thing version, we did see the Thingster fully appreciating at the back of the stage too.

From the 02 Academy we headed over to the Elbow Rooms for the After Party, which despite the low numbers took a turn for the rowdy (in a good way) after a few rounds of Tequilla entered the equation. For anyone who complains that the UK Hip-hop scene is too serious, you’ve obviously never seen Mystro, Jehst, Farma G, Last Skeptic and Inja dancing to a Michael Jackon medley in the small drunken hours. Also met a rapper by the name of Skandal who I hadn’t heard of before but a few heads assured me he’s the future, he’s certainly got both heart and skills so hopefully there’ll be big things to come.

Next day we headed to the Great Birds Of The British Isles exhibition at the Oblong Gallery in Islington. No we haven’t gone all Bill Oddie on you, it’s actually an exhibition of work by 4 Bristol based female artists: Dora; Milk, Amour and K148 who’s styles meet somewhere in the realm of Street Art. Feeling a few of the pieces in there actually, and it definitely works as a collaborative effort. It’s on for the next few weeks before moving to Bristol again. Check their Myspace for details.

The plan for the rest of the night was to head to Fabric to catch Foreign Beggars, Scratch Perverts, Ghislain Poirier, DJ Hype and Mumdance amongst many others, however I learned a lesson in not gloating when you’re lady’s stuck in the middle of nowhere and the highlight of her day was buying some conditioner, she hexed us... and it worked.

What was turning out to be a great couple of days took a down turn as we decided to gatecrash an industry party with a free bar on a sure fire tip. We couldn’t find any sign of the party and ended up wondering lost amongst the haircuts and try too hards of Hoxton for far too long. We eventually thought we’d better get to Fabric as somebody had told us guest list shuts at midnight (is this true, sure it’s never been a issue before), we were late but it mattered not cos as we got to the back of the queue Nilk’s sister phoned to say his pregnant wife wasn’t too good and we decided to blow Fabric out and head down to his house in Swindon. I learned another lesson, don’t tell your lady she hexed you when this could be taken as meaning she was responsible for the condition of your friend’s pregnant wife, it’s a stupid and rather shitty thing to do. Thankfully Nilk’s wife is okay and it was one of those episodes that dictate we should always love our mums for going through all that shit for us.

So being in Swindon it seemed right to head over to the Swindon Carnival the next day, now Swindon Carnival might seem like a contradiction in terms and certainly it’s far from what goes on in say Bristol or Birmingham but there were a few good Sound Systems such as King Tubby’s pumping out the Reggae classics and one rather rowdier set up with more of a Dubstep and Drum & Bass selection. Plus plenty of food and rides for the kids so long as you’re not intimidated by the classic Estate characters such as ‘tattooed topless man with the dangerous dog’ (of which there were plenty) it’s not a bad afternoon out, infact would have stayed longer but had to be back for Foamo, Curtamos, Chesus & Rodski and Tony Blitz at Glo Bar. Problem is by the time I reached I only had 20 minutes before I had to shoot off and play in another bar so missed the whole thing pretty much. Was pretty quiet thanks to a mix of torrential rain and the uneducated ears of the Cardiff masses but heard the DJs all smashed it and Foamo, seemed happy enough with the night when I caught up with him briefly afterwards. Glo Bar has now been sold but there's some heavy Music By Numbers nights lined up before then, and it's still going ahead in different venues afterwards too.

To top the weekend off on Sunday, headed to the Starving Artists jam at the Shot In The Dark cafe. Some may have caught the twitterings but if not then it was a great jam of the type that is really necessary to help scenes grow. As well as the DJs that included Lurk On Film, there were live drums, guitars and a cello all adding their parts whilst an assortment of emcees such as Redeye and Ming Dy Nasty from Lex Umbra (formerly Shadow Law), Ruffstylz, Louis Boston and Skunkadelic plus various other rappers and singers took turns on the mic. There was also an appearance from Beatbox Fozzy, who is without a doubt one of our favourite vocal percussionists and who has been working on some killer Dubstep that we've been trying to lock down a recording of for a while now. With a healthy fine lady ratio (don't mean to be sexist but can't really say what the reverse ratio was) and a real good creative family atmosphere, hopefully there will be many more of these jam sessions running in future. It was certainly a great finale for our long weekend adventures, just looking forwrds to what this weekend has in store now, catch you all when we return.

(YSI) Santigold - Creator (Mumdance War Bars Remix) / alt link

(YSI) Santigold - Creator (Curtamos Remix) / alt link

(YSI) Mystro - BlitzMess / alt link (from forthcoming Shortee Blitz Mixtape)

(YSI) Shadow Law (Lex Umbra) ft Ruffstylz - Damage Done / alt link

(YSI) Louis Boston & Refound - Spittin' Stixx / alt link

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