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Preview: The Great Escape 2017

 
By on Thursday, 11th May 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Now May is upon us, and 2017’s festival season is beginning to rear its beautifully sunburnt and rain-soaked head. Before all the festival giants appear later in the summer, your Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, etc., it’s the turn of the smaller gems, including The Great Escape. A festival noted for both its industry focus and incredible ability to highlight those new acts worth following, The Great Escape is now a rite of passage for those in, around or outside the industry. We’re sure you’re more than aware of The Great Escape and all it offers, but just in case, think SXSW just far less warmth and people: this isn’t Texas, after all. It’s filled with industry-based conferences, which may or may not be your thing, it appeals to movers and shakers as well as opportunists, all with a lovely seaside setting in Brighton.

For its twelfth outing, the 400 act-strong lineup is littered with the best and brightest from around the world, including Spotlight shows at the Dome with Brit-punk duo Slaves, current household name Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, as well one at the Old Market by grime forefather Kano. There’s a little something for everyone spread out over the 3 days and 30-odd venues, from hip-hop to indie, and everything in between.

It would be amiss for us to not give you a little help on deciding who to see, so here’s a few of our choice picks, starting with the ridiculously funky and impossible not to dance to Artificial Pleasure. With echoes of Bowie and Talking Heads – a winning combination if there ever was one – the foursome create true earworms and are definitely ones to watch. Getting things a bit punkier are Norway’s Sløtface. At the forefront of the new class of punk, they support equality and aren’t afraid to call out bullshit with ridiculously catchy melodies and choruses you’ll be singing for months after. Considering they’re four college students, they’ve already made waves bigger than the English Channel, including a successful trip over to SXSW. We also suggest nine-member Canadian jazz group Busty and the Bass. A fusion of jazz, hip-hop and electro-soul, this group will give you a guaranteed good time filled with beats and breaks that will have you reeling for days.

As with all events like this, you never know quite what could happen. Bands pop up all around the vicinity doing last-minute shows, collaborations between new and old friends. Like we mentioned in last year’s preview piece, Brighton is already a melting pot of creativity and arts: The Great Escape is just more fuel for the fire. So get yourself down to The Great Escape next weekend for a few days of sea, sun (hopefully) and music. Throughout this little festival, it’ll be impossible to not find an act you like. It’s a special, vibrant time that’ll guarantee you a good time.

Only 3-day festival passes are currently available. Passes for 18+ festival-goers are £65; a cheaper alternative giving 16- and 17-year olds access to the venues they can enter is available for £32. While Slaves and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s Spotlight shows at Brighton Dome are now sold out, you can register here to enter the giveaway for tickets to their shows and Kano’s show at the Old Market. Full delegate badges giving access to both the convention and the festival showcases are still available for £250; convention-only badges are sold out. Watch an early trailer for the festival below. To read more of our coverage of past editions of The Great Escape, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PyzNEeTjEw[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: London hip-hop and r&b artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 24th February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

As I’m sure you imagined, London wins the prize among all British cities for sending the largest number of artists to SXSW 2017. Today, we introduce you to acts from London of the hip-hop, grime and r&b genres. To be perfectly honest, while we have covered r&b artists here on TGTF, we’ve never really given hip-hop a lot of space, because none of us writers were experts on the genre. With Ray BLK winning the BBC Sound of 2017 in January, we can’t ignore rappers any longer and will strive to do better, starting with this post. The below summaries are written by Rebecca Clayton, except where noted. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

808INK
808INK are producer 808Charmer and rapper Mumblez Black Ink of South ‘LUNDUN’. Musically, they’re not easy to pigeonhole and don’t quite fit with their grime or hip-hop contemporaries, and instead describe themselves as an “alternative music duo” on their Facebook page. Drum-heavy and packed tight with creative beats and synth rhythms, their sound is certainly something that stands alone. Creating music together since 2013, 808INK are looking to step away from their day jobs and producing music in 808Charmer’s garage and step up to the main stage.

AJ Tracey
AJ Tracey (pictured at top) is the stage name of West London-born Che Wolton Grant, the up-and-coming grime MC. Grant studied criminology at London Metropolitan University before he dropped out to pursue music, first performing as “Looney” before adopting his current moniker.

He released his debut EP in mid-2015, ‘The Front’, then quickly followed this up with a second EP in December of the same year, titled ‘Alex Moran’. His latest EP, 2016’s ‘Lil Tracey’, features popular tracks ‘Buster Cannon’ and ‘Pasta’. AJ Tracey’s sound is tightly constructed lyrics over subtle, electronic beats. Tracey’s voice and message is front and centre, delivered with the young grime artist’s crisp, heavy-hitting tongue. Along with Dave directly below, he was longlisted for the BBC Sound of 2017, which ultimately went to Ray BLK (at the bottom of this list of hip-hop artists).

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9-9GWFuS5w[/youtube]

Dave
From the BBC Sound of 2017 longlist on the London hip-hop shout list is 18-year old South Londoner titling himself simply as Dave. Despite receiving a number of offers from record companies, classically trained Dave made the decision to stay independent, working on his music whilst studying at college. Last year, Dave released his debut EP ‘Six Paths’, made his festival debut at Bestival, and even drew the attention of Drake, who remixed a track from the EP, ‘Wanna Know’.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcBv9KYopG4[/youtube]

Frisco
If you’re familiar with the UK grime scene, then you might already be aware of Frisco. He’s most known for being a part of the London-based collective and record label Boy Better Know, members who also include brothers JME and Skepta, who won the 2016 Mercury Prize. Frisco has been with BBK since 2005, pretty much since grime’s conception, and released his latest project last year, the LP ‘System Killer’. Known for his quick tongue and battle finesse, Frisco is one of the lesser known members of BBK, but with his latest release and appearance at SXSW, this might be about to change.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26UWBozEZ_I [/youtube]

Ghetts
Ghetts, known to his mum as Justin Clarke, is a name that will no doubt ring a bell with those big on grime. The East London MC released his debut mixtape following his release from prison back in 2005. He then went on to carve out a name for himself as a passionate player in contemporary British hip-hop and grime. It wasn’t until 2014 that he released his debut album, ‘Rebel With a Cause’. Prior to that, he shared six projects that he released through the internet. His latest single ‘Know My Ting’ was released earlier this month, and features the MOBO-nominated Shakka whilst rhythmically drawing on Caribbean influences.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUrYhhQwxOo[/youtube]

Hugh
No, not a solo artist. Hugh are actually an electronic quartet and sound as smooth as silk. With some pop elements entwined with blissful r&b, it’s pleasing and seductive all in one. Still on the way up, Hugh are gaining attention from fellow artists such as Diplo and others of that ilk. Try not to fall in love with their sound. We dare you. (Steven Loftin)

Kano
Kano, or Kane Robinson, is considered to be one of the forefathers of grime and rose to prominence in the underground scene through his connection to the London grime crew N.A.S.T.Y., and following his debut single ‘Ps and Qs’. He’s released 5 studio albums, a bunch of mixtapes and is featured in a long list of singles.

Kano’s 5th studio album ‘Made in the Manor ‘was released early 2016. It featured on the Best of 2016 lists from The Guardian, NME and The Independent, ultimately winning Best Album at the 2016 MOBO awards. Single ‘3 Wheel-ups’, featuring Giggs, puts full focus on his smooth, rapid vocals and razor sharp lyrics.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79ZP946eNVQ[/youtube]

Lady Leshurr
Lady Leshurr, known to her friends as Melesha O’Garro and originally from Birmingham, is a British hip hop/grime rapper and singer. Despite a relatively humble start, Lady Leshurr has drawn the attention of star-maker Timbaland (he’s previously worked with one of O’Garro’s big influences, Missy Elliott) and has been spending time in the U.S. performing and working on her debut album.

Her freestyle series, ‘Queen’s Speech’ drew the MC a lot of attention, and she released her first official single, which will appear on her debut album last year. ‘Where Are You Now?’ features grime legend Wiley and sees Lady Leshurr showing off her talents against an upbeat and lively track.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLFd6xaRLN0[/youtube]

Ray BLK
It seems rather appropriate that we end our week of coverage on London SXSW 2017 acts with the reigning queen of the BBC Sound of 2017. Ray BLK, from the South East London district of Catford, has already been dubbed the Lauryn Hill of the UK. The Nigerian-born Rita Ekwere began sharpening her music-making chops at the tender age of 13 when first given a chance as part of a group under the tutelage of MNEK. Although the group never went anywhere, it laid the groundwork in Ekwere’s mind that success was possible. While she only has a mini-album ‘Durt’ under her belt at the moment, we imagine a debut album is not far in the horizon. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfpgMkZ8vk8[/youtube]

 

Thom’s Top Albums of 2008

 
By on Wednesday, 31st December 2008 at 11:07 am
 

I did intend to do a full top ten, but seeing as I ran out of time I’m gonna list (in no particular order) the top albums of 2008.. I didn’t get time to cut down my shortlist either..

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular – This is the only album I ranked and I did so at Number One. A little cliched? Probably.. Predictable? Yes.. They’re topping loads of lists for this accolade (including the NME) and so perhaps this wasn’t the most shocking, but the truth is that I was praying for a 2008 release on this album (though strictly it was first released in 2007 the retail and UK versions fell in 2008). These physc-rockers have created the best album in a long while. It falls under no specific genre or style, yet is instantly listenable.

Highlights – Time To Pretend, Kids, The Youth

[youtube:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bIEOZCcaXzE]

MGMT – Kids

The Metros – More Money, Less Grief – The most under rated debut of the year. If you could bottle London, muggings, sexual riots, ASBOs, depression, topshop and all, then press it on to a CD, it would sound like this. The South London based garage indie rockers have produced one of the best albums of the year, every track is brilliant and the signles released have been on par with the quality of the album as a whole. This definately deserves a listen.

Highlights – Talk About It, Last Of The Lookers, Education Pt.2, Sexual Riot

[youtube:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zw55Dr324dY]

The Metros –  Education Pt. 2 (Live)

Bloc Party – Intimacy – The unexpected third album from Bloc Party was a pleasant surprise, and anyone lucky enough to see them live this year were lucky as they maintained top form through festivals and tours. The album was a digital adventure in to varying sounds, lead single ‘Mercury’ was a stark contrast to some of the other more mellow singles. It wasn’t low on energy either, ‘Trojan Horse’ amongst others going down a treat at live shows.

Highlights – Signs (whilst there are a load on this album, this track is a must listen

[youtube:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FWH3WAe6a_0]

Bloc Party – Talons

Continue reading Thom’s Top Albums of 2008

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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