Thursday, 26 March 2015

Just a Minute mega-update!

Hope you enjoy all of these, up and comers Imprintz 95 and Young Brido, trap don Skyy Boii, and the first beatbox episode from L'.

Also don't forget to share and like the page if you dig it!

Nekswan - Waves (Produced By Florist) (Urchxns)

When the local limelight of Glasgow's Rap and Hip Hop Music scene first landed on Zayn Grieve aka Nekswan a couple of years ago it was very clear and eminent he was one to follow with his ability to captivate and articulate with his listeners through his poetic cast and use of language in an almost new school Shakespearean style never heard before him.

He has surfaced not only as a fresh dissenter of his previous mix-tapes and loosely released projects, but as a beautifully vocalized  sketchbook writer with an artistic mirage behind his metaphors and verses explored now devoted to creating, delivering and surpassing in real time.

" Waves " gifted by an alliance of underdog overachievers depicts a sense of isolation with its dark artwork orchestrating a still yet moving and emotional masterpiece beneath the crease of its ripples, slowly opening with an introduction to the sin of man served with a cynical but educating lesson on a certain seed of destruction. Followed by " Magnolia " which, along with many other favorites that received copious social media attention including air time on BBC radio one the Album unravels into a wondrous, softly sampled array of underwater eery but tasteful sounds finely selected by the arcanum Florist the Beatmaker aka Florsace complimented by Nekswan' lyrical tumbles as if this Album were created with the merging of space time within an infinite ocean of thought and color.

Zayn grieve is the rare artist that comes along who's work makes you question whether submitting to your everyday pattern of mind and life in the machine is really worth the bigger picture, incredibly inspirational and an indefinite milestone in Scottish Hip Hop if not universally.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Damaged Goodz - Two Thousand And Fifteen Axes Dodged EP

This E.P is part of the "2015 A-D" releases, with part 2 "Two Thousand And Fifteen Aquired Destinations" due in the summer and will form both volumes as a full L.P.

Features include : Kayce One, Madhat Mcgore & MR Defy

Produced By: The Stone Generals

Get it on Amazon now

Or stream below.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Breaking the Barrier Final - Summary

 Wee D & Andrew MacKenzie. All photos: Craig 'Cain' Hain / Crown Sound
Please note: this is a personal blog summary of the BTB event and we're not affiliated with any other publication. I just have to clarify that as a separate newspaper piece on the event from myself is forthcoming. Oh, and this blog features spoilers on the battle for those that don't want the results before youtube, but here's a geeky breakdown.

Though the event was moved from Audio to the more familiar Afillion Studios at the last minute, the final of the Breaking the Barrier battle tournament was still undoubtedly a success. As well as boasting a big headline performance from Blizzard (check my interview with him here), Wee D and Andrew MacKenzie both lived up to the pressure that a tournament final brings. To sum it up: this was far and away the best battle of the Crown Sound competition (I'm aware I've said that before, but this time I was sober). 

The tournament format wasn't streamlined - neither competitor battled in the first round, rather they came in as 'opportunities' for competing emcees - but you'd struggle to find two better battlers in Scotland. 

With that said, there was a clear contrast in styles. MacKenzie's content was undeniably more conceptual, tailoring his rigid flows and multisyllabics towards personally breaking down Wee D. Unsurprisingly, MacKenzie decided to take the referendum route, berating Wee D for his decision to vote no to independence in September. Though it seemed predictable in hindsight, MacKenzie's prop idea proved to work well. After wearing a "No Thanks" t-shirt during the first two rounds, he managed to swing crowd reaction (most of it anyway) in his favour by ripping it off in favour of an "I'm Still Yes" tee. 

That's not to say that a 'gimmick' won him the battle. MacKenzie's content was razor sharp with concentrated punchlines and a balanced amount of humour. MacKenzie tipping the crowd reaction by the third round proved to be a problem for Wee D to counteract, especially considering his crowd friendly style. That isn't to say that his approach was inferior, however, as his second round was probably the highlight of the battle. As he himself admitted in our interview, the Scottish battle crowd is more drawn to jokes due to our humour. Upon receiving no reaction for a more seriously orientated bar, the two emcees privately observed on stage that "they won't react to that." Regardless, in terms of structure, cadence and overall delivery, Wee D is unmatched, and it made for a very close contest.

The judging decision ultimately went 3-0 to MacKenzie in a battle that was anything but a 3-0. Myself, Blizzard and Mr. MacKenzie (not Andy, the other one) all edged it 2-1 in a similar manner, and met much disagreement afterwards. Whichever way you'd give it, hopefully the online views and comments give the clash the recognition it deserves.

One thing that did impress me about this event was the diversity. Being a small venue, it wasn't too difficult to pack out (and there was inevitably a number of emcees making up the numbers), but the music reflected the range of fans in the venue.  

Ransom FA's set particularly contrasted with the boom bap vibe that we've come to expect from Scottish events. Representing RFM and 'granite city' Aberdeen, Ransom brought a confidence and energy to his set that is more influenced by trap (or even grime). David MacWilliam, the artist formerly known as Kayce One, is in more traditional territory but no less impressive. His recent material seems to have particularly developed in terms of synchronicity, rapping comfortably over any random beat that is thrown at him (even during a frenetic soundcheck). There is an element of continuity though, with Toni Smoke on the decks for most of the night. Blizzard himself is remarkable, an example of what unbridled enthusiasm to perform can bring to an emcee's game. Even if grime is a more niche concern in Scotland, it's hard not to bounce along to his double time flows and often aggressive vocals.

The night ends, as all good ones should, with cake. I wish I got a photo of it, but it was part of MacKenzie's prize for winning a competition that has run for almost a year now. Here's to the next one.

As I said above, more interviews and features are coming from the event in a separate capacity so watch the facebook pages.