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Devlin – Right move by Island A&R’s?

3 Nov

Long time no speak G&C! Fortunately Shea has been holding down the fort and regularly posting!

I wanna bring to your attention an artist that you should all be aware of, his name is Devlin.  I’d imagine a lot of industry eyebrows were raised last year when Island Records signed possibly the most underground grime artist around.  The MC from East London has dropped his debut album (Bud, Sweat and Beers) on Monday and I’m still debating whether it was the right business decision by the label to take such as risk.

I’ve listened to Devlin’s music for about three or four years now and this album has concreted the fact that at only 21, he’s without a doubt on of the best lyricist to come out of the UK.  He’s nowhere near as poppy as tinchy, tinie tempah or professor green and I’m not sure however if the mainstream is ready for him just yet. I was infuriated to find that in the NME’s review, they could only muster up some weak negative comments including an extremely cliché / borderline racist Eminem comparison.

It’s not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, like it is mine but I have to say that the a&r at Island Records definitely has a lot balls…  I salute you whoever you are!

Check out one of my favourite tracks from the album ‘Days and Nights’

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RIP Eyedea

19 Oct

The hip hop world has been shocked by the announcement that underground rapper Eyedea has been found dead at his home.  The news was broke on sunday evening and the cause of death is yet to be determined.  Eyedea will be remembered for his incredible freestyle ability.  Check out this clip of him rapping on The Wake Up Show with Slug from Atmosphere.

Label Of The Week: Mute Records

30 Sep

Last week on twitter, @Roughtradeshops had tweeted ‘Welcome Home Mute’.  For those who didn’t know what that meant, it was a response to the news that Mute had become independent once again.

The label was started in the post punk era of 1978 by Daniel Miller who initially used the imprint to release singles by his band ‘The Normal’.   The DIY attitude of the previous generation was clearly inspiring as ’78 was the also the year that Rough Trade Records, Ace Records and Factory Records were founded.  In 1980, after Miller’s own singles became successful, he decided that Mute would begin to sign other artists.  This move would soon prove to be the right one as Mute would go on to release some of the biggest electro-pop records of the 1980’s.
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Katy Perry appearance on Sesame Street pulled by PBS

25 Sep

Today I got an email from fellow G&C contributer Shea asking me to stick up a recent video of Katy Perry appearing on Sesame Street. I initially thought he may have some sick hand-puppet fetish he wanted to share with us, but the clip actually has some relevance!

The video, which shows Katy chasing after Elmo while performing her song Hot N Cold, has been pulled apparently due to Katy’s choice of clothing. The video, however, will still continue to be shown online and from looking at her dress, their reaction may be slightly OTT… Smell a publicity stunt anyone??!!

Miss Perry joins the long list of celebs to appear on the show which includes David Beckham (giving spelling lessons!), R.E.M., Feist, and west coast gangster rapper Ice-T, mainly known for his track ‘Cop Killa’.

She will not however be the only musician whose episode has been removed from circulation as Chris Brown also received the same treatment for notoriously beating up his then girlfriend Rhianna…. Shame he didn’t do the same to Elmo!

Label of the Week – Ninja Tune (and Big Dada)

22 Sep

Every week from now on I’ll be discussing a record label that I feel has contributed something special to the music industry.  Indie label Ninja Tune has recently celebrated their 20th birthday and as I’ve also interned with this company, it would obviously be a good idea to start with these guys.

In the late 80’s Jonathan Moore and Matt Black were churning out the hits by cutting up funk breaks and hip hop and making their own signature style of electronic dance music.  The now legendary duo also known as Coldcut decided to set up Ninja Tune in 1990 and have went on to release some of the most cutting edge music in electronica and hip hop, earning them and Ninja Tune a cult following.
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MTV and You

17 Sep

Yesterday, as part of Belfast Music Week, I attended a free seminar entitled ‘MTV and You’ and the chief of events in MTV UK kindly spoke to the room about the future of MTV and it’s effects on us as an industry in Northern Ireland.
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Rough Trade Bosses Asks Twitter – Where Should We Open A New Store?

4 Sep

One of London’s leading independent record shops is currently looking to expand it’s chain and from the looks of things, Dublin is the city of choice!

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