News / Reviews / DJ Shadow / Discoveries

Happy Monday to you all. MySpace is still screwed. Turns out it’s to do with a powercut they’ve had in LA, screwed the servers or something. So, still feel bad bout yesterday’s totally bodged Unearthing MySpace Gems article. Once MySpace is back, I’m gonna edit that entry and get it done proper, then order you all to go back and check out those pages, and you will comply, oh yes, you will comply. Anyway, news…

Badly Drawn Boy is back! This is big news to me, being a huge BDB fan (that doesn’t mean I’m really fat). He is set to release his fifth album Born In The UK on 23rd October. This will be his first release under new label EMI, after he split with XL shortly after the 2004 release One Plus One Is One. I cannae wait man!

Kings Of Leon are to release a “download only” EP entitled Day Old Belgian Blues. It will be a collection of live tracks taken from their previous two albums. As the title suggests, all the tracks were recorded in Belgium. You can download it now at their official website. A third KOL album is due out some time next year.

The reggae label Easy Star are to record a dub version of Radiohead‘s OK Computer. This follows their previous cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, of which their version was called Dub Side Of The Moon. This project is known as Radiodread. This is due out on 21st August.

Not exactly breaking news, but interesting never-the-less, the shortlist for this years Mecury Prize has been revealed. The nominees are; Arctic Monkeys, Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Editors, Guillemots, Richard Hawley, Hot Chip, Muse, Zoe Rahman, Lou Rhodes, Scritti Politti, Sway, and Thom Yorke. There’s a few there I’ve never heard, but from what I have heard, I’d quite like to see Lou Rhodes win. Just really hope Sway doesn’t win, still cant work out why all the fuss over that chap.

Now then, DJ Shadow. Hmmm… seems that our fears may have been well founded. I’ve only heard three tracks from the new album so far, two of which were terrible beyond belief. I’ve read plenty of interviews and reviews recently, and basically the things I picked up on in particular were; he claims that everyone tried to copy the style of Entroducing, so he wanted to make an album nobody would be able to copy – yeah, or perhaps they just wouldn’t want to! Plus, he’s brown nosing this whole hyphy movement, and from what I can gather it’s literally just because it’s a bay area movement and that’s where he’s from – wouldn’t be an issue if hyphy wasn’t so damn shit. Anyway, I read a review and the summary was that it seemed very incoherent; 50% hyphy, 50% not so hyphy. The reviewer said that the record seemed like 3 separate EPs, and that anyone buying it cos they like the hyphy sound would be disappointed cos some of it is most definitely not hyphy. What makes it all the worse is that a separate hyphy album is coming out that will feature these Shadow tracks, why couldn’t he just have this hyphy stuff as a side project?! Oh well, it’s his life, just hope he doesn’t cry too much when the thing doesn’t sell. On top of all of this I still need to hear it for myself. I’m gonna do a big old review then!

Some people are naturally more open minded or just have a wider variety of tastes than others, but I believe all of us have to – on occasion – open our minds a bit wider than usual. I was recently sent an email that offered me the opportunity to check out a group called Cagey House. I guess you’d say they are an alternative electronica group. Their album Elephant Orange is now out and actually available for free download at the website of the netlabel Umor Rex. Anyway, this will mainly appeal to the proper electronica heads, but basically Cagey House have created a unique sound where by they use electronic samples of the classic variety to make compositions. Don’t let this put you off, but think along the lines of 8bit synths, but with a lot more class and depth. There’s quite a nostalgic sci-fi sound to the music, it really is almost as if they’ve deliberately gone for a style that classically sounded quite cheesy, but they’ve deliberately put the effort in to make it classy. It might not necessarily be an album I come back to time and again, but it is a genuinely interesting and insightful listening experience, and full credit to the guys for even attempting something so original in it’s own little way. Check out this track, if you wanna a taster before downloading…

Cagey House – Bebe Ebullient
>> download <<
This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 31st July.

Lastly I just wanna mention a few names that I’ve recently listened to; Asamov (now known as The AB’s) with their album And Now – if you like your indie hip-hop, get these guys checked! Same goes for The Procussions with their latest album 5 Sparrows For 2 Cents, some seriously good stuff. I also checked Aloe Blacc‘s new release on Stones Throw; Shine Through – some indie R&B style vocals over nice hip-hop beats, even finishes up the album with some Spanish tracks, including a cover of John Legend’s Ordinary People. Other than that, I also peeped the 2006 edition of Ninja Tune‘s Zentertainment compilation. Basically a preview of stuff out this year on Ninja Tune, Big Dada, and Counter Records. There’s a good mixture on there and it also includes a new Bonobo track…

Bonobo feat. Bajka – Nightlite
>> download <<
This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 31st July.

Anyway, till next time suckas. Although I’m the one that feels like a sucka at the moment – I never would have thought the day would come when I’d be upset bout MySpace going down!

Useful links:

  • http://www.solesides.com/ solesides
  • http://www.solesides.com solesides
  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Feel free to advertise on my blog, man. :-|

    Anyway, I read your review.

    Who are these long serving Shadow fans that liked 3 Freaks?! I know plenty of Shadow fans and not one of them remotely liked 3 Freaks!

    You also described Turf Dancing as ‘phenmonenal’… Sure you got the right track? That is possibly one of the worst tracks I’ve heard this year!

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Feel free to advertise on my blog, man. :-|

    Anyway, I read your review.

    Who are these long serving Shadow fans that liked 3 Freaks?! I know plenty of Shadow fans and not one of them remotely liked 3 Freaks!

    You also described Turf Dancing as ‘phenmonenal’… Sure you got the right track? That is possibly one of the worst tracks I’ve heard this year!

  • Ell

    UK dudes: Zentertainment 2006 is £3 @ Fopp Records. 3 quid!
    Thanks for the heads up on the Radiodread.
    Oh and Turf Dancing is wank, whichever way you look at it.

  • Ell

    UK dudes: Zentertainment 2006 is £3 @ Fopp Records. 3 quid!
    Thanks for the heads up on the Radiodread.
    Oh and Turf Dancing is wank, whichever way you look at it.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    £3… bbbbargain!

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    £3… bbbbargain!

  • Aaron

    As I said on last.fm, as long as you don’t compare DJ Shadow’s new stuff to his old — try to forget his old work, not matter how much you love it, if you can — it’s actually not bad Hip-Hop. Obviously, not the kind of Hip-Hop the mainstream lovers of Hip-Hop would like, but it does seem to have something. I am certainly looking forward to listening to the album.

    If seems if you look at all this new work in light of his old work, it’ll be like asking for a nice cold drink on a torrid summer day, and getting a semi-detatched bungalow instead; you’ll just be hugely disappointed.

  • Aaron

    As I said on last.fm, as long as you don’t compare DJ Shadow’s new stuff to his old — try to forget his old work, not matter how much you love it, if you can — it’s actually not bad Hip-Hop. Obviously, not the kind of Hip-Hop the mainstream lovers of Hip-Hop would like, but it does seem to have something. I am certainly looking forward to listening to the album.

    If seems if you look at all this new work in light of his old work, it’ll be like asking for a nice cold drink on a torrid summer day, and getting a semi-detatched bungalow instead; you’ll just be hugely disappointed.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    You’re half right there. When I review the album shortly, I’m gonna do so as if it is an album from any artist, or a new artist. However, even under that guise, those hyphy tracks are still very shit!

    Review coming soon.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    You’re half right there. When I review the album shortly, I’m gonna do so as if it is an album from any artist, or a new artist. However, even under that guise, those hyphy tracks are still very shit!

    Review coming soon.

  • Kez

    Seeing Thangs is an absolutley amazing tracks, it’s the one with David Banner. I saw it live at Splendour and it was asolutley mind blowing. I’m not a huge fan of the track he’s done with that English singer but the beat was wicked, and the track with Lateef is definately more poppy than previous work but it’s catchy and fun and good. I like his new stuff quite a lot. I’ve only heard two of the three tracks mentioned live, i don’t know how they sound recorded, but they are good.

    I’m really looking forward to the new album it’s going to be awesome.

  • Kez

    Seeing Thangs is an absolutley amazing tracks, it’s the one with David Banner. I saw it live at Splendour and it was asolutley mind blowing. I’m not a huge fan of the track he’s done with that English singer but the beat was wicked, and the track with Lateef is definately more poppy than previous work but it’s catchy and fun and good. I like his new stuff quite a lot. I’ve only heard two of the three tracks mentioned live, i don’t know how they sound recorded, but they are good.

    I’m really looking forward to the new album it’s going to be awesome.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Well I’ve got the new album and it’s far from ‘awesome’. Each to their own though.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Well I’ve got the new album and it’s far from ‘awesome’. Each to their own though.