Friday 30 April 2021

Single Review: Live at the Guillotine '88 by Chess Moves, Junior Disprol & DJ Mada


Live at the Guillotine ‘88


Chess Moves / Junior Disprol / DJ Mada


The single Live at the Guillotine ‘88 is a collaboration between Chess Moves (Production), Junior Disprol (Vocals) and DJ Mada (I think you can guess what Mada’s contribution is…).

So, if you like your Hip Hop to hit hard and heavy with an experimental feel, then this one is for you. What these guys have put together is nothing short of brutal. Musically it is heavy, raw and as sharp as the title suggests. Mada’s cuts are unrelenting, frantic and slice through your head like a Katana blade. Junior Disprol drops lines that have a dark ruggedness which at times are almost indistinguishable from the musical fury around them.

This one is not for the faint hearted. So, if you prefer your Hip Hop to be safe and easily listenable then you might want to skip this one, because the way this one hits you, is like the dark places a mind can go to in its most troubled times, there is a message there buried deep in the anguish and you just have to understand and see past the noise to really feel it. Could it even be that this is what it is like to have your head removed by a guillotine and then, unceremoniously, shoved back on so you can go on your merry way…

Like I say, this one might not be for everyone but, in a way, it is refreshing to hear something a little different that throws all the concepts out the window and does it completely differently. You could say this one almost sets up a new genre…Death Hop anyone?


Live at the Guillotine ’88 is now live and poised ready to slice through the mind of those brave enough to put their heads on the block…

I’m out,



Listen on Spotify Here:

Listen on Apple Music Here:

Listen on Tidal Here:



Wednesday 28 April 2021

EP Review: Pianos of Grandeur by FBS (Oldboy & Charles Edison)


Pianos of Grandeur


FBS (Oldboy & Charles Edison)


Released on February of this year, Pianos of Grandeur is an EP from FBS, Fantastic Bar Stewards, otherwise know as the duo of Oldboy (Vocals) and Charles Edison (Production). You might guess from the title that this one has a vibe that is based around the piano, and you’d be right but, don’t think for one minute that it means this one is not on that Hip Hop tip, because it most certainly is.

As we take our place and watch as pianist takes his place at his instrument of choice, we are first treated to an Introspective which features Charles Edison and is introduced by a sample from First Blood Pt2. Oldboy and Charles take us on a deep into their thoughts, feelings and mental state over a laid-back beat that is unmistakably head nod with more than a sprinkling of Jabbas stately cuts. The head nod vibe continues as Oldboy opens his mind to us and explains just Who Is Oldboy, what makes him tick and how he incorporates that into his rap style.

No Edits drops on a more jazzy vibe with a sprinkling of polished cuts as Oldboy is joined by Charles Edison and Micall Parkinson who treat us to a track that keeps ya moving while all the while letting you know its all about life, deep lyrical content and delivering everything with no edits. We hold on to that jazz vibe for the Stars Don’t Shine, a comparison of the new to the old in the rap game. The stars might shine in the night sky but, that don’t mean those new to the mic shine the same way as they once did…

Taking it back to head nod all the way with more of those dope cuts, Charles Edison pops up again on this one as he and Oldboy detail exactly what its all about in the game. You have to step up, hold your own and make a Clean Kill if your gonna survive. There is no let up to beat pounding and keys speaking as the listener, the supporters get a track dedicated them, yeah believe it This Ones For You ya feel, enjoy. To round off the EP Scotland’s own One OZ joins Oldboy for a track that you might wanna listen to at a Quarter Past Midnight because the vibe of this one both musically and verbally has the potential to put you into altered states, if you listen at the right time, with pounding drums, etheric keys and sublime cuts and UFOs.


Creating the piano vibe to run throughout this one really puts you in mind of sitting in some dark and smoky speakeasy. You sit quietly in the corner listening to the music and the threads of other people’s conversations that all begin to merge into one the more you try to focus. The subjects as diverse as real life, the internal workings of the mind, inspirations and influences, to the more esoteric, it all floats through your conscious awareness as the various piano moods hold your attention allowing your mind to drift but, the heavy drums and polished cuts keep you anchored to reality but, which one…

There are three main elements here Oldboy, with his slick wordplay, Charles Edison, with solid production, and Jabbathakut, who provides the kinda cuts that hit the nail on the head. When you add a couple of top-notch features from two Emcees who are at the top of their game in Micall Parkunsun and One OZ and Pianos Of Grandeur a rock solid Hip Hop sound that will be easy enough to kick back to whilst having just enough edge you can bang it on in car too.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this one. I think that moulding the whole project around the piano as the thing that creates the mood worked so well, it was what drew me to write this review as it was not originally on my list but, I had to once I listened and got into it.

So, my advice is simply to go listen or, more over, buy it and let yourself get immersed in the sound as you won’t regret it.

Pianos Of Grandeur by FBS is out now and features artwork form lkjdrawsdotcom.


Enjoy, I’m outta here.



Get your copy of the EP on Bandcamp Here:

Monday 26 April 2021

Single Review: What's It All About / Fly Antics ft Jabbathakut (Pandamonium Remix)


What’s it All About / Fly Antics ft Jabbathakut (Pandamonium Remix)


MC Oliver Twist meets Pandamonium


LL Cool J once said the line “Don’t Call it a comeback” and that line came to mind as a read through the promo material for this release toward the end of 2020. I have dropped reviews for both these artist’s before and both are top guys. Not just that but, they put hard work, dedication, and life experience into there work, just as a many great artists do, and when life throws you curve balls that adds a deeper element to what you produce.

So, at the end of 2020 and with both artists working on album projects, they hooked up and then cooked up a couple of tracks for your listening pleasure.

It is always a pleasure to listen to and review their work so, to be able to review a joint project from these guys was something I was not gonna miss even though my own life experiences meant it was part of my own return.

So, let’s get into this…

What’s it All About is just that, a track that Pandamonium’s production brings your mind to a Parisian cafĂ© on a warm summers afternoon as you just sit back chewing the fat. Oliver Twist provides the narrative to that setting which crystalizes the vision of a group of friends sitting round chatting over the randomness of life, situations and, ultimately, the greatest question What’s it all about, I mean really…

Fly Antics features cuts by the one and only Jabbathakut and gets the Pandamonium remix treatment, this brings a jazzy feel with a mariachi style guitar vibe. That mariachi vibe fits perfectly with Twist’s wordplay as he takes us on a light-hearted trip through his life and some of the crazy shit he has been up to over the years.


Overall, these two tracks bring a refreshing and light-hearted feel with them. The kinda soundtrack you want to those summer days chilling out with good friends and maximizing the feel-good vibes. Through all this Oliver Twist shows that he is going from strength to strength and his forthcoming debut album project is likely to be one of those bar raisers from an incredibly talented artist. Pandamonium brings his talent for being more than able to produce a jazzy vibe that will fit exactly the tone of what the emcee is saying bringing whatever he touches from standard to high definition.

Together these guys perfectly encapsulated a Hip Hop vibe that brings that head nod style mixed with high strength injection of light-hearted feel good. The kinda music that lifts you up when you’re feeling down and sticks in your mind and when you’re wondering what to put on, you’re just like ‘Oh Yeah, that Twist and Panda vibe is what I need.

So, if you’re looking for a little lift or the suns out and you want the soundtrack, then stick these on for the perfect way to raise or simply just match your mood.

So, enjoy and I’m out,



Get your copy of this digital single via Bandcamp Here:

MC Oliver Twist on Bandcamp Here:

Pandamonium on Bandcamp Here:

Friday 23 April 2021

Album Review: Mid-Life Crisis by Reckless

 Mid-Life Crisis




Reckless sent me this album and asked if I would listen to it with headphones and in one sitting, no breaks. Doing this would enable me to get the real feel of what this album was all about. Now, initially, I have to say I was a little skeptical about this but, I did as asked and the outcome of that was, I did it again to make the notes for what you are about to read.

It was somewhat of a challenge to write while listening and thinking but, I’m sure you will enjoy the read and what I have to say about it afterward.

Imagine, just for a second, that you have hit the mid-point of your life and that you could leave your body and take a look back at life to that point, well the vibe of Cognitive Dissonance makes it feel like you are doing just that. King Arthurs production creates this dark but, thoughtful with an almost dreamy element before these brooding 80’s style synths come it and create this mind bending feeling you are separating from your body. Just as you are getting into this strange feeling the instantly recognizable voice of Madchild from Swollen Members grabs your attention to remind you that this is Nottingham’s finest Reckless you’re listening to and this is his story. Now you’re focused in the right direction a deep string vibe again has your awareness. Then the calming voice of Breana Marin steel your attention over a deep beat with a trap feel (production by Dreamlife), then the voice of Reckless drops in and we are treated to a retrospective on just who is this man, Reckless.

Now we know who he it’s time to take a look back at his life and what its like hitting that Mid-Life Crisis. The title track, produced by Dreamlife, is more upbeat with some nice horns which, coupled with the soulful voice of Greg Blackman, create this mood lifting moment as we are treated to the highlights and transformative aspects of life. With our mood lifted we are again treated to the beautiful voice of Breana Marin who takes us into Adored. The track, produced by Dreamlife, has that trap vibe with a heavy beat over a more calming almost electronic element. The track is all about reaching for your dreams and the desire to make them a true reality. There are ups and downs along the way but, that desire to make it happen and to be respected is powerful and will ultimately win out if you stay focused. Time for that head nod Hip Hop vibe with One The Record, which features Nay Loco, Ty Healy with cuts by Jabbathakut and production by Dreamlife. The golden era feel of this almost gives you chills, giving us an insight into the love of good vinyl. There is nothing like dropping the needle on the record, turning the volume up and drifting off into your favourite tracks in way like no other, vinyl is a spiritual experience.

I Wish, produced by Blizzard, has a more soulful vibe that is deepened by the vocals of CW Jones but, still keeping it boom bap. We all have wishes as we move through the challenges of life. Some of those wishes are easy to reach and some are not so easy. But it’s all about staying focused on those wishes, hopes and dreams and not worrying about the journey in-between. Dreamlife’s production on Do Right takes us back to that trap vibe. Reckless is joined by Mandato to look at the decisions we ponder in day-to-day life. There are so many times when we struggle to know what is right and wrong and there are those times when we know we are doing wrong, we know it but, it makes us feel us good. It’s all part of our story that makes us who we are.  Heavy bass with a more laid-back feel is the basis for This Time Next Year, produced by Dreamlife and featuring Idranix, this one is all about living in the moment. The more we do this and focus on right here, right now, we won’t have to worry about the future because this time next year we will already know this shit, that or no one will even give it a second thought. If we think about day-to-day life, you see many faces as you walk but, You Don’t Know The Struggle people go through behind those faces and that struggle is real. This track, produced by Dreamlife, maintains that laid-back feel and sees Scorzayzee and Oliver Rees join Reckless for a look at how people deal with there struggles in life and how we so often don’t know, don’t see or can’t comprehend the struggles behind those faces.

Some nice guitar vibes and a soulful vibe, with vocals from Isiah Rashad, provide the perfect background for Thank You, produced by Dreamlife, this one is an unapologetic and heartfelt message to that one special person in your life, the one who is always there no matter the situation. The comic intro to Not All Heroes Wear Capes sets up a chilled vibe which looks at those people who are in your life who do amazing things at the right times. It could be a small gesture, or a huge offer and it can come from a friend, brother, mother, father, sister, brother, or child, they are all heroes in some way.

There are times in life when you might need a little help to feel good and on All Four Seasons, we walk alongside Reckless as he takes us through various stoned experiences. The track is laid-back, as you’d expect, with production from Dreamlife and a feature from 1st Blood. From laid-back to a drum heavy piano vibe, produced by Dreamlife, with Briana Marin on the chorus. Here Reckless looks at how being you means, so often, wanting to do things My Way. Sometimes these situations work and sometimes not and your relationships can end up falling apart, you just have to remember it’s all about balance. The album rounds off on an important note. With a laid-back But, still body moving production from Dreamlife and an almost posse cut feel, Louis Cypher, Birdie Mack, and AJ Wyles join Reckless to drop something deep. The last eighteen months have been rough for us, some more than others and with all these us and downs it has become so apparent that we need to reach out. There are many ways people cope with the struggles of life but, the most important thing, as the song says, is to Talk.


It has been a pleasure to listen to something that is an immersive, highly personal, and emotive experience. I could literally feel the emotion oozing from this as I listened. There is a definite value in experiencing this album in one go, start to finish, with your headphones on. It does add a slightly deeper experience to whole thing, and I would encourage anyone to do this. Because the album flows perfectly across the vibes, beats and styles of music and the subject matter throughout is likely to make you sit back and look at your own life, especially if you are or have already moved into the second half of your life. But this is not just for the older heads out there because the vibes here will appeal to a fairly wide audience and will give them something to ponder as they go through life, there are some important messages here.

Mid-Life Crisis is probably the perfect shadow to the previous album, A Product of my Environment (2019) which was far more light-hearted and at times tongue-in-cheek look at life growing up. Now we see him as he stands at the mid-point of his life, reflecting and musing over what has gone before and the lessons learnt. We see him tackle subjects like mental health, relationships and other personal subjects that might be one person’s story but, there are things here many of us can relate to.

Reckless shows a maturity in his verbal expression that really draws you in and he also displays different flow styles to match the musical styles and is a credit to his style of rap. The production here creates exactly the right tone for the messages that Reckless put across. Producer Dreamlife especially shows a diverse range of musical expression and does a great job on this album. The guest artists all fit perfectly where they feature adding that extra element when needed and it was good to hear the legendary figure of Scorzayzee here.

There is no set release for Mid-Life Crisis at this time So, you only have my word for how good it is and I hope that is enough for you. But, I for one would like to see it out there and getting the respect it so definitely deserves.

Huge thanks to Reckless for giving me the chance to review this and for bearing with me as I move through some difficult times before getting this one out.

On that note,

I’m Out.


Wednesday 21 April 2021

Album Review: Rainbows In The Rubble by Frisco Boogie


Rainbows In The Rubble


Frisco Boogie


Rainbows in the Rubble is the follow up to 2020’s Masks of the Morning Sun (Which I also reviewed) and was quite a challenge to review. Frisco sent me the album as a single file and so I took it upon myself to listen and make notes as I went. So, as you can guess it took a couple of listens to get all I needed.

As this was released in February 2021 there are many of you that might have already heard this but, for those of you who have not or for anyone interested in my take on it, Let’s go…


The Intro is a simplistic beat that fits with the contemplative narrative as Frisco speaks on reflection of the many differing situations that we have all faced but, there are always the blue skies beyond those grey clouds. Next up is the album’s first single, Survival which drops with an upbeat head nod vibe over a synth which adds to that upbeat feeling. This track evolves that impression from the intro and looks at the little things we do that help us survive those dark days, because its all about the feel good, the more we do that, the less the darkness can steal, and speaking of the feel good Frisco is joined by Billy Biznizz for B.A.R.S, a pounding foot stomp feel with a nerve tingling violin and dope cuts added to the mix. Here it’s all about exactly what the title says, Bars. The art of the emcee is to conjure those words about anything and everything that either needs to be said or just comes to mind, they then write it all down ready for the next project.

The melodic beat and flute on Everyday seems to take you back a few decades and as you listen you get this feeling this one is talking to you about facing life’s challenges and that you can see you have risen from every setback like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The track ends with a laid-back skit that has you mellow out to some positive vibes via a deep vocal that lifts and relaxes you at the same time. The chilled-out vibe continues via calming brass vibes and a laid-back beat on Goodbye (The Second Single from the album) and here we find Frisco saying goodbye to all those negative influences in life. These are the things, the people that you don’t need, just keep walking forward with a focus on your goals. Keeping you in that chilled contemplative place, White Feather carries you along with an eastern vibe from a sitar. The white feather has always had a deep meaning, and many believe that seeing one float down in front of you or one the path in front of you means that you are being watched over by a loved and that you are on the right path. Like a positive sign on those darkest days and as the track ends the music seems to take you to the brink of darkness before hinting at a reincarnation and a return to the light.  

La La La La takes us back to the head nob vibe with a pounding beat and some eerie piano as Friso takes us on trip looking at how some struggle through life and the mind and what is the meaning of it all, is there an easier way, do we have a choice, and do we return after we die? Vandal Savage joins Frisco as beat stays banging and a mind-bending synth tweaks at our awareness as we are taken on a ride through various rough landscapes and experiences but, this is what a good emcee does opens your mind to infinite possibilities while leaving you with the fly’s Swarmin’.  DJ One Step Ahead drops the intro to Here We Go and Frisco details his love for what he does and holding the mic. The bond of an emcee and the mic is an almost spiritual thing, and they are inseparable through thick and thin. This track has a proper upbeat club vibe to get ya movin’.

P.T.S (Pop Twist Shake that shit)  drops with sparse beat over a mix of guitar, violin, and tambourine vibes. This one is a homage to the exploits of all the writers out there. Under cover of darkness they strike, painting their names on the walls around town. Once again, this one ends with a nice positive skit to keep your mood up. We move into the penultimate track, which is also the albums title track, Rainbows in the Rubble, which brings the sunshine after the rain the simple drumbeat is upbeat and is the perfect backdrop to Frisco looks forward to the brighter and more colorful days ahead. This is uplifting to the fullest. The album ends with Dear Me which has a sparse beat leading to a chorus full of brass and piano notes. Here Frisco asks a simple question, what would you say if you could write a letter to yourself?


After the last twelve months or so, listening to this album felt like a reflection or a retrospective on what has just passed by. In fact, looking at the current situation in the world around us, you could easily listen to this album anytime and reflect differently each time you listen. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and that tunnel might be long and littered with obstacles and rubble but, the light is there all the same and we will reach it and as we look it creates Rainbows.

The album also works perfectly as a retrospective on your life. You may have reached a particular point in life, say midlife, and you are looking back at what has gone before it might look like a pile of rubble but, the more we look we can see the rainbows, those positive points of reference that remind us we are on the right path.

No matter what context you put on the album it perfectly encapsulates the fact that through all that we experience, there are those beautiful and colorful times that rise above all the negativity and show us the path to a brighter future.

Credit to Frisco Boogie here who has self-produced this album and once again created an awesome piece of musical and lyrical art. I advise listening to this start to finish, as I did, with no breaks as it does hold your attention and allows you to focus and experience it, just as if you were watching a movie or documentary, you wouldn’t pause or dip in and out of it. Frisco’s use of self-production whist works so well with him switching his lyrical flows and pacing to enhance his skillful story telling which works especially well when he is crafting a deep and emotive vison.

Rainbows in the Rubble is available now.

I’m Out,




Buy the Album and both singles via Frisco Boogie's Bandcamp Page Here:

Check out Frisco Boogie on YouTube Here:

Monday 19 April 2021

Album Review: Black Magic and Horns by Wounded Buffalo Beats


Black Magic & Horns


Wounded Buffalo Beats


I was contacted by Wounded Buffalo Beats (aka Michael Jonas) who asked if he could send me a copy of his new album Black Magic & Horns for review following a recommendation from one Montener The Menace. WBB produced the track High Noon for Montener’s upcoming album Anyone Home, which also features on this album too. I’ll drop a link to the video for High Noon below.

Now you may or may or may not have heard of Wounded Buffalo Beats But, this UK producer has been making waves for over ten years now and some unreleased material has been resurrected for this album which he has produced, mixed, and arranged himself.

So, what I’m gonna do here is let the album speak for itself through my thoughts…


Kicking off with the title track Black Magic & Horns we immediately get a feel for what is to come, pounding drums, violins and a host of Horror movie samples provide a dark but, exciting back drop for Jus Allah, Controverse and Mayz to reach into the depths of your soul and search for your innermost fears. That dark brooding atmosphere continues to hang over you as eerie vocals, heavy beats and guitar vibes see you dropped, all alone, into the dark streets as Mayz and Buddahmann drag you deep into the gutter where the Bundles of Filth live.

You stumble from the shadows and filth hangs from your clothes, wondering if there is any salvation, your ears are pounded by drums and you nerves eased by some sparse piano and choral voices. Some say only god has the power to drive out the darkness but, here Pacewon, Mayz and Controverse mix up the pace and show us how there is Strains Of God in us all and that we often use it to differing ends but, ultimately we have the power to drive out the darkness. There is truth that the streets have a dark side and now with you Thoughts Forming the beats start hitting like hammer blows over guitar and piano vibes with a good dusting of cuts and El Da Sensei brings that bleak street life into focus and the stark reality of what you have to do to survive.

Street life is part of a greater struggle the world over. Here piano and a heavy beat are the platform for Wordsworth and the legendary Craig G to bring a thought provoking look at such subjects as Racism, Police Violence and hate crimes. It seems that the streets of the world’s cities are indeed The Battlefield but, it is important to realise that there is a solution and that solution is love, turn from hate to love and that can change the world. The modern streets are not so different from the dust streets of Americas wild west and that comes across in a posse cut that could just stand as a symphony for a new era. This is straight up head nod and sees the dark figures Masta Ace, Montener The Menace, Rah Digga, Wordsworth and Fatlip step from the sandstorm at High Noon and enter town to prove that not all outlaws are on the wrong side of the law but, make no mistake, don’t cross these five mic slingers or ya gonna be pushing up daisies in boot hill ya feel…   

The drums, violin, and cuts of Tributary Flow tug at your nerves as Rick Mal steps up to the mic noting that music is like the tributary of rivers or the side roads that feed the main roads, as the smaller rawer sound hits the mainstream, it becomes more watered down and loses its potency. It is important not to lose that control you have of the potency of your sound. Times like these has an etheric quality from the violin that under pins the head nod beat. Noram speaks on what it is to live in these crazy times that just want to see us held back but, we all pray, in our own way, to get through to see a brighter day.

The Vault is one of those tracks with vocal recorded a decade ago with Mayz, JL Trafik and RickMal. The heavy drums and guitar give this one that mariachi story telling vibe. The scene here is looking at the struggles of oppression, daily life, and music. No strength has been lost in bringing these from the vault and the messages here and the fact that the enjoyment of music is a healing force is just as relevant now. The album ends with Wordsworth taking a look back at the Lockdown 2020. The beat is heavy with some flute/pipe that has your awareness floating as this deep experience of being locked down for most of 2020 is something we can all associate with. As the pandemic still holds the world hostage, there is a way out of this situation we just have to decide if that is a natural way or with a pill or vaccine injection…


There is little doubt in my mind that this album could stand on its own even as an instrumental album. The stark sound produces some stunning soundscapes to allow you mind to wander to wherever it needs to go. Now, if that was not credit enough to Wounded Buffalo Beats, when you add in the eclectic mix of legendary and well-known emcees alongside some up coming names and this one has that perfect balance between the vocals and the music which creates this unapologetic narrative of the stark reality of life on the streets of cities, villages, and towns the world over. But there is a flipside to that in that with all the darkness the album also provides the much needed look into the light and brighter outcomes that are so desperately needed and a huge one is that music itself is such a powerful force.

I enjoyed the balance of fact and fiction and the shear entertainment value this provides. A great ride from start to finish that will have you not wanting to turn this one off. Wounded Buffalo Beats production is a pleasure to behold, and this album deserves far more coverage that I have seen to date. You might think it takes Black Magic to create something so on point but, what I see is not black magic but, a sincere dedication to good music and a desire to craft something that is listening perfection.

This one is most definitely one you need for your collection. There is absolutely nothing here not to like. You have ten high quality tracks that display exactly why Hip Hop is such a powerful force in music. I don’t like picking stand out tracks or anything, which is why you don’t single out a particular emcee and so on as this is about the album as a whole and not one particular person But, High Noon is the icing on the cake here, masterful.

Black Magic & Horns is out now on all the usual streaming sites and there might even be a few physical copies still about and if so, I advise you to grab one…

Black Magic and Horns is available on all the usual streaming platforms.

Also, if you want to grab one of the limited number of remaining physical CD's then DM WBB via his Instagram profile, Link Below.

So, enjoy cos I’m out,



Wounded Buffalo Beats on Instagram Here:

Click this link for all the Wounded Buffalo Beats Videos on YouTube:

High Noon Official Video

Thursday 15 April 2021

Album Review: Everynight Grind by Motman & Micall Parknsun


Everynight Grind


Motman & Micall Parknsun


I first heard Bristol emcee Motman at the B-Line Recordings Rope-A-Dope 5 event back in 2019 when he performed live with Micall Parknsun. At that time, they were promoting their first album Everyday Craft. I was so impressed with that performance that I made contact with Motman and got a copy of the album. But, make no mistake here, Motman has been around a few years and has definitely turned heads.

Following Everyday Craft Motman continued working with Micall Parknsun (who, I’m surprised has time to sleep with his current work rate) and dropped Everynight Grind in September of that year. I was blown away to see they had used one of my pics from Rope-A-Dope 5 as the cover photo. It’s not everyday you can say you have an album cover to your credit, anyway I digress…

I was excited to see what this new album would bring, so let’s take a look at my thoughts…


Kicking off in style Parky joins Motman on Mic & Mot, which is laid-back vibe driven by guitars. One you can kick back to as Mot and Parky display exactly why they work so well together. Not sure I need to say more here. From that chilled intro it’s all about the business now as Draper joins Mot for Madness with its heavy pounding beat and violin. The lyrical flows are fast paced with more than an element of grime thrown in. This one will have ya bouncin’.

Peanut Butter reigns in the pace again with a boom bap vibe that has a darker edge to it. The vibe matches the tone of the lyrics as Mot and Axel Holy draw on current affairs and look at lockdowns and mental health. There is also a big focus on the fact that through everything you have people always looking out for you. The pace remains down beat as Running hits with a synth underpinning it. This made me think on two levels, in life there always seems to be people running from something or running towards something but, not only that, our minds are always running too. It’s just a constant physical and mental stress. Some upbeat drums and piano draw you into a reflective mood with I Got You. I say this is reflective as it put me in mind of looking back at your achievements and positive energy that brings, then using that energy to springboard you to a brighter future.

Scotlands One OZ joins Mot for a look at My Habitat, a piano heavy track that sees us taken on a little trip through what it is to be these two on a daily basis and the things they get up to in their own habitats. Determination has a more soulful vibe running through it. Here Mot speaks on the ups n downs of life and what it is to have that determination to make something of yourself and work toward a better tomorrow.

If you just rely on some strings and organ to drive the track and remove the drumbeat, you have The One With No Drums, an unapologetic view of life experiences with straight up facts that is like listening to a street sermon. Leaving the drums aside for some dreamy vocals and acoustic guitar we take a deep look at those people who come into our lives and have a huge impact and then are gone, way too soon, leaving a gaping hole that is hard to fill. All we can do is say I Really Miss You and reflect and draw heart from the positive influence they brought.

It’s back to the boom bap with Mot, Wishmaster and cuts from DJ Rogue for From Nothing To Something, with pounding drums and keys this one looks at the struggles it takes to do what you do. Dealing with racism that threatens to divide us when all we really need is unity. Time to get ya head nod on with some wicked bass guitar, drums and cuts from DJ Rogue for The Breakdown which sees Mot and C.o.N-Vers treat us to a verbal wordplay celebration of sunny days, BBQs, good tunes and hittin’ a fat one.

The penultimate track here is Trust, a heavy head nod vibe which is all about flippin’ those bars out in one take. Hitting your ears with verbal bombs amid a fog of purple haze, just enjoy this one. For the final track of the album, a kicking beat with a dusting of keys and a sprinkling of cuts from DJ Rogue, Mot takes a thoughtful look at his career and the skills, knowledge and thought it takes to do what he does and asks Would You Even Miss Me? If he dropped his mic and left… Well, would we? Hell Yeah we would…

But guess what? It ain’t over just yet…

If you have the CD version, like me, there is a bonus hidden track in the All Star remix of Star Dawg from the Everyday Craft album. Produced by Parky and mixed by Mot and Slippy Skills, this one hits like a posse cut and features Jack Slayta, Slippy Skills, Cuzin, Patrick Donsdale and NameSakes. There are strings and a beat that hits hard like a 9mm from 007’s Walther PPK. There is not much to say about this one except it is a stunning display of verbal wordplay from some of the UK’s top up and coming wordsmiths…


Image ©S.Rider Infinite Images

This is one of those that displays why the UK Hip Hop scene is so on it’s game. Anyone who says the scene is dead has obviously not listened to the wealth of talent out there. Here we have a shining example of a legendary figure, in Micall Parknsun, teaming with one of the UK’s finest up and coming emcees, Motman, to bring us a future classic.

It shows that the promise Micall Parknsun saw in Motman has only grown as they have dropped a second album that is full of entertaining beats and rhymes, while at the same time drawing on a wealth of life experiences and hard-hitting social subjects from the pandemic to racism. This is that inner city street vibe tinged with a haze of purple smoke that many UK artist do so well.

What I have found is that listening back to the album as I write, it is still as fresh now as it was last year. Motman displays a deep knowledge of the inner-city streets which he so ably brings to bear with his descriptive wordplay, match that with Micall Parknsun’s heavy but often laid-back vibes and this one could easily be one of you soundtrack’s for those chilled out evenings or summer afternoons in the park blasting from the boombox, not to mention the live shows and damn we need to get back to those right now.

So, if you have not got this one already, then you need to grab it. Sadly, all physical copies are now gone so it’s digital only.

That’s it,

I’m Out,



Buy Everynight Grind on Motman's Bandcamp Here:

Check Micall Parknsun on Bandcamp here:



The One With No Drums

Star Dawg (All Star Remix)

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Single Review: Wall To Wall / Supernatural Force by Emskee


Wall to Wall / Supernatural Force




This awesome 12” release was the first in 2021 from Bristol’s AE Productions. It features two tracks from the legendary and multi-talented New York MC/DJ Emskee. Emskee has a back catalog that is highly impressive, from solo releases to projects with The Good People and more guest appearances than you can shake a stick at, including AE releases Age Appropriate from Oxygen (2019) and What Beetlez? By Cut Beetlez (2020).


The A-Side is Wall to Wall and features a pounding boom bap beat with laid-back guitar vibes produced by AE’s Mr Fantastic. Here Emskee drops some seamless bars that speak on what he is all about, his pedigree and skill. This one really takes it back to those golden age Hip Hop tracks that hit hard and add to that the scratched in chorus from Emskee himself and you are in no doubt that he is exactly who he says he is…

Flip to the B-Side for Supernatural Force, here Mr Fantastic’s production is a straight up head nod drum beat with some eerie synths. Emskee’s vocal wordplay keeps you rooted in Hip Hop’s golden era with more than a few references to some of the greats to ever do it. Not just that but, a top emcee has to have that edge to be at the top of their game and Emskee displays that here, that Supernatural Force. Mr Fantastic also provides the scratches on this one which sets it off.


There is no doubt here that Emskee alongside Mr Fantastic have put together something that embodies that East Coast golden era Hip Hop vibe. It screams real Hip Hop from the roof tops and will definitely appeal to those old skool headz out there who will appreciate that this feels every bit the total Hip Hop package. Emskee is hitting you with cerebral lines that have your brain wanting to break out of your skull, whilst the production and scratching push the adrenaline levels through the roof. This is the kinda Hip Hop we grew up on…

This release goes to prove that when AE Productions drop a release, they always drop quality from some of the best to ever hold a mic or lay their hands on vinyl and linking up with Emskee on this release shows that 2021 is gonna be another top year of Hip Hop gold. As always AE brings you a total package. Being a 12” single you get more for you money with a Main, Radio edit and Instrumental of each track and the artwork here comes from Nick at fine print who has created the look and feel of the classic 50’s and 60’s releases from Blue Note.

This is another must have in my view.

On that note,

I’m out,



Get a copy or Doubles from the AE Productions shop Here:

DJ Emskee on Mixcloud:

Link with DJ Emskee on Instagram:

Link with AE Productions Mr Fantastic on Instagram:

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Book Review: Scratching The Surface - Hip Hop Remoteness and Everyday Life by Adam De Paor-Evans


Scratching The Surface: Hip Hop Remoteness and Everyday Life


Adam De Paor-Evans


If you could take a defining era in your life and write a detailed memoir of all the important life events and people that shaped you, I wonder what that would look like?

In Scratching The Surface Adam De Paor-Evans; aka Project Cee (Def Defiance), aka Rare Grills, has done exactly that. He has taken the era of 1983 – 1986, a defining period for him, and brought it all to life. Not just that but, the book also has a foreword from Cultural Historian and writer James McNally, who most of us will remember from the infamous UK monthly publication Hip Hop Connection.

Before I delve into the book, I wanted to give a brief bit of background on Adam along with some insights into my own Hip Hop History, which will also feature during the book review.

During the period of 1989-1992 he was a member of the pioneering Devon based Hip Hop crew Def Defiance and took the name of Project Cee. The group released a number of sought-after tape releases and, more recently, have had some posthumous vinyl releases on B-Line Recordings and Britcore Rawmance. I myself only had a vague awareness of a crew called Def Defiance and would only become more associated with their work in recent years following meeting Adam at the B-Line Recordings Rope-A-Dope events in Bristol. Adam would continue to record as Project Cee teaming with Specifik in 1999 and also forming the conceptual crew The Projections in 2007 (The album Project The Future makes for some perfect background music to write to I might add). In 2009 he would also feature as part of The Konfectionists (alongside G Swift and Rola)  on their album No Artificial Flavours.

Having been active in the UK’s Hip Hop culture sine 1987 means that rap is not the only feather in his cap. Adam also performs DJ sets under the pseudonym of Rare Grills. His sets are composed of 45s only (7” singles). More recently he has become a Reader of Ethnomusicology at the University of Central Lancashire and has formed the scholarly research project Rhythm Obscura and Scratching The Surface is the first publication from the new Rhythm Obscura/Headz projects series which is looking to uncover some of the hidden histories of Britain’s music cultures. Scratching The Surface is also the second book from Adam, the first being Provincial Headz: British Hip Hop and Critical Regionalism.

All that being said, it’s now time to immerse myself in Scratching the Surface…

The book comprises four chapters, each of which is made up of seven stories. These individual stories are a highly readable length and footnotes after each broaden and deepen the information within the stories, they also detail the wealth of knowledge that Adam has accumulated over the years.

What I found to be most compelling is the fact that for many of us, at a certain age, this book could easily be referencing out own experiences of growing up and discovering this new movement of Hip Hop and how our own experiences shaped up, just as Adam’s shaped him into who he is. The easiest way I can show this is to pick out some of the areas that struck a chord with me.



When the book opens to a dark wet Devon morning, nothing new for the British weather here, Adam is eleven years old, just a year younger than my good self. Adam talks about the era of BMX and in second story in this chapter, Television #2, details how he first saw the video for Buffalo Gals on Top of the Pops and the impact that had. I may well have even watched the same broadcast of that show as Top of the Pops was one of those shows everyone watched back when we only had 3 TV channels. The video for Buffalo Gals had a huge impact on us there was something fresh about it as it came from the streets it also introduced so many of us to Hip Hop. In Record Shop #1, we look at Adam’s first trip to Exeter to look for the latest music releases. This visit was to W.H.Smith, one of those high street retailers who sold a bit of everything and my experience was the same in Southampton. We lived on the fringes of Southampton and often took a trip to the city centre on a Saturday morning. Although my first vinyl would be brought from the Virgin store and, unlike Adam, I was lucky enough not to have to hide the price as my parents were of the opinion that if it’s your money you can buy it but, don’t ask for more. But that excitement he describes of having that cassette of Duck Rock in his hand and running up stairs to play it that first time is something I and countless other can associate with, even now.


This was the year that I fully embraced Hip Hop. Following an argument between myself and my older brother over my choice of listening to the Ghostbusters Soundtrack, I said to him to do me a cassette of some good stuff. I still have that cassette and never looked back. Here Adam was also introduced to the term Hip Hop via movies like Breakdance: The Movie and Beat Street or documentaries such as Beat This! A Hip Hop History, all these were hugely influential. Reading Adam’s story, Record Shop #2, of how he bought a copy of Jam On Revenge by Newcleus, brought back more memories. The search for records in HMV, the excitement of the bus ride home and the minute examination of the record cover. Then, once home, rubbing the record sleeve on your leg to heat the cellophane wrapping so that you could remove the record and not damage the wrap. Slipping the record on the turntable and drinking in every second. From vinyl we move to the main thing any aspiring B-Boy needed the Stereo Radio Cassette Player and Adam’s description of every millimetre, light, button and function of his Sharp GF-7400E, brings to mind my own first experience of owning one and awe at being able to play your own cassettes of your favourite tracks anywhere was wicked and the louder it was the better.


Here Adam details something which was huge in the mid to late 80’s, the Pause Button mix. Creating your own megamix simply using the pause button on your tape deck was an art everyone wanted to master. Adam gives us the story of how he and his friend Calm discovered the Pause Button mix and how he, in his excitement, said he had produced one himself, even though the truth was somewhat different. How he describes his production of the said mix using the pause button and records reminds me of the hours spent making a mix that lasted just a few minutes as you listened, listened and relistened just find that right spot to release and then pause the tape but, your elation at the finished product was just like the time you held that first record in your hand. I don’t think I ever shared any of mine except with my bothers maybe. However, the art of using the pause button to great effect would be something that came in especially useful. In Radio Show #1, Adam relates the story of first listening to the John Peel show. This was something I did on many occasions huddled up in bed with a new tape in the deck, headphones on and finger on the pause button, I told you pause button mixes came in handy, as you listened to see what new Hip Hop he would play and this might mean only one or two tracks but, often it was worth it and where I first heard some great tracks, just as Adam did.


Moving into the final chapter of the book again there are so many things that trigger my own memories such as being out with you friends and being chased by someone for something you may or may not have done in Bench or a look at that fresh fashion accessory, a pair of Farah slacks in Trousers, in fact I’m not even sure it I owned a pair or not now! The one huge thing here for me was Adam talking about his trip to London in Radio Show #2. Here he tells the tale of listen to Mike Allen and recoding the broadcast of UK Fresh 86 and visiting Groove Records. This reminded me of many trips to London on the train with a day pass from Southampton or later in life driving up. The excitement of hitting Oxford street, Carnaby Street and 4 Star General or popping into Mr Bongo’s.


These are just a few examples of how the book brought back great memories, some of which I thought I had forgotten But, Adam’s quick-witted style here makes it so easy to fully picture each story as he relates it from hitting up his first Tag to each trip to and from Exeter you are with him every step of the way. Yes, this might be about Hip Hop and one young man’s desire to become fully immersed in this new culture but, that aside, this is a fun, informative and detailed look into what is almost a right of passage. We walk with him as he transforms into his teenage years and walks the path of the rebellious teenager. Keen to be with the in crowd and one of the crew all the while learning more and more about life and having the experiences that will ultimately chisel him into the man he will become. It might take a bit of reading between the lines to see some of this but, then that is the art of a good writer, opening you up to things not said, simply by the power of his word. Something that I am sure has been strengthened by his rap skill and bringing that talent for wordplay to bear in his writing.

Scratching The Surface might be Adam’s story but, it could quite also be a written narrative of anyone of us who grew up at this time and experienced the early days of Hip Hop as it came to the British shores. I absolutely loved reading this book as it took me back to a time that was exciting and when a new form a music opened up a whole new way of life and brought people together just as it still does today.

Now regardless of if you’ve been a Hip Hop head for forty years or four years, this is one of those for the bookshelf. This is what it was like as Hip Hop grew on these shores and how it filtered through to those from the big cites to the small rural towns and what it was like for those who lived it.

Cover Photo comes from the awesome Paul Taylor.

Huge Thanks to Adam De Paor-Evans for sending me this cracking book.

On that note, it’s time for me to be out,

See Ya,



Buy Scratching The Surface on Amazon Here:

Buy Provincial Headz on Amazon Here:

Follow Rhythm Obscura on Instagram Here:

Friday 9 April 2021

Album Review: Reflections by Alien Jakes




Alien Jakes


Continuing my theme of linking with local artists is this release from the duo of Alien Jakes aka XMAN (Vocalist and MC) and Tao White (Producer and Sound Wave Extraordinaire). These guys are from Frome in Somerset and have touched on a wide range of musical influences (including Hip Hop, Grime, lo fi and Trap) during their search of the galaxy for a musical mecca.

I first met XMAN when I attended a two-day Hip-Hop workshop conducted via Zoom back in March 2020. I attended as lockdown was new then and I knew this might be interesting and I’d perhaps meet new people. It was well worth checking out and XMAN was very knowledgeable on the history and origins of Hip-Hop and the workshop even had me spitting a few bars But, I digress.

When XMAN asked if I would review their next release, I was only too pleased to accept. I mean what more could I ask for a mixture of home-grown music mixed with the mention of Aliens, this would be fun.

So, I chucked on my headphones and prepared for a trip into the cosmos:

Kicking off with the electronic vibes and pounding beats Bang Crash Landed demonstrates that the guys are back on earth from an alien abduction and dropping some crazy bars to show they really ain’t playing. That other worldly musical vibe continues into the title track Reflections, slightly more laid back the message from the Jakes spaceship sees them reflecting on what’s gone before and what’s to be, which is the Alien Jakes rocking the mics, speakers, headphones, and stages. Sway Heavy hits with a grime vibe to make skies shake. This one is definitely one for the crowds in the clubs, boom.

Gang Like Us is funky head nod style track which sees XMAN switching effortlessly between styles on a track that will appeal to the many. After some hecticness to start you might be fooled by the intro to Pirate Bay that were gonna drop into something more soulful but, nah, a heavy beat drops and this one is straight Boombap with a look at darker side of some of what id going on in the world around us. Time for a short Global Interlude as XMAN goes acappella to bring the focus to the harm being done to the planet and the world around us and it only humankind that can bring it all back from the brink.

Just Be Me brings a simplistic beat with some ethereal sounds creating a more soulful vibe. The Jakes open you up to auto suggestion with a deep message to us all asking you to be yourself, don’t be what others expect or want you to be. Remember to say to yourself “Just Be Me”. Switching back to a heavy grime vibe Lost In The City pounds your ears like jackhammers but, has this middle eastern twist. Turn it up and lose yourself, the track also features Double H. easing it back again The Alchemist has a more laid-back vibe on a track that explores the alchemical effect of love.

6Free features Deludo and Finn McVeigh and sees another trip into the grime infused vibe but, with a more chilled vibe. The more simplistic beat shifts the focus to the vocals and works perfectly and allows the wordplay to hold our attention throughout. Ending on a trap/grime inspired track Thankful which is all about the things to be thankful for in life. The perfect thought to end on.


On Reflections, Alien Jakes provide a well-balanced mix of underground musical vibes which makes this the perfect album to cross generations. Now, I have always maintained I am not keen on some of the Grime and Trap vibes and while that is still the case, albums like this really make these cross-genre experiences far more enjoyable.

Lyrically there is nothing to fault on the album XMAN is more than capable of switching seamlessly between styles and shows a wealth of knowledge and awareness which is invaluable when you are looking appeal to such a wide audience. That is matched in Tao White’s production which demonstrates a fundamental awareness of the musical vision for the Jakes and fully able to mix it up and create vibe that ebbs and flows from start to finish keeping the listener engaged.

No doubt that the Alien Jakes are out there now searching the universe and the radio waves from earth for more inspiration and ideas for there next fractal space excursion. This only goes further to solidify the fact that the south west of the UK is producing some top-notch talent.

So, go check out Reflections by Alien Jakes today and remember watch the skies because you never know where they will land next, especially once restrictions ease and the guys can beam to your local live music venue…


I’m out,




Buy Reflections here via Bandcamp:

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Single Review: Controversial - O.Love






In 2020, while the world seemed to stop, O.Love was moving forward and stepping into new dimensions of musical awareness. This led him to plan an album, Future Life Progression, and 2020 would see two singles released from that album.

The first single would be Embellishment, which I previously reviewed, the second is Controversial.

Controversial features Matt Owen (Noah and the Whale) and Keno Decosta Medford (Sounds of Harlowe) providing guitars on what is the opening track for the album and is intended to be a driving force and desire to leave the DJ world behind and expand to newer, more exciting musical heights, with universal appeal.

The single is a spaced-out Neo-Funk/Neo-Soul track that has a vibe right out of hyperspace, deep space or some previously undiscovered alternate reality. It has a funk fueled beat over which floats that eclectic mix of guitar, synth and melodic vocals. Those vocals bring to your awareness all that is or could be termed controversial. By the end of the track, you are feeling like you have just been dipped into some awesome mix of Prince and Parliament/Funkadelic but, with vibe like it’s all been experienced through your third eye.

If this is the opening track to the album, then you can bet that Future Life Progression could be just that on a musical level. You really do get the feel that O.Love has plenty of influences that you can feel throughout, and, on a personal level, it almost feels like he is channeling the spirit of the purple one. but it also has his own touch that sets it apart from anything else. O.Love is definitely carving out his own niche and producing some exciting new music.

So, definitely check this and the album.

I’ll see you next time,




Buy Controversial on Bandcamp HERE:

Buy the album Future Life Progression HERE: