Tuesday 21 June 2022

Single Review: SS005 - Flight of the Condor / Final Flight of the Condor


SS005 - Flight Of The Condor / Final Flight Of The Condor


Uncle Mic Nitro, DJ Nappa & DJ Mr Thing / DJ Nappa & Krash Slaughta

NOTE: Before I get into the review, I just wanted to let you know that this will not be my usual review style. There will be some personal stuff included in here and some of this may be considered as triggering to some people and I therefore give a TRIGGER WARNING as some of what you are about to read will contain references to cancer, suicide, and death. If any of this may affect you, I please ask you take care when reading.

Thank You, Steve


This single is the final release on the SoulCondor Slices label that was set up by Del Soulcondor aka Derek Grayston. Like so many I became friends with Del over Instagram, by the time I became aware of Del’s music and awful situation with his cancer diagnosis, I was already suffering with my own grief having lost my youngest daughter, in October of 2020, when she took her own life. His story touched me deeply as I had lost my own mother to cancer back in 1995. I felt that I wanted to do something to support him and knew that the best way for me to do that was to review his upcoming releases.

After a few chats Del sent me the files for SS001 & SS002 and a little later the files for SS003 & SS004. I was so glad that he liked the reviews, and it gave me a true sense of getting his music out to people. When he told me of the up coming SS005 (Then called Operation Condor) I knew it would be a given for me to drop another review when it was eventually released.

As 2021 moved towards its final quarter I began to struggle with my grief as this would be the first anniversary of losing my daughter. Although these were dark times, I kept watch on Dels posts and sent him screen shots of when SS003 & SS004 (Issue 467/8) appeared in the Online Gonzo weekly magazine (Gonzo is an online music mag run by a good friend who now features my reviews and had already featured my reviews on SS001 & SS002 (issue 457/8)), Del did not get back to me, which was not something I expected as by now he was in a hospice and I knew it was getting harder for him to respond. So, it shook me deeply when I saw the post that he had passed away. Then, more than ever, I knew that SS005 would be on my list.

I had originally heard both tracks when Del released them via soundcloud. The fact that these tracks are dedication tracks really touched me on a deep level as I have been exploring the idea of a dedication track for my daughter for some time and I still hold that in my heart.

Del was a true lover of Hip Hop music and music in general. He loved his family and all those around him. He was also a true fighter and had a strength of character that I have seen in very few people. So, here is my take on SS005, Enjoy…


Flight Of The Condor is touching dedication track written by Southampton UK emcee Uncle Mic Nitro. Produced by DJ Nappa and featuring cuts from DJ Mr Thing. Nappa’s production blends guitar, horns, xylophone notes, and Drums with emotive choral vocals, the outcome is this upbeat track interlaced with Mr Things classic cuts that, in spite of knowing the story behind it, just gets you in the mood to nod you head and groove to. It’s just the kinda sound Del enjoyed. Del also loved Uncle Mic Nitro’s deeply personal vocals as he details his online friendship with Del, his desire that they would one day meet in person and the shock when the heart-breaking news came that Del’s cancer was terminal and nothing more could be done. UMN also speaks on the kinda person Del was, the fact that he always had time for a chat and his love of Hip Hop, the music he produced and his plans for Soulcondor Slices. With Flight Of The Condor, Uncle Mic Nitro, DJ Nappa and DJ Mr Thing really bring into focus the strength and the soaring nature of Del’s spirit. This is quite honestly a dedication track of the highest order and one that comes straight from the heart and touches your heart.

 Final Flight Of The Condor see’s DJ Nappa on production and Krash Slaughta on the cuts, and what these two do here is to take the strength and the soaring nature of Del’s spirit and take it to another level. Nappa brings horns, drums which, alongside Krash Slaughta’s, quite honestly, incredible cut’s, creates this beautiful blend of jazzy horns and Hip Hop vibes. That final flight is something we will all take one day but, few of us will have our final flight reflected in such a way as this. As you listen to the track you can sit back and easily imagine Del’s spirit soaring high above in the clouds, a scene that is so beautifully depicted on the cover of the 7” single by Digital Dyer (John Dyer). This one hits you in so many ways, it is a true anthem that evokes the memory of Del, someone who lived for music and his family, even after that heart-breaking diagnosis. Every beat, every scratch and cut, puts you in touch with Del’s resilience and strength of character, aspects that were such an inspiration to so many. Final Flight Of The Condor not only celebrates Del’s life but, it also reminds us that we all have the strength inside us to walk tall in the face of even the hardest of life’s hurdles.


I don’t think that I can write much more to sum up this release. This was one review that took so much to write.

What I would like to do, is to give you Del’s own words on what he thought of these two tracks, everyone involved and more. This is taken from the back cover of the 7” single…

This record is special to me. Both sides, very personal and very special…

I want to say thank you to Uncle Mic Nitro for stepping to me with the first idea, for doing such a proper heartfelt job on the vocals and for becoming a caring friend.

DJ Nappa for being the man as usual and bringing two of the nicest beats ever that totally suit this project, Nappa mate love you pal.

Dj Mr Thing for stepping up and lacing “Flight” with the crazy nice cuts. That’s twice I’ve had my fav DJ in the world on my tracks…..

Thank You, also on the DJ tip I’ve got to big up my man, good friend and ex band mate DJ Krash Slaughta for totally killing “Final Flight”…..Wow, when I heard this for the first time I had tears. The Amazing, amazing cuts combined with that beat!

Massive shouts to Rare Dave over at Diggers With Gratitude for doing all the postage and packing. Without him you would not be holding these records! Thanks so much Dave.

Want to thank John Dyer for getting involved in the artwork. Looking great, I appreciate it. Ollie Knight for the vocal production and mastering the tunes for us, thanks pal.

And sending all my love out to my mum, sister, and daughter, love yous all so much. All family and friends thank you for your support.

Much Love

Del Soulcondor (October 2021)


Here are two tracks that celebrate the life of Del in a way that only the Hip Hop community knows how to do but, more than that you have two deeply emotional tracks that will undoubtedly bring tears to the eye’s of many as they listen and think, not only of Del but, also their own loved ones whose spirits now soar above with Del, looking down on us and helping to give us the strength to see another day and to remember that they are never truly gone but, are there stood beside us when ever we think of them or through the hardest times.

If you have not heard these tracks yet, I wholeheartedly invite you to head over to the link below and listen, you will be glad you did and if you are one of those lucky enough to have a copy of the 7” single, then this is one to treasure.

My love and respect goes out to everyone involved in this truly special release for Del.

I dedicate this review to Del (Derek Grayston), to my daughter Deanie, and to memory of all those we have loved and who now soar above us.

Fly high SoulCondor…



There are still a few copies of the 7" and the SSCD001 Super Dynamite Soul available through Diggers With Gratitude Fresh Pressings Here:


Check Soulcondor Slices on Soundcloud Here:


Friday 10 June 2022

Single Review: Tru Luv by JED ft Elle


Tru Luv


JED ft Elle


JED is a Brighton based artist who grew up in Devon. He began writing songs and poetry from age 11 but, kept his dreams of becoming a musician, mainly to himself. After moving to Brighton in 2018 he began to realise his dreams, working to hone his craft and getting good streaming views and radio plays. He even started his own events company named AGB, putting on Hip Hop and Garage events aimed at exposing local talent in and around Brighton. He is known for his dynamic flows, story-telling lyricism and comedy bars making him a solid booking for live events,

Tru Luv marks the first release with soulful singer Elle. It is part of an upcoming EP they are collaborating. The basis of the EP is a collection of stories that JED relates from when he was aged between 15-18 years of age.

Tru Luv is an upbeat garage track full of synth sounds that produces a definite club sound that will make you wanna bounce to this. JED uses imaginative and at times comedic wordplay to ably describe the ups and downs of being in a casual relationship. His vocals display an impressive rap style that will lend itself to differing musical styles. Especially noteworthy is his ability to switch between flows and styles to bring that extra depth to his storytelling.

Elle’s soulful vocals, on the chorus, perfectly encapsulates the viewpoint of the young girl who has become more involved, the once casual relationship she now views as a more loving relationship. Elle’s vocals bring a real depth of feeling, capturing the emotive feelings.

Tru Luv is a definite floor filler, summer soundtrack vibe but, one with a deeper meaning that will bring up conflicting feelings inside you if you chose to listen and truly feel what JED has put into this track.

Released on 26th May, Tru Luv is produced by Jack Marlow and shows that JED and the forthcoming EP with Elle are definitely ones to watch out for in 2022.

On that note,

I’m Outta here,



You can stream Tru Luv via the following links:




Tru Luv Video

Sunday 5 June 2022

Album Review: Weddings are Expensive so We Made an Album by Pandamonium & Friends


Weddings are Expensive so We Made an Album


Pandamonium & Friends

Weddings are Expensive So We Made an Album (WAESWMAA) is the latest release by UK DJ/Producer and occasional Emcee Pandamonium. Released via Kamikaze Airlines Records, this was made to celebrate and raise a few funds for his upcoming wedding, in July this year, to Stacey.

The album is entirely produced, scratched, mixed, and mastered by the man himself and features a host of top draw emcees from these shores and across the pond. There is also an appearance from a little-known alter ego of Pandamonium, who appears as the MC on the night.

So, without further ado, let me transport you on a little journey into the album. It’s not your average album review so, feel free to expect the unexpected…


So, picture the scene, our man Pandamonium is deeply involved in plans for his upcoming wedding. Part of this is raising so much needing funds in these days of rising costs. One night, as he lays in bed, about to drift off to sleep, his mind is on how his music can help him raise funds. He then falls into a deep slumber and begins to dream…

A laid-back boombap sound of piano, bass and drums heralds a dream like no other. There is a stage here and lots of guest sat around at tables. Heads are nodding to the jazzy piano vibe as Pandamonium’s American alter ego steps on stage to great everyone and to give them a Welcome To The Show, and that show is the future wedding reception for Daniel and Stacey. The guests have their appetites wetted as a stunning list of guest performers is noted and, as the guests clap their approval, Pandamonium takes up his place behind the turntables and Kryptik (from Paisley, Scotland) steps on stage ready to Step Up and take the mike. The beat kicks hard and is heavy on the string sound and there is no pussy footing around here as it’s all about getting ya heads nodding. Kryptik speaks, on his no nonsense style, on the ups and downs of life the last couple of years and his desire to step up and keep moving forward, no matter what. This is a message to everyone of us, because every time we step up in the face of adversity, it’s a defining moment that shows the true strength of our character. Next to take to the stage alongside Pandamonium is Killa Complex from Long Beach California. The vibe is an upbeat sound of guitars, drums, hand claps and xylophone notes to keep the crowd moving. Killa Complex asks everyone to Never Judge a Man as he explains that you can never judge anyone you meet. Someone’s appearance, how much money they have and so on is never a true reflection of that persons back story and what they have lived through. Whatever your first impressions of a person are, get to know the real person behind the mask before you speak on how they may or may not be. The message might be deep here but, as a guest, you will meet many people on a wedding day, a lot you will not know so, the message is poignant. The sound now morphs into a more soulful mix of drums and piano. Ontario emcee Es takes to the stage delivering vocals for the happy couple and everyone as he asks How Long is long enough? When two people make a commitment to each other, for love, they wish to be together forever but how long is forever? Is forever enough? Can that commitment, that love for each other extend beyond the physical timescale we call forever…

As the guest ponder over the meaning of forever and Love, Pandamonium’s alter ego takes to the stage to entertain us for a short interval. A groovy organ sound floats into the awareness of the guests as they are informed that Long Beach Emcee Dizzy Dustin is setting up for his performance…

With the legendary figure of Dizzy Dustin ready to go the air becomes electric as the guest ready themselves for the Sink or Swim Remix. The track was originally released by Diz in the run up to the release of the Where Do I Go From Here album, Pandamonium’s remix is a pounding beat and synth sounds that immediately has everyone out of their seats, bouncing to the groove. Dizzy Dustin treats everyone to some slick wordplay that is all about integrity. In life you have to do what you gotta do on lifes journey but, in all that you do it’s about being upfront and speaking your truth and not being fake or dishonest. With the crowd suitably buzzing, long time Pandamonium collaborator One OZ (Edinburgh, Scotland) steps up to the Mic. Panda and OZ have this great chemistry in everything they do so when the guitars and heavy drum beat drops, you know you’re in for a treat. In his typically unapologetic rhyme style, One OZ spits a gritty and witty story that is all about upping your game. If you wanna step up and stand shoulder to shoulder with others in the game, you have to Get Ya Weight Up and show em what you got, prove you deserve your place. As the night draws to a close, it is the turn of Sir Burbia (London, England) to bring a bit of fun to round off the evening. The musical backdrop is a funky sound of guitar, keys, and drums. Sir Burbia drops some slick, ‘just for fun’ lyrics, that echo the US TV Show Keenan & Kel, as he explains his love for a certain beverage with, I Do (Love Orange Soda). This one will have everyone grinning ear to ear, and you can’t round off a party in a better way…

A horn heavy jazz Funk sound hits as Panda’s alter ego takes to the stage one last time to Wrap Up things. He gives everyone a little more information as the guests prepare to leave.

However, not everyone is ready to go just yet and the cry rings out for One More (Encore) and so just to send all the guests away in style, that’s just what Pandamonium gives them. An instrumental style joint in a boombap style that is piano heavy and full of cut up samples to get everyone nodding their head one last time. Then Panda switches it up one last time and changes from piano heavy to a guitar heavy vibe midway through. This all serves to allow the guest to leave on a proper high, this in turn allows Pandamonium to return to being Daniel and for him and Stacey to finally settle into married life, just as Pandamonium awakes from the dream that has just given him the perfect theme for an album…

Did it really happen that way? I dunno but, it sounds good right!

Overall, you can’t say much more about this album than it is a solid production album that is undoubtedly a highly enjoyable and has been produced by someone who has a love of good Hip Hop music and who has the respect of his peers enough to feature such a talented line-up of guest emcees.

You can really get into the whole vibe of the album feeling like a wedding reception that most Hip Hop lovers would want to be invited to. Pandamonium’s production is as faultless as always and puts his years of expertise and experience to good use creating an album that flows so well from top to bottom, keeping you entertained all the way. The guest artists he has brought on-board for this all give those ‘top of their game’ performances, just what you’d want at a wedding reception.

There is definitely a family affair vibe about this project to as the family have been involved in producing a very limited number, twenty actually, of CDs to help raise some funds for the actual wedding in July 2022. The artwork is all custom hand produced, numbered, and signed. So, if you want one of these then I would advise you move quickly as they won’t be around long.

There is not much left for me to say except a huge thank you to Pandamonium for sending this over and sending him and Stacey best wishes for the up coming wedding, See Ya There…

Time for me to boogie on outta here,



Get the digital version of the album in Original, Clean or Instrumental via Bandcamp:


Grab on of the limited edition (each one is unique) CD copies by contacting Pandamonium on Facebook:



How Long (ft Es) - WAESWMAA CDs Out Now