Thursday 28 September 2023

Single Review: Don't Worry (AE050) by Mr Fantastic & J.Todd


Don’t Worry (AE050)


Mr Fantastic & J.Todd


Milestones are always something special and when AE Productions reached it’s 50th release, in the same years that Hip Hop celebrated its 50th anniversary, there had to be something special for that special release.

Let me hand you over to Mr Fantastic for the lowdown on this release:

Recorded circa 2012 and originally intended for release on High Noon Music following Mr Fantastic's other 7"s for High Noon but somehow and for reasons we can't remember it was never released. Rescued from the vaults with thanks to High Noon Music for our landmark catalogue number of AE050. 

We dug out some pictures taken around the time of recording - actually the same photoshoot that supplied the image for Mr Fantatsic's Harvey's Bristol Cream album on Ruztik Records and manufactured by AE, and had the sleeve designed by Nick Pointon who did the designs for HBC and Mr Fantastic 's other High Noon 7"s so was our natural choice. 


That being said, Let’s get into it…


Don’t Worry finds Mr Fantastic on production and cuts with J.Todd (Def Harmonic) from Milwaukee on vocals. The beat is proper head nod and has sweet funky vibe with bass and other guitar vibes. There is also this little crackle to it that gives you the vinyl feel even if you’re listening to the digital version. J.Todd brings a solid display on the mic, making sure that you know there is no need to worry because he has got this, binging that raw shit with slick lines, similes, metaphors and so much more. There is no complicated message here, nothing that needs too much thought, it’s all about that feel-good Hip-Hop music to get you movin’ and groovin’ to the beat and rhymes and it does everything it sets out to do and with those razor-sharp cuts, this is one of those tracks you’ll keep going back to time after time.


As a landmark release, this one has it all, in a Hip Hop sense anyway. There is a banging beat to get you bobbing your head, an emcee dropping some classic rhymes, and cuts galore; I mean, in the 50th year of Hip Hop Don’t Worry gives you a track that celebrates the roots of what Hip Hop music grew from, the DJ and Emcee, and at the same time it celebrates what AE Productions does best, releasing classic Hip Hop from the UK to the US and beyond.


Don’t Worry is out now with Limited white and black vinyl, and on digital too. So, grab one while you can.


My thanks to Mr Fantastic for sending this one my way.


As there is no need to worry,


I’m Out,




Get you copy of the Single from the AE Website Here:

Link for all AE Productions socials and streaming:







Saturday 23 September 2023

Single Review: Find The Balance by Seek and Lomax


Find The Balance


Seek & Lomax


These two guys last featured here as part of the crew T.H.E.M, when I review their album Outside The Box (read that review HERE), back in March on Northentic Records. Now, since that time there has been plenty of changes at Northentic but, one thing is for sure, the steady stream of dope Hip Hop is something that has not.

Seek The Northerner has been the huge driving force behind those releases, and the latest release, Find The Balance, sees him joining forces with Lomax once more and they are joined by DJ Robert Smith.

So, let’s cut the chat and get into this single…

Find The Balance has this mariachi guitar sound with some operatic vocal samples over which is thumping beat that injects energy in veins that might be feeling a little lacking right now. Seek and Lomax bounce of each other providing verse after verse which is all about finding the balance in life. The title of the track pretty much gives you everything you need to know about this one. Balance is something that is hard to find in the current economic and social climate. There are so many aspects of life where balance is key to getting the best from our journey through it. Finding balance with work and home life is a massive thing but, beyond that we are left trying to balance our income and expenditure while external influences create more and more pressure that, so often threatens to unbalance our mental health.

So, Seek and Lomax deliver this upbeat sound that, whilst having a deep message, brings and uplifting sound that helps to balance that deeper meaning and where we might have been feeling the pinch in life and not being at our best, the guys help bring a little sense of balance by giving us this light to shine into the tunnel, bringing a candle light to give us some direction.

So, there you have it, Seek and Lomax bring us not just a banging Hip Hop vibe but, a guiding light that brings a feeling of hope in a world where hope seems lacking sometimes.

Find The Balance is out now on Northentic Records.

I’ll see ya next time,




Get Find The Balance from Bandcamp Here:

Northentic Records YouTube Channel Here:

Friday 22 September 2023

Singles Review: The WOW Signal & 40 Years by 4Dee


The WOW Signal & 40 Years




Following on from my recent review of 4Dee’s album ShotsFired, comes his two most recent single releases, The WOW Signal, and 40 Years.

The WOW Signal was a strong narrowband radio signal, that bore all the expected hallmarks of an expected extraterrestrial origin, was picked up by the Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope on 15th August 1977. The signal, which originated from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, lasted for the entire 72 second window in which the Big Ear was able to observe it. It was just a few days later while reviewing the data that astronomer Jerry R. Ehman, being so impressed by the result, circled the signals intensity, and wrote WOW next to it but, just say that signal was from a race of beings observing the earth? On The WOW Signal 4Dee takes on the persona of an extraterrestrial being visiting earth and detailing how they have been periodically visiting the planet, monitoring us and aware of the potential issues we face and how we chose to conduct ourselves as a race. Observations, mixed with dire warnings and a glimpse of a brighter future are all part of the beings’ message but, ultimately that message comes down to one thing, we, as a race must listen to the warnings and how the potential for self-destruction can be reversed, otherwise our fate is sealed. All this creates deep thought within your mind, which is enhanced by the musical backdrop of heavy pounding drums, electronic vibes and a haunting background melody which creates that feeling of dark anticipation that fuels a desire to look more towards the light.


40 Years produced by DJ Jaffa and is the kind of track that immediately has your adrenaline fired up, getting you bouncing around to what it, essentially, a classic boom bap Hip Hop sound with plenty of razor-sharp cuts from DJ Jaffa. Here we find 4Dee in fine form as he takes us on trip through 40 years within the Hip Hop culture in the UK, something both he and DJ Jaffa have shared. This is a high tempo celebration of Hip Hop and what it has meant to them to be a part of it during those years. This is something many of us older Hip Hop Heads can really relate to as it perfectly underlines so many of our own personal experiences and enjoyment of the culture, regardless of whether you are an emcee, DJ, Breaker or are just someone who has followed Hip Hop since those early days. There is not much more I can say about this except that you need to put this one on and see where it takes you, because if you are a lover of the real Hip Hop vibe and you know the foundations, this one will speak to you.


So, here we have two tracks from 4Dee that seem to be worlds apart but still have their roots in the true Hip Hop sound. Looking at these two tracks side-by-side we get a real sense of the depth and range of 4Dee as an emcee, producer (The WOW Signal), and within the subject matter he draws on to put forward the message he is conveying.

These are two cracking Hip Hop tracks that have two very different messages but still have the same level of enjoyment factor. Give them a listen for yourself and see…

Both Singles are available through Veteran Records.

Time for me to be outta here,

See Ya,



Both singles can be downloaded from Bandcamp Here:

Veteran Records Website:


The WOW Signal



Friday 15 September 2023

Limited Edition Vinyl Review: Roosevelt Sessions and Capistrano Sessions by Fun Lovin' Criminals


Roosevelt / Capistrano Sessions


Fun Lovin’ Criminals


Since bursting onto the music scene in 1996 with their debut album ‘Come Find Yourself’ and the infamous debut single ‘Scooby Snacks’, the Fun Lovin’ Criminals have released seven studio albums, two cover albums, a live album and there has been a host of Best Of compilations as well. In fact, 2023 is the 25th anniversary of their second album 100% Colombian, originally released in 1998.

Their sound mixes elements of Hip Hop, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues-Jazz and Latin-Soul, which makes their music almost universally enjoyed by lovers of many genres. After finding that international success, the band settled in the UK, quickly becoming Europe’s “cousins from New York”.

The bands’ current line-up is Brian Fast Leiser (Lead vocals, bass, keys, horns, harp, and programming), Frank Benbini (Drums, percussion, and vocals) and Naim Cortazzi (Guitar and vocals).

During their most recent tour, my son Rowan took me to see them live at Thekla in Bristol. While waiting for the band to take the stage I got talking to Robbo, who was manning the merch stall. Now being a big chap, there weren’t any t-shirts of my size available, however there was a pre-order for a limited-edition vinyl consisting of two EP’s, the Roosevelt Sessions, and the Capistrano Sessions, so I decided to get the pre-order. This led to me considering a review, I thought ‘why not’ and had a chat to Robbo, who said he would introduce me to the band after. Following the Gig, and with security trying to move us out, I managed a quick chat with Frank, who was happy for me to review the vinyl and said the band would read it and support it. So, that is how I got to this point, that, and the fact that the vinyl arrived last week of course.

So, join me on a journey though this limited-edition pressing of the Roosevelt Sessions and Capistrano Sessions

The A-Side is the Roosevelt Sessions and kicks off with Unfinished Business, which has that Blues-Jazz vibe and sees the FLC dropping one of those New York gangster story vibes. This one puts you in mind of being sat in some dark and smoky basement setting, while around you, the real gangsters stand looking intently, analysing your every move, and questioning who you are, your motives and if you even are who you say you are? It’s all about knowing who’s who, who to trust and who is the mole. Shake It Loose has a more soulful, horn heavy sound with a deeper meaning as the FLC speak on having a ‘monkey on you back’ and the chains that hold you down. This is all about problems or even addictions that you keep secret, and which hold you back from being your true self. So, often those close to you know there is something but, it takes time to get you to open up and to admit what’s going on, then you get some help, and, with support, you can finally shake that monkey loose. Up next is Village Groove, a multi-layered sound that would be at home in any number of clubs or bars. Essentially this is like an ode to New York city and what it means to live and work within streets and buildings. It gives you a sense of this enormous multi-cultural ‘city that never sleeps’ that is home to so many people and encompasses as many musical genres as it does the people that live there. The final track of the Roosevelt Sessions is Love Ya Back, a jazz-funk sound that seems to encapsulate the night time sound of the New York streets. Here that sound is focused on being on a night out with that special woman in your life, and when the love is so deep that it combines with the music to elicit the perfect emotions to allow you to express exactly how you feel.

Spinning the disc over to the B-Side, it’s time for the Capistrano Sessions

Walking Tall has the sort of funk sound that you just can’t help but move to. There is no real deep message here, in fact just like some of your favourite Hip Hop tracks, this is a cracking lyrical display that is just for fun, to lighten the mood and have some fun. With some great names dropped in too like Prince, Trugoy (De La Soul), Bruce Lee and Bob Marley, this one will have you movin’ and groovin’ all through the night. Hot City Night’s, takes you back to the New York City blocks and the plethora of sounds that can be heard as you cruise the streets, including the Hip Hop connection with a dash of scratchin’. You really get that sense of those sounds, the people and what you can expect to see and experience as you move from block to block. It’s almost like an FLC musical incentive for people to visit the big city and experience the sights and sounds. Double Double finds the FLC transporting us from New York to California, the sound represents this with this funky, pop-rock kinda vibe. It’s all about that upbeat, feel-good mood as you feel the sunshine, golden beaches and much more as it’s all about the good times in LA and feeling those vibes from your ears to your toes. Last up is Running From The Shadows, a heavy drum heavy sound that pounds in your ears but, is broken by the piano on the bridge and guitar solo. Here we find the FLC looking at how we can all struggle with our own mental health. We can all get caught up in the day-to-day stresses that our anxieties get the better of us, sometimes to the point when even the things we are most familiar with have us doing a double take.


I’m not gonna beat around the bush here, I loved this from top to bottom. It is engaging both musically and vocally. Every track has a wealth of musical influences that are almost too many to name but, as you sit and listen more and more you pick up the elements of Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Rock and so on.

From top to bottom both the Roosevelt Sessions and the Capistrano Sessions are entertaining and highly enjoyable, this is the sort of music that not only makes you think of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals but, it also makes you want to listen over and over again, it’s infectious. That multi-genre vibe opens this up to the ears of some many people, you really understand why these guys are so big because that sound is just so infectious.

The other thing for me is the live instrument sound, there really is something to be said for mixing live instruments with samples and programming. It has worked so well within Hip Hop and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals really do bring an extra dimension, you feel every drum beat, every guitar chord, horn note and key notes, right down into the depths of you being.

This is the music that works in so many places from the car to the club, the BBQ to the chill out session, it really speaks on so many levels. Mainly because vocally, each track speaks on many levels looking at life, enjoying good music, celebrating where you live and the places you love, but also having some fun, just for the hell of it and relating those gangster stories in words, instead of the in moving pictures. Every track here allows the listener to create visions in their mind of what’s being said, and that is going to be different for everyone but, the enjoyment is gonna be the same.

If I had to sum up this slice of vinyl in one sentence, then it would be this…

When I mentioned I was reviewing this vinyl someone asked if the Fun Lovin’ Criminals “still got it?”, I can only say one thing “Hell Yeah, They still got it”.

My humble thanks to Robbo, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Di Fontaine Recordings…

The limited edition of 100 only and is out there now.


As for me, I’m out,

See Ya,



Fun Lovin' Criminals Website (all social links can be found here):

Fun Lovin' Criminals Store:

Fun Lovin Criminals YouTube Channel:



Friday 8 September 2023

Single Review: Confidence / If Ya Let 'EM (Remix) by Analog Mutants


Confidence / If Ya Let ‘EM (Remix)


Analog Mutants


It way back in July 2022 when I last reviewed the single Speak Easy / I’m On Vacation (808 Remix) by the Analog Mutants aka Phill Most Chill (Vocals), DJ Snafu (Production) and DJ Grazzhoppa (Cuts). The follow up to that single is now here Confidence / If Ya Let Em (Remix) and once again, released through the Nobody Buys Records Label.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it…

Confidence is one of those records to stick on when you are looking to get people out their seats. Drums, live sax, and organ notes give this one the energy you need but, mix in with that Grazzhoppa’s knack of making you question where the beat ends and the cuts begin and you begging to see what Phill Most has to say. Confidence has Phill Most Chill speaking on just that subject, it’s all about having the confidence to make even yourself second guess the quality of your work. To be good at what you do, you have to recognise that and have the confidence in yourself to step up and say “Yeah, that’s me and, you know what, I am that good”, and that’s something that every one of the Analog Mutants display here, confidence and quality.

If Ya Let Em (Remix) has more live instrumentation of bass, cello and piano from Snafu and Craig Cloy (Bankrupt Europeans) along side a banging beat, all of which combines to bring a solid head nod, boom bap sound that will have you moving long after tracks over, add to that another stunning performance from Grazzhoppa and this one has you hooked. Here we find Phill Most Chill dropping a tale about following and realising our dreams but, being cautious about the people we surround ourselves with as we walk that path, very often these are the ones who will turn on you when you have made it; the message here is that people can only get to us if we allow them to, always expect the unexpected and never be surprised by anything.


The great thing about the Analog Mutants is that they have this uncanny knack of working together so perfectly. Individually they are all at the top of their games but, together, they have the chemistry to produce the kinda Hip Hop sound that takes the classic golden age sound and polishes it up once more.

These two tracks might have vastly differing messages from Phill Most Chill and have differing sound vibes too but, both have this energy that gets you moving and brings a smile to your face. Here are three guys spanning three countries who know what real Hip Hop is and how to bring the best from each other, in order to create a sound that is fresh, uplifting and pleasure to hear, along with the limited edition 7” vinyl, it’s also a pleasure to behold as well.

Let’s be honest this is the sort of Hip Hop that can bring the sun back to pretty wet summer and get the party jumping from dawn till dusk.

Don’t sleep on this one, it’s out now…

I’m outta here,

See ya…



Get the single from Bandcamp Here:

Grab it from the NBR website Here:

Analog Mutants Instagram Here:



If Ya Let 'EM (Remix)