Monday, 23 October 2006
Sunday, 22 October 2006
Watch out for the official video for 'Cure & The Cause' coming soon, directed by our boy Mighty Mo. In the meantime, who the frig is this Gremlin dude? Sniper E?
Since writing this column for The London Paper, I’ve actually been paying attention to the clubbing spam in my inbox, the volume of which is beginning to rival the invitations for penis enlargement operations. Gender confusion aside, it seems that charity music events aren’t in need of Viagra and are on the rise of their own accord, as are nights supplying the best new music from around the world. In a strictly journalistic capacity, let me escort. Now, the last time I was at the Proud Gallery in Camden was was for the Young Knives summer fete. Renowned for their secret gigs and rock parties, Proud now seem keen to bring enough urban heat to warm us throughout the winter. This week saw the launch of the Rio Rox/Sagatiba parties, headed up by music journalist Elle J Small’s who, following a trip to Brasil, became entranced by the local sounds. Set to run every other Wednesday until the end of December (the next one being 1st November), it’s free to all. Among those playing the Samba, Broken Beat and Latino House sets are Brasil’s Baille Funk superstar DJ Sandrinho, Lynda Phoenix, Sinden and Ritmos da Cidade, while the Angola Collective demonstrate the art of capoiera. Not ones to shy away from diversity, Proud are also laying on Soul Tips (in association with, believe it or not, PG Tips) every Sunday. Despite the world music, there will be no forgetting you’re in England if you opt for an afternoon with Giles Peterson on the decks, complimented by cups of tea and a selection of vanilla and buttercream cup cakes (I kid you not).
Less demure, but perhaps the perfect place to get tanked up with your boss, (on his or her credit card), after work tonight, is at Heatwave, who take on the Shoreditch massive from 8pm- 2am at the Pool Bar. Having left the Rhythm Factory, their new residency continues with the tried and tested dancehall, reggae, soca and desi formula. Also in the Ditch this weekend, Radio 1’s Bobby Friction is holding the fort at 333, well the basement at least, with his bag of Asian beats set to resound through the lower echelons on Saturday night as part of the Neu Noise line-up.
If however, after reading about adopting 3rd world children all week, you’re feeling even more guilty than usual about a weekend of debauchery, head to Emergency Breaks, part of the Oxfam Music Festival, taking place this Saturday at Brick Lane’s 93Ft East. Plugged as a ‘full-on sensory experience’, they’re all about ‘raising cash, raising awareness and raising the roof.’ As well as a set list that includes Rodney P & Skitz, Atomic Hooligan, Ali B and Dub Pistols, you can expect break and burlesque dancers, fire-eaters, magicians, and the ‘mind expanding visuals.’ As to whether anything will prove as mind expanding as the visual I’ve just received from hairygrandma.com, remains to be seen.
I rang Fury the other day and, (cause we get down like this), I started shouting 'oi dog breath, hollllla'. I repeated this about five times, waxing lyrical, when I clocked the girl who I was talking to was Welsh. She wasn't impressed. But I thought it was just one of Fury's mates screening her calls (cause that's how she gets down). She assured me she wasn't Fury and neither was Fury there so I said 'wrong number, sorry' and kicked back. The Welsh connection proceeded to ring my phone all day leaving messages like 'bitch' and 'leave me alone' (errr like helloooooo). When I got hold of Fury on her other number the story deepens. Turns out Fury had locked off the old number about two months ago, and no word of a lie, digit for digit, t-mobile have parred off this Welsh girl with Fury's old number. When the Welsh link rang me again, I told her she was indeed insane but should perhaps contact her mobile phone contractor if she gets a barrage of calls asking for Fury. Thankfully she hasn't rang back again and the only Welsh in my day to day life remains with Dan Stacey.
They've teamed up on the remix of 'Love Me Or Hate Me' and you can download from Pitchfork here
Other Sovereign news, the video for the single 'Love Me Or Hate Me' is currently number 1 on TRL and is riding high on American itunes. It's also received plays on Ugly Betty, The O.C and Oxygen's upcoming Bad Girls Club. It's even on EA's ultra-hot new underground street racing video game, Need for Speed, to be released November 1st. As if that wasn't enough Love Me Or Hate Me is also the lynchpin behind the exciting multi-million dollar music-based national television, radio, print, and online campaign for Chocolate, the ultimate mobile phone introduced in the U.S. this summer by Verizon Wireless.
The album lands there on 31st October (still no word on the UK release mind you) while the American tour kicks off tomorrow. Quite a touch, she's also lined up to appear on the David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel shows.
Who needs the UK afterall?
Wednesday, 18 October 2006
I think this is out on DVD now. Personally, I preferred it to any of the other similar films of recents years. Dunno why, it was more graphic, perhaps more unrealistic in parts but love the way it was filmed and the strong female role.
Here's a piece I wrote on it for i-D...
Trying to avoid bent coppers, on-road beef and a showering of bullets while shifting your crack stash is like any other day in the gritty depths of London’s underworld, believe it or not. And new gangster flick, Rollin With The Nines, which includes cameo’s from musical hero’s Dizzee Rascal and Kano, is going to show the cinematic world how deep things can really go. “We wanted to make a movie that shows the hidden side of modern Britain while incorporating the underground scene we were heavily involved in ourselves during the 90’s”, explains Pikki, the thirty one year old co-writer, producer and all round man of the Nines. And you’re certainly not going to want to pick up a gun after watching it. Potential shock value aside, having incorporated a comedy element, some familiar local faces including Vas Blackwood (Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrells), Robbie Gee (Snatch), the overly-amusing Terry Stone and Billy Murray (better known as Eastenders Johnny Allen), Rollin’ With The Nines has already managed to scoop the 2005 Raindance Film Festival award for Best UK Feature ahead of release. “We’ve made a ground breaking experience that you’ve gotta respect. I want people to be entertained but appreaciate a good movie from a road perspective.” And one of the most interesting ingredients in their formula is the role of leading lady, Naomi Taylor. “Women are usually portrayed as the weak link, but women are way more more powerful than they’re given credit for. You can’t really diss them and get away with it anymore.” Watch and learn gents.
Tuesday, 17 October 2006
Well his name's not Bel or Del, it's Ben, Ben Reardon. He's a top bloke and editor of i-D to boot, which at the tender age of 16 is some achievement (Ok, so i lied about his age). It was Dirty Canvas on Saturday and Reardonius, Deano and Jezebel made quite an entry, shape throwing all over the bar. I wasn't in the mood for raving on Saturday, I'd nearly lost my voice and I was tired (probably from my night out on Friday), so opted to stand at the back of the room guarding the merchandis. What with the ICA becoming a no-smoking venue we had to sneak outside so Reardon ended up being the perfect stand in. He actually sold more copies of Gun & Roses 2 than me (I sold NONE until the end of the night when we were clearing up) and shifted some Dirty Canvas T-shirts (me, NONE although I gave a few away). Sorry Dave/Magic. They made me do it. Turns out Reardon was doing deals to, felt sorry for the kids on minimum wage I expect. Given I was willing to pay his bus trip home, maybe i-D need to up their rates too. It was a good night anyway, not as hype perhaps, but it did the job. Hyperfrank, know idea who she is but think she was the bird with chicken feet, has a nice review on her page www.hyperfrank.blogspot.com. It's better coming from a raver than me cause I'm a dead out old woman in this. Girl Better Know. Even the Mai Tai cocktails messed up James from Hooker more than me. I couldn't be bothered to walk to the bar after two. Water it was, straight from the bowl of the toilet. I kid thee.
My memory is good tonight, I wrote this piece on Islamic fashion about three years ago for The Voice's Woman2Woman, a now non-existent supplement...
Words: Chantelle Fiddy
Islamic fashion aficionados are amalgamating religious honour with a new style that expresses individuality while leaving the traditional look of yesteryear trailing behind…
I have never worn a veil. I need not cover any part of my body unless I so wish, as I’m neither governed to by religion or otherwise. But a growing number of the worlds female population are choosing of their free will to do so.
The rising popularity of Islam is pairing hand in hand with a new wave of fashionistas, a generation of women who, with the help of forward thinking design houses, are able to wear a traditional or liberal interpretation of the Muslim dresscode, in a modern manner. The basic rule of covering the body from head to toe still applies but age old design basics are out.
“The hijah is hip again!” Mirvat, an excited 19 year old student in Abu Dhabi told me on a recent visit. It reminded me of my own joy which accompanied the second coming of leg warmers. The hijab, like 80’s paraphernalia, had become associated with less endearing connotations, although the hijab’s reputation was somewhat bleaker than a reminder of Fame. The hijab was not only unfashionable but was seen to reflect backwardness and to an extent, militancy.
“Any colour I want I can get now and nearly every designer has a range.” And Mirvat wasn’t wrong. Even a quick scour of the local mall gave evidence not only of women out to buy, but of women covered with a dazzling array of chic, rainbow coloured clothes, teamed with the latest accessories. The current ranges blend Islamic standards with a broad appeal of Western styles, and inspiration taken from the international fashion world of fabrics. Islamic chic also makes it easier for women to work in the modern sector with hemlines rising and old looks adapted.
“People can get good cuts to their clothes, more flattering, while still having respect. The head scarf I like to wear as it signals my faith, but now you can wear them in a more trendy way” Mirvat continued. “Three, no even two years ago their wasn’t half as much choice for us…There was also a lot of trial and error when it came to which designers to follow.”
The majority of the fashion designers, who are making a constant effort to diversify the burga or the hijab, are women themselves who feel there’s not enough choice in the market.
Fashion house, Libas Design state on their blurb “women no longer have to choose culture over couture. They can now be fashionable while maintaining their culture…Our designs demonstrate that covering our bodies can be quite stylish…By intertwining today’s fashions with yesterdays modesty we can bring pride and confidence to all women…”
And it’s a big market.
The renowned Sri Munawwarah Design offer garments with a difference. Jubah are available considerably shorter than the traditional robes and complete with matching bottoms to allow freedom of movement. Dresses have come a long way too, catering for the diversity of tastes born within the community. One of their previous collections had taken inspiration from Laura Ashley. Headscarves are also available in prints, ready to be tied in many styles to give a contemporary twist.
Affluent Muslim women continue to grow ever fond of Hermes scarves as well as other prestigious designer brands including Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana.
The rapid success and expanse of the market is proving indicative of what’s to come. In the UK the number of Muslim students enrolling on fashion courses has soared in recent years. During the late nineties, the college of North West London reported 30% of the course to be Muslim. Such figures are apparent across the country.
So then, it’s somewhat ironic that while Muslim women the world over are now in a position to be in vogue, countries such as France, home of course to eclat capital Paris and six million Muslims, are banning the wearing of the hijab to schools. President Jacques Chirac has proposed a law that would codify the prohibition nationally, a “secular code” as he puts it.
But It’s Turkey that is said to have the biggest clash between haute couture and religion. Despite the country being overwhelmingly Muslim it’s also immovably secular.
Another backlash has come from Muslim women themselves. The increasing diversity in the cultural make-up in parts of the World has seen more Eastern destination succumb to Western trends. In countries like Dubai, where the previously uncommon site of a woman in shorts and a T-shirt seem to be ever blatant, many female students and young women have reverted to more traditional dress of their ancestors.
Religion and fashion have never been combined to such debate, applause or critical acclaim as now. While designers the world over have been influenced by - and borrowed from - the East for decades, now the East are claiming back what they know best - the eye awakening beauty of how best to cover up.
HIJAB – Literally it means concealing, protecting, and is used to refer to the head cover/scarf, of the Muslim male or female.
HUJUB – Cover, wrap, a woman’s veil.
JILBAAB – A loose fitting garment covering the entire body, so that the shape of the woman is defined but hidden, including the head, face and hands.
NIQAB – A face veil worn together with the hijab.
I was watching Tony Blair sweating, saying there's a problem with wearing a veil when I remembered the Fulla Doll. Egypt is just one country which has seen sales of the Fulla, an Arabic version of Barbie, overtake sales of the original girls toy. I have not, in all fairness, been listening much to what the government or media have been saying about Jack Straws recent comments regarding Islamic dress. When France banned the hijab, I was disgusted but thought 'that could never happen here.' Due to the right wing views that infiltrate many echelons of French society, it was surprised but not shocked. Had anyone suggested a public vote of this kind in the UK, i'd have gone as far as to say 'never'. I understand England is not half as liberal or multi-cultural as it's portrayed to be. You only have to visit villages in, for instance, rural Bedfordshire or Norfolk, neither that far from London, to find the token black or Indian family - that's if you see a non-white face at all. I'm not saying this account for people's ignorance, yet still it seems, many of the UK population still live in what many of us dwelling in London would deem the dark ages. A combination of this ignorance interwoven with fear and propoganda, apparently warrants 50% or more of us to agree with the banning of the veil (not most news programmes don't even mention 'hijab', PC's way out of the window). I was going to look at the various arguments supporting this case until I came across a clip of George Galloway doing his recent Respect Party speech. Think he says it all... well a lot of it. I'm currently looking for a good deal to go to the middle east, perhaps Abu Dhabi, love that place, so if anyone see's any cheapness, holla. Thanks. P.s. Has anyone been on holiday to Oman?
I'd recommend watching the whole thing on youtube.com
Tomorrow night this is me. And it's not just for the free cocktails. Rio Rox @ Proud gallery and bar, The Gin House, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH (between chalk farm and camden tubes). Weds 18 Oct, 7pm-1am (bar is open all day for drinks)
DJ Sandrinho, flying in from Rio to play authentic baile funk, Sinden
Kiss FM, Ritmos da Cidade Live samba, Lynda Phoenix with Sheyi on percussion, Carmen Selektra & Martelo AKA The Shower Rangers
Angola Collective live capoeira http://uklovesbailefunk.blogspot.com/ or http://www.myspace.com/ellejsmall for more info.
Monday, 16 October 2006
It's a big look. For the first time ever, the BET Hip Hop Awards have included an award for Best UK Artist. The list of nominees (in no particular order) are Sway, Kano, Plan B, Dizzee Rascal and err Blak Twang (thought this might have gone to TY or Klashnekoff). Voting will take place on both the 1Xtra and MTV Base website and will close on Friday 27th October at midnight. The votes from both sites will then be counted and the winner will be announced on November 1st. Log on and it looks like you can vote more than once if you're stuck for choice (or verge on groupie status) 1Xtra
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
Sunday, 8 October 2006
I wish I could say this was Dan Stacey but it's not. Grime MC's need to up their stage game if they think they've got moves.
Rave and hardcore aren’t the only trends creeping back on to the London scene. With garage and grime events few and far between, funky house (other wise, but not so commonly, referred to as ghetto house), is fast becoming the night diet of choice for those lacking a staple portion of dance music with an urban twist. Classic tunes are getting a new lease of life thanks to the newly acquired punters, while even the grime artists themselves are taking inspiration, Dizzee Rascal revealing earlier this week that he’s recorded a funky house-esqe track for his forthcoming 3rd album. DJ Chewy, of leading underground music and lifestyle magazine RWD, puts it partially down to the number of girls funky house attracts. “They’re fed up with male dominated clubs. People are heading back to the dancefloors where there’s a lot less inhibition and attitude.”
Unfortunately many of the newer and smaller-scale promoters have been unable to sustain successful events, primarily due to security issues and fears that currently surround anything remotely black music related – even conscious rapper Lupe Fiasco’s sell-out gig was cancelled last week following a previous, unrelated shooting at Scala. DJ Double O, who heads up Apple which frequents a different bar for each promotion, found that despite speaking with police and securing their presence, his last event due to take place on September 30th was pulled. “It just seems none of these places want funky house nights anymore. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a rougher area, Bank, or Clerkenwell.”
But bigger brands like Defected, a leading label and major party throwers, are lapping up the resurgence. This Saturday they are providing the ultimate funky house experience as they take over Canvas in Kings Cross, with DJ’s including Junior Jack & Kid Crème, Martin Solveig and Dennis Ferrer. They’ll also be a PA of one of the powerful tracks currently on the circuit, ‘The Cure And The Cause’ by Fish Go Deep featuring Tracey K (www.myspace.com/fishgodeep). Having bubbled away for the last year, championed by the likes of Danny Tenaglia, Liquid People and Kenny Dope, with a new found fanbase to boost sales, it looks set to do greater damage than initially predicted when Defected release it on November 27th. Toni Tambourine, Press and PR Manager for Defected sees the trend continuing to grow. “Once garage DJ’s started picking up these house tunes we noticed a difference... It’s exciting times, the big DJ’s are playing a lot of the older tunes and It’s going to be really interesting for us to see how things change at our events in the next six months.”
If you’re still up for more when their doors shut at 6am then it’s not a long wait for Wrong @ Herbal, Shoreditch who start proceedings at midday on Sunday. An all-dayer which includes a roof top BBQ, retro games and plenty of funky house, let’s hope the only thing that isn’t missing this weekend is the sunshine.
And then there's part 2...
PART 1 of the Lord of The Mics 2 clash... Although a lot of the clashes on said DVD are waste, to the eyes and ears of a 26 year old female at least, it's worth purchasing for Jammer's facial expressions and this clash alone. Fuda Guy and Craze 24 also surprise too. So please
Support this DVD, help Capo and Ratty earn money to keep them in fresh creps and ensure Jammer gets his cut so he can put out his album next month. It's not a laugh or a joke.
The latest and without a doubt the most expensive video from Lady Sovereign. Nice to see the ghost of her hamster Jentina making an appearance too.
Thursday, 5 October 2006
It's a revolution. Join the Plastician and friends on a night out. Not for the faint hearted, you're guaranteed not to forget it in a flash. Keep it wotless.
Keep watching for the break dancing... it's ALOT
Earlier this week at The Royal Albert Hall. Even Nicole Kidman was shockin out. It's a big look for grime and can't be forgetting Dexplicit. Zooooop!