Jesse James Soloman- Jesse From the SE, The Future of UK Hip-Hop


The future of UK hip-hop may seem like a bold choice for the title given the relatively small amount of music Jesse James Soloman has released but bear with me, because I firmly believe this to be true. Earlier today an up-and-coming hip-hop artist from London dropped his new EP Jesse From the SE, this is of course from MC Jesse James Soloman. For those of you who don’t know Jesse is a young and extremely talented MC from London who is a long term collaborator with another one of my favourite young rappers Rejjie Snow. His word-play and flow are really top notch, with an ability to mix up his flow meaning his tunes are never dull, and all this accompanied by some amazing beats. So this brings me to the EP dropped today, it’s safe to say I had fairly high expectations when discovering this, and as I expected Jesse delivers on all counts.

It begins with JFSE that sets the tone for the EP with some chilled drums, some hazy synth and followed by Jesse’s signature laid back but engrossing flow. He quietly strolls through the song self-reflecting on the difficulties of not being truly at home unless able to step back and write. It’s also perhaps a reflection that he feels it is finally his time to grab what is his!

Lionel Jesse is the next track a darker beat and subject matter as he covers violence in the streets. The flow is altered here with faster paced, more aggressive rhymes being laid down on the track. Soon after Tides ft. Rejjie Snow appears, frequent collaborators, as I mentioned before, and again it doesn’t disappoint with some cracking boom bap drums. The two compliment each other perfectly with Rejjie’s classic deep raspy voice, the song is a treat for the ears! The final tune sleep tight has a very very chilled trap beat that finishes the EP on brilliant note, it fades out slowly after some more tight rhyming skills displayed by Jesse.

There is just one bad point I can find in this EP, is that it finishes! I love all four tracks on the EP and in my mind is clear indication that Jesse James Soloman will be one of the biggest UK hip-hop artists in years, I just hope he releases more music soon!!

Will S

 

Pete’s Top 10 of 2014


Hi there! As this is my first foray into the mysterious world of internet blogging, I feel like it would be best if I start with a brief description of myself and what my motivation is for getting involved (finally)! My name is Pete Sullivan, and I’m a standard ’20-something uni student’. I’ve just been out on a year in Madrid, and as a result of that (and the constant feeling of it being Summer) I’ve become thoroughly engrossed in house music; bootlegs, remixes and stand-alone house tracks are where I’m at. So I thought I’d share some of what I consider to be the biggest tracks of the year so far, whether you like chillstep, deep house or the almighty sax house.

 

Postcards – James Blunt (Niklas Ibach Edit)

This first one is gaining a lot of traction in the music world at the moment, and for good reason. Ibach, a relative newcomer to the mainstage of house music, has blended his own unique style sublimely with the original song from James Blunt. It comes as no surprise to me, as Ibach’s main influences come from the classical music and jazz side of the arena; given the tone of this song it was a match made in heaven. Keep your eyes on this German youngster – he’s got bags of talent.

 

Hideaway – Kiesza

To be honest, this one actually came as a surprise to me because I hadn’t heard of Kiesza before this song. However, it’s deep underlying bass and ‘bouncy’ feel really captivated me upon listening. The music video is also a treat, shot in one single take and with Kiesza reportedly having a broken rib! But, given she’s a trained ballerina, it’s not that much of a surprise. Regardless, this track has a definitively Summer feel to it, and certainly ranks amongst the best so far this year.

 

Pumping Blood – Nonono (The Chainsmokers Remix)

This one is an absolute must for me – I’ve been an admirer of the Chainsmokers ever since their breakthrough with ‘The Rookie’ in 2013, and I imagine we’re all familiar with ‘#Selfie’. However, it seems to me that the two Americans are really starting to find their niche, and this remix of Nonono’s debut single has shown what they’re capable of. With its’ soft builds and tremolo-ing drops, and heavy focus on the originals piano work, it’s a truly enjoyable mix of electro house and trap.

 

Take me – Rufus

This one’s a bit of a cheat since it actually came out in 2013, but the track hasn’t really gained any notoriety until this year so it can stay. The song is more of an indie dance track than house specifically, but it’s laid back tone and drawling vocals combine to give a unique and enjoyable listening experience.

 

The La La La Remix – Gamper and Dadoni ft. DNKR

Gamper and Dadoni are two German DJ’s who have really been exploring the limits of Deep House and turning out some big tunes, none more so than the ‘LaLaLa Remix’. Here they’ve teamed up with fellow German DNKR to put a refreshingly new take on Naughty Boy’s original, adding a new guitar line and really transforming the song into a soulful deep house tune. Keep an eye on these two, as they could be real movers in the world of deep house remixes.

 

Call You Home – Kelvin Jones (MOWE bootleg)

MOWE are a Viennese duo that are arguably better known for some of their other deep house tracks such as ‘Blauer Tag’. However, this bootleg of Call you home by British student Kelvin Jones is something really special in my mind, as it marks a move away from their sax heavy past and into something with a bit more substance. The song has a distinctly soulful feel to it, and leaves me with a smile on my face every time.

 

Snowship – Benjamin Francis Leftwich (Thomas Jack Remix)

This remix comes courtesy of an Australian/English collaboration, with Thomas Jack putting his unique stamp of tropical house and deep house on Leftwich’s more acoustic rock style. I’m a big fan of the tropical house sub-genre, and Jack is proving more than up to the task of putting out some huge hits – another collaboration of his ‘Atlas Hands’ could easily have made this list too. With deep, heavy drops and otherwise light chilled beats, this is certainly a winner.

 

Circles – Passenger (Elkoe Remix)

Now, I’m not usually a fan of Passenger, and Michael Rosenberg wouldn’t usually feature on my list of top songs in any context. However, Elkoe has put an interesting elctro-chill vibe to the song, and really made it far easier to listen to. In some respects you could say that Elkoe has a ‘Kygo-esque’ vibe, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, and makes the entire song more palatable. By reducing the lyrical exposure and putting the ‘bouncy’ rhythm to the chorus, Elkoe has really put their stamp on this track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4RdwCeM-Kc

Family Affair – Mary J Blige (KHOV Remix)

This is a great new deep house remix of Blige’s Family Affair – DJ KHOV has put a really deep, heavy twist to the song, and made it far more intense than the original. KHOV is a complete newcomer to the world of house but, hailing from London, he has really put down a marker with this one. Instantly replayable.

 

High Hopes – Kodaline (Filous Remix)

This song from Vienna’s ‘Filous’ is a really fun, upbeat reworking of Kodaline’s original. Whilst the original from the Irish band is somewhat slow paced, Filous transforms it into what can only really be described as Deep Pop, with a soft underscore and a light and breezy piano riff on the surface. Easy listening just got that bit easier.

Calum’s Top 10 of 2014


Hello blogosphere! I guess I’m the first to arrive at the party and introduce myself. Let’s start with the basics – I’m Calum and I love music. To be honest that is probably how I would introduce myself at a party and my hope with this blog is that you – the readers – learn a plethora of new things from our team of writers just like you would after attending an incredible party.

Before I start rhyming off my top ten tracks of the year so far for you all I just want to apologise in advance as I am currently, and have been for a while a now, stuck in a deep soul hole. I just can’t stop listening to the smooth offerings of Atlantic, Motown and Stax and I’m sure as you know, well-read fan of music, this music comes from the ’60s! This list might not be the most adventurous but it’s got something for everyone, enjoy!

Paolo Nutini – Scream (Funk My Life Up)

Continuing with the soul flavour, the first track that came to mind when compiling this list comes from the irrepressible Mr. Paolo Nutini. Nutini bounced back after a five year hiatus with number one album ‘Caustic Love’ and with it he started a new chapter as a soulman. ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ is the album opener and lead single – upbeat, full of joy and Nutini’s iconic grainy, rasping vocals. He incorporates zany electronic sounds and reverberations of groovy bass throughout this undeniable funk hit. Nutini’s vocals are powerful and absolutely on point – a true modern masterpiece. Fans of Curtis Mayfield would like.

King Creosote – Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123

Scottish folk artist Kenny Anderson, going by his alias King Creosote, very recently released an album entitled ‘From Scotland With Love’ which was created as the soundtrack to go with a BBC film of the same name. Atmospheric and haunting, the whole album compliments the grainy black and white archive footage of Scotland used in the arty flick. Though one track in particular stood out to as a gem. ‘Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123’ is the ultimate contrast song – on the face of it it’s an innocent, uplifting song with handclaps and harmonies from skipping schoolkids –  but if you scrape a little beyond the surface you can here the pain in Anderson’s voice and lyrics and the angry drive behind his guitar work. Short and sweet and full of emotion: a treat for the ears.

Bombay Bicycle Club – Feel

After taking a few years out, London indie rockers Bombay Bicycle Club returned earlier this year with the stunning ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. During this time out front man Jack Steadman went on his travels hitting The Netherlands, Turkey and India to name but a few: the influence of the latter certainly inspired one of my top tracks of this year – ‘Feel’. Think British Bollywood with some serious sampling and a catchy chorus. Bombay have absolutely nailed it with their latest reincarnation and that’s what I love about them, they are a band that’s not scared to reinvent themselves. The first album was very much a grungy, indie, riff driven rock piece, they returned quickly with the acoustic ‘Flaws’ and the more dancey ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ quickly followed, but after taking their time I think Bombay Bicycle Club have finally created their most well rounded, complete album to date. Feel is the highlight of that album as it captures that full journey from grungy bass beginnings to a more manicured Eastern sound with elements of dance still thrown in for good measure.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Call Me

‘Call Me’ by St. Paul & The Broken Bones is another which falls into a category which has gripped me of late – new soul. Hailing from the musical hub that is Birmingham, Alabama their roots are very much set in Southern soul and blues, particularly the Stax label which had so much success in the late ’60s with legends like Otis Redding and Booker T. & The MGs. Lead singer Paul Janeway directs the song with strong vocals as the large band around him play with a serious groove and funk in a way only a band with a large brass section could. We’ve recently seen a resurgence of Northern Soul themes in pop music through elements of John Newman’s and Pharrell Williams’ stuff but this new brand of Southern soul coming up in the US is going unnoticed and St.Paul and The Broken Bones are leading the way. It’s just a great heartfelt, toe-tapping  tune that makes you want to dance and wail with Paul.

Calvin Harris – Summer

I’m not going to lie to you I had really started to go off Calvin Harris and felt he was stagnating a bit with all the collaborations he was doing with other artists. So you can imagine my joy when I heard ‘Summer’! Calvin. Just Calvin on his own. It just feels right, now that he’s a big household name he can afford to go back to the good old days of ‘Feel So Close’ and ‘I’m Not Alone’ and produce, sing and perform a massive hit single which is all his own. Simple and elegant as always, Harris captures the party feel that surrounds a summer adventure and fleeting romance between two people. The superstar DJ invites you to join him in the first verse of the track before a big drop throws you straight into the action. Trust me having experienced this live at T in the Park not so long ago it’s an amazing spectacle to watch a crowd cascade at once while singing along with Calvin (and a special guest). An instant dance classic, it has definitely been the soundtrack to my summer!

Twin Atlantic – Heart And Soul

“They’ve changed, it’s too fucking poppy”, “I’ve liked them for ages, their first album was way better”. You’d be forgiven for having these opinions after your first listen of ‘Heart And Soul’ because as a big Twin Atlantic fan I hated this song at first and I said these things. Now, however I’ve embraced the song for all it’s good qualities and after a few listen I’m very much anticipating the release of their third studio album ‘The Great Divide’ later this month. ‘Heart And Soul’ kicks in with driving bass and guitar riffs as Sam McTrusty assertively comes in and cries in his distinctive style “I flicked the switch on the generator so I could turn you on” and barring the chorus the whole song repeats this exact format so actually the poppier more uplifting chorus is a bit of light relief from the deep, driving, gloomy verses. The song breaks down near the end and you can practically envisage McTrusty standing on top of an amp leading the crowd in song, crashing his hands together above his head, it has all the makings of a great festival anthem and a defining song for Twin Atlantic.

Haim – If I Could Change Your Mind

Haim were a band I was always conscious of but I’d never actually listened to but after seeing them live I’ve been hooked. They have plenty of  instantly recognisable ‘heard that before’ type tunes full of melodic riffs, poppy harmonies and R&B beats. The Californian sister trio  have a funky soft rock sound that makes them accessible to the more pop orientated mainstream market but also a favourite of indie music fans. The big single for them this year was the incredible ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ – the jerky and jumpy guitars, bluesy bass and drums all intertwine at the most unexpected moments to create a unique Haim sound. Middle sister and lead singer Danielle stylishly and soulfully croons her way through the track backed up by oldest sister Este licking the whole song with infectious basslines all while youngest sister Alana twangs and bends notes on lead guitar.

Bombay Bicycle Club – Carry Me

I know, I know, I’m returning to Bombay Bicycle Club again but I actually had to limit the amount of songs from their new album I was going to include in this blog. Their lead single ‘Carry Me’ is a majestic dancey, futuristic stramash of samples and synth beats. ‘Carry Me’ incorporates everything that is great about Bombay’s new sound. The brass, the percussion, the synth and the echoing hushed female vocals all complimented perfectly by Steadman’s catchy line: ‘you carry me’. As soon as I heard this song I knew they were on to something special with their new album. I think they’d been listening to Chvrches when they wrote this one! If you’re a fan of Chvrches or like all the new synth pop stuff we’re hearing at the moment from former guitar heroes like Coldplay and Kasabian then you’ll love ‘Carry Me’.

Paolo Nutini – Recover (Chvrches Cover)

I’m gonna be wrapping things up now just as I started with a local boy from my home town of Paisley – Paolo Nutini. Not that I’m biased or anything but the guy can do no wrong at the moment. His comeback album was a roaring success, he’s lit up festivals all across the country so far this summer and he’s not bad at the old covers either. In a recent BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge performance Nutini covered Chvrches ‘Recover’ and completely transformed it, making it his own and even incorporating it into his sets. The original song is very sharp, electronic and atmospheric whereas Paolo’s version is elegant, brooding and full of emotion. He seems to change the tone of the song and give the lyrics new meaning. A superb cover!

Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky

Who needs an official video when your live session version is as good as this? I’m gonna leave you with what is undoubtedly my favourite song of 2014 so far. Just watch and enjoy the artistry and performance of Paolo Nutini as he belts out the intense, political and powerful ‘Iron Sky’. The sample of Charlie Chaplin from The Great Dictator, the lyrics “mass confusion spoon fed to the blind, serves now to define our cold society”. Simply stunning. Just wow. Enjoy…

Peace

C x