Ok so I know how many people frown on the humble little Ipod, but here is one thing it has helped me rediscover several albums and changed the way I listen to music now because of its easy accessibility in storing loads of music into a tiny machine.
So I have been able to sttore pretty much most of my CD collection onto my ipod at someime or another. It has helped me to rediscover albums I love by completely unknown artists. I mean I seriously doubt many people will have heard of the guys, they are both acts I pretty much stumbled across by accident and had no prio idea as to who they were. these were all acts that I pretty much brought their cds on blind faith. Especially if they were cheap second hand CD.!
I used to love going into places like Replay on East st, in Bedminster and raiding their basement bargain CDs, coming out with albums for about 20p or so, i would spend pretty much the best part of a day sometimes in that place just presiding over what to buy, You see it was pretty easy to get absolutely lost in this shop, they pretty much covered all the genres of music i liked, so Hip hop, alternatives, Folk, Soul and Metal.
So I thought I would write about a couple of things that i found and loved
MC JAKE THE RAPPER
Ok so I accidentally stumbled across this guys album promo, in the bargain basement. I looked at it thinking this looks pretty cool, that plus it had a track named Eat the Rich ansd the 10p price tag made things to tempting to say no to. But little did i know how much I would end up loving this dude.
I remember walking back from the shop listening Jake The Rappers album, finding my head nobiding to his heavly 80s influenced electro skipping beats and his witty and political inuendoed lyrics. Showing no fear to openly rapping about issues that he could see plaguing the world.
Lyrically he kind of has elements of Sage Francis and Buck 65, in the way that he could expertly splice in humour into s serious message, I mean listen to Eat The Rich, its the only song I can really think of that some how manages to talk about the social economic recession, mixing in sarcastic samples.
I mean I had never come across this guy before, I still dont have a clue as to who he really is. But for me thi is real hip hop, no gold chain swinging or Bling jinging rhymes about how many girls he has managed to have sex with, but a sharp tongued acitone rapper who was angry and passionate. To me he made music to engage people with.
taking on issues like religion and politics in open plain honest ways. If anyone knows Jake then please give him a huge hug from me for making one of my favourite hip hop albums ever.
JACK DRAG – SOFT SONGS LP: AVIATING
Jack Drag was one of the many acts I accidentally came across by listening to John Peele and hearing him talk about Jack Drag having a single out. I went straight to Gloucester to buy the single, because I used to live literally in the middle of nowhere. so I brought a track called April it was pretty lush kind of slightly Beatlesy kind of a bit like the Lemon Heads or what billy Corgan wanted Zwan to sound like, very psychedelic.
But yeah one day my Mum went to visit her friend in Bath, and she allowed me to tag along dropping me off in town so I could be a geeky little boy, I think I spent at least 3 hours browsing all of baths record shops until I came across Jack Drags – Soft Songs lp : Aviating. I found it in a second hand rwecord shop.
I liked the art work for the cover, it kind of had a trippy feel to it. Perfectly suming up what the album sounded like. i kind of had elements of early Flaming Lips, Lemonheads, Brian Jonestown Massacreand even Besnard Lakes. Basically really lofi American indie perefect for hazy summers
Both At The Symphony and We Could Have Been Big were singles taken from the album, I found this out because there was a little black and white press release inside the CD case, I found out that Jack Drag was the recording pseudonym of Boston musician producer John Dragonetti.
He is now in a band called the Submarines with collaborater Blake Hazard, they sound pretty damn good in my opinion! they have just released a new record check this out.
DUB WAR – PAIN
I first came across Dub War back in the days when I used to religiously read Kerrang Magazine, you see it used to be a pretty damn good read back in the mid 90s- early 2000’s, when people like Phil Alexander used to be the magazines editor, they used to have some really good articles and really promote the bands and not just the image filled gloss ridden magazine it has become.
I was fascinated by how they could mix metal and reggae together, as described in the articles I had read about them. because I had never heard anything like it at all before. I was watching ITV one sunday morning and there was a documentary series about the Welsh music scene called The Slate and Dub war were on it because they were from Newport Wales.
Having seen this it made me feel very excited, there was a record shop in the near by town of Stroud that I used to go to called Tape n disk I think, it used to be down the road from where dentists was.
I found Dub wars Debut Album Pain in there, i did a part exchange with a Rocket From the Crypt album, nothing against Rocket From The Crypt, Dub war just grabbed me so much more then anything else at the time. I paid for it with money I had earned from odd jobs around the house.
When I got home I put it on and i found myself being terrified and enjoying it at the same time, whilst all the other kids were getting into Radiohead, I was getting into Dub War in a big way. I liked how they could fuse so many elements of different genres together, I mean mixing Ragga, hardcore punk, metal, reggae, hip hop and drum n base together, just created something so sonically exciting for my teenage ears.
I was bounding around bouncing of the walls of the house like the overly excited kid that I was, nothing has really changed there then. Respected was my favourite track on the album, just kicks so many grooves.
It s kind of funny to think that benji Webb their lead singer would go onto front Skindred and now selling out 20000 plus venues.
But I guess I am one of those people who lament the loss of independent record shops, those who valued the bands on their CD racks and the people who would point me in the direction of certain acts acts giving me recommendations, mind you we still have Rise records in Bristol, but not much else bless you Rise!