General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

Brand new show on Melodic Distraction

I bailed on the music industry as my full-time source of income in 2019. It had been a pretty rewarding arena with loads of perks, but for various reasons, it had stopped delivering everything I’d have liked it too, and the time felt right for a change.

But whilst the day job is different, me and actual music just had a little break. I still DJ from time to time, and having worked with Melodic Distraction a fair bit from my time at Skiddle I’d always thought about a show with them. I just wasn’t sure how it would work.

I finally figured on a concept I was happy with, so enter Check the Rhime. CTR will basically be a show about how great hip-hop is, celebrating the culture and the impact alongside the music too. It will look at music from the 50 year plus history of the genre, but try and avoid the obvious classics such as TROY, 93 till Infinity and CREAM, as great as they are.

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The show will be at 4pm on the first Sunday of every month, kick-starting on Sunday February 2nd (the first show is now live, play it above). The show will involve quite a lucid interpretation of the genre. For me you can class Wiley as hip-hop. And Massive Atack. Flying Lotus too. Anything that shares some form of genealogy and revolves around break based sampling and/or emceeing makes the cut for me.

There are two regular features on it, Sample Example and a guest interview. The former explores some great sample material and the records they inspired, whilst the latter will feature a variety of people enthusing about why they love hip-hop. First up is Jacaranda records’ Namina Koroma on February 2nd, followed by Threshold Festival and fellow MD host Chris Carney 1st March.

For more on MD check their website.

Moscoman unleashes the ‘Wave Rave’

I’ve always quite admired Moscoman, a deft producer who makes really well thought out house and slow motion techno.

That said, his productions can sometimes be a bit low key for me. This definitely doesn’t fit that bill, coming off with all the shiny synth epicness of an Eric Pyrdz of Krystal Klear smasher but losing of that almost Weatherall esque production finesse. It’s a BIG record, one you can see tonnes of DJs turning to this summer.

It’s backed up by gargling acid and ‘Spastick drums on ‘Dinner For One’, trippy middle eastern vibes via ‘550’ and bouncy italo in the shape of ‘Space Comfort’. The EP is out on DJ DJ Tennis’s Life And Death imprint on April 26th – pre-order here.

Niv Ast & Eliezer knock out ‘The Untold Story of Del Fierro’

Israel’s electronic music scene has been on point for time, and this EP showcases why it continues to deliver on the underground.

Trippy melodies and grungy basslines, warped guitars and woozy vocals; this has got everything that’s good about punkier dance music. The duo in question, Niv Ast & Eliezer, I don;t know too much about but apparently they’re players on the Telv Aviv scene. Not hard to see why on the strength of this release. Dig it on Bandcamp from May 15th or download which is available for free below.

Tim Westwood Interview

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1998. David Batty missed a penalty, Titanic is the first ever film to gross a billion dollars, Hugo Chavez wins his first election in Venezuela and The Lighthouse Family are still a thing. In amongst these epochal moments for the history of a year where I took my GCSEs I discover that there is somewhere else other than MTV and prowling the import Cd section of HMV to find new hip hop – BBC Radio One.

I was completely oblivious to the presence of Tim Westwood on the nation’s biggest radio station for the best part of my first two years of obsession with hip hop, only discovering it by chance when I stayed in long enough to hear the end of  (I think) Pete Tong’s show one Saturday night. There was basically an explosion, a rapper I had no idea of going “It’s Saturday, It’s Saturday, and what is this, it’s Timmy” before some genuinely legit (to my 16-year-old ears) patois launched into some absolute fire. From then on I was hooked.

It wasn’t always great listening – I can remember an episdoe with Noreaga the same year which confirmed my belief (at the time, since changed) he was horrendous – but it was one of the best ways to discover new music. It also helped me get better and deciphering music I’d heard about trying to figure out who it was (Tim wasn’t always the greatest at saying track names), so I’d read about music in The Source (also discovered in 1998) and then wait till Tim would play it.

One of these tracks was ‘My Name is’, the killer combo of Tim and The Source hyping me up to Eminem months before he released the track. Slim Shady was my first genuine real-time discovery of an emcee (something I’ve talked about on here before), having got only gotten properly into both Biggie and Tupac after they died and being far too young to experience Wu Tang, Snoop and countless others. Westwood was the only British bridge I had to these ridiculously exciting and exotic sounds from over the Atlantic, so to this day I’m hugely indebted for everything he helped me discover music too. People harp on about John Peel, Tim Dog was considerably more worthwhile to me.

So it was a genuine moment when I got to interview him as part of my day job at Skiddle. There are no real revelations in there, just a chat between two white blokes completely enamoured with this brilliant form of music. Read the Tim Westwood Skiddle interview.

The Dance Tunnel departs

Clubs closing is a natural part of the dance music ecosystem. The cold truth is the scene actually needs it; re-invention and freshness are two things that prevent stagnation, and sometimes some of the most special places in time are best preserved as a memory rather than afforded the chance to go bad. Although it is definitely rather nice when you do get the chance to properly say goodbye, as I did when Nation in Liverpool ended.

That said, it’s pretty shit when gentrification and the authorities end something before its time. I’d never been to Dalston disco Dance Tunnel, but I’d heard much about it and it’s just the latest in a spate of closing in the capital that have seen similair spots like Plastic People shut down. A fellow dance journalist Manu Ekanayake wrote a particularly prescient piece about the need for London to get a nightlife mayor, and sooner or later you’ve got to hope that the powers that be recognise the huge role clubs have in keeping people safe and developing our cultural values.

Classic boss Luke Solomon shared a mix he did at the venue back in January earlier this year, with one of the men behind it Dan Beaumont and bass and house siren Hannah Holland with a few simple words, eight of them simply stating “this one will be remembered as being important”.  This is a man who knows a thing or two about clubs, and the trio’s four hour mix is a truly special ensemble of boot shaking house grooves.

Kydus, Midland + more reviewed on DMC

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I’ve had a glut of reviews published over on DMC, a bit later than when I originally wrote them due to some email issues. Click on the links below for them

MIDLAND ‘FINAL CREDITS / VIGILANTE’ (REGRADED) 5/5

KYDUS ‘MOMENTUM’ (UNI) 5/5

SAME FREQUENCY ‘SAME DIFFERENCE’ EP (LOVECRIMES) 3/5

 

DJ Love: Laurent Garnier (article on Skiddle)

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I’ve loved Laurent Garnier as a DJ for most of my adult life, experiencing a life changing set of his a few weeks after my 20th birthday in Jan 2002. The 18 months prior to it I’d been absorbing clubbing to the intense levels anyone does when they’re faced with an abundance of temptation they’ve never had, and after a hectic NYE I’d vowed abstinence from a certain raving fuel. The Cream reopening, with Pete Tong and prog house tyrant of the time Lucien Foort playing the courtyard, was the first test of an ardent hedonist who devoured a plethora of trance and hard dance.

Lucien and Pete were average that night, but it was the man int he Annexe who had only pricked up a small amount of curiosity prior that blew me away. I didn’t even drink, sucked up by the vortex of his otherworldly brilliance. It proved to me I didn’t need to be peeling my face off the wall to enjoy partying, and that this dance music thing had longevity beyond my weekend escapism.

Anyway, suffice to say the abstinence lasted barely a few months but the musical shift had throughly started. It’s the starting point for an article I’ve wrote on Skiddle called DJ Love: Laurent Garnier which highlights a few of my experiences with my favourite DJ of all time over the years. I’ve not referenced the actual review, what with it coming from a competitor of ours at Skiddle in Pulse, but the night he played all night at the WHP looms large. It’s also the last time I saw Garnier, a near four year absence which I’m frantically trying to put right now.

Decca ‘Reworks’ review

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New album review up on Skiddle

Ropy Ayers ‘Everybody loves the Sunshine’

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“The whole thing sits in this woozy netherworld where jazz, funk and soul collide, never really fitting any of the standard troupes for each and all the better for it.”

Every time the man behind the best vibes in music, in every sense, comes back to the UK we usually bring back my article on Skiddle about his breakthrough UK releases. I am of course talking about Roy Ayers, and the jazz musician heads to Nottingham’s Southbank on Sunday 24th July which, fingers crossed, will follow a day of “folks getting down in the sunshine”. Classic stuff.

The impact of Brexit on the music industry

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“How does voting remain or leave impact on the ravers, gig goers, musicians and festival dwellers of the UK?”

I’ve just co-written a piece on Skiddle which talks about how the impending vote on our status can impact on the music scene. Even though it’s on a music website and clearly focused on what it means for this side of things, the comments section is a hoot.

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