General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

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Five for the Funk – Big Daddy Kane

BDK

In two weeks time Liverpool is going to get schooled by the don. Big Daddy Kane is coming to town and you better believe it. Alongside the likes of Kool G Rap, Rakim, Slick Rick and Biz Markie, Kane is part of the pantheon of truly great late eighties solo rappers. Everything about him is iconic, from his ultimate braggadocio rhymes to the ridiculousness of his garbs, he had it going on.

Any rapper stunting owes him so much, Biggie’s avuncular arrogance, Kanye’s fashionista flyness, Jay-Z’s smooth swagger – Kane paved the way for all this and much more. In fact Jigga’s debt stretches further, with his early 90s pre rocafella days spent acting as an intermediary hype man for Kane at his shows. His first two albums are absolute classics, and there’s the fact that Rakim, RA FUCKING KIM, cooled the prospect of beef with him. You know when the God thinks twice about entering a battle with you, you’re pretty good.

So in honour of this epochal event, encased in the soon to open East Village Club, five for the funk delivers five bits of greatness from BDK. Large.

‘Smooth Operator’

Mary Jane Girls’ ‘All Night Long’ is one of the most sampled records in hip-hop history, everyone from LL Cool J, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Redman and Ice Cube being among the fifty people in total who have used the saccharine soul 80s classic. I’ve even built a modest dj career off playing it in 90% of my sets of the past five years. But few have done it as well as on Smooth Operator.

While primarily a record in the classic Big Daddy batting off all competitors mould, he does deliver a few bars implying his acumen with the females, but it’s not as much as the title would have you belive. It’s less of a response to the anti-male diatribe of the same name from Sade than you might initially think, particularly as alongside the MJ Girls there’s samples from two of Marvin Gaye’s sexjams (‘Lets get it on’ & ‘Sexual healing’). Instead it’s just Kane doing what he does best, holding court like the don he is.

‘Raw’

This is the ronseal of 80s hip-hop. Marley Marl’s splicing of James Brown and Bobby Byrd just about manages to avoid being dated and Kane just goes, as you’d expect, raw. He’s an absolute animal on the mic in this, just a relentless barrage of skill that is the calling card of one of the greatest. An absolute monument of the genre.

‘Don’t Curse’ (Heavy D ft Kool G Rap, Pete Rock, Cl Smooth, Grand Puba, Q-Tip & Big Daddy Kane)

As posse cuts go this is up there with the best of them. The roll call features people who earned their stripes repping verse after verse in the Juice Crew, Tribe Called Quest and Grand Nubian, all coming together to show that they don’t need to swear to keep it going. It was of course an answer to the proliferation of Parental Advisory stickers which were rampant in hip-hop in time. It’s not the greatest 8 bars from Kane in his career, but he’s still smooth as ever and the track and video are amazing. Heavy D also looks ridiculous in prison style pyjamas, what’s not to love about that?

‘Any type of Way’

What marks Kane out from some of his peers is how graciously he’s aged. No rapper can ever maintain a scintillating appeal, but some slip from world domination to head in hands moments quicker than most. I’m looking at you KRS and Rakim. Kane however, has gone down the Slick Rick route of touring off the back of a legendary status and the odd track since his heyday and this gem from 2003, produced by DJ Premier, proves his mettle.

He’s still nice on the mic but rather than being on that arrogant tip here he is slipping into the paternal figure of hip-hop a man of his status should do. And his voice fits Preemo’s as ever on point production perfectly. The two recently joined up again for a nike commercial with the brilliant 28 bars, which features the genius closing gambit “I went on 28 just to raise the bars”. Don’t doubt this an emcee still with it.

‘Ain’t no Half-Steppin’

Still the one. This is just a relentless surge of look at me I am boss; put-downs, big me-ups, the lot. From a lyrical point of view it’s hard to think of many songs that deliver an aura of greatness quite like this, and the calling card ‘I’m awesome’ records of rappers, be them Biggie’s ‘Unbelievable’, Jay-Z’s ‘So Ghetto’, Big L’s ‘Flamboyant’ and so on, all stand behind this. Everyone is a butter knife compared to Kane’s machete faced with this.

The video is gloriously lo-fi, a reminder of the lack of real money in hi-hop at the time, when you get the impression that the combined cost of the tracksuits worn by Kane and his dancers probably outweighs the overall budget. That’s not to say he isn’t looking hella fresh, with a chain that probably cost the GNP of an eastern European country and a general persona that is dripping swag. The iconic BDK tune.

For ticket info hit here.

Bambook and Netzell ft Cari Golden ‘What’s the Use’ – review on Pulse

Bambook & Netzell ft Cari Golden - What's The Use

“Rolling effortlessly, it’s juxtaposition of the track’s incessant charm and immediacy with Golden’s spoken word delivery is the key to its success, particularly the similarity her delivery draws with the infamous stalker on Lil Louis’ timeless ‘I called You’. It’s not hard to see why Maceo Plex built many of his stadium slaying sets of last year around it.”

Circus recordings continues a fine run of form with a bamboozler from Bambook and Netzell, Cari Golden delivering a great spoken word vocal. The clubnight has a couple of crackers lined up for Easter Weekend as well, Good Friday at Egg London and then the Camp & Furnace up here in Liverpool for Easter Sunday.

And this recent set from Yousef at Circus is something of an instant classic.

Rick Ross ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ (Freestyle)

So Rick Ross got shot up yesterday, crashing his car in the process. He’s since released a freestyle which basically amounts to a few bars at the start of Kendrick Lamar’s immense ‘Bitch don’t kill my vibe’ in which he states the following:

“Sometimes I look in the mirror, I can’t believe I’m alive/ Disrespectful to ni**as who want to take me alive/ Wishin’ death on you ni**as, we’ll never see eye to eye/ Somehow I pray for you ni**as at the very same time,”

Which is pretty standard big baller rap lyrics but slightly more meaningful (maybe) in light of this drama. Queue a million internet rumours…

Discoteca Poca Christmas Party w/ Prosumer 22nd Dec @ Shipping Forecast

I LOVE Discoteca Poca, I really do. I don;t go out much in Liveprool any more raving due to the fact that being far too embedded beyond the regular raving age of late twenties means I do it less frequently further afield, but when I do it’s usually here. Ewan Pearson and Dyed Soundorom have serenaded my ears there in the past brilliantly and the other guests have been especially stupendous, Andrew Weatherall, Maurice Fulton and Tiger & Woods among them. Berlin badboy Prosumer though might just be the best of the lot.

The now soon to be ex resident of Panoramabar is one of the best house jocks on the planet, and as far as gloriously intimate clubnights soundtracked by the masters go this has some real vintage appeal lavished upon it. He’s something of an educated and eloquent observer of music (check this interview where he retains his elegance despite being given the EDM prefix), particularly given his moniker mines Toffler’s theory of the juxtaposition of producer and consumer in the future, but nowhere is this warmth and intelligence best manifested than his DJ sets. The tickets are flying out for this show understandably but you can catch them while they are still available at Skiddle. Swerve buying your uncle those socks.

Laurent Garnier at the WHP

Sunday 16th December sees an institution in dance music combine with another, as the WHP showcases a monstrous ten hour set from Laurent Garnier. Taking place in only the second room of the club, it’s to celebrate the 25 year career Laurent has had since upping sticks from France to be a chef in the North West, and the dj gigs he did at the Hacienda under the fledgling name of DJ Pedro, and from the vibes coming back to me of his recent final ever LBS performances suggest, he is still 100% on top of his game.

There isn’t a DJ that comes close to having given me as much joy over the years as Laurent, his DJ sets that I’ve witnessed in Germany, Spain, Manchester, Liverpool and London easily being the best I’ve ever been too. I haven’t spent a sustained period of time with Monsieur Garnier for years and to say I’m ridiculously excited is an understatement, particularly as he is the real Le God, contrary to what some people in Manchester may think the title belongs to. More details here.

Vote for Joshua Brooks

Manchester’s snug as a bug small venue Joshua Brooks is up for an award in DJMag’s Best of British poll, an award ceremony that doesn’t tend to get treated with the ludicrous disdain and anger thrown towards it’s sister top 100 poll, which is after all a popularity contest. This is exactly the same, but seeing as it’s voted for mainly by people who share the same values, if not tastes, as the angry pitchfork wielding hordes that get very embattled every Autumn, people don’t get quite as narky. Which is nice; no-one likes being lairy!

Anyway, there’s all sorts of people up for awards including previous incumbents of nice words on these pages Andrew Weatherall, Sankeys, Bicep and Erol Alkan, but I’d definitely implore you to vote for Joshua brooks because it really is great. That’s all I’m going to say. Follow this link to the Facebook app for voting.

RIP Martin Dawson

House music producer Martin Dawson has sadly passed away after a ten day struggle after suffering an aneurysm. Whether recording under his own name or his King Roc alias, or as a collaborator with the likes of Giles Smith on their Two Armadillos project, he has made house music across the board. The below sounds slightly dated now but was an anthem for me back in my Superfly days, a cracking electro house rethinking of New Order’s ‘True Faith’

The below was also evidence of his more deeper side, remixed to brilliant effect by Sebo K when the two were leading figures in the warmer side of minimal as everyone turned their back slowly but surely on electro house in the latter stages of 2006. Martin’s original wasn’t too shabby either.

Anyway a producer of great talent has sadly passed too young. Condolences go out to all those closest to him.

Circus brings last ever LBS shows in Liverpool & London

HYPE!

Circus has not one but two of the final ever dates of Laurent Garnier’s LBS project lined up for one memorable weekend at the end of the month. Head down to London on the Friday 30th November where they have him on at the Egg alongside Yousef and Acid Mondays, with Saturday 1st in Liverpool Julio Bashmore, Guti and HotSince82 among the starlets. For the latter you can pick NUS tickets up at my favourite Boozer; the Font.

LG is of course arguably the most mesmerisingly brilliant DJ of all time, a true master who brings an effortless guile and flair to his signature style of trance tinged melody drenched techno which has the capacity to steer towards more eclectic territories. The LBS project sees him interpolating live elements into his DJ sets to usual rapturous responses (although I witnessed loads of mullteed Spanish whopper departing at set at Timewarp in disgust due to him playing dubstep), but he has recently announced 2012 will be the end of it. Which is sad!

Anyway if you’re in the capital of the country or the capital of boss over this weekend then you’d be worse placed than to take part in this epic slab of historical raving. When he drops this it might even make you cry.

Guy J Interview on Data Transmission & Circus London Fri 27th Oct

“Every place has its own style of music or its own way to react to music and that is what is so inspiring about all this. There are places I go and beforehand I’m working on music specifically for that place and those people – music that is inspired by my experiences, that I feel belongs to these places.”

I spoke to Guy J ahead of him dropping by the Egg in London this weekend for Circus for Data Transmission, clicking on the quote as ever takes you straight to the feature.

The event in question is the launch party for Yousef’s sophomore album ‘A Product of Your Environment’, with Yousef and Guy joined by Luca Bachetti, Jon Rundell and Lewis Boardman.

Yousef also recently released two videos, one which previously got a mention here and the other for ‘For the Terraces’ which takes in the sunk issed shores of Ibiza, a certainly different approach to the Liverpool focused approach on ‘Feel the Same thing’. Check that out below.

Moby on the US election

“For me the election is pretty simple:

obama and the democrats are in favor of fair taxation for all americans and re-building the infrastructure of the united states.
romney and the republicans are in favor of tax breaks for the very wealthy and for letting communities fend for themselves.”

The bald headed vegan sex pest gives it to Mitt Romney and ‘Affluent America’ on this blog post. Go w’ed Moby lad.

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