General Jimmy

Writer / DJ / PR Manager / Fat Bastard

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Check the Rhime shows RZA and the Wu some love

Sunday 5th July marked the fifth instalment of my Check the Rhime show. It was also RZA’s 51st birthday, so I decided to show some love by dedicating the show to the music of his epochal five-year plan, as well as making up five Wu-related top-fives with four other Liverpool music heads.

Technically, but admittedly tenuously, that’s five references to five which is my sly little nod to the mathematics that underpins Wu’s greatness. The five-year plan was something else, though. It concerns how RZA nudged himself and nine other emcees (counting Cappadonna cos he’s a god) from relative unknowns to worldwide superstars.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here, but the music released from the single of ‘Protect ya Neck’ up until the double album of ‘Wu-Tang Forever’ is as good as anything from any similar period from a group. And I include the eight LPs by the Beatles from ‘Help’ to ‘Let it Be’ in that conversation.

The Wu changed the landscape of music, not just in their sonic vision but so too in the way recording contracts were created, and merchandise could be an extension of the brand. And they stayed gutter while appearing with the likes of Mariah Carey, Jodeci and Texas. Things went a bit tits up 98 onwards mind, but that halcyon period cannot be overstated as far as I’m concerned.

Don’t just take my word for anyway; there’s an unreal documentary about them available on Sky at the minute called Of Mics and Men. Essential lockdown viewing.

If you want more Wu related stuff for me, which of course you do, here’s an old article I wrote on Skiddle.

You can listen to the show above

Love International Mix 27 – Jonny Rock

Festivals, remember them? 2020 has been the year that has destroyed the pastime which as dominated the other 20 of this century, with Covid-19 killing off festivals for the time being.

Fortunately, plenty have still been knocking out content, with Love International’s mix series as good as the festival itself. The latest features former Music for Freaks alumni Jonny ROck with sixty minutes of low slung chugging goodness.

I actually booked Jonny way back in 2005 for my clubnight Superfly. His music didn’t really work with our crowd, which was just wild youngsters chewing garies, but I remember enjoying his set. Bit of a self-indulgent booking for me if I’m being honest, but it’s good to see one of the DJs from that era we had still connecting with me musically.

Hip-hop playlists on Spotify

I’ve been building up a hefty Spotify playlist catalogue for a while now. The one that seems to have got the most traction with other users has been my 95-99 HipHop bangers, with a three-figure subscription count.

It’s now clocking in at over seven hours too, so if you’re into late nineties hip-hop it doesn’t get much better. Well, I would say that. It’s embedded above and you can subscribe directly to it here. Best to leave on shuffle as well.

So to follow that up I’ve since added two further ones, also looking at five-year increments. They’re not quite as exhaustive yet, but all three are updated regularly (at least a few times a week). Subscribe to the imaginatively titled 90-95 Hip Hop Bangers and also 85-89 Hip Hop Bangers.

2020 will hopefully bring a slew of playlist around other years too.

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.

Decca ‘Reworks’ review

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New album review up on Skiddle

BIGGIE SMALLS: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

A fantastic kickstarter campaign has just started to publish some unseen photos of Biggie Smalls as part of an exhibition. The photos were took by a then aspiring photographer David Mcintyre for Interview Magazine, with the negatives lost up until recently (full story on the video below). They’ve since been found, but David has eschewed the usual push up on social media for exposure route to put them on in an exhibition, but after encountering a lack of funding took to the good old internet to get it.  Fund the campaign here.

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You can read what I thought about BIG’s classic debut Ready To Die, the album these photos originally promoted, here.

Nike / Air Wildwood LE (ACG) Trainers

It’s been one heck of a long summer, and apparently it’s set to continue this nice weather for a few more weeks – obviously great. Don’t front though, October is still round the corner and soon enough winter will be here and it’ll be fucking grim again. Proper grim.

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In my infinite knowledge I’ve decided to plan ahead this year for my winter trainers and bed a pair in a little bit earlier than usual, and went for these badboys from Nike. Part of their rugged ACG range, I read a few things on blogs and whatnot which basically makes them capable of surviving a nuclear holocaust, a Daily Mail hate campaign and the sexual advances of Dave Lee Travis, so they should be great for my cheesy size 11 feet. Plus they look great, I don’t know how hot pink andolive green works but it does.

Bag a pair from Oi Polloi (where I nabbed the pics from).

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