Wagwan peeps, hope you enjoyed Christmas Day, munching on your turkey and brussels sprouts and dat. Ang tite the pants & socks gang and the all the dons who got Lynx Africa shower packs as Christmas presents this year. 2016 can’t finish quicker enough, the year when everyone tried to do the most for all the wrong reasons, Phil Mitchell slowly dying whilst somehow managing to get Denise pregnant sums up this year, moral of the story ladies, don’t drink too much Lambrini, their adverts are selling you a dream, don’t fall for the sheggery. 2017 is almost here and a lot of you basic guys and girls will be getting ready to back the ‘New Year, New Me’ bollocks next month. I know damn well a lot of you are not going to lose weight at the gym as you promised or get your lives together for the year ahead. With Netflix, Snapchat, Just Eat and the January sales all distracting you, by the end of the month, you’ll all be back to your pretentious, glutinous, self-righteous old selves. The ladies all clad with chokers will be tryna flex with their dodgy looking Louis Vuitton handbags, fake Michael Kors watches, ripped jeans and khaki bomber jackets, taking about 400 selfies, hoping between the Valencia filter on Instagram and the new make-up they got over Christmas that they won’t look clapped while the mandem kitted out with Huaraches, bootlegged Stone Island garms, Gucci belts and Giuseppes who after partaking in a having a cheeky Nandos, will be sliding into DMs as if they’re jumping down a slip n slide. If it looks like I’m ridiculing a lot of people, I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to take the chance to apologise to absolutely nobody. Rants does what the fuck he wants. Here’s the last Grimey Mondays of 2016 ya bastards.
Jammz’s Headline Show To Mark Warrior EP
Those would be the words I’d use to describe this night after going to Shoreditch’s Old Blue Last for Jammz‘s Headline Show to mark the release of his new ‘Warrior’ EP. Jammz has been one of the most consistent and hard-working artists in the game and from the music he’s put out this year, his efforts have not gone in vain. With ‘Underdog Season Volume 1’ alongside DJ Jack Dat, the Trends & Mr Dubz produced ‘Mr Wait’, his ’10 Missed Calls’ collaboration with Dread D on the Local Action label, the Annie Mac championed track ‘Get What I Mean’ as well as his debut release on his I Am Grime label ‘Keep It Simple/The World’, Jammz has provided 2016 with a batch of high-quality, unrelenting sounds, you can literally feel the energy from every production he’s been involved with. However, it’s this newest of releases which the event was all about that for me speaks the most volumes. ‘Warrior’ is an EP that touches on some very real issues with Jammz’s portraying some very frustrated and exasperated tones throughout the project. It’s an EP that pulls no punches and given the fact that all the vinyl releases for ‘Warrior’ have sold out, it’s no surprise that people have been more than willing to back the Hackney MC.
As for this night in particular, it was well worth going. Free drinks at the bar are obviously going to put anyone in a good mood and as for the show, it’s definitely didn’t let itself down. With a whole bag of MCs and DJs there plus a raccous crowd ready to take in the levels, this night went off, big time! But instead of me telling you how exactly the night went, I thought it would be better if I let the pictures & videos do the talking, enjoy:
There you have it, vibes upon vibes in the place, my phone’s battery didn’t survive the night! One last thing, I said all the vinyl releases for ‘Warrior’ sold out, well guess who managed to get their hands on one to add to the ‘Keep It Simple/The World’ vinyl release earlier this year:
P Money – Live & Direct
After weeks of promo and the releases of singles ‘Panasonic’ and ‘Gunfingers’, P Money finally gives up ‘Live & Direct’, his first album. There had been something in the air in the weeks before the album’s release that it might just be a bit special and judging by the features that P Money’s managed to get on the album, it has the potential to stay in the ears of listeners long into 2017. P has matured as an MC over the years and to be honest, he’s spitting harder than I’ve ever heard him do, it’s impossible to ignore the conviction or the hunger in his voice. Onwards and upwards for the OG next year.
AJ Tracey – Lil Tracey
What an end to the year it’s been for the MTP sheller. People are watching out for AJ Tracey in 2017 with him being linked to great things with co-signs from Vevo, Apple Music and the BBC, it’s not a surprise considering his new EP called ‘Lil Tracey’. AJT personifies the rise to prominence of the UK urban music scene, the bars and flows he weaves together on tracks are unmistakable, with elements of both rap and grime in his repertoire, it seems that it was only a matter of time before people really paid attention to him. ‘Lil Tracey’ is slick, cutthroat yet refreshingly honest, as a whole, it’s an EP that makes an impression that you simply can’t overlook, AJ Tracey’s going places in 2017.
Armour – Pepper Pot
Nasty Crew alumni Armour unleashes his devastating ‘Pepper Pot’ track. After dropping his ‘Bun A Fire’ freestyle for Bluku Music earlier this year, Armour rolls in by blessing his bars onto ‘Pepper Pot’, a beat made by Hardrive Records producer P Jam. One of the few patois-inspired MCs at the moment, Armour’s got a style of flow that would bully any rave so with a flow like his, you need the weighty beats to accompany it and luckily, P Jam doesn’t fail to disappoint with his absolute madness of a riddim.
If you like the sound of the riddim alone, you can buy it plus the track ‘Chalice’ on a vinyl record, it’s out now.
Kahn & Neek Go Through Their Favourite Dubplates
After Slimzee, Spooky and Score5ive went through their favourite dubplates, FACTmag decided to pay a visit to Bristolian producer duo Kahn & Neek for them to choose their favourite dubplates. The producers have built a reputation over the last few years of absolutely lenging it down in raves across the country. With their brand of reggae, grime and bass sounding riddims, it’s not a surprise that they’ve built up quite a collection of vinyl records. Bristol’s underground music scene is one of the strongest in the UK with the likes of Asa, Sorrow, Boofy, Hi5Ghost, Lemzly Dale, Invader Spade and Sir Hiss all hailing from there, their sounds range across a number of genres from grime to dub to garage to the sort of sounds that most people wouldn’t even be able to class into a genre.
Neffa-T In The Mix
For a DJ, there must be little better than being able to make the wickedest mix and blends pon di two decks. To be able to do the mix and blends while slicing and dicing the riddims like a chef chopping vegetables while skenging it down so hard it looks like you might break something off the mixer while at the same time mixing using THREE decks instead of two might sound farcical, an impossible task. Not for Neffa-T though, he’ll just make you hold his beer and do this:
For Neffa-T or should I call him Choppa-T after he finishes making you hold his beer recently did a mix compromising entirely of releases from the White Peach Records label. Like the video above, this mix is done using three decks, quite the impressive feat. Listen to the mix below and find out about the tracklist here.
Terminator – F64 (2009)
Seeing as it’s Christmas, I thought why not include some festive joy in here and I can’t think of better person to spread the festivity than the infamous Darkside Pioneer himself, the one, the only, Terminator. While his bars to some may sound like utter filth (foolish people), Terminator is a misunderstood enigma who’s always been true to himself, honing his style and sharpening his lyrical craft. T is his own man, the man pioneered his own genre he’s that much of a guy. As for his freestyling abilities, T’s got a style which is comparable to none, is he merely spraying bars or is he confessing to crimes of despicable quality, we’ll never know.
7 years ago to mark the Christmas time, T made his debut on SBTV with his F64, an awe-inspiring showcase of a lyrical wordsmith at work, don’t mind the pained expression on his face, that’s just all the emotion just pouring out of him. If you don’t feel touched after listening to this then I must say I have to question your taste in music.
KXVU Leading Brighton’s Underground Revival
Jay McDougall, better known by the name of KXVU (pronounced ‘kovu’) is a Brighton-based DJ and producer trying to get his city back on the map. He’s also involved with Southpoint, a music label that he and fellow Southpoint member Josh Gunston co-founded. The label acts as a platform for up and coming producers making the best in underground crud.
Considering how busy he’s been off late, I was lucky enough to have a chat with him away from his studio or should I say ‘The Cave’, the name he gave to it to discuss a few things as well as future plans. I thought it would be good to start with asking him how he got into music. He said that he got into it through the sorts of music he liked to listen, telling me how he was inspired by the likes of dubstep and dancehall as a teenager, telling me how he enjoyed the ‘clash-culture’, the essence of having live MCs spraying bars over specially made dubs. To him, “clashing is good”, it’s something I could tell he enjoys a lot so it felt nature to then ask him about his thoughts on this year’s Red Bull Culture Clash. KXVU was impressed with Mixpak and like myself, we both agreed that they deserved to win because not only did they have the best dubs, they were the team that were the most prepared, they were able to time when they dropped certain dubs better than everyone else and the impacts that they made had the more profound effects on the thousands of people there to witness the clash. Props were given to Taylor Gang, the underdogs in the clash but who came out with a lot of respect while Eskimo Dance to KXVU were “so disappointing”, a clear lack of dubs or general organisation were their ultimate downfall on the night.
Looking at now, I asked about his Southpoint label, I asked why the label came to being last year. His main answer was essentially that he wanted to revive the nightlife in Brighton and to put it back on the map. He told me about 4-5 years ago, Brighton’s music scene was thriving, it was popping with a number of artists going down to the city for performances with a number of different genres being showcased. However, Bristol’s rise in prominence as well as the shift of university students going to the city turned the tide away from Brighton, KXVU telling me that while there were a lot of artists from Brighton, not enough of them were doing enough to put respek on its name. This is where Southpoint comes in, a label that mainly focuses on UKG, grime, dubstep and what KXVU calls “140BPM music” that gives a platform for artists in the city to get their music out to a wider audience. Southpoint do club nights, showcasing the work of the producers in their roster, I said that KXVU has been busy and from looking at what’s he’s been doing of late, he isn’t joking:
With guest takeovers, his own slot on Trickstar Radio as well as the club appearances under his belt, KXVU has been working hard to get his name and his label out to a wider audience and when I asked what the ultimate goal he had in place in Southpoint, he answered that he wanted to grow the label’s roster to the point that it would be strong enough to actually take part in the Red Bull Culture Clash, a lofty goal indeed.
Now I mentioned takeovers, one takeover that happened recently was Southpoint’s takeover on Juno Download which included the release of a free EP called ‘The Takeover’ and the release of a free track called ‘Dam’ by producer Drax who’s part of the Southpoint roster. All-in-all, KXVU described it as a “positive experience” with Juno being fully supportive of the label. It’s not a surprise that Juno likes Southpoint because you’ll see a strewn of Southpoint releases on their website from their ‘KXVU Presents’ compilation to Drax’s ‘Frostie’ EP to Policy’s ‘Slink’ EP to Noble’s ‘Screwdriver’ EP to newest EP called ‘Caution’ by Hamdi and much more. For me, this is a label that totally personifies the rise of independent labels this year, for artists to be able to make the music and the connections that they want, rather than pander to industry dons who are too ignorant to realise the directions that the artists what to take, making money isn’t necessarily a driving factor to less commercialised labels. “People are getting a bit sick of recycled, watered down, commercialised versions of underground music” KXVU tells me. This has been a year where the music rather than simply being popular has taken the precedent.
Another takeover that happened recently was a takeover Southpoint did for DJ Benteki on Reprezent FM where KXVU plus guys from the roster played the music they’re repping which included plenty of Southpoint releases as well as 2 2 live bars from the MCs in the gang. Something that interested me was when the crew went to Reprezent, they were wearing Southpoint garms. To be a label, not only do you have to put out music you believe in, it helps if you can create some sort of identity, a brand that people can gravitate to so it’s positive to hear that KXVU and the mandem are kitted out in gear that pretty much acts as a uniform. As for his show on Trickstar Radio, a station which became available to DAB earlier this year, KXVU continues to push his label’s sound out across Brighton and hopefully to wider audiences as well as including phone interviews and guest mixes. Works haffi run to the max as the platform grows with new music being collected to spin every week. KXVU even writes for a website called Soapbox that acts as a database for all the new releases on the label. It’s a mammoth setup that Southpoint have in place!
As a DJ, I guess it must be important to have your own style and when it comes to dubs, KXVU likes nothing more than a dub with energy, something that gets people active. Dubs are also pretty important to him, the exclusiveness of them are what really get the attentions of those who listen to them. Having a brand of dubs to play is also important to KXVU, I asked him whether he prepared them or releases and he emphatically chose the former.
With future plans of continuing to network with as many people as possible as well as a new ‘Brighton Has MCs’ project in the pipeline, the grind continues to get Brighton’s nightlife reputation on the up for the talented DJ.
There you have it, Grimey Mondays is done for 2016. See you next year.