A rapidly rising talent within the UK rap scene – Noble1BOF has recently revealed his latest mixtape Benefits Of Freedom, due for release on the 22/04.
This hard-hitting and captivating mixtape is a cathartic and personal experience for Noble as he recalls his life experiences, from writing bars behind bars to becoming a role model for young people who are at risk of offending.
What’s so special about this mixtape is the pure ambition and drive that comes through, you can tell the thought that Noble puts into each and every bar that he writes and he delivers them with such passion, that it’s inspiring to the listeners.
A stand out track from this mixtape for me has to be ‘sometimeish’ the blend of rap, afrobeats, and drill are a combination that Noble has excelled at perfecting in this up-beat and rhythmic track.
The lead single ‘No Games’ takes on a slightly different fuse of genres in the form of Grime and R&B but still Noble has perfected the art of seamlessly meshing these two worlds. ‘No Games’ has a strong arrangement and flows effortlessly from verse to chorus, which has a catchy hook provided by Carla.
Be sure to check out Benefits Of Freedom, out on the 22/04
Evolution in music is inevitable, there’s nothing that can stop it and nothing strong enough to even resist it. Hip-hop, and the myriad branches that grow from its core values, are no exception and alt-hip-hop solo project ‘Bent Self’ shows that this is nothing to turn your nose up at. His latest LP ‘Waves’ is a melancholic triumph in brooding atmospheres and intelligently designed soundscapes so it was only fitting that we got to pick his brain and dive deeper…
RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?
That’s a really hard one….but I would go with Tool “Undertow” because it has that raw dark vibe with great hooks, originality and vocal dynamics. It’s under that timeless category so it will still sound fresh 20 years from now.
RR: How did you first discover rock music?
I was around 7 years old when I heard Guns N Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle” on the radio with my dad and it just grabbed me instantly. I asked him take me to the Chevron to buy me the cassette tape and I played it on repeat on my walkman. They had this grime, chunk and killer vocals that no band had at the time so I really connected with it.
RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?
I would say rock/alternative music is not dead and is alive and kicking. I believe many people just look at the mainstream rock artists that you hear on terrestrial radio saying rock is dead but they miss all the other less known artists that have great music and touring.
RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?
I really dig Puscifer because they stand out and mix some of my favorite genres electronic-rock, trip-hop and post-industrial to create a vibe. Each song has an experimental aspect to it and I always enjoy the mixed in female vocals.
RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?
It seems like alternative/rock is mixed with many genres these days and is always evolving which is what I love about it. Many artists are mixing it with electronic, pop and hip hop currently so I think that it will evolve in those areas for the better.
RR: How did you come to fuse elements of modern hip-hop and rock/metal?
Well growing up in the 90’s I really connected with rock/metal, hip hop industrial music and really liked the fusion. So in 2001 I started by band Arvins Garden which has that alt/metal, nu-metal sound and then nine years later I started my solo project Bent Self. Bent Self is more of the experimental side which still incorporates hip-hop, rock/metal but with less heavy guitars more electronic, industrial and trip hop based elements. There are endless creative paths being a crossover artist blending genres together and that’s how I ended up with my experimental sound.
RR: Do you think it’s a blend that has seen the right amount of love from critics/public so far?
Yeah I believe so, we are in the days of being able to create outside the box with music and visuals.
RR: Did you have a particular ‘listener’ in mind when writing Waves?
I don’t really write that way unless the album or song needs a specific vibe intended for a movie, video game, etc. I sit down focused on writing experimental music that makes myself happy first and conveys the emotions I’m feeling at that moment. As far as the overall vibes I wanted to encompass for the listener in mind would be dark, lyrical, sexy and dynamic.
Waves is out now and available everywhere! Connect with Bent Self below:
Yes, its no doubt that when it comes to music, there is a universal love. Heck!, music can even make a change on such a grand scale, it does more than politics can, so as our way of showing our gratitude, we decided to make a list of different styles, genres and country’s.
Kukahi: Hawaii – 18 Year old ‘Kukahi’ is modern singer-songwriter who’s unique and colorful personality makes him a perfect representative for the way music is challenging the mainstream of today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XtJzn3BBm4
System Of A Down: Lebanon, Armenia and USA-Throughout the years, it has been no secret that SOAD have been open about their dislike for the US government, as well as using the events of the Armenian genocide to fuel their inspiration, and with a mix of Lebanese, Armenian and American blood in the band, this surely has a fitting place on this list. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iywaBOMvYLI
Adam 888: Sweden-This is a fairly different side of the coin, however this fairly new hip-hop/cloud rap artist has been getting heads turning, with the release of his new track ‘Chakra 123’, influenced by artists such as Post Malone and Jaden Smith, Adam 888 is sure to be a name to watch out for. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_pz80AQv5k
HIM: Finland-formed in 1991, by Ville Harmoni Valo, HIM have had great success with a total of 8 albums released in their 27 year career, as well as a symbol that will do down in history as perhaps the most tattooed symbol of a band ever, HIM are without a standout band that any music fan should check out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SQGJ0rfIEk
Flight Of The Conchords: New Zealand- Yes, i know what you are thinking; Can 2 Kiwi’s be considered a band, and to that i say, they are so much more than a band, they are a legacy… plus their songs are funny as hell! Yes the fantastic duo have managed to crack the world with their novelty music persona and are still doing it to this day, this a massive UK tour lined up for the summer, you better get up to speed with the life’s of the music comedy duo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUAcN9UCnbU
Hunter, the man responsible for the recent release ‘So Gay’, a electro-blues fusion track which talks about social issues, and tells the story of a man declaring his sexuality in a bold and confident way.
With the song gaining traction within the LGBTQ community, as well as social media groups and larger scale radios, Hunter decided to take his tune to the next level, introducing the ‘Bigger man’ remix, mixed by Krupatron.
The track itself is a completely new take on the original with mainly techno and house based instrumentation, with his vocals having the occasional skip or double hit.
This is a great tune, and with a slightly techno/pop-bloodhound gang feel and Hunters husky blues vocals, it proves that the coupling of these two elements really do work and they stand out as powerful and brilliantly entertaining.
Roman Zayats, a Russian DJ who has been slaving away since he was young, writing, composing and recording his own material, however, now its time for Roman to take a step back, making way for his mystery guest vocalists.
His brand new single ‘Cold’ comes with the information that Roman’s latest venture will include different vocalists, and 1 very special guest vocalist. The track cold is a EDM and House/Techno treat, and a perfect pre-release to his upcoming project.
So if you are as excited as we are, be sure to check him out:
Reading the title of the song, you may think that there is a strange link between the title and the artist, and you would be right, but what you may not know, is that it literal, Luuk is invisible!
Well, not 100% invisible, however he tries to not give his identity away frivolously, with fans left with just a name to recognize him by. Luuk’s most recent release ‘Invisible’ is a homage to so many dance and EDM influences past and present, but with elements of house/techno and melodies that are dark and haunting, Luuk manages to spearhead a brand new style, giving his music an original feel.
With more fantastically arranged tunes yet to come, be sure to check him out:
Australian born and bred DJ/producer Eztain, has been hard at work working on a even better carnation of the ‘Iconoclast’ EP.
Due to a brief time in hospital, Eztain aka Jake Colson decided at that time to release the EP, however he felt that the song themselves were not as polished as they could have been. However, he is now ready to put out the finalized pieces, which are assured to satisfy your future bass and techno wants and needs.
His eclectic musical taste, as well as inspiration he draws make Eztain a formidable force, and with this brand new album with a invigorating new energy, this release (set to drop 1st January 2018) is a guaranteed album that’s not to be missed.
Olisha is a new era of Pop, bringing 90’s Dance, with throwback genres, mixing it all together to make something brand new.
As you may have guessed from the title, Olisha is based in South Africa, where she writes, records and performs her own songs. And with her recent release of her brand new single ‘Strangers’.
Olisha aims to bring todays music audience the best in all of pop, while incorporating all of her influences, including greats such as – Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson and Jay Sean.
The approach that she takes is extremely forward, as she is 100% hands on with the making of her own music. This is probably expected as she is completely devoted to music, to quote her “Music is my life”.
So be sure to check this artist out, because she is setting her sights on big things.
Getting home from work or school, making your way through the house to finally enter your room. You may relax, or crash on the bed, you may get ready to go out, but one thing I can guarantee, is that your not making high quality Tech/Electro House music and running a charity! To be fair, its quite a specific mix, but Nejlas is here to prove it can be done, and done well.
With her upcoming EP set to release on 7th November, Nejlas is working hard to get out there, while helping good causes along the way. Nejlas, or otherwise known as Jen Sal is the founder of global charity ‘Global Health Conscious’, in which she has managed to raise $2.5 million worth of medical aid for refugee camps across the middle east.
She now has her focus mainly on releasing her 2-track EP ‘Nejlas EP’, with Wolfrage Recordings. The Lead track is titled ‘Washout’, which is out on Soundcloud now, so be sure to check it out:
After 6 months, £70 and a whole lot of patience, Gambino’s latest project, Awaken, My Love! has finally arrived on gorgeous double heavy weight vinyl, complete with a VR headset, full colour booklet and download code. So, was it all worth it?
Words: Darius Azadeh
Childish Gambino fan or not, there’s something for everyone in this latest album from multi-talented man-of-the-moment Donald Glover. Ditching the rap and hip-hop previously explored over the course of his previous albums, Glover returned under the same moniker in late 2016 with a new album so far off the beaten track of his career that it just went further to prove that the man can literally do anything. While not perfect, Awaken, My Love! demonstrated not only his extensive musical knowledge, but also prowess. It was a smooth, silky powerful funk/soul record that excelled past it’s peers with sheer inventiveness and influential adaptation that made a vinyl release seem inevitable, especially with it’s 70’s soul music vibe. So, when it was revealed that it would only be released as a limited edition, £70 boxset, which (expectedly) included two 180gram heavyweight records and (unexpectedly) included a Virtual Reality headset, anticipation and confusion grew and grew.
To think that his previous album, Because The Internet, came complete with a 72 page script, this level of ambition and exclusivity should really come as no surprise. And it’s very welcome. What other artist comes to mind when thinking of album releases that come packed with this sort of thing? Not many. As rumours of a shipping date and VR content poured through over the course of the next few months proceeding the pre-order of the record, excitement was reaching fever pitch. After a number of push-backs, a final release date was secured in April, and the end of the painfully confusing long wait was in sight.
Eventually, mid-June comes around. It is now just over 6 months since the initial pre-order of the record, and it’s finally awaiting collection at the post office. Once it’s home and unwrapped, a quick moment needs to be taken to simply appreciate that it’s physically here. After enough courage is mustered to open it, things are looking very promising. The full colour record sleeves present what are assumed to be unused album artwork, which are beautifully photographed images of various models in headdresses, similar to the stunning final album artwork. Next is the booklet, which is more of the same, yet more familial this time, with the headdress and model from the front cover in different poses. Though not sounding like much, it is actually rather beautiful, and thankfully as big as the records them selves, and not shrunk down to a flimsy booklet half the size. Finally, we get to the base of the box, which houses the VR headset. While lavishly decorated in what seem to be the tribal paint patterns akin to Gambino’s style during his live ‘Pharos’ performances. While looking great, however, it is still simply a piece of cardboard.
First off, the records play beautifully. The sound quality is really top notch, playing the record’s smoothest and grooviest tunes with a lovely, warm, subtle grain, perfect for this album’s sound. You can really feel the weight of the wax during slower grooves such as Redbone, adding to the timelessness and authenticity of the album. And if that wasn’t enough, a surprise bonus track, a live performance of the instrumental track The Night Me and Your Mama Met, is included right at the end. The VR headset, however, is a slightly different story.
Before use, the free ‘Pharos’ smartphone app is required to be downloaded, and then it’s off to the races. After slotting your phone into the opening, the content kicks off with a visceral 360 degree live performance of the album’s opening track, Me and Your Mama,from Gambino’s ‘Pharos’ showcase last year. While terrifically exciting, and offering a new dimension to the recorded track, the low frame rate and video quality does dampen the show. After awhile, the VR element slowly evolves into a gimmick that wears off.
The subsequent videos to accompany the rest of the tracks get even more confusing. As well the as live performance audio, the accompanying videos feature lavishly decorated alien landscapes, with purple hills and wild green creatures. Oh, and of course a Star Wars-esque holographic projection of Glover himself performing amidst the extraterrestrial environment. It’s at this point in the experience when one will likely step back and say, “Okay… what?”. It can only be assumed that this is Gambino’s idea of what should be envisioned when listening to the tracks. While an interesting and innovative thought, it doesn’t, and can’t, hit the mark, as this is too subjective. As well as the underwhelming video quality, this most ambitious element of the release, while thankfully ambitious, isn’t something that warrants much repeat usage.
So, overall, is it worth it? Hell yes. It’s a beautifully designed boxset, with embossed features, brilliant artwork and records of absolutely top sound quality. Worth the money and wait? Well, if the VR feature is indeed what jacked up the price tag, then no. It was probably the most anticipated element of the release during the 6 month wait, and for it to be revealed as a cardboard gimmick is rather disappointing. Nevertheless, the level of ambition that sparked it’s inclusion in the set is a very welcome breath of fresh air to the industry, and hopefully an inspiration to artists everywhere. At the end of the day, it could’ve been an overpriced, flimsy single record release with nothing else to it, but it wasn’t. It was, yet again, proof that Glover really is one of the most forward thinking artists working today. It’s undeniable that whatever he does next, in whatever field, is sure to be unlike anything else.
Record – 10/10
Booklet – 8/10
VR – 5/10
Check out the VR video for Me And Your Mama here –