Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Guess who's back with some brand new tat?

Even a leper with sub-par numeracy skills could count on one hand the number of days since the last The Hardcore and The Gentle post that I haven't been pestered by a pleading cohort of distraught readers, desperate to know when the next post will be hitting their cyber-doormats. Well, without meaning to stick my tongue too far down the fully waxed blog hole of The Rt Hon. Dan Boadan, I read his excellent new blog post earlier today (http://bit.ly/9VZL2R) and was inspired to get back on to the blogging circuit myself. Plus it's too rainy for hopscotch, so a lad's gotta entertain himself somehow.

In an inglorious return to the early days of this blog, I'm not actually sure exactly what I'll be writing here, but I'm fairly sure that I'll be writing it nonetheless. One thing's for certain though: whatever it is, it'll be rambling tat. Rather than carry on reading this, you may instead find an iota more interest in an interview I did with veritable bad-ass Detroit dweller Kyle Hall which is now online, but which I will refrain from linking to here because last time I did something like that it resulted in all kinds of grief, not least the misjudged creation of a Facebook group for this blog. The interview is basically just more rambling, but this time it's me channelling the rambling rather than perpetrating it myself. Google "Kyle Hall Sound Revolt" if you enjoy a) Detroit-style house/deep house, b) interviews, AND c) me (it's gotta be all or nothing I'm afraid, there's no room around here for interview-loving deep house fans who don't have a shrine to me in their kitchen).

Always one to fart in the face of well thought-out and coherent blogging, I will now proceed to fill up the next half a page of your sorry little lives with possibly my laziest and worst quality bit of blogging to date - and regular readers will know that that's really saying something. A while ago, like many other people wot write on the internet, I knocked up a blog post about things that I'm looking forward to in 2010. That was near the start of February, already pushing the boundaries of acceptable timing for 'Beginning of the Year' lists. It's now almost April. I'm not entirely sure why I never got round to publishing that post, but in the spirit of recycling and unimaginativeness I've now decided to crop two of the entries from the list - one now horribly outdated, the other horribly pointless in the first place - and will post them in this blog entry. I'm not even gonna update them. Not one bit. I'm literally just gonna copy and paste from the un-posted post and leave you to wallow in the resultant misery, hopefully cursing the day that you ever laid eyes on this blog.

To mock you even further, I'll change the two extracts in to different coloured text, meaning that the most eye-catching parts of the page will in fact be the most atrociously lacklustre. Oh, and the reason why these two sections have been chosen over the rest of the list is that I felt some parts of them were amusing - so please prepare yourself to enter the biggest laughter-vacuum known to man for the next handful of moments.


I'm writing this two days after the first acts for this year's Bestival - easily the best festival on the face of the planet, bar none - have just been unleashed on the world, and it's already looking to be yet another excellent few days on the Isle of Wight. At this point you may wish to find a quick crossword (no cryptics, please) or easy-to-medium level sudoku to partially fill in, as all that this poor excuse for a blog has to offer for the next few seconds of your life is a list of acts that have caught my immediate fancy from the line-up, which will of course be of less interest and benefit to anyone than a lecture by Ian Wright on how to correctly attach a mackintosh to a dog. If you don't happen to have a newspaper or puzzle book to hand, then why not distract yourself with a flick through this BBC News gallery of pictures of pot holes, which should also prove sufficiently more interesting than what I have to say. Anyway, from the first acts announced, I'm eagerly looking forward to: LCD Soundsystem, Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Vitalic, Chilly Gonzales, Nathan Fake, Dixon, Joy Orbison, SBTRKT, Untold, and, of course, ROLF MOTHERFUCKING HARRIS. And when I say that Bestival is the best festival, I'm not just saying it's "the best" as someone might say "OMG Creamfields is THE BEST FESTIVAL, it always has all the biggest DJs" or "OMG Reading is THE BEST FESTIVAL, it's a great opportunity to get really pissed and watch The Enemy whilst surrounded by 14 year olds" - Bestival is the best because it has a really great and diverse line-up, with just the right amount of top names so that in most cases you'll be able to see everyone you'd wanna see (unlike somewhere such as Glasto, where there'd be more clashes than a West Ham vs Millwall fans' Monopoly marathon), plus there's been a huge amount of effort put in to the little details so as to give the festival a brilliant atmosphere, plus it has the fancy dress theme which adds further fun and quirkiness to proceedings. Now all that's needed is for the mysterious female artist that Rob Da Bank is being coy about to turn out to be Bjork, and for the weather to be a repeat of 2009's glorious sunshine, and hey presto - I'll be in festival Valhalla. And although she'll probably be slowly rotating on a spit in one of Hell's finest ovens by then, it'd also be pretty cool if Lady Gaga was the mysterious female. Just no way near as cool as if it were Bjork. Actually, yeah - fuck off back to Hell Lady Gaga, you whore-foreheaded hussy.

For that last part about Lady Gaga, I'm making a reference to this news release from the good folks at Westboro Baptist Church, which I'd posted earlier in the post. Except I didn't post it. If you know what I mean. Anyway, I think it's fairly safe to say that that extract wasn't as good as I'd remembered it, so we'll move swiftly onwards and downwards to this one:

Electrik Red

Not that anyone, including myself, wanted my thoughts on this particular matter, but Electrik Red are my tip to be the next American pop group to make it big in the UK. Having released their début album in the U.S.A. last year to critical acclaim, the likelihood is that they'll follow the typical pattern of attempting to break the British market sometime this year, and to my mind they've certainly got the goods to do so. Although I'm not exactly the most devoted fan of sassy, female-empowering R&B, Electrik Red have got some great beats and tunes, and the lyrics are akin to those of Destiny's Child, leaving me feeling like a natural born woman. They have an arsenal of tunes that are easily head and shoulders above the majority of dreadful pop and R&B that currently resides in the UK chart - here might be a good point to nominate Jay-Z & Mr. Hudson's 'Forever Young' as an early forerunner for biggest heap of (barely) musical shit of 2010. Jeez that song sucks.

Electrik Red - W.F.U.
Electrik Red - Freaky Freaky

And that was also thoroughly not worth the effort of holding down CTRL + C, CTRL + V. I do apologise, hopefully the normal level of only slightly shit blogging will resume soon, and, if you're really unlucky, on a more regular basis.

Songs I'm Currently Loving

I have a little system of collating the songs that I whack in this section, whereby any song that makes me go "oooh" when it comes on in my music library gets copied in to a little folder in a dark and dusty corner of my hard-drive, where it sits until I get round to writing a new blog post and upload the songs in the folder on to Mediafire. As it's been donkeys years since the last post, a fairly hefty pile of tunes which, according to myself, I'm "currently loving" has accumulated in said dark and dusty corner, and as is often the case with any song or small child, it doesn't take long before one stops loving it. I've trimmed the collection a bit, so you're now left with a bunch of songs that "I am or have previously been loving". To give you an idea of what was once loved but has now been trimmed, let's just say that '3 Words' by Cheryl Cole feat. Will.i.am was recently reported skulking round the dark and dusty corner. Hmm...
  • Gonjasufi - Ancestors - Gonjasufi's album came out a little while ago, with production credits going to The Gaslamp Killer, hence the album title 'A Sufi and A Killer'. It's very good.
  • Ikonika - Idiot - Ikonika's album is out soon. It's very good. 'Idiot' is probably my favourite track of hers to date, and for those of you who who live in the Sheffield area and possess a functioning set of eyes, my review of her album 'Contact, Love, Want, Have' should be in the forthcoming April edition of Now Then.
  • Actress - Crushed - Actress' new album, 'Splazsh', is out soon. It should be very good. His first album 'Hazyville' is a gem, with 'Crushed' being a particular delight.
  • Hot City - No More - Hot City are hot shit(ty) at the moment, having released many-a killer tune already and with a brand of bouncy house/techno that makes me utterly gutted ("Utterly Gutterly"?) to have missed them when they hit Sheffield a few weeks ago.
  • Nathan Fake - Bored of House - someone I did manage to catch in the City of Steel recently was Nathan Fake, one of the residents of the 'Blog Favourites' section on the right-hand side of this blog. His sound has changed somewhat since he first burst on to the scene, and while he continues to impress on his releases my favourite of his records is probably still the 'Watlington Street EP' from which this track cometh.
  • José James - Blackmagic (Joy Orbison Remix) - someone who no-one will be catching in Sheffield any time soon is Joy Orbison, thanks to Metropolis & Wax:On's undying uselessness. Having been on the original line-up for their next event, he's now mysteriously disappeared and has been replaced with Emalkay, which is like someone chopping off your penis and replacing it with an adder. And when I equate Joy Orbison with a penis I mean he's a source of warm pleasure, rather than a knob. Or, in my case, a massive knob. WHEEEY!
  • Omar-S - Strider's World - the man largely responsible for elevating the aforementioned Kyle Hall in the world, Omar-S has never been too bad at the ol' song making himself, with this track from a while back being the very embodiment of the word "dope".
  • Nat King Cole - Lush Life (feat. Cee-Lo) - I recently had the good fortune to stumble across an album of hip-hop reimaginations of Nat King Cole by a range of top producers, and this is a particular beaut. The album's called 'Re: Generations', well worth tracking down.
  • Freeway & Jake One - Know What I Mean - hip-hop albums can be very hit and miss, but in the case of Freeway & Jake One's 'The Stimulus Package', it's most definitely a hit, with this song a prime example.
  • The Laughing Windows - Beta Test - if you scroll down the comments on the MySpace for The Laughing Windows, you'll find one that says simply "BRUTAL SHIT!", left by none other than perennial bad-ass motherfucker, The Gaslamp Killer. And that's really all that needs saying.
  • Broken Haze - Block - The Hardcore and The Gentle's favourite member of the Canidae family, the mighty Terror Wolf, recently pointed me in the direction of a natty free album from Jus Like Music and Apple Juice Break, which can be downloaded here: http://juslikemusicrecords.bandcamp.com/. It features a host of good but unfamiliar names from the worlds of dubstep, hip-hop and general electronica, with this track by Broken Haze providing some excellent whomps and glitches. And while he's being mentioned, make sure to check out a recent mix from the one and only Terror Wolf here: http://www.zshare.net/download/73596754e3f019f2/

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