wed 28/02/2024

hip hop

Sylvia, Old Vic review - great leads, rambling story

For many years, I would ask groups of students to vote in elections because “it’s important to honour those who gave up so much to ensure that the likes of us can”. Some would nod, others would shrug, a few might have inwardly scoffed – too...

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Albums of the Year 2022: Sault - Untitled (God), Today & Tomorrow, 11, Earth, AIIR

It’s always hard to choose one album to spotlight come the annual Best Ofs, and 2022 has given us an extraordinary embarrassment of riches to choose from – the bountiful bastard…January brought with it a small but perfectly formed under-the-radar...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 74: The Muppets, The Beatles, Decius, Black Lab, Black Sabbath, Tinariwen and more

Welcome to the final theartsdesk on Vinyl of 2022 which is topped off by two Vinyl of the Months, one there for seasonal jollies and the other for musical adventurousness. As ever, the rest runs the gamut from reissues of albums from decades ago to...

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Kelefa Sanneh: Major Labels review - diary of an omnivorous musicophile

Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres is American critic Kelefa Sanneh’s ambitious survey of musical history. As such, it risks remaining only a surface-level summary of the seven genres he describes. I was wrong to worry,...

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Album: Stormzy - This Is What I Mean

“All of this music, it’s nothing to do with the listener,” Stormzy announced to Louis Theroux in a recent TV interview. “All I can do is feel what I feel and document that, and whatever that is, that’s what it’s going to be.”The 29-year-old rapper...

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Native Rebel showcase, EartH review - jazz community, psychedelia and iffy acoustics

Quite how Shabaka Hutchings manages to be Shabaka Hutchings is one of the great mysteries of modern culture, and one that could probably teach us all a lot of value to society if we ever worked it out. From the devastating energy of The Comet Is...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 73: Sandy Denny, Plastic Mermaids, Orbital, Speedy Wunderground, The Snuts, The Kinks and more

After an unavoidable delay theartsdesk on Vinyl returns with over 9000 words on new and recent releases, ranging across the entire spectrum of known music. Dive in!VINYL OF THE MONTHEdrix Puzzle Coming of the Moon Dogs (On the Corner)Nathan Curran...

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Oslo World review - a dizzying selection of high-tech, grassroots global brilliance

The Oslo World organisers are at pains to point out that, despite the name, they are not a “world music” festival. And with good reason, really. There may have been a few familiar WOMAD veterans headlining over the week-long event – Senegal’s...

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Album: Loyle Carner - Hugo

You’ll want to love Loyle Carner. There’s so much about what he gives and how he delivers it that’s disarming, charming, brilliant even. His lyrics across this album are very obviously from the heart and took real courage to hammer into shape. He...

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Album: Broken Bells - Into the Blue

Not content with having released one of the best hip-hop albums in recent memory (Cheat Codes, alongside Black Thought), producer Brian Burton has rekindled his partnership with The Shins’ James Mercer for the first Broken Bells album in almost a...

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Album: Aitch - Close to Home

22 is a pretty young age to be jaded. But this album starts out with Mancunian rapper Aitch detailing how tough it is at the top, and how traumatised he is by life: "sitting on my throne with an open stare / 'cause to me it's just a broken chair"....

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Album: Hudson Mohawke - Cry Sugar

The journey of Ross “Hudson Mohawke” Birchard has been truly one of the most extraordinary in modern music. From teenage scratch DJ champion and happy hardcore raver in some of Glasgow’s more feral club environments, in the late Noughties he quickly...

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