16 April 2010

Linkage: another helping.

Focus Mode
Focus Mode: Rattex about to take the mic on. Download his whole album from his Bandcamp site.

What a week it has been. I feel exhausted. The David’s battle against the corporate Goliath has taken it out on me. Instead of rocks I’ve been slinging long elaborate emails which have largely been ignored or half read – you know how it is. But instead of begging your pity on this Friday early evening, I have decided to share and spread the love in the form of online music. Today is a good day for that, partly because I need some upliftment, but much more so because this week has been great for music.

A few years ago I was living in Birmingham, UK. I lived in an unusually central location; in a kind of place that when I told people, they didn’t believe that there’s flats there. Right next to the massive shopping centre – Europe’s largest I’ve been told – and generally just bang, right there as central as one only can. I had just come back home to my small room from a long walk listening to my music and as I took off my headphones and put my digital radio on; almost immediately a sound bigger than anything I had heard in a long time was roaring from the BBC’s 1Xtra station. It was a song called Shakespeare by Akala. I listened to the song in a semi-trance and as soon as it had finished I walked to that massive shopping centre to buy the album It’s not a Rumour. That record is one of my all time top three albums together with Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in da Corner.

Now Akala is coming up with a new album (there was also one, Electric Lasso, in the middle) called DoubleThink. I suspect it will be amazing. Akala is a poet and a library worth of knowledge in one package. There’s a new F64 freestyle video that he did for the SBTV and also a snippet of Yours and My Children from the forthcoming record. The Twitter tells us that Lowkey is going to be on a remix of that track. That to me is the dream ticket.

Well, to that dream ticket you could also add Chuck D. And I will, although not on the same track. After a free sign-up you can download his brilliant song Tear Down That Wall from his Slamjamz online record label. There’s actually a wealth of free music there. And has been for years since it’s these guys who started this whole online music thing.

Ill-Skillz is a Cape Town crew. One of those that was part of the new wave when I was introduced to Cape Town and saw them live for the first time in Hip Hop Connected I think in 2005. Now they’re doing big things and pushing hard as independents and I always have respect for that. Download the free song called Soul Vibrations which features John Robinson from Scienz of Life. If you like that song, go and vote it on 5FM website as well. I clicked them there on the side column – to support them, not 5FM (I don't know how long it will be found from that link, but try it).

So there. Enjoy the weekend.

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