Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Music Moment...

Patience seems to be a rare thing these days. We zoom around our daily lives, demanding everything be done now. The same can be said about music. Songs that slowly build up to a drop have been sacrificed for short, snappy pop tunes that have a decent beat but poor lyrical content.

However, this may be slowly changing. This year, the XX (amongst others) have proved that mainstream success doesn’t have to be loud, fast paced and in your face. Music can be slow and melodic and graced with soft vocals.

James Blake continues this trend with his debut single, ‘Limit to Your Love’. Originally a Feist song, James Blake has reworked it completely, creating a song which isn’t afraid to embrace silence. Blake’s vocals dip in and out of the song, making the listener wonder what is going on. Blake also mixes the piano with a Dub beat, creating a sound that my friend has coined as ‘Soulful Dubstep’.

Runner up for the Critic’s Choice for the Brit Awards (behind Jessie J) and championed by Radio One’s music glutton Zane Lowe, 2011 looks like a big year for James Blake. His self titled debut album will be released on the 7th February 2011.

‘Limit to Your Love’ is out now on iTunes.

Click here to hear the original.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I love how Lady Gaga is grooming Beyonce, and she's allowing it to keep up with Rihanna."

A Screen Too Far?

Unlike TVs, phones, computers and the format we use to listen to music, books have been largely resistant to any technological advances. Books are still…books. Made out of paper and all the pages are bound together with glue.

Books have been resistant to change, that is, until now. Now there are all sorts of E-book readers flooding the market. (For the luddites, an E-book reader is a device that can store hundreds of books electronically. Like an iPod. For books.) The iPad has iBooks (surprise, surprise), where thousands of titles can be downloaded on the iPad and read at the owners comfort*. Amazon has also got their own E-book reader, Kindle. It, like the iPad, stores thousands of books. And it isn’t even twenty centimetres in length.

This all sounds like good stuff. Of course it is more practical to own an E-book reader than to lug around a handful of books. But do I need another screen to look at? I own a CrackBlackberry, which constantly provides reasons for me to look at it: text messages, emails, Blackberry Messenger messages (of which sixty-five per cent are nonsense) Facebook (more nonsense), Twitter updates and a growing number of apps. I’m currently staring at an oversized monitor, typing this out. Every so often my eyes flick over to the TV. After a night out I tend to flick through the pictures I’ve taken on my digital camera. Even in the mornings I stare at the screen that tells me when the next Underground train is arriving (this is mainly because on the London Underground a minute can last anywhere between thirty seconds to three or four minutes).

Owning an E-book reader would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I cannot bear having something else with a shiny screen to look at. @Dan_Gould (via @TarikF) summed it up perfectly (if you replace the word ‘computer’ with the word ‘screen’):
The traditional book is simple, yet effective. Sticking it behind a screen will not make me want to read any more than I do now. An E-book reader is just another example of how heavily reliant on technology the world is becoming.

*In my opinion, reading from screens is about as comfortable as having a pen jabbed into your arm. But that’s just my opinion.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Overheard Articulation...

"They say African people are lazy, now they know what the Sun does to people."

-My Mum, commenting on the temperatures the UK is currently experiencing.

A Music Moment...

I first heard Ben Drew, aka Plan B, through an old battered Nokia phone, standing at the bottom of the P.E stairs, listening to Charmaine, taken from Plan B’s debut rap album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. It’s four years later and Plan B is almost unrecognisable on his second album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks. Here, Plan B has opted to sing instead of rap, and his music is now reminiscent of Motown records of yesteryear. This has bought the twenty-six year old massive success this year, with his second album debuting at number one. Prayin’ is the third single to be taken off the album, and the video is a continuation of the story that started off with the first single, Stay Too Long. Cameos in the video come in the form of Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Kenrick Sandy of Boy Blue Entertainment.

Prayin’ is available to download from iTunes now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Overheard Articulation...

"Note To Self: Assassinate Prime Minister"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

High On Art...

Normally, I don’t promote anything other than music on my blog, unless someone asks me really nicely and/or I feel like it. However, I feel I must let you know about HAHA Magazine. HAHA Magazine is a fairly new arts and culture magazine that ‘celebrates art in all its forms’. Even though it is an American based website, there is so much content on there that it’s hard to know where to begin. There are photographs, blogs, exhibitions, videos and oh so much more. Check it out: