Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Brits 2012

while much can be said for the annual flag-waving and chest-puffing of the Brit Awards, it just doesn't do it for me anymore.

quite why i felt any excitement, pre-awards, this year, i'm not entirely certain.

i think part of it may have been down to the guessing game, invented last year, of 'match wHe0wfo9wartist to the award they will win'

Coldplay's opening set was traded in for a Best Band Award, with similar accolades going to Bruno Mars, Rihanna, and of course Ed Sheeran and Adele.

but sadly, the reality of the Brit Awards was that it just wasn't as exciting as the pancakes being flipped in my kitchen, and that is a damn shame, considering this should be our chance to fly the flag for the UK and revel in the momentous spectacle of it.

instead we got a handful of 'shocking' moments to be blown out of proportion by twitter and the media.

'OMG! James Corden interupted Adele'

'OMG! Adele flipped the bird'

'OMG! Blur sound rubbish'

and yet no-one is calling out the largest embarresment in this years Brit awards.

no, not One Direction laying claim to having the Best British Single, but the Brit Award itself!

while last years statuette, designed by Viviene Westwood, was a very understated and graceful redesign, seeming to drape the figure in patriotic red, white and blue, for the 2012 ceremony, Sir Peter Blake, yes, he of Sergeant Pepper cover fame, decided to produce a far brighter overhaul, daubing the primary colours boldly as he went, which may have worked fine, if only he had held back and not felt the need to spell out the word BRIT in large descending block-capital letters, presumably just incase anyone was unaccustomed to the   long established and recognisable trophy.

so while Ed Sheeran may be immensely proud of his first Brits win, scooping Best British Male and best British Newcomer, i dare say that they will both be pushed to the very back of his trophy cabinet.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Ed Sheeran

seriously, who is Ed Sheeran?

the mainstream may recognise him as as the rusty haired troubadour that has made significant inroads with his radio friendly hits, catapulted into the spotlight with the gentle lulls of The A-Team (a surprisingly un-radio friendly song about prostitution, drug abuse and death, that hit big regardless) and is likely to be the only possible contender to be putting paid to an all out Adele whitewash at next weeks Brit Awards.

but the truth is, this is only just scratching the surface, as well as hanging around with the likes of Rizzle Kicks and reportedly writing for One Direction, Sheeran's street credentials are boosted somewhat when his no.5 collaborations project EP, released early last year, is taken into consideration, featuring a handful of grime artists and rappers including Devlin, Wiley, JME, Dot Rotten and Wretch 32.

Ed was rejoined by a handful of his collaboraters for a special live session for BBC 1xtra last December, and since then it seems that he is showing no signs of slowing down or allowing himself to be pigeonholed easily, as various sources throughout December and January confirmed that Ed Sheeran had been recording with American rapper Yellawolf, and has also recorded duets with both Example and Jessie J.

and this week saw Sheeran leak the aforementioned 4 track collaboration with Yellawolf, from the comfort of his twitter feed, racking up more than 100,000 downloads in under 24 hours and throwing another curveball to those that expect him to follow pop formulas since his debut album hit the UK top spot upon its release last September.

so while music snobbery may tell you to hate on those that become popular, Ed Sheeran still maintains his integrity and remains an anomaly.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tinnitus Awareness Week 2012

i don't buy the red tops on matter of principle

but many people that i know do, and i will still find myself flicking through the pages of absurd, lowest common denominator news and celebrity tittle tattle

so it is with some surprise that i occasionally find The Sun actually broaching a serious subject that more people need to be aware of, it is just such a shame that the real story they should be covering is always so brief

and as we near the end of another Tinnitus Awareness week, i thought i should do my duty to highlight the problem again, after my initial piece published in 2010

it was also in 2010 that i read a short article regarding Black Eyed Peas head honcho, producer and solo artist,, admitting that he was suffering from tinnitus, a high pitched ringing in the ears that is caused by prolonged exposure to loud music, and is common among musicians, DJs, clubbers and gig-goers

sadly the article swiftly shifted the focus onto his much-rumoured relationship with Cheryl Cole and his staunch support of that years X-Factor contestant, Cher Lloyd (an expanded article, including more name dropping, but also an opinion from The Sun doctor can be found here)

and then, just last week, almost perfectly timed to coincide with the annual campaign to highlight the causes and prevention of Tinnitus, N-Dubz lead and now solo-artist, Dappy revealed that due to his severe tinnitus he has now had small speakers installed around his bed to play soothing background noises, so that he is less aware of the constant ringing that is most obvious, and often frustrating, when you realise that you can no longer hear 'silence'.

of course, the newspaper was more interested in getting there jolleys by mocking his band's music and thinking up a shockingly bad rhyming headline rather than providing any real support or advice for anyone that may find themselves in a similar situation to and Dappy.

suffering since 2004 myself, i was relieved when i was first handed a leaflet about earplugs while at Glastonbury, not feeling quite so alone and happy to be pointed in the right direction for where to find advice and suitable hearing protection

and i believe that as a duty to fans and gig goers, more should be said about the causes and effects of Tinnitus so that people can hopefully spot the signs early enough to spare themselves the fate shared by not only Dappy and, but also Bono, Trent Reznor, Pete Townsend and Moby, among many others

more information about Tinnitus and Tinnitus Awareness Week can be found in this article by the great Eddy TM and on the British Tinnitus Association website

Friday, 3 February 2012


with an upcoming collaboration EP with Cypress Hill on the horizon (the lead track of which can be yours, in exchange for your email address) i thought that now would be a perfect time to take a closer look at the musical output of Rusko.

fans of throbbing basslines will already be well aware of the impact Rusko has had on the musical landscape of dance over the last few years, yet even i was surprised quite how far reaching his influence had been.

firing up raves and hype-raising blogs with the harder edged dubstep that superseded the sparse atmospherics pioneered by the likes of Burial, Rusko was part of the charge that forged the fledgling niche genre into wider territories and onto wider recognition.

with a full length album released on Diplo's Mad Decent label in 2010, which was bolstered by the likes of the squelching, bass-heavy Woo Boost and 2-step flavoured Hold On and a follow up album, Songs, being preceded by current single Somebody To Love, Rusko has proved himself to be an in demand producer and remixer, as evidenced on a 16 track remix collection that is available to download guilt free.

having tackled and retooled heavyweight dance acts like Basement Jaxx and The Prodigy, releasing a single that splices old skool jungle with the current incarnation of dubstep, and with the first taste of the Cypress Hill team-up already upon us, i was slightly bemused to find that there was one other collaboration that had slipped under my radar.

little did i know that Rusko had taken himself completely out of his comfort zone to give girl-next-door turned sex-kitten Pixie Lott a top ten hit in November of last year, shrugging off all expectations with a far funkier affair than we are used to that proves that he is certainly an adaptable beast that can even handle pop in his stride.