All posts by agentj

Agent J is editor-in-chief of Groovement, which is a podcast and this website. Groovement Cat helps. AKA Jamie Groovement http://twitter.com/jamiegroovement http://Facebook.com/groovementradio http://mixcloud.com/jamiegroovement
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Matthew Halsall, GoGo Penguin & Mammal Hands live in June, Band on the Wall

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Fresh from a guest appearance on Mr Scruff’s new long player Friendly Bacteria, Matthew Halsall is prepping the release of new album When The World Was One on 16th June. Released on his own Gondwana Records label and with ongoing and dedicated support from the likes of Gilles Peterson, Matthew continues to mature into one of the country’s finest and most well respected jazz musicians.

This date will see him accompanied by the Gondwana Orchestra, consisting of Matt on trumpet, Jordan Smart on saxophones, Lisa Mallett on flute, Rachel Gladwin on harp, Taz Modi on keys, Gavin Barras on double bass and Luke Flowers on drums.

The night before will see the mighty Go Go Penguin take to the stage, with the newest Gondwana signing Mammal Hands in support.

Buy tickets for both events at the Band on the Wall at their website on the below links.

Have a listen to Matt’s ongoing DJ mix selections on his Soundcloud!

Matthew Halsall album launch

GoGo Penguin and Mammal Hands

Read reviews of When The World Was One at The Guardian, All About Jazz, Marlbank and The Times.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events and news at.gondwanarecords.com.

Further ahead, you can catch Gondwana brethren Nat Birchall at BOTW in July as part of Manchester Jazz Festival.

Listen to and purchase Gondwana music at the Bandcamp.

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Preview: All-star funk band The Beta Club release ridiculous 7″ Brassa Nova

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Buy the single

Ridiculously laid-back, spookily-organed, forebodingly-guitared, soulfully-percussioned, lamentigly-horned  and funky as hell – Brassa Nova is the first single from funk supergroup The Beta Club. It’s the soundtrack to your secret life as informant: stealth-walk to the shops with digital in your headphones, ducking behind corners, or do the same in the house with the more dynamic tones of the 45.

Freak Beat on the B is playfully ominous, a swell of percussion and brass equalling the soundtrack for a made-up film weightiness of the A side.

Art: Ben Hito
Art: Ben Hito

The personnel is:

Shaun Stenton keys
Carl Platt
Matty Thompson
Steve Haney (Jungle Fire) percussion
Ben Greenslade-Stanton (Mighty Mocambos, The Getup) horns
Shawn Lee (Shawn Lee) geetars
Nick Rufalo & Michael Rufalo (The Brothers Nylon) strings
Nick Rawe (Jopsons Mecury)
Andy Black Rose drums
Djouls, Grant Phabao & Ben Hito (Paris DJs)

The single’s out now on 7″ vinyl and digital, released jointly by Cartel Records and Paris DJs.

Official website www.thebetaclub.co.uk 
Bandcamp thebetaclub.bandcamp.com 
Facebook www.facebook.com/thebetaclub 
Soundcloud soundcloud.com/cartelrecordsuk 
Twitter twitter.com/TheBetaClub1 
Youtube www.youtube.com/channel/UCajIzn9n1cxHxriZ8LJbmog

 

 

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Preview: Marc Rapson’s Dark vs Light EP on Expansions Collective

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Release: 27 June 2014

12″ and digital pre-orders at Expansions Collective Bandcamp

Marc Rapson returns, and I can’t add much more to the press blurb below, apart from get this pre-ordered! I love this Grapevine re-edit from a few years back.

Expansions have streamlined their past releases, including those under their former name of Freeform – there’s amazing stuff to download in there. Get on it. 

expansionscollective.com

Facebook

Twitter

SoundCloud

Press release:

Pianist, Hip Hop producer, Remix artist for the likes of Atjazz & Scrimshire: Marc Rapson is a man of many dimensions. From rocking BBC’s Maida Vaile and Later with Jools Holland as part of Ben Westbeech’s touring band, to releasing stellar re-edits of Marvin Gaye and Sarah Vaughan to the acclaim of Gilles Peterson: Marc has spent the last decade quietly building a following amongst those in the know. 

Dark vs Light seamlessly blends crunchy, low swung Hip Hop beats with Marc’s jazz inflected Fender Rhodes and synth sounds. Not one to be confined to a singular style, Marc also fires up the sampler for tracks such as ‘Click Loud’, combining surgicial chop skills with live instrumentation. Dark vs Light is the product of a mind that grew up on Ahmad Jamal as much as A Tribe Called Quest: the jazz pianist with a passion for raw beats. It’s a duality that should resonate with Hip Hop classicists and beat fans alike. 

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Daptone colour vinyl countdown to 100th 45 release

100As I’m writing this, the first in Daptone’s series of coloured 45 releases, celebrating 100 7″ releases, has just sold out. It’s Charles Bradley & LaRose Jackson with Luv Jones. The hot pink has gone, but standard black vinyl is still in the shop.

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The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that this is DUN-117 – this makes it the 17th release on Daptone little-sister label, but the release also goes by DAP-1080 aka Daptone’s 80th 45 release.

Listen to a preview of both sides here.

Don’t go missing out on the next ones… sign up to the Daptone newsletter at the website.

Press release:

Out June 17th – Ships week of June 9th.

It was the annual Charles Bradley memorial day BBQ throw down, when Charles finally introduced LaRose Jackson to Tommy. “Tommeyy! This is the lady I was telling you about. You gotta hear her sang!” To which LaRose said, “This is the guy you were talking about? He don’t look like no funky producer to me. He look like one of them rock & rollers.” Well, our friend TNT invited LaRose and CB back to the old Dunham Sound Studio and set out to prove just how funky he could be. “What if I told you that curly haired dude over there was the baddest dr ummer you ever heard?” asked TNT to Rose. “Him? You guys are weird.” The duets that unfolded that night are on this seven-inch piece of wax: Two instant funky pizza party classics. Dig it. #pizzapartyfaceplant

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Event: Mecca:83 @ Endless City Thursday 5th June

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Mecca:83′s soul-filled beats remain music that I can always rely on for a bit of escapism. Seeing him condense all that in to a live show is always a bit special.

Endless City’s final night before the summer break for Manchester students sees Mecca play Kraak, together with Joe from  Manc upstart collective Mind On Fire.

 

Buy tickets at Skiddle

Doors Open At 10 with the event running until late.

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Groovement Interview: CHARLES EDISON

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I was blown away by Charles’ track My Name Is t’other month – you can find it right at the end of this Groovement episode. I holla’d at him with some questions to delve a little deeper.

Catch him on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud. He even has his own website here.

Also have a look at Beats Laying About and their Twitter.

Hi there, Charles! Please sum yourself up in a sentence.

The best producer in Essex that you’ve never heard of.

What can you tell us about the forthcoming long player, Lightbulbs?

It’s an album of instrumentals ranging from 1 to 3 1/2 minutes long and there’s allsorts on there. You have happy music, sad music, digital sounds, more traditional, earthy beats. You could consider it an introduction I suppose, as there are a whole range of different styles on it. I feel like I’ve developed my own sound, so the album has the cohesion I was looking for, but at the same time it takes you up, down and everywhere inbetween. The first track we shared was My Name Is and then after that, Bitstorm. They couldn’t be more different. I can’t wait to share Lightbulbs in its entirety.

Download Bitstorm

How long have you been making music, and how have you been doing it?

I’ve been making music for about five years using various versions of Fruity Loops. I’ve had brief periods using hardware like the Akai MPC (the hip hop beatmaker’s mainstay) but always came back to FL as I quickly realised there was nothing I could do with hardware that I didn’t already know how to do with FL.

At the moment I’m using Fruity Loops 10, an Alesis Q49 midi keyboard and a Technics SL1210 MK2 for sampling vinyl.

Terrible but necessary question – who are your influences?

I could talk about this all day, but the people I find myself constantly drawing inspiration from are:

Damon Albarn – The work Damon has done as Gorillaz has had a huge impact on the way I approach projects. Each of the albums they’ve put out have had a clear theme running through them and a strong concept tying everything together and I always strive for that cohesion. Not to mention Damon’s songwriting, which is often so vivid.

Kanye West – I’m really impressed with the way his sound has evolved over the course of his career. One of the biggest challenges I find is to continue to push boundaries and try to innovate without losing a sense of what defines my “sound” as an artist but I think Kanye’s done an amazing job of doing that.

Daft Punk – The Tron Legacy score in particular is one of my favourite albums of recent years. Working with samples, I find it’s sometimes difficult to lay melodies and synth sounds over them without sounding a little jarring or forced. What I loved about the Tron Legacy score was how well they combined raw, digital sounds with the warm, rich tones of an orchestra whichcomplemented the film’s visuals beautifully.

Who’s doing it right, right now – music wise? Who are you listening to?

I still have Disclosure’s ‘Settle’ on repeat and I think their talent is incredible. The fact that they’re only 20 and 23 is amazing. I also like London Grammar a lot. I love theirsound, it’s so eerie and emotive. I also listen to a lot of 60s bands like The Doors, Jefferson Airplane and The Zombies.

You’ve produced for the Delusionists. Who are they?

Delusionists are a three-man hip hop outfit consisting of Ben Black, DBF, and Slim Pickens. I heard an album they put out called Prolusion Plus and was really taken by it – the production, the concepts, everything. It just felt different to what everyone else was on. I loved what they were doing so I began sending them beats – one of which became Messiah Complex. That ended up being picked up by Radio 1, so I was really happy with that.

What’s the story with BLA Records? Is it a label you are heavily involved with?
Ben Black set it up to put out Delusionists’ music. I met him at a couple of gigs, sent them Lightbulbs and they decided they wanted to put it out.

What about Straw Man and Fisky?

Fisky is a rapper I’ve collaborated with. I did a few of the beats on his album recently and I’m always open to working with vocalists. I don’t know too much about Straw Man except that he’s putting together an EP for release on BLA after Lightbulbs.

What’s your experience been of getting your music out there in the age of Soundcloud, Bandcamp etc? What works well? What doesn’t?

I use Soundcloud a lot. When I make a beat that isn’t for a particular project or artist I’ll usually put it on there and I’ve found it a good way to test reactions. It’s always so difficult not to let your own feelings or opinions dictate what you do with a track. I might not like a beat because it only took a little while to make but everyone else might love it, so I think platforms like Soundcloud make it so much easier to understand what you’re doing right.

Lightbulbs is due on BLA Records quite soon. 

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Download: Depakote – Relapse & Sidetracks albums on LabelGroovement

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I’m well chuffed to be able to release these two collections from California’s Depakote over on LabelGroovement.

Both are actually re-releases of albums previously up for download on this very website, but streamlining them into the Bandcamp will hopefully give them a little more exposure.

Depakote’s a dope guy and a dope producer, unafraid of not following trends and carving out his own identity. His music travels an experimental path but flirts with slowed-down disco, trap and outer-space ratchet styles.

Have a listen to both albums below, and download at the…

LabelGroovement Bandcamp

Also check out his release on This City Is Ours


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Download: Fabz – Lost EP

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A perennial face on the Manchester hip hop scene and a regular lyricist at the In The Loop cypher, Fabz has poured his blood, sweat and tears into this one. As well as producing himself, he’s hooked up with Room 2 heavyweights Kydro (Kydroponics) and Pro P (The Bluntskins) for eight tracks of realness. Enjoy.

“Took me two years to make and 24 years to live…” – Fabz

Download from Bandcamp or Mediafire

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