Lianne La Havas

We were invited to play a few tracks we're listening to at the moment for Tom Robinson's BBC Radio 6 Music Show "Now Playing", there's one day left to listen to

the whole show

, but they sent over our 5 mins so I've uploaded it below in case you'd like to hear it.  We played an exclusive called

Clara Barton

from Oddisee's forthcoming instrumental album Rock Creek Park, Løb Stop Stå by Boom Clap Bachelors, and Final Form by Lianne La Havas.

FYI they also cut down the list of artists I said I was listening to! I actually said - Valentina, Michael Kiwanuka, Stac, Debruit, Eska, Tanya Auclair, Olivier Daysoul, Quadron, Dam Funk, Micachu, Tune Yards, Bilal, Brittany Bosco, Tranqill (no wonder they cut it down).

I also wrote an article for their blog -

"In Search of Buried Treasure"

A lot of music bloggers lay claim to the title "curator", but I can't remember the last time I went to a gallery where the curator was shoving last weeks exhibition out of the back door before I had a chance to see it, whilst bustling past me to usher in ten random new paintings, half of them rubbish, still dripping wet and unframed...

Read the rest

over @ BBC6

Nikki Jean "Pennies in a Jar" LP Release Date & Tracklist

If, like me, you have been following the drama as it unfolded for the last three years you too will be very excited to know that S-Curve Records (a Universal affiliate), will be releasing Nikki Jeans debut album Pennies In A Jar on June 7th.

Aside from her ridiculous talent and beauty, the woman is a marketing beast and has been video blogging her life for three years, alongside all kinds of other devotion-inspiring activities including going on tours of her fans houses, sending them hand written Christmas cards, answering all of their questions on Tumblr, baking cookies, knitting, the list goes on... The documentation process however allowed her fans an insight in to the pain and frustration of being caught in a deal with Columbia who didn't want to put her record out.

"The entertainment industry is a commodities game, just like corn or gold. The chemical composition of gold NEVER changes. Peoples perception of its value changes, and markets change. . but gold doesn’t change.  That’s what we are as artists. . Of course we grow and change every day, but . . our value?  our intrinsic qualities do not change. "

Then this happened...

This has to be one of the most exciting tracklist announcements I've seen in years.

1. How to Unring a Bell (Written by Thom Bell & Nikki Jean)
2. Steel and Feathers (Don’t Ever) (Written by Bob Dylan & Nikki Jean)
3. La Di Da Di Da (Written by Luigi Creatore & Nikki Jean)
4. My Love (Written by Lamont Dozier & Nikki Jean)
5. Pennies in a Jar (Written by Burt Bacharach & Nikki Jean)
6. What’s a Girl Supposed to Do (Written by Jeff Barry & Nikki Jean)
7. Rockaway (Written by Carole King & Nikki Jean)
8. Million Star Motel feat. Lupe Fiasco & Black Thought (Written by Bobby Braddock & Nikki Jean)
9. Patty Crash (Written by Paul Williams & Nikki Jean)
10. China (Written by Jimmy Webb & Nikki Jean)
11. Mercy of Love (Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil & Nikki Jean)
12. Sex, Lies and Sunshine (Written by Carly Simon & Nikki Jean)

Nihon Kizuna


I decided to hold back to help ensure this great project got a second wind (nothing more annoying than a charity project consigned to the depths by hyperactive blogging). In the past two weeks the people behind it (Broken Haze, Laurent Fintoni, XLII & Audace) have managed to raise just under $18,500 at the last count, and I hope it will reach the $20,000 target shortly.

There will also be a launch party fundraiser presented by Kidkanevil at the Vibe Bar in London on 20th April with Slugabed, Om Unit, Blue Daisy, Throwing Snow, Danny Drive Thru & Kid K - click attending here.

The tracklist is extremely impressive, as it features Kode 9, Kuedo, Rudi Zygadlo, Broken Haze, Circulations Records, All City Records, Daisuke Tanabe, Yosi Horikawa, XLII, Memory 9, Ninja Tune, Kid Kanevil, Om Unit, Paul White, One Handed Music, BD1982, Illum Sphere, Fink, Emika, Mux Mool, Ernest Gonzales, Paper Tiger, Sesped, Jay Scarlett, Elliott Yorke (Royalty), Kan Sano, Onra & more. Possibly the most exciting thing about it however is the ability for a project like this to be conceived and executed in such a short space of time, involve so many people and raise such a substantial sum of money - it's a beautiful testament to the power of art and artists.   

For more info about Nihon Kizuna, or ‘bond of friendship with Japan’ see nihonkizuna.com

RIP Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke is believed to have died from a heart attack on a flight from LA to Amsterdam this morning, aged 70. He leaves behind 21 children, 90 grandchildren, and some beautiful soul music. Best known for classics like Cry to Me and Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,  I thought the performance above of Don't Give Up On Me from his Grammy winning album of the same name from 2003 was beautiful. May he rest in peace.

Artwork's History of Dubstep


I found this over at the Guardian today as part of Magnetic Mans takeover and really enjoyed it, I love hearing artists stories...

Some people might think dubstep is a new phenomenon, but it actually grew out of garage and grime about a decade ago. In Croydon, south London, there was a shop called Big Apple Records that acted as a hub for people into all sorts of bass-led music (sadly, it closed five years ago). I had a recording studio above the shop and started the Big Apple record label with John Kennedy and DJ Hatcha. We were the first label to sign Skream and Benga when they were just 15 years old alongside Digital Mystikz (DMZ), Mala, Coki and Loefah. These artists made some of the first dubstep records.

Around this time Hatcha, who also worked at Big Apple, was championing this sound at a London club night called FWD. We were all making records for Hatcha to spin and meeting in the record shop to discuss the sound we were making. It was a bit like a bass university. And through Benga, Skream, Oris Jay, Plastician, Chef, LB, Kode 9, N Type and Benny Ill, the dubstep sound was brought to life.

We have just finished the festival season with Reading and Leeds. This is unbelievable for us, considering a few years ago you wouldn't get to play those festivals unless you had a guitar in your hand or a set of drums in front of you. It shows how much this music has grown in the past few years that a non "rock'n'roll" band can be accepted at a major rock festival (although it should be pointed out that we continue some of the old rock'n'roll traditions after the shows).

I was speaking to Skream this weekend about how dubstep has gone so far in the past three years – we were wondering if a new style of music has ever spread around the world so rapidly. If you think about drum'n'bass taking off in the 90s, a scene would blow up in one country in one year, then another a year or so later. The internet has changed all that and helped spread dubstep across the world almost instantly. At the same time, dubstep is constantly changing, incorporating different sounds and styles all the time.

The Outlook festival was held in Coatia last weekend, a dubstep event hosting some of the biggest names in the genre from around the world. If you thought you would hear only straight-up dubstep you were in for a surprise. Loefah played Detroit techno, Skream played metal, and Joker mixed it up with some UK funky and house.

I think the fact dubstep artists embrace other genres is a big part of why it's so difficult to define the music. The borders are becoming increasingly blurred between dubstep, grime, drum'n'bass, techno, house, funky ... everything. However, there is one element that links all of these genres together and that is ... BASS.

The music industry has been in the doldrums for a long time with few A&R people willing to take a risk. You get the feeling they are all being told by bosses to "sign us a hit or you're out". This is very short-sighted, and has done a lot of damage to the music on the majors. Luckily, we found a label (Columbia) that didn't ask us to water down our sound. Hopefully, other majors will follow suit and let their A&R teams make choices based on the music they believe in.

There are so many great acts out there, with fresh music deserving the same exposure we are getting at the moment (see below). With the support of more labels like ours, and Radio 1 willing to take risks as they have in supporting us, the remainder of 2010 and 2011 will hopefully be the start of another revolutionary and exciting time in UK music.

Who are Magnetic Man listening to right now?

Skream: "You should be checking out dBridge and Instra:Mental. They're coming up with some amazing stuff right now and dBridge has just done a great remix of our track Perfect Stranger. You should also check out Tensnake – the track Coma Cat goes off!

Artwork: "I'd recommend Kito, she's fantastic – a female producer from Australia who lives in London. She's just been signed to Diplo's label but I think she was signed with Skream first. She has a fantastic sound and she's a brilliant producer.

Benga: I'm going to go for my all-time favourite, Sub Focus. Every single thing he's done to date has been amazing. His mix, riff-wise, everything.

Retourner à Belleville

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still haven't seen this brilliant film from 2003 (I thought I'd told everyone in the world to see it)! I only write about music at PMOI but I think Belleville Rendez-Vous' fantastic soundtrack qualifies a quick post here. I just saw a wonderful new film entitled The Illusionist by the same team behind Belleville and it reminded me of how amazing that film is. If you haven't seen it yet, please do - three glamorous ageing, frog-eating triplet singers have to help Madame Souza and her dog Bruno save her grandson who is kidnapped during the Tour de France, to a brilliant jazz soundtrack...

Video: Chilly Gonzales – I Am Europe

This is hilarious and brilliant. I mentioned that Chilly has a film about "jazz chess" called The Ivory Tower coming out, I'm not sure of the date yet but an album of the same name is dropping on September 14th. I can't wait to see the film, this video features clips from it - Chilly plays Hershell, Tiga plays Thadeus, and apparently they both fall in love with Marsha, played by Peaches.  

Hershell & Thadeus, two chess-playing brothers and their unhealthy rivalry over both the chessboard and a woman. Hershell is a chess purist, the prodigal son, Thadeus a disciplined, ruthless competitor. After 4 nomadic years in Europe, in quixotic pursuit of 'Jazz Chess' (chess for chess' sake, no winner, no loser, only beautiful positions), Hershell returns home...