Thursday, February 13, 2014

Interview with Nonchalant

First up, tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Hafeez Khan . I hail from the rainy city of Manchester where i was born in the mid-70s. I have always had a keen interest in the arts and fashion .I designed my own range of denim wear under my label nonchalant in the 90s. I was fascinated with how powerful a medium music was and how much it had influenced me in my life. Hence started to develop a keen interest in the creative process and began writing the soundtrack to my life.

I have composed, written and produced my music .I have been very fortunate to have worked with some of the most innovative and fertile brains in the various aspects of music production  i.e. song writing, producing, and composing as well as music technology.
I am blessed to be able to write in a wide range of genres both modern and contemporary . When it comes to song writing or my wordsmithery how i call it i love the languages hence write in English , French , Arabic , Urdu and Punjabi

You are a writer, producer and director, tell us a bit about the work you have done

I have been writing since a very young age. I have never considered music to be my profession and always thought of it as more of an artistic expression .I started to look up the pick of local talent ie singers and musicians from Manchester some of whom i have worked with and also featured in my music .I have also worked with some of the best musicians and acclaimed artists from the sub-continent i.e. south Asia and the middle east.

In mid 2007 I decided I would like to test the metal and forwarded one of my tracks to BBC radio which was received quite warmly and received radio play with great comments. I was formally introduced as an artist and since enjoyed being play listed on various shows and stations.

What Was That Track And What Was The Inspiration behind Composing It And Then Sending It To The BBC?

The track was called   Dard/ Patterns of pain.  The inspiration behind the track was to present the electronic interpretation of an Asian ( Pakistani / Urdu ) song in my own signature style . It was definitely ahead of its time. It is grimey, glitchy, very dark and evokes emotion as well as reflecting ones inner depth. The reason I sent it to the BBC  was to present this very novel style of music which marries the modern and traditional eastern in such a harmony with mesmerising , hypnotic effect .


  You’re also a producer of transnational electronic music, how would you describe this   music?

Any music that incorporates more than one element of a different culture or cultures and styles / genres 

Who are your musical influences?

My musical influences are first and foremost the large selection of music i heard while growing up .My father probably the most larger than life character in my world was very flamboyant and enjoyed his music which consisted of the best of both eastern i.e. Indian/ Pakistani music as well as the pick of the 60s such as Motown and the Beatles as well as the classic disco era.

My influences have been classic hip hop, soul, the pick of the 80s music. The Hacienda experience.  All the great masters and geniuses without which music would have no foundations to stand on , there is too many to name .In terms of transnational music i am very impressed by Natacha Atlas and French band Orange Blossom .

You have also run live events featuring different artists from within the genre; tell us a bit about that

I have been hosting events under the banner of GLOBAL BASS and SUBGLOBAL UNDERGROUND featuring artists with the new wave of underground electronic music. There is a vast ocean of talent out there and artists that need to be heard who otherwise do not get a platform to showcase their music .I was presenting classical Indian artists alongside established well known artists to form this event and presenting live electronic music with live instruments and musicians .

What are your creative goals for 2014 and beyond?

The goal for 2014 would be to explore further the possibilities are endless .I still write but to my own pace .i am currently writing more melodic dance music and ambience according to how i feel on the day or in the heat of the moment .I guess I’m ever evolving and so is the music I’m making .

Who do you feel is doing great things to support this scene?

To be honest with you i do not think there are many that share the passion or vision that i have .But i would love to work with anyone that is into this and welcome them with open arms.

Are there any obstacles you feel are currently hindering this sound getting into the mainstream?

There are no hurdles .The mainstream is anything that has a marketing machine behind it to promote it simple.

Would you say there is a message in your music?

Yes the message in my music is stand up for your rights, disdain to authority and unity between the good people of this world. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

My all time Top 20

After years of pondering over what were my 20 favourite tracks, I sat down and just thought of what came instantly to my head, what were those tunes that I never tire of, keep coming back to, I know people will point out that I;ve missed out some huge and groundbreaking tunes but bear in mind this is a personal top 20 and no doubt the tunes you are thinking of would be in a top 30, 50 or 100 but it would never end, this whole period of music was amazing and produced countless classics, heres just a few, opinions varie but I'm sure you will enjoy....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

DJ Popeye. A.K.A Rikochet - Betty Boop 92 100% Vinyl Mix

This DJ puts out the best old skool mixes and this is no exception, classic back to 92 tunes to indulge yourself in, get listening and downloading......

  1. Re-Baptised By Dub (Selector's Revenge) - The Criminal Minds 12WYHS 008 
2. Ragatere - Foul Play - Vol. 1 - Oblivion Records ‎– OR 001 
3. Baptised By Dub (Original Fire) - The Criminal Minds 12WYHS 008 
4. Ghetto Geddon Dub Mixed 1991 - X-Project - CONGONATYY2 
5. Dub War - Dance Conspiracy Chapter Two - XL Recordings 
6. The Nuttiest Ska - Agent Orange Techoska - Dog Tag AO002 A 
7. Music Takes You - 2 Bad Mice Take You - Blame 
8. Made In Two Minutes (Prodigy) - Bug Kann & The Plastic Jam - NLB 7 
9. Worldwide Epidemik- Top Buzz - The First Taste EP - Fantazia ‎– FANTA EP 1 
10. Eastern Promise (Mix 1) - Origin Unknown - RAM Records ‎– RAMM 002 
11. Jim Skreech - Rufige Cru - RIVET 1224 DJ 
12. Losing U (Mix 1) - - Origin Unknown - RAM Records ‎– RAMM 002 
13. Ricochet - Foul Play - Vol. 1 - Oblivion Records ‎– OR 001 
14. Flavour 1. Beef & Tomato - Krispy Krouton - EMP 92002 
15. Untitled B1 - Industrial Espionage ‎– 4 U 2 B In XTC EP 
16. Deep Thrust Telescopic Probe - Cyanide 45 - SYA-001 
17. Untitled B2 - Industrial Espionage ‎– 4 U 2 B In XTC EP 
18. Boomzabang -DJ Smokey Joe* ‎– The Crimewatch Project - SDI 004 
19. Sudden Impact - Bad Influence (BI) Records ‎– BIR 003 
20. Ragga Man - DJ Chance - RUF 002 
21. Untitled A1 - Megadrive ‎– Mega 1, F Project – WHITE 007 
22. Bass Nightmare - X Cert. - XCK 02 
23. Bach To Basics - Eat Life - Ruff, Tuff & Wicked Stuff Records ‎– MPRT 7 
24. New Sound By...! - J. Higgs* / J. Emery* / I. Clifton - CRR 001 
25. Never Too Much - Bad Influence (BI) Records ‎– BIR002 
26. Volume 1 - DJ SS & EQ ‎– DJ's Anthem Volume 1 - FORM 12009 
27. Never Try The Hippodrome - DJ Phantasy & DJ Gemini ‎– Vol 2 HAN 005 
28. Charly (Trip Into Drum & Bass Version) - The Prodigy Experience - XL Recordings 
29. Ephemerol - Tic Tac Toe ‎– TTT 456 
30. The Strength (Mental Rapids) - Body Snatch*, Big City Records (3) – BC 003 
31. 456 - Tic Tac Toe ‎– TTT 456 
32. Demons Theme - LTJ Bukem – Good Looking Records ‎– GLR 001 
33. Mindbomb - Cloud Nine* ‎– Vol 2 - Back To Detroit EP - CLOUD 2 
34. T.B.N. - Kev Bird & The Wax Doctor ‎– The Visit To 14B E.P. - BRSS 006 
35. Incredible Bass - Oaysis ‎Remix - FORM 12013 
36. Gonna Be Alright - Cloud Nine* ‎– Vol 2 - Back To Detroit EP - CLOUD 2 
37. Peace & Loveism (4 Hero Remix) - Sonz of A Loop Da Loop Era - SUBBASE 14R 
38. Jungle Muffin - The Moog - Delirious Recordings - DELIS 2 
39. Break Down - Origination - Rudeboy Records ‎– RUDE 001 
40. Alpha 1 - Citadel Of Kaos ‎– Pt. II - Boombastic Plastic ‎– BP 002 
41. Dance The Night Away - The Sorcerer - After Dark Recordings (UK) ‎– ADR 005 
42. Feel The Vibe (Again) -Foul-Play* ‎– Vol. 2 - Oblivion Records ‎– OR 002 
43. Hi, I'm Chucki (Wanna Play?) - 150 Volts - Ruff Quality Recordings ‎– RQ 11

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Debunking a common myth....

If you spend any time watching TV or surfing the internet with an interest in socio political thought, you will have been swamped with anti immigration rhetoric, simplistic and baseless arguments that aim to scapegoat whole communities of people, maintain the divide and conquer status quo and ultimately hoodwink an unwitting public into believing that our economic woes can be blamed solely on the EU and immigration. In reality, it is our own government, a government that serves the interests of the 'elite'super rich and cares nothing for the population at large. Focusing here on the endless myths perpetuated about how 'immigrants are taking our jobs' peddled by right wing (and some supposedly left wing) media., below is a book which although based in the States is totally applicable to the situation here in the U.K. Immigration is not the problem, in fact it benefits us, it also sadly, is exploited by ruthless corporations, read on to get the facts....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Interview with Juice Aleem

If you haven't yet had the good fortune to hear one of Hip Hop's finest, Juice Aleem, then you really should avail yourself, coinciding with his new release, I was very fortunate to be able to conduct a short interview with him.....

Thanks very much for taking time to share some words with the blog, just on the off chance that readers may not be familiar with your work, could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

Peace, the name is Juice Aleem, member of New Flesh and Shadowless and collaborator with a whole heap of different forward thinking artists and genres. Performed, recorded and workshopped around half the world and I'm a fan of rum and seaweed.  Not together but I’m ready to try and mix the two

Your career spans back to the late 90s, one of your first releases being the Nanotech Pilots EP, how did it all begin?

It was all a dream.  Manifested it since a youth and made the transition to making some form of earnings in the mid 90's when releasing the Misanthropic single on Big Dada records in '97. Hit the mixtapes, ciphers, battled and made friends and enemies where ever there were worthy artists to express those energies with. With The other members of Gamma and new Flesh we released sum well received albums and did a bunch of shows which led to a good rep amongst those in the know

Those will know me will know I'm a big breaks fan and you've worked with some of the finest breaks producers like Si Begg and Terry Hooligan, do you still keep abreast with the breaks scene now?

What really got me at the time was how much it was a fluid scene. As a DJ played track to track would sound like so many genres, Hip Hop, House, Bashment, D&B, I could hear so much in it... even Trance and those Ravey sounds.  I appreciated that and even more I appreciated that these guys had mostly come from a Hip Hop background and respected us and what we did.  I’m not as up on it any more as its become so many other things. That’s the agreeable and less agreeable part of the UK in that every few months there's another 'scene' poppin off. Genres can get too much to keep up with so in the end you have to keep on doing what you’re doing and make your own lane while respecting all the lanes you drove through before. That’s how you take it to a new place.

Can you share with us a few of the highlights and lowlights of your career so far?

Lowlights first:  It's pretty much always the money and the continuing expectation to do things for 'exposure'.  Waiting on weeks and even months to get paid while the middle class fake hippie kid who hasn't even sent the cheque is sniffing powders from underage lizards at a spiritual retreat in Outer Mongolia. The Highlights are many including the obvious one of getting paid to do what you love doing and traveling the globe to do it. I've hung out with legends, Been down the Danube in a speedboat, ate jerk chicken on Mount Fuji and rocked in front of thousands of people at a time...what's not to like?

An obvious and oft repeated question no doubt but what are your personal favourites from all the tunes you've made?

I like the ones where we weren’t so ahead of the time and managed to hit at the right point such as Stick n Move. It's like having 10 minutes of pop hits without all the BS of millions of pounds of PA's, managers, sponsors and Killer Cola subsidies.  Just raw right time right placeness smacking the eardrums. There’s been a few tunes we did like that and Lie Lo where people didn’t know who it was but would play it without the hype machine of being co-signed.  That's a beautiful thing.

Listening to your beats, it’s clear you're coming from the underground, what are your feelings about the current state of the hip hop scene?

Hip Hop is Hip Hop. Underground is just the stuff not as many people have heard so I don't feel like it's a style of its own. A lot of big tunes have had some very avant sounds it's just they have a bigger machine to push the music 'overground'. My feelings are that I just wish people went back to making their own minds up about things and not looking at who is co-signing something. I mean, if J Dilla really changed so many people’s lives would he have had all them hospital bills in the first place? They disrespect it by agreeing to these various over-under-west-east-oldskool-gangsta-UK-conscious conspiracies.  I love this thing more than it infuriates me, I just want people to listen with their own ears from their own perspective. 

Your bars are pretty complex and esoterical, what’s your ethos and approach to writing lyrics? Are there any influences that have led you to go with this style?

I'm influenced by all that came before me and how I relate to that. I very rarely set out to be 'complex' and as time has gone on I try to be more plain.  Where I can't fully explain myself due to my use of words i try aim to get the feeling or emotion over.  You may not know exactly what I'm saying but you will have a feeling of the intent.  I'm not so into telling folk what to think but more just showing that we all have to. It's this that will change a person eye. Instrumental music shows this as if it's any good it will convey a motion that is felt in thought or emotion.  That’s how I use my words, the sound gives a feeling. The message can be understood even if the words are not.

Your first full length album was Jerusalaam Come, what were you looking to convey with this first LP?

Jerusalaam Come was me letting the world know I can do it as a solo agent. Peace comes with a sword and Jerusalaam means founded in peace.  You can see what is happening over there today and  we know that this peace will return once the sword can be drawn no more.  We all have to get a chance to speak our piece, then and only then when everybody has had their say can we begin to speak our peace. This was me getting certain things off the chest and being backed up by sum of the best soldiers I know. This trip we got a few more special guests so keep and ear out for that

Who do you rate in the current underground Hip Hop scene and in the music world in general?

Like I said before I tend not to look at it in terms of under or overground but there are some great artists out there such as staHHr, Sa-Roc, Pugz Atoms, Mike Ladd, Aspects, Labtekwon, TY, Moorish Delta, Savage Ballet, Anti-Pop Consortium, Roots Manuva, M9, 4th Lord, Wise Intelligent, Iron Braydz, HLI, Getts, Creature, Percy Filth, Buggsy, Dirty Goods, Santigold, Bad Brains and a few others

I understand you have a forthcoming new release, can you tell us more about that?

Yup yup, right now there's a double single out, one tune is called MoorKaBa Lightbikes which is produced by Roots Manuva and another named Anumal by Neurotic Nate. All about tapping into your inner power and achieving what ever it is you need for yourself and loved ones. Bigger joints than the butcher ever had, These are some early bombs from a full release for later in the year called Voodu StarChild. Some amazing producers are on board to help inform the world how to get their nature powers up

Thanks again for taking time, any last words and mentions?

Check for the single and the full project on Spinning Compass records and keep your own ear to the sky for what’s out there.  No top 5s or top tens can do you true justice...

Juice's new release  'MoorKaBa LightBikes/AnuMal' is out now on I Tunes & all good download stores 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Digitally-Mashed Oldskool Mix For C89FM Radio

Here's a great old skool mix by Digitally Mashed, be sure to check out his 2 weekly radio shows, details in the graphic above, this mix is stunning, there's some great mixing and blending in this check out  2 Bad Mice 'Bombscare' mixing into MI7-'Rockin' Down The House', wicked stuff, the man like DM's got mad skills, take note promoters and book this guy, he'll get your dancefloors rocking!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

E Learning And Digital Culture-Week 2:Looking To The Future

I have found this to be a fascinating discourse so far, following from the first week where the subject matter was the concepts of 'Utopia' and 'Dystopia' with the sub heading of 'Looking To The Past', this week was a glimpse into the future from the same perspectives. After watching the videos and studying the texts in this module, I came to certain conclusions....

If this is the future, then to be frank, it frightens me and I'm no technophobe, here's why, first of all take this supposedly utopian vision of the future as presented in a short video by a company called Corning

The video portrays an idealistic vision of the future where our lives revolve around sheets of glass performing various tasks from an educational standpoint, these glass sheets where everywhere. Admittedly, there were some very good things like the brain scans that could help surgeons perform potentially life saving operations, what frightened me the most when watching this was a seeming reliance on something artificial or non tangible which blurred the lines between reality as we know it. Watching this made me feel that a scenario like this would leave us disengaged with the world around us, rather plugged into a virtual reality 24/7, a 'Matrix' if you like. I found myself reffering back to this video from week 1:

As illustrated by the image above, for all the endless benefits of technological advances, there are also some big social problems that have emerged. I grew up in the 80's, I saw my first TV set when I was about 5 or 6yrs old, the old bulky cathode ray tube variety. It quickly became a ritual to watch kid's programs after school and early mornings on the weekend and to this day, the TV has provided untold iconic moments and memories for me. I witnessed the rise of video gaming from clunky, blocky pixelated 8 bit game machines to today's powerful consoles like the PS3, XBox 360 and the Wii. I remember the internet in the late 90's, dial up modems and Geocities, it was all very exciting, however, as discussed in the issues of surveillance via the means of the world wide web and the ever increasing infringements on our human rights are making the 'Orwellian nightmare' a grim reality, polarising us between those who still doggedly envisage a utopian future and the 'hacktivists' like Anonymous who fight fire with fire, attempting to reclaim the internet from a powerful elite. All this while many of us are like the childeren in the picture above, 'plugged into the matrix', unaware of the potential hazards that lie in front of us. perhaps the future might look something like this......

In summary, as with week 1, I find myself asking 'how can we continue to progress and ensure that ever changing technologies remain utopian?' and more importantly how, and can we reverse the damage that has already been done? I see 2 clear obstacles to that utopian future, firstly, for all the good intentions of so many, new technologies are already in the wrong hands, super powerful global corporates and the military industrial complex in particular. Take drones or UAVs for example, is it possible to enumerate the benefits of them? Protagonists might argue how drones are used for tasks like fire fighting, the truth is we all know that are are products of the military that have been proven to have killed large numbers of innocent people worldwide, what about the surveillance drone commissioned by the Merseyside police to silently spy on the citizens of Liverpool?, no doubt at the taxpayer's expense.
The other obstacle is our own ineptness, I don't blame the technology, 99.9% of the time, we can utilise it in ways that will bring about a utopia for us, I just think that we need to reclaim it for ourselves and not let ourselves be dictated to. In my opinion, there's something to be said for the 'hacktivists' and other groups who are fighting to protect civil liberties, at least they care, we seem to be too busy playing 'Angry Birds' or queuing up outside the stores, even sleeping overnight just to get the latest smartphone. What we don't seem to realise, is 'Big Brother; really is watching us and we ought to be more concerned about it.  

I look forward to week 3, maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel, I'll just have to wait and see.....