Cracks In The 45

A Manchester blog chock-a-block full of rock, hip-hop & indie pop!

New: Lil B | Gold House

MERRY (belated) CHRISTMAS! As you may have noticed, we’ve been covering most of the mixtapes that Lil B drops and this is no exception. Yesterday he dropped his like 12th (or something ridiculous) mixtape of 2011 and it’s the second ‘featuring’ the Bitch Mob (following ‘Bitch Mob: Please Respect the Bitch Vol. 1’ back in May). He’s already put videos out for 3 of the songs; ‘Green Card’ , ‘BasedGod Strugglin’ and ‘On God’, which are all pretty excellent so looking forward to hearing the rest of the tape. Here’s the tracklist and download the mixtape HERE. (Courtesy of Datpiff).

01. Green Card
02. BasedGod Strugglin
03. I m Like Killah
04. I m Like Killah (Remix)
05. All I Have
06. On God
07. I Love Strugglin
08. Always A Bitch
09. Talking That Based
10. Gangstas Smile
11. Banga Luv
12. My Day Off
13. My Lawn
14. Awsome
15. BasedGods So Cocky
16. General Bitch
17. Based Gangstas Prayer 

-James

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Manchester Man Get Down #2 - Top Nights 2011

It’s getting to that time of year when everyone is unleashing their ‘Best-Of’ lists, which hopefully we will get out soon as well for albums, but as a little pre-cursor I have done a little list of the best nights in Manchester. Obviously this is all my opinion and since I’m only 1 man, I can’t attend every night put on and there are nights which have been amazing (Who’s the Goose - Rustie, Night Slugs at Sankeys, few WHP’s) but becuase Mancheter has such a buzzing scene, I can’t just list every single one of them! There’s been loads of new nights that have popped up (PYC Sessions, Project 13) that I haven’t had opportunity to attend but definitely will try to in 2012 as well as the already established nights (Content, Continue, Cutloose etc) that are still going off!  But props to all the promoters out there for making Manchester such a vibrant and interesting place to live in, definitely one of the best places to go out in the UK. So without further ado, here is the Best Nights of 2011:

3. Secret Wars / Open Plan / Bitlord

                                               

This may seem like a bit of a cheat to group 3 nights together, but whilst they are all slightly different, they are similar and the same excellent residents (and Open Plan isn’t really a night anymore)! First, I have to say that Secret Wars is my favorite concept of a night, bringing big artists to a small and intimate crowd of around 100-150 people. They’ve brought some big names to Manchester, here they are: Appleblim, Horsepower Porductions, Niveau Zero, Cosmin TRG and Shackleton! With the addition of Bitlord (which I covered here), it brings in a new audience but keeping in with the same musical vibes Shackelton at the Soup Kitchen has been one of the best nights of the year, with a variety of different performers and Shackleton played a blinding set, and with them bringing back Shackleton for a NYE party (which I will be attending) as well as Peverlist (and one of his label mates) coming up in the New Year, it’s going from strength to strength. Check out (and get tickets) for the Shackleton NYE party Here.

2. Hoya:Hoya

                                                   

Hoya:Hoya is one of the biggest monthly nights in Manchester, and their main strength is they do have the best and most diverse residents in Manchester; Illum Sphere, Lone, Jonny Dub, Krystal Klear, Jon K and Eclair Fifi. Some of them you’ll know from their own production and some for playing around the UK and the rest of the world but all you need to know is that they are all sick! And we’ve not even got onto the guest they have down to the Roadhouse. They also experimented with a Secret Guest series earlier this year, with the guests from that including Hudson Mohawke, Ikonika, Oneman, Ben UFO and Mary Anne Hobbs. Then in the later part of this year (after I’d finished studying) they managed to top all of these with sets from Lorn, Machinedrum, Pariah and Kuedo (amongst others). With a list of guests like that, you can see why it’s so popular and still up there with the best nights. If you’ve never been before, I highly recommend getting down there! They are also putting on a NYE party at the Soup Kitchen, check it out Here.

3. Selective Hearing / Drum Clinic

                                                  

As you may have noticed, I’m all about ‘who’ the night is bringing to Manchester, and there isn’t a better list than what Selective Hearing and Drum Clinic (both now the same night) have put on in 2011. From the Swamp81 takeover to Hyperdub specials, they are bringing all the best in established and upcoming names to the sweaty basement of Joshua Brooks (amongst other places), and heres just a few of them: Zomby, DJ STINGRAY (one of the bests sets I’ve seen in 2011), Loefah, Addison Groove, Boddika, Cosmin Trg, Jon Convex, Darkstar, Ikonika, Deadboy, Hackman Pariah, Phaeleh, George Fitzgerald and Scuba. It’s an amazing list of people and if you’re into the whole future bass/garage/whatever then this is the night you NEED to attend. I basically (or try to) attend every month and am never let down by how good it is and I’m sure you won’t be either. Whilst they aren’t doing a NYE party in Manchester (that I’m aware of), they aren’t resting on their laurels and in Feb/March 2012 they are bringing a 2 hour set from Kareen (Blawan & Pariah), Objekt, Until Silence, Space Dimension Controller, Redshape and Actress! Wow is all I can say!

-James

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New: Lorn & Dollor | Drugs

Now we’ve got some MORE free music for you to get on the download and add to your collection. We have a beat tape from Lorn & Dollor named ‘Drugs’. It’s a collection of dark & sinister hip-hop beats, which can be very dense in places but it’s an interesting and enjoyable listen! Don’t wanna bog you down in information about them, just get it on the download especially if you’re a fan of Lorn, as it’s pretty similar to his album and older tunes. Get it Here.

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New: Spaceghostpurrp | Loose Ends

And now again for some free tunes, I’m just too kind to you all! Spaceghostpurrp has been releasing the odd song here and there after the release of ‘Blackland Radio 66.6’ back in May, and this is a compliation of 8 of these tracks (thanks to SmackDaHoe). Spaceghost, with his lo-fi production values (including a lack of care for proper mixing), his (very) misognistic lyrics and chanting rap style obviously isn’t going to appeal to everyone but he has made leaps and bounds from ‘Blackland Radio 66.6’ both in his quality of production and his rapping. It still has a lo-fi sound but it’s sounding a lot more professional and complete since then and greatly helps his overall sound. My favourite he’s released is ‘Lyk Ah Dymond’, with a very 90’s rap feel and it’s mobile sound ringing in the background. There is even a dirty dubstep style beat on ‘Filthy & Fucking Trill’ (hear both below). Whilst this isn’t a full mixtape, it fills the gap whilst we wait for the next one, and makes me guenienly excited to hear it when it comes out! Download ‘Loose Ends’ Here (Courtesy of SmackDaHoe).

-James

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New: Silky Johnson | Hater of the Year

Man, I’m already back to highlighting hip-hop, but I promise you it’s worth it! AS you’ve seen from our blog, there has been loads of really good rap & hip-hop mixtapes and this isn’t any different. A lot of artists and producers have broken through into the conscience of mainstream listens (more or less) yet one producer who has been quietly been going about his work without the acclaim of others is Silky Johnson. Though from listening to his album ‘Hater of the Year’ released in back in October, I think he should be getting as much acclaim as some of the up and coming producers from the Green Ova crew as well as even Clams Casino (who if you’re fans of, definitely get this album).

On his album, he has included instrumentals of tracks he has done for Main Attrakionz, MondreM.A.N., Western Tink, ZachG and Shady Blaze, so you know what kinda company he’s in with. But that doesn’t cover half the tracks on the album, so I don’t wanna dwell on the names he has already produced for. What I have enjoyed about this album is because of the samples chosen by Silky Johnson is that it feels that there is more emotion in the songs compared to other producers around at the moment, a prime example of this is Cold Heart, with a beautiful orchestral sample (including strings) accompanying the beat. 

I don’t want to go through every track on the album, don’t want to be wasting your precious time when instead you could be listening to ‘Hater of the Year’, and since it’s free, there’s no excuse not to really. But the highlights of the album for me are the tracks ‘Chasin Paper’ (with a Lana Del-Rey sample), ‘Felicity’, ‘Cold Heart’ and ‘Werner and Klaus’, some of which you can hear below! So get it on the download for Silky Johnson’s bandcamp site here and enjoy those chill-ass beats. 

-James

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DJ Mix: CFCF | Night Bus II

"Night Bus" isn’t so much a specific genre, but a general feeling.  It’s the sound of the city at night, a lone drinker lighting up their last cigarette, neon lights flashing past the window as the last bus leaves.  Although originally starting off as a message-board in-joke, night bus has managed to capture the sound of a recent wave of artists and mixes.

CFCF is a Montreal based producer, and on this second night bus mix he captures the “genre” more successfully than anything I’ve heard before.  The mix is a slowed down and screwed combination of rap, R&B, electronica and 80s pop.  It even manages to include part of the Vangelis soundtrack for “Blade Runner”, perhaps the most night bus film of all time. 

As well as making use of vintage sounds, CFCF also showcases some of the most exciting new artists of 2011, from next-big-thing rapper “Asap Rocky” to emerging Minneapolis duo “Elite Gymnastics”.

Listening to “Night Bus II” takes you on a journey. No matter which city you’re living in, this mix is almost certainly going to make the (usually frankly horrible) bus ride home a treat.

See the tracklist below and grab the whole mix here. (via Gorilla Vs. Bear).

- Matt

1) Vangelis - Wait For Me (Intro)
2) Eurythmics - This City Never Sleeps 
3) Jhene Aiko - Stranger 
4) ASAP Rocky/Oneohtrix Point Never - Demons/ Behind The Bank 
5) Fever Ray - Keep The Streets Empty 
6) Beaumont/ Cassie - Aventurescence/ Addiction 
7) Elite Gymnastics/Notorious BIG - Here In Heaven/ One More Chance 
8) d’Eon - Tongues 
9) Underworld/Meek Mill - Sappys Curry/ Body Bount 
10) Autechre/Alicia Keys - Lowride/Unthinkable

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New: Gonjasufi | ‘Nikels an Dimes’

Hey folks, Tom here. As James mentioned last week I’m gonna be contributing to the blog from now on. I’ll be posting new tracks and albums that catch my ear, also planning on dropping a few mixes as well.

First up here’s ‘Nikels and Dimes’ a preview track off Gonjasufi’s forthcoming album ‘MU.ZZ.LE’ due out in January. If you haven’t heard any Gonjasufi before his tracks sound as if they’ve recently been unearthed and had the dust blown off them.  His first album, last year’s ‘A Sufi for a Killer’, was a great example of this as well as Sufi’s off kilter style and 50 a day croak. Also worth a listen is the ‘9th Inning’ EP that came out in October, however ‘A Sufi for a Killer’ is a better listen all round.

You can download or just stream the ‘9th Inning’ EP here (http://soundcloud.com/hydroshare-tv).

-Tom

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Review: Zomby | Nothing

We’ve been covering a lot of rap in the previous posts so I thought I’d do a quick post about the forth coming Zomby record that is due out on the 28th of November on 4AD, a follow up to his excellent 2nd album 'Dedication'. All of the tracks that appear on this new release have been knocking around the internet a while now, since they were all included on the Japanese CD version as bonus tracks (with ‘Stargate 5’ getting renamed ‘Equinox’) so I expect most people have heard at least some of them by now. I’d view ‘Nothing’ as a say a companion piece to ‘Dedication’ as it does have the same music styling yet harks back to the more dance friendly sound from when he first burst onto the scene in 2008. Half the tracks featured on here sound like cuts from ‘Dedication’, harboring the same atmosphere and emotion that appreared in a few of the songs. The faint piano keys over the shuddery bass on ‘Digital Fractal’(listen below) is the best example of this, you could fit this on ‘Dedication’ and it wouldn’t feel out of place, yet feels more finished and complete than them (which I initially felt was a small problem on ‘Dedication’, the demo like feel of some of the tracks). ‘Equinox’ is more of the same, the game-like blips and blops that Zomby uses so often featuring heavily. ‘Trapdoor’ and ‘It Was All A Dream’ aren’t anything special, again sounding like cuts off ‘Dedication’ so nothing to write home about there.

But it is the other tracks on the album that excite me the most, where Zomby returns to the breakbeat, ravey tracks that gave him his name back in 2008. He’s back to making club tunes again. ‘Labyrinth’ is my favourite on the record, the thudding bass, the classic airhorn and great vocal sample sounds like it could have come straight from ‘Where Were U In ‘92?’ (listen below) and ‘Sens’ has a jungle-esqe bassline that bridges the gap between his 2 full length records. The last track on the album, ‘Ecstacy Versions’ plods on for the first minute until into bursts into what seems to be a combination of all the sounds that Zomby has been experimenting with recently, yet gives us no indication of where he might be heading next. 

Overall, I have really enjoyed listening to Nothing, and if you were a fan of ‘Dedication’ then I’d recommend that you check this record out, it does have some great tracks even if some of them are just outtakes from Dedication. What this record doesn’t do is give us an idea of what direction Zomby is going to be taking next, but that what makes Zomby exciting, you don’t know what he’s tunes he’s gonna make next. Pre-Order/Buy ‘Nothing’ here (Boomkat)!

-James

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New: G-Side | iSLAND + A New Addition

I was pretty late to jump on the G-Side wagon, especially since I pretty much ignored their last album, the acclaimed 'The One… Cohesive' which came out earlier this year. After finally checking them out just before the release of their latest album ‘iSLAND’, I was impressed. One of the first acts to be associated with the ‘cloud rap’ genre, they have that dreamy sound associated with fellow duo Main Attrakionz and producer Clams Casino, yet they have a more developed and mature sound that straddles the border of the cloud rap sound and mainstream, conventional rap. 

Most of the production is handled by Block Beattaz, who I think are one to watch (even if they’ve been about a while). It’s big and funky, supported by some excellent backing vocals from Joi Tiffany & PH. Though it’s not all one style, some of the tracks like Cast Away & Stay-Cation (both featuring Joi Tiffany) having a much more jazzy and laid back feel and does have a R&B sound throughout the album. There are some interesting choices of samples on the album, sampling Joy Orbison and Tama Impala on the tracks ‘No I In Us’ and ‘Gettin It’ respectively, with the latter being one of my favourite tracks. 

But anyway, this isn’t a review, more just a heads up for rap fans who may have missed it this release. It’s highly recommended (and well worth the $11), listen to Gettin’ It below and Buy/Steam the album here.

And finally, a big welcome to the newest addition to the ‘Cracks in the 45’ family, Tom, who will be writing for us from now on, which means more content for you lovely readers! 

-James

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Mix: #1 | A Strange Affair

Here’s a quick mix I put together. Normally the blog will be following new music, but I thought a nice upbeat mix would come in handy for the coming winter months! 

Despite being mostly oldies, the mix does kick off with an awesome remix of Lana Del Ray by the guys from Clique.  You can find their other remixes here.

Enjoy!

- Matt

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