Filed under Top 5

TOP 5: Yumi & The Weather

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We love Yumi & The Weather. Like, a lot. We’ve featured almost all of her singles here on Bandsxbass, including here excellent dreamelectropop debut single Not Again and Must I Wait. So we’ve tracked down lead singer Ruby Taylor to get inside her brain through what’s on her stereo right now.

Yumi And The Weather play The Great Escape festival this year in early May. Check out the rest of their sounds here.

BEYONCE – DRUNK IN LOVE FEAT JAY Z
Ruby: This track won’t leave my head, I have to listen to it daily at the moment to relieve the stress of it being there all the time. Oh baby.

BLOOD ORANGE – YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Ruby: Such a nice tune, this takes me to a sunset in Miami, on a beach with someone who isn’t good enough, but they’re ok. Not been to Miami yet but this song takes me there for now. Easy jet.

ROSIE LOWE – GAMES
Ruby: This song is so fresh. I brush my teeth with this song. I just show my teeth to the speakers, and they come out all sparkly.

SLUGABED – ANOTHER CHANCE
Ruby: I love Slugabed, and what he’s done to this track.

JOHN WIZARDS – MUIZENBERG
Ruby: This song takes me to an African plain, where I’m trekking through really thick mud, and I’m really tired but determined, and I pass loads of typical safari animals, but I finally get to the beach where the sand is smooth, the water is crystal clear, and then someone hands me a crazy looking cocktail and then I chill.

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Top 5: Arnivore’s Alternative Xmas Bangers

Top 5 Alternative Xmas Bangers

Bandsxbass asked our favourite Sheffield mashup king Arnivore to do us a festive Top 5. Eclectic as ever, he’s dropped an awesome selection that spans from Metal to Rap. Be sure to check out Arnivore’s awesome mixes here and his excellent clubnights Cool Beans: www.welovecoolbeans.com

BXB x

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Hey everyone. I’m Chris Arnold. I’m almost 6 feet tall and I love an alternative Xmas banger. So much so that when I was asked whether I wanted to do a top 5 selection for the BandsxBass blog I leapt at the chance! I leapt so hard I suffered mild whiplash and had to lay on the sofa for 3 months. I’ve now fully recovered although I have put on 3 stone. Anyway. There’s certainly something that tickles and excites me within my being whenever I hear a classic festive singsong revamped for a modern day genre. I have amassed a whole bunch of them over the years and here are some of my all time favourites…

Skindred – Jungle Bells

Love metal? Love reggae? Love Christmas? Well you’ll love this. Welsh heads Skindred contributed this number to the Taste of Christmas release which came out in 2005. Also on the album are bands like Funeral For A Friend and The Used but it’s Skindred’s bassy, bleepy, heavy, skanky noise that does it for me. It does it real good!

Hereldeduke vs The Snowman

There’s something about Walking Through The Air that takes me to a higher plain. It reminds me of Christmases during my youth and the unequivocal sadness I would suffer every time the Snowman cartoon ended. WHY DOES HE HAVE TO DIE? WHY OH WHY? IS THERE NO GOD? This refix by Hereldeduke enables me to believe that the boy has now grown up, gone to university and meets the Snowman in a dingy club playing dubstep. Together they double drop, hold hands and once more fly around whilst creepy Aled Jones watches from afar.

Kanye West – Mercy (RL GRIME XMAS EDIT)

This one is just hilarious. Straight-up hilarious. The trap-laden rhythm of Kanye’s Mercy built up into a grimey version of Jingle Bells. I also like the idea that Kanye would hate this if he heard it. In fact I think I like the idea that Kanye has already heard it even more and that it angered him so much that he shouted at his computer screen for 10 minutes straight proclaiming that he is “bigger than Santa Claus” and “way better than Jesus” before finally smashing up said computer with an official Kanye West baseball bat. But hey, that’s just me. I get my kicks in unusual ways.

DJ Yoda – 5 Minute Christmas Mini Mix

Not exactly an alternative Christmas banger like the others I’ve chosen, more of a load of alternative Christmas bangers and samples talently cut together by the excellent DJ Yoda. Think this first appeared on Radio 1 a few Christmases ago. I could be wrong though. Most of the stuff on the internet is wrong so cut me some slack.

Yellowman – We Wish You A Reggae Christmas

I always dream of reggae Christmas. Every single night. Yellowman made my dreams come true when he made this. And now he can make your dreams come true as well. As long as you’re dreaming of a reggae Christmas.

On that note – have a very merry reggae Christmas everyone!

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Top 5: Barney Boom: 90′S HIP HOP TUNES (THAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW)

BARNEY BOOM’s TOP 5 90′S HIP HOP TUNES (THAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW)

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We asked our pal Barney from the mighty Sonic Boom Six to give us a rundown of his favourite 90s Hip Hop tunes. Boom!

Everyone knows that early 90s hip-hop was the best music ever. By the venerated period of 1991-1996, rap music had evolved from its early 80’s roots in party electro into a an altogether more serious proposition, galvanised through the militant politicisation of Public Enemy, the street-level parables of Kool G Rap and the poetic, mercurial lyricism of Rakim. By 1991 hip-hop was ready to mature into its finest vintage on both coasts, with the East Coast project-street rhymes of Nas, Biggie, Gang Starr and Mobb Deep complementing the G-Funk, sun-drenched gangsta and smoked-out Soul Assassin rollers of the West Coast. By the time Jay-z dropped his debut classic ‘Reasonable Doubt’, Mafioso pretensions, a pre-occupation with ‘Benjamins’ and having Puff Daddy dancing in every video had pulled the music away from its natural street-corner setting. The rest of the decade was spent dancing to synthesised typewriter beats in front of light bulbs in Hype Williams videos or rapping on self-consciously low-fidelity production about kung-fu and chess. And I love a Wu-Tang spin-off project or Timbo beats as much as the next man, especially when you consider it next to most of what constitutes mainstream rap today, but it’s during 1991-1996 that hip-hop was at its most prolific, creative and pure.

The dearth of incredible material that dropped between 91 and 96 is such that there are likely to be some undiscovered gems in there for those that occupy the vast expanse between being ‘into rap’ and the bona fide ‘crate-digging hip-hop heads’, as the parlance goes. So strap on your Timberlands and your red and black lumberjack (with the hat to match) because here’s a few of my favourites you might have missed.

I’ll only include songs with videos, with this being the internet and all.
SHOWBIZ & A.G – SOUL CLAP

I chose this one to start with for a few reasons. Firstly, it might well be one of those tunes that you have heard at a club night and you dance to it, then shout at your mate with a finger in your ear ‘who is this’? To which they shrug and shout ‘I don’t know!’ Well, it’s none other than the right talented due of Showbiz and A.G! Secondly, I chose it because it’s a tune that pretty much lays out the blueprint of exactly what early 90s hip-hop consists of. Sampled Boom-Bap Drum Loop? Check. Prominent funk bass guitar line? Present. Call and response chorus shouts from the homies on the block? Right here. The sound of an old-school whistling kettle every four bars? Can do. It’s all there. Also worthy of comment is that it does that weird thing that only hip-hop videos do. Seeing as they are going to all that trouble of making a new video that people are going to watch and stuff, they put 30 seconds of another song of theirs at the start of the video. For no good reason at all. It’s a tradition that continues to this day (watch Azealia Banks’ new video for an unexpected reprise of ‘212’ at the start) and this particular one is remarkable for showcasing 30 seconds of a perky little beat with an alto sax as its main component. What with Macklemore’s recent success with sampling the very same instrument, I’ll leave you to watch the video on that thought, as if it was some kind of legitimate segue.

MILKBONE – KEEP IT REAL

If any of you have heard of Milkbone, it’s as likely as not to be from Eminem’s fleeting mention of him as he runs through the litany of every white rapper in history, before dissing them on his twisted anthem ‘I Just Don’t Give A Fuck’. While I don’t have any beef with dear old Slim taking issue with Vanilla Ice, and I’m not sure who Silicone is, or if that’s even a rapper, his knocking of Milkbone causes me more unease. And that’s because Milkbone is the white rapper behind this wonderfully chill slice of hip-hop, with a piano loop beat that you may have heard before on various freestyles and radio sessions by more famous rappers. So, even if his slightly over-enthusiastic dancing and ratty pencil moustache somewhat lend credence to the concept of completely burying evidence of the white race’s participation in early rap history, the strength of this tune and the perfect rhymes he spits are proof enough to ensure that Milkbone should be celebrated and not consigned to a footnote in a verse from his melanin-challenged successor.

GROUP HOME  - LIVIN’ PROOF

Right, let’s get serious. Group Home is one of the best acts that no one outside circles of dedicated hip-hop heads has ever heard of. As with the fate of poor old Milkbone, a fleeting mention of them in Nas’s ‘Hip-Hop is Dead’ might be the nearest any casual listener might have got. Starting out as protégé’s of the greatest hip-hop producer who ever lived, DJ Premier, Group Home’s limitations as lyricists and emcees saw them overshadowed by their New York contemporaries. And while Group Home might lack the charisma of Guru, the distinctive character of Jeru The Damaja and the evocative street-poetry of Prodigy on early Mobb Deep, what they do have is a uniquely subterranean seriousness that pervades every inch of their LPs. For me, without a doubt their best moment is the stunning ‘Sacrifice’, in which each member earnestly pledges to dedicate their lives and souls hip-hop. Close second is ‘Livin Proof’, the title-cut from their debut album with an accompanying video every bit as sober and thugged-out as the tune. If you dig it, check out ‘Sacrifice’ next and take if from there.

THE WHOOLIGANZ – PUT YOUR HANDS UP

As with The Red Hot Chili Peppers appearance on BBC2’s Rapido, (which I caught when I must have been all of 5 years old) and seeing wrestler Kerry Von Erich remonstrating with a some fat baddie over the honour of a fan (on a TV in a cafe bar in Tenerife, no less), the next entry is something I accidentally saw on telly that left an deep-seated impression on my young mind. I saw a portion of this video, along with clips of Onyx and other hip-hop acts, on a Channel 4 TV series about US TV, which just happened to be reporting the influence of gangsta rap on suburban white kids. I guess it was supposed to be a cautionary tale, but I taped the damn thing and pretty much wore the VHS out to watch this video and Onyx’s ‘BacDaFucUp’ as much as my young mind would take. The Whooliganz were actually a teenage version of the hip-hop producer The Alchemist and his mate Scott (actor James Caan’s son) who were brought into the Soul Assassins fold alongside Cypress Hill and House of Pain. These guys were young white kids, doing the whole “teenage suburban rebel skater punk rapper” thing years and years before that yawnsome movie ‘Kids’. Because I was just about ready to do the whole “teenage suburban rebel skater punk rapper” thing, it provided a blueprint of sorts. ‘Put Your Hands Up’ showed me not only what clothes to wear and how to move my hands when I pretended to rap but it also provided explicit instructions of how to (hypothetically) behave towards the police and stagedive into another group of “teenage suburban rebel skater punk rappers”. I have no way to be even vaguely objective about this song; it’s such a part of my psyche that I’d be as at a loss to adjudicate the danceability of my own pulse. I still fucking love it. I hope you enjoy it, and failing that, I hope you can see why this looked a whole lot better to me than Cast and Man United at the time.

REDMAN – WHATEVA MAN

Even the most casual of hip-hop heads know who Redman is. And you very probably don’t need me to tell you how great Eric Sermon’s production is. But here we are at the end of the list and, while I had a list of other tunes as long as my arm, I feel it would be somehow untoward of me not to put Reggie in the list. Because while Big L, Wu-Tang, Big Pun and the rest of the East Coast masters get all the props and plaudits they deserve, I sometimes think that Redman gets forgotten from the Mount Rushmore of East Coast Hip-Hop. I was going to go for the phenomenal ‘Rated R’ off Redman’s stunning debut but there’s no video for that so you’re going to have to Spotify it. Instead, here’s ‘Whateva Man’, a complete and utter bona fide banger some casual rap fans might have missed. If you never missed this, and you full well know what a banger this is, here’s an excuse to rock it again. Turn the bass up a bit before you do.

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