What do yall know bout vintage UK hardcore rap? I sorta grew up on this shit, mostly thanks to my childhood brother from a different mother, Han Shock, who is now based in Berlin as part of Born 2 Roll crew fame and is also known as a heavyweight collector of vinyl from that particular era and movement. I remember hearing groups like Hijack, Son Of Noise, Gunshot and Killa Instinct for the first time in Han Shock‘s living room during the mid-90s, discovering an entirely unique and different style of rap music as a pendant to all the US rap I’ve already been a huge fan of. This era was pretty much a genre of its own. Mostly popular in the UK but also quite big in Germany, we Germans even went as far as coining the term “Britcore“. Hard and fast breakbeats, often politically themed raps with a heavy cockney slang, a certain ‘darkness’ to it and last but not least LOTS of fast and technical scratching that was way ahead of its time made this sound so significant. Here’s the ultimate mixtape covering the UK hardcore rap prime time from the late 80s to the mid 90s, compiled and mixed by Han Shock in 2003. Some nostalgia for those who are familiar and an important lesson in rap history for those who aren’t.
It is with great ruefulness, that again, I just realized there’s never been any coverage of the second half (read pt I here) of my recent Euro voyage on this very blogue. It’s been several weeks since I returned to Southern Asia and ye olde brainial harddrive is mad rusty, trying to recollect whappened on the mother continent. Where have I left off? London or something? Did I mention I had chips and pints with my lovely pal, the leopard print- /midget-fetishist Maya M aka 8bitch in West London? Peep one of my favorite tunes of hers right here:
As I’m at it, spreading new tunage right now, let me also hit you with some of the latest remixes Daniel Haaksman hooked me up with in Berlin a few weeks earlier.
Just checked- last time I hit y’all with tour bloggage was from Ulm, Germany. My gig for Untitled at Su Casa was SICK and probably one of the best gigs of the entire tour with the nicest club, the nicest people and a very proper sound system. I like this Ulm.
Next up was Ingolstadt (home of Audi motors) and Munich, where I played a set at Crux with the most Bavarian of all DJs, Rob Reece straight outta Tegernsee, and Parisian homeboys Pfel & Atom of Beat Torrent/C2C fame. Another definitely mentionable gig was one I did for Mioki in Aachen, Germany with crewmate Rafik before I was floating through European clouds again on skinny, shaky little airplanes,
and ended up in picturesque Prague,
where I was magnificently hosted by the Bri’ish-italian connection aka the Olmos brothers. The Olmos clan’s very own DJ Tuco, alongside partner in crime, DJ Quime, just kickstarted their brand new Meanbucket label (congrats!). Download, from one of their first releases, Rio De Janeiro’s DJ Edgar‘s remix of DJ Tuco’s ‘Disco Kicks’ right here:
We guzzled loads of pivo and played an opening set for The Clipse‘s debut show in Prague at the Lucerna (gangster ass Czech fan: “are those jewels real? Must be expensive!” Pusha T: “nah man it’s not that pricey, shit is hollow on the inside.”). At last, no chainsnatching occurred, so errbody kept on grindin’. Big up to the organizer of the show and Czech godfather of the one-pant-leg-rolled-up-style, Affro! From Praha, I took a jet to Vienna to lay some heat upon the decks at Sass club alongside bromies DJ Beware, Functionist and Motorpitch of FM4. I had a few offdays in Vienna, so I killed some time with some public viewing of some public viewing of the world cup
and took a daytrip to Bratislava by boat.
Totes recommending that trip in case you’re ever in Vienna. Takes 1h.
You also might wanna call a style taxi whilst there. Just sayin’.
Keeping shit Eastern, I flew out to Warsaw the next day for a gig with Polish bruvas Mentalcut and Supra1. The latter managed to be opening the most recent Fabriclive compilation with their magnificent new tune ‘Ghoster’.
We took the train to Krakow next afternoon to meet the Zooteka fam and gulp down some more pivo before DJing at a ‘fake beach’ right by the river. Young polish gentleman and uber-talented producer Zeppy Zep kept me from getting arrested in the middle of the night confusing cop cars with taxis, even bought me some delish Pierogi Ruskie after the gig and shared his latest tunes with me. Watch out for this chap. One of his tracks even made it into Sinden‘s top 10 last week.
After sucking up a minimum amount of sleep, I was driven to the airport. There was a bit of an 11am vodka splurge in the car (gotta love those Poles), plus heavy quoting from the tipsy passengers made me learn about Poland’s most recent youtube phenomenon, a lesson in Pinglish by the illustrous street name of ‘forfiter’. No clue if it’s that funny if you have zero relation to Polish language, but this shit still cracks me up everytime I watch it.
After a quick stopover in Berlin, I boarded a late night flight to Reykjavik for a 5-day Icelandic roadtrip holiday. Not much to say about Iceland, except that it never gets dark during summertime and it’s probably the most beautiful and most enchanting piece of land I’ve ever laid my feet upon. Hands the fuck down. I’ll just let the visuals speak for themselves, if you don’t mind. Big up to my main man in Iceland, the magnificent Ragnar Gudmundsson, for being an A+ tourguide.
Before heading home, I had a short stopover in Bern, Switzerland, to play my last gig of the tour at lovely Bonsoir club, upon invitation of Swiss men of honour, the Round Table Knights, and had weird sexual related conversations (no homo) in the kitchen of Zurich’s best dressed dogsitter, Suivez, who I gotta give props to btw for his first release on Gomma records teaming up with this friendly guy Evangelos who I ran into while ingesting some quiche lorraine on Zurich’s Langstrasse the other night.
That’s pretty much about it! <3 u loads, Europe. I’ll see you next summer when you get warmer and greener again.
It’s Friday May 28th and I am in the middle of nowhere as I am typing this, deep in the Baden-Württembergian forest. All I can remember is boarding a flight from London Heathrow to Stuttgart this very morning. I got chauffeured here from the airport, to a rustical little German guest house in a rustical little German village. The amount of surrealism is immense. However, unfortunately, the lady at the ‘reception’ doesn’t know what an internet is (“is it that thing about computers and such?”), so I’m pre-typing these lines offline while I wait for my Rotbarschfilet mit Dampfkartoffeln and a freshly draught brewski, hoping for some internetical wirage in the next couple days. Tryna recap the last 4 weeks! About effing time! Shame on my ass for infrequent travelogging. Oh well. I’ma do it backwards, Memento-style.
I spent a week in beloved Londontown until today. In which other European city might it occur that Pakistani dudes with massive gold chains offer you hits from their airhorn-sized spliffs while you’re waiting for the double decker bus at 11am. Last Friday I went to the Coronet Theatre in Elephant & Castle with Italian noblemen Solo and Mowgli to see Switch, Popof, Jack Beats and Riva Starr set the roof on fire.
The place was poppin’, but I spent most of the time backstage, eagerly and drunkenly discussing with Hervé, Trevor Loveys and Mowgli about whether French or Italian cuisine is le top notch shit. We also witnessed various gentlemen urinating into plastic cups and snorting blow off a demounted ‘jesus clock’. Welcome to London.
A rather beclouding happening occurred as well while I was lounging at London Fields in Hackney last Saturday afternoon. The sun was out and the park was rammed, when all of a sudden I heard gunshots and noticed some dudes chasing each other right next to me. A totally noninvolved unlucky chap got shot in the middle of some gang crossfire. WTF LDN? Read the Dailymail article here.
The rest of the week was quite chill- I raided British supermarkets, did a gig at the Westbury in Kilburn, went to see Tate Modern, ate pan-fried chicken at 5am prepared by some highly hospitable Mexicans, ran into Major Lazer’s Skerrit Bwoy at Uniqlo on Oxford Street, took long walks alongside Thames river, went for molto sfarzoso Italian dinner with Solo and Teki Latex of TTC and Sound Pellegrino, downed some pints with Sinden and MJ Cole and also kicked it at Sinden’s studio for a bit,
where he hooked me up with some of his latest tunes and remixes as well as the first releases on his newly born Grizzly label, a trademark to absolutely look out for in 2010.
Before hitting the United Kingdom, I spent some time in Berlin, where I met daddy-o (congrats!) Daniel Haaksman of Man Recordings for Portuguese coffee, had a meeting (and a crash course in Traktor Scratch Pro and Kontrol X1) at the Native Instruments headquarter, highly considering to shift sides and become an endorser of aforementioned products, visited Wasted German Youth mastermind and Kiwi gentleman Paul Snowden at his recently opened shop,
had dinner with the German boys & girls from Jackmode agency, the Finlandian guys from Renaissance Man and the South African chaps from Yogazelle, paid a short visit to a slightly odd bash held by Vice magazine at Ritter Butzke, and tried to spend as much time as possible with some good old homies whom I get to see way too infrequently.
Right before Berlin, I was in Paris to play a gig at La Machine, a club in the basement of the world famous Moulin Rouge. I extended my Parisian stay for a few days, feasting on bucketloads of mussels and crepes, having picnic in front of Sacré-Cœur on the hill of Montmartre and taking long walks around the Palais du Louvre with homegirl Miss Yellow who was in town as well for a quick stopover. I also had the chance to kick it with former French ITF branchman The Yom and le seigneur de Montmartre, Wolfgang 3000 de la Zonders.
Jeez, my fingers are getting tired. I didz a couple gigs in Switzerland earlier this month with crewmate J-Bounce, the Playgroundkids duo and Suivez & Cedric Gentil of the legendary Ponybomb span. I really like this Switzerland. Might wanna retire there some day. Larry David once said that Swiss people like to ski and eat chocolate, and they don’t like to fight. Which is kinda true. The rest of my Eurozeit I spent in Düsseldorf with the bro Rafik so far, who just text messaged me that the club he played at in Moscow last night got raided by cops with machine guns and ski masks. дерьмо! I am now in Ulm, Germany, getting ready to do a gig at Su Casa for Jackmode‘s regular night UNTITLED. It is undoubtedly one of Germany’s best club nights in one of Germany’s nicest clubs, so I’m really looking forward to this one! I played here before in 2007 and 2008, and I fucking loved it both times.
I’ll be on the road for 4 more weeks, next stops are Ingolstadt, Munich, Aachen, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, Milan, Vienna, Bucarest and Bern and maybe even Barcelona, enhanced by a 5-day-roadtrip through Iceland. Godspeed me!
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Here’s a few of Solo‘s recent remixes for download:
Ok ok, I’m pretty late with this one to jump on the überhype bandwagon. But these four youngsters from SW London are gaining their current attention for well justified reasons. This tune here is just fucking a-ma-zing. It’s been melting my icey heart since a few weeks now.