Blog Archives

Onyx Collective – Space-Wars feat. Sporting Life

“Travel light and prepare for flight. Leave all baggage that is NOT essential where you feel it is most safe”.

Following the release of their recent album “Lower East Suite Part Three”, Onyx Collective announce the release of ‘Space-Wars (feat. Sporting Life)’, outtodayon Big Dada.

The track is built around the original recorded parts of a free form session at the Know Wave headquarters in 2016 – where much of the band’s early material was recorded – with Austin Williamsonon drums, Paul Johnson on bass and Isaiah Barr on saxophone. “Sport who is our friend and collaborator from the days we would play with Ratking, added his sonic flavor to the mix.” explains Isaiah, the result “is a vintage soundtrack to a video game such as Space Wars!” 

Listen to ‘Space-Wars (feat. Sporting Life)’ now, released today on Big Dada.

WEN – EPHEM:ERA LP

WEN (aka Owen Darby) will release his new album “EPHEM:ERA” on 6th July 2018 via Big Dada. This follows his ‘CARVE + GAZE’ EP for the label in 2017, and is his first full length since his 2014 debut “Signals” on Keysound.

In 2018, consumption can be fleeting and momentary with only fragments retained. WEN’s new album is a response to this transient state of affairs: “EPHEM:ERA” is presented as a collection of “temporal pauses” from an internet-driven, restless cycle of distractions. It’s an album of precise tracks, drawn from his spectrum-spanning, bass-driven style; it’s for an era of endless, short-lived discoveries. Influenced in part by architect Carlo Scarpa’s designs whilst drawing inspiration from late night drives and weather patterns, those cyclical, passing movements – from rain, to fog, to mist – struck a chord with Darby’s fixation on transience. Here Darby steps further outward, rendering the changing currents of UK-born, ‘weightless’ iterations of grime across 12 tracks which he describes as “electronic studies – a sequence mapped out across the fringes of experimental club music”.

Revolving compositions map out the core of “EPHEM:ERA” while subsequent texturing and honing puts disparity at the heart of Darby’s process, balancing impulsive creativity and acute attention-to-detail. Warm, worldly sounds meet with cold, digital constructions. In ‘RAIN’, melodic bleeps are enveloped inside airy atmospherics. Elsewhere, ‘VOID’ sees vivid, smashed glass punctuated by tense, steely arpeggios. The album shifts between different rhythmic approaches. In ‘CURVE_RELAY’, the drums are swung, heavy with groove, and percussion recedes in and out of focus of a shifting atmosphere. In ‘TIME II THINK’, icy, raw melodies are propelled by a 4/4 kick drum, muffled and subdued. The changing structures of his tracks reflect a wide-open perspective, delineating between different genre markers and club contexts.

As an album, it’s as much a reaction to our relationship with music as it is a continued exploration. Collecting together different, distinct moods in a deluge of tracks, it’s a comment on prevailing, fickle attitudes; music is quickly discovered, momentarily explored, before attention is swiftly re-directed elsewhere. But, at the same time, it’s a vehicle for connecting new ideas: bringing together lawless, overlapping lineages into something that’s forward-facing and whole.

Samuel – LUV CRY EP

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Irish-born South-London vocalist Samuel returns to Big Dada with the new EP “LUV CRY” – four tracks of RnB tinged electronica, produced by Kwes (Warp) and with additional production by Ozkharp (Hyperdub) and Lockah (Donkey Pitch).

Samuel performs at the EP Launch Peckham’s, Rye Wax on 20th June

Coming from a tough upbringing in Ireland, raised in gypsy camps and children’s homes, and living homeless for periods, he found relief in the music programs on offer at the homes, finally earning a scholarship at Goldsmiths University in London. After moving to London he went on to collaborate extensively with Ozkharp on his 2014 EP Falling Star, receiving support from the likes of Pitchfork, Dazed, Dummy, Pigeons & Planes & DJ Mag.

Roots Manuva – Don’t Breathe Out

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Roots Manuva has revealed the uplifting ‘Don’t Breathe Out’ single ahead of his excellent new album Bleeds. By way of a press release for the track and in his own words:

Lyrical rogue values in neo spiritual rare groove, re hash bash on the edge of the funk that made the soul, but seek to refine a modern approximation of “Gospel for the out of box thinkers” Let the funk forgive us for failing to work with the basic mechanism of “clap, sing, rap celebrate in the mutated shades of ragga funk, dub funk, techno funk future timeless travel on the lay lines of soul hip hop fascination.”

Not only one of Britain’s greatest musical artists, but one of the greatest lyricists full stop, Roots Manuva is back with a dazzling new album, Bleeds. Past collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz to the Maccabees to Leftfield to Coldcut to the Cinematic Orchestra and big fans such as Arctic Monkeys to Damon Albern to Usain Bolt, Rodney Smith’s influence can be heard right across the musical landscape, paving the way for grime for one. Now, with his sixth studio album, he has made his most concise and focused record to date, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, Run Come Save Me.

Drawing upon production assistance from young British producer, Fred, together with musical heavyweights Four Tet, Adrian Sherwood and Switch’s new production team, With You, the title of the record is, in the man’s own words, an “egocentric jest of daring to do things in the tradition of Jesus: I’m ready to bleed for the artform.” It is, of course, also a reference to the way in which genres, in the sonic world of Roots Manuva, have a tendency to bleed into one another, so that hip hop, reggae, techno, funk, neo-classical, all blend together to create “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”

One of the true pioneers and originals of British music, any album from Roots Manuva is an event. When it’s as good as Bleeds it’s one of the musical events of the year. Both genre-adefying and deeply rooted in what he describes as “the culture of Bass and Verb,” the record innovates and consolidates in equal measure. Rodney Smith describes himself as “a British Black musical Mark Rothko” and Bleeds is another masterpiece from this abstract wordsmith.

Album Pre-Order Links: iTunes | Ninja Tune | Band Camp | Amazon

Wiley & Zomby – Step 2001

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Wiley and Zomby finnaly collide on “Step 2001”, out on September 24th on Big Dada.

It’s a meeting of maverick musical minds as the genius of Wiley’s Step 20 is rebuilt from scratch by none other than Zomby. Zomby grew up listening to Wiley, and that shows in this thrilling production that harks back to OG grime whilst nudging the template a step or two forward. Wiley is one of the all time great MCs, and here Zomby lets that show by keeping the fired-up-and-then-some vocal always at the forefront. It doesn’t get better than this.

Roots Manuva – Bleeds LP

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Not only one of Britain’s greatest musical artists, but one of the greatest lyricists full stop, Roots Manuva is back with a dazzling new album, ‘Bleeds’. Past collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz to the Maccabees to Leftfield to Coldcut to the Cinematic Orchestra, Rodney Smith’s influence can be heard right across the musical landscape. Now, with his sixth studio album, he has made his most concise and focused record to date, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, ‘Run Come Save Me.’

Drawing upon production assistance from young British producer, Fred, together with musical heavyweights Four Tet, Adrian Sherwood and Switch’s new production team, With You, the title of the record is, in the man’s own words, an “egocentric jest of daring to do things in the tradition of Jesus: I’m ready to bleed for the artform.” It is, of course, also a reference to the way in which genres, in the sonic world of Roots Manuva, have a tendency to bleed into one another, so that hip hop, reggae, techno, funk, neo-classical, all blend together to create “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”

One of the true pioneers and originals of British music, any album from Roots Manuva is an event. When it’s as good as ‘Bleeds’ it’s one of the musical events of the year. Both genre-defying and deeply rooted in what he describes as “the culture of Bass and Verb,” the record innovates and consolidates in equal measure. Rodney Smith describes himself as “a British Black musical Mark Rothko” and ‘Bleeds’ is another masterpiece from this abstract wordsmith.

Out on October 30th 2015 on Big Dada. Watch the album trailer and stream ‘One Thing’ below.

TRACKLIST
1) Hard Bastards
2) Crying
3) Facey 2.11
4) Don’t Breathe Out
5) Cargo
6) Stepping Hard
7) Me Up!
8) One Thing
9) I Know Your Face
10) Fighting For?

Samuel – These Days

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I thought that maybe I had a lot of bad times to mention… But then, I just wrote a record about love. Nice love, good love, love love.

So says London-based, Irish-born Samuel of his latest single, ‘These Days’. With a voice that ‘prickles the hairs on the back of the neck’ (Pitchfork,) Samuel’s music conjures the pulse and promise of big city life, and its alluring blur of innocence and experience.

Samuel’s life has been “like running over a crumbling bridge. Like a computer game.” Raised in gypsy camps and children’s homes, and living homeless for a “good chunk,” the young producer and singer has always found solace in his music. The sounds are inspired by field recordings and his observations of London, he doesn’t write down lyrics. “Over time,” he says, “words tumble and glue together.” All of which goes some way to explaining the yearning urgency in his voice and lyrics.

On ’These Days’, Samuel’s voice soars over Kwes’ dreamlike production, with chiming electronics and propulsive drums conjuring childlike innocence and the throb of urban romance. There’s a balmy evening glow to the music, and a sense of new, shared sensation.

Samuel describes the feeling the song summons as “that invisible pull that comes with a romantic attraction! My songs are about the fizz.” Fittingly, there’s no better summary than Samuel’s own: “I always think of wee magic carpet rides over London. Hold tight, as we take a ride.”

Buy/ Pre-order links: Ninjashop // Bandcamp // iTunes

Roots Manuva – Like A Drum (prod. by Machinedrum)

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Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva is arguably the greatest rapper ever to emerge from British shores. Over five albums of sonic invention, which, like all great hip-hop records, ran the gamut between funky fun and sharp-eyed lyrical incision, he’s carved out space for rappers in the UK, and become one the iconic voices in hip-hop from anywhere.

Produced by one of electronic music’s most exciting voices, NYC’s Machinedrum, ‘Like a Drum’ is the second cut from new single Facety 2:11. Urgent and reflective all at once, its percussion swings gorgeously behind a melody intricately weaved from jazz samples and warm pads, Smith’s vocal ruminating on his past, future and present.

In his inimitable words, the single is ‘a wee spring warmer in voodoo coptic dialect shape shifting: the remit the same as ever in awakening one’s inner, modern-day Sun Ra, ODB and Kate Bush on an overdrive of “doing because we can’t help ourselves…’

Facety 2:11 is out 4th May on Big Dada. Pre-order links: Ninjashop // iTunes

Tour Dates
13-Jun – Republic Of Ireland – BARE In The Woods Festival(Garryhinch, Co.Laois)
19-Jun – England – GoldCoast Oceanfest (Croyde, North Devon) www.goldcoastoceanfest.co.uk
20-Jun – England – British Summer Time – Hyde Park www.bst-hydepark.com/
11-Jul – England – Mouth of the Tyne Festival (Tynemouth Priory)
12-Jul – England – NASS Festival www.nassfestival.com
19-Jul – England – Citadel Festival (Victoria Park, East London)
26-Jul – England – Secret Garden Party www.secretgardenparty.com
01-Aug – England – Standon Calling www.standon-calling.com
21-Aug – Netherlands – Lowlands Festival www.lowlands.nl/en

Roots Manuva – Facety 2:11 (prod. Four Tet)

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Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva is arguably the greatest rapper ever to emerge from British shores and after two years locked in the studio brewing up brand new music, he returns now with Facety, a stunning single produced by fellow UK maverick Four Tet. ‘Facety’ is patois slang for someone being rude – a barefaced cheek referenced by the insistent, cockney rhyming lyrical snip – ‘boat race’ – that makes up the chorus.

Another of electronic music’s most exciting voices, NYC producer Machinedrum, provides the beat for the B-Side, ‘Like a Drum.’

In his inimitable words, the single is ‘a wee Spring warmer in voodoo coptic dialect shape shifting: the remit the same as ever in awakening one’s inner, modern-day Sun Ra, ODB and Kate Bush on an overdrive of “doing because we can’t help ourselves…’

Pre-order links: iTunes // Ninjashop. Released 4th May 2015 on Big Dada.

Tracklist
1. Facety 2:11 (prod. Four Tet)
2. Facety 2:11 (Instrumental)
3. Like A Drum (prod. Machinedrum)
4. Like A Drum (Instrumental)