Blog Archives

Coldcut x On-U Sound – Vitals feat. Roots Manuva

AHEDBOX015-Packshot-2-RGB-768x768

If Coldcut x On-U Sound’s album “Outside the Echo Chamber” is a modern day Mothership, ‘Vitals’ is its advance dispatch pod, hovering overhead and gripping you in a warm sonic tractor beam, bringing news of joyous, multicoloured musical thunder. Featuring fellow maverick and frequent Coldcut collaborator Roots Manuva, ‘Vitals’ is a spiky rallying cry for Britain’s indestructible musical melting pot.

Forget austerity, Articles and all types of assholery, it seems to suggest. There was a time before all that; a time when fathoms-deep dubs massaged your eardrums, irresistible drums beat onwards like hearts, and soul on fire lyrics told it like it is. That time comes again.

With a true-school dub remix from Dennis Bovell (alongside Mad Professor and Adrian Sherwood, the third column in the Holy Trinity of UK Dub) this is fresh, sharp UK music, looking inwards and outwards at once. Take a step outside the echo chamber – it sounds better out here.

The album “Outside The Echo Chamber” features Lee “Scratch” Perry, Roots Manuva,Ce’Cile, Toddla T, Junior Reed, Dave Taylor (Switch/With You.) and is out on May 19th 2017 on Ahead Of Our Time (Coldcut’s first label). Coldcut celebrate 30 years in the music game this year!

Tracklist:
1. Vitals feat. Roots Manuva
2. Vitals feat. Roots Manuva (Dennis Bovell Remix)

Coldcut – Only Heaven feat. Roots Manuva

coldcut-only-heaven.jpg

Coldcut, the British DJ and production duo that founded Ninja Tune in 1990, have shared a new single, “Only Heaven” featuring Roots Manuva and Thundercat. Out via their re-launched label, Ahead of Our Time.

Roots Manuva – Crying (Kode9 Remix)

roots manuva

First played on his recent Radio 1 Residency show, Kode9 remixes Roots Manuva’s ‘Crying’. Watch the video for ‘Crying’ here (via Noisey).

Also, Roots Manuva celebrates Record Store Day with yet another cutting-edge vinyl packed with the kind of combination of “bass and verb” which has made him one of the UK’s most essential musical artists. Off the back of the universally-acclaimed Bleeds album, Manuva has cooked up three brand new tracks to go alongside the astounding ‘Crying’ and ‘One Thing’ from that collection. 

All 5 tracks are produced by Switch under his new production banner With You. With You are Switch and Daouda Leonard (assisted by Stabber), on this outing, with a little help from their friends Crookers,Toddla T, Coldcut and were written, recorded and produced at his studio in Los Angeles during the Bleeds sessions.

Roots Manuva – Switching Sides EP

RootsManuva_Credit_ShamilTanna_dsc4742

Roots Manuva celebrates Record Store Day with yet another cutting-edge vinyl packed with the kind of combination of “bass and verb” which has made him one of the UK’s most essential musical artists. Off the back of the universally-acclaimed Bleeds album, Manuva has cooked up three brand new tracks to go alongside the astounding ‘Crying’ and ‘One Thing’ from that collection.

All 5 tracks are produced by Switch under his new production banner With You. With You are Switch and Daouda Leonard (assisted by Stabber), on this outing, with a little help from their friends Crookers, Toddla T, Coldcut and were written, recorded and produced at his studio in Los Angeles during the Bleeds sessions.

‘Iron Shirt’ kicks off the package, paying homage to Max Romeo in name only, a twitching, hard-rhyming package brought into sudden, funky focus by a vocoder chorus. Lead track ‘Crying’ was one of the stand-outs from Bleeds — a furious lyric over chimes and baby cries, a study in paranoia. ‘Body Hot’ harks back to Manuva classics like ‘Buff Nuff’ — perhaps the most abstract take on dancehall this South London maverick has ever made. ‘Watch’, sees Rodney Smith riding a live-sounding break and lashings of sub-bass while jumping from deadpan Londonisms to Funkadelic flourishes to Jamaican patois. The EP is rounded out by ‘One Thing’, a perfect Manuva vehicle where a playground refrain pulls us out of any and all comfort zones and into conceptual deep space. And, as if those five tracks aren’t enough to excite the most jaded of palettes, flip the vinyl and you’ve got the instrumentals of them all to enjoy, too.

Bleeds was hailed as a massive return to form from Rodney Smith, with his recent live shows also widely acclaimed. The Switching Sides EP goes further to consolidate the notion that, after six studio albums, this is genuinely an artist who is still capable of leading where others can only follow. February and March see him touring Europe and the UK with a new, more focused live show and festival dates are being booked around the world throughout the summer. Every release from one of the great English lyricists is an event to be celebrated and this one most definitely doesn’t buck that trend.

In other Manuva news you can also hear him on the astoundingly good ‘Dead Editors’ from the new Massive Attack EP, Ritual Spirit EP. Announced on Feb 28 the track captures him on this crucial cut along with tracks from Young Fathers, Tricky and Azekel.

The video for ‘Crying’ captures harsh slice of life action shot on location in Thamesmead, South London and was produced by French team Division Paris and directed by Helmi. Root’s comments on the video gives you some idea of what to expect – “Pure genius, they are top flight people. I wish I could work with more people of this nature with guts and passion and integrity coming from a bass culture background.”

Tracklist (RSD Release)
A1. Iron Shirt
A2. Crying
A3. Body Hot
A4. Watch
A5. One Thing
B1. Iron Shirt (Instrumental)
B2. Crying (Instrumental)
B3. Body Hot (Instrumental)
B4. Watch (Instrumental)
B5. One Thing (Instrumental)

Roots Manuva – Don’t Breathe Out

RootsManuva_Credit_ShamilTanna_dsc4742

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

Roots Manuva – Bleeds LP

RootsManuva_Credit_ShamilTanna_dsc4742

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?

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

roots manuva

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)

BD263_Packshot

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)