In keeping with our recent spate of more eclectic posts, check out this awe-inspiring session of drumming by the wonderful Kiran Gandhi – playing along to various tracks by M.I.A. Great work, and many thanks to one of our regular readers (Rochard Scott) for the tip-off. (By Jesal)
The complex layers of this subtle gem are carefully hidden from sight. But, upon subsequent replays, you will discover “One Pound Fish” to be an expertly crafted anti-capitalist/government protest song of the highest order, up with the greatest works of Dylan, in many respects. In this Diamond Jubilee year, you have a man – a Pakistani immigrant, nonetheless, goaded into performing by his oppressor (take that, Daily Mail) – who is working at Queens Market. Aside from the obvious “metric vs imperial” war, this is a biting satire on a number of other issues: overfishing in the Atlantic/North Sea; the plight of local market traders against the faceless supermarket bastards like Tesco; in the Age of Austerity, the concept of quality in alliance with value for money (the fish is both cheap and good); the role of women in what is, essentially, a matriarchal society (why else would he only ask the ladies if they want fish?). Aside from the genial writing, the vocal delivery is pitch perfect: Nazir has a wonderful voice, which a texture so velvety smooth, a timbre that instantly cuts through the ambient background noise (presumably due to his years of training in the market), and he delivers his killer melodies with aplomb. It’s an instant and eternal classic. (Reviewed by Jesal)
We’ve hitherto ignored Das Racist, for the simple fact that we wanted to see if they were actually going to take the extended joke seriously, and release an album. Now that “Relax” has dropped – buoyed by the excellent lead single “Michael Jackson” – it’s clear that these American boys have a lot to give. The incredible beat draws in a million different influences (there might even be the PS3 start-up sound at one point), plus they get the Dip Set piss-take pretty much dead-on. It’s a subtly funny epic, that is genuinely repeatable – not to mention, shit bangs. Of course, the humor is likely to go over many a head, but we suggest you do all you can to get in on the joke and just enjoy it all before it gets stale.
YouTube is a strange beast, with many quirks and foibles. The comments are usually ridiculous, occasionally hilarious and frequently more entertainment than the video itself. There are two dead giveaways, however, when it comes to “Beyonce” – the new track from Bikram Singh. Firstly, “Adding comments has been disabled for this video” (which is never a good sign). Secondly, the Likes/Dislikes ratio. Anytime it gets worse than 20%, it usually means that people really hate the song, the video or the artist. Here, it might just be the cheek of shamelessly naming your song “Beyonce.” So, you should know that Singh’s video is not faring well, at all. When a song inspires genuine hatred, we must ask why – here, the reasons present themselves immediately. Firstly, the video is tongue-in-cheek, sure, but it’s appallingly bad, with some poor models who will probably have their careers tainted for life. Secondly, the beat is ear-aching – considering Tigerstyle usually do a good job, this is a pure flop and shows up their recent arrogance (it comes across on Twitter more and more). The clashing melodies, the over-compression, the atonal quality of the synths – nothing works in the slightest. Lastly, Bikram Singh himself. He’s written a truly terrible song that probably worked well in his head… He runs out of breath halfway through the chorus; the Auto Tune is turned up to 11; he looks and sounds as if he’s literally going to ejaculate at certain points. Finally, calling the song “Beyonce” and trying to piggyback her fame is just a sin. It is doubtful that she’ll ever hear this (her “people” will rightly protect her from it), but if she does, she would have every right to slap two shades of shit out of Singh for pure outright defamation.
It is a fair question to ask why BEE2 and Taj-E hate us. Or music. Either way, it’s a pretty safe bet that they harbour some evil intentions towards mankind. “La Bhangra” is the audio equivalent of that terrible strain of E. coli emanating from German cucumbers. Take some out of tune bhangra, an out of tune rendition of “La Bamba” and mix them together. The ridiculous thing is that this ridiculous idea could have mysteriously worked, but they somehow managed to overthink it. If the good people of Veracruz, Mexico (from where “La Bamba” originated) decided to wage war against Soundpipe Records, we’d happily apply for Mexican citizenship and take up arms on their behalf.
Aside from the unspeakable sin of being called “Illmatik” – sheer sacrilege, especially once you’ve heard him “rap” – this new effort “Tere Ishq” is an ill-informed assault on music as an ideal. Clearly, Illmatik deserves a bonus mark for showing up to the exam and writing his (ridiculous) name on the answer paper. But every other aspect is a complete fail. His lyrics/flow/voice are a waste of time and, truth be told, if you remove him from this song, the beat and the chorus would probably sound an awful lot better. It’s just a complete car-crash for virtually everybody involved, and how some people can convince others to get on board with their “project” is continually baffling. Someone needs to make Illmatik improve, or just make him stop. This is benefitting nobody. (FYI this review is rather more polite than the comments on his YouTube videos).