Saturday, September 08, 2007

Woofah to Elderado in Seven Steps

***People who act to rectify their disappointment always impress me. John Eden and Paul Meme have done just that - they wanted something more than just blogs and limited mainstream coverage for the music they love, so they sold some old records and used the money to launch a magazine. Issue #1 of Woofah is out now, and features my almost-impossible-to-obtain interview with the elusive, brilliant Skepta, who of course is every mother's favourite (video). It's not going to be online, you have to BUY IT, and since it is a wonderful, tangible thing to own, and hold in your very own hands, this is not a tough decision to make. 44 pages of the best writers, illustrators, and photographers in the UK on reggae, grime and dubstep, not an single advert in sight, and all delivered to your door for £3. Sod yer glossy PR-dictated hype bibles, here be beauty.

***Everyone's got an angle on Amy Winehouse. My contribution to the canon is - quel surprise - sillier than most: Observations on tenuous claims to fame in the New Statesman. Now you too can discover the nature of my personal connection to Winehouse, not to mention Neutrino from Oxide & Neutrino. Except of course I tell those stories about three times a week, so you've probably heard them all already. For more tenuous claims to fame see this wonderfully entertaining thread on Dissensus on the same subject. There really is nothing like a good anecdote. Remember that kids.

***More worthily, and interestingly, I was asked to step in and write the New Statesman's radio review column on Rinse FM last week. Great fun to be writing about people like Vectra and Little Dee in the political magazine of the left - Orwell would approve, I just know it, arf - and hopefully Alistair Darling will be tuning in before too long.

***Because - and a few of you may have heard me say this before, haha - GRIME'S NOT DEAD. Ignore the pretty shameful treatment of the g-word by Dizzee Rascal, Lethal Bizzle, and Kano this year (Dizzee is definitely the most culpable here - disowning your past is so summer 2007 it seems), and let the facts speak for themselves. The only grime show on legal radio is also the most popular on the FM dial in its time slot in London. 48,000 people listen to Logan Sama's show on Kiss 100 every Monday in London alone (compared to 21,000 listening to Radio 1 in the same time slot). Click the link above for my elegiac response to this news on Dazed Digital. Click here for the latest crazy shenanigans in the Elderado-esque soap that is grime.

***Talking of Kano (as I was at some point), here's my interview with him for the June issue of Dazed&Confused. He was very pleasant considering he'd just woken up when I arrived in his backstage enclave. At that point in time I hadn't heard his new album; given the compulsory Kate Nash collaboration this was probably for the best - for all concerned. Here's the piece on Ruff Sqwad I wrote for Dazed in November 2006, while we're at it.

***Here's a piece I wrote ages ago about Scottish indie stalwarts Chemikal Underground (Part 1, 2) for a sadly-defunct magazine called The Lip. Stewart Henderson, former Delgado and label co-owner, did all the hard work: it's a great interview, just because Henderson gave me some truly inspirational answers. Reflecting the fantastic response to Woofah Issue #1, Henderson confirms that blood, sweat and tears are the least you should give up for what you love - if you ever wondered whether starting that magazine/band/label/club night would be worth all the hassle... it is.

***Finally, I posted loads of vital grime mp3s, news and comment here on the always essential Lower End Spasm. If you want to know what all this bassline/niche/4x4 business is about, then let Alex bring you up to speed.


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