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September 4, 2018by Kolade Olamide0

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Hot on the heels of buzz around his ‘IC3’ EP, rising North London MC Oscar #Worldpeace presents new single ‘Twix’ via his own #Worldpeace imprint.

 

In contrast to the powerful and at times controversial political content on ‘IC3’, ‘Twix’ provides a more mellow, reflective atmosphere, both in Oscar’s cool delivery and producer -E-Whizz’s blunted beats. But despite its nostalgic reminiscences on young love, it’s also a masterful depiction of working class life, with both the track and video conveying a modern take on kitchen sink realism.

 

Oscar’s honesty and introspective rhymes, which convey vulnerability in one breath and shameless flexing in the next are a winning formula that has seen him build a rapidly growing fan-base and gain recognition for his unique craft.

 

Growing up in North London’s Tottenham where artists like Wretch 32, Skepta and JME were beginning to thrive, Oscar felt as if something was in the water. It wasn’t until he started spending time with his cousin, who had a studio at home and would hold grime sets in his kitchen, that he was first inspired to create his own music.

 

His first release came in the shape of ‘Mook’, which caught the attention of The Streets’ Mike Skinner, who has since become his mentor and worked closely with him.

 

Both his ‘Recluse’ and ‘IC3’ releases  gained critical acclaim from the likes of Noisey, i-D, Vice, Dummy, Earmilk, Complex, Pigeons and Planes, Clash, GRM Daily and RWD. He also performed at a Noisey rooftop party and gained radio action including spins from Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Mistajam, Twin B, Gilles Peterson and Toddla.

 

 

 

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Following collaborations with Gaika, Mark Pritchard, Mumdance and Andy Stott, plus live work with Flowdan, Daddy Freddy, Warrior Queen and Riko Dan, the blueprint for futuristic new dancehall is laid out on this debut full-length from Miss Red, produced by Kevin Martin aka The Bug.

 

‘K.O.’ is a fully realised and precision tooled longplayer that sits in an outernational beat continuum alongside the likes of Jamaica’s Equiknoxx, Canada’s Seekersinternational and Portugal’s Principe crew.

 

Miss Red’s fierce flow rides roughshod over warped bashment anthems like ‘Shock Out’ and ‘One Shot Killer’, but the album also showcases her ability to adapt to different flavours, with the addition of ethereal harmonies to the psyched-out arcade blips of ‘Memorial Day’ or the plaintive dystopian lament of ‘War’. Similarly, the Bug’s riddims are a masterclass in restraint, retaining his trademark heaviness but taking a step back from the atmospheric ambience of his recent work with Burial and Earth. Instead this is an example of the dexterity with which Martin can deploy a minimal arrangement, taking a bassline, beat, FX and vocal and sharpening those elements for maximum dancefloor devastation.

 

The Bug first encountered Miss Red whilst DJing in Tel Aviv in 2011, an impromptu DJ session in a rammed underground club enlivened when he reluctantly let a persistent audience member get on the mic, blown away to discover not just an inebriated chancer but someone who could perfectly compliment his black wax attack with her rub-a-dub delivery and a tone pitched in perfect contrast to the deep low-end of his acid ragga style tunes. Born to Israeli Moroccan and Polish parents as Sharon Stern, early experiences of growing up in an immigrant family and their resulting persecution have informed the writing of the album: “My polish grandparents were the only people from their family to survive the holocaust, and In Morocco my family were getting shit cause they were Jewish but then in Israel they were also getting shit for being North African. As newcomers and pioneers of new villages, they had nothing at the start of their life in Israel and had to build everything from nothing”. Significantly, the album cover features a picture of Sharon’s grandfather, Asher Assraf, from her French mother’s side of the family, who sadly passed away whilst the album was being recorded. Asher had been a competitive boxer and full time “ass kicker” who had used fighting to rid himself of the frustrations of social stress, and developed that fighting spirit psychologically to cope with the battles of everyday life.

 

Since moving away from Israel due to the claustrophobia, corruption and constant state of war, the Miss Red persona has developed over time spent in London and Berlin, and as a regular member of the Bug’s touring line-up alongside fellow MCs Flowdan, Daddy Freddy, Warrior Queen and Riko Dan. From before she left Tel Aviv she was magnetically attracted to the sound, style and fashion of the reggae scene in Jamaica: “Nicodemus really influenced me, but as a girl, it wasn’t my voice, and it was listening to those 80s dancehall gals that I gravitated towards, because they were chatting as proud girls, and from a female perspective, so it was vocalists like Sister Nancy and Lady Ann that really made the biggest impression on me”.

 

In 2015 she dropped her first solo mixtape, ‘Murder’, with The Bug’s beats supplemented with contributions from producers Mark Pritchard, Mumdance and Andy Stott. Subsequent singles on her own Red label and the in-house imprint of iconic London record shop Sounds Of The Universe have sold out straight away, and she has received acclaim for her collaborations with Warp Records artist Gaika.

 

On ‘K.O.’ specifically she comments: “I had no interest in making a record that sounds like everybody else, those types of record disappoint me every time, I wanted to make something totally fresh on my terms. What attracted me to old school reggae was the sound of newness, of the future, and then to follow that genre and check its development, and then to find myself in 2018 wanting to evolve a new voice for a new style. For me reggae is the foundation of this record, but the album’s movement is freer. It mirrors my need to move and keep challenging myself.”

 

The Bug comments: “When Sharon and I discussed the album we wanted to make, we both knew we wanted it to stand out from the sea of poptastic blandness, and seek liberation sonically from the mass of mediocrity that surrounds us everywhere in the blander than bland music world we are being suffocated by. Seeing dancehall reduced to throwaway candy was killing us, and we felt that we lived in fucked up times, and needed to mirror that with this f**ked up soundtrack. We knew it needed maximum impact and total intensity, and that was our aim throughout the two years of making the album here in Berlin. And the album was undoubtedly influenced by the punk as f**k adrenalin rush of our louder than loud live shows, where we seek to generate maximum electricity.”

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Born in North-London to a Punjabi father and a mother from the midlands, AMiR has always had a burning passion for music. Since the tender age of two, AMiR has been an all-out music obsessive. Spending his formative years learning guitar, piano and drums, AMiR has worked to become the complete musician. AMiR’s story begs the question, to what point is an artist’s work synonymous with their heritage? As an artist of Indian descent, AMiR often finds himself pigeon-holed with an expectation to reference an Asian influence in his music, lifestyle and decision-making. Looking to represent a contemporary, British-Indian mindset that embraces positivity, expression and a freedom to reject or accept traditional cultural pressures.

 

“I love my Indian heritage, family and values I’ve been raised with and am lucky to have the freedoms I’ve had. But there’s still, an underlying, backward mentality within the community that’s defined the lives of some of my friends and family. Issues such as sexuality, career choices, marriage and gender still fall under scrutiny. I hope that my, incredibly western sounding pop music can show people that your heritage shouldn’t define your path…”

 

AMIR crafts all his own melodies and lyrics, delivering them with his trademark funky vocal style. As an artist, he’s constantly writing and honing his craft. Combining accessible pop appeal with issues such as the search for good in bad, or how to move on when stuck in love and life. His songwriting talents have led to opportunities to work with Grammy winning producers in the United States and Europe, including Peter and Daniel (Matoma, Galantis, DFA) and Patrick Patrikios (Little Mix).

Last year, AMiR launched his new sound with ‘Drench Me With Lust’ to critical acclaim. Spotify’s curation team got behind the track, boosting the track to over 100K streams in just over a week. Then to finish 2017, AMiR released the electro-funk single ‘All Or Nothing’ with a significant remix package. The release cemented AMiR as an artist on the rise, with regular plays via Kiss FM and a host of other national radio stations, ‘All Or Nothing’ entered the Urban Club Chart at #7 as well as breaching the top 10 pop and urban club charts. The track was also featured as the BBC Introducing ‘Track of the Week’ in late October and more recently, AMiR was shortlisted as one of BBC Asian Network’s Sounds of 2018.

 

The new single is an exquisitely executed example of AMiR’s extensive skill-set. Funky and uplifting in equal measure, it’s a disco influenced track that puts a smile on your face without ever sounding cheesy. There’s a distinctly 70’s feel to the track, coupled with a contemporary production standard. This one’s best served in the sunshine…

 

“The music represented summer to me when I heard it and the lyrics I wrote came from where I was emotionally at the time. It sits between Bruno Mars and the Weeknd for me.”

 

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Following on from the release of their positivity-packed ninth studio album Blaze Away, British trip-hop pioneers prepare to release their next single; the sun kissed anthem ‘It’s Summertime’.

 

An infectiously upbeat track, it possesses an undeniable, instant sing-along appeal. Frontwoman Skye Edward’s silky vocals (lyrics co-penned by Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner) drift effortlessly in, accompanied by blissful acoustic guitar chords. A tranquil, laid back beat joins the proceedings, before a wave of golden haze washes over as it builds and drops.

 

A beautifully crafted breezy pop jam, this future hit is destined to provide the perfect soundtrack to those long summer days. The original will also be accompanied by a horizontally chilled Acoustic Version and an incredible remix from legendary Norwegian production outfit Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas, who spin it into a cosmic Italo-Disco stomper.

 

As well as performing the track for Zoe Ball at BBC Radio 2 in Ibiza, an interview with OJ Borg and a session lined up with Michael Ball, the album has been highlighted by Sunday Times Culture, The Telegraph and Afropunk.

 

Morcheeba’s global success is no surprise. 10 million records sold worldwide. Their melting pot sound has been border-hopping ever since the London-based band emerged as pioneers of the trip-hop scene that made them a household name.  They’re currently touring the world taking in a staggering number of headline shows and festivals playing classics and debuting new tracks from the new record to the delight of their global fan base.

 

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Producer, musician and vocalist MH Delorme, aka FOXTROTT, today shares her stunning R’n’B infused new single Deliver, taken from her newly announced album Meditations I-II-III, out 5th October on One Little Indian Records (on vinyl, CD, DL + streaming platforms).

 

‘Deliver’ – lead single from the third and final installment, Meditations III, is what she refers to as her “compassionate heartbreak song”. It is written in the voice of a calm lover, reassuring a partner who has doubts about the relationship.

 

Speaking about the emotionally driven new track, Delorme comments: “I found it interesting to write a warm and accepting song about a painful subject. Sometimes, one just needs to be told: “no stress, take the time figure yourself out, I’m not going anywhere.” This act of choosing love and presence in the midst of uncertainty is often all that is needed.”

 

There is a lot to be said about FOXTROTT’s evolution in writing, recording, producing and performing Meditations I-II-III, her breakthrough follow-up to the critically-acclaimed A Taller Us. Here, Delorme pursues her musical journey, taking her genre-defying, raw yet refined production to the next level, filled with analog synths, field recordings, and heart-pounding rhythms paired with soulful and intimate vocals, resulting in a deeply personal body of work and an expression of her self-realization.

 

Meditations I-II-III has been released in the form of a three-part EP series throughout the year, culminating in its full-length release in October. Through both meditation and music as meditation, FOXTROTT has cultivated inner peace. She gained confidence to confront and engage with a complex world after years of struggling with anxieties triggered by the emergence of mental illness in her family. Meditations I-II-III is the spell-binding result, a spiritual work of a three-part journey towards connecting something larger than the self. The musician developed these tracks during a solitary retreat to southwestern Mexico, even incorporating ambient sounds from her voyage into the music, including protests and police sirens.

 

 

 

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