Category Archives: Music

CHALI 2NA LIVE IN LONDON

Hip hop can also be funny. As much as you can’t even imagine.

Chali 2na yesterday’s gig at Cargo was a mixture of good music, hip hop attitude, friendship, happiness and good feelings.

Dj Charlee Brown was playing some classic hip hop tunes while people was arriving to the venue. I was on my own thoughts sitting down on the edge of the stage when Chali and his crew came through the door on his way to the backstage. He looked at me and put his hand on the heart and afterwards shaked my hand. I said ‘nice to meet you’, and he draw a big smile on his face.

That attitude is what I like to feel from the rappers. I like when artists make you feel like one of his mates. And clearly, Chali 2na makes you feel this way. I saw once Jurassic 5 in Madrid and I remember that gig as one of the bests hip hop shows I’ve ever seen.

The support bands

Yesterday, there were two support bands. First entrusted to break the ice and put people in the mood was Teef and his Dj. He opened his concert with a Fantômas tune that really surprised me positively. Teef did a good show and he really achieved the challenge of making the people start to dance, get closer to the stage and starting to feel that they actually were in a show. His music was a kind of UK garage, dubstep, drum n’ bass, hip hop and some metal influences that makes it really impressive. Teef’s got a raver-punk attitude on stage that knocks you out.

After another 15 minutes hip hop session by Dj Charlee Brown, Lazy Habits were the next band to hit the stage. They’ve got an original formation: drummer, percussion, dj, bassist, two horns and two mc’s. They play a rarely seen hip hop, which intends to be carefree and easy, focused to party and enjoyment with funny lyrics. Once they’re on stage you can notice they’re British, and in a kind of way that’s what I liked most of them. Sometimes hip hoppers try to imitate americans and they don’t show a strong personality. Lazy Habits though, shown they can adapt the american hip hop style into the British lifestyle.

Big up for the fisherman

After them was time for the main artist of the night: Chali 2na. He hit the stage at 10pm with a three-members band and another MC supposed to be Chali’s brother, though I don’t know if he really was his brother.

Chali’s gig was great. He devoted himself to all the audience at Cargo. He started playing a few songs from his brand new album Fish outta water, but also played some stuff from the Jurassic 5 discography with special stress to songs like Freedom or What’s golden.

Chali’s lyrics have always been a duality of fun and conciousness, trying to be close to the listener empathizing with him or her by telling stories that happen to the common people. He focus any topic from a different point of view and that makes a big difference, and there’s also the fact that he’s got a unique style. Chali’s voice sounds strong, with personality and flows easily over the music.

The band that’s touring with him needs to be specially mentioned. The bass player uses a seven string bass guitar, and he really enjoys what he does on the stage. The drummer is perfectly coordinated and has got skills that go much further than hip-hop. The keyboard player brings the melodies to the tunes and also controls the synths. All together sound like if they were many more musicians.

They did several solos, and played different styles of music, from funk to blues, from classic to pop, from rap to frantic ska… It really was a nice party and the people recognized so by applauding and showing love and respect to a guy who is a music brick-worker. And after the show he stayed with the people to meet them, take pictures and sign autographs.

And yeah, as it couldn’t be in any other way, there was a music blink to Michael Jackson: they played ‘I want you back’.

Great night, great bands, great venue.

ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM

Last night American hip hop band Antipop Consortium performed at the Scala in London. After their break in 2003, when the members worked on their solo projects, the band continued its activity in 2007. And now they’ve released a new album called Fluorescent Black.

As a resultthey are touring all around the world presenting their new job. Last night’s show was a really good one. The four members of the band combined all those skills that made them well-known: glitchy and electronic music, combined conciousness and abstract lyrics, and amazing rapping skills. But also a strong attitude up in stage.

The band style doesn’t fit with the normal prototype of a hip hop band; they play midi instruments and perform live electronic music taking structures and styles from jazz, and pop, though they’re called Antipop Consortium. They not only rap but also sing, recite, slam, and like to make noise.

From time to time, and as a break, they stopped rapping and played with their instruments, doing a sort of electronica jam session, something rarely seen in hip hop concerts, but much appreciated by the audience.

The venue was full of people and all of them seemed they’ve enjoyed themselves pretty much at the end. The highest moments of the night were when they played Ghost Lawns and Volcano.

It was definitely a great show but also a different one to add to my list of gigs.

ALICE RUSSELL AT KOKO

Thursday’s concert performed by Alice Russell at Koko was simply amazing. Though I normally go to a couple of gigs every month, this has definitely  been one of the bests of the year.

Alice has a beautiful soul singer voice, and the band that plays with her is stunning. It was an almost two hours gig in one of the most magic venues in London. The Koko theatre, has this kind of essence that a singer like Alice is looking forward to transmit. Kinda burlesque, cabaret, and this French environment from the end of the 19th Century.

They performed loads of songs and played tribute to some artists such as Gnarls Barkley, Beyonce, The White Stripes and -of course they couldn’t miss him- Michael Jackson.

People who attended the concert definitely had a great time. Everybody enjoyed themselves and danced without stopping at anytime.

MR. BUNGLE

Are you tired of the same style videos they play at MTV? If so, let me introduce you two fan-made video clips of Californian band Mr. Bungle.

First is the song Retrovertigo, one of the bests songs of the band. It has been produced by Untouched Productions. “A small music video and commercial production team” that has a very personal and different way of understanding music and translating it into visual language. Retrovertigo video clip has been perfectly done in terms of shooting and editing, but most importantly, it makes justice to the song by telling a short story which combines both social and psychological factors.

Far away from mainstream style, Untouched Productions presents a music video clip full of strength and reality despite of the old testament style ending. I think is very creative and genuine.

Goodbye sober day

Next fan-made video clip is Goodbye sober day, it was made by a youtube user. It has been mainly created with archive images, but the montage is just brilliant. It follows perfectly the rhythm and captures the different states of mind of the song; sometimes calm, sometimes frantic, sometimes sad, sometimes happy. It reflects very well Mr. Bungle’s music; chaotic and insane but with a massive true behind itself.

Mike Patton and his bandmates should be proud of them.

MATISYAHU’S LIGHT

Today has been released the new Matisyahu‘s album called Light. As the name suggests, this new album is characterized by being much more positive in terms of music and singing but also on lyrics, than his previous albums.

Although Matisyahu’s message has always been positive, ‘Light’ seems to be even more humanistic. He features some hip hop and beatboxing, some rapping, some dancehall, dub, soul and ska.

Time will tell if this album is as great as ‘Youth’, which had a huge success. But surely, after a first listen, ‘Light’ is one album that makes a difference in the market and that will be listned by lots of people, whether they’re jew, christians, muslims, rastafarians or agnostics.

DISTANT RELATIVES

Hip-hop superstar Nas and reggae artist Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley are about to release a surprising and expected album under the name of Distant Relatives.

The main topic of the album lyrics and sound is going to be Africa indeed. They have worked together during a few months on creating a sound that dosen’t fit under the rap label but it doesn’t under the reggae label either. It is a mixture of both of them with a very strong influence of traditional African music.

The necessity of change and revolution, and to express to their listeners a positive message has made this two musicians join their strength in order to create music that says something to the world. And that is something rarely seen in mainstream artists nowadays. Therefore it makes their music much more valuable.

While we wait to the album to be released, let’s listen a song that is without a doubt the prequel of the album. Road to Zion is a Damian Marley song where they collaborated together, and you can tell the result is really good.

RIP MJ

Thank you. It is a real pity that you are gone. I had a ticket to see you in London, but you couldn’t wait. You had to go.

Thanks for everything. I just whish that if there’s anything out there after death, that you’ll be happy. Just whish you happiness.

Don’t stop till you get enough, Jacko.

Peace.