FDB Archives
June 30, 2013, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

With Google Reader finally shutting down tomorrow it was time to get as much of the content back up on this site as possible, as Reader was acting as my own form of archiving.

What you see here is the majority of the content I produced between the end of 2006 and July 2009 when I moved to New York City.  Use the different categories on the left hand side to navigate through the content.  All links are dead.

Comments Off on FDB Archives

Where I’ve Been & Where I’m Going
July 13, 2009, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

So what the hell has happened to FDB in 2009? Well, as I’ve commented on several times one of the major changes in my life this year has been the purchase of my first property.  This has been stressful and time-consuming but worth it given I’m now on that infamous ladder.  Solicitors + estate agents + insurance companies = no time for blogging.

More significantly, I’m also on the brink of leaving the UK.  Back in January I went through a relatively grueling interview process for a job at the United Nations International School in New York City.  The beginning of the year was fraught with preparation and worry, as were the following couple of months as I waited for news on whether I had got the job or not.  I did.  In just over two weeks I will be in New York City on the hunt for apartments and gearing up for the greatest adventure of my life.  Needless to say this is hugely exciting but incredibly daunting particularly given that I leave behind my girlfriend (only temporarily), family, and a network of friends who I have had in Bristol for nearly a decade.  Evidently FDB, blogging, and the internet in more general terms have been way down my priority list for some time now.

So what lies ahead for this modest little corner of the internets? To be honest, I’m not sure.  Imagining myself in New York City is still a pretty abstract concept in itself, so the thought of sitting down on a Tuesday night and rattling off something about a drum break is bizarre to say the least.  It may be the case that living in the mecca of all things hip and hop means I have an insatiable desire to share music and musings with you; it may also be the case that the city and life is so absorbing that I don’t.  Right now, I just can’t tell.

I want to thank everyone who has regularly (or irregularly for that matter) visited this spot over the last few years and want to give a particular shout out to my internet brethren without whom running this blog would not have been the life enriching experience that it has been.  You know who you are and we’ll stay in touch.  If you have voyeuristic desires to see how my personal life in the US progresses you can do so at Five Borough Brits, a blog I’ve set up to keep track of my movements in the greatest city in the world.

But let’s mark this moment with some music, shall we?  Here’s some recent stuff I’ve enjoyed and recommend you check.

Chris Read presents The Legacy: World’s Greatest Jackson Tribute Mix


Read the bumpf and download the mix here

This does what it says on the tin. And then some.  If you’re not already familiar with Chris’s sensational mixes then why not start here: The Legacy is technically and musically masterful and my hands down favourite piece of post-Jacko tribute material currently available.  You done did it again Chris.

5 O’Clock Shadowboxers – The Slow Twilight


Download the LP here

Check the MySpace

If you’re at all in tune with the internet hip hop blog scene then you can’t have failed to notice this release from my boys Zilla and Douglas.  Dudes even picked up a review in HHC digital this month.  The Slow Twilight is a brilliantly put together little package that brings something genuinely original to the table and although not all of it is to my taste this is as refreshing and innovative as hip hop gets in 2009.  Kudos fellas.

Prafit – ‘New York Swing’


Vocal available here

Instrumental available here

Third installment from this duo hailing from Long Island and a truly bangin’ track that’s already featured on Hot 97 care of Peter Rosenberg.  It’s so rare that something new gives me that old hip hop ‘buzz’ without feeling tired but ‘New York Swing’ does so with aplomb.  Rolling keys, big drums… nothing to complain about here so get familiar.

I’m outta here for now.  Thanks again.

Comments Off on Where I’ve Been & Where I’m Going

Where I’ve Been – A Transitional Phase
March 24, 2009, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

So maybe ‘Beat To Tide You Over’ was pushing the point a little…

Although I’m not able to fully fill you all in on why I’ve been away from FDB from such a long period of time (it’s not public domain proof yet) believe me when I say that I have a lot on my plate at the moment.  Fortunately, it’s not in a bad way – quite the contrary – but various things going on for me right now require my full, undivided attention and that means that blogging has hit the bottom of the priority list.

Don’t fret though.  This is by no means an end.  Hell, it may not even mean much of a hiatus, but blogger’s guilt has gotten the better of me and I felt like I needed to put something down on paper screen to cover such an extended absence.  My advice is to subscribe by RSS to FDB if you haven’t already and await activity in the future.  It will happen, just not right now.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to shout out my man Chris Read who dropped The Diary 1.5 a fortnight or so ago.  Remix project covering the years 1988 – 2008 with deft production skills and dope acapellas? Yes please.  Chris’ new mix does what it says on the tin emphatically, so don’t miss out.  Apologies for the lackluster linkage mate.

I’ll check ya when I check ya.

Comments Off on Where I’ve Been – A Transitional Phase

Beat To Tide You Over
March 9, 2009, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Ill Mentality – ‘Lovin’ U4 Dayz’ & ‘Lovin’ U4 Dayz’ (ILLstrumental)
taken from ‘Lovin’ U4 Dayz’ 12” (Phat Wax, 1996)

Still heavily bogged down in real life issues, but been knocking this non-stop in the cans over the last few days.  Produced by often overlooked beatmaker Nick Wiz of ‘Advance To Boardwalk’ and ‘Tip Of The Tongue’ fame (although ‘fame’ may be pushing the point a little), this gem from Jersey outfit Ill Mentality is jaw-droppingly good.  The original mix is great, but it’s the ILLstrumental – see what they did there?! – that’s had me hooked with crispy drums and deft use of filter.

Shouts to Sconeboy for the hip. I’ll be back on track at some point. Maybe.

Comments Off on Beat To Tide You Over

Indie Infused, Auto-Tuned Goodness (!)
February 17, 2009, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Is this really happening?

Colin Munroe – ‘Piano Lessons’ ft. Joell Ortiz
taken from Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero (free download)

Thanks a lot Dallas.  I mean who is this foppish Canadian guy? And how has he managed to score a load of collaborations with decent rappers? More importantly, how is it that ‘Piano Lessons’ works when everything on paper says that it shouldn’t?  My whole world’s spinning right now.

But seriously, I’m really enjoying this.  The Black Milk production is fantastic, Ortiz’s verse gives a dose of necessary grit and dare I say it, I think Munroe’s auto-tuned vocals sit really well in the mix. Pretend you hate it if you want, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a seriously catchy pop song.

Personally, I’m hooked.  Don’t get it twisted though, the rest of Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero is awful; confidence in my own taste stays thankfully intact. And yes, that was an audible sigh of relief you just heard.

Comments Off on Indie Infused, Auto-Tuned Goodness (!)

Dangerous Ways – DJ Hype & Mr Thing
February 15, 2009, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

DJ Hype – ‘We Both Speak With Our Hands’ ft. Mr Thing
taken from 1973: Recon (Masters On Broadway, 2003)

Some turntable oriented goodness to see you through on a Sunday.  Mr Thing has long been a favourite of mine behind the wheels of steel and this beat by Germany’s DJ Hype is the perfect backdrop for the pair to get busy over.  Haven’t checked the album in its entirety, but appearances by Masta Ace, Souls Of Mischief and Akrobatik make this a notable release that probably passed most people by, myself included.  Dope cover and video too.

Comments Off on Dangerous Ways – DJ Hype & Mr Thing

Apache Never Gets Old
February 12, 2009, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Nice beat, but your spelling sucks fellas.

Chase & Status – ‘Against All Odds’ ft. Kano
taken from More Than Alot (Ram, 2008)

Unexpected dopeness from the UK’s drum and bass outfit Chase & Status.  Big horns, ‘Apache’ drums, Kano ripping it: really feelin’ this.  No idea what the rest of the album is like, but may be worth checking out based on this alone.  Before you commit to a purchase though I should warn you that I don’t imagine the whole LP’s like this: these guys are generally very grimy. And D ‘n’ B grimy is like the grimiest thing ever.

Comments Off on Apache Never Gets Old

Anticipation Builds… Rhymefest ‘The Coolness’
January 14, 2009, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Rhymefest – ‘The Coolness’
taken from El Che: The Manual (Unreleased)

Shock horror, it’s another post covering some brand new audible treats here at FDB.  I gotta give Zilla props on hipping me to this Rhymefest track from his upcoming mixtape that anticipates his upcoming album (take a breath) simply because I can never make it through my RSS reader with enough patience to keep tab of Nah Right and 2dopeboyz who seem to have been amongst the first to drop it.

‘The Coolness’ is a great throwback joint with a hard uptempo beat and ferocious mic display that touches on ideas relating to the current Uptown/Downtown debate.  Regardless of all that though, this is a straight banger.  Can’t wait for the album later this year.

Comments Off on Anticipation Builds… Rhymefest ‘The Coolness’

Beat To Tide You Over
December 9, 2008, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

Yaggfu Front – ‘Hold ‘Em Back’
taken from Action Packed Adventure (Mercury, 1994)

The laptop issues are yet to be concluded. I’m hating it. Revisiting Yaggfu Front’s Action Packed Adventure has cured the blues on numerous occasions over the last week, so savour my favourite cut from the album whether you’re familiar with it or not. Ah, ‘Sing A Simple Song’ drums make everything better… kind of.

Regular programming still a week or so off.

Comments Off on Beat To Tide You Over

Random Reflections On The Roots @ Bristol Academy
December 4, 2008, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Miscellaneous

The music blogger in me wanted to attend last night’s performance by the legendary Roots crew, make a mental note of all the finer nuances of their set and put together a comprehensive, analytical review that would do the Philly boys justice on what might be their last tour ever (I’m not convinced they’re gonna be able to stay away from it after all these years on the road).  Alas, I was enjoying myself far too much to indulge in such anal nitpickery, so here are some of my scattered, somewhat chronological thoughts and memories of a truly exceptional performance.

– Seeing a sousaphone resting behind one of the speakers and feeling the inital glimmers of what was to come.

– Reflecting on why promoters in Bristol make such bad programming choices on nights like this.  In short, the support acts sucked gonads.

– Hearing said sousaphone play out a three note riff from behind stage, the lights drop and seeing Black Thought, ?uest et al making their first appearance.

– Pondering after 20 minutes or so whilst on my way to the bar whether the show was necessarily going to be all that.  Realising after 40 minutes that it was.

– Obligatory rendition of ‘Proceed’ breaking down into a five minute percussive extravaganza with the question and answer format executed to an astonishing level of musicianship with some reverb effects thrown in for good measure.

– Hearing ‘Long Time’ after listening to it almost non-stop for the last two days.

– Admiring the adaptability of the saxophonist/guitarist/vocalist who switched effortlessly between all three roles.

– Thinking how much fun it must be to play a sousaphone and hop around on one leg doing 360 spins in front of a live audience.

– The blazing bass solo during a fantastic rendition of ‘You Got Me’.  Reptilian looking bassist in argyle sweater done good.

– Realising that for the first time in years I was at a hip hop gig without feeling constantly annoyed by those around me who were younger or resent for those of my age and above who look to be taking it all too seriously, man.  The Roots cure overt self-awareness!

– A ten minute Fela Kuti tribute that hit the ball out of the park.  I see you Jeff.

– Stamping my feet as the group made their way off stage in anticipation of the encore.  Apologies to the man stood behind me whose toe I may have broken.

– The band reappearing on stage, performing a cover of ‘Love Lockdown’ and ?uest goofing around on the mic.  Auto-tuned laughter sounds similar to children overdosing on helium and yet manages to be even more bizarre and infinitely more disturbing.

– Rocking out to a final barrage of classic funk breaks with Black Thought still runnin’ tings on the mic.

– Leaving with the knowledge that I may never see this group perform again but feeling fine about it given that this was one of the most awe-inspiring, faultless sets I’ve ever seen in my life.

Comments Off on Random Reflections On The Roots @ Bristol Academy