Tag: hip-hop

New Music Friday: Mio Flux

Mio Flux (aka Jacob Bartoli) is a Northampton electronic producer, who is working alongside Patchy, The Rockstar on many of his collaborations. ‘SNL’ is the latest single to drop, and…

Mio Flux (aka Jacob Bartoli) is a Northampton electronic producer, who is working alongside Patchy, The Rockstar on many of his collaborations. ‘SNL’ is the latest single to drop, and it’s such a great tune [and Northampton love-in] that New Boots had to have a few moments with him.

How/why did you start the Mio Flux project?
I started the Mio Flux project when I was about 17. Before then I was a frontman for indie bands and indie solo projects. My laptop and software changed everything for me musically, I started to appreciate the electronic side of music and ended up totally indulged and obsessed with it. The reasoning behind Mio Flux was to be able to collaborate with as many artists as possible from all genres and mix my two musical loves together. I always wanted to do something different and original.

How would you describe your sound?
Atmospheric. I like to add multiple layers and create my own sounds that are unexpected. I think the intro for ‘Catch My Hook’ describes my sound the best; catchy melodies with bells and airy synths as an under layer. Hopefully interesting for the listener.

Who are your main influences in music? It seems to be everything from Diplo to David Bowie…
I have a wide range. I am very influenced by producers like Murda Beatz, Mike Will Made it, Diplo, Pharrel, Mark Ronson and George Martin. They are all game changing producers in their own right. However one of my strongest influences is definitely Scritti Politti from the 70/80’s. In my eyes they have a perfect combination of outstanding songwriting, production, catchy guitar/synth/bass riffs, and memorable choruses.

What was it about Patchy that attracted you to working with him?
We met working at Toys’R’Us, and he was my manager. He first did a verse on a track I was cooking up with Marcus and George from Sarpa Salpa, and from then we just clicked and began working on ‘Balmain’, and others. Our collaboration has been going on for well over a year now, and I feel we get stronger and better with every track. His hooks are unreal; every single one of them is as catchy as the last.

What was the reaction like to [previous single] ‘Sabo’?
Fantastic, every show without fail people know the chorus [it’s not too complex], so it seems to be a really uplifting song in our set that injects energy into the crowd. It’s a song I always compare our new tracks too, to see if they have the same energy on stage.

Tell us about this new release, ‘SNL’.
The single started by Patchy and I wanting to sample guitars and really demonstrate there’s more to rap than just the beats and repetitive melodies. So we went through a few bands we know in Northampton and ‘She Never Lies’ by Sarpa Salpa stood out. SNL consists of Sarpa’s guitar recordings over the top of a trap beat. Even Marcus’ vocals make an appearance at the end of the streaming versions of the song. We wanted to really break through new ground and collaborate with an interesting mix of genres. The video is also directed by ourselves, and edited by our regular collaborator in the States, Lil Adlib. The video carries on our theme of retro gaming. There are even scenes of me and Patchy fighting in Street Fighter 2.

What are your live shows like?
Energetic and fast paced. We like to keep a continuous flow of music so Patchy and I will talk in intros or filtered outs. This ensures the crowd are kept on their toes. It’s made for every music lover.

What has been your favourite Mio Flux moment of 2018?
Without a doubt it was mine and Patchy’s headline show at the Garibaldi. The atmosphere was unreal, everyone chanting our lyrics, I won’t forget that night for a long time. The line up was so strong too; Leo Robinson, Charlie Borthwick and Kiao opening the show and Ginger Snaps providing the after party. I can’t thank everyone enough for that night, a night I really wasn’t expecting.

What was the last thing you bought/streamed?
Anderson .Paak ‘Tints’ [featuring Kendrick Lemar]. The single has got me really excited for his new album to drop. He’s definitely someone I would love to work with.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Patchy and I are building up enough quality music to be able to release a joint mixtape, and hopefully go on tour with it. I want to keep our momentum flowing with singles and videos beforehand. Also I have nearly finished a collaboration with The Barratts: if you love ‘The Garrison’, I hope you love the remix too.

SNL is out now on the usual digital platforms

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Live Review: Slowthai

SLOWTHAI The Black Prince, Northampton Friday October 5th N-Town-raised rapper/grime artist on the rise, Slowthai (born Tyron Frampton), is destined for greatness as is evident at his show at The…

SLOWTHAI
The Black Prince, Northampton
Friday October 5th

N-Town-raised rapper/grime artist on the rise, Slowthai (born Tyron Frampton), is destined for greatness as is evident at his show at The Black Prince tonight. Announced months ago the gig is shrouded in secrecy, the venue only announced the day before, and sold out long before that. The Black Prince is the perfect venue for this gig.

The dark, hot, sticky-floored venue is ideal for the heavy, piercing and percussive performance, akin to early Dizzee Rascal (an easy comparison, but true), spat with equal parts venom and love to a crowd that resembles more ’80s punk than anything else.

He climbs the speakers, loses some clothes, throws some drinks, crowd surfs, moshes, heckles, and spreads love to his family. Slowthai’s encouragement to the people at the front to stare at the people just “standing there” at the back is some Jedi mind trick that makes your correspondent (just standing there, at the back) feel both annoyed at being called out, and, opposingly, want to be in with the crew at the front.

The music production is heavy and tight, minimal hip-hop/trap flavoured, but well layered and with just enough melody to emphasise the vocals without drowning them. That’s good because you need to hear these lyrics, they are powerful.

Anyone that gets a crowd chanting ‘NN’ is good. We are all products of our environment, and NN is mine, Slowthai’s, and yours. I didn’t know too much of Slowthai before attending this gig, but now I’m a fan.

NN.

Josh Astrop

 

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New Music Friday: Weirdoe

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat….

Grime artist Weirdoe has been busy in 2018, putting out singles and EPs like nobody’s business. ‘Shepherd’ is the latest one. New Boots caught up with him for a chat.

How did Weirdoe come into existence?
My names Aaron Weir, the name Weirdoe came along from childhood and I eventually just embraced the name and ran with it. It just stuck from there really.

How would you describe your sound?
I’d say unique, obviously weird and lastly real. I don’t stunt in my lyrics, I talk about my life and experiences.

Who are your main influences/heroes?
Would have to be Eminem for lyricism, but there also guys like Lil’ Wayne, Frank Ocean, Ghetto, Wiley. Russ, he influences me in the way I release my music, the guy never stops! The way Russ moves as well has made me realise that all I need to do is trust my instinct.

You’ve been quite prolific recently. What has been the reaction to the recent ‘Wasted Talent’ EP?
The reaction has been good, as expected, from the people who have followed me since the early days. I think a lot of people want to hear Weirdoe doing grime, but a lot of people have embraced the new sound and trust that I’m only going to deliver my best. I feel with the right exposure I’d get a much better response.

Tell us everything about ‘Shepherd’.
The track was made spontaneously, very in the moment. It was at the end of a studio session and Harlz was playing around with the chords and I just started humming the melody. Once the chorus was created I pretty much grasped the concept of what the song was going to be about. The song is really about people being followers, following trends, fashion etc, and I’m just giving my thoughts on it all really!

You collaborate often. How do you find yourself hooking up with, say, Harlz or Westy?
Both are different. Westy I’ve never collaborated with in person, so it was just a case of me recording over the beat. But a lot of the newer stuff with Harlz is made together in the studio which I find much better for being creative, it also means you build up certain relationships that are stronger then just over emails or social media.

Any plans for live appearances? Do you reckon what you do translates to performing in venues?
100 percent. Live shows are definitely on the cards, but right now it’s just more about recording and releasing new music so when I do put on a show people will leave satisfied. Trust me though, the shows will be epic so keep an eye out for dates.

What has been your favourite Weirdoe moment to date?
For me, it was my grime clash on ‘Don’t Flop’. I met a lot of people through that and did a lot of networking! There’s been quite a few though, such as when my first single and EP was available on iTunes, and my JDZ videos on YouTube [see one below] getting the response they did.

Who are you listening to currently?
Right now I’m listening to Brockhampton, but recently I’ve been going back to a lot of old school grime such as Roll Deep ‘Sidewinder’ sets. Except for the ones mentioned I try not listen to the same artists to much, I like to take away certain ideas from tracks but overall I want my music to very much sound like me.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
My burning desire is always to impress myself, to an extent where I no longer need to succeed, more just the case that I have succeeded. You won’t be able to top that. But the music and videos are going to keep coming, I want everyone to know who Weirdoe is.

 

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New Music Friday: Patchy, The Rockstar

Rapper Patchy, The Rockstar dropped his latest single ‘Shtick’ and New Boots was impressed enough to want to discover the back story of, and future for, the prolific artiste. How did…

Rapper Patchy, The Rockstar dropped his latest single ‘Shtick’ and New Boots was impressed enough to want to discover the back story of, and future for, the prolific artiste.

How did Patchy, The Rockstar come into existence?
I have been making music since I was 11, and up until the start of last year I was terrified of peoples opinions. I was scared of not impressing the people close to me like my friends and family, so I only shared my early music online under loads of different nicknames and then for the past few years had only been producing beats. I finally built up the courage to talk to people about my love for making music last year, and I began releasing original music as Patchy, The Rockstar.

How would you describe your sound?
A blend of modern hip-hop and emotional rock music. But I have versatility and a range of styles to display how I’m feeling when I create music.

Who are your main influences/heroes?
I can thank my Dad and his jazz-funk records for my earliest influences; Roy Ayers and The Crusaders come to mind. My Dad bought me my first CD when I was 7 which was Shaggy’s Hot Shot album. Then I began buying albums with my pocket money from there: Nas, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Linkin Park, Paparoach and more. My favourite artist right now is Tyler, The Creator.

You’ve been quite prolific over the past few years. What has been the reaction to the previous Soundcloud uploads?
I started as a music producer and built up quite a lot of attention by entering beat competitions, where you would download the acapella to an original track and make your own beat. I never won but gained so much attention for it.

Tell us everything about ‘Shtick’.
‘Shtick’ came about so spontaneously. It’s produced by Ethancx, a guy I’ve worked with quite a bit over the past year and as soon as I heard the beat I jumped on it straight away. It took me about an hour or so after I heard it to write to it, record it, mix it and master it. That’s my favourite way to make music when it’s spontaneous like that, I always enjoy the end product more.

You collaborate often. How do you find yourself hooking up with, say, Mio Flux?
It is quite mad when I think about how we met. I was actually his manager at Toys R’ Us. Sadly Toys R’ Us is no longer with us. I guess everything happens for a reason. I can’t remember how the dialogue went but we found out that we were both making music, he was producing and I was finally confident enough to tell people I rapped and sang a bit. So we hooked up on a song called ‘Balmain’ and people seemed to love it and everything developed from there.

What are your live shows with Mio Flux like?
Insane. A must-watch. We promise energy, fun and a good time regardless of what type of music your into.

Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We recently hooked up with Sarpa Salpa and have had the pleasure of working with them on something very special, which I’m really excited to share soon. I’m really enjoying watching their rise to success at the moment.

What has been your favourite Patchy moment to date?
When Mio Flux and I had our debut live show at The Garibaldi Hotel in Northampton, it was an instant classic. We never imagined it would turn out how it did, but having a packed out venue jumping around like crazy and shouting our song lyrics back at us for the first time was a moment I’ll never forget.

Who are you listening to currently?
Right now I’ve got Pi’erre Bourne ‘Marie Curie’, Tyler, The Creator ‘See You Again’ and J-Hus ‘Dark Vader’ on repeat.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Big plans! I have nothing but the highest expectations for myself and plenty of drive to get myself to the top. Mio Flux included. We really want to succeed. So our debut project and a tour is next up!

‘Shtick’ is out now on all the usual downloading/streaming platforms

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Record review: P-Hex ‘Quantum Funkanics’

P-HEX QUANTUM FUNKANICS [King Genius Records] Fuck me, these lot like a good swear, don’t they? Northampton’s baggy-funk conglomerate first emerged from in a basement in the early 1990s, but…

P-HEX
QUANTUM FUNKANICS [King Genius Records]

Fuck me, these lot like a good swear, don’t they?

Northampton’s baggy-funk conglomerate first emerged from in a basement in the early 1990s, but have never until this point saw fit to release an album – instead knocking up demos as they went along. The band, formed by Steve Gordon and Paul Chant under their previous monikor Hex, have always been that less common thing, a purely live band. But once it became clear that Chant was terminally ill, it was felt by all that a full album would be a great tribute to the bassist.

The musical stylings on Quantum Funkanics are a mix of classic ’70s funk, late ’80s dance culture/hip-hop, lashings of ’90s baggy, and a little bit of the Big Beat too. Black Grape is probably the most relevant band comparison to make, but there’s also traces of Talking Heads, Parliament, Big Audio Dynamite, and Pop Will Eat Itself present too.

A lot of the fun, the heart and soul of this album comes from the duel vocal attack of Lindsay Spence [the verses, the raps] and Katie Paton [the choruses/refrains]. Between them they provide a succession of one-liners that either make you think a little deeper, or just elicit a belly laugh. Not knowing which comes next is surely a significant part of the appeal. Twenty plays in and new phrases rear up that previously were missed. Indeed everywhere there’s diamonds to fill your new boots with. Stories of wasters and scoundrels doing their thing could be deemed ‘cartoon-esque’ – but this is Northampton, so most of it is probably true anyway.

And if the words of your scribe weren’t enough to have you heading to purchase, be aware that Alan Moore loves them and wrote the liner notes. And if his nibs is onboard the mothership then you should be too, pronto.

Phil Istine

Quantum Funkanics is out now here

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