Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Sean Paul's "So Fine" video exclusive on The Sun Online

"Ladies man Sean Paul surrounds himself with hot dancers in his new video, which you can watch exclusively by clicking below.

The promo for So Fine, the latest single from the Grammy award-winning Reggae star, features bikini-clad babes shaking their stuff.

While the Jamaican singer keeps his designer cogs firmly on his back, some of the girls go for the dominatrix look, with leather basques and buckled suspenders."

Click here to see the video and read the feature on The Sun Online

Thursday, 25 June 2009

September "Leave It All Behind" Popjustice's Song Of The Day!

"Here's a song from the new version of September's album. The clip below is mainly the amazing "I-I-I-I-I" but it's funny, isn't it, how you can tell from the few seconds at the beginning and the few seconds at the end not only how the rest of this song sounds but how the rest of this entire album sounds. Unbelievable scenes, readers. Unbelievable scenes"

Click here to hear the snippet of the track on Popjustice!

Friday, 19 June 2009

September News

Digital Spy follow on from the story in today's Sun newspaper that Lady Ga Ga stole September's look;

"Eurodance artist September has accused Lady GaGa of stealing her look. The 'Can't Get Over' singer told The Sun that she is upset by people comparing her to her fellow artist. She said: "I've been wearing similar outfits to Lady GaGa for years across Europe while I've been promoting my records. "Now when I wear outrageous costumes people say I'm copying her. It really annoys me. She stole my look and I want it back."

Meanwhile, September is previewing her debut UK album track by track on Hard2Beat, the following "Sin Of My Own" was written by the lady herself!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Jessie Malakouti Popjustice's Song Of The Day!

"Xenomania-backed solo popstrel - and former member of defunct LA trio Shut Up Stella - Jessie Malakouti is currently on tour with The Saturdays ahead of a big bells and whistles-type launch in the coming months.

Depending on which Jessie song you're listening to her voice is a bit like late-80s Madonna, a bit like early-90s Kylie and/or a bit like mid-2000s Gwen and the singer 'has what it takes' to be a popstar in a way most buffoons thrown out onto a stage kind of don't. They used to call it 'x-factor' but now we are not allowed to mention that phrase because it makes people think of Louis Walsh's stupid face.

'Standing Up For The Lonely' is a defiant modern disco record with a slightly mournful, triumph-over-adversity element that's filtered its way through everything from 'I Will Survive' to, perhaps not entirely coincidentally, Cher's 'Believe'. It's the lead track on a megamix sampler thing you can download from Jessie's website - it also features a bit of 'Crash Bang Baby' and various other hits-to-be"

Click here to see the feature on Popjustice

Sky News Business : ‘Is The Worst Of The Recession Over?’

"This is by no means scientific, but while walking home from a meeting in Guildford, I noticed something this morning that I haven't seen for quite a while.

Two estate agent boards pretty much next to each other with SOLD proudly splattered across them. They weren't the only ones, I spotted a further ten SOLD to just eight FOR SALE boards over the journey.

What does this mean? Could it be the knock on effects of the spring bounce in mortgage lending, up 16% in April compared to March - could it be an indication that those much sort after green shoots are actually flowering?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have also reported recently that inquiries to buy homes has increased for the seventh month in a row - the fastest rate since 1999.

This sounds good doesn't it?

In addition, The National Institute of Economic and Social Research also had some encouraging news, that the UK economy grew in April and May, the first month on month climb since February 2008!

The pound has reached its highest level against the euro since the start of the year, boosted by these announcements, and the best news of all comes from the Met Office - temperatures in the UK are likely to warmer than average and rainfall should be below average over the Summer.

Its still tough out there, but aren't we all starting to feel a little more positive about things?

Can someone tell us all, is the worst of the recession over?"

Read the full feature on the Sky News website here

Guardian's New Band Of The Day : She Keeps Bees!

The Guardian made She Keeps Bees their new band of the day on Thursday;

"Hometown: Brooklyn, New York.

The lineup: Jessica Larrabee (vocals, guitar) and Andy LaPlant (drums).

The background: She Keeps Bees are a bass-less boy/girl duo from Brooklyn who play raw, stripped-down blues-rock using a guitar and drums and little else. A couple as well as a musical partnership, they do their recording in their bedroom, in an apartment block with pigeons, with just a computer and a microphone. The pigeons don't contribute in any way to their music. The girl does the gritty, raspy bellowing and the boy keeps the beat, so naturally we're going to say they're like the White Stripes in reverse. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Jessica Larrabee has been in bands before, and it was she who taught recording engineer and producer Andy LaPlant, who had just moved to New York from New Orleans, how to play drums – her old man was the sticksman in a funk group. Larrabee's voice, steeped in the earthy R&B her parents played her as a kid, dominates their songs, and her singing style has been compared to everyone from Cat Power to Amy Winehouse and Polly Harvey, and most people who have heard it seem to be convinced that it is the essence of wanton abandon. Words like "sexy" and "raunchy" have been used to describe it, as though hollering and humping are synonymous.

We have no way of measuring the noise Larrabee and LaPlant make when they're at it, but we can quantify the racket on their recordings, to the nearest decibel: it's loud. Very loud. Even turned right down it hurts the ears, in the same way that Larrabee's shouting must hurt her belly and LaPlant's primal thump must hurt his hands. Even their mostly one-word song titles seem to scream from the sleeve of their forthcoming EP and debut album: Gimmie, Release, Focus, Strike ... they don't have exclamation marks, but they don't need them. Even when they use more than one word – Get Gone, Pile Up – they read like a series of commands, as though the listener is being somehow admonished. Naughty listener. You've been a bad boy/girl. That kind of thing. We've always been a bit partial to a stern reprimand, ever since that time at school ... and we're a bit partial to She Keeps Bees, even though we know there are other duos out there doing fairly similar things, being similarly reverential to the blues, reviving it with the same loving care. Not that we're afraid of saying anything negative about them, of course, but that Larrabee ... she's scary."

Click here to read the full piece on The Guardian

4or The Record Cicada "Roulette" Review

"First up, it’s great to see Critical Mass continuing their success promoting alternative dance music which is on the edge of what’s new.

Cicada most definitely fit the label’s ethos with their own unique brand of eclectic electroism featuring sexy vocals and hot guitar licks. Complete with uplifting synth rhythms this album solders on and on with boundless twisting and turning energy.

Roulette should appeal to a wide variety of party goers, dj’s and café owners, and as the band are due to appear in some international festivals this summer keep an eye out for this group"

Click here to see the full review

Monday, 8 June 2009

All Gigs review Cicada's Roulette

I recently reviewed Cicada's single 'Metropolis' and was surprised by how damn great it sounded as I was preparing myself for some Bass hunter style dross. But they made popular and dance good again in my eyes so I snapped up the chance to review the album from which this great song came.

Proceedings begin with 'Falling Rockets' which is a great synth riddled tune with a vocal that is so icy cool and laid back you could be forgiven for thinking Heidrun Bjornsdottir is not that interested in singing. But no, she's Icelandic so it's just her natural, lovely way. The incomparable 'Metropolis' comes next which as I've said before is one of the hottest songs of the year. Then 'One Beat Away' which begins with a great indie disco guitar before flying in with sweeping synths and another top vocal. It may be a tad long at almost seven minutes but it engages you for the most part and could become a top single if edited down to a radio friendly length. 'Talking' is a change of pace with a droll male vocal and a relaxed drum and keyboard track. Then comes 'P Star' which is a great instrumental incorporating a futuristic spin on a tribal beat. The production of the song gives it a dazzling sheen. 'Executive' is a great piano and synth driven tune with great dreary vocals from 'Editors' lead singer Tom Smith. It gives the listener a different slant on their style with a darker sound as accessible and well produced as the glossier tracks. 'Psycho Thrills' is a great disco pop tune that beats the living crap out of anything Lady GaGa has done. Simple beats and great vocals bring memories of Debbie Harry. A lavishly exuberant song. 'Love Don't Come Easy' showcases a perfect vocal that from Heidrun that is half Kylie, half Bjork and all conquering with another great pop chorus. 'Green Light' is a dreamlike tune that would slip onto any chill out compilation. 'Tears' tones down most of the instrumental to give us an up close and personal performance from Heidrun, and it is a standout track. 'Don't Stare At The Sun' starts off in the same vein before it kicks into a top mesh of synths, beats and pop smarts that carry us over into the final track, 'Tiad'. No lyrics but a dreamy sighing from Heidrun coupled with immense instrumentals mark it out as a fine track to end on. The secret tracks a cracker too.

All in all it's just great. Bringing the good parts of Daft Punk, New Order and modern indie styled dance Cicada have struck gold. 'Metropolis' and 'Psycho Thrills' stands head and shoulders above the rest but that is due to their sheer brilliance. The rest of the tracks will have you mesmerised throughout. An instant classic."

Click here to see the full review on All Gigs!

Cicada "Fast becoming one of our favourite albums of the year so far" The Londonist

Great review for Cicada's new album "Roulette" on the Londonist:

"We first came across dance group Cicada on their epic remix of Editors 'Munich' but somehow our minds didn't quite realise they were the same electropop group (with the addition of Icelandic singer Heidrun Bjornsdottir) who crossed our paths and we ignored two years later. Now after their debut album unfairly sat at the bottom of our pile of CDs to listen to, their second is packed to the brink with twinkly pop anthems like Psycho Thrills and euphoric anthems like the dazzling Metropolis. Fast becoming one of our favourite albums of the year so far, we caught up with London boys Aaron Gilbert & Alex Payne."

Click here to read the Londonist

Sky News Business : ‘Music Biz Should Mirror The Apprentice’

New feature on the Sky News Business homepage;

"The music industry's trade magazine Music Week published some more shocking statistics this week. These weren't the usual figures about the number of illegal downloads, or the decline in album sales, but a study from Creative & Cultural Skills reporting on the age, ethnic background and skills set in the music business.

The modern business environment is not mirrored in the music industry, where the gender imbalance is 66% men to 34% women, and the glass ceiling does exist in promotion and management for women who total 23% to 77% men in the higher level jobs. Also the ethnic split in an industry that has so many high profile and successful non-white artists is surprisingly low, only 8% of the total employed.

Our company is dedicated to equal opportunities, we employ an even split, 50% white to 50% British Asian, 50% male to 50% female, and we both take it turns to make the tea. At the time of writing this, and monitoring Gordon Brown's Cabinet reshuffle, we've noted that it is currently 100% male, and 100% white.

A popular image of the music industry is that everyone is fantastically rich and enjoys the life of riley, but the reality is quite the opposite. Nearly 40% of those employed in the industry earn less than £10,000 a year, and only 5% earned more than £41,000. Surprisingly, a third of the workforce is classed as part-time, which goes someway to justifying the low wages, it could also start to show how reliant the music business is on work experience and internships nowadays.

As an avid watcher of The Apprentice, Bally was happy to see that four out of the last five candidates were women, and the two best women are in the final. This series has seen the great skills set, confidence and business acumen of the women, as the males egos got in the way and were fired one by one. It's time the music industry, which has been through massive shift in the way it operates, turns it's attention to actually training up and maintaining the talented and gifted people who are being overlooked. Someone needs to tell the industry that women can lead, manage and multi skill very well, even after they've had kids.

Other news this week: Kayne West blogs about Archangel's "Do It Again" video, September launches her new single "Until I Die", Cicada release their brilliant new album "Roulette" and give away a free mini mix download of it, and Headless Heroes featuring Alela Diane on vocals do the same, with a remix from Coldplay producer Jon Hopkins on "Hey, Who Really Cares". Also, leading urban producer DaVinChe launches a competition for fans to add their own raps and vocals to his new single "Rider", the winner will get to spend a day in the studio recording with DaVinChe. Also, The Beatles virtually reform for Rock Band, Britney Spears returns to London, but will Michael Jackson ever do the same?

See the feature in full here

Friday, 5 June 2009

Cicada Album Mini Mix on The Beat Surrender

Cicada return with a new album entitled Roulette (review to follow in the next two weeks), it’s hotly anticipated, especially as one of the tracks features guest vocals from Editors frontman Tom Smith.

So that you can get a feel for the album and sample it’s delights yourself in advance you can listen to a mini-mix stream by clicking on the link here. If you join the band’s mailing list on their Official Site you can get a free download of the mix for yourself.

Before the album comes out though they have just released a new single, you can see the video for Metropolis below.

Click here to see the review in full on The Beat Surrender here

September "Until I Die" featured on The Sun Online homepage!

BLONDE, leggy and Swedish... 'nuff said. SEPTEMBER is back with cracking tune Until I Die and we've got our mitts on an exclusive look. And it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of the sexy songbird from now on.

September, real name Petra Marklund, waves goodbye to Scandanavia this week as she plans to settle in Blighty. She's even dumped her poor boyfriend so she can move to the big smoke.

Until I Die hits shelves on July 20th

Click here to see the feature on The Sun Online

Jon Allen's "Dead Man's Suit" reviewed on the BBC!

Feted by none other than Paul McCartney and sounding like a young Rod Stewart after a good gargle, Jon Allen follows up his attention-grabbing Land Rover advert soundtrack with an accomplished own-label debut album.

A one-time student of the Macca-backed Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Allen’s folk/pop ballad Going Home saturated commercial breaks last year but is, curiously enough, the weakest song on Dead Man’s Suit – a cliché-ridden sub-James Blunt affair about endlessly winding roads and ever-changing views always leading back to the object of affection. Dreary, in a word.

Happily, the rest is a clear cut above and the opening title track, with its ghostly Hammond accompaniment coming crisply to life, is a marker of good things to come. Allen’s crooned emery-board voice makes much of the Handbags and Gladrags-like In Your Light while Down by the River unapologetically draws its inspiration from late-period Faces.

The songs are precisely crafted but Allen’s delivery always seems to call to mind another voice. So the beautifully wistful Sleeping Soul is Wild Wood-era Paul Weller, Take Me to Heart summons up James Taylor in self-reflective mood, Young Man’s Blues smacks of Rod Argent, Bad Penny sounds like a David Gray off-cut and Friends concludes things with a gentle nod towards Joe Cocker.

And yet Dead Man’s Suit remains recognisably Allen’s and the sheer simplicity with which it is delivered – erring always on the pleasingly understated – proves a winningly intimate, if occasionally somewhat fey, formula.

Click here to see the review on the BBC in all its glory

DaVinChe's single "has more tracks than many albums" My Chemical Toilet (!!)

Modern music is a confusing place for the elderly, and the CD single I received for DaVinChe’s “Rider” nearly gave me an aneurism. The facts as far as I can discern are these:

1. “Rider” is grime producer DaVinChe’s new single, out on June 8th.

2. It comes as a kind-of mixtape, with lots of different versions of “Rider” on it. Guests include people called Wiley, Skepta, Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder, Clea & Bashy, Keedo and Wretch 32 (??).

3. The track featuring Clea & Bashy is actually called “Riding For Love”, despite being a kind-of remix of “Rider”.

4. “Riding For Love” is clearly the most chart-friendly version and has been picking up exposure on MTV Base accordingly. At the risk of being labelled a h8r I find Bashy’s contribution is a tad lacklustre, but you can’t argue with the hook:

5. I also quite like Tinie Tempah’s version, which you can hear here:

6. You might not be surprised to learn you can also buy “Rider” as a ringtone, but I’ll be fucked if I’m going to encourage that kind of behaviour.

Gathania featured on My Chemical Toilet (!!)

"Regular readers (yeah, right) might have noticed that I can be a bit of a sucker for some zingy Europop, and this is never truer than when Mr Sunshine comes out to play.

Gathania’s “Blame It On You” fits into that category nicely, even though it’s actually a birrova sad tale if you listen to the lyrics.

Gathania, says the press release, is 2009’s “priority signing” for her labelHard2Beat, and they’ve spent time “planning a long term career strategy”. It’s a glamorous game and no mistake."

Click here to see the post on My Chemical Toilet

Lazee Feature & Interview on ElectroQueer

Flo Rida - whatevs.

Eminem - so yesterday.

Lazee's jam with Neverstore "Hold On" is one hot urban track that I just can't stop listening to these days. It's just pop perfection. We had a few questions for Lazee and he gave us a few answers. Imagine that!

Check out "Hold On" on YouTube now - it's the jam and I have no shame in pluggin it. You should like, dig it too...

EQ: What is the inspiration behind "Hold On?"
Lazee: "Hold On" is for everyone in the world who is going through hard times and struggling to know that if they hold on, one day everything will be alright.

How did you come to find Neverstore and why was he the perfect choice for the song?
The group Neverstore were signed to Sony which I was at the time and I was a big fan off their music so I've always wanted to do collaboration with them. I just didn't know what sort of song until I heard the hook they laid for "Hold On"and I thought - this is it.

You tackle quite a few genres in the song: Are all these genres ones that you like: urban, electronic, indie/emo?
I listen to anything really. As long as it’s good music, I appreciate it. Whether it’s urban, house, electronic etc. I am a fan of good music.

What's next for Lazee?
Next for Lazee would be taking it worldwide. I am fortunate to be able to spread my music in the U.K, Japan, France, the world, so the sky is the limit...

Read & see the full feature on ElectroQueer here

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

September "Until I Die" featured on Scandipop

Scandipop reveal and review September's mix package for new single "Until I Die"

"Many fans were disappointed by the news that the ‘new’ September single in the UK is to be ‘Until I Die’, a track from her last Swedish album, which was released over 2 years ago. But many more were delighted that their favourite September track was finally going to be heard and enjoyed in the UK, getting the recognition it deserved! The announcement that ‘Until I Die’ was to recieve a new UK radio edit appeased the former, but upset the latter! Sometimes, you just can’t win!

Well, we heard the UK radio edit last week and then the whole remix package this morning. And there should be something in there to please everyone.

The new radio edit stays VERY true to the original. Nothing has really been added, and it feels like nothing has been taken away either, even though the running time is a tad shorter. There’s a bit more ‘oomph’ in the synths behind the chorus, and it goes a little bit crazy at the end of the middle eight and start of the final chorus (it’s ALWAYS good to go crazy at that point in a song). The bells are still in there too thankfully, we do love those bells.

As for the remixes, well we were a bit disappointed. The only one we liked was The Real Booty Babes Trance mix - it turns the song into a Clubland trance track, which wouldn’t be good if it was the main edit (that’s just not September’s ’sound’), but it’s really great as a side remix - the best one on the package. We were expecting big things from the Dave Ramone Remix, because his remix of ‘Can’t Get Over’ is our favourite version of that song. But it just sounds like a stripped down version of the original - as though he’s muted everything that was good about the song. The Feed Me Remix isn’t to our tastes at all, but that’s because it’s a totally different genre of dance - there are probably a lot of people out there that like that sort of thing. Finally, the Jason Nevins Remix was another disappointment. We normally LOVE Jason’s remixes (he really knows how to turn a mediocre rock song into a great club track), but his remix of ‘Until I Die’ sounds like he’s literally copied September’s top line vocal, onto some old instrumental he had lying around. It just doesn’t fit the song at all, it doesn’t support the melodies of either the verse or the chorus - in fact it grates against them.

‘Until I Die’ comes out on Hard2Beat in July, and you’ll be able to hear the new radio edit at www.hard2beat.com from 5pm today. We’re hoping it’s going to be another top 10 smash for her - it really does deserve to be."

Click here to read the full review on Scandipop!

Cicada Album Mini Mix on Arjan Writes

Cicada's album comes out on iTunes exclusively this week - Cicada - Roulette - Falling Rockets

"U.K. electro-pop band Cicada has returned in Europe with their sophomore album, titled "Roulette." The group first hit the European charts in 2006 with "You Got Me Feeling" and has delivered several hit singles and artist remixes since. The group consists of Aaron Gilbert (aka Mr. Natural), Alex Payne and Icelandic vocalist Heidrun Anna Björnsdottir (formerly of GusGus).

Compared to the smooth Balearic dancefloor vibe of their 2006 debut album, "Roulette" ups the tempo with a sound that is decidedly more pop. “Pop isn’t a dirty word,” the band says in a press release. “From Saint Etienne to Santogold, it’s possible to do it credibly, we’re not techno DJs from Berlin, we’re just trying to make an album that, if someone finds it on their shelf and plays it in five years time, they can still enjoy the songs.”

"Roulette" springs all manner of surprises on the listener. Heidrun helms most of the vocals, notably on the first single "Metropolis," a gem that comes on like Tiga’s finest electroclash given a sparkling 2009 update. The record also includes guest vocals from emerging singer Bjorn Synneby of Swedish bands Pacific! and The Whyte Seeds. She sings on the contagious "Empire Of The Sun-esque ‘Talking." Download a "Roulette" minimix to get a taste of the album."

Click here to see the feature and download the mini mix

DaVinChe MySpace Homepage!

DaVinChe's competition, to win a day in the studio with him has made the main and music homepages of MySpace this week!

From DaVinChe "So, you may have seen the video, if you haven't here's the deal. You've heard all the biggest MC's on the scene on Rider, and Clea's vocals on Riding For Love - do you think you could do better? Download the instrumental from my audio player or from here http://soundcloud.com/davinche/davinche-rider-instrumental, add your stuff and email the track back to me at this address; comps@davinche.com I'll pick the winner and let you all know on Monday 15th June 2009, so get your track back to me by 6pm on Friday 12th June. The winner will get a full day in the studio with me"

For more information, go to DaVinChe's MySpace here

Win A Day In The Studio With Me, DaVinChe!