Mark Dawes

Mark Dawes  |  Dec 31, 2021  |  First Published: Dec 31, 2021  |  8 comments
These five excellent vinyl releases from 2021 include a five LP box set and a double LP, so you really get TEN albums for the price of five! If that doesn’t make you want to read on, I give up—come on, I’m killing myself here! You’re driving me out of business! But seriously folks, on the topic of money—I buy all my own records, so please be assured that none of these are promo copies and these recommendations are my personal choices from the crop of 2021.

Mark Dawes  |  Oct 24, 2021  |  First Published: Oct 24, 2021  |  7 comments
DJ Format (aka Matt Ford) is a hiphop DJ and producer from Brighton, England. DJ Shadow (aka Josh Davis) is a hiphop DJ and producer from Sacramento, California. Brighton and Sacramento; not the first urban centers you think of in relation to groundbreaking hiphop production. Format and Shadow, however, are at either end of a 25 year continuum of atmospheric instrumental beats. DJ Shadow’s 1996 debut Endtroducing….. which got a half-speed remastered 25th anniversary edition last month, was composed completely from samples, a methodology shared with DJ Format’s latest LP from 2021 Devil’s Workshop.

Mark Dawes  |  Aug 31, 2021  |  5 comments
Mungo’s Hi Fi is Glasgow’s biggest reggae sound system and named after the city’s patron saint. You may not be expecting such a thing in the rainswept streets of Scotland’s biggest city, but since 2001 Mungo’s Hi Fi has been producing reggae music, putting out over 90 releases on its own Scotch Bonnet record label, building a sound system and running numerous club nights. They have collaborated with some of reggae’s biggest vocalists, including Sugar Minott and Cornell Campbell, as well as current voices such as Soom T, Eva Lazarus, and Charlie P. This latest release from September 2020 brings to the mic Italian vocalist and songwriter Marina P.

Mark Dawes  |  Feb 19, 2021  |  4 comments
Spoken word or sung poetry? There’s plenty of both in the British Isles: the rolling, sprawling narratives of Kai Tempest; the angular Sinead O’Brien, smiling in Irish; the arch delivery of Dry Cleaning; the startling machine-gun rapping of Little Simz; a new collection on Decca by Cerys Mathews, the first in a series of “poem song” albums, pairing poets with musicians from Hidden Orchestra. From the defiant 70’s reggae of Linton Kwesi Johnson, to the many decades of the late Mark E. Smith, to the current dystopian punk barrage of Sleaford Mods, the British Isles has an abundance of musical poetry on record, joined now by Londoner Arlo Parks.

Mark Dawes  |  Dec 27, 2020  |  20 comments
Draw Me A Silence is the first long-player from Azu Tiwaline, a project of the electronic producer and DJ Loan, who has “origins which take root in the Sahara and El Djerid region in the south of Tunisia”. This new incarnation creates “a sound from the desert drawing on Berberian and Saharan trance music that connects human beings with Nature” according to her Bandcamp page.

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