Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 17

May 22, 2008

The Newham Generals have almost been ruined since signing to Dizzee Rascal's Dirtee Stank label. It seems as if he signed them with the intention of doing little more than getting them to warm up for him at his shows around the world. They've been promising an album since 2006, which is yet to show any real signs of being released. It's destined to be a disappointment. How can it be anything else after leaving fans waiting so long? Apart from a mixtape of some old tracks and a really cheap video for "Frontline", they have little to show for their career so far.

Anyway, they turned up on Logan Sama's radio show this week with lots of promises, but also lots of new bars. At the end of the show, they freestyled on old and new grime, UK house and even some bassline—namely Mr Virgo's "Hypnotiq", which can be best described, mathematically, as Benga and Coki's "Night" multiplied by Nastee Boi's "Bangorz", to the power of T2. In short, one of the tracks of the summer. Have a listen to the full set below.

Download: Newham Generals freestyle on Logan Sama's show

Dizzee Rascal ft. Calvin Harris, "Dance For Me"

Keeping it Dirtee Stank related momentarily, I was listening to BBC Radio 6 Music this morning (the button on my digital radio jammed, I promise) when Lauren Laverne (irritaing ex-indie pop star turned presenter who talks too fast and tries too hard to make jokes, Americans) played a new song by Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris. I really don't know what Dizzee is playing at. Calvin Harris is a dick and everyone hates him. After scraping together a bit of cash on the festival circuit this summer he will fade into obscurity, never to be heard of again. These facts are all true and maybe wouldn't matter so much if "Dance For Me" was a good song. But it's not. It's forgettable wine bar music and Dizzee's charisma has been blanded beyond recognition with the dull, cheesy production. Despite this track being in the works since last year, Wiley must be pleased that his one time nemesis will be following the Eskiboy's recent chart success with what sounds like a poor copy.

Wiley interview on the Guardian podcast

I stumbled across the above quite recent Wiley interview with the Guardian's Paul MacInnes the other day. Why is it that grime MCs also sound so vacant in interviews? Are they too busy trying to make up ridiculous boastful claims to think about what they are saying? Wiley is obviously a pretty smart guy, but he comes across as slightly dense and more than a little bit confused here. He spends the whole interview unconsciously contradicting the interviewer as well as giving answers which show little correlation to the questions being asked. The whole thing reminds me of the time BBC News 24 did a live interview with a man called Guy Goma (see video above), who they mistakenly thought was an IT expert, but was in fact just someone who had turned up at the BBC Television Centre for a job interview.

Moving on, I was sent Estelle's new single this week with FIVE Wideboys remixes. Seriously, how on earth are Wideboys getting commissioned for so many remixes? Every major label bassline remix I get sent (about seven a week currently—nearly all terrible) is either by them or Agent X. And have you seen what they look like? Who would have thought that 40-year-old Belgian skate rock fans who live at home with their parents would be into bassline?

Also on the CD was a remix by Witty Boy from Leeds—birthplace of T2, the Pigeon Detectives, Melanie B from the Spice Girls and Chumbawamba. Witty started off making grime before moving into bassline, and off the back of some well received songs about Rolex watches, has recently also started to produce electro. I say electro, but it's actually just lots of Bodyrox rip-offs with some grimey synths. He's got Fedde Le Grand in his top friends on his electro MySpace page, which speaks volumes. The Estelle remix, thankfully, is in the style he does best— bassline—and although it isn't a life-changing masterpiece, he's managed to make the vocals sound a little less lounge diva-y. Anyway, it's something for you guys to download and stick up on so you can't complain too much. I'm out. Peas.

Download: Estelle, "No Substitute Love" (Witty Boy remix)

Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 17