Archive | August, 2011

Kraak en Smaak Live at The Big Chill Festival

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Kraak en Smaak Live at The Big Chill Festival

Posted on 31 August 2011 by Glenn Tucker

Having interviewed ‘Kraak en Smaak’ only a short while ago I was delighted to see they were on the line up for The Big Chill. My initial addiction to the Netherlands based band was introduced through their latest album, ‘Electric Hustle’. I immediately fell in love with the Jazz funk style and had previously asked them a couple of questions about their preferred performance style (live or DJ set?)
With the only competition on at the same time being Kanye West I found this the perfect opportunity to see for myself just how funky Kraak en Smaak could be and I wasn’t disappointed.

For some strange reason they started their set with “Turrell’s Lament” which is quite an easy going, wind down track taken from Electric Hustle that fits well on the end of the album but seemed bizarre at the beginning of the live gig, however as the song gained momentum it was the perfect precursor to the rest of the show.

As they had mentioned to me before they have a full range of instruments on stage including drums, bass, keys and female and male vocalists and this really came together as they got further and further into their gig.

The highlight had to be the live version of “Call Up To Heaven” and “Dynamite”. Both of these tracks had a completely different sound to them when performed live and the tent, which was quiet at first, soon filled up.

It was strange to hear such a difference from an album sound and a live set and the only people I can compare them too are Groove Armada. The usual chilled and relaxed sounds on an album really come to life on stage and you end up with this energetic infusion of funky and upbeat.

If you get the chance I would highly recommend seeing Kraak en Smaak perform live but if you miss the chance you should still get involved with their latest album.

Glenn Tucker

**Breaking News – Beyonce & Jay-Z expecting a (Destiny’s) child!**

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**Breaking News – Beyonce & Jay-Z expecting a (Destiny’s) child!**

Posted on 29 August 2011 by Mizzle

At last nights MTV Video Music Awards, the gorgeous Beyonce clearly revealed what we’ve been dying to hear. After a knockout out performance, she caressed her belly driving home the news that her & husband Jay-Z were finally expecting! From the audience you could see Jay-Z’s smiling face. If like us you need to see the proof the VMA‘s are on tonight (29/8/11) MTV @ 9pm.

Congratulations!! Can’t wait to see the little bundle of joy!

Michelle Crane

The Journey to Solfest begins!

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The Journey to Solfest begins!

Posted on 25 August 2011 by Mizzle

Our lovely Lindsey begins her journey to Solfest:

“Giving a lift to another ticketholder so as soon as that person shows at 10am on the bus, we are off. (Otherwise, we’ll just take their 6 bedroom tent that is here already and leave ’em behind!)

We’ll be there and entrenched, via a massive supermarket shop for beer, food, jelly, vodka, party poppers, conifers, and a sandy beach with deckchairs, by 12. Camping next to your car is the biz, you can take *everything*!!

Huge debates here about fancy dress, even at this hour. And even bigger arguments about which teddies we are going to take to do the parachute jumps LOL

We’ve made the most awesome stove in the last few hours – photos will be incoming via instagram if I can get a signal onsite, and now I am going to see if the rocking chair will fit in the car!!!”

What an exciting start to what sounds like an amazing weekend!

Florence and The Machine – ‘What The Water Gave Me’

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Florence and The Machine – ‘What The Water Gave Me’

Posted on 24 August 2011 by Mizzle

If you’ve seen Florence and the Machine live this year, then you would of heard ‘What the Water Gave Me’ in all its glory. For all you who loved it, even though festival season is coming to an end, we’ll keep you going with great music here at Smashed Music

V Festival Checklist

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V Festival Checklist

Posted on 19 August 2011 by Chris Knight

Those lucky few with a ticket to this weekend’s V Festival will be busy packing over the next 24 hours.  With huge names in the line-up, and the promise of good weather, this year’s V looks set to be an unforgettable event.  However, there are certain items you should be bringing with you to make the experience as comfortable and practical as possible.   Most of us aren’t used to roughing it in tents on a regular basis, we make an exception for an event like V, but bringing a few essential items can make all the difference:

  • A waterproof tent

Most festival goers will be camping in a tent, and it is essential you have a waterproof one without holes.  The weather forecast might be predicting sunny skies but in the UK we can never bank on it staying dry, so make sure you aren’t cold and damp at night, by packing a decent waterproof tent which includes a floor sheet to keep you out of the mud.

  • A waterproof coat

We’re not trying to rain on your parade (ha) by going on about the possibility of bad weather, but if you want to avoid being a soggy sad sack shivering in time to the music, bring a waterproof jacket just in case.

  • Wellies

Wet or dry, you’ll be getting muddy spending the weekend in a field, so forget shoes of any type other than wellies.  They’ll keep your feet dry, bottom of your jeans clean, and teamed with a cosy thick pair of socks, you’ll be as comfortable as in our old faithful slippers at home.

  • A torch

For midnight walks to find food or toilets, a torch is essential.  Think ahead and bring extra batteries as it’s bound to get a lot of use.

  • Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

We mentioned the T word just then.  Toilet.  The dreaded domain of any festival goer, but at some point over the weekend you’re going to need the loo.  Think portaloo.  Well if you want an accurate picture think something out of SlumDog Millionaire (but with better music in the background!)  It’s true that the loo’s will be pretty dire but it’s all part of the experience so get some tissues or wipes ready and hand sanitizer too.  Our advice – get in and out as quickly as possible and try not to look around.  Or breathe.

  • Your own food and drink

To cut costs while at the Festival bring as much of your own food and drink as you can carry – prices are notoriously expensive at the event.  You will be allowed to bring food and drink to the camping area but not the stage area so plan ahead what to bring.  Paper plates and plastic cups are another good idea.

  • A flag

“But I’m not that patriotic” I hear you cry.  This isn’t a God save the Queen moment, this is a god where’s our tent moment, as yours is likely to become lost among thousands.  Those who are smart will bring a flag to mount to theirs and enable them to spot it from afar.

  • An umberella

Rhianna’s going to V, and she said you can stand under her umbrella, but you’re not all going to fit under there so bring your own.  Be careful not to poke anyone in the eye with it in the crowded area in front of the stage.

Now that you’ve ticked off the essentials from our checklist, you can relax, set up your camping spot and enjoy the weekend safe in the knowledge that you’ve got everything you need.  Now where are those tent pegs…. Tent pegs anyone?  The list didn’t mention the pegs… damn.

The count down for V Festival!

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The count down for V Festival!

Posted on 18 August 2011 by Chris Knight

It’s that time of year again. Think tents, wellies, alcohol, live music, and hopefully not much mud!  That’s right music lovers, the much watched countdown timer on V Festival site says less than 24hours to go, and those lucky enough to have a golden ticket are preparing themselves for what is set to be an immense weekend.

This year Smashed Music will be covering the event in full, with the usual live photos and updates from all around the festival, and all the news and reviews to give those watching from home on their TV a little insight into the events!  With fantastic headliners, and an unbelievable atmosphere seen at V year in year out, this is the event of the summer, for all you music lovers!

Here’s the low down on the acts we’re looking forward to see:

Rihanna and Eminem

Surely these two are must see for everyone going to V fest this year. These two are headlining this year, and will have the entire population of V Festival surging towards the stage for a glimpse.  Their single ‘Love the way you lie’ was an outstanding collaboration combining soulful tones with rapping, and a chorus we all know, love and sing along to!  For those attending, prepare for a hot performance from this duo, full of chemistry, as they never disappoint on stage.

Ellie Goulding

For something totally different, to chill you out after the manic excitement of Rihanna and Eminem, don’t miss the mellow harmony of Ellie Goulding’s amazing voice.  With top hits such as her take on Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ and the slightly edgier dance tunes ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Under The Sheets’. Ellie’s angelic breathless voice will have you zoning out into a relaxed chilled mood.

The Artic Monkeys  

Not many can claim to have been hailed by NME as “our generation’s most important band” but the Artic Monkeys have this stamp of approval from the industry giants, as well as the population at large, having conquered the charts more than once.  Since they first hit the music world by storm in 2006, this Sheffield foursome have kept banging out the hits, and even knocked Lady Gaga off the top of the music chart earlier this year.

The Noisettes 

Those who enjoy some old school tunes will appreciate the appearance of the Noisettes.  Reminiscent of the Libertines and the Camden scene, the Noisettes provide us with soul infused melodies, and a marriage of music which will stay in your head long after they leave the stage.

Tinie Tempah 

Tinie has been hailed as the UK’s Kanye West, and if his recent success is anything to go by, he will be sticking in the charts for a long time.  After his single ‘Pass Out’ rocketed him to the dizzying heights of the top of the chart, Tinie hasn’t looked back.  Having prevously collaborating with  Ellie Goulding and now Kelly Rowland, Tinie has injected some female vocals into his traditional rhyming raps, and is pulling off his expanding musical repartee.

Calvin Harris 

After collaborating with numerous artists and having hit after hit I’m quite excited to see what Calvin Harris has in store for all V fest goers! His disco / electro sounds are popular in dance clubs and he is set to turn V into one huge party when he starts playing those much loved songs such as ‘Acceptable in the 80s’ and as I was born in the 80’s, I’ll be jumping around and singing along with the rest of you!

Jessie J 

She’s the voice of 2011 and it seems the music world has plucked Jessie J from relative obscurity to become the next big thing. After speaking with our writer who went to The Big Chill they said “Watching Jessie is like seeing the next Lady Gaga or Rihanna in the making, and this upcoming artist with a songwriter past has every reason to be confident.”  Some of her tracks – ‘Do it like a Dude’ and ‘Price Tag’ give a fresh, edgy version of pop, along with catchy lyrics.

This list is just a fraction of the talent lined up for V Festival which we are looking forward to see,  it really is going to be a musical extravaganza, with plenty for every music taste and genre.  Now it’s time to pack that tent, and start planning outfits ready for some festival fun!

Aliases – ‘What’s Left For Us?’

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Aliases – ‘What’s Left For Us?’

Posted on 15 August 2011 by Mizzle

New Aliases single ‘What’s Left For Us?’ from the album Safer Than Realityreviewed here – released August 15 on Basick Records.

Smashed Music Goes Global Part Two

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Smashed Music Goes Global Part Two

Posted on 14 August 2011 by Mizzle

Friday night at Global was going to be tough to beat, none the less bleary eyed clubbers emerged from their ovens also known as tents in the blistering hot British sunshine. Breakfast was easily available and not too overpriced. I managed breakfast, tea and a fruit smoothie for under a fiver, showers were not bad either!  In that heat we needed them.

The day began and the festival began to fill up, by mid afternoon it was much busier than the Friday night, every tent was pretty much packed out as well as the main stage. Brookes Brothers were one of my first points of call and it turned out to be the highlight of the festival for myself. Simply put, they were incredible! In eleven years of DJing and clubbing I have never heard a more energised perfectly timed set to keep a crowd in the moment of euphoria and sadly I probably never will again. The tune selection was perfect as well as the mixing and interaction with the crowd. For one hour, the Hospitality tent was probably sending local Geiger counters crazy given the amount of jumping and bass pumping out of the sound system.

The Brookes Brothers were going to be a tough act to follow, later I ventured to see the amazing sounds and visuals of the American Dub Step heavyweight, Skrillex. He did not disappoint. Just about the most jaw dropping insane visual display, flashing and moving behind him as he played out his usual Metal influenced Dub Step sounds. I recall a version of La Roux – ‘In For The Kill’ accompanied by a 3D skellington and weird morphing shapes with the crowd, me included singing along.

Big name act after big name act followed round all the tents, Global Gathering was in full swing, until I ventured to the main stage to see some of the Headline acts such as Tinie Tempah. I was greeted by people heading in the opposite direction and a change in atmosphere and tempo. It felt like a mis match and out of place. When he performed ‘Mosh Pit’ followed by ‘Love Suicide’ you could feel the mood change, a friend turned to me and said “Im not at Global anymore” which was greeted by agreement from numerous others. Another note was for a lyricist as good as Tinie Tempah, he was not very good at speaking to the crowd. A wide vocabulary? Every other word was an expletive and not much inbetween. I did not stay for the finale….

Feeling a need to get back to the more vibrant element of Global, we headed to the largest tent Metropolis, where Chase and Status were due to play live. Anticipation hung in the air and people were crammed in from all angles. A huge roar went up as they entered the stage from left and right accompanied by MC Rage for their set. The stage was set as they opened with ‘No Problem’ with the haunting image of Takura from the video glaring down from behind them dressed as some sort of ultra violet voodoo priest. The crowd responded singing every lyric and throwing hands in the air, a far cry from Tinie Tempah earlier. Their set contained all their big releases and remixes including ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Eastern Jam’, ‘Blind Faith’ and the awesome ‘Pieces’ which was accompanied by a dazzling laser display. Energy, great MC work from Hype utilising the whole stage, and an amazing visual and lights show with a great performance. This had been epic.

Nero were to follow an, at times breath taking set from Chase and Status. It was a tough act to follow, but follow they did. Not starting with quite the same energy though, this was a progressive build of big synths, wobbles and breaks to the grand finale – the unveiling of vocalist Alana. A great live performance followed of the three crowd pleasing tracks ‘Me & You’, ‘Guilty’ and the new track ‘Promises’ all greeted by elation and big cheers. Alana was pitch perfect with her vocals not missing a note as the crowd responded chanting back the words.

Over all Global Gathering 2011 was a great mix of all types of Electronic dance music from Tech House to Drum and Bass mixed and played live by some great artists and DJs. Others I encountered who also rocked the festival were Ferry Corsten, Ben Gold, Gabriel and Dresden, Erol Alkan, Fake Blood and James Zabelia.

My only gripe with the entire festival is that Angel Music Group might consider booking headline acts more suited to the rest of the festival but still give a live feel. Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Prodigy, Faithless, Chemical Brothers, Tiesto even David Guetta if they want to keep a commercial element. Over all though, well worth a ticket and a great experience.Roll on Global Gathering 2012

Check out the photos on our Smashed Music Facebook Page

By Richard Chapman

the-big-chill-festval-view

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The Big Chill 2011 – Festival Review.

Posted on 12 August 2011 by Glenn Tucker

The Big Chill 2011 – Festival Review.

If you are looking for a festival that includes Sunday night riots, toilet tipping and tent burning, kicking your way to the front of the crowd with an elbow or two in your face as you go along and trudging through a newly decorated field of plastic cups and condoms on your way back then The Big Chill is the last place you should go.

This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy a good rock festival with all the above but when I first thought of what a festival should be I imagined more of a family friendly, hippy approach with alternative treatments, niche bookshops onsite and strangers gathering around campfires in the evening. Lo and behold, The Big Chill 2011 had all of these.

Unfortunately we missed the Friday night performance by The Chemical Brothers, arriving around lunchtime on Saturday, but were lucky enough to setup camp and get down to the noticeably clean arena (thanks to the kids picking up branded cups in exchange for 10p each) with more than enough time to get our bearings and start the day off with a quality Mojito from the Bacardi tent.

The site itself was huge with plenty to see and do, including a separate area for families and children that was heavily guarded, and despite our best efforts to gain entry with our press passes we were turned away.

Instead we paid a visit to the Enchanted Garden, an area for alternate therapies including Reiki, Hypnotherapy, various deep tissue massage areas and even tea and sauna tents but most importantly they had a hot and spicy cider truck which was welcome treat as the weather was not the kindest with wind, rain and only small amounts of sunshine making an appearance. The Enchanted Garden also contained an Art Trail; open from 9pm till 2am which we explored much later in the evening and consisted of various audio visual displays and ambient lighting, clearly designed for those not just drinking alcohol but an interesting addition nonetheless. I can’t say it was not amusing watching people hang their thoughts on the tree that instructed them to share their mind apples.

The first performance we caught were Metronomy on the main stage (the Deer Park Stage) and next was Jessie J who performed brilliantly despite having to sit down for her whole set due to an injury. The sound quality was fantastic for both of these and for all other acts we caught too, including a newly gained favourite of mine, Kraak en Smaak.

Normally I would expect a festival site to quiet down after the main act but The Big Chill had plenty going after hours including a killer set by Kissy Sellout and a packed Bacardi stage. With the guest area tents open till 5am with fire bowls all set out to keep the chill away we thought we would be out for the rest of the night but even after a quick rest and recovery we made an unforgivably early retirement at only 2am.

Sunday morning brought some early sunshine and as we made our way back to the main arena we couldn’t help but notice how clean the grounds were looking once again. Not a single cup, can or bottle was left in sight and already families were out enjoying the day.

Unfortunately the weather did not hold out and the temperature dropped as we took cover in the psychedelic White Rabbit Lounge, a space for chilling and, by the looks of most people there, leaving your mind at the door and fetching it again on the way out.

Once the worst of the rain had passed we made one last brave effort to catch a couple more acts including British reggae group Steel Pulse. If the sun was shining they would have fitted in seamlessly but unfortunately I was finding it hard to identify with their upbeat groove as I watched the breath form in front of my face. The North Mississippi Allstars Duo were the final act for us, bringing a Southern Blues sound to the Malvern Hills which would have been a lot more enjoyable once again, in some sunshine.

Overall The Big Chill festival was a hit and delivered on every level. For families it was safe, clean and Friendly. For the individual it was engaging and exciting and for a group of three it was exhausting but exhilarating and is definitely on my list of festivals to visit in 2012.

 

The Big Chill – Back view of the Main Stage

Aliases – Safer Than Reality (Basick Records)

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Aliases – Safer Than Reality (Basick Records)

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Mizzle

Review by Ali Harris

Aliases arrive in a torrent of thudding double-kick drum, rattling bass and guitars so fiddly, fast and fat it’s like a swarm of wasps streaming out the speakers and enveloping your head.
‘What’s Left For Us?’ asks the opening track of debut Safer Than Reality, a question guitarist Graham ‘Pin’ Pinney probably asked himself when his superb band, Sikth, split after just two albums.
As short-lived as they were, Sikth’s unique brand of meticulous, mad metal was enough to ensure they scrawled their name in the dusty book of UK rock legends: shoving themselves, spitting and screaming, somewhere near Skunk Anansie and Slade.

But there’s been a void in the UK’s burgeoning tech-metal scene since Sikth’s sad departure – one which, on this evidence, Aliases will more than capably fill.

It’s instantly clear that Aliases is a different beast to Sikth –more focussed, more direct, more metal, and even more memorable.
Safer Than Reality is a delicious statement of intent: a jolty, jerky, metal-up-your-carsie mini-album packed with beguiling riffs, anthemic choruses and brain-boggling rhythms.
“They control you!” screams Jay Berast, a vocalist as versatile as he is vicious, as aforementioned opener What’s Left For Us? bounces into the first of many big, catchy choruses on this album.
Drummer Darren Pugh hits his kit like he just found out it slept with his missus. Leah Woodward is a refreshingly talented female guitarist – her frantic fingers will make many male metal axemen blush with shame – and bassist Joe Heaton has more funky slap in his hands than a dodgy make-up salesman.
If the layered vocals on the opening track are a tad reminiscent of Sikth’s schizophrenic dual singing combo, Mikey and Justin, by the time the song crashes into the awesome Reality of Beliefs, Aliases’ personality is stamped into your forehead.
Berast’s vocals flit between coy and colossal: hollering harmonies on We Never Should Have Met; screaming with the force of a jet engine on All That Glitters Is Gold; and summoning dark demons for climactic closer Sirens.
The best bit comes during Whilst I Drown: the song splits down the middle to reveal a monstrous riff so head-noddingly huge it’ll give you whiplash, tear your head off, then stomp away with it down the street, shaking cars, walls and lamp-posts like a B-movie beast.
There’s no hiding the fact that Safer Than Reality is a challenge to listen to, especially if you’re used to straight-up 4/4 stadium clap-along rock.
The band tear through time-signatures and genres, prying you from Sikth purgatory with switchblade-quick prog and punk, punctuated perfectly with pop.
And you’ll be richly rewarded for repeat listens. Safer Than Reality is a clinically-executed exercise in technique, melody and groove: the ultimate in guitar geekdom and a musical masterclass.
5/5

http://www.facebook.com/aliasesband