In the days of early apartheid rule half a century ago, on 26 June 1955, over 3 000 representatives of resistance organisations made their way through police cordons to gather on a dusty square in Kliptown, Soweto, 40km south of Johannesburg.
This was the Congress of the People, who met to draw up the Freedom Charter, an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state.
At the time, Nelson Mandela had to stay concealed to avoid the police. On the second day, the authorities broke up the gathering, but not before the charter was adopted as a guide document. It remains the cornerstone of African National Congress (ANC) policy to this day, and is seen by many as the foundation of South Africa’s 1996 Constitution.
That dusty field has now been declared a national heritage site, and on 26 June 2005 President Thabo Mbeki lit a flame of freedom in Kliptown to mark the opening of the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication – and 50 years of the Freedom Charter.
The Flyover Show 31st March 2012:
Hip-Hop artist and award winning alto-saxophonist, Soweto Kinch, will host a groundbreaking show featuring a diverse and brilliant line-up in the historic Freedom Square on 31st March 2012. Among the artists that have confirmed their appearance at the Flyover Show are Tumi from Tumi and the Volume, Soweto Kinch and band, Feya Faku, ESKA, Jonzi D, Bokani Dyer, DJ Raiko and the Kliptown Youth Program Gumboot Dancers. Continue reading
You may want to know that it’s Official – FUZZBOX are back. The Eighties pop punk band ‘We’ve Got A Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It’ are making a welcome return in 2010 with the announcement of a UK Tour.
The reunion will see the band take to the stage with their infamous fuzzbox sound, which dominated the charts in the 80s. Hits like ‘Pink Sunshine’, ‘International Rescue’, ‘XX Sex’ and ‘Rules and Regulations’ will feature in what is to be the band’s first European Tour in 20 years.
May 2010 Dates 13 Southampton Joiners Arms 14 Bristol Fleece n’ Firkin 15 Manchester Roadhouse 16 Glasgow King Tuts 17 York The Duchess 18 Norwich Norwich Arts Centre 19 Nottingham The Social 20 Oxford Oxford Academy 22 Birmingham Birmingham Academy 23 Colchester Colchester Arts Centre 24 Brighton Audio 25 London Islington Academy
Fuzzbox will be releasing a new single on Gotham Records, as well as working on a new album. For all enquiries, please contact Barry Tomes: barry at barrytomes.com or +44 (0)7966 174 319
Yes! They’re back! ?And the fabulous “We’ve got a …FUZZBOX… and we’re gonna use it!!” have specially selected all of YOU to attend their secret exclusive tour launch-party. ?Expect an evening of FUZZTASTIC entertainment…?Prepare yourselves for a taste of tour – See an exclusive live performance. ?Be entertained with much FUZZ and NONSENSE including a splendifierous 80’s disco with DJ Declan.? Be rewarded with a prize for the best 80’s fancy dress.
Tuesday 4th May Starts 7.30pm? DON’T BE LATE!
The Asylum?38-43 Hampton Street, Hockley, Birmingham B19 3LS
AT THE NEWLY REFURBISHED SPACE 2, CUSTARD FACTORY, BIRMINGHAM
For further information please contact David Whittall on 07535 966314
BENTLEY RHYTHM ACE
Based in Birmingham, Bentley Rhythm Ace are Mike Stokes (aka Michael Barriewhoosh) and ex-Pop Will Eat Itself bassist Richard March (aka Barry Island). The group formed in 1995 after Marsh was introduced to Stokes at the house party of a mutual friend where Stokes was DJing.
Discovering a shared love for screwball novelty records and offbeat groove tunes, the pair met up afterwards to see if they couldn’t make a go of a studio collaboration. To date, they’ve released two EPs and a long-player for Brighton’s big-beat Skint label, attracting wide acclaim for their energetic, irreverent blend of hip-hop, funk, and the bizarre lounge, jazz, and exotica records that initially brought them together.
The duo’s head-scratcher of a name derives from their weekend habit — also commemorated on their first Skint twelve, “This Is Carbootechnodiscobooto” — of rare vinyl shopping at the ubiquitous car-trunk junk sales in their Midlands home; a good deal of the flavor of their material comes from their knack for fusing the fruits of those dusty weekend jaunts with tight, infectious rhythms and engaging arrangements.
Following the release of their Skint debut, Stokes and Marsh took up a monthly residency at Heavenly’s Sunday Social club (where the Chemical Brothers got their start), and their instant popularity has meant they’ve been something of a critic’s darling ever sense.
Their self-titled debut LP was released by Skint in 1997, and featured remixed versions of a few early tracks together with a number of new cuts.
The pair have also cultivated something of a devoted club following through their campy live performances, which often involve strange and unusual costumes and props (probably originating from the same car boots as their records).
Lindy began her recording career in 1990 fronting the band BEATS INTERNATIONAL along side Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim. The single DUB BE GOOD TO ME was a worldwide smash hit, reaching number one in at least ten countries including the UK. There followed a number one album LET THEM EAT BINGO and three more top ten hits.
After two years of touring with beats Lindy decided to pursue a solo career. Signing a contract with Arista records to perform under her own name she released her first solo album PRESSURE to critical acclaim. Two world tours to follow to promote her solo career. Lindys next project was to write produce and sing on the number one garage hit WE GOT THE LOVE. Released in 1994 after a year of studying music in London and Italy, it signalled a change in direction and returned to her club land roots.
Promoting the album in the clubs, Lindy met FRANKIE KNUCKLES and her burgeoning DJ career was launched into the major leagues playing along side names like Jon pleased Wimmin and Tony Humphreys all over the world and a residency at the Hacienda club in Manchester.
Continuing with her djing in the heart of West Londons Globe, she wrote her third solo album NO OTHER STAR, a trip hop reggae influenced record written for the Japanese market, where Lindy is famous for her lovers rock work. She spent the year following touring Japan. During this time she met a new partner in crime and began her next project HARDKNOX which signed to Skint records in 1997.
The band developed a unique DJ sound working together with the decks, sampled beats and sounds to create a hard sound that brought the band huge underground success. Tours with the major UK dance acts followed, playing alongside FATBOY SLIM again, The Chemical Brothers and Underworld.
The bands underground success made waves over to New York label JIVE ELECTRO releasing their self-titled album HARDKNOX. A three month tour of the US honed the bands performance into a mix of Djing scratching and live music with innovative vocals from Lindy.
After there US tour HARDKNOX were asked to support MOBY on his Play world tour in 1999. In the last few years Lindy has had time to build a following for her Djing with residencies at, The End, Big Beat Boutique, Funkt The Dogstar, Babushka, Canvas, The Bed bar and Point 101.
Most recently through spending so much time behind the decks rather than a mixing desk she has found herself right back where she started, pursuing her passion for lovers rock and dub reggae. With collaborations with some of the freshest artists of the scene The Hemponics a very exciting new act from the Faithless stables soon to be released on Trojan records, Keith Tenniswood and Andrew Weatherall of the Two Lone Swordsman and Stingray. Writing beautiful new songs with the freedom to work with some of the most talented musicians on the scene and currently touring with the Dub Pistols makes this a very exciting time for Lindy.
Lee Potter, aka Cut La Roc, made his name in the hurly-burly big beat days of the late 90s. Signed to Skint Records, the same label as Norman ‘Fatboy’ Cook, he was responsible for pioneering the big beat sound worldwide alongside Midfield General, Bentley Rhythm Ace and Fatboy Slim himself.?
Cut La Roc held a four-year residency at the Big Beat Boutique in his hometown of Brighton. He’s DJ’d all around the world several times, appeared on Top Of The Pops, set a new Guinness world record for DJing with the most decks at once (nine!), and has recorded with vocalists such as Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.?
Now he’s about to release his third artist album – ‘Larger Than Life’. Bookending another chapter in the La Roc story, it’s a magical blend of soul, funk, hip-hop, deep house, lilting electronica and breakbeat. Drawing on all his influences, it’s a masterful piece of work: assured, confident, and pushing at boundaries like somebody at the top of his game should still continue to do.? ?It all started for Cut La Roc when he got into hip-hop in his mid-teens. He practised scratch techniques for hours, becoming an expert battle champ, and when acid house hit in the late 80s he was exhilarated by its energy. He began to DJ in clubs, using his scratch skills to stand out from other DJs, and by the mid-90s had fallen in with the Skint Records crew.?
Big beat, the sound that coalesced around Fatboy Slim and the Skint brigade, was a perfect genre for Lee. Mashing together block-rockin’ beats, amyl house, sample culture, breakbeat and drum & bass, this was an exciting time for electronic music. Big beat is credited with converting a slew of indie-rock fans to the wonders of dance music, and its mix ‘n’ match ethos suited Lee down to the ground.?
As well as being resident at the Big Beach Boutique for four years, Lee DJ’d all over America, Australia, Europe and the Far East. He put out first the ‘Mad Skills EP’ on Skint, swiftly followed by the ‘Freeze’, ‘Making It Hot’ and ‘Fallen’ singles. He was invited to mix an ‘FSUK’ comp for Ministry Of Sound before releasing his debut album on Skint – ‘La Roc Rocs’ – in the year 2000.?
Assorted tracks and remixes of his were signed to tons of compilations, and after he moved to Colchester and saw that the music industry was rapidly changing he set up his own label – Rocstar Recordings.?
Rocstar released Lee’s ‘Many Styles EP’ and music by beatfreak luminaries such as Chad Jackson and DJ Whack before putting out Lee’s second artist album in 2007 – ‘Nemesis’.?
Now, as the release of ‘Larger Than Life’ looms, he’s accumulated a tidy roster of artists on Rocstar – Parker, Funkanomics, Pixel Fist, 601, Ben & Lex etc – and also started the Rocstar DJ agency to service the dance scene with DJ bookings.?
‘Larger Than Life’ sees Lee collaborating with a wide variety of vocalists. Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol appears on ‘Mishka’, a soaring love song that really shows off the tenderness of the singer-songwriter’s voice.?
‘What Love Is’ kicks off the album’s proceedings with a great blaxploitation funk bassline before it unfolds into a tasty slice of hip-hop love. ‘Ride On’ is an futurist electro paean, while ‘Come Get Some’ – featuring Donald D – is a grimey vocal breakbeat number. ?
‘Hey Girl’ featuring Lion D is a heavy technoid ragga track that could fit into UK funky/bashment scenes as much as detonate breaks steppa floors. ‘Jump Up & Down’ is an electroid jump-up hip-hop joint, then ‘Don’t Stop’ could almost be the Stones.?
‘Deathstar’ and ‘Glitter’, both featuring a vampish Fangs, are slices of punky electroclash filth, while ‘Waited Far Too Long’ almost borrows the riff from ‘Dear Prudence’ by The Beatles before unfolding into a lo-slung funky trip-hop jam, Alex Larke’s indie vocal lifting it into MTV territory.?
It’s Cut La Roc’s best album yet, the one he’s most proud of, and ably demonstrates that he’s a veritable master in the studio, as well as on the decks.