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BLATTARIA - BLATTARIA (Fallen Empire Records)

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The Future Beats Radio Show RIP x

Moments of radio revelation are unlike any other kind of revelation in pop, mainly because although they blow your mind there's also a crucial element of TRUST going on. When I was growing up I trusted Peelie and Annie Nightingale completely, and that value of trust cannot be underestimated when it comes to radio. It means that even when the DJ plays something you don't dig you stick with the show cos you know from prior experience that you're never far away from a possible moment of mindmelt, where your jaw drops and what you're hearing suddenly becomes the thing you must now chase, be obsessed by, hunt down and press deep within your life.

With so many stations becoming voice-tracked automated playlists, those names you can trust - those human presences on radio, especially those where you fundamentally feel that they love music more than they love themselves, are becoming increasingly rare.  In recent years I've found nobody on mainstream music radio who I can …

Current listening early Feb 2018

Put here for my memory's sake if not anyone's interest. These are all ruling my car and office. Long list because 2018 feels like it's just waking up.
Which band/artist would I put on the cover of a music magazine this week? The Shits indupitably, just to see that name in a big font in WHSmith.
Airwaves - Warrior (NA)  Cats Of Transnistria - Opium (Soliti)  Conway - G.O.A.T (Soundcloud)  Dabbla - There He Is (Potent Funk)  Dabrye - Three/Three (Ghostly)  Dark They Were & Golden Eyed - Design Your Dream (-Pre)  Domo Genesis - Aren't U Glad You're U (Datpiff)  Dutch Mob - One Way Ticket (Split Prophets)  Entheogen - Without Veil, Without Self (Fallen Empire)  Evidence - Weather Or Not (Rhymesayers)  Gantz - Dying On Acid EP (Deep Medi)  Genocide Pact - Order Of Torment (Relapse)  Paul Giger - Trans Limen Ad Lumen (Divox)  Gwenno - Le Kov (Heavenly)  Hooded Menace - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (Season Of Mist) Jean Grae & Quelle Chris - Ohsh (Mello Music Group)  Juicy J - …

AMNESTY 'FREE YOUR MIND' (Now-Again Records)

Oh, I know, I find it difficult getting agitated about old music enough to tell anyone about it - would rather just pursue it privately. But the occassional reissue snags. 
First question, inevitable with any reissue - does this deserve reissuing? Yes. Yes it does. 
Second question - inevitable with any reissue - does it deserve MY attention? Yes. Yes it does. 
Amnesty were a band out of Indianopolis in the early 70s. Now-Again have already reissued stuff from the Ebony Rhythm Band that birthed Amnesty (check the 'Soul Heart Transplant' comp) as well as similarly brass heavy (check Kashmere Stage Band's 'Texas Thunder Soul' comp) and politically-edged (check LA Carnival's 'Would Like To Pose A Question) obscure funk from the same period. I'd say this surpasses all the above precisely for its unpolished polish, it's demo-looseness, its capturing of a fucking amazing band in all their gritty glory.

Amnesty's official releases were a couple of inc…

LVTHN 'THE SPIDER GODDESS' (Fallen Empire Records)

My god, getting those end of year lists together was a MASSIVE BALLACHE.
Going to avoid such shenanigans in 2018 by telling you every single frigging day about something you could/should be listening to.
First up, this unholy bolus of aggravation that sneaked in too late in 2017 to make my end of the year lists but should be considered compulsory murkage for this slimy shit winter.
The Spider Goddess by LVTHN
Have to say, that in a world of boring PR guff sent by people who are paid to come up with this kind of balloon-juice, the self-penned summations by bands themselves on bandcamp (particularly in the world of extreme metal) are WAY better. Dig what Roman/Belgian psychonauts LVTHN have to say about their new release on Fallen Empire Records.

"The vessel LVTHN ventures deeper into the Spheres of Madness on this MLP, all in honor of the Arachnid aspects of The Dark Mother."

Also extreme-metal bands come up with THEE BEST EXTRA…

The F.U.N.K 2017 End Of Year Lists Part 2 - Hip Hop

Like metal, it's been a hell of a year for hip hop fans, perhaps one of the best in my 35 years of being a rap fan. In such a year, the usual caveats apply doubly - I will have forgot/missed a ton of stuff and if I forgot YOUR favourite rapper it's probably because I've not heard it - leave me a link in the comments please. A couple of thoughts btw.

Much as a distinction needs drawing 'tween music (which is always fine) and music CULTURE (which is frequently fucked) a distinction needs drawing between hip hop FANS and hip hop LISTENERS. 

As a hip hop fan, digging is an essential prerequisite and a constant activity. The internet has made this an endless task, and a riot of new music has come my way this year via bandcamp, twitter, facebook, and blogs like Suspect Packages. It is endless. It's been an amazing year,

As a hip hop listener you might go on Datpiff/HotNewHipHop every now and then and believe places like Pitchfork/Noisey etc when they tell you what couple of…

The F.U.N.K 2017 End Of Year Lists Part 1 - Metal

Metal, like hip hop, has had a fucking great 2017. Like hip hop its manifold joys can mainly be found away from the mainstream, certainly light-years distant from the kinds of boybands-with-guitars that seemingly dominate Kerrang-style metal culture. So most of my favourite metal from this year has come from slightly off the beaten track (so much great stuff coming out of Italy this year), much of it found via Bandcamp and those metal bloggers who are so ably covering the anti-scene at the moment. 

Needs saying actually - metal, like hip hop, is one area of music where blogging and word-of-mouth is all the guidance I need anymore - haven't been NEAR a metal mag this year and don't feel like I've missed anything. The bloggers care, and know their stuff so thanks to Angry Metal Guy and Cvlt Nation  and No Clean Singing and Heavy Blog Is Heavy  and The Sludgelord for keeping me vaguely in touch with the best metal in 2017, they've been invaluable. 

These are the metal/doom…