Earlier this month, we had our one day super concert, Tales Of The Jackalope. Alongside The Horrors, who were amazing and insane, Klaxons were our other personal highlight. After the performance, Simon from the band strangely ran away to a tent and slept because he was cold. We had a chat with the rest of the band while Simon slept and found out life-changing information, like James’ favourite TV programme is Match Of The Day. His mum made him watch it all the time as a kid and pretended she was really into football to get him to like it too. The reason for this is he lived alone with his mum and she was really scared that he would grow up to be gay so tried to make him as masculine as she could. Obviously it worked because the poor thing spent the whole day at Tales Of The Jackalope being chased by Peaches Geldof.
Klaxons’ new single, “Atlantis To Interzone” is a genius three part mini-punk-rock-rave-opera which’ll have you raving like it’s 1991 with a dummy in your mouth and a glow stick up your bum. The video, directed by Oliver Evans, features glow-in-the-dark animated dancers, which were inspired by the video for A-Ha’s “Take On Me”. The band had to dance really enthusiastically for about 18 hours during the shoot, which they said was good because they’ve all put on a bit of weight from eating out all the time.
Someone else who is looking well fed at the moment is DJ Shadow. Maybe he’s been hanging out and eating chicken too often with David Banner, who appears on Shadow’s The Outsider LP on the banger “Seein’ Thangs”. DJ Shadow had originally intended for Banner just to do the first verse, but couldn’t get hold of Mystikal or Pastor Troy, who were both in prison at the time, so ended up getting the Mississippi rapper to do the rest of the verses too. We’ve got a feeling Shadow’s crusty crate digger fans might have a panic attack when they hear this and some of the other tracks on his new album. He’s done a complete U-turn in terms of style and hooked up with the likes of E-40, The Federation and Q-Tip. The first single from the album is “3 Freaks” and features Hyphy rappers Turf Talk and Keak Da Sneak who had never heard any of his music before he approached them. Regardless, it’s one of the best tracks we’ve ever heard from Shadow and is accompanied by a great video that looks like a warped, lo-fi gangster movie.
Talking of lo-fi videos, you also need to check out the video for Spank Rock’s “Rick Rubin”, directed by Jesse Gorham-Engard. MC Naeem Juwan and his producer, Alex “Armani” XXXChange, old pals from Baltimore, starting making music a few years back after becoming bored of doing the stuff that hipster hip-hop nerds do all day, like smoking weed and listening to Mos Def. Taken from Spank Rock’s YoYoYoYoYo album, which was recorded in Alex’s bedroom in his Brooklyn apartment, “Rick Rubin” is a homage to the slightly odd, bearded super producer (who strangely held a funeral in 1993, complete with a casket and a grave, for the word “def”). The track sounds like a possessed 2 Live Crew trying to make grime on a Gameboy having never actually heard any before. Live, Spank Rock are equally as deranged, with Naeem stuttering in his special school glasses and doing air cock thrusts, while gayly-named DJs Christopher Rockswell and Ronnie Darko frantically cut up anything from Rod Lee to The Beach Boys.
The View’s debut single, “Wasted Little DJ’s”, on our friend, James Endeacott’s 1965 label, was probably written to describe DJs like the pair in Spank Rock. The band sound like if The Stooges were from Dundee circa now and are set to be as big as The Libertines (who James also discovered). We saw them at this year’s T In The Park, with people clambering up poles to watch them, and they were amazing. The youngsters are without doubt the second best thing to come out of Dundee, after the A90. Another new single we’re liking is Plan B’s “Mama (Loves A Crackhead)”. We don’t usually condone the use of illegal drugs, so a song warning your mother to steer clear of her crack-smoking boyfriend is right up our alley. The video is like a late night Hollyoaks special, without the soft porn and bad acting. Plan B also appears on the new single by Epic Man, who is Paul “Phones” Epworth’s new alias. The track, out on Epworth’s Good vs. Evil label is an attempt at grime, although we’re afraid it sounds about as grimey as afternoon tea at the vicar’s house.
We can’t go before mentioning Chamillionaire, who’s new album, The Sound Of Revenge, is released in the UK on August 21st. If you’ve been to the dirty south this year, you will have heard the Mixtape Messiah and former Swishahouse signing’s “Ridin’” single—which is about racial profiling by Houston’s traffic cops—booming out of every single strip joint and candy-painted ride in town. With the hype around Mike Jones and Paul Wall fading quicker than the glint on a fake gold grill, Cham is now the biggest thing in Houston, Texas (apart from Codeine). If you want to see what all the fuss is about, make sure to keep an eye out for the little guy’s LP which features productions from Mannie Fresh, Cool & Dre and David Banner.