MENU Ross Allen // The Meltdown

Ross Allen // The Meltdown

October 12, 2010

My last missive before I go off on a well deserved bus mans holiday to Malawi where I will be DJing at the Lake Of Stars festival and not doing much else. I am off tonight so will be out of your hair for a few weeks so I want to leave you with something special and, I hate to say it but, the above show is a very good one. There is so much good music around right now, or at least around me !!

The opening track has been doing my head in all weekend and I was itching to get it to you. Not that it is super upfront, it is in the shops/online right now, taken from an excellent compilation that several of you had tipped me to before – i don’t think anyone had played me this track though. The compilation is another corker from Honest Jon’s and features new electronic dance music from South Africa, with a traditional feel in rhythm and instrumentation – Marimbas etc, it is full of great tracks but the Zinja tune is just amazing. It has the feel of an early house tune – rough and raw, super fast but supremely soulful. I have played it so many times over the last week and posted it on facebook and everybody seemed to love it. It’s amazing when you are listening to so much stuff that something can come along and blow you away but that is why I am in it I suppose. It sounded great at the club too.

Talking of which we had a great night down there on Friday with the 2 Bears in full effect. Joe & Raf – were as great as ever playing a total mixed bag that worked a treat, the floor was rocking from about 9pm and it didn’t stop all night. If you have not been down and are a fan of the show – it really is as mixed up as I get on the show, so may be you should pop down. I have been loving it and it has slightly been ruining my Saturdays but for all the right reasons. I also have to say thanks to Dom and Dave aka Riddim & Soul for playing some great tracks upstairs, it was rocking all over and almost a shame that it finished at 1am – we could have gone on all night.. Instead we decamped to Rootikal at The Masons, Harrow Rd – with Rodigan at the controls on our arrival but soon Ashley B and Dave Hill took care of business after and it too was a great night – with a fine selection of west London miscreants, all getting down to a broad selection of reggae music old and new, obvious and scarce. Credit must go to the glazers of West London or whoever fixed the Masons windows as they were under constant assault from, our favourite, the BASS… The good thing about the longer nights is that the freaks come and it seems right to be inside and getting down, I am liking it right now. The other good night we had out last week was at Deviations 3rd Birthday party, I got there late but as ever it was bubbling along. Benji B’s night has been a major success for a long while now, a great tasteful selection from all parts of the black music spectrum is covered both old and new (but mainly new stuff), again reflecting what he plays on his show – and congratulations to Benji on his new show on Radio 1 (where he takes over from Mary Anne Hobbes) – anyway it was fun with a great selection of London faces from music and beyond…

Prior to going to Benj’s Deviation, I saw the Kanye West film/extended video – Runaway. Shown at The BFI, it was an interesting night. Kanye was there and is an interesting character. I feel slightly unaware of his media persona, I like his music, well some of it, but am aware that he seems to upset people and do things that turn the media against him. It was interesting to hear him talk prior to, and after, the screening. He is very wrapped up in himself, may be thats what happens when you get that famous but he is serious about his music, and very good at it. He is not shy to tell you how good he is, I suppose that is fair enough but it is very American. Where i was unsure about him was where he was so interested in the fashion side of things and the film making side. He seemed a bit pretentious to me – the film was OK – it looked good but I had no idea what it was about – well may be that people on earth are quite insular but it was all a bit vague and arty – it looked good and as a glorified video, featuring many of his new songs (which are good, some of them great,), it worked as interesting visual to introduce and present his music with but as a film I’m not so sure ? Anyway, it was an interesting night, good music, slightly suspect and possibly pretentious film but he fascinated me – he was interesting – he took questions from the audience for about an hour and a half after and was genuinely enthused about his art/s. It must be weird to be in his situation within Hip Hop in the US where that music is so all encompassing – I think it may be harder to get a take on its significance over here. Anyway enough pontificating – he is trying to do something different and is doing well with it so good luck to him. Seemed a bit nervy though but fair play to him for engaging and taking the time out to get down with us Brits. The last tune in the film was properly special, I cant wait to get hold of that…

So back to the show and there are 2 tracks featured from Kanye’s weekly downloads that have been going out over the last 9 weeks under the GOOD FRIDAY banner – they are free and there every week. Both this weeks one’s, played back to back, are great. One a bit showy offy fashiony and the other just a great percussive club banger under the Child Rebel Soldier guise. Lets face it he is good and is doing different stuff at a time when most hip hop is treading water or going down a cheesy euro pop route – his music is genuinely different and soulful, plus lyrically he wears his heart on his sleeve. I want that tune from the end of the film…. Badly ! What else do we have on the show ? Well a mish mash as ever; old R&B, reggae new and old, some jazzy reggae dubstep – the WAR crew get busy with Earnest Ranglins Surfin” and it works, we have rocky dubstep as DJ Distance speeds up and dubs out Kid Adrift’s new gem, Danny Breaks returns with a huge bass line in a hip hop style that he does so well. I think dirty is the word ! You need that but I am not sure when you will be able to get it as he hasn’t been up to too much new stuff. Good job I’m here eh ? The Afrocubism album is out, and you can, and should get that – this weeks tune is possibly my favourite cut from that. The 2 Bears tune Church has been picking up lots of plays from lots of people but it is a very beautiful bit of house – loving Raf’s vocals and his lyrics – quite touching really. Then there is the drum n bass: The Break track is from a big D n’ B project apparently and it is always great to hear DJ Die on truly funky form…

You know what to do… just download it or fire it up now. It’s only ruined by my incessant chit chat… and i am only crapping on because I am excited to be getting on that plane to Nairobi !! Ha !

Anyway I have to pack so look out for next weeks show with Jay Strongman, a warehouse party/Mud Club/Dirt Box Special – its pre recorded and is well funky in a 1986 stylee… I loved it, i think you will too

Until I get back, take care – don’t forget the club – The Numbers Crew are down there this week and Southern Hospitality take care of business the week after. Then I am back…

Till Then

Ross
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