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Gilles P reviews Worldwide Awards 2011

January 25, 2011

All said and done and a few days later I feel good about this year’s awards. Don’t quite know why I’d moved it away from Koko after we did it there 5 years ago – maybe that night hadn’t gone as well as I’d hoped – maybe I just wanted it a bit more intimate – whatever, it doesn’t really matter where we do it as long as the music is great.

It was always going to be difficult to better last year’s line up, but I think that the new electronic post-dubstep renaissance going on right now fell at the right time for us. A chance to see how the Mount Kimbie’s and Four Tet’s have developed as well as experiencing the mad excitement around James Blake’s debut – it felt really magical when he came on – big buzz! The key with the show though is to put everything in context as best as possible, so to have laptops and grand pianos with Brandt Brauer Frick, or versions of ‘Giant Steps’ with United Vibrations … the night hopefully joined the dots the way the radio show likes to.

I have to say that backstage was full of artists who all seemed really happy to be involved – no overblown egos (apart from mine!!) and plenty of relieved post-show chats. It was the smoothest awards yet – many thanks to Peggy and Simon and all the Koko tech staff – great work.

The DJs all did a brilliant job – I was surprised as to how good the sound in the venue was for the DJs – Ahu kicked it all off early doors – Lefto filled the next gaps, as well as filming the night… plus doing the RIP tribute… plus dropping some Specials at the appropriate moments during the awards! Pearson Sound and Scuba smashed it as expected – in fact I’m looking forward to playing with Scuba at the Hot Flush party at Panorama Bar in Berlin in July. I was also really pleased to have Nihal spin after Mount Kimbie – his work at Radio 1 doesn’t always get the credit it deserves – and the amount of digging he does shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s always great to do our record swap each week before my show starts at 2am – he nailed it on Saturday, especially as most people had been in the dance since 8pm already! I was particularly happy that Peggy’s timings allowed Michel Cleis a good closing slot – he’s the most chilled house DJ I know – properly zen! I didn’t manage to get any new bits off him though… but he did play his Gotan Project remix which sounded magnificent!

All the artists played for next to nothing which is how we got to put the night on – big ups – and I’m also really pleased that we managed to keep the show totally independent of sponsors etc. – a rare thing today believe me! I’d also like to thank Cubic Zirconia who are a band to seriously watch out for this year – they ‘re so much livelier on stage than on record – they were like MIA meets Karen Finlay meets Millie Jackson with bollocks and the rhythm section was sick!! Tiombe of course is a gem as any of you who’ve followed her through the years can testify… as if all that lot wasn’t enough we were spoilt with the arrival of Flying Lotus – it made up for him being ill at my Festival last summer! He was super humble and genuinely touched by the reaction you gave him – no one deserved the awards more than him this year – ‘Cosmogramma’ is a future classic, his Maida Vale session was in another league, the forthcoming Brainfeeder releases all sound incredible… and he’s started directing videos too – in fact you should check the one he’s just done for Bilal

You know, there were 2 people who came up to me as they were coming up as artists and told me to “Wake up… don’t sleep…”: Leila and Flylo – and both of them reminded me how lucky I am to have such an incredible life working in music …

I’d also like to thank Jerry Dammers for organizing his 20 musician Spatial AKA performance – it was mindblowing watching them do a tribute to Captain Beefheart and Space is the Place – I needed to remind everyone how important Jerry is to British Music today – he not only formed one of the best ever labels, 2 Tone, but wrote some of the greatest pop songs of the post punk generation, ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Free Nelson Mandela’… I first met Jerry 15 or so years ago when he used to DJ at the Jazz Bistro in Farringdon on Friday nights with DJ Brownswood and DJ Skitz – it was there that he’d play deep roots, reggae and ska – way ahead of his time… and of course it was an honour to give him the John Peel ‘Play More Jazz’ award for all that work plus his amazing new group Spatial AKA – thanks Jerry!

So that’s it – Worldwide Awards 2011 – a great night night full of amazing vibes… the only thing I might change next year is the awards bit!!! Maybe Thom Yorke can do the lot next year and I can stand behind him playing the odd tune!

Congrats to all the winners – and Elmo, Dayo, Sanjiv and Boomboy2K from the Brownswood Forum plus Alex Kenning and Alex Patchwork for helping on the voting. Also thanks to Alex P for his unannounced VJ work, Alex K, Lucy and David for all their hard work for my radio show and Josephine Chime for her incredible work as artist in residence and the actual awards she created this year.

Better start working on next year now!

Cheers – Gilles P

BTW the winners were…

Track of the Year
**James Blake – CMYK (R&S)**
Jay Electronica – Exhibit C (Decon)
Quest – Smooth Skin (Deep Medi Musik)
Cee Lo – I Want You (Demo Version)
Jamie Woon – Night Air (Cadent Songs)

Session of the Year
Mount Kimbie
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
**Flying Lotus**
Matthew Halsall
Andreya Triana

Album of the Year
**Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma (Warp)**
Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two (The Return Of The Ankh) (Universal Motown)
Fourtet – There Is Love In You (Domino)
Darkstar – Gold (Hyperdub)
Gil Scott Heron – I’m New Here (XL)

Jazz Album Of The Year
**Jyoti – Ocotea (SomeOthaShip)**
Esperanza Spalding – Chamber Music Society (Heads Up)
Miguel Atwood Ferguson – Mochilla Presents Timeless : Suite For Ma Dukes (Mochilla)
Finn Peters – Music Of The Mind (Mantella)
Nick Rosen – Into The Sky (Porter Records)

Label Of The Year
**Hot Flush**
One Handed Music
Analog Africa

John Peel Play More Jazz Award
Jerry Dammers