Aaron K Gray

aaron

Aaron Kendall Gray was raised in Delray Beach Florida, the youngest of six children, with three elder sisters and two elder brothers. With both his father being pastor, and mother choir director, Gospel has been a huge influence in Aaron’s life. He began singing in church at the age of 5, and at the tender age of 7 he had his first solo, leading the church choir in a rendition of I’m Looking for a Miracle by the Clark Sisters. At the age of 12, he remembers somebody discussing his talent with his mother, saying that he had the potential to do well as a singer, and this was when he felt that his gift could be something quite special. Multi-talented Aaron is also a proficient dancer having danced with Darcel Leonard, (wife of Glenn Leonard, member of the Temptations). He joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999 and he has choreographed various performances for schools, debutant balls churches, and more. Aaron also learned the craft of hair and make-up making him a very skilled personality in most areas of the performing arts.
He recorded his first track aged 14 called “Hang on in There”, but it was never released, however in 2001 he released the R & B album titled “Body Rain”, and his rich vocals brought him to the attention of the music world. Junior White and Noelle Barbera found Aaron, singing in a chapel in Manhattan, and became friends. A few years later, Junior suggested a collaboration in 2014 with himself, Noelle Barbera, and Tony J Humphries which resulted in the much acclaimed Soulful/Gospel House hit ‘Wonder Why’. ‘Wonder Why’ led to a collaboration with Graham ‘Knox’ Frazier and Scott Wozniak which resulted in the release of ‘Hallelujah’, ‘That Feeling’ and the soon to be released ‘Remind Myself’. He has performed with some of the world’s top Gospel artists such as Vickie Winans, John P. Kee, Donnie McClurkin, and Karen Clark Sheard to name a few. Aaron would love to travel and sing to the rest of the world, with aspirations to perform in London and Australia. He would love to perform with Kenny Bobien and Crystal Waters.
Aaron has ministered in various households of faith such as Redemptive Life Fellowship, Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church, All Souls Cathedral, Riverside Baptist Church, and LAISP. When not singing, Aaron loves to cook for his friends and family, watch TV and socialise – he is a spiritual, kind and determined man who has the natural talent and ability to entertain crowds the world over. A rare gem waiting to be discovered.

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DJ Soulchild – Biography

DJ Soulchild UM

A child of the 1960’s, Sean was born in Handsworth, Birmingham where he recounts his earliest musical memories of family parties, his dad spinning at the decks with Caribbean Reggae music in full flow – this was the early roots reggae style and sparked Sean’s love of all things musical.

He recalls a childhood where Sundays were all about church and Gospel music, immersing him in the soulful depths of worship through song. He also fondly remembers the community of the local barber shop where lifelong friendships were founded, the establishment buzzing with conversations about all and sundry, but especially music, and a haircut was just a by-product of the gathering.

These were the years where mainstream music was all about Pop, Rock and Glam Rock and Top of the Pops was the main musical outlet on TV. Although Motown featured sometimes, mainstream music in the UK was predominantly white, and an outlet was sorely needed for music of black origin.

Sean’s first experience as a DJ was at the age of 11 at the school disco, initially under the supervision of a teacher, but by the age of 13 he was running the show single-handedly and enjoying playing the music that he loved to his school friends. At that time his influences included the Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, and The Jacksons but within a few years he was heavily into the 2 tone scene, a fully fledged Rude Boy loving The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter, Madness and Bad Manners, and dressing in the fashions of the ska revival scene. Around this time, multi-ethnic group UB40 put Birmingham on the musical map with their unique blend of reggae and thought-provoking lyrics with blues and dub overtones, and this set the Birmingham vibe buzzing, with Sean soaking up the atmosphere and listening to the sounds that would shape his musical future.

He played football as an apprentice for West Bromwich Albion for 2 years, but retired due to a recurring foot injury. He also worked in the Territorial Army, a solicitor’s office and for the police force. Through the years, he embraced the underground music scene being heavily influenced in the 80’s and 90’s with Jungle, Drum and Bass, US Garage, RnB and especially UK Garage. Mingling with the likes of Fabio and Grooverider, and loving the sounds of Karl ‘TuffEnuff’ Brown, Todd Edwards, MJ Cole, Wookie and Master Stepz, Sean DJ’d (as DJ Conrad) in many clubs and bars and built up a reputation as a solid dance-floor filler, securing residencies in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Peterborough.

He got his first taste of radio as a multi-genre presenter for MixFM in Birmingham, broadcasting the breakfast show, the lovers show (soulful love tracks) and one of the first UK Garage and House shows, playing the sounds of Jeremy Sylvester, Grant Nelson, Keith Sweat, Luther Vandross and Barry White to name a few.

As the new century dawned, and always having taken his fitness quite seriously, Sean concentrated more on his business as a Personal Trainer. He moved to Holland and secured various contracts including training successful Dutch basketball team SPM Shoeters Den Bosch (known as Eiffel Towers Den Bosch). His Personal Training business was going really well until 2011 when Sean suffered a stroke and was surprised to discover that he had a serious heart condition. This was a real wake up call and provoked much soul searching and a whole change of lifestyle for Sean. Appreciating his own mortality was a cathartic experience for him and re-awakened his passion for the music business. He moved to Australia where he continued to work in more moderate forms of personal training such as rehabilitation. While in Adelaide, he took on the alias DJ Soulchild, and secured a regular gig at the Loco Bar in the Casino where he soon became one of the most in demand entertainers in the area. Bringing underground music to the people of Adelaide, Soulchild secured residencies at The Kings Head, The Richmond Hotel and Sean’s Kitchen as well as a regular slot on Soundpond.net where he initiated one of the first radio shows in the region to play predominantly afro, deep and soulful house. He has performed with DJ Ragz, a kindred spirit, and the pair have formed a solid friendship and business partnership with the Urban Movement Entertainments brand. Soulchild promotes many artists around the world, especially the up and coming South African house musicians and now has a reputation as a talented DJ, presenter and interviewer.

The future is bright for Soulchild – a proud father of two lovely daughters and a grandfather to two bright grandchildren, Sean has a passion to set the Brisbane scene on fire with more of the same. He has also recently started to make his own productions which have already been featured by DJs on other radio stations, and this is an area where he continues to hone his craft with enthusiasm and flair. With Urban Movement, Sean has plans to start a national urban radio station and organise and promote music events in Australia and New Zealand. With music, this man is doing what he was born to do – when he talks about music you can feel his passion – it’s not a job, it’s what he loves, lives and breathes, and you can see his spirit come alive through the music.

Eric Roberson – B-sides, Features and Heartaches

Eric Roberson – B-Sides, Features & Heartaches

 eric-roberson-b-sides-features-heartaches-lp-cover

Eric Roberson, sometimes known as Erro comes from New Jersey, USA and is an accomplished singer, songwriter and producer.  A Howard University graduate in the field of Music Theatre, he has been active on the R&B music scene since the 1990’s, releasing his first single ‘The Moon’ in 1994, and has subsequently released several albums, having had most success with Mr Nice Guy in 2011. Eric has worked with prominent artists including Jill Scott, Dwele, Carl Thomas, Osunlade, DJ Spinna and DJ Jazzy Jeff to name a few, and has written songs and provided backing vocals for many others. Eric established his own label Blue Erro Soul in 2001 and has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category for the songs ‘A Tale of Two’ and ‘Still’. He regularly performs live, where he chats and builds a great rapport with his audience in between songs with his entertaining interludes. He is appreciated by many fans worldwide and is one of the most respected independent artists in the music industry.

 

B-Sides, Features & Heartaches is an album of previously unreleased material, hidden gems that should have appeared on previous albums, but somehow did not make the cut. This just goes to show how prolific Eric is with so much incredibly good material in reserve. Where many artists may struggle to find enough good quality tracks to fill an album, Eric has an abundance to choose from and each album track selection must pose a real dilemma for him.

 

‘Let Me Know’ opens the album and is a soulful groove featuring Angela Johnson, The track has a 70’s feel and takes you back to the day, a little reminiscent of funky vibe of the era.

‘Postcards from the Edge’ is an atmospheric hip hop track featuring Washington singer and poet Wes Felton, and is about the life of a travelling artist missing the comforts of home and family life. This track is definitely one of the focal points of the album and will have widespread appeal.

Another pick of the album is ‘Butterfly Girl’ a smooth, inspirational collaboration with DJ Spinna (known for his House and Hip-hop production skills). Eric’s vocal talents shine through in this track which will have you tapping along to the beat, with keyboard and percussion nuances really adding interesting touches to the production.

‘Touch’ features the dreamy vocals and harmonies of South Carolina songstress Collette, as well as the talents of jazz flautist Monet, and is a slow soulful groove for the lovers.

‘Anymore’ is a Hip-hop/Soul fusion track about a couple who have lost the way in their relationship and is a heartfelt lamentation of lost passion.

Far Away Girl features the velvet vocals of Maryland singer/songwriter Aaron Camper , with a gentle guitar melody and is another soulful love song.

‘Fantasy’ is a slow, Nu-soul lovers groove with a broken beat which really showcases Eric’s vocal talents to the max.

‘She was Fly’ features the production talents of Netherlands producers Full Crate and Mar and features interesting percussion with rippling keys, the dream-like ambience making this another album speciality.

‘This could be the Night’ is a collaboration with Detroit musician and producer Zo! (Lorenzo Ferguson) and is an infectious smooth tune which will get you moving along with the beat.

‘Deja-Vous’ featuring innovative French afro duo Les Nubians is quite different from the rest of the tracks on the album. The vocals are a mix of French and English and the track combines a range of genres – Jazz, Nu soul, Afro, Funk and Samba making it quite unique.

‘Be a Humanitarian’ is a motivational track (which could easily be a ‘Live Aid’ anthem) about making a difference in the world with kindness to others and features vocals from Angela Johnson, Gordon Chambers and Kelli Sae amongst others.

‘Games’ is a dance track from Japanese producer M-Swift (Shouhei Matsushita), with Eric’s velvet vocals providing a silky backdrop to the bouncy disco bassline.

‘Fortune Teller’ comes from Atlanta producer DJ Kemit, the percussion giving it a deep Latin Afro feel with a broken beat .

 

B-Sides, Features & Heartaches is a vibrant mixture of songs covering a range of styles and moods. Every track exudes quality which is not surprising considering the combination of respected performers that have contributed to this production. The continuation of his impressive performances and compositions confirms what a hugely talented performer Eric Roberson is.

B-Sides, Features & Heartaches is out now on Blue Erro Records

By Eric Roberson  @IAmEricRoberson

 

 

Derek Fevrier – Damsels and Crooners (Nu-Lovers UK)

Damsels and Crooners

Derek Fevrier has created an album with 24 tracks of high quality lovers rock reggae.

Derek was born in the UK and is of Dominican descent, he has travelled extensively in the Caribbean and worked in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Derek’s production name is Demondo and he has worked with talented reggae artists since the seventies. He plays violin and bass guitar amongst other instruments and has also worked as a session musician.

demondo demondo

An accomplished sound engineer and talented producer, Derek has worked with top French hip-hop, R&B and reggae artists and he also takes time to mentor young sound engineers. He also works with Lymelyte Concert and PA Media supplying sound solutions for events in and around the London area.

Damsels and Crooners features performances from Amaziah, Kofi, King Kalabash, Annette-B, Theresa Jae, Michael Gordon, Frederica Tibbs, Della Grant, Ricardo McKenzie, Klearview Harmonix, Sista Carmen, Dennis Pinnock,  and Ibis Lawrence.

My favourite tracks on the album are ‘See The Dream’, an inspirational track featuring Frederica Tibbs, and ‘One Hello’ and ‘Cupid Sent an Arrow’ two sweet lovers rock vibes featuring the vocal talents of Amaziah.

The sound production quality is excellent on each track, the reggae rhythm guitar strong and punchy and the vocals pitch perfect. This is an album that can be the soundtrack to your day, it is easy to listen to, the songs are catchy – you will find yourself humming them to yourself, and it brings a refreshing dimension to reggae music. Clean up to date production but not losing the familiar reggae vibe that we all know and love.

Have a listen to the tracks here: Damsels and Crooners – preview tracks

Circle of Funk

Circle of Funk

Circle of Funk

Circle of Funk have their roots firmly in Bristol, the music capital of the UK’s South West – all four members – Lee Robinson, Paul Stephenson, Andy Caulfield and Daniel Ankrah were born there.

Bristol has given rise to many music greats including Tricky, Portishead, Roni Size, Danny Byrd, Tears for Fears, Climie Fisher, Stanton Warriors, Smith and Mighty, and the legendary Wild Bunch who later became Massive Attack.

Lee and Paul met at College in Bristol and started out in the music business as “The Cutz”, which soon became one of Bristol’s most prestigious underground Hip Hop shows, and resulted in them being featured as guests on Radio One’s Tim Westwood show.

In 1998 they formed a DJ duo called Culture Shock, their apt name reflecting the extraordinary, envelope-pushing music that they played. They made a name for themselves in and around the bars and clubs of South London, especially around the Brixton area. These haunts included the popular venues of the Bug Bar and Loughborough Junction, and at the end of the evening they would hand out CDs  to the regular clientele. The CD’s were compilations of  UK and US underground music including soulful house, rare groove and funk as well as exclusive promos from important record labels such as Swing City and Defected. The guys had also travelled to New York where they were given promos and music from some of the most prominent and cutting-edge DJs, and these mixes were also included on the CDs. The feedback was extremely positive and Culture Shock gained quite a following, however the name Culture Shock was in no way unique, and the boys needed a name that would make them instantly identifiable from the other DJs, producers and musicians on the scene.

In 2000, Lee’s school buddy, Andy Caulfield joined them and “Circle of Funk” was born. Andy was already an established DJ and Producer from the days of The Cutz, and his combination of musical tastes, refreshing attitude, and talent complemented the group perfectly. The trio were buzzing off the vibe, and compiled more mixed CDs to hand out at gigs. They were in demand for nights such as City Loud and Pushca and were soon given an opportunity by Bristol house music veteran Deli G (The Touch) to play in their home town. The guys were great fans of Deli and he became both a guru and an inspiration for Circle of Funk, helping them out with advice when needed. Deli is still in touch with Circle of Funk and continues to mentor and assist them to this day.

The group’s first international booking came in 2003 when they travelled to beautiful Croatia, full of excitement and not knowing what to expect. Croatia was new territory for UK DJs and a whole new experience for Circle of Funk. They spun at the capital of Zagreb, the coastal town of Zadar and a small village called Koprivnica, making many new friends on their travels, revelling in the vibe and soaking up the culture. Such was the impact of the initial visit, that the boys subsequently returned to Croatia a further three times, receiving a warm welcome each time.

In 2005 social media became a novel and good way of promoting themselves and Circle of Funk created a MySpace page to post their music. They received very good feedback globally, and it also allowed them to listen to a whole network of other musicians via the wonders of the internet, hence opening up a whole new window of opportunity for them. Circle of Funk felt that their music was improving enough to approach vocalists and they contacted Mandy Senior who was working with Basement Jaxx at the time. Mandy gave them the chance to remix her track “Games”, and this coincided with the boys’ decision to create their own label – “Slapped up Soul”.

In 2006 Slapped up Soul came to fruition with “Games” being the very first release. Circle of Funk distributed the single around as many of the London record shops as they could including the legendary vinyl joints: Uptown, Black Market, Know How records, Bar Vinyl and Vinyl Junkies. They soon realised that they couldn’t distribute the record as widely as they needed to, and their close friend Derek told them about a distribution company called One Nation. One Nation loved the track and took all of the copies to sell (except for a few which the group kept as souvenirs). This was the first and only time that Circle of Funk produced vinyl. The digital age was dominating the music scene and many DJs were ditching their vinyl in favour of new technology.

Lee became a MySpace addict, enthusiastically connecting with other musicians and producers worldwide. He formed a strong friendship with a young producer from Bristol called Daniel Ankrah a.k.a. Blackjack and introduced Blackjack’s music to the other members of the group. The boys met up with Daniel to work on a project initially, but everybody soon agreed that Daniel should become the fourth member of Circle of Funk, and so the trio became a quartet.

In 2007 Lee and Paul travelled to their first Winter Music Conference in Miami and networked with some of the DJs, producers and artists that had inspired them from afar. They used the opportunity to promote “Games” further, giving the vinyl to the people who they had been unable to reach before. It was in Miami that they met Tank Martinez who touched them with his words of wisdom, telling them to believe in themselves and giving them some new-found confidence. Sadly Tank Martinez has since passed away, but he lives on in Circle of Funk’s consciousness and a future release will be dedicated to his memory.

They returned to the UK motivated and inspired, and it wasn’t long before the next release was completed – The Janet Walsh EP which featured the tracks “In the City” and “M4 Movements”. This time the release was promoted digitally to various DJs and producers around the world, and the boys were delighted to receive their first positive feedback from the New York Legend DJ/Producer Jon Cutler.

In 2009 Circle of Funk were invited to play at the Winter Music Conference in Miami while promoting their fourth release on Slapped Up Soul – “Control Room”. It was very well received both in the US and the UK, and helped to enhance the label’s reputation further. The track grabbed the attention of Phil Asher, head of the Restless Soul label and production team, and a turning point came when Phil placed “M4 Movements” at the top of his “Ten ‘outta ten” UK chart in the February 2009 edition of DMC magazine.

Producing music is more than a hobby for the Circle of Funk boys – it is both a passion and a way of life, their unique talents being a gift from God. They are a group that like to surprise their audience by pushing the boundaries of dance music, and their diverse cultural heritage (the group have ancestors from Jamaica, West Africa, and Ghana as well as the UK) is reflected in the depth and richness of their deep soulful house grooves.

Their musical influences originated in the 80’s soul music scene with performers such as Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Adeva, Loose Ends and Kym Sims. Their inspiration grew with 90’s Old School hip hop where they became more immersed in the music around them and started to follow legendary producers including DJ Premier from Gang Starr, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Kenny Dope, J Dilla, MF Doom, Mobb Deep, Heltah Skeltah, A Tribe Called Quest, Notorious BIG, EPMD, and Public Enemy. In fact the first LP that Lee bought was “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back” by Public Enemy.

Paul became heavily involved in the competitive DMC Turntablist scene in the mid 90’s and he started to follow celebrated DJs including Stevie Dee, Rob Swift, Mista Sinista, DJ Qbert and the late Roc Raida.

The boys enthusiastically absorbed as much knowledge as they could from their older peers such as Grant and Delge from Massive Attack, Tricky, Roni Size, Stanton Warriors, Deli G, Mike Shaw, DJ Lynx, and other extended family members, friends, and associates from Bristol’s vibrant musical landscape.

Circle of Funk continue to cement their reputation in the production world and are currently receiving great feedback from the likes of David Harness, Andy Ward, Josh Milan, Phil Asher, Jon Cutler, Boddhi Satva, Abicah Soul, CJ Mackintosh, Grant Nelson, Hippie Torales, Graeme Park, Tyrone Francis, Bugz in the Attic, Simbad and many more.

The boys have been invited to remix tracks by many artists including Louise Golbey, Rightside ft Ronnie Canada, Alliance DC ft Rachael Calladine, and MrBougx from South Africa which is due for release towards the end of 2013 and already receiving ravg reviews.

They have also been delighted to feature remixes from “Flex” aka Paul Francombe who has known Dan from their schooldays. Flex’s remixes have featured on Circle of Funk’s releases of “On Fire”, “In Love” and most recently “Invisible” ft Robert Owens.

Robert Owens is a well-established artist, having featured on many great house tracks including Frankie Knuckles and Satoshi Tomiie’s classic hit “Tears”. The boys regard it a great honour and pleasure to have collaborated with such an inspiring and talented artist, and Robert has played a major role in reinforcing their belief in what they do.

They are also working with top male and female vocalists such as close friend Lifford Shillingford (who featured on Artful Dodger’s “Please Don’t Turn Me On” and “Something”), Natasha Watts – Purple Music (Soul Survivors Best New Artist 2013), Dawn Tallman, Frances Mary and Charlene Samms.

Circle of Funk promise some exciting future releases including a collaboration with one of their idols – Mr V, as well as working with a variety of artists to produce different genres of music including Nu Soul, Downtempo and Electronica. There is always an element of surprise in their work which they hope will keep their music edgy and intriguing.

They recently teamed up with soulful house producers Wipe the Needle (Lee Gomez and Mikael Nybom). We can expect some dynamite project collaborations and remixes from this heavyweight force who will be not only producing deep house music, but also groundbreaking downtempo, nu soul sounds.

The fans can look forward to several international gigs planned with live singers, a label launch party for Slapped Up Soul and its artists, more free exclusive downloads of back-catalogue works and mixes, Circle of Funk merchandise, a brand new interactive website and a new radio show, all coming very soon.

Look out for much more to come, and a bright and bold future as Circle of Funk continue to move forward, bringing innovation, vibrancy  and ingenuity to the dance music arena.

Discography:

Double Trouble (COF Vocal mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Double Trouble (COF More Trouble mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Double Trouble (Wipe the Needle remix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts, Wipe the Needle 2013
Double Trouble (Wipe the Needle dub) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Double Trouble (COF More Trouble radio mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Double Trouble (COF Instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Double Trouble (Wipe the Needle Instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Natasha Watts 2013
Wash Away (Circle of Funk remix) MrBougx, Marie Tweek, Circle of Funk 2013
Wash Away (Bruk remix) MrBougx, Marie Tweek, Circle of Funk 2013
Invisible (COF Original mix) Circle of Funk, Robert Owens 2013
Invisible (COF Instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Robert Owens 2013
Invisible (Flex’s Garage Mix) Circle of Funk, Robert Owens, Flex 2013
Weigh a Ton (Circle of Funk remix) Louise Golbey, Circle of Funk 2013
In Love (Original Mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2013
In Love (COF Soulful mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2013
In Love (Flex’s 90’s House Groove) Circle of Funk, Lifford, Flex 2013
In Love (Original Instrumental Mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2013
In Love (COF Soulful Instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2013
In Love (Acapella) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2013
I Can’t Help Myself (Circle of Funk’s NYC old skool Garage Dub) Rightside, Ronnie Canada, Circle of Funk 2013
Take Me Now (Circle of Funk remix) Alliance DC, Rachael Calladine, Circle of Funk 2013
2 Single Bongos (Original mix) Circle of Funk 2012
Give it to Me (instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Give it to Me (vocal mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Feelin It (Original mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Feelin It (Instrumental mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Feelin It (COF String Radio mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Feelin It (Original Radio mix) Circle of Funk, Lifford 2012
Soulstream (Vocal mix) [Connections EP] Circle of Funk, Natasha Watts 2011
Soulstream (Instrumental mix) [Connections EP] Circle of Funk, Natasha Watts 2011
Be Gone (Vocal mix) [Connections EP] Circle of Funk, Natasha Watts 2011
Be Gone (Instrumental mix) [Connections EP] Circle of Funk, Natasha Watts 2011
On Fire (Blackjacks broken vox mix) Blackjack, Frances Mary 2011
On Fire (Original vocal mix) Blackjack, Frances Mary 2011
On Fire (Flex’s old school mix) Blackjack, Frances Mary, Flex 2011
On Fire (COF mix) Circle of Funk, Frances Mary 2011
On Fire (“Let me chill” original instrumental) Blackjack, Frances Mary 2011
On Fire (Flex’s old school mix instrumental) Blackjack, Frances Mary, Flex 2011
Control Room (original mix) Circle of Funk 2010
Control Room (drum mix) Circle of Funk 2010
London Groove [Fear of Time EP] Circle of Funk 2010
Organic House [Fear of Time EP] Circle of Funk 2010
In the City [Janet Walsh EP] Circle of Funk 2010
M4 Movements [Janet Walsh EP] Circle of Funk 2010
Games (vocal mix) Circle of Funk, Mandy Senior 2010
Games (instrumental) Circle of Funk, Mandy Senior 2010

Disturbed

I saw Disturbed at the Burswood Dome in Perth in 2011, with Trivium as support, and I thought that they were really good live. The whole show was very polished, and Dave Dramain really got the crowd engaged with his showmanship.

The band come from Chicago and consist of Dave Dramain – vocalist, famed for his guttural noises (which reminds me a bit of the Exorcist) on songs like Down with the Sickness; Dan Donegan on guitar; John Moyer on bass; Mike Wengren on drums.

Dave Dramain

They are most famous for Down with the Sickness, an angry ranting song from an abused child to his mother, which was really groundbreaking in terms of lyrical content. This song contains some of the guttural noises “A- wa-a-a-ah”,  and I really like it. I find that metal bands where the vocalist just growls throughout hard to digest and a bit of assault on the ears, but Dave adds just enough growl to make it interesting and he really has a melodic rock voice which makes his vocals very different from other bands. The rant at the end of the song is quite powerful.

Disturbed

Another Disturbed song which I love is Stupify, I love listening to this song when I am angry. It has not always been clear what the song is about, as quite often the lyrics are cryptic, but some have suggested racism and struggles against society.

The Game is another classic, I guess about a relationship with a manipulative girl.

The band first came to prominence in 1998 after starting out under the name ‘Brawl’. Their first album The Sickness got to number 29 on the Billboard top 100, and the band supported Marilyn Manson on tour in 2001. Since then they have gone on to produce quality albums such as Believe, Ten Thousand Fists and Indestructible. In 2011 the band had a bit of a break and are yet to regroup, each member being involved in different projects. They plan to get back together at some point, but nobody knows when this will be.

Disturbed are a clever band, creating unique songs about diverse subjects, with a very talented unique frontman – I think their music will be around for many years to come.

Goldie

Goldie

Goldie

Goldie – what an inspiration this man is – is there anything he can’t do ?

He pretty much invented Drum and Bass, he is an accomplished actor, and a very talented artist.

He was born Clifford Price and is known as Goldie not because of his gold teeth, but because of his golden dreadlocks that he used to wear. He was brought up in foster care and made his name as a young break dancer and graffiti artist in the Midlands.

When he released his first album in 1995 – “Timeless” featuring Diane Charlemagne on the title track, the album succeeded in introducing the drum and bass genre to the masses. The album was a huge success, and really is ‘timeless’ because the tracks sound as good today as they did in the 90’s. It really is a classic. Goldie also has his own record label called Metalheadz.

Goldie has acted in various films including Snatch (one of my favourite movies), The World is Not Enough (crikey he’s even been in a Bond movie), and Everybody Loves Sunshine.

He has also exhibited his own artwork – I love his contemporary unique style. In his younger days he was a very prolific graffiti artist, and I have read somewhere that it was his art teacher who gave him the support to make something of his life.

Artwork by Goldie

Artwork by Goldie

Goldie’s first major album release, Timeless, wasn’t just a collection of songs that he put together on an album, it was more a musical work of art, groundbreaking and complex. Ethereal, orchestral in places, with deep basslines and lots of new arrangement ideas which had not been seen before. There are two tracks on this album which I love to bits – “Angel” and “Timeless”. “Timeless” is quite a long track and the best part of it is Diane Charlemagne singing “Inner City Life” which is available to buy as a subset of the track.

I like Angel because it makes me feel good inside, it’s a really hopeful track – Angel of my soul, stay with me, don’t let go, then as the song goes on it becomes quite dark and crunchy before pulling you back to the light before the end.

I like Inner City Life/Timeless because of the emotion that Diane puts into the vocals, and I really love the whole orchestral feel of the full version of the track – it takes place in a series of connected movements.

After Timeless, he then went on to make “Ring of Saturn”, “Saturnz Return” and “Sine Tempus”, and more recently he has made a ‘best of’ album called “The Alchemist”.

It also seems that he has fought a lot of demons in his life, but recently found stability with his lovely wife Mika and his passion for Bikram yoga which calms him down. His previous relationships have been quite openly documented – it can’t be easy to live a regular life in the glare of publicity.

He really is a modern day genius, how many people get to pretty much invent a music genre, and then have a presence in all the forms of arts – dance, painting, acting, writing and music ?

Goldie is still heavily involved in the music scene, regularly featuring at Fabric in London as well as other worldwide venues, usually with MC LowQui.

I wonder what form his next reinvention will take ? I’m sure it won’t be boring.