Friday, 13 November 2009

Romy's Chart Rundown


Tantz


Ghettoway

Hectic a.k.a Mr Hekz
For those wanting to hear some of the best hip hop & grime talent in Ipswich, check out DJ Romy's chart rundown broadcast on the 6th November 2009 on ICRFM 105.7frm. (Click the link below & fast forward to 3:20)
EXTERNAL LINKS TO ICRFM LISTEN AGAIN
5 - Mr Hekz - Kiss Me Through The Phone
4 - Demus - No Need For An AK
3 - Ghettoway - Danger Zone
2 - Tantz - Freestyle
1 - T - Im Better Than You
Many thanks again to DJ Breeze for hosting this feature on his excellent Urban Beat Show (12-2am every thursday) We look forward to doing this as a regular feature on the show so make sure you listen.
Romy is young spiring DJ from Ipswich who is working with Blessed Love Studios as part of his media training.



Monday, 9 November 2009

Blessed Love featured on Mixcloud!





We just started using the excellent mixcloud and have been made a featured artist all ready!
Was it the excellent mash up's and seamless blending in 'Bass Culture 1' or the cheeky rip off artwork of the Clash 'London Calling' album?
Check it out yourself here :


Loads of good stuff on there (not just by us) so i recomend you check it out!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Lee Scratch Perry v Skream & Zomby



First off an excellent dub meets dubstep mix entitled 'dubsteppin' from our friends Shimmy Shimmy





Dubsteppin mix


Some excellent tracks on this mix, lots of classic riddims given the heavy bass n snare dubstep treatment and will be loved by those who like dubstep but are left cold by the lack of a human presence in a lot of the genre.

Lee Scratch Perry versus Skream & Zomby 15 min dubstep mash

15min dubstep mash up, Lee Scratch Perry v Skream & Zomby by blessedlovestudio
In that spirit of mixing up the best of reggae & dub with the crunked up sounds of Croydon we have our latest 15 min mashups from ICRFM DJ Breeze Urban Beat Show. Inspired after watching the 'differently sane' Lee Scratch Perry Interview from youtube including the one pasted below from Jools Holland in Jamacia (1985)before his 'exile' too Switzerland. Track list below

Sub Atomic Sound System v Lee Scratch Perry 'respect the foundation'

Skream 'Babylon timewarp'

Bob Marley 82' interview

Zomby 'Spliff dub'

Scuba 'Twista'

Collie Budz 'Come around'

Lee Perry Jools Holland interview 84

Skream 'Lightning dub'

Zomby 'The lie'

Friday, 7 August 2009

Dadda : big noise from Jamrock



Amir Jahfar Fyffe, popularly known as "DADDA" is one of the best new things we have heard out of jamrock (Jamaica) for a long time. We have not a clue how old he is, but when someone is as talented as this, who cares? What we do know is that Dadda is the nephew of veteran dancehall female artist "lady g" (janice fyffe) and the grandson of kenroy fyffe,"tallash" who have done back up vocals for artist such as "cornell campbell" "bunny wailer" "i jahman levi" "congos ashanti" and the list goes on!! dadda had performed on most of the major events and festival held in Jamaica...lets hope he visits the UK soon.
Below is his excellent tribute to Robert Nester Marley, which we would love to know where to buy/download as we are itching to play this, and as soon as we find out we will let you know...hopefully we can do an interview as well.

Gun's dont kill people...Major Lazer (remixes) do!








If you have been living in a cave, or somewhere like Ipswich perhaps, you might not have picked up on Major Lazer's exellent bombastic bashment album project 'Guns don't kill people, Lazer's do'.


We recomend you buy the album, but to wet your appetite we have posted a link to this excellent re-rub by dj cheezy p. There is a whole 'assload' of mixes at our friends blog http://schakkerhart.com/ (60 in total)

We also have to thank the excellent chromekids for tipping us off on this one

Friday, 24 July 2009

RESPECT FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2009


Here is a heads up on this years Respect Festival; an event that is very dear in our hearts, and is growing each year into a major event for Suffolk and the region. The event promotes unity and diversity in the area and combines with the Ipswich Carnival and the organisation 'Love Music, Hate Racism' as well as BBC 1xtra . Last years event was a huge success (See the videos below) but this year is going to be even bigger with the event taking place at the prestigious new Suffolk University Building on the Waterfront (See picture below). As usual there will be a fantastic selection of food, stalls, workshops and more. Last year saw Big Brother Finalist, Darnell Swallow, perform at the stage on the Suffolk College campus and of course acts from Blessed Love Studio who travelled from London and were knocked out by the response from the crowd. Another highlight was performances from young artists from The Waterfront Community Centre's Youth Music Club that BLS helps run.


We already know the identity of this years headliner but are sworn to secrecy, but you can be sure that they are a big star who draws even bigger headlines and......oh i better stop before i give it away!


This years venue for Respect : Suffolk University Campus,Ipswich







Thursday, 23 July 2009

Download some datsik dubstep









Well actually you cant! But at least you can play it and share it using soundcloud.com. However there is a lot on the site you can download but i wanted to share with everyone these two very tasty productions from the producer Datsik and Bar9 that have been re-edited by the producer Elite Force he currently releases on his own 'U&A' imprint, as well as on Lot 49 and DJs around the globe on a regular basis. He also has an excellent blog for those who like thier beats broken, wobbly and tech funk. Go visit them at
http://techfunkmanifesto.blogspot.com/

Friday, 17 July 2009

Old Skool Funk & Hip Hop Mix







We are now hosting our mixtapes and mash ups with soundcloud.com who provide a much more user friendly experience; and to celebrate this fact here is a vintage mix of funk and hip hop classics from a set performed at mine and DJ Crash n Burns 'Supraphon' night that ran for nearly five years at The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane. Those were the days, Sticky eyes and smokey floors(?) and endless 'party breaks' and rare groove classics till late into the night (Well 1am at the latest thanks to 'morality police' at Tower Hamlets licencing department) This is for those that remember.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

UK BASS CULTURE VOL 2 MIXTAPE





Track List

Ini Kamoze : World a reggae
Singer Blue : If i know Jah
Richie Spice : Youth So Cold
A-tola : Soundbwoy (Feat. Skinnyman,Dready,Rukus,J2K)
J-Star : Tooting Gangstar
Drump up sound (Bootleg)
Blacktwang : Redletters
Rodney P : Riddim Killer
Dead Pres v Roots Manuva (Tommy2bob mash up)
Roots Manuva ; Witness (Dub version)
Akala : This is London
Kellis v Capleton ; Trick me
Dizzie Rascal : Oldskool (7"breaks mix)
Caveman : Im ready
Chase n Status feat Kano : Against all odds
Diplo : Diplo riddim
Sunship & Warrior Queen : Almighty Father
Skream v Linton Kweisi Johnson (Tommy2bob mash up mix)
Ice Cube v Beenie Man (Tommy2bob mash up)
Nextmen : Piece of the Pie
LP/Blessed Love Studios : Roots n Narm

This is part two of our 'Bass Culture' mixtape that blends the best of UK black music from the 1980's to present day. Part one can be found here : http://blessedlovestudios.blogspot.com/2008/12/heroes-of-uk-bass-culture-1977-2008.html

Or just play it here :

Part one has been downloaded 340 times from djmixtape.net to date, and i hope part two is as popular. It took so long to complete this one because i was waiting for a couple of tracks to come out like Ms Dynamites 'Bad Gyal', but i still have not got my copy yet so it will have to wait till vol 3.

Like Part One the mix is not exclusively from UK artists, but they are all tracks that have become associated and championed by the UK black music scene in general.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Dubstep Poetry. Part One, an LKJ Mashup






Here at BLS we love dubstep, but the sparse minimal beats are often crying out for some vocals and spoken word and poetry seems to work much better than rapping/spitting. We are currently working on some new studio tracks in collaboration with the veteran Poet and writer Jon Row with help from the band the Hipniks. You will be able to hear that on these pages soon.

In the meantime i was inspired by Malorie Blackman's (author of 'Noughts and Crosses')recent TV documentory 'My Life In Verse' that featured some of my favourite poets, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Benjamin Zephaniah. (Watch it here)

Linton Kwesi Johnson's 'Dread Beat An Blood' album produced by dub master Dennis Bovell was the album that turned me onto both dub and spoken word/poetry in the 1980's. Revolutionary music and words that seems just as relevant to society today.

What better way to highlight this than to mash up some vintage verse and interviews with L.K.J with the best of the music that is the new dub reggae, and specifically by the master of the genre called dubstep, namely Skream. The tracks are Digital Mystic's remix of 'Request Line', 'Lightning Dub' and the 'Get Up, Stand Up' sampling 'Babylon Timewarp'. The L.K.J verse is culled from two TV interviews/features pasted below where LKJ counters accusations that he was partly for responsible for the 1981 Brixton Riots and one of the poems itself 'The Great Insurrection'.




We are also loving this deeply dubby disco LKJ mix from the Noodleman : check him out here http://soundcloud.com/thenoodleman
LKJ - Reggae Sounds (The Noodleman Dub) by The Noodleman

Monday, 18 May 2009

Human Beat Box versus Auto Tune



The art of beat boxing seems to have got a much higher profile and recognition as an art form recently. Partly due to the higher profile of artists such as Rahzel, Kenny Muhammad,Matisyahu and Kila Kela not forgeting our personal favourite,Biz Markee.
Highly rated UK human beatbox,Shlomo , recently became a resident artist at the South Bank and performed classical music with a human beat box orchestra.
PRESS RELEASE: HUMAN BEATBOXER BECOMES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE AT SOUTHBANK CENTRE

Rudey Beat Box

Now the purpose of this article is to showcase the talents of our own walking drum machine, Rudey Beat Box, who you may have checked out in our video section. (See video below of Rudey in the studio.





Rudey has that amazing ability to do do several simitaneous noise with his mouth and reproduce singing and beats at the same time. This ability is not new and decends from an ancient Indian tradition of 'talking drums' and immitation of percussion instruments. Make sure you check out his myspace page : http://www.myspace.com/rudeybeatbox

We recently relented and bought the vocoder like effect Antares Auto Tune, despite being already extreamly bored by the overuse of the technique by T-Pain, Lil'Wayne and the rest.
We think the trick with this effect is to use it in a minimal fashion and experiment with it. In that spirit we recently got Rudey to lay down some oral gymnastics in the studio and see what the results sounded like all auto tuned up! See what you think by selecting the recording (Track 18) on the reverbnation player on the sidebar. The recording has no other effects on it and was recorded in one take with no overdubs. Rudey will hopefully be doing a video tutorial on Beat Boxing on these pages soon, so check back.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

PARTY HARDER!



Gabriel from the heatwave just sent us this great bashment refix of Donaeo's 'Party Hard'. Featuring verses from dancehall MCs Capleton, Vybz Kartel, Danny English and Rubi Dan.

The link is below :

DONAEO PARTY HARD HEATWAVE BASHMENT MIX

Gabriel has also written an excellent article on the Jamacian Bashment scene getting down to funky house. Check it out

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

LION I : MANY VOICES LP






We are very proud to announce the arrival of Lion I's debut album 'Many Voices', especialy as we were lucky enough to be in the studio in Portman Road when he recorded it. Not that he needed our help; Lion produced the whole album largely by himself ; triggering the record button in the control room and then running into the booth before his drop came in. ACO also contributed to the production and judging by his reception at this years Mayday Festival, his new material had one of the biggest reactions of the whole day. Sorry YT, you were good but you'll never have the energy of this young (18) bashment producer, DJ and singer who melds grime and reggae together with passion and intensity.


Not only a sick producer and artist, Lion I has ben producing a great series of DVD mixtapes under the name 'Out In Da Stix' (Vol1 & 2 out now) as well as his own promotions and events.


More of his music is on his Myspace page ( http://www.myspace.com/lioni ) and im sure you can ask him for copies of his album if you contact him via his page.


For now enjoy some of his video pre views and highlight track (for us) 'Run Like Mascara' is in our reverb nation player. I am sure BLS & Lion I will be teaming up soon for some exclusives for you.




Lion I came to our studios in Camberwell last year and blowed us all away with this freestyle :

COOLY G


We dont bother with 'snarking' here at BLS when there is such fantastic new music and talent out there.
We are very excited to discover this exciting new female producer (at last)
She's from Brixton, a semi pro footballer and a top tribal house DJ and producer. Her beats & productions have a shuffling, shifty quality reminicent of wookie and land somewhere between UK Funky and Dustep. Now on the Hyperdub label who release new track 'Narst' (Narst ; abbrievation of nasty, meaning good. Eg 'That new Cooly G track is narst bruv!') is out now on 12". If you want somthing now from Cooly G then download the mix below by Cooly G herself. (Follow the violet link)


1 Cooly G - Weekend Fly
02 Martin Kemp - No Charisma
03 Sami Sanchez - What
04 Fingaprint - Print Rolla (Cooly Special)
05 Fuzzy Logik - Safari
06 Cooly G - Narst
07 Audio Halls Beat - Dougs Wana
08 Mista P - Funky Interlude
09 Cooly G - Dis Boy Pt 4
10 Mista P - Physic
11 T. Williams - Tight
12 T. Williams & Smokey - Dub
13 NB Funky - Riddim Box (Sami Sanchez Remix)
14 Unknown - Unknown
15 Halo & Kemal - African Dream
16 Hard Soul - Self Religion (Believe In Me)
17 Bopstaz at Work - Always Into Journey
18 DJ Gregory - Vasefa Argy Mix
19 Cooly G - Hard
20 Slisonic - Can U
21 Cooly G - Love Dub Refix
22 Dennis Ferrer - Touch the Sky
23 DJ Gregory - Attend 2
24 Frank Rodger - Nothing Feels the Same
25 Jovonn - New York City Banger
26 Iza Tonic - Full Eclipse


(Above) Cooly G in the Studio

We would love to work with Cooly G and would happily let her loose on our back catalogue for remixes. Definately an artist worth looking out for.
Cooly G is on myspace at : http://www.myspace.com/coolyg

Thursday, 7 May 2009

MAYDAY FESTIVAL 2009





The sun shone, the crowds came out in force and Ipswich demonstrated it's wealth of musical talent and diversity in celebration of International Workers Day.

Two of our London acts, Spice and Jamail and Katanya ( http://www.myspace.com/katanyauk) & Luca (http://www.myspace.com/bonetmusic) and got a wonderful responce from the crowds in Alexandra Park and we also saw fantastic performances from some of the acts we are working with in Ipswich such as Lion I, PEP's and B.E.L.I.E.V.E. There was also great performances by our friends DJ Breeze, DJ KC, Tanner and Emkay

Missile Sound did a great job of hosting the urban stage again this year and check out thier website for more video's and photo's of the event (http://www.missilesound.co.uk/)

A highlight for us was the open mic contest that saw our boss man, Culture, get to the last rounds despite being three times the age of the rest of the contestants, before humbly bowing out to some of Ipswich's best young spitters (Well done to our very own Shottboy who just missed out on getting the cup to Crisiskid)

Check out the videos and slide show below















BELOW : Katanya & Luca and Spice & Jamail warm up for the event at BLS Ipswich HQ before the event





Thursday, 2 April 2009

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRIME : THE EVOLUTION OF GRIME MUSIC & CULTURE


This was written for students on the CSVMedia Alternative Curriculum program as a result of the lack of decent articles on the history and development of this important youth culture and division of the UK ‘urban’ music scene. Thanks to students Green Eyez, Seriouz, Black D and Boy T who contributed to the research for this article.
The 'lesson' can be delivered in an hour, but could be extended to two hours with discussion and ‘brainstorming’ exercises.

Introduction

Read extracts from article by Dan Hancox in The Gaurdian ‘The triumph of grime’
What does the article say about the Grime scenes relationship with the music industry?
In what ways is Grime compared to the punk scene of the late 70’s?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/14/music-grime-dan-hancox

After a look at some of the videos and music clips selected, as well as discussion of what the individual genres mean ;students arrange cards (with the dates removed) into the correct chronological order


EARLY UK CALYPSO AND SKA ARTISTS AND SOUNDSYSTEMS
1950's-1960's


Lord Kitchener
Trinidad Calypso artists came to the UK in 1949. Calypso was a Caribbean folk music that emerged in the beginning of the 2oth century and had a lot of similarities with rap/grime in that it often was about daily struggles in life of poor people (Lack of food, fuel or the opposite sex!) Ska, a dance music famous for its 'skanking' rhythm was a Caribbean take on early US rhythm n blues, and first became popular in Britain in the 1960's.
Key Artists:
Lord Kitchener
Lord Beginner (real name: Egbert Moore)

(Below Lord Kitchener performs 'If your not white your black')




FIRST UK ‘DJ,s’ / MC ‘s
LATE 1970’s EARLY EIGHTIES


Papa Levi
Reggae music, a Jamaican take on US rhythm and blues was exported to England in the late 1960's and was taken to heart by not only the UK's Caribbean community but the wider UK population as well, especially by white working class teenagers. Out of this came the 'Skin head' and 'Rude Boy' subcultures. The artists below were undoubtedly the first modern M.C's (Referred too confusingly as DJ's in Jamaica) who would 'toast' or 'chat' over instrumental 'riddim' tracks imported from Jamaica. As the 1970's went on, more and more of these DJ's were producing their own music in the UK and even exported it back to the Caribbean (Like the Greensleves & Fashion record labels)
Key Figures:
Saxon (Sound System)
Papa Levi
Tippa Irie

Greensleves Records, Fashion Records


See also :
An-England-Story-how-Jamaica-changed-the-voice-of-teenage-Britain

Below : Papa Levi performs his hit 'Mi God, Mi King' with Saxon Sound in 1984





EARLY UK HIP HOP 1980 0nwards.

London Posse

The first UK rappers often copied the US language, terminology and accent of their US peers. However as UK hip hop matured it started to devlope its own unique sound that was often influenced by the earlier UK reggae soundsystems and riddims.
Key Figures
London Posse
Rodney P
Soul 2 Soul
REBEL MC
Hijack, Caveman

Silver Bullit

Below London Posse peform 'How's Life in London'





OLD SCHOOL RAVE/EARLY DRUM N BASS/JUNGLE 1989-1990



Ragga Twins step out....

The acid house explosion in 1989 lead to the development of 'Jungle'. This was a fast (170bpm) form of rave music that often sampled older reggae music and 'chopped up' and 'time stretched' classic funk drum breaks by artists like James Brown. This was the 'urban' form of Rave music that embraced and referenced black music culture more than the electronic forms of 'techno' rave music.

KEY FIGURES :

Shut Up and Dance/Ragga Twins
Nicky Blackmarket, Mickey Finn, Grooverider (DJ's)
Ganga Kru, The Prodigy
Metalheadz/Goldie, the 'Bristol' sound.


Below a video of Shut Up Dance 'Holigan 69'







SPEED GARAGE UK GARAGE/2 STEP
1996 2005




Started of as speeded up version (140bpm) of US vocal garage tracks and evolved into a unique UK style of 'house' music. Where house music had a very basic 4/4 beat structure, UK garage introduced a variation in the beat termed '2 step'. Most famous proponants were South West London's So Solid Crew and Heartless/Pay As You Go crews. The sound was popularised by a rash of pirate radio stations and quickly became infamous and notorious due to the antics of members of So Solid Crew and others in criminal/gang activities and violence at Garage raves. The scene also started to develop a more 'glamorous' style as it moved into bigger clubs like Ministry of Sound and Twice As Nice and was associated with a 'champagne' lifestyle
KEY FIGURES
STICKY
SO SOLID
PAY AS U GO CREW
KELE LE ROC
MJ COLE
187 LOCKDOWN

Below :Video of UK Garage classic, Ms Dynamite & Sticky : Boo





GRIME ‘PROPER’ 2001



The one and only Wiley

This is where it gets interesting with various people claiming 2000-2001 as the birth of 'grime'. Here is what wikipedia has to say :

"Grime music is typified by complex 2-step breakbeats, generally around 140 beats per minute and constructed from "different" sounds.Stylistically, grime takes from many genres including UK Garage, dancehall and hip hop.The lyrics and music combine futuristic electronic elements and dark, guttural bass lines.
According to Sasha Frere-Jones, writer for The New Yorker, grime has developed a fierce sound by "distilling" rhythms to a minimal style resulting in a choppy, off-center sound. Whereas hip hop is inherently dance music, the writer argues that "grime sounds as if it had been made for a boxing gym, one where the fighters have a lot of punching to do but not much room to move." "

The birth of grime co-incided with the creation of Blessed Love Studios, and we certainly remember first hearing the term in about 2001 (Along with 'sublow' and 'eski-beat') Certainly Wiley's Eski beat and Musical Mobs 'Pulse X' were in heavy rotation in the youth clubs we worked in, but at this stage it was East London were this scene was 'blowing up'.

Below is a key scene from the 'Lord of the Mic's' Mixtape (Which hit the streets in 2004 we think) that typifies the energy and excitement of the scene at the time. (Be warned contains offensive lyrics)





Dubstep 2006-2007


Skream


Dubstep is distinguished by its dark mood, sparse rhythms, and emphasis on bass. Dubstep started to spread beyond small local scenes in late 2005 and early 2006 originating in the South London borough of Croydon. Dubstep has continued to be a largely instrumental genre that has put back the producer/DJ back in the front seat and has not widely used MC's. Notable cross over track into the grime scene would be Benga and Coki's track 'Night'.

Below Burial's haunting dubstep track 'Archangel'



'Rhythm N Grime' 2007-8


N-Dubz

Basically this is when grime went 'pop'. Early traiblazer Dizzie Rascal demonstrated that Grime artists could make an impact on the pop charts and get daytime airplay on commercial/mainstream radio. Its grime that your grandma might enjoy, but snide comments aside this could be the genre of UK urban music that finally makes an impact in the US who have always been bemused by British music of Black origin. Recent sucsess for Adele, Dizzie and Estelle in the states demonstrate the strength of British music of Black origin.
Key Figures : NDubs, Chipmunk, DJ Ironik



2008 FUNKY HOUSE/BASSLINE



Donaeo parties hard!

Hugely popular right now and is fast becoming the scene former grime artists want to jump onto. Its commercial, funky, does not scare of the ladies and most importantly gets daytime airplay. A big factor in the rise of funky house/bassline is that it is almost impossible to now liscence a grime or hip hop rave due to panic/fear about its association with gang violence.



ADDENDUM

Discussion : The future of grime

With referance to the concerns of the public/media of grimes link to gang crime/black on black killings and the almost impossibility of putting on Grime based music events (see previous posting Grime & Punishment : How the authorities are crimanalising youth culture) is the grime scene dead/dying? Has the rise of funky house/bassline in recent months signalled that 'urban' music fans have moved on from Grime
Is grime going to reach its tenth birthday?

Monday, 30 March 2009

Dusty Old Mixtapes




Whilst clearing out our old studios in Camberwell (more news on our much improved premises coming soon) i found a whole load of old minidisk recordings of our DJ sets (Good format the minidisk, shame it lost out to crappy CDR disks that scratch and skip after three plays!)

First to be uploaded is this vintage Deep House mix from 1997 (remember when Tony Blair was popular?) recorded in Brick Lane E1 (Some may remember the parties at 62 Cheshire Street which this was recorded at)

Funky House is getting popular again so we might be 'diggin in the crates' for our old house sets.

The link to the mix is here : Deep House 1997 Mixed by Tommy2Bob. You can download or stream it in pretty good quality.(Larger format MP3)

Can't remember the exact tunes or order but it includes classics from the Nuphonic label and some early UK garage tracks.


Faze Action : In The Trees

Funky Green Dogs : Reach for me

MJ Cole : Sincre

Soul Ascendants : Tribute

Black Jazz Chronicals : Snooky's Spirit

Ten City : Nothings Changed

Blaze : Moonwalk

Yellow Sox : Flim Flam

Free Chicago Movement : Recognize


Worth a download for the Funky Green Dogs 'Reach 4 Me' played here in its full original mix before i wore out the vinyl by playing it in every set i played!


Sunday, 29 March 2009

Blessed Love Studios in Africa!


Culture in downtown Accra, Ghana's Capital.


Blessed Love Studios in the form of our founder and CEO, Culture, is on a month tour of Ghana.

As well as taking in pilgrimages to sites of cultural and spiritual significance, he has also been working in the Studio in Accra with some of its upcoming talent in the Hip Hop scene that is simply huge across the continent with its blend of Hi-Life (modern African dance music) and western 'urban' styles. Culture promises to bring back some of this talent back to the UK soon, but he has been put under so much demand as a producer and artist that he has already been laying roots in a fabulous and vibrant country.

He's also been busy shooting a film of his travels. From his calls back to base camp it sounds like he has captured some very special footage of his work in both the slums and the studios of the city all against the backdrop of magnificent beauty of the country and terrible history of the slave trade and colonialism. You know where you will see it first...

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

WATERFRONT MIXTAPE




You can download or stream the entire mixtape from the following link from djmixtape.net :WATERFRONT MIXTAPE 2008

1. Shotz : Get Doe
2.Shotz & VMan: Tears
3.Sketch : I Got Issues
4. Run 4 Cover on Porchy's Kharma beat remixed by 2bob
5. Run 4 Cover (Tempz, Magikool, Reaper, Stranger): Heatwave
6. Shotz, Sparks, Raw kid, Shot Boi, Boy T, Eazy on 'Help Yourself' riddim by Steelblades/Blesed Love Studio's
7. Older Swift and MC Teenie : Tamil Dub
8. Kritikal : Griminal
9. Run 4 Cover (Shotz, Tempz, Magikool, Ringz, Rudey Beat Box ): Right Movements
10. Ringz : Bars Beyond Measure.
11. Shot Boi/Punchliners : Freestyle
12. Kritikal : Fake MC's
13.Run 4 Cover : Joker Boy
14.Blackness (Nico, Bubz, Tiny, Boy T): Light Like Dust
15.Blackness & Run 4 Cover (Tiny, Nico, Magikool) : Ipi's getting cold
16.Blackness (Nico, Bubz,) : Stop Hating
17.Tiny, Hassan, Tempz, Shotz, Magikool, TT, Sparkz : Welcome 2 Ipswich
18.Run 4 Cover & Blackness on Younger Byron's 'The Getaway'
19. Big T (Shadow Block) :Freestyle
20. Sketch: Be Real
21. Vio-lent : 2008 Freestyle
22. Kira & Younger Swift : Struggles

The Artists : Ce Ce, Rochelle, Lauren, Tempz, Magikool, Reaper, stranger, shotz, shot boi, raw kid, kritikal, vman, Nico, Bubz, Tiny, Boy T, big t,hassan, tiny, teenie, sparkz, sketch, older swift, ringz, rudey beat box, mayhem, Kira, Tantrum, L.C.M
The producers : Sketch, Younger Byron, Gillead, Steelblades, Culture, Porchy, B Face, Nathan, Danger Productions
Engineers : Sumon, Kritikal

GLOSSARY: for those not in the know!

Chantry : Housing estate in Ipswich (ip2)

Spit, spittin, spitter : rapping
32'S, 16'S, 8'S : The amount of four beat musical bars that the spitter can perform a freestyle rap on.
Bars : The musical division of beats
Bow E3 : Area of East London renowned for producing Grime Music
boy'd : direspected, attacked
Endz : Nieghbourhood
Kelly Road : Road on the Dickens Estate in Ipswich
Fam : Family, crew or gang
Feds : Policeman
Murk/Murked : A physical or verbal challenge eg "ill murk your bars on that mixtape"
Nacton : Housing estate in Ipswich (IP3)
shank : knife/blade
Stoke : Housing estate in Ipswich (ip2)
bear : lots of eg "bear feds round here"

Recorded between 2007 and 2008 at the The Waterfront Community Centre, this mixtape is seriuously old by grime standards; many of the artists and mc crews on this tape are long gone and have swapped styles and names. Its very raw and rough n' ready, there never being time to master and fix up tracks because of the long line of spitters waiting to get in the booth on wednesday nights. Personal favourite would have to be the now defunct crew Run4cover performing 'joker boi' . Enjoy and share.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

NOEL CLARKE, BAFTA AWARD WINNER, INTERVIEWED BY DJ BREEZE

NOEL CLARKE, BAFTA AWARD WINNER, INTERVIEWED
BY DJ BREEZE

Big supporter and friend of BLS, DJ Breeze, recently caught up with the hugely talented actor and writer, Noel Clarke . In part one of this interview for his urban beat show on ICRFM 105.7FM Noel talks about his recent award nominations.

In part two Breeze talks to Noel about some of the themes in his groundbreaking films, Kidulthood & Adulthood and what inspires him to make his films. Congratulations from us for his outstanding contribution to our understanding of UK street culture and reflecting it honestly and genuinely in his writing and dramatic portrayal as an actor. We loved him in Dr Who as well!
Noel Clarke has just won a BAFTA for the Orange Newcomer Award at the British Film Awards!
http://www.bafta.org/




Noel Anthony Clarke was born and raised in west London attendingprimary, secondary schools and college in the area. It was at school that Noel discovered his love for acting and started doing what would be the only thing he really wanted to do.
Noel can play various roles form Black, mixed race and Latino, but started his professional career in 1999 as mixed race Kwame in Metrosexaulity and has since appeared on our screens many times. Staring or in programmes as varied as, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Jane Halls and Doctor Who.
Noel has also appeared on stage numerous times. Including playing a lead in Christopher Shinn's Royal court play. 'Where do we live?' Directed by Richard Wilson for which Noel won The Laurence Olivier award, for most promising new performer.
Noel Also writes; and wrote an episode of BBC'S Doctor who spin offTorchwood as well as BBC3's commissioned pilot W10 LDN. He also penned as well as starred in Hit British film KiDULTHOOD, picking up a DINARD award for best screenplay as well as a Screen Nation Gong. These stand on his shelf at home next to the action figure of his Dr Who Character Mickey Smith.
Noel currently lives in west London and is working hard to create new and exciting projects to bring to screen.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

CAMO : Artist profile

We are delighted to be working with this up and coming graff artist and photographer. We will feature a more in depth look at Camo and his work with Blessed Love Studios soon, in the meantime check out his Flickr album at :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33158825@N06/

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

How We Will : Shakespeare & Hip Hop




Here at Blessed Love we are always eager to publicise attempts at elevating hip hop & grime culture as an art form and are delighted to tell you about US based theatre company 'How We Will' and their production of Shakespeare plays using the music, dance and art of Hip Hop culture . A daring and bold take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, Twelfth Night. From an inspired idea of BRT’s (Bristol Riverside Theatre) Artistic Director Keith Baker comes this remarkable collaboration with Donald Byrd, acclaimed Broadway choreographer (The Color Purple) and Artistic Director of Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theatre. Bringing together the worlds of contemporary urban and classical theatre in a spectacular mix of music, dance, stirring acting and creativity, WHAT YOU WILL presents TWELFTH NIGHT as you’ve never seen it before.


We have to admit we never really 'got' Will (Shakespeare) and have found all the cod pieces, Elizabethan English language and the cultural elitism that is often associated with it a bit inpenatrable ; but applaud any attempts at updating it. In the UK young people are often put off Shakespeare because of this and up to now we only had Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet updating Shakespeare in a truly contemporary way. Can we suggest an attempt on Chaucer's Canterbury tales in a similar manner? Chaucer was writing before Shakespeare and the language is even more difficult to understand, but the content is fantastically earthy, rude, vulgar and funny and he really exposes the hypocrisy, greed and wickedness of English society that is very timely right now. I think Chaucer would have understood Hip Hop better than Shakespeare as he seemed to be more connected too the 'street' (Or at least 12th century street culture)

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Waterfront Community Centre Studio Re Launch!





The Waterfront Community Centre has hosted this sucsessful Youth Opportunity Fund project for nearly three years in association with Blessed Love Studios. If you aged between 12 and 25 and into music (and live near Ipswich) we would love to see you. Every Wednesday Night 6-9pm.

Friday, 6 February 2009

HOW TO BUILD A RECORDING STUDIO FOR UNDER A GRAND


CASE STUDY : WATERFRONT COMMUNITY CENTRE STUDIO (Ipswich).
Built 2007 (pictured above)
This would be our 'dream' set up, but unfortunately goes well over our £1,000 limit with a total equipment cost of about £7,000 centred around a 19"rack mounted core duo, ultra quiet PC running Cubase 5, Reason 4, FLStudio and Pro Tools LE. Principle control surface and sound card is the M Audio Project Mix. Keyboard is the Roland Juno-D 61-Note Synthesizer and the microphone a Samson C03 Studio Condenser Microphone through a Behringer tube amp. Set up also includes 19" racked Behringer compresser, EQ and Fostex CDR Recorder. Monitoring is provided by a mighty pair of Fostex PM0.4 Powered Nearfield Monitors and Fostex PM0.5-Sub Mk11 Powered Subwoofer .

Blessed Love Studios have considerable experience in building recording and production studios for youth clubs and schools, and here we provide a guide for young people who want to set up their own hi quality, low cost studio with ease of use in mind. Some of the Youth Studios we have consulted on/constructed are :

Kids Company (Camberwell)
Pupil Parent Partnership (Acton West London)
New Directions Pupil Referral Unit (Islington)
Knights Youth Club (Streatham)
Blessed Love Studios (Camberwell)
Waterfront Community Centre (Ipswich)
Chantry High School (Ipswich)
B.E.L.I.E.V.E Project (Ipswich)
4RCE Training (Ipswich)

The bulk of the studios we have helped build over the past few years have been funded by the Youth Opportunity Fund and Youth Capital Fund. This is money that central government have given to Local Authorities (Councils) to fund young peoples projects that have a community benefit. It is very easy to apply for funding (Just ask a youth worker or connexions advisor about it or contact your council directly) We talking about filling in a two sided form that can result in your project getting over £20,000! To build a studio like the one given here you only need a fraction of this but you will need to budget in the cost of rent of the building you are using, construction (vocal booths & sound proofing) and costs for staffing (You will need to find a friendly Youth Worker or sound engineer to help you run the project, although the project will remain your own)

CASE STUDY 2 (Above) The Chantry High School Studio.
Built in 2009 from a YOF bid. The studio runs Cubase 5 and Reason 4 on a Core Duo system and the M Audio Firewire solo. The studio benefits from a professional constructed and soundproofed control room and booth. Total cost of the equipment and software was slightly over £1000. Construction costs were also over £1000.
DJ KC, youth leader on the B.E.L.I.E.V.E Project takes up the challenge of building a top notch studio for under a £1000 based on his experience of building a studio for his project based at the Triangle Estate in Ipswich via a grant of over £5k from the Suffolk YOF funding. We are assuming that the studio is going to be built for the purpose of making beats/tracks and recording multi track vocals from a rapper/singer. The studio could also be used for recording bands, but this set up we will be recommending is ideally suited to the hip/hop, RnB or grime producer/artist.

STEP ONE : THE PC, LAPTOP OR MAC

The set up below cost £399 from PC World
Intel® Celeron® Dual-Core E1200
(1.60GHz, 800MHz FSB, 512KB Cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
1GB DDR2 800MHz memory
160GB SATA hard drive (7200rpm)

Intel® GMA 3100 graphics
Dual Layer DVD Rewriter
15-in-1 media card reader
6x USB ports (2x front, 4x rear)
Compaq Presario SR5601uk with 19" TFT

This is the core of the system. If you are going to spend more money on any element of your studio then spend more on your PC/Laptop/Mac. Don't bother with 24 track mixing desks with knobs and sliders like a layout of a 747 jet cockpit ; you will never use it! Everything a modern studio needs is contained within the computer. The system above is a Dual Core system that is more than powerfull enough for most studio requirements but you could run most Audio software (or DAW programs like cubase and reason) with much older and slower computers (Pentium 2 Upwards)
We would recommend you consider upgrading the hard drive spec on this set up as using multi track recording does eat up your hard drive space eventually.
The only other adaption to this machine to make it a true studio PC is the addition of a Firewire card in one of the spare PCI slots in your machine to be able to connect your 'break out' sound card box (Such as the M AUDIO product we have selected). You could ask PC world to install this but you could also do it yourself as it is very basic PC maintenance and a Firewire expansion card can be bought for about £20 in Maplins.
You could consider building your own PC from components to save money, although we would advise against this when you consider how cheap a ready built machine already is that will have a warranty and will be built with guaranteed compatible components.

STEP TWO : SOFTWARE, AUDIO DEVICES, CONTROL SURFACES AND ACCESSORIES.

For just about all the studios we have built for youth projects in London and East Anglia we have used Digital Village as suppliers. They are the experts at equipping schools and youth clubs and can give you good advice and support and are reasonable in terms of price and delivery times. It is important for you to note that because we are building this studio for a youth project/school that will have a 'community benefit' we can take advantage of not having to pay VAT. If you want to build this same studio for your own use in your own bedroom it will cost considerably more ; especially the software (Although if you are a media student you can still purchase these Education versions of Reason and Cubase at a reduced cost via your school/college) Other suppliers are available and if you are going to shop around you can try Studio Spares and Turnkey, although we recommend getting all your stuff from the one supplier to keep things simple.

Below is an example of a 'shopping cart' from Digital Village that along with the recommended PC set up above will give you everything you need to start recording and producing professional sounding demo's and mixtapes.

Shipping: £6.90 £6.00
Subtotal: £692.68
VAT: £0.00
Total: £692.68

WARNING! YOU WILL HAVE TO ORDER THROUGH YOUR SCHOOL/YOUTH CLUB TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE REMOVAL OF VAT SHOWN ABOVE. BUYING THE SAME EQUIPMENT AS A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL WILL COST YOU CONSIDERABLY MORE (ESPECIALLY THE SOFTWARE)

OK, lets look at a breakdown of what we have selected above. Obviously you can choose alternative options for each element, but we have selected items for ease of use, compatibility and economy. We have used all the products above and know they work and produce good recordings and are relatively tough and 'future proof'.







Screenshots of Cubase (Top) and Reason (Bottom) They might look intimidating and horribly complicated, but you will get there in the end!



1. SOFTWARE

We have chosen to buy REASON 4 and CUBASE 5 programs purely because we use them and like them. You maybe are more familiar with other well known music programs you have already used ; if so stick with these. There are free options, although 'cracked' or illegally copied programs of course should not be used for many reasons, not just the legal issue. We think the cost of software is unfair and restricts the use of this technology to all. Our belief is that if you get paid for your music you must pay for your licences that created your music, however there should be easier and cheaper ways for young people and others to access and learn. You can get trial versions of many other programs to 'try out' first of course. There are at least two free multi track recording programs we dare recommend such as Audacity (Good multi tracker that will let you record and arrange, and edit tracks with ease) or Computer Music Magazines (CM) has a free giveaway music program with their magazine (pretty good for tips and suggestions for equipment as well ; so include the magazine(s) in your budget!) Reason and Cubase are not the simplest of interfaces and are perhaps not ideally suited to the absolute beginner. FLStudio (formerly 'Fruity Loops') is the easiest for producing beats and tunes and can now also record audio. An even simpler program is Ejay. We make all our beats with Reason because of the range of patches (sounds/instruments etc) and quality. Other widely used software tools would be Soundforge, Ableton, LOGIC, Sonar and Pro Tools.

2.The Soundcard/Breakout box (Firewire)

This is the 'interface' for your recording (where you plug in all your microphones,speakers,instruments, headphones) and your music software. It's doing the same job as the 'soundcard' on your average computer ; its just in a separate box and benefits from the 'super fast' Firewire connection (MEANING YOUR PC/LAPTOP MAC MUST HAVE A 'FIREWIRE' PORT THAT LOOKS LIKE A LONGER VERSION OF THE STANDARD USB PORT. you will have to add a Firewire Card to your host computer otherwise))
The alternative option would be a Soundcard that slots into the back of your computers PCI slot and has all the microphone/instrument/MIDI connections trailing out of the back of the computer (can make it less accessible, which is why we recommend a break out box). The M Audio fireweire solo (pictured above) is the best budget unit we have used, but if you have a bigger budget we would recommend a soundcard/control surface unit like the M Audio Project Mix that is a table top mixing desk style device with motorised faders and a lot more inputs for microphones and instruments.









3.The Microphone


You could spend over ten thousand pounds on a single microphone, but we have selected something a little more reasonable in the Behringer B-1 Condenser Microphone . Condenser microphones like these are 'powered' by a 48v phantom power supplied by the firewire solo device. They are more 'detailed' in sound quality compared to a conventional 'stick' type microphone such as the SM58. These microphones are very sensitive and need to be placed in a shockmount and cradle on the microphone stand and cannot be gripped in the hand like a normal 'stick' mic. Luckily Behringer supply all of these parts (not including the stand or popper stopper) in a carrycase (pictured) all for £56. Its a tasty little mic and i would challenge you to spot the difference between it and a mic costing hundreds of pounds more unless you have the ears of a bat! Alternatives would be the Samson C03U or the Studio Projects B1 Condenser Microphone .



4. The Controller/Control Surface

If your not interested in making beats and just want to use other peoples instrumentals from Grime.com or where ever, you don't need this....but we need more producers out there; to many guys are just spitting and not learning the 'buttons' and being the next Dot Rotten or Timbaland.
The M-Audio Keystation 49E 49-Key USB Controller will connect to your computer via a simple USB connection and allow you to play the sounds in Reason or other software. This type of device does not have any 'sounds' of its own at all and only controls the sounds and instruments in your software. You can get more advanced control surfaces with lots of knobs/sliders controlling envelopes and filters, but most beginners will find these confusing
5. Monitors

We recommend something like the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Reference Monitor (Pair) which is a powered Monitor (Does not need a separate Amplifier) and should provide ample power and detail for most smaller studio set up's. A powered reference monitor is recommended because they are self powered and do not require a separate amplifier and also provide the high sound quality required for a studio. Its a good idea to check your finished recordings on a range of different set ups from car stereos to club style PA systems as your 'mix' will sound different on each set up.

6. Other considerations for your budget.

Have you remembered your blank CDR's and additional cables, power adapters/extension leads? Always leave a 'contingency' of your budget to allow for repairs/spares etc. For example you may find that a headphone extension cable is needed to reach your vocal booth. You may also want to think about soundproofing for your vocal booth/control room (See below).

7. Construction costs.

You might be lucky and have access to a space that is already equipped to give you a control room (Where your PC/Mixer/Speakers are placed) and your recording booth (For your microphone) Ideally you need to be able to see into your vocal booth from your control room whilst being able to soundproof both areas. Normally this is achieved by creating a 'room within a room' for your booth that has a window so you can see and communicate with the artist in the booth. You could place your booth in a location like a store room and link it to the control booth via a web cam. But if you want a truely proffesional booth we recomend getting a quote from a Builder/carpenter. We built a small booth at The Waterfront Community Centre that cost around £300 for materials and labour, but subsequantly wish we had built a bigger space that would comfortably fit two artists. In regard to sound proofing it is important to state that egg boxes stuck on your walls will not have any effect and are also a fire hazzard. You can buy 2mx1m fireproofed expanded foam panels from furniture suppliers (we got ours from a boat manufacturer) for about £17 each. These do a good job and can be glued in place on your walls, although they do become discoloured after a year or so.

8. Security

Do you need an alarm system for your studio? Do you really want to see it all get robbed? You will again probably need to get quotes for this and check your insurance policy on the building you put your studio into. Dont forget to include in your budget computer locks (that will chain your PC/laptop to a desk) and a lock for your vocal booth (Your microphone is probably the most 'nickable' element of your studio....they might be a good rapper/singer, but can you trust them to look after your gear? Dont put temptation in thier way is our advice)