Afrikan Boy – the ABCD (The 59) #345

The ’59 2018 #345: 181211

Afrikan Boy – The ABCD (2014)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 56 – 2014

It’s taken an age but Olushola Ajose, A.K.A Afrikan Boy, has now arrived on our doorsteps with a sharp, edgy, brilliant and witty album that’s crept into our lives like all great pieces of audio usually do if we’re patient enough to hang around and wait.

Afrikan Boy first came to our attention nearly a decade ago with his catchy, clever song about stealing goods and getting caught stealing goods from those great British bastions of shopping stores, Asda and Lidl.

What we have on this album is a more mature Afrikan Boy. He’s nine years older, a 25 year old and not the teenager he was when we first met him but that hasn’t taken away the humour and, indeed, the sharpness of his lyrics that make this man unique and in a position to be adored by the nation outside his front door in south east London.

[Louder than War Music review – September 2014]

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Rage against the machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (The ’59) #253

The ’59 2018 #253: 180910

Rage against the machine – The battle of Los Angeles (1999)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 41 – 1999.

The Battle of Los Angeles was the third studio album by Rage Against the Machine, released on November 2, 1999 on Epic Records. It was nominated at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

The album cover art was an original artwork by the LA Street Phantom aka Joey Krebs aka Joel Jaramillo, a well-known Los Angeles artist who has exhibited at numerous galleries in Los Angeles, New York City and throughout the United States.

‘The battle of Los Angeles’ got to No.23 on the UK album charts, and No. 1 on the US Billboard 200.

Rage against the machine (The ’59) #206

The ’59 2018 #206: 180725

Rage against the machine (1992)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 34 – 1992.

The eponymous debut studio album from Rage Against the Machine was released on November 3, 1992 by Epic Records. It reached No.17 on the UK album charts the following year.

The album’s lead single ‘Bullet in the Head’ refers to the ideology that the government uses media to control the population, drawing comparisons between typical residences and Alcatraz. The track was transferred intact from the band’s demo, also self-titled.

Bullet in the Head features many innovative guitar techniques by Tom Morello. These use a DigiTech Whammy pitch shifter and wah-wah pedal. Morello picks the open D and G strings on his guitar with the DigiTech Whammy in the open (furthest) position to raise the pitch by two octaves. This creates a ‘sampling’ sound. You can also hear Morello picking a natural harmonic on his guitar and then raising the pitch with the Whammy pitch shifter.

The band debuted “Bullet in the Head” at their first public performance at California State University, Northridge in The Quad on October 23, 1991.

Plan B – Who needs actions when you got words (Epic 2017 #229)

The Epic 2017 Project #229: 170817

Plan B – Who needs actions when you got words (2006)

OK you lucky lot. Today you’re getting eight episodes of ‘Epic’ all on the same day; essentially because I’m away for a week with no possibility of updating blogs etc.

The penultimate offering (that for Thursday 17 August) is ‘Who Needs Actions When You Got Words’, the debut studio album released by British rapper and songwriter Plan B from June 2006. The album was recorded with producers such as Fraser T Smith, Paul Epworth, The Earlies and The Nextmen. The title of the album derives from a line in the Meat Puppets song “Plateau”, famously covered by Nirvana on their album MTV Unplugged in New York.

Oxide & Neutrino – Execute (Epic 2017 #199)

The Epic 2017 Project #199: 170718

Oxide & Neutrino – Execute (2001)

Execute is the debut album of So Solid Crew members Oxide & Neutrino, released on 28 May 2001. It features the Casualty sampling number 1 single “Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)” and the Prodigy cover “No Good 4 Me”. The song “Devil’s Nightmare” was also featured on the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider soundtrack.

Dizzy Rascal – Tongue in Cheek (Epic 2017 #057)

The Epic 2017 Project #057: 170226

Dizzee Rascal – Tongue in cheek (2009)

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The release of Dizzee Rascal’s 4th studio album was announced on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross when, in an interview, Rascal revealed details including track information and production. He confirmed in an interview on Radio 1 that he was leaving his grime roots behind, in favour of more mainstream pop music.

On 23 May 2009, Calvin Harris revealed on his Twitter that he was producing a Dizzee track. At the Evolution Festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he confirmed that there would be two new singles from the album called “Road Rage” and “Dirtee Cash”. Dirtee Cash heavily samples The Adventures of Stevie V song “Dirty Cash.” Samples are also used on “Can’t Tek No More” (“Warrior’s Charge” by Aswad from the film Babylon) and “Chillin’ Wiv da Man Dem” (“Oh Honey” by Delegation).

In early August the track listing was confirmed in a preview of the album by music website NME.

Notably, Rascal designed a Nike-distributed Tongue n’ Cheek shoe, to be in released at the same time as the album. The proceeds from these shoes going to Tower Hamlets Summer University of which Rascal is a patron

Death in Vegas – Dead Elvis (Epic 2017 #051)

The Epic 2017 Project #051: 170220

Death in Vegas – Dead Elvis (1997)

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Dead Elvis is the band’s debut studio album released on March 10, 1997 in the United Kingdom and on September 16, 1997 in the United States. This was the only Death in Vegas album to feature original member Steve Hellier. The British release features coloured Elvis graffiti on the cover, while the US version features a tattoo artist.

Death in Vegas was formed in 1994 by Richard Fearless and Steve Hellier and signed to Concrete Records under the name of “Dead Elvis”. However, there was an Irish record label of the same name at the time, and Dead Elvis became the title of their first album instead. Rankin Roger’s (of ‘The Beat’ fame) vocals feature throughout the album but most notably on the opening track – ‘All that glitters’ featured here.