Massive Attack – Protection (Epic 2017 #172)

The Epic 2017 Project #172: 170621

Massive Attack – Protection (1994)

So, for mid-summer’s day 2017 we have Massive Attack’s second studio album, released in 1994 and the last to feature Tricky as a member after going solo with his album Maxinquaye in 1995.

Protection was featured in the top ten of Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Coolest Albums of All Time List’, calling it “great music for when you’re driving around a city at 4 am,” due to the ‘chill out’ nature of the album. Like most of Massive Attack’s albums, the music often defies categorisation, ranging from R&B to hip hop/rap (like Karmacoma) to reggae-tinged synthpop to classical-influenced electronica instrumentals like ‘Weatherstorm’.

The album follows Blue Lines structurally, to the point that the font used on the cover of the album is the same, Helvetica Heavy Italic.Now there’s a useless bit of information to weave into conversation!

Doc le Sac & Scroobius Pip – Thou shalt always kill (Leaping Ahead #165)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #165: 160613

[A song for the noughties (6)]

You know, I think I shall just let the lyrics of this exceptional bit of noughties brilliance released in 2008 speak for themselves. This is the clean version but the message is still just as relevant. Get in there and listen.

Run DMC (ft Jason Nevins) – It’s like that (Leaping Ahead #164)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #164: 160612

[Favourite 90’s tune (6)]

First released back in 1983 on a cassette backed with the track “Sucker M.C.’s”, it marked the start of Run-D.M.C.’s career and is widely regarded as ushering in a new school of hip hop artists with a street image and an abrasive, minimalist sound that marked them out from their predecessors. Both tracks were collected on the trio’s eponymous debut album in 1984.

But it wasn’t until it was remixed by house DJ Jason Nevins in 1997 that things went international. The ‘original’ remix (perhaps something of an oxymoron) was a bootleg as Mr Nevins (the pickle) didn’t get Run DMC’s permission. But the band and their producer picked it up, sorted out all the contractual rights shenanigans and officially re-released it in 1997. It became a sleeper hit in 1998 and sold around five million copies worldwide, placing it amongst the biggest selling singles of all time. Nevins was only paid some $5,000 for his remix though; perhaps he should have sought permission for doing it in the first place – the silly billy!

Wildlife Festival

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Wildlife Festival took place over the weekend of 6 & 7 June 2015 at Shoreham Airport, Sussex, UK. The biggest music festival to date in Sussex and one of the biggest in Southern England, it attracted 35,000 for headline acts including George Ezra, Rudimental, Annie Mac, Nas and Disclosure.

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The site was huge; aircraft were grounded for the weekend and the fenced off area over the east-west runway included the main stage, two dance stages like the above built to resemble the art deco 1930’s airport terminus and two massive DJ set marquees.

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Having a festival of such calibre right on one’s doorstep is a massive bonus; being able to walk from home through our town, across the river and into the grounds and hear and see a host of live music and thumping tunes is a second-to-none privilege which very few actually get to be part of. The queue for advance sale tickets back in a winter storm in January was well worth the wait.

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There was so much to choose from that, on the Saturday, all we did was wander from dance tent to marquee to main stage and back, taking in a bit of this and a bit of that and simply soaking up the joy of being there. And in the sun!

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Soul II Soul followed by George Ezra probably stole the show for the Saturday afternoon with similar glory going to Nas and Rudimental for the night time slots. However, the wind had got up by the time Nas came on so we were content to listen to his set over the air as we wandered back home to the warmth.

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Annie Mac’s DJ slot early on Sunday evening ¬†was sublime, capturing the spirt of the occasion and working the enthusiastic crowd admirably towards a crescendo warm up to the kingpin act of the weekend – Sunday night’s Disclosure.

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And what a way to finish a totally stunning festival. Disclosure creamed it. With a light show to quite literally blow your mind and a series of guest performers, the DJ duo of Guy and Howard Lawrence took the enraptured crowd though a blistering set of old and new tracks, including at least half a dozen from their soon-to-be-released new album.

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Death in Vegas

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Founded by Richard Fearless, Death in Vegas describe themselves as masters of the psychedelic trip hop genre. Formed in London in 1994, the band originally signed to Concrete Records under the name ‘Dead Elvis’. But, following complaints from the Elvis Presley estate, changed their name a little. ‘Dead Elvis’ became the title of the 1997 debut album instead.

Here’s the stunning ‘All that Glitters, the opening track from the debut, featuring the vocal talents of Ranking Roger.