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Behind The Song Nottingham Sounds

Race To The Top

Stunning MCs like taser shocks, I got a jet pack flow, I’m taking off
A breathless hip hop sprint to the finish line. A collaboration between The Afterdark Movement and Deeper Than Forever ft. Bru-C and Kayfficial

Download      mp3 demo

Behind The Song

All credit to Afterdark’s Bru-C for the concept of trading ever shortening lines with DTF’s Kayfficial. Afterdark sax player Ed Reisner came up with the initial riffs and chord sequence. I suggested stretching out the chord sequence for the bridge to build tension and made a few tweaks here and there. Former pupil Sarah Kerry produced and played live drums and Nina Smith added and arranged backing vocals.

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Nottingham Sounds

Scorzayzee And The Invisible Orchestra Live (in) Great Britain

Hot on the heels of his long awaited debut album @Scorzayzee performs his ‘banned’ track Great Britain live in Nottingham in a one of kind collaboration with the Invisible Orchestra. If you look closely you can spot John Matear who played Sousaphone on my Let’s Build An Airport EP.

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Appreciation Nottingham Sounds

The Return Of Scorzilla The Gorilla

I’ll take a moment to speak about Scorzayzee  I don’t write enough about the music that really moves me because I want to do it justice and never find enough time to gather my thoughts. So this will be short but don’t let that fool you. I love this album – Aeon: Peace To The Puzzle. (Stream it on Spotify or buy it on Amazon).

Scorz has walked a hard road the last few years battling drugs, mental illness, media backlash. What I love about this album is the blend of spirituality, humour and honesty. A lot of artists are afraid to look stupid or weak. Others fear exposing their spiritual beliefs to potential ridicule. Others want to hide their embarrassing beginnings and create a myth of the perfectly formed artist suddenly appearing. But Scorz breaks all these taboos and sometimes on the same track.

It’s hard to do this album (and artist) justice but this double album – 28 tracks – is well worth your time and your money. I’ll say it again – Aeon: Peace To The Puzzle. Stream it on Spotify or buy it on Amazon).

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Production Recording Songwriting

Rick Rubin on Songoverwriting and Underproduction

Rick Rubin gave a brilliant interview to Andrew Romano’s in the The Daily Beast. Here’s some excerpts on songwriting and producing

I’d say [to Kanye] “This song is not so good. Should I start messing with it?” And he’d say, “Yes, but instead of adding stuff, try taking stuff away.”

There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across.

For me the Beatles are proof of the existence of God. It’s so good and so far beyond everyone else that it’s not them.

My job [as a producer] is to be a professional version of the outside world—a listener who is not attached to any of it, who doesn’t know the story of how it was written, who doesn’t know how it works, who doesn’t know why this is important to you.

I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it. So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know.

There’s a cycle that’s dictated by the reality of being a touring artist [when you only have eight weeks between tours to make a record]. At some point in time the cycle takes over, and even though you’re not really ready to make the record during that window, it’s the only window you have, so you put it out. Cracks in the foundation start. And slowly, over time, the creative process gets eroded, and [making a record] becomes something that’s just a window in the schedule instead of the most important thing that drives the whole train.

I always request that artists overwrite. Write as much as possible—and then we can narrow down—because you never really know. The best song you write might be No. 25, not No. 12. For every System of a Down record, we’ve recorded probably 30 songs to get the 12 or 14 that are on the record. The same with Chili Peppers. It was a little bit of a struggle with Black Sabbath…We probably recorded 16. And there are eight on the album. It made sense to me [to work that way] because in the past they were on a roll from album to album, and now they haven’t been a band together in 35 years. The idea that after 35 years the first 10 songs you write are perfect is unrealistic.

How did you discover Public Enemy, another one of the greatest rap groups ever?

D.M.C. played me a tape of Chuck D hosting a radio show. The show was called “Public Enemy Number One.” So I called him, and he said that he had already done the rap thing. Now he had a regular job. He wasn’t interested. He felt like he was too old. He was probably 20. Chuck thought he’d missed his chance. He worked at a record store. I called him every day for six months, probably. He would leave a message with whoever was there, like, “Tell Rick I’m not here.” And then eventually I got a message: Chuck wants to meet. And he comes in, and he’s like, “I’m willing to do it under these terms: it’s called Public Enemy. It’s a group. It’s more like the Clash than a rap group, and it’s me and Flavor Flav, and Griff and Hank are involved.” And I said, “Whatever you want to do is fine.”

Read the full interview here

Check out my Black Sabbath/ Beastie Boys mashup here