Thursday, 17 April 2014


Describing their sound as a cross between future garage and house I am proud to introduce CRVVCKS, otherwise known as Crooks. Nottingham Duo made up of Cameron and Joe, who forged a bond through their love of music at school, and who are about to put Nottingham on the map with their fresh sound.

If you check out their Soundcloud page you can find some perfectly hashtagged down tempo tracks, which feature soothing R and B vocals over a catchy rhythm. A recent highlight of theirs, Late Night Call, which is available to download for free from their Soundcloud page gives its listeners that perfect mix of chilled house vibes as well as a catchy hook, making it a perfect after party anthem.

If you’re a fan of Jacques Greene, especially his Ciara remixes, CRVVCKS are definitely for you. One of their first releases 'Luv U' showcases their sound perfectly, with its slow beats and its hazy vocals. Listing their influences on Soundcloud including Bondax and Redlight this is definitely apparent with their use of soulful vocals.

The boys are looking forward to bringing their sound out of Nottingham over the summer as well as bringing out their new EP full of fresh sounds, which the boys are keeping quiet about at the moment.

Words by Ed McHugh

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata [ALBUM REVIEW]

After giving us the Thuggin’ EP’ (2011) as well as the ‘Shame EP’ (2012), Gary, Indiana emcee Freddie Gibbs and legendary producer Madlib have linked up once more and released the full-length LP entitled ‘Pinata’.

Now, I do not usually begin my reviews with an outlandish statement, but this particular project has forced me to; I would be surprised to hear a better hip hop album this year. Everything about this album is near perfect. First of all, Madlib is at his usual immaculate standard on production, giving the album a classic feel from beginning to end, allowing Gibbs (as well as the various featured artists) to seamlessly do what they do best. With Gibbs being one of the more conventional rappers that Madlib has collaborated with, people doubted whether he could manipulate the beats effectively but Gibbs does exactly that on almost every track.

In terms of standout tracks there are plenty to look out for, to the point it would be easier to name the tracks that were slightly under-par. If I had to limit myself to five favourites they would probably be; ‘Deeper’, ‘Real’, ‘Robes [Ft. Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt]’, ‘Thuggin’ and ‘Shame [Ft. BJ The Chicago Kid]’.

‘Deeper’ is your stereotypically smooth Madlib production, beautifully handled by Gibbs as he reminisces about an ex-partner. Meanwhile, ‘Real’ is one of my favourites due to Gibbs’ relentless shots aimed at (Young) Jeezy for his mismanagement of Freddie’s career whilst signed to CTE. Domo and Earl are perfect fits on ‘Robes’ as Madlib’s suave production allows them to comfortably express their thoughts, while Freddie Gibbs raspy delivery is also faultless as he finds space to take further shots at (Young) Jeezy. ‘Thuggin’ and ‘Shame’ were part of the duo’s earlier EP’s but still fit alongside the rest of the album seamlessly, with more extraordinarily impeccable production from Madlib making Gibbs’ rough style shine through regardless.

As stated at the start of this piece, I would be very surprised if I enjoy another hip hop album this year as much as I enjoyed ‘Pinata’. The juxtaposition of Madlib’s smooth production and Gibbs’ rough voice and gangsta rap style work perfectly in tandem, in addition to the appropriately placed guest features. It would be a shame if this were the last we see of these two artists working together, especially considering how this effort turned out.

words by Nathan Fisher

About To Blow • Guest Mix Series [19] • Cudroid

Here at AboutToBlow we're all for supporting new talent when we see it & with glimpses of genuine summer weather starting to emerge, the latest installment in the Guest Mix Series comes from a young producer whose work has piqued our interest in a feel good kind of way over recent times. Having already curated Remixes for the likes of De$ignated & former Guest Mix Series contributor Morrt, Cudroid is a producer hailing from West Sussex who takes his influences from the early styles of House & Garage to create a distinctly groovy, uplifting sound that suitably caters for the dancefloor.

Seamlessly shifting through a wealth of new and exclusive material namely from the youngster himself, this 45 minutes affair offers a seductive blend of vocal House, airy synths with a few bumpy, bassy numbers thrown in for good measure. It's a welcome education in the Cudroid Sound & what's to come. Get to know.

SMOKI - Make A Move
Random Soul - Mysterious (Richard Earnshaw Remix)
Huxley - Shower Scene
Daft Jack - Let It Feel
De$ignated - Valentine (Cudroid Remix)
Applebottom - Hooked On U
Cudroid - Don't You See
Patrick Topping - Forget
HNNY - For The Very First Time
Taches - Turn Of Phrase
Joy Orbison - Sicko Cell (Rusha's Too Much Cocaine Remix)