Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Crew Love Carnivale with Wolf + Lamb, Soul Clap & Pillow Talk @ Studio 338 [EVENT REVIEW]

Easter Sunday saw the Crew Love European tour arrive at Studio 338 in North Greenwich, London. Having spent four days on the road on a double decker bus - equipped with a lounge, cinema and beds - the team of promoters and artists could boast visitations to Manchester, Paris, Amsterdam and London.

So came the conclusion of this musical road trip. With a lineup that showcased the finest artists affiliated with the American based label, it was not to be missed. Acts included Soul Clap, Pillow Talk, Tanner Ross, Nick Monaco, Navid Izadi, No Regular Play, Wolf + Lamb and Slow Hands. With a mix of live artists and DJ’s playing material fresh to the UK scene, the venue soon reached it's full capacity, creating an incredible climax to both the Easter weekend and the four day tour.

About To Blow caught up with Charlie and Eli from Soul Clap at the event to ask about their time on the road in Europe;
‘We’re in London and the party is jumping! You should see it down there, it’s like a sea of people, it’s crazy!’ ‘I think this is the best tour we’ve ever done, you’re just on a bus with your homies, you skip all the BS with airports and just get on the bus. I love going to sleep with that rumble!’ ‘It’s been a while since we’ve been in Europe and I feel refreshed, it’s dope! The fans are really supportive. It’s great to be back and to see people enjoying our new sounds’.

With Soul Clap & Parliaments George Clinton gearing up for a collaborative release in addition to the first official Crew Love album set for production later this year, expect to hear a lot more from the collective as they stage shows across a succession of Festival dates this summer. In the meantime you can enjoy our image gallery from Studio 338 below.


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