Obscure Dubstep Stuff

Posted: September 2, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
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The cool thing about the internet is that once you get yourself some decks and other, em, music equpment, you can make tunes and put them up on Youtube and thousands of people will come across it. Here’s a few really good dubstep tunes I’ve found on my journeys through the internet, by people nobody has heard of.

Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes (Hooky’s Dubstep Remix)

One of Plastic Beach‘s best tunes, now featuring a bone-crunching drop.

Purky – Waka Waka

This one had got a bit of a demo feel to it, but it’s pretty cool all the same.

OriginalBunglist – Special K

Don’t know how I came across this one either, he’s clearly an unsigned dude trying to get noticed (got my attention anyways), and the results are pretty impressive. Cool samples and the obligatory driving bassline make this a winner.

Trampa – Daleks

Erring more on the “filth” side of things, the Facebook page simply entitled Dubstep can be fairly hit-and-miss. There’s definitely some good stuff on it though, this is the work of one young gent they’re trying to promote at the moment.


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The Importance of Wikileaks

Posted: August 25, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Media, Politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

Murdoch and Fox News have become notorious for their blatantly right-wing viewpoints

Nearly every newspaper in the English-speaking world is biased towards one cause or the other. Rupert Murdoch is often cited as the prime example of the malevolent media tyrant that is, effectively selling us news stories which lean toward a certain kind of conservative, pro-American viewpoint – with Fox News being the best example of this. So, when we live in times when our news is tainted by vested interests, plenty of stories can be swept under the carpet.

In times gone by, the US Army had often been kept in check by journalists; during the Vietnam War, for example, freelance reporter Seymour Hersh uncovered the aptly-named My Lai massacre, where an estimated 347-504 unarmed civilians were willfully murdered by US forces. These days, however, journalists are less prepared to dig deeper than the press releases they are given by military spokesmen, and as such, are not doing their jobs properly. There is no doubt that we do not know the full extent of the death toll in Iraq, but, by taking the US Army on their word, they are allowing countless more atrocities to go unnoticed by the western world.

This is where Wikileaks comes into it. Quality journalism can be used as a great way of ensuring justice in the world – if there are people were willing to report the worst of the conflicts, then Armies will not use such overwhelming force in places like Fallujah, where the entire town was wiped out in an American blitz on the city. The Italian film, Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre found serious evidence of the use of the banned white phosphorous (a napalm-like explosive) and of chemical weapons, which were used indiscriminately in the November 2004 raid. The sources for these claims are very credible, including former soldier Jeff Englehart, who is now an anti-war campaigner after witnessing at first-hand the way in which the Americans have handled the war in Iraq. This video is pretty grim, but it also gives a sense of the magnitude of the destruction that has actually gone on in Iraq, and it’s much worse than we could imagine in our mind’s eye when we hear those White House press releases.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange: The anti-Murdoch

Wikileaks continues these kinds of investigations, and takes it to another level. Led by Australian Julian Assange, the group is based in Iceland, and has managed to obtain hundreds of thousands of confidential papers which paint a pretty bleak picture of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as shady business deals from around the world. Here’s a link to one such classified incident, plus a few more that are also relevant.

http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Collateral_Murder,_5_Apr_2010

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

http://wikileaks.org/

Universalgrassroots is delighted and honoured to have the exclusive on this very exciting bit of news. It is now official that the west of Ireand duo, Niall Conway from Easkey Co. Sligo and Conor Gaffney from Boyle Co. Roscommon, will be playing the Body and Soul stage at the annual music and arts festival in Stradbally Co. Laois.

After gaining much momentum playing successful gigs around the country such as at The Knockanstockan festival, The Liquid Lounge in Cork, and their album launch at Academy 2 (Photos here:https://universalgrassroots.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/nouveaunoise-launch-party/), aswel as receiving radio play on 2fm, 2xfm, and phantom radio amongst others the duo have only being going forward and the announcement of a slot at The Electric Picnic rounds up a year of hard work and great gigs.

Their debut album Paraphrase Accolade (released at the start of summer) was really the catalyst for their sudden burst to life after becoming somewhat dormant a couple of years ago. The album has received rave reviews from many corners of the media world and has helped them gave many new fans near and far. Here’s a review from State Magazine: http://www.state.ie/2010/07/album-reviews/nouveaunoise-–-paraphrase-accolade/

A digital copy of their album can be got here: http://nouveaunoise.bandcamp.com/album/paraphrase-accolade

A hard copy of the album in a sliky vinyl style case can also be bought from Tower Records for something under €10!

http://www.myspace.com/nouveaunoise

http://breakingtunes.com/nouveaunoise

http://www.facebook.com/nouveaunoise?ref=ts

Of all the games in this opening weekend of Premiership action, the one that stands out the most is Monday night’s clash between newly-promoted Newcastle United and Manchester United. While most people would say Liverpool v Arsenal  is a bigger game (and it is), the Magpies 102 points in last year’s Coca-Cola Championship proves they are an interesting prospect for their new season in the top flight.

Roberto Di Matteo may find things tough at West Brom this season

We have seen some contrasting fortunes from the two other newly-promoted teams so far, Blackpool’s 4-0 demolition of Wigan shows what a tight, well-organised squad of players can achieve, while West Brom’s capitulation at the hands of Chelsea reminds us that the smaller teams must know their limits – ordinary footballers forced to play beautiful football will always fall short when faced with the reigning champions. Newcastle are an altogether different prospect, with Argentine internationals Jónas Gutierrez and Fabricio Colloccini in their ranks, the Black and White will not be in awe of their Old Trafford surroundings. Kevin Nolan was the best player in the Championship by some distance, while up front, they have a genuine successor to Alan Shearer’s boots in the young Andy  Carroll.

Carroll: Part of a new era on Tyneside

The history between the Toon and the Red Devils goes back to the mid 90’s, when Kevin Keegan’s side was 12 points clear at Christmas, only to collapse in the later stages of the 96/97 season, handing the title to United in the process.

These two videos sum up what is best about the mercurial north-east side, the first is Keegan’s infamous rant towards the end of that season, with their rivals closing in. The second shows what happened on October 21, 1996, a day which lives long in the memories of fans.

Once Keegan had left, his side slipped into gradual decline, with Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit guiding the Magpies to mediocre mid-table finishes, and successive defeats in the ’98 and ’99 FA Cup. Things took a significant upturn when Bobby Robson was appointed manager in 2000, and they finished fourth the year after, and made the top five twice more during his tenure. Then, perhaps predictably, as the veteran Geordie made way for Graeme Souness, things fell apart once again. The Scotsman’s short stay left a bad taste in the mouths of fans, especially with the club hemorrhaging money through the permanently-crocked Michael Owen, who cost £17 million and made just 71 appearances in four years. Souness was followed by Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Joe Kinnear and Alan Shearer, which brings us right up to the present day, with Irishman Chris Hughton.

Hughton has won many admirers with his calm outlook in difficult times

Gone are the days of spending daft money on the likes of Owen, Hughton has moulded a team primarily out of good, up-and-coming English players. The signings of James Perch, and Dan Gosling should prove very good investments indeed, while the addition of Sol Campbell should give their traditionally shaky back-line some muscle. 35 year-old Campbell had come in for some criticism about his weight in recent weeks, but going by last season’s performances for Arsenal, he’s still got it.

Ashley: Unpopular

All of these pragmatic, sensible signings do make the typical Newcastle fan yearn for a bit of folly though; the likes of Faustino Asprilla, Carl Cort, Hugo Viana, and of course Michael Owen are all part of an era that will probably never return to St James’ Park. With the notoriously penny-pinching Mike Ashley in charge of finances, Hughton doesn’t have much to work with. Still, if they can finally complete the loan signing of Hatem Ben Arfa from Marseille, they will have pulled off the biggest transfer coup of the summer. He will join a long line of tempermental French wingers to serve the club. David “40 fags a day” Ginola and Laurent Robert have gone down in the club’s folklore, and Ben Arfa’s style of play really suits the English game.

So, how will they actually fare out this season? Well, they are nowhere near Sir Bobby’s great team of the early noughties. At the moment, their strengths lie in midfield; the typical line-up this year will be Gutierrez, Barton/Smith, Guthrie and Lovenkrands/Ben Arfa, with Kevin Nolan just behind a lone striker. Compared to a typical ’03/’04 midfield of Robert, Speed, Jenas and Solano, (plus Shearer and Bellamy up front), so there’s still a long way to go. I have often said, having followed them closely in the Championship last year, that they would have come around 12th in the Premiership with the form they were in. Now, with a few extra signings under their belt, and a new winning mentality forged during tough times last year, they should (in theory at least) do pretty well. Well worth putting a fiver on them staying up anyway.

They have become household names, instantly recognizable to an island of around 4 million people and god knows how many poor souls abroad. But why they have become so popular is one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century. Neil Delamere, Jason Byrne, and Kathrine Lynch are not funny. (Note full stop). It seems these “comedians” are part of this new type of comedy which goes something like – “if I say enough words then maybe some of them will be funny” which seems to be an offshoot of the Tommy Tiernan philosophy of “if I say it louder then maybe you’ll laugh”.

One morning as I woke up from a first sleep-in in a long while I was shocked to turn on what I thought would be Ray D’ Arcy on Today FM to hear the voice of Neil Dalamere. I quickly sprang up trying desperatley to find the tuning of Today Fm and cursing what evil mind had reset my radio to pick up some dry humoured midlands radio presenter. I soon realised what had happened. The infection had spread quicker than I thought. The dry “comedians” have already begun to suck the life out of the ocean of talent which Ireland actually does posess and its happening now.

Lets not focus on the negative though and maybe a little bit of comparison will make us appreciate the great work of actual comedians.

Bad – Neil Delamere

Good – Dylan Moran

Bad – Jason Byrne

Good – Dara O’ Brien

Bad – Kathrine Lynch 

Good – Ed Byrne

More Tunes!

Posted: August 10, 2010 by undergroundfisherman in Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

One of the great difficulties in life, for me at least, is that moment when you’re on Youtube and you simply can’t decide what tune to put on. You’ve got every song from the last 50 years available to you and your mind goes blank. So, here’s a few old and new ones to get you back on the right track if you should ever face this very postmodern conundrum.

Panda Bear – Slow Motion

Panda Bear's new album is coming out soon, and it's looking pretty good

Everyone knows Animal Collective are pretty class, so it’ll come as no surprise that when Noah Lennox, one of AC’s members, creates a solo album (called Tomboy, his fourth as Panda Bear), it’s going to be pretty cool. The album comes out in September, but you can make do with this until then

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

The title track from their new album, which came out this week. They sound a bit more upbeat than previously, and going by the other songs I’ve heard from the album, it looks like another triumph from the Canadian septet.

The Kinks – Mr Churchill Says

They’re probably my favourite band from their era, and this song from their 1969 album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), is a brilliant, prog-pop number which really held up well over the years.

Vaski – Terror

One of the recurring themes on Universalgrassroots is the future of dubstep, whether it’ll just become assimilated into a wider electronic scene, or stay true to its original sound. This great track, which I found on the Dubstep Dublin facebook page, is pretty dark but not in the new, almost unlistenable way that seems to be getting ever more popular for some reason.

Boney M – Sunny

Don’t look at this as an ironic, “it’s uncool so it’s cool” way, this is just a great song, plain and simple. Boney M had some shocking tunes, but I can forgive any band a thousand sins for just one moment of redemption like this. It will instantly put you in good form.

Kanye West – Power

He might be stone mad, but Kanye's a forward-thinking musician

As time goes on, he just becomes more and more egotistical and downright strange. But musically at least, he’s really innovative and interesting. Somehow I can’t imagine 50 Cent releasing a video or song like this, and for that alone, he deserves credit. In fairness to him, he does help breathe life into an otherwise stale hip-hop scene. Kanye’s unshakeable belief in himself really comes through in this song, and it’s pretty good despite/because of this.