Thursday, 26 November 2020

Marxman ‎– 33 Revolutions Per Minute (1993)

Genre: Hip Hop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label:  Talkin' Loud

01.  Theme From Marxman
02.  All About Eve
03.  Father Like Son
04.  Ship Ahoy
05.  Do You Crave Mystique
06.  Sad Affair
07.  Droppin'Elocution
08.  Dark Are The Days
09.  Drifting
10.  Demented
11.  Spot On My Nose
12.  Sad Affair (Bodhran Mix)

Credits: Scratches – DJKI Banjo – Tom McManamon Backing Vocals – Sinead O'Connor, Andy Kane Bodhrán, Low Whistle, Tin Whistle – James McNally Low Whistle – Davy Spillane Written-By – Marxman Producer – Adam Fuest, Leroy Quintyn, Marxman

Once touted as the Anglo-Irish answer to Public Enemy, revolutionary socialist rap group Marxman never quite achieved the same level of notoriety as Chuck D. & co., but it wasn't through lack of trying. Unceremoniously banned from BBC Radio upon the release of protest single "Ship Ahoy" -- which featured MC Hollis Byrne tastelessly uttering the phrase "tiocfaidh ár lá," the motto of the Irish Republican Army -- their star would continue to shine only in the underground, where 33 Revolutions Per Minute would rightly be regarded as one of Bristol hip-hop's most accomplished and original efforts. MCs Hollis Byrne (an Irish-born emigrant) and Phrase (a Bristol-born Jamaican), driven by a quest for social justice, were brutally honest in their depictions of racism ("Ship Ahoy"), malignant colonialism ("Sad Affair") and domestic abuse ("All About Eve"), issues that few in the mainstream before or since have been willing to tackle honestly. Talented rappers though they are, the mastermind behind Marxman was Dublin electronic artist Oisín Lunny, combining elements of the soon-to-be "Bristol Sound," gloomy electronics and Northern soul, with traditional Irish musicians, enlisting the help of Sinéad O'Connor to sing "Ship Ahoy"'s moving chorus, and Davy Spillane, whose flute sounds underpin "Dark Are the Days," Gang Starr supremo DJ Premier guest-produced "Drifting." Nevertheless, it's Lunny's stunning arrangements that make 33 Revolutions Per Minute such a unique experience.
Dave Donnelly / AllMusic

Masia One & ALX‎ – Freedom Fades EP (2020)

Genre: Hip Hop, Reggae, Pop
Format: MP3
Label: Nusantara Records

1.   Freedom Fades
2.   Chiney Virus
3.   Social Distancing (feat. Sabotawj & DJ Canini)
4.   L to W
5.   Good News

Producer & mix engineer: ALX

Freedom Fades was not written as a HIT record, but as a HUMAN record.  The moods and emotions are expressed accompanied by the simplicity of lo-fi Hiphop beats. Raw lyricism, released in a stream of consciousness with less edits and more a reflection of my current reality.  When I was feeling frustrated, alone or missing a loved one, I would scribble the words as the thoughts arrived to the tip of my pen. This is how the Freedom Fades EP began for producer ALX and I at the beginning of the pandemic. Trading voice notes and melodic ideas over the phone, while I paced around in home isolation in my apartment in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. ALX, across the border in Singapore would brighten up my days by randomly sending beats…”Check your inbox sis, I got one for you.” This collection of songs is essentially the new norm through our eyes. 

It’s not easy to spend time indoors for such long periods of time, (especially for SE Asians used to tropical weather all year round). Much of my time is outside the home, and so a new atmosphere and daily routine brings a new vibration.  It is my hope that the words and melodies on this project inspire a personal reflection, a comfort and maybe even a little humour in this pandemic era.  Most importantly Freedom Fades is my exploration into how an artist can go beyond the music, to effect positive change in their community.  Through innovation, activism and donating proceeds back to causes I believe in, I feel it is important to move the role of artist farther away from that of ‘celebrity’ to a more powerful role, a voice for the people. 
Masia One